Apr 20, 2008

Eating Hot Dogs

As I was laying down the hot dogs on the grill tonight, I thought to myself... "Wish I had a steak." And then I realized I still had to post a few tidbits about this years Blue-Gold game. But, what to write? I mean, if you haven't got it all read from the web by now... what do I have to offer? Probably not much, but as I was savoring the sweet flavor of pig ass and lips I started to put together a little memoir in the skull that maybe you will appreciate.
I tried to just enjoy the game this year and not over analyze every player and position. Because of this I am not going to start saying in this post who should start or not and what each player needs to work on (even though I'm sure I will still state a bit of it), but rather, I am just going to lay down my thoughts on the game. If you have any mushrooms, I advise you to take them now...
Field of Dreams
The new turf looks absolutely great. For now. I was almost disappointed that the rain stayed away for the game. I wanted to see how the field would hold up after only been laid for a short while. The color was bright, the field actually looked flat with a slight crown, and it was very short... I wonder how long that will last. The one thing that makes it look like the field the Fighting Irish play on was missing however. The lines in the end-zone that have become the staple of Notre Dame Stadium were eerily missing.
Recruit This
As it is with every Spring Game in the Weis regime, recruiting was at a fever pitch. The Fighting Irish played host to a slew of top High School talent and it looks as if most of the kids came away very impressed. The Irish picked up two very big targets in Cierre Wood and Tyler Stockton and were pressing hard for guys such as Jordan Barrett and Craig Roh.
Not only were the top juniors in attendance, but a major portion of the incoming class of 2008. That class (2008) is going to be one of the closest knit bunch of players we may ever see. (Does that even sound right?) Every time I looked down at the sideline at those guys, I saw them joking around and having a great time. We'll see how much they are laughing once they get to ND and start up two-a-days.
Jimmy Clausen can sling the motherfucking football. Anyone else that says otherwise is a dick and deserves to rot in hell with a flaming goalpost stuck up their ass. (Are you listening ESPN?) The arm is fully healed and it looks that way. I saw a player that could make any throw and had a ton of zip on them as well.
The biggest thing Jimmy HAS to work on is his decision making under pressure and as he rolls out of the pocket.
Three things stuck out for me Saturday about Jimmy- 1) The bomb to Tate was dead on the money and that was missing from his game last year. 2) He found targets in the middle of the field and that was missing last year. 3) He got rid of the ball quicker and that was missing from last year. So all in all, three of the things that really hurt him as a passer when he actually HAD time to throw last year- it looks as if he has improved on and will become a better quarterback because of it.
Oh Captain
The three captains were chosen for the 2008 season and it comes as no surprise that Maurice Crum and David Bruton are two of those players. The wild card was going to be the offensive captain. Was the Sam Young going to get the nod or maybe Jimmy Clausen would be voted into the position? Nope. The senior WR from Detroit Michigan, David Grimes, was voted in and will be part of the Triad.
So, the team is either using way too many steroids, hate each other, or have really gelled into a mean bunch of S.O.B.'s. (I respectfully decline to use the word "nasty" as it will appear approximately 792,491 times about this team in one sense or another in the next 10 months).
The fight was one of the bigger highlights of the game. You all should know by now that McNeil and Ragone were the firestarters and once again, as it was during the practice fight, Eric Olsen went apeshit. I know Weis publicly denounced this scuffle, but he has to be happy that this team isn't completely comprised of lay down pussies. Now if Finch- I mean Chris Stewart, gets involved... then there might be a felony issued.
Cover Band
Either our WR's can't get separation and we are in SERIOUS trouble, or our defensive backs are just that good. The DB's were hip for hip on all of our WR's for the entire day.
Gary Gray looks like a lockdown corner. I know, Tate got him on that deep ball and Kamara caught the game winner on him as well. But, the pass to Tate was as perfect as it gets and Kamara was in actuality, out of bounds on the TD catch. McNeil played extremely well and was a disruptive force for the defense. These two are on the 2 deep. That means we are just loaded at corner right now and have more depth here than we have had in at least 15 years.
