Sep 29, 2008

The Purdue Hangover... All Bombed Out

CRANK ME UP! Notre Dame found some running plays that actually work and for a couple of quarters, the Fighting Irish looked like the team we all hoped they would be in 2008.

Let's get BOMBED!!!

Jimmy Clausen knows what he his doing. Clausen looked the part of big time college quarterback Saturday. Jimmy was 20-35 for 275 yards and 3 TD's. Great stats. The biggest stat of them all is the donut. 0 interceptions and 0 fumbles for Jimmy. He had a few passes that could have been picked off, but they weren't and for the most part he threw balls that only his targets were going to catch. The team leaned on him to make some big throws early, and he was able to come through for his teammates and ND Nation. Jimmy is no Brady Quinn or Joe Montana. He doesn't have the "Golden Boy" image and quite frankly, he will be a whipping boy for the media until he leaves Notre Dame (and probably beyond). But he is going to be a very good QB and is developing faster than Brady Quinn did as a sophomore. Oh, that's right! Jimmy is still a SOPHOMORE! That's means, watch out bitches, Clausen is only going to get better and that is truly saying something after a very good performance.

Allen benefits from rethinking. It was kind of subtle and may have gone unnoticed. No, I'm not talking about Allen's 134 yards on 17 carries (7.9 APC) and a touchdown. That will get MAJOR notice. The thing I'm talking about, is something that we have all seen before, but not since 2006. It was the style of running plays that we ran. The delays that Darius Walker ran that worked so well in 2005 and 2006 were more prevalent on Saturday. The difference, is that instead of Walker it was Armando Allen weaving and breaking tackles for big gains. Weis has been trying to run these power gut slams and leads, but we are not that team. What ND did Saturday in going back to what has worked in the short history of Weis's regime, using the pass to set up the run and using delays and draws, pumped new life into an electric player in Armando Allen. Notre Dame is just more finesse on offense. Embrace it. And your closing thought on this topic: Armando Allen had 248 all purpose yards and 1 TD, he is starting to break out and break tackles while breaking opposing fans hearts... good.

Robert Blanton is a football player. I remember reading something on a recruiting site last year about Blanton. They tried describing him as an intense, cocky/confident, playmaker without all of the flash of other top DB's. I tried to wrap my head around just what in the hell this meant and then when I saw game tape of him and now after the 4th game into his freshman year I get it. Robert Blanton is a football player. He doesn't wear gloves or tape and doesn't have dreads or a Pat Kuntz mullet. He is a throwback. He plays hard every play and plays with a confidence that I would rather label cocky. Blanton's 47 yard INT return for TD sparked the Fighting Irish faithful and the team itself to get off their ass and get ready for the fight. I like that. I like football players. Robert Blanton is a football player, and one ND will have for quite some time making plays. The future is bright, but it is also now.

The youth movement is officially creating more and more momentum. Once again, the freshman and sophomore classes dominated the game for Notre Dame. Look at this list of big playmakers from these two classes...

  • Jimmy Clausen 275 yards 3 TD
  • Armando Allen 248 A.P. yards 1 TD
  • Robert Blanton 1 INT 1 pass breakup 1 TD
  • Mike Floyd 6 catches for 100 yards
  • Kyle Rudolph 3 catches for 32 yards 1 TD
  • Brian Smith is the heart and soul of the defense.
  • Golden Tate 5 catches for 64 yards and 1 TD
  • Brandon Walker 5/5 E.P. and a 41 yard FG (I'm feeling generous)

There are a lot more names I could mention as well. We are winning football games while riding the backs of these young guns. I love the future of Fighting Irish football. They have scored all of Notre Dame's 101 points this year with the exception of 6 of them.

Those 6 points belong to David Grimes. Grimes caught a 30 yard TD pass against an all out blitz on Jimmy Clausen. This TD was important for a couple of reasons: First, it kind of sealed the deal and put the Irish up 2 TD's against a Purdue offense that was having trouble getting in the endzone in the 2nd half. Second, it rewarded a player/captain that gets overshadowed by the talented younger players around him. Grimes will not lead ND in any receiving category this year, but because of his willingness to share and help develop the younger guys, Grimes is proving why he is a captain. BTW- Grimes will make a couple of huge plays this year in key moments- give him mad props.

Speaking of props... Golden Tate needs acting lessons. One of the big receptions Saturday, almost wasn't. Tate caught a 38 yard jump ball that was called incomplete and then overturned after review. Tate was unfazed when the official called it incomplete and didn't make any attempt to plead his case. He was quoted...

"I knew I had it in my hands and I knew it was a legitimate catch. Then I hit
the ground and I was thinking I had dropped the ball and it was an incompletion.
I was kind of upset that it got out of my hands."

I'm the coach! I'm the coach! Pat Kuntz pissed Corwin Brown off so bad that Brown went off into a rage and was seen on NBC yelling at the player with wild and crazy eyes. Good. It is speculated that Kuntz was giving Mo Richardson the business after a play and Brown took up for the Junior. Kuntz should be a leader, but Brown putting the player in his place and letting him know that he will handle it, should encourage Irish fans that he is a very capable and passionate coach. Kuntz should just be glad that Tenuta is up in the press box.

Brock Spack is owned. Even after last years loss to Purdue, ND showed that it could put up points against the Purdue defensive coordinator. This guy is OWNED by Weis and it is a little much for Boiler fans to handle. This is probably the last year Spack is employed, but don't cry for him. he has a bright future in the Arena Football League.

The last ride of Tiller? When interviewed by NBC about his impending retirement, Tiller was asked what a perfect day of retirement was. He then went into some dribble that almost put me to sleep. Then after the game, Tiller was asked if he was glad that this would be his last game at ND stadium. He replied:

"No, Coach Weis invited me to come back as a guest coach next year, so I'll
probably be here."

I just hope that he keeps Spack at home.

Mike Anello continues his mission to conquer the world... or some third world country. Dictator Mike made another great tackle on special teams and has Notre Dame ranked #1 in kickoff return yardage defense. As long as this stat stays close all season, Notre Dame will play very well. Long fields help stop points. Period.

Don't call me Rudy, bitch.