It really was a dreary day for college football when the Notre Dame Fighting Irish took on the Navy Midshipmen inside Notre Dame Stadium. It was senior day, and normally when one thinks of college seniors about to graduate, one would think they would have most of the answers.
That wasn’t the case for the Irish on Saturday afternoon.
After a season that saw the first 8 games provide a lot of answers to the offseason questions that we all had, we are suddenly overloaded with questions.
What exactly are we doing here? After Notre Dame lost to the Georgia Bulldogs, they basically scrapped most of the outside zone runs that got them in so much trouble. They came back in all its glory against Miami - and again it bit them in the ass.
Now it’s Navy, and the Irish with its two All-Americans on the left side and seniors to the two spots right of them, should have road-grated the smaller Midshipmen defense. Instead, they started off the game trowing the football in the wind and rain - typical Brian Kelly.
I actually understand what Kelly was trying to do, and it’s because of Charlie Weis that it sort of makes sense. Weis always talked about how important each possession was, and to score quickly was equally important. Navy eats up a TON of clock. Today, the Middies held onto the ball for over 42 minutes.
So, I kind of get it - if it wasn’t for the fact that Notre Dame has had so many quick strike scores BY RUNNING THE FOOTBALL.
One of the great things about this season, is that we rarely saw the Irish play down to their competition. However, in their last two wins over the Wake Forest Demon Deacons and Navy, it seems as if they are getting back in the old habit.
While the playcalling was less than wonderful, the players were making damn sure that the plays were blowing up. Brandon Wimbush can’t seem to understand that he is going to get his receivers killed throwing the ball so high, the receivers drop too many balls that hit their hands, and our giant, awesome, and NFL bound offensive line was getting beat badly on a lot of plays.
That’s playing down.
SPECIAL TEAMS... ITIS
Of course Chris Finke fumbles the ball after the defense forced a rare punt. OF COURSE. I really don’t have much to add here, other than that’s what was so frustrating... so much of this game looked like last season. I thought we were done with that kind of crap?
GET YOUR CHAINSAWS OUT
Up next for the Irish is the Stanford Cardinal and the dangerous running back, Bryce Love. Yes, the Irish still have a chance to play in a major bowl game if they win, but more importantly before that chance, Notre Dame can start answering those questions that have seemingly come back to haunt them in November.
Which team shows up in Palo Alto is anyone’s guess, but whatever team does grace us with its presence, is probably the one that shows up in the bowl game. Playing for an 11-2 season and a top 5 finish is still attainable - SO I’M HANGING MY HAT ON THAT AND GEARING UP.
Am I crazy to think that they will? That might be the best question yet.