Stanford Preview

Stanford

Rank: #16
Record: 3-0
Passing yards: 47th (233.0)
Rushing yards: 14th (242.3)
PPG: 3rd (51.7)
Points against: 16th (13.7)

Key Players:

QB; Andrew Luck #12. The junior with Pac-Ten player of the year is aiming higher this year. He's putting himself in legit contention for the Heisman Trophy. Luck has completed 45 of his 70 attempts for 674 yards and 10 touchdowns with zero interceptions. He will likely be without his top receiver from a year ago Ryan Whalen who has a dislocated elbow. 

WR; Doug Baldwin #89. With Ryan Whalen doubtful for this weekends game the Cardinal will look to go to Baldwin more. He has three touchdowns in as many games and 191 yards but only 10 receptions.

Last year:

Stanford won a barn burner 45-38 has Toby Gerhart rushed for his third touchdown of the game with 59 seconds left has the Irish defense purposefully let Gerhart run threw them on the TD to give the Irish offense a chance. 

Prediction:

The Cardinal hasn't won in South Bend in 18 years, but this year around its different. Stanford is 16th in the nation and his off to a quick 3-0 start has the Irish are 1-2 and on a 2 game losing streak. The Irish will have to stop Luck and Coach Kelly must get the Irish offense in a rhythm if they want to win this one. I don't expect the Irish to win this one but don't be shocked if they pull off the upset.

Stanford 35-31

 

Moving Forward or Backwards?

At this time it is hard to tell if Notre Dame is actually moving forward or just simply running in place. The Irish blew another 4th quarter lead to lose in OT on a fake FG. The Irish have now lost 6 out of 7 games, blowing 4th quarter leads in 4 out of the past 5.  Half of those have came this year against Michigan and Michigan State. This looks like the same team has last year only with a slightly better defense (not on paper) and a worse offense. Last year Notre Dame went 2-1 vs Michigan, MSU, and Purdue but only won by a combined 6 points. We got lucky.

Now Notre Dame is sitting at 1-2 and could very well be looking straight into the eyes of a 1-5 start with Stanford this week, at Boston College, then back at home vs Pitt. But this is not the end, this is obviously not the time to already give up on Brian Kelly. I have 

already seen numerous people on twitter and other blogs seem to give up on Coach Kelly. in 1986 in Lou Holtz started his 1st season as the Notre Dame head coach, starting off 1-4 and finishing with a 5-6 record—the same 5-6 record from the year before.

Coach Kelly was brought to Notre Dame to win championships because of his ability to develop players. It's going to take more time than just spring practice and 3 weeks into the season to be able to develop a team that has been lacking fundamentals for the past several years. Even though the stats are still not better, by just watching a Notre Dame games this year you can see an improvement in fundamentals. Aside from some very bad missed tackles this past Saturday, the tackling is much improved with alot more players wrapping up instead of just trying to hit them. The penalties are down from a year ago, again aside from the 7 penalties from this past Saturday.

The season is not completely lost, I like many Irish fans was hoping for a quick turnaround and a BCS bowl berth. We can rule that out now, but I'd still be more than happy to see the Irish land in a respectable bowl like the Champs Sports bowl. These next couple of weeks will be the make or break point in the season. The Irish can win a couple and have a realistic chance at 8 wins but they easily could easily lose a couple and wind up not going to a bowl. 

Either way i expect the Irish to be in contention for a BCS bowl next year, anything less would be a disappointment.

 

 

Michigan Preview

Michigan
Rank: NR
Record: 1-0
Passing yards: 79th (186.0)
Rushing yards: 13th (287.0)
PPG: 59th (30.0)
Points against: 27th (10)

Key Players:
QB; Denard Robinson #16. The sophomore got his first start last week against UCONN and made the most of it. He had a combined total of 383 yards: 186 passing and 187 rushing. He also had a TD on the ground and through the air. Notre Dame's ability to stop Robinson's speed will be a major factor tomorrow.
 
