As mentioned in my response to question 1, I have been pretty disappointed with our running game thus far in the season, especially considering the talent we have at the position and Weis' preseason pledge to focus on that aspect of our game. It was not very comforting as a fan to see our 'power running' mindset fail to yield a 4.0 ypc rusher against San Diego State, MSU, or Stanford in our first 5 games, but Allen and Aldridge have been running hard recently, and the O-Line seems to be having more success as less zone blocking plays are being used. Hopefully this trend continues and the Irish will be able to look to their ground game when the weather begins to get worse over the next few weeks.
5. This year, October 31st is coincidentally also the opener for ND's Mens Basketball team (preseason against Briar Cliff). Say a few words about one player that will make have the biggest impact on the success of the team this season (apologies to non-bball fans, but I couldn't resist).
The great thing about this year's squad is that there are so many players with the potential to make an impact this season. Just to give you an idea, I'm really excited to see Jonathan Peoples and Carlton Scott play this year, and they likely won't even be in the top 6 or 7 in minutes. To answer this question, though, I'm going to pick Tory Jackson. Jackson has the best ability to penetrate from the half court set, and having the option to slash and dash to the basket will create some higher percentage shots when Harangody is struggling (so we don't have to go into the 3-point offense), and Tory's great passing game will result in a lot of great assists. I've also really enjoyed watching Jackson D up on some of the best guards in the Big East, and I think his perimeter defense will be key to shutting down some of the better teams.