Winning football games should feel good. There are only twelve games in a regular season, so a win over Army should feel better than Notre Dame basketball’s win over Bryant (yes, the basketball program started their season on Saturday and got a win).
When we spend so much time during a bad season talking about the bigger picture, that sometimes (alright, pretty much all the time) we don’t take the time to appreciate some of the nice things that we have.
I’m not trying to blow rainbows up your nose, I just feel that a dominating victory deserves as much praise as we give scorn for losses.
I’m in love.
One of the great silver linings to this season is the play of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish defensive backfield. In particular, the play of the freshmen. Donte Vaughn, Jalen Elliott, Troy Pride, and Julian Love have put smiles on those who look towards the future. It’s been a long time since the potential for the Irish secondary was so deep. To single one of them out, Julian Love has been incredible these past few games and has flashed a tremendous amount of athleticism and toughness.
The Fighting Irish have been playing a lot better defense in recent games as compared to the beginning of the season. Actually, the difference couldn’t be more noticeable. Is this because Brian VanGorder is no longer around, or is it because the young secondary is finally getting this whole college game down? It’s probably a lot of both, but the latter could have never happened this year in such a dramatic way if the former didn’t happen first.
Think about them, and then remember Shawn Crawford and Nick Watkins. Ouch... that just feels dangerous.
The Democratic Republic of Running Back
Notre Dame chewed off a sizable piece of land running the ball on Saturday. All in all, the Irish ran for 261 yards on Saturday against Army. A huge chunk of that came from 3 players: DeShone Kizer, Tarean Folston, and Josh Adams. The three of them combined for 226 of those yards.
Two of those unaccounted yards came from Dexter Williams. One carry. In a game like this, I just don’t understand how Williams doesn’t get more carries. I’m still trying to understand how he hasn’t got more carries throughout the season. Is Kelly saving his legs for next year? That may sound absurd, but so is the carry total for Williams this year as well as the carry total for Kizer.
There has to be a way to figure C.J. Sanders into the offensive gameplan more. Wouldn’t you think? Sanders is legit electric and watching him run with the ball in his hands is a moment when scarcely a breath is inhaled by Irish fans.
He made a few special teams mistakes this year, and has been passed over as the punt returner by Chris Finke, so opportunities to get the ball each game have dwindled.
In college football, you have to find a way to get the ball to the best playmakers. I don’t think Notre Dame and Brian Kelly is doing that nearly enough- especially when it comes to Sanders. How do you get him the ball? I don’t know, but you can make a list of about 10 different ways pretty easy- so I suggest they get on that.