Saturday, April 20, 2013
Defense Dominates in Spring Game
Whenever there is a Spring game, it is always a little tough to root too hard for one side or the other. You obviously want a good team all around and if one side just dominates, it can mean that one side is really good or the other side is really bad.
Well on Saturday the Irish defense just dominated the offense. I tend to be optimistic about that though because as Irish fans we wondered how the defense will look without Manti Teo'. It appears that Carlos Calabrese and Dan Fox can step right in without missing a beat. A more pressing matter for the defense would be replacing Zeke Motta at Safety as the only guy with any real experience is Austin Collinsworth who missed last year with injury.
On Saturday the defense looked solid. I really liked the pressure by Louis Nix and the surprise was Tyler Stockton.
Looking at the other side of the ball, the offense did not score a touchdown until late when the latest freshmen phenom quarterback Malik Zaire had a long touchdown pass against the fourth string. It was followed by the highlight of the day as Nix came in at quarterback and and ran over everybody.
The offensive line was a bit of a concern, but in all fairness they did go against one of the best fronts in the nation. In spite of the lack of scoring there were some positives on offense. Running backs George Atkinson and Cam McDaniel will have big shoes to fill with the departures of both Theo Riddick and Cierre Wood. Both had very nice games but Atkinson still has the bad habit of running high and Calabrese reminded him of that with a devastating hit.
Of all the quarterbacks, I thought Tommy Rees looked the best as he moved his team into scoring position on both of his series. But to be fair to Everett Golson, he was against the starters and to be honest I think the red shirt actually hurt him more than it helped him. I remember at least three plays where he was touched but could have escaped the pocket and made a play.
In spite of that, Golson did have some nice throws and there was one that should have been caught by Davaris Daniels for a touchdown.
Overall, I liked the effort and the team has put the Alabama loss behind them as well as all the offseason drama. If the spring game was any indication, I think we can expect another magical year in 2013.