Light the couch on fire and rock out to some Soundgarden, Subway Domer is back for another Anti-Preview. This week the Fighting Irish travel out west to take on the Washington Huskies.
BTW- Some guy named Willingham is coaching for Washington and a guy named Davie is calling the game for ESPN.
Washington. Ouch. The Huskies are 0-6 and have lost their best player and starting quarterback, Jake Locker. They haven't showed much life since they lost a game they should have won against BYU. Their pass defense is awful and they have been just awful overall. They have lost all of their games with an average score of 40-17. If you take their best game out of the equation (BYU 28-27 L) the average score is 43-15. If you take their worst game out of the equation (Oklahoma 55-14 L) the average score is 37-18. You get the picture.
What should you be drinking? Check out a local brew that has gone nationwide- Red Hook Beer. This beer and brewery is based in Washington and is just a 20 minute drive from Seattle in Woodinville. The flagship beer from Red Hook is their ESB brew (Extra Special Bitter) and is crafted after the U.K style pub beer. This review was published at Beer Advocate:
We highly recommend allowing this beer to warm-up as much as you can handle,
like more than usual, otherwise most of its nuances are completely lost and the
malt profile will seem rather week. Aside from that, this is a very decent,
balanced, malty, drinkable brew, and a good entry beer into more flavorful
What should I be eating? Well, you are in Seattle and Seattle is known for Starbucks. I'm not saying that you should go to Starbucks and get a scone, I'm just saying that coffee is big there. So big, that a Coffee Steak was introduced. I've had it once before and i have to say that the result was masterful. I have never been so buzzed after eating something that weren't considered a hallucinogen. The place to go in Seattle is Rippe's Steakhouse. They were the first and I'm told the best. If you can't make it to Rippe's to grab a steak, here is their recipe. Here is a "how to video" for yet another recipe for coffee steak (Grilled Chocolate Coffee Steak)... get some:
What should I be wearing? You are in the birth place of the Grunge movement, so duh... go grunge. Grab yourself some old torn up blue jeans, dye your hair another color, and grab a flannel shirt - a real flannel shirt from Sears or K-Mart. Put the AE and A&F down, unless they are from 1995. Speaking of the 90's, get into your music library and dig up all of your classic 90's music. If you need a quick hit, check out the video below of one of the greatest recording sessions of all time. Alice In Chains Unplugged (1996).
What freshman will make the biggest impact (besides Floyd)? Ethan Johnson. Johnson returns to the northwest, battle tested and ready to rock. He has seen quite a bit of action for the Irish defense this year as a freshman and the playing time will probably increase as the season gets older. Johnson has played as a traditional defensive end and as a defensive tackle for the Fighting Irish this year. The Irish are going against a more traditional pocket passer in Ronnie Fouch as opposed to Jake Locker, so pressure from the down lineman is critical. I expect Ethan to do just that and help a defense that has put pressure on a lot of offenses, but without a lot of sacks.
What offensive player needs to step it up? How about Duval Kamara. With David Grimes being doubtful for the game Saturday, Kamara will likely be the main substitution in Grimes' absence. Duval had a very good game against North Carolina, but for the season he has only 9 receptions for 103 yards and 1 TD. He needs to take this opportunity for more playing time and turn it into something special. Washington will probably do anything it can to stop Floyd and Tate (and I'm not sure that they can) so Kamara could see more one on one matchups and a decent amount of open green. With Duval's size, he could emerge as a huge threat for the Husky defense. Look for a lot more balls thrown his way and at least one TD.
What defensive player needs to step it up? Kerry Neal. Mike Frank made a great point on Power Hour this week when he stated that Kerry Neal was getting engulfed by the opposing offensive line. It has been a shaky transition for Neal from the defense ND ran last year to the one they are running now. He has moved from primarily playing at OLB to more of a DE. However. His athleticism and hard work are his keystones and if he can figure out a way to create a little more havoc rushing the passer, he would become a great asset to a defense that is looks like it is just a half step away from grabbing a lot of sacks. On Saturday night, keep a close eye on #56 as he works his ass off to do his job. I think the hard work pays off this week and he has a big game. Maybe a couple sacks, maybe a big forced fumble- something that will make you stand up and yell your fucking head off.
What special teams player needs to step it up? Brandon Walker of course. As much as I would love to say Golden Tate and the return game, the most important part of special teams is making points on the opportunity. Brandon Walker represents those points. Whether they are the PAT's or a field goal, those are points that that should not be left on the field. He needs to keep his head together and do what he does in practice... drain 'em. And he should have a little more motivation this week. David Ruffer is making the trip. Ruffer is a walk-on that just walked on less than a week ago. He is a tranfer student from William & Mary. Didn't Holtz coach at W & M? Hmmmm.
Who's gonna win? I just see no way that ND loses this game- I don't. With that said, the Irish a battling a public image battle right now and are in a "no win" situation anyways. If they would lose- the nightmare is too gruesome to imagine. If they win by a close margin, than the media is still going to harp and harp on them. The Fighting Irish need a big win in a small game. The biggest thing that bothers me is if this young team can keep the momentum moving forward after a bye week. A veteran filled team could, but we will have to wait and see if this team will be able shake off the week rust and shine from the first whistle all the way to the last. I think they get it and we may see Clausen break a few records along the way. IRISH 47-17.
(Irish Illustrated's McStug)