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Five Wide Fullbacks: The End of Summer Edition

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Five Wide Fullbacks returns for the football season after taking most of the summer off

Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

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Labor Day weekend will soon be upon us, and with it returns the college football season.  With the return of football comes the return of 5WF as a (hopefully) weekly feature at One Foot Down.

Without further ado or fanfare, on to the questions!

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1.  What were your highlights of the summer of 2014?

This summer was far too busy in my house (and I am sure many others), but there are a few things worthy of note:

  • Weather - this cannot be overstated for the Midwest this summer. The winter was brutal and we were rewarded with a very nice (albeit rainy) summer. I seriously cannot remember the last time the 4th of July was in the mid-70s.
  • World Cup - say what you will about soccer/futbol, but the only other event that comes close on a global scale are the Olympics. The US advanced from group play but showed they still have a long way to go to be competitive in the tournament. Things are looking up for when they are eventually awarded either the 2018 or 2022 World Cup due to issues in the host countries.
  • Vacation - the wife and I took a great trip across the pond for a week in England and Scotland. Highly recommended. We saw castles, cathedrals, ruins and more. We mastered the tube (as much as any American visitor can) and saw a play at the Globe. We saw the birthplace of Shakespeare and Chaucer's inspiration in Canterbury. We visited the white cliffs of Dover where the Battle of Britain was fought and Oxford, home of scholars and birthplace of Middle Earth and Narnia. All in all, quite a busy week, but well worth the journey.

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2.  What are you most looking forward to about the college football season?

I think the answer is simple-football.  Wait, can it be that simple?  Can I get a ruling?

In addition to being able to enjoy a Saturday's worth of games, the thing I am most intrigued by this year will be the inaugural playoff system.  What four teams will make it?  How will it be received by fans?  The obvious answer is that it will be a huge financial success that balloons into a larger playoff system in the near future.

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3.  What are the main keys (refer to the OFD Lexicon here) for the Irish to be successful this fall?

I think the main keys are as follows:

  • On a weekly basis, Notre Dame score more points that the opposing team.
  • Conversely, there may be weeks where our defense holds the other team to fewer points than our own team scores.
  • Both are sound strategies and either (or perhaps both) could be implemented in order to achieve victory.

In all seriousness though, I think this team needs the offense to take a big step forward in order to have a successful season.  The defense will probably receive more attention early in the season due to the scheme change, but offensive success = team success in 2014.

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4.  Who will be the biggest surprise for the Irish this fall?

There are a few guys who haven't yet been big contributors that fans expect a lot from this fall.  Both Chris Brown and Greg Bryant are included into that category.  There are players who are new to Notre Dame but not college football-Cody Riggs falls in there.  Others are true freshman or redshirt freshman who earned spots in the two deep like Andrew Trumbetti and Jhonny Williams would fit this group.

So who do I think will be the biggest surprise?

CJ Prosise.

Surprised?

Why do I think he will be the biggest surprise?  I am not sure I have a good explanation other than he has been impressive in camp workout videos and could play a big role in the offense.  He is currently listed behind Amir Carlisle on the depth chart at slot receiver, but should still see plenty of action on the field.

With the outside receiving threats, I think the middle of the field will be open early and often for EG to take advantage.  Let's just call it a hunch that we see some solid production from Prosise this fall-and he isn't someone that we have spent a lot of time discussing...so far.

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5.  If you could pick out a theme song for the 2014 Notre Dame Football Season, what would it be and why?

I'm not really sure how to approach this one, but I heard the following song on the radio the other day and thought it appropriate:

Why choose this one?  I think the offense will overwhelm the opposition in some games and the defense will have enough of a lead late in most games to pin their ears back and get after the QB.

But also because when it rains, it pours.  Am I right?