At one point, I was worried that Michigan State may not have a Head Coach going into the locker room after the game.
From the start, Notre Dame inflicted their will against the Spartans and it didn’t let up throughout the game. There is always that caution though, as Brian Kelly is known for letting a team that shouldn’t right back into a game.
Sparty is always a rivalry that is close for ND, as Mike Dantonio and his defense are stout and hold oppositions at their lowest game in and game out. Not last Saturday.
Starting the game kneeling in anticipation with a ice cold “soda” I was as prepared as they come for a close game. Brace yourself. The only braving we had to do in our house was for the neighbors not complaining about the loud noises coming from 1341.
This only got louder when Julian Love took the pick 6 to the house early in the 1st quarter. I know all of the many other Irish fans jumped in jubilation like myself, as we haven’t seen many of those things called turnovers in previous years. This was a great sign and it only continued through the game.
(Mine and Julian’s reaction when he reached the end zone)
Much of the same from previous weeks play continued. A heavy dose of run and a lot of great defense. Wimbush, Adams, and Williams are proven rushers with the goal of putting 300-plus yards on the ground on each opposing defense.
What We Learned
1. This defense can PLAY. Nobody would have predicted this young defense to have played as well as they have to start the season. The last few years this D has been a weak spot to this team and the argument is switching that this defense can get the job done.
2. The receiving core made more happen. The air attack was more prevalent this game and I think that showed. Up until this point, the receivers were catching a lot of heat about the lack of weaponry for Wimbush. This was ironic since the whole preseason this group was at the pros of the team not the Cons. Young guys have stepped up and EQ was able to get a few more catches as well.
Kelly’s Key Improvements
1. Play call. I have been curious as to why Brian Kelly or the Offensive Coordinator, Chip Long, have not been more apt to throw the deep ball. Previous years have shown the Irish offense is at its best when it cans stretch the field. That hasn’t been thought about this year. My goodness!! Use your big, tall, fast guy down the sidelines and stretch the field! Alright. I’m done.
2. Experience. This is a key each week, but with the young core and talent this team has, each game is key that way they can get additional reps and more confident within the defense. Offense, and special teams. Defense especially, the more they play, the better they will be.
Prediction: Miami (OH) vs. Notre Dame
Do I even say? It’s gonna be ugly. There are things to work on that should be focused this week and heading into a game with USC in 3 weeks as well.
One week closer to USC.