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Notre Dame Football

The Back Corner Fade

September 17, 2019

Well now, that was fun wasn’t it? 66 points, some “feel good” moments for kids that’s ND careers haven’t gone as well as they would have hoped to this point, and seeing what some of the young guys can do when they had a chance to get some reps. All in all, after the first quarter, a fun way to spend an afternoon. I still haven’t been able to shake the motion sickness yet from NBC’s nifty camera angles. Thanks, jerks. 

One last note of the game: Congrats to New Mexico. They’re probably the worst opponent I’ve seen play Notre Dame since Lou’s last home game against Rutgers in ’96. They’ll probably have the dubious distinction until Bowling Green comes to town next month. Because after all, you can spell BG without BVG!

So what did we learn this past week? Really, there wasn’t a lot to get all that excited about. There just weren’t any games that screamed “must watch.” But, we’ll review it and crack wise anyway.

Remember a few weeks back when Georgia St waltzed into Knoxville and slapped the Vols around? Apparently, the clock hit midnight in a big way. Western Michigan 57-10. Not only was that a kick in the head for the Panthers, how does Tennessee have to be feeling these days losing to that team? 

I have to give BYU a great deal of credit. Their first three games were not exactly the easiest way to open the season (5 years ago when this schedule was probably booked, I can see why Bronco ran for the hills): Utah, at Tennessee, and USC. They’ve come out of that stretch 2-1 and now the schedule gets a lot easier, well, no it doesn’t: Washington comes to town next week.

Does Mark Dantonio, MSU head coach and ultimate curmudgeon, have a play called “12 Little Giants?” 

One thing we do know for certain: minus Clemson, the ACC is just flat out bad. This past week saw Carolina losing to an awful Wake Forest team, Virginia Teach having to come back at home against Furman, Georgia Tech losing to the Citadel, NC State getting blown out by a rebuilding West Virginia team, and my favorite, BC giving up 41 unanswered points to Kansas and getting routed in their high school stadium. That was a KU team that hadn’t won a road game in 3 years! Nothing screams coming out of your shell like blasting Fredo. Well done, Les.

What do we have to look forward to this weekend? In a word, plenty. Let’s get to it shall we….

Michigan heads up to Madison to take on the Badgers in the Big 10 opener for both teams in which should be an old school, buckle the chin strap type game. Well, at least it will for Wisconsin, they excel at it. Michigan, I’m not so sure about yet. These are simple the type of games that Harbaugh doesn’t win. He hasn’t since he came back and I really don’t think they do here either. Too much Jonathan Taylor and too much outcoaching for Michigan. UW 27-13.

Stanford. Boy, what has happened to the big rough, tough guys of the Pac-12? The defense is in complete shambles, they have no running game, and KJ Costello is a far cry from the confident kid that beat ND two season ago. Back to the defense, giving up 45 points in consecutive games? Wow, that’s just plain Buddy Teevans-esq. Nothing like having the Oregon Ducks come to town to ease the pain. They can’t score or anything. Oregon 38-17

The Pirate is up to his old tricks again in Pullman and the Cougs are 3-0 with their PAC-12 opener with punch-less UCLA coming to town. New QB Anthony Gordon has thrown for over 1300 yards already, and even with my limited math skills, I know that’s over 400 yards a game. Say what you will about them, they are simply fun to watch play. As for Chip Kelly, he might want to hold his breathe when he hits the tarmac in Pullman, he might get the Pat Hayden treatment. It’s a when not if situation at this point. Wazzou 45-14.

#8 Auburn takes their show on the road to take on Texas A&M in what will be the first true road test for freshman QB, Bo Nix. So far the game doesn’t look to fast for him, but his last two outings have been anything but spectacular against Tulane and Kent St. I except our old pal, Mike Elko to throw some stuff at him that he’s never seen to confuse Nix. Playing in front of 90,000 12th Men doing soccer chants and waving towels is awfully tough as well. I think Auburn gets a huge reality check this weekend. A&M 27-12.

Mola Ram Offering to the Cupcake Gods Game of the Week: Once again the Clemson Tigers have the honor of serving up the offering to Kali, this time hosting Charlotte (no UNC before hand anymore, didn’t you know.) Funny thing about this match-up is the 49ers might end up giving Clemson a better game than some of the dregs of the ACC as mentioned above. If Syracuse is the toughest test the Tigers have in conference, what does that tell you about the league as a whole?

Athens is the place to be this Saturday Night as the Irish invade Samford Stadium for the 1st time to take on the #3 Bulldogs. This has been the most talked about game on the ND schedule going back to the spring and is viewed by many as a huge litmus test to where the program truly is. Like everyone else I’m excited to see how the Irish will handle a great opponent on the road, at night, in a crazy environment (they actually added seats, good think ND isn’t relevant anymore.) Hell, I’d just like to watch the game hanging out with UGA the Dog. He wanted a piece of Bevo last year. That dog is awesome.

I wish I had a better feeling going into this one, but looking at it 15 ways to Thursday, I just don’t see where ND can win this game without Georgia having a Mark Richt type meltdown which was usually reserved for Tennessee or another SEC East team they should never lose to. Honestly, if he was still there, I’d actually think we’d have a real shot These were the games he lost (yeah, yeah, he beat us while at Miami. That was an out of body experience.) Even before the season started, I just didn’t think we could win this one for one simple reason: Georgia’s rushing offense vs ND’s rushing defense. Their perceived major strength vs our weakness. Nothing so far in the first two games has changed my opinion. If anything, it’s solidified it.

I think Notre Dame will be able to move the ball on Georgia’s defense. While good, they’re nowhere near the unit that came to South Bend two years ago stacked with guys that are now in the League. That being said, they sure as hell are better than Louisville and New Mexico. Ian Book should be able to move it from 20 to 20 against them in the air. The real problem, I believe, is that when we to get inside the redzone, the reality that we a below average running game will rear it’s ugly head. Jon Doerer is going to have a great day banging in field goals, but to win a big daddy game like this, you need to get to the paint when you have a chance, not settle for three. 

Notre Dame will play well, and it’s going to be a game into the 4th quarter. In the end, Georgia’s big ugly’s and power run game will just be too much for this good, not great, ND team. I hope I’m made to eat the biggest plate of crow ever. I’d gladly gobble it down. UGA 31-16

Beat Georgia.

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