Saturday, August 31, 2013

Notre Dame Produces Mixed Results in Win Over Temple

Offensively, the Fighting Irish were very efficient. Tommy Rees was sharp. He threw for a career high 346 yards with 3 touchdowns. He showed improved arm strength on those throws and most importantly, he did not turn it over.

The Irish were also effective running the ball. USC transfer Amir Carlisle was most impressive with 68 yards on only seven carries. His number of carries need to go up. His first carry electrified the crowd with a 45 yard gain. Cam McDaniel was also impressive with 68 yards on 12 carries. He seems to be the power runner of the group. George Atkinson was a little disappointing with only 34 yards although he did have the only rushing touchdown. I was happy that he didn't fumble. Perhaps it is time to consider making him more of a third down specialist than a featured back.

The Irish have a good group of receivers led by TJ Jones who had six catches for 138 yards. Davaris Daniels had 3 catches for 69 yards and two of them were long touchdowns. He may have had a third one if he didn't cramp up on a long bomb. Chris Brown should get a bigger role as the season progresses as well. Tight End Troy Niklas only had one catch but it was 66 yard touchdown.

After having such a dominant defense last year, it was disappointing to see them give up over 70 rushing yards in the first half. I expected Louis Nix and Stephen Tuitt to just dominate that Temple line. It didn't happen and that is a concern going into Michigan. Last year, the Irish only gave up four rushing touchdowns and gave one up in the first half.

The defense did play better in the second half but they still did not look as dominant as we are used to. No takeaways is a concern as well.

The Kicking game was just a disaster. Two missed field goals and two punts that went through the endzone are things that have to get corrected now. TJ Jones did show potential on punt returns but still did not produce great results.

The win is nice but the Irish definitely have to play better against Michigan.

Notre Dame Needs to Put Temple Away Early

Bottom line is that with a brutal stretch immediately following Temple, The Fighting Irish cannot mess around with the Owls. They have many new faces on offense and we need to see as many players get game experience as we can. The Irish need to be firing on all cylinders from the get go.

For Tommy Rees, this one season will determine how he is remembered in South Bend. Defensively, Louis Nix needs to be the anchor of the line and the guy who is the leader. He can have a Lombardi Award type year.

There is not much more to write about on this one. We have waited 8 long months for this and dealt with a disaster of an offseason. It is time for football.

Go Irish.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Thank You Danny Spond

With just one week before the Temple Owls suffer the butt kicking of a life time, the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame suffered a huge loss this week. Senior Linebacker Danny Spond had to end his playing career due to repeated head injuries. The sad part is that he went through so much to be part of the team last year after a bad concussion in the preseason.

Remembering him last year he was really an unsung hero in the shadow of guys like Louis Nix, Kapron Lewis-Moore, and the great Manti Te'o. Truth being told is that he would have been the main star on many other defenses. As it was, he was a huge part of that great defense last year. I remember most him saving the game against BYU.

With Spond gone, a couple of unknowns in Fresman Jayon Smith and Junior Ben Counsell will fight to fill that huge hole. Coach Kelly's theory has always been next man in so I am sure one of them will be up to the challenge. But Still, Spond will be sorely missed.

Thank you Danny Spond and we are happy that you will still be around to help the young linebackers.