First thing's first. GOD. BLESS. JOHNNY FOOTBALL. And God Bless A&M.
Now the Irish face their toughest adversary yet: perception. Everyone says Kansas State is number two, so they must be number two, right? Well, after getting in by the skin of our teeth versus Pitt and muddling through a very bad BC team, we haven't done ourselves any favors. If we had destroyed Pitt and BC, as I believe we were capable of doing, we could go to sleep at night saying we'd done all we could. What am I yammering on about, though? It wouldn't have mattered how we beat Pitt or BC. I'm just happy to be sitting here in November complaining that we're not going to be ranked number two despite being undefeated after 10 games. What more could I realistically ask for from these Fighting Irish? Ball security, you say? Your Feathers and Black Eyes:
Feathers In The Cap
Everett Golson. He was a rock out there tonight. Automatic on third down, smart and accurate on every other down, and, oh yeah, he found where he put Tyler Eifert. "Let's see, where did I put Tyler? Checked the car, the garage.... Oh, there he is, right past the first down marker. Why is he always the last place you look?" Continue to look for TE, young man. Even after you find him, keep looking.
TE. He just performed at a high level in everything he did.
Defense. The defense's performance seemed kind of meh, but we held BC to their season low, and I always like to see how we stack up to the rest of a team's schedule. Te'o, Fox, and Calabrese seemed really quiet. I don't know who was supposed to cover that little Dudeck... dude, but we don't seem to be finding backs coming out of the backfield on third downs. Let's tighten that up, lads. Shembo, Ishaq, and the D-line were like Chase Rettig's jerk big brothers in the second half, administering to said Monsieur Rettig headlocks, noogies, and wet willies all evening. That was fun. Not so much for Rettig. Also, cornerbacks? Yes. Bennett "Action" Jackson and Sir Keivarae Hustle are just about my favorite Notre Dame corner duo ever.
Running Backs. Theo made plays on the ground and through the air. So what. This is the new floor for Theo. I expect him to do that. I do not expect him to fumble my football. Same thing with GAIII. Also, GAIII, plant your foot and get up field. You will not find a wide open lane to the end zone every time. Quit wasting movement with your feet. Get efficient, get upfield, and get what there is to get. That's three fumbles from our running backs in two games. I can't believe I just typed that. These guys are better than that. And it's not our first-year starter at quarterback--who touches the ball on every down, mind you--turning the ball over. Rather, it's guys who have been in the program for two and four years. At this point, I'm not even mad. I'm just disappointed.
Grinding it out. I'm glad we won, but what's with playing like the underdog when you're the overcat? I'll take the win, and I'd be pretty upset if we slung the ball all over the yard and scored 40 and lost, but when you're that much better than the other guy, it really behooves you to draw the game out and let your superior talent show itself. I'll take 21-6, though. This is a nitpick. And in our offense's, er, defense, I realize that BC's defense is not good, but it's tough for any college team to slug out 80 and 90 yard drives. Usually the mistake bug stalls long drives before they get that far. We should know, since our defense is mostly predicated on being steady, preventing the big play, and forcing mistakes.
Officiating. They robbed us of a clear forced fumble and recovery. I know because (a) Sir Keivarae Hustle was involved on the play, and one must always show deference to Sir Hustle, and (b) CBK said it. He wasn't mic'd up, but it looked like he said, "Oh Fiddlesticks! You FULLY saw it. That's fully hogwash." He certainly gave that official what for.
Tommy Tuberville. So I guess it's okay to physically assault your staff. Just don't get exasperated with your players. Seriously, we heard for months how Brian Kelly was the worst person in the history of persons because his face turned purple because his players couldn't pull their heads out of their rears. But oh that Tommy Tuberville, ripping his assistant's headseat off of his head. What a character, huh? Funny guy. This is what I heard on ESPN. They've been laughing about it all day. So get DUI's, use medical redshirts and grayshirts to treat kids like human refuse, let your players run amok, and ASSAULT YOUR SUBORDINATES, but do NOT yell to the point that your face gets red, or purple. Unless you're Nick Satan, er Saban. Oh, and don't tell a kid to stand in a shady building.
ESPN. See ESPN coverage of Tuberville incident. See ESPN perpetuation of hype machines on all teams not Irish. Also, there's a commercial with Holgo, Corso, Herbstreit and Fowler, and they're engaging in banter, and the banter is: "So coach, new conference, your defense is playing well..." Um, I realize they probably filmed the segment in August, but you might want to go ahead and file that one under "s." Also, per Mark May and Reese Davis, Notre Dame is the ugly girl who gets left without a "date" at the end of the night, although as Davis commented, "sometimes that girl looks pretty good."
Fighting. Per NCAA Rule 9, section 5, Louis Nix is disqualified for the first half against Wake since he was ejected for fighting in the second half this week. Hopefully we won't need him, but we seem to be a different defense when he's playing.
Oregon. It's 24-10 at the half. I doubt the Ducks look back in the second half. I guess we can't open all our presents on one night, right? I have a good feeling that the Irish will not be the ugly girl with no date, but rather the last man standing.
Hmmm... Cal opens up 2nd half with a touchdown drive. See you in the comments, Ducks. Dang, 30-17 and Arik Armstead just made a big play. Double dagger.
Enjoy your highlights and ICON.