Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Happy Halloween. Go Irish.
Monday, October 29, 2007
With all of these prospects out, who's in first?
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
That's it from the Nasties crew for today. Go Irish.
Monday, October 22, 2007
John Sullivan: This one may or may not be warranted as I'm not quite sure who calls out the blocking at the line of scrimmage, but if it is Sullivan's job, than he gets a solid F for this game. The issue against the Trojans wasn't talent: their talented defense linemen didn't overpower or outrun our big uglies any more than was expected, but the amount of missed assignments was out of this world. Up to this point in the year, the line has looked foolish whenever the opposition either overloads one side or sends a delayed blitz. As a senior, Sullivan should be able to better communicate the blocking scheme along the line.
Michael Floyd: By the grace of God, this five star receiver somehow committed to ND after witnessing this terrible loss. A true success story, this kid will be able to make an immediate impact next year, and it is a true testament to his character that he is so excited to be a Domer given the debacle that is this season. Breifly touched upon in this Rothstien article, Floyd mentions that one of the reasons he committed so early is that he has made good friends with fellow commit John Goodman (no not that John Goodman). It is situations like this that affirm my faith in the 2012 commits; no one's jumping ship just yet.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
As always, performances look a little different on TV than they do in person. Perhaps the score for once being close this year, I was simply more excited when Sharpley was in and it looked like we had a chance. After re-watching his performance, I discovered a few plays from the second half that I seemed to have blocked out of my memory:
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
I would like to momentarily cut Clausen a little bit of slack for his performance against BC after watching this compilation from the geniuses over at Blue Gray Sky, but I still believe that for now, Sharpley is the better choice. I hold off on all of my criticism because, before watching the video, I had no idea how much pressure Jimmy constantly had to deal with in the pocket; ND seemed incapable of blocking more than 4 rushers, and any type of delayed blitz was an automatic game over. I'll admit that Clausen did a decent job of avoiding the rush and at least getting the ball off for an incompletion many times instead of the sack, but I still think Sharpley is the man for a few reasons:
Go Irish. Beat Trojans.
Monday, October 15, 2007
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Pat from Blue Gray Sky exchanged some questions with a writer for a prominent BC blog, Eagle in Atlanta, and ND Nation can thank Pat for countering the stereotype of Irish fans being arrogant and pompous by delivering some very reasonable and analytical answers despite his obvious obsession with the football program. Here's a link to the post on Eagle in Atlanta. All of you stereotypical fans, take time to read it so you can talk football with some class instead of dropping snide low blow comments like this guy (in the video) did. Way to get shown up on national tv by a BC fan and make our fan base look as arrogant as everyone thinks it is.
In conclusion, I leave you with this little gem from the GooTube. Some kids dubbed over the famous Mike Gundy rant and turned it into a Coors Light commercial. It may be totally unrelated to the rest of this post, but its still funny.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
We'll start off with some of the personnel news heading into this week, the most radical change being that freshman Kerry Neal has officially shown enough of his ox like strength to capture the starting Will Linebacker job, replacing Anthongy Vernaglia. Up to this point in the season, Neal has been used mainly to rush the quarterback or help out on run defense, aka he hasn't been dropped into coverage that often. Look for Neal to be one of Charlie's go to weapons for disrupting the efficient BC passing attack.
Continuing to employ his strange depth chart strategies, Charlie still has Barry Gallup listed ahead of Golden Tate on the receiver list, but this was the case last week and Tate had multiple plays called to him while Gallup didn't get any touches. Weis said that Tate is lower on the list this week because he got banged up a little bit against UCLA, joking that the real reason is so Gallup, a Boston native, can see some action against his former home team.
Injury wise, David Grimes has been practicing this week and he should be ready to go on Saturday. Sophomore guard Dan Wenger, however, is still recovering from a knee injury against Michigan; Weis hinted in his latest press conference that once Dan was able to do everything full speed, he would have to earn his starting job back, and who can blame Weis for that? Not once while he was in the starting lineup did ND achieve positive rushing yards, and the line has looked much more physical with Matt Carufel filling in for him at the guard spot.
Later in the presser, a reporter asked Weis to comment on Aldridge's season thus far, given his unimpressive statistics. Agreeing with the Nasties, Weis gave James some props, proclaiming him as the most complete half back on the team, especially mentioning his ability to run between the tackles.
When asked what it was like working with such a young group of players, Charlie said that he has spent more time mentally and psychologically this year than ever before:
"With such a young group, you need to spend extra time to make sure that the players aren't just nodding their heads, but that they actually understand the situation."
But while the team may be young, one of their strengths has been the ability to play as a team:
"You need to practice and act like a team in order to win games like Saturday, and this team has done that. The defense has shown spurts of getting better while the offense has only shown flashes. "
Speaking of the offense, Weis and the Observer both commented on how the offense could look a little different against Boston College than it did against UCLA. The idea is that against the Bruins, an inept backup quarterback allowed Notre Dame to sit back and be content with making less mistakes than him.
