ND Vs. Miami (FL).
Catholics Vs. Convicts.
Same thing, just a matter of who wins each year. Except, this year was much different than in the past. Both teams were mediocre in talent and in record. Usually they are both battling atop the ranks in college football when they have met in previous years.
This year decided which team wanted to take a step in moving in the right direction, Fortunately enough, the W last weekend went to Notre Dame.
There have not been many wins this season for the Irish, so we have to see the win as a win, BUT there were many things that were alarming for viewers and hopefully coaches
Let’s break it down from a good and bad category.
The Irish scored 20 points in the first quarter. The offense was reeling and looked like this could be a blowout early.
DeShone Kizer looked back to the passing, running guru that he is. He ran effectively and passed to all receivers, not just EQ all game.
The defense looked far better than in past weeks. The defensive line showed great poise, as the run game of the Hurricanes was stalled all game long, forcing long 3rd downs.This has been something that Notre Dame has been trying to improve on all season. A clear weakness on this roster.
Brian Kelly didn’t try to throw in Malik Zaire mid-game. We saw how bad that resulted the last time that he tried a heroic act to save a game in the 3rd quarter. Kizer missed some throws and Kelly let his stud QB ride the wave and live to see another series.
A 27-0 run. After the 20 point first quarter, the Irish allowed a 27 point run that allowed the Hurricanes to take a 7 point lead in the 4th quarter and drain the effectiveness out of the offense for ND.
The secondary. They could be called “swiss cheese” for how bad that they are. The 27 point run by the Hurricanes was directly a result of the bad secondary and them converting on what seemed like every 3rd and long play. This is something that has hurt them the last two years with the youth and injuries, but something has to give when year after year this is the case.
Special Teams. Anyone who watched the game knows what I am talking about. There is nothing worse than the lack of fundamentals that the special teams have showed for a few years now. I attest this to the coaching of the team, directly at Kelly. Just ask Jordan, we walked out of Notre Dame Stadium after C.J. Sander’s awful muffed punt inside the 5 yard line. I couldn’t watch anymore. Do ya blame me?
With all this said, the Hurricanes were not able to hang on to the lead they fought back on, as a late score and field goal in the 4th sealed the win for ND. I do have to credit the team for fighting back and keeping their heads within the game plan to ensure the W. What I do have a problem with is that they should have never been in the position where they needed to come back. Someone on that sideline should understand that things need to change. The current procedures, staff, players, scheme, etc. are not working.
One of the teams after last Saturday was going to come home with a W. This was the Fightin’ Irish, but not without some turmoil and a little pressure. They show promise and fight, which is something every team can use to gain momentum with going into the next game and season. A sense of identity and urgency needs to be found. And by that, I mean with the coaching staff to ensure their jobs and the wins that ND demands.
With all this said, I predict a hard fought win this weekend in Jacksonville, FL against a very good Navy team. Navy always presents a difficult game for the Irish every year they play, so the triple option will be interesting to see how they stand up to it.
So yes, the W was great and a step in the right direction. Oh I forgot to tell everyone. Running a close 2nd to the W was running into David Robinson, Hall of Fame NBA basketball player. Enjoy the picture.