Tuesday, September 16, 2014
3 Things To Work On During the Bye.
After Notre Dame's rocky victory over Purdue, it is pretty easy to see the areas the Fighting Irish need to improve upon with a tough schedule ahead. The offensive line, running game, and secondary are all areas to work on. I am not worried over 5 players who may or may not be reinstated. The coaches have no control over it either way.
This is always a good place to start. The bottom line is that this unit just needs to play better. Everett Golson was running for his life out there. A quarterback of lesser ability would have not been able to make the plays Golson did. But he is going to get hurt behind this line with tough defenses like Stanford and Florida State on the schedule in the near future.
The Irish have an interesting dilemma here. They have three runners in Tarean Folston, Greg Bryant, and Cam McDaniel who all have shown great potential. The problem is that with a three way rotation, none of them are really being featured and that makes it tough for any one runner to get into a rhythm. It seems that the Irish have to do one of two things. That is they can feature one runner and limit the carries for the other two. It is not clear which of the three should be featured at this point. Or they can go to a two back rotation instead of three. That will give more carries to two guys and allow them to go with the hot runner in the second half. But the problem is which runner do you take out of the rotation. This is not an easy decision here. It can be considered a good problem to have but it is a problem nonetheless.
This is a unit that has just been decimated by injury. Hopefully, Austin Collinsworth will be back soon. Andrew Trumbetti who suffered a head injury against Michigan should be ready to go against Syracuse. Cole Luke has to go through concussion protocol and there is no word on his return yet. Nicky Baratti is done for the year after separating his shoulder. Finally, somebody needs to sit down with Max Redfield. I do love the intensity this young man plays with. However, he not only will cost the team harmful penalties, but he will also hurt somebody possibly himself with the way he plays.
The bye week is coming at a good time. There are injury issues to deal with. The team needs to transition from a Big Ten type Schedule to now a ACC and PAC 12 schedule. The Irish will play Syracuse in two weeks. After that, the schedule gets really tough. The line up is Stanford, North Carolina, and Florida State. Then late in the season Notre Dame has Arizona State, Louisville, and USC. Even Navy always play the Irish tough. The only easy win appears to be Northwestern. It won't be an easy road at all, so the Irish have to make the most of this bye week.