Photo by Rick Kimball/ISD
Notre Dame Football

The Back Corner Fade

September 12, 2017

Perseverance is the secret of all triumphsote
Victor Hugo- Author

I guess that’s kind of fitting after last Saturday’s gut-punch lose to Georgia. You work all season off-season to get ready for games like this and to come up a point shy. Yeah, this was a tough one to swallow. I give the kids a lot of credit for fighting to the end against an awfully good Georgia team and playing them hard in front of a hostile environment… our own stadium. I’m looking forward to seeing how this team does persevere after a tough lose and what we’ll look like in Boston. 

So what did we learn this past week:

  • Sure, it was nice to see Oklahoma bust up OSU in the Horseshoe, but even more entertaining was seeing Baker Mayfield plant the flag in the middle of the Block O after the game. Mayfield is a tremendous QB but also might be college football’s version of Bill Romanowski. Just an unlikeable punk that loves the villain role. Speak of the flag planting, somewhere, in some dive bar near Kentucky State University, John L. Smith, was pointing at the TV screaming “I done set the standard for flag “plantin” when I was coachin’ ‘em up against Notre Dame…… don’t believe me? To hell with you. . . . .gimme another vodka tonic, Brenda. What? Oh course I want well vodka.”
  • Remember when Oregon St was actually pretty good? It wasn’t very long ago that Dennis Erickson, was bringing all the JUCO South Central players he could up to Corvallis and laying the wood to people. Mike Riley followed with a steady run, and now, very rapidly, the Beavs are back to being the Beavs. Losing to Colorado St by 30, slipping by Portland St by 3, and then “Row the Boat 2.0” dropped a 34 point beating on them this week. Welcome back to pre-2000, fellas.
  • Speaking of Mike Riley, remember in “Hoosiers” when Norman Dale first got to Hickory and was getting slapped around? The principal leans over to him and says “Norm, I’m trying real hard to believe that you know what you’re doing.” Riley was overheard saying that to our old pal Bob Diaco on the flight back to Lincoln after Oregon broke the “bend but don’t break” defense, often this weekend.
  • Has anyone checked in to see if Auburn QB Jarrett Stidham is ok? The poor kid was sacked 11 times this past weekend at Clemson. I don’t have a number how many times he got knocked down, but needless to say, if you’re an offense lineman and your first year starting QB gets hit that many times, it’d be hard to look him in the eye…..if they aren’t already crossed. 
  • This time last week we had a question going around: “Are we that good, or does Temple suck?” We might have an answer: Temple 16 Villanova 13. Temple had 79 yards rushing on 27 carries, and Nova also lit up “one of the best secondary’s in the country” for 380 yards passing. Temple is not….yeah, they’re just not good.

Well now, what kind of good, clean fun do we get to look forward to this week you might ask. Let’s take a look:

  • Seriously, this isn’t meant to be an all-Oregon State report. But the Beavers head to Wazzou to talk on the Pirate and Luke Falk. Sure, this will be a beating. Question is will Falk be on a pitch count of 70 passes, he ices up, then runs his poles while the game is still going on?
  • Georgia, fresh off beating our beloved Irish, returns home to face Samford. Rumor out of Athens is that Samford is going to take over at least 40% of the stadium…….section 401 in the upper tank.
  • Fresno St heads up to Seattle to take on the Huskies, a week after they got slapped around in Tuscaloosa. Nice scheduling. I finally know what that “V” they have on the back of their helmets stands for: Victims.
  • Tennessee heads to Gainesville to take on the Gators in their annual SEC East showdown. It begs the question, does the garbage can that some flunky gets to jump up and down with like a “hype man” at a hip-hop concert get it’s own seat on the plane?
  • By far, the best game of the week, on paper, is Louisville hosting Clemson. If you remember, last year’s game in Death Valley was fantastic and this one should be no different. Lamar Jackson doesn’t look to have skipped a beat from last season, lighting up Purdue (who actually does look better) and North Carolina. Clemson’s defense is a totally different animal. The Tigers actually have to rely on that defense while rookie QB Kelly Bryant continues to mature. That being said, The Ville’s defense is nothing to write home about, giving up 28 and 35 points their first two games. They give up 30 or more this week, and they’ll get boat raced. Clemson’s defense is that good.

Speaking of defense, ND looks as though they just might have the makings of a very good one if the first two weeks is any indication of how the rest of the season may go. They take that defense up to Chestnut Hill to take on our old pals, Boston College. Ah, yes off to Alumni Stadium, with all the charms of a Soviet Bloc prison back in the day. It’s kind of pathetic, really. You have this beautiful campus in a quaint, upper class suburb and then this concrete eye-sore. It looks like they took the winner of the Fr. Patrick O’Conner, S.J. Architecture Award, looked at the plans and said “this is a wicked design for a stadium, let’s, err ah, go with it.” 

Anyway, enough about the stadium and talk about the game. Once again, as in every game against these guys, we should smoke them. With the talent gap between these two programs, BC should never come within 20 points of ND. The Irish have won the last five, by an average of 8 points. C’mon now boys, these games should never be this close, ever. So here we go again, BC has an offense less creative then my son’s 6th grade team, no game breakers, and shouldn’t be a threat to our defense if they play the way they did the first two weeks. Yes, they do have a decent front seven, but nowhere near the likes of what they played last week. Once again, this shouldn’t really be close, why do I have the “hold me, I’m Irish” feeling that this one is going to be in doubt until the 4th quarter? I worry about a let down from last week. I’d have had that worry even if we would have won, frankly. It would be wonderful to have the starters out of there in the 3rd quarter and get ready for another pain in the backside away game in MSU. Kelly says this team has a different attitude (as he made clear to some reporter after the game,) they could certainly show us that by pummeling a team they should devour…..every time they meet.

Beat Fredo.

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