1. The opening line for this weekend's game is BYU +13.5, does this feel about right?
Yes, it's about right. Many believed this would be another 10 win team in Provo. Many believed they'd even take a step forward after last year's 10-3 season. Others thought the Cougars would be a BCS-buster.
Fast forward to the middle of the season and they've already lost 3 games. They lost two close games to Utah and Boise State, but even those teams are disappointing this season.
Going into last week BYU was getting a lot of love for their tough defense, but then they gave up 450 yards and 7.5 yards per play to an Oregon State team with its backup quarterback.
And then there's this tweet...
A turnover prone quarterback who is a homeless man's Tim Tebow going against this Irish defense? Yeah, I think +13.5 points is just fine.
2. Before last week's loss to Oregon State many considered this BYU defense among the nation's elite. Even if they aren't really at that level, what does Notre Dame have to worry about with this defense?
Well, it seems like I've watched all of BYU's game this season as they've had their fair share of nationally televised contests in 2012. The sense I get, before really digging in to a full scouting report, is that BYU is really good at stopping the run and very susceptible to the pass.
Against their 3 toughest opponents, BYU has surrendered 53 completions at 60.9% with 673 yards, 5 touchdowns and zero picks. That's solid production given up.
But on the ground against those same teams the numbers are 283 yards at 2.74 per carry and 2 touchdowns. As such, this might be one of those games where Notre Dame opens up throwing a lot in the first half which is exactly what Oregon State did this past week.
3. Who has been Notre Dame's offensive MVP through the first half of the season?
This is a really difficult question to answer. I think the default answer would be Tyler Eifert but I'll go with TJ Jones who has been just as clutch, with about the same productivity, and picks up MVP honors because he wasn't expected to be this good in 2012.
I'd be open to someone arguing for someone else, particularly outside of those two guys. It's really tough to answer.
4. What were some of your favorite parts of the Onward Notre Dame special before the Stanford game that was produced by NFL Films?
There was a lot to like.
Kelly filling out his Coach's Poll was pretty hysterical. I doubt he exerts much energy on that, which is why we love that poll isn't it?
The whole program was great PR for Notre Dame and especially for Brian Kelly.
I liked how Cam McDaniel was portrayed as a example of what makes ND so special.
Some of the exchanges between Kelly and Golson were interesting and enlightening.
What did you like?
5. The current uniform that Notre Dame is wearing is getting close to perfection, but improvements can still be made. Discuss where such efforts should be focused?
I couldn't be happier with the new pants, the helmets are perfect, and we're seeing a very solid and classy jersey being worn. However, everything below the knee remains quite frustrating depending on the player.
Johnathan Daniel/Getty Images
Now, when the players don't wear spats and just wear the new cleats and mid-level socks everything looks okay. Not great, but well enough.
I'm not crazy about the new blue and gold cleats but they are a nice change over the usual bland black and white ones. The blue socks are a different story though. I don't care for them because they are an Adidas copy-cat design that other programs wear, and the stripes in the back-only is dumb.
What makes things worse is when the players bust out the leggings and spats.
Johnathan Daniel/Getty Images
I haven't confirmed it, but I believe the team is using navy blue spats this year. As you can see, that's three different shades of navy blue below the knee with the spats, socks, and leggings.
This does not look good, nor does it look professional.
The leggings are truly the worst, and a lot of players are wearing them all season long and even in warm weather.
My solution: Keep the navy blue socks but either get rid of the stripes or go all the way around with them. If players insist on wearing leggings, bring back the long socks that go up to the knee.
Essentially it's a WWFD rule.
What would fullbacks do?
Either wear long socks to the knee or leave your bare leg out.