This week, we asked our One Foot Down readership four questions about the near future and some play on the field.
Before we get to your answers, a reminder to check out DraftKings Sportsbook, the official sportsbook partner of SB Nation. (Joshua, Jude and Brendan all like Tennessee +7.5, Oklahoma State +3.5, Utah -3.5 & Notre Dame -17.)
Our first question, as always is our baseline question: How confident are you in the direction of the Notre Dame football program?
We have almost unanimity this week, with 97 percent of you saying you are either somewhat or very confident. Notre Dame is 3-2 and, while unranked, looking good heading into this Saturday’s home tilt against the Stanford Cardinal.
Which leads us into our next question: What are your expectations for this weekend’s game?
There are none of you who think our team will lose to David Shaw’s 1-4 Cardinal, with the majority also believing that we will cover the spread (which is still 16 1⁄2 points at DraftKings as of this writing).
So let’s look ahead, since this game outcome feels certain among the readership. Which remaining game frightens you the most?
The Nov. 5 home clash between the fourth-ranked Clemson Tigers (6-0) and the Irish is worrying to half of you, while most of the remaining concern is Nov. 26 against the seventh-ranked USC Trojans (also 6-0). Just one percent of you believe we could lose to the 18th-ranked Syracuse Orange (5-0), who will play two ranked teams before their Oct. 29 game against the Irish at the
Carrier Dome JMA Wireless Dome.
Finally, our wildcard question this week was about the first-year player who has impressed you the most. This could be a sophomore who saw limited on-field time last year or a true freshman who has logged significant time this year.
Almost half of you picked freshman Benjamin Morrison, who has accumulated 7 tackles and 1 pass defensed in his first five games. Pro Football Focus ranks Morrison as the 676th best cornerback out of 846, with an overall grade of 58.9. His run defense grade of 65.3 ranks 416th best out of 781 cornerbacks with enough snaps.
Morrison has logged the 12th most snaps of any Irish defensive player this year (164) and has held his primary assignments to 4-of-11 receiving for 70 yards and zero touchdowns.
Wide receiver Jayden Thomas finished second with 24 percent, while cornerback Jaden Mickey finished fourth with 12 percent. Offensive lineman Blake Fisher finished between the two Ja(y)dens with 18 percent.