The rest of the DB's played well for the most part too. McCarthy is locking down his safety spot as his main competition, Sergio Brown, did not stand out that much. Bruton is Bruton and will make a claim for A.A. status this year, and Lambert and Walls did everything they had to do. Lambert looks bigger and is playing that way with a vicious hit on Armando Allen that knocked him silly for a while.
Harrison Smith is a freak. He will see the field a lot this year and after praising McCarthy, I have to say that Smith is looking like a HUGE threat to take that spot if Kyle starts to slip. His size and athleticism will allow Brown and Tenuta to put him all over the place including in the box as another LB. 22 is for real.
Butterfingers & Milk Duds
Clausens stats are a bit misleading. 10-27? Good game? Well, he did have at least 5 if not 6 balls just out right dropped by the WR. Not only that but the refs were killing him with a penalty on a few catches and one on a TD reception by Grimes. Add that with a couple of "sacks" and you have a very good 10-27 performance.
Kamara was a big part of the drop party, but you shouldn't be too concerned. He has missed a lot of practice due to classes and is still 6'5". He'll be aight.
Dirty South
I liked what I saw from our Ca$h Money lineman. Mo Richardson led the team in tackles and looked very quick and aggressive. He needs to keep improving as the Irish need that speed off of the edge in 2008.
Ian Williams played better in my eyes than some other experts. I had contacts on. He engaged the blockers and was disruptive in his assignments. He should be the main man next year, but he will need a breather from time to time to be truly efficient.
Sam Young and Chris Stewart are running machines. What I mean is, they create superhighways for our running backs. I have no doubt that the Irish run right for the must have yardage. Flipping HUGE. Young still needs to get quicker feet and Stewart needs to get a little more mean... and then they will be better than a Crave Case from White Castle.
I Was Running
The running back situation is the same as when Notre Dame last played. Robert Hughes is the MAIN man. Do you want a nickname for him? How about "The Freight Train", or "The Chi-Town Colossal Ass Kicker"? Start to get them ready because once 2008 gets going you might need something other than "HUGHES!!!" to yell because it may be redundant after a while. He looks great. In the words of a former co-worker "The perfect balance of speed and power". The guy was talking about a truck, but so is Hughes. He cuts well, has good vision, and has that burst to put him in the second level.
The change of pace is of course Armando Allen. Allen did very well Saturday and survived a wicked hit by Lambert. But, he still did not break a long run which Irish fans are just sitting on and waiting for. I think he needs to bounce it a little more to the outside. He has a tendency to want to cut inside and then across. This gets him into trouble with the backside pursuit. Even with that fault, he still managed to turn out 50 yards on 11 carries which was on par with Hughes and his 22 for 100.
James Aldridge needs something. I'm not sure what it is, but maybe it's more carries. He was almost absent from the game it seemed at times. When he did touch it... I don't really remember anything about it.
No carries for the fullbacks... YES!
This Is The End
Well, I'm going to wrap this thing up. I already lied from what i put in the opening paragraph about not over analyzing the game, but it's hard not to do. I know i missed out on writing about a lot of what happened at the game, but I have no doubt someone somewhere has already posted it for the 17th time.
Now the long wait starts until the opening day of summer camp and the prospect of kicking ass begins. Until then, stay tuned to Subway Domer and the rest of the Irish Blogging Community as we all will surely have a few good things in store for the off-season.

Go Irish!
Recruit Like A Champion Today

Dude, we're sophomores.


Sir John said...

Well done Subway, well done. The condition of the turf was one I was interested in and other things made me forget to ask. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Technically they are still Freshman who have yet to take their first spring finals... but thats nitpicking a good article. Thanks for the continued articles & videos.

SubwayDomer26 said...

Technically they kick ass. lol Thanks for checking out SD anonymous.

OC Domer said...

Great post Subway! I hope the hot dogs didn't burn while you were typing it.