Matt Ryan is virtually incomparable with Mcleod Bethel-Thompson, and it would be a large underestimation of his ability to think that Notre Dame could hold BC to 6 points. To counter the Eagles offense, the Irish will plan on opening up the offense a little bit to try and move the ball more. In the UCLA game, the passes thrown were either short and safe dump passes or deep fly routes to the Golden boy. This conservative strategy will be tweaked a little bit this Saturday as more intermediate routes will be used to stretch out the defense and open up the field for some big plays (or at least a few more first downs).
Following Charlie's previous comments about going back to training camp, we should be almost ready for the home opener this weekend. This will be the fourth straight week of "full speed" practices for Notre Dame, and this style of play seems to be one of the main reasons our defense has looked so improved in the past games. Especially against UCLA, we showed good closing speed on the ball and actually hit with some intensity. If the Irish can improve on that performance, this rivalry game could be closer than some people are predicting.
Hope for the best. Go Irish. Beat Eagles.
Monday, October 8, 2007
Trevor Laws: In case you haven't noticed, this guy is the best player on our defense. Linemen in the 3-4 front usually don't draw a lot of attention because it isn't the most glamorous position, but Laws has been able to consistently dominate his man (and often men as he is double teamed) on the way to pressuring the quarterback and blowing up running plays at the line of scrimmage. His timely pass deflections, stops (including one sack), and constant presence in the backfield helped to rattle an already green quarterback.
O yeah, there was this senior Maurice Crum Jr. that played pretty well, too.
Go Irish. Beat Eagles.
Sunday, October 7, 2007
Saturday, October 6, 2007
As far as the game goes, Junior Ben Olson looks to boost his exceptionally average numbers (50% completions for 922 yards, 7 TDs and 5ints) against an unproven Irish secondary. UCLA coach Karl Dorrell is on somewhat of a hot seat this season; some of the west coast faithful have been showing little patience for his coaching blunders, and several Bruin blogs have expressed concern about their coach's ineptitude. UCLA's surprising loss to Utah became less of an embarrassment yesterday when the Utes pulled out a win over a highly touted Louisville squad last night, but Dorrell is still out to prove himself this season, and a win against a storied Irish program would help his case.
I apologize for the brevity of this post, but as mentioned in above, I truly am in need of some sleep before the game tonight. Go Irish. Beat Bruins.
Thursday, October 4, 2007
I don't think we'll have to worry about UCLA being under prepared or unmotivated for us, especially after last year:On being on a losing team:
Tom Zbikowski: "You're going to win some games; you're going to lose some games. That's a part of being a competitor. You've got to live for another day that you're going to be able to fight and keep competing and try and get a win."
Hopefully this is the week that everything begins to mesh. Notre Dame has shown the ability to move the ball and play good defense, but they have yet to do it for four quarters. Look for ND to come out fighting on Saturday in hopes of their first win.
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Monday, October 1, 2007
The five friends that I was going with decided to take a pass on another two hour car ride in my civic so we all decided to head down on the Notre Dame student bus. This picture shows some visual evidence to support our decision.
However, we ran into difficulties from the start of our journey as one of my roommates found the 6:30 wake up call too much to bear. I can't blame him; any night that ends with relieving oneself on the side of an ice machine normally results in a difficult wake up...
Upon arrival our group headed over to the stadium, where a congested but lively tailgating scene could be found. It was amidst these barbecues and decorated vehicles (see above) that we were introduced to a previously unfamiliar Boilermaker tradition: the Breakfast Club. Apparently, to be a member of said club, one must get up at 6:00 am on gamedays, dress in some sort of ridiculous costume, and head to the bars to do a little pregaming. I'm ashamed at myself for failing to get any good pictures of these fans (to give you an idea, we saw everything from Fred Flinstone to the Hulk to Tom Cruise in Risky Business - actually, that guy might have just wanted to take his clothes off...). Anyways, this shot of a fan wearing a student shirt as a skirt (?) was the best I could do:
Once inside the stadium, I thanked Kevin White and company for keeping our stadium free of large jumbotrons and other advertising. To give you an idea of the absurd advertising at the game, Purdue fans jingle their keys (real original) before kickoffs, and the stadium actually had a sponsor for this that films people jingling their keys! Unbelievable.
At first I was pretty pleased that Purdue offered ND students seats so close to the field, then I realized that they let us sit where we did so they could drown us out with the multimillion dollar jumbotron right behind us. My jigging was seriously thrown off with Zombie Nation (again - really original) blaring in my ears. This poor little tyke in front of us wasn't too happy with the excess noise either.
By now you may sense my frustration with Purdue's overall lack of originality - it seemed the only thing they actually thought of themselves was that ridiculous drum... The last example of unoriginality (I promise) I present is a shirt I saw that looked eerily familiar:
Not to be outdone with the shirts, some ND students, inspired by Golden Tate's flawless execution of the fly route on Saturday were determined to make their own shirt design.
A link to order the shirts can be found here. I apologize for the advertising, but Charlie's Nasties is trying to raise some revenue to get Brugg off of strike and back on staff.
O yeah, there was a football game Saturday too, but we'll hold off on covering that until tomorrow. So for now, just sit back, enjoy the pictures from the game, and tune in tomorrow for a game recap.