Last year: Yea we all remember what happened last year. Michigan took an early lead in the

1st quarter and went up 14-3. Notre Dame came storming back in the 2nd quarter to take a 20-17. Michigan then went back up 31-20 in the 3rd and when everyone thought the game was over Notre Dame came back to go up 34-31 with 5 minutes left in the game. The Irish kicked the ball back off and made a huge defensive stop and got the ball back but failed to close it out giving Michigan the ball back with 2 minutes to go. Tate Forcier then made quick work of the Irish, scoring with 11 seconds left to win it. The Irish defense failed to stop Forcier as he passed for 240 yards and rushed for 70 while combining for 3 TD's.

Defense: Notre Dame will have their hands full on defense against Denard Robinson. This will be the first test for Bob Diaco's defense. The Irish have to stop Robinson on the ground and make him try to beat 'em through the air. If Bob Diaco's defense cant stop Robinson, it could very well be a long day for the Irish. 
 
Offense: Notre Dame will look to go after a weak inexperienced secondary. Michigan lost Senior Corner Troy Wolfolk to a broken leg in August. All Big-Ten selection Donovan Warren left for the NFL a year early last year. The Irish will attack them with Michael Floyd who had 137 yards and 7 receptions and a TD last year vs Michigan. I believe this week Dayne Crist will be a  bit more confident in the passing game after getting his first start out of the way. Brian Kelly will look to Crist to lead the Irish against Michigan's inexperienced corners. I believe this will be Crist's break out game. Also don't be surprised if the Irish look to run the ball a bit as Armando Allen had 139 yards on 21 carries last year vs Michigan. Cierre Wood and Allen combined to rush for 151 yards on 25 carries last week.

Prediction: Last week I had Notre Dame winning this game no doubt but after seeing Denard Robinson last week I'm a little hesitant. I still think Notre Dame will pull out the win at home.

Final Score, Notre Dame 27-23 

Liar Liar: Lane Kiffin

    USC has stayed classy of course like usual and chosen Lane Kiffin to become their next head coach. Kiffin quickly bolted out of knoxville after just one year one the job. He left the university with no problems at all just a couple NCAA violations. So the Tennessee students/fans/alums are more then furious. On Tuesday students gathered around and chanted "F*** you Kiffin", I wouldn't it a riot but it was close has UT students were lighting things on fire like a mattress, mostly paper, and in one video a guy made a torch. Some angry fans even raided Neyland-Thompson Sports Complex and yelled at Lane Kiffin when he was telling his ex-players that he will be very loyal and leave them. I'm sure they were all very proud of him. 

     

    Lane Kiffin was introduced as the Head Football Coach at USC on Wednesday. It went just as planned, full of lies. Lane Kiffin actually got into an argument with LA times writer TJ Simmers about how Lane Kiffin said he wouldn't recruit any UT players unless they called him. Turns out his good assistant Ed  Orgeron has already called UT commits, that means theres a good possibility that Kiffin did to. After Kiffin started saying things over again he confused everyone when trying to explain the commit situation that SC AD Mike Garret had to stand up, stop Kiffin from being an idiot, and to of course get a new question going. So Kiffin has started out great, couldn't be better. Now going into this conference i knew i was going to at some point just start laughing. I was hoping for some trash talk against ND. Or just him saying "I cant wait to commit some major recruiting violations after we beat Notre Dame next year. Its going to be a blast!!". I'm just glad we have Brian Kelly.

    USC sent the wrong message to the NCAA about cleaning up their act. SC did the opposite of cleaning up their act when they hired a guy who has a past of recruiting violations. Kiffins violations have all been secondary violations unless the most recent one about hostesses turns out true and ends up more then just a secondary violation.

    At this moment, I cannot wait for ND vs SC next year. No matter what the records are this game will be remembered. It's the classy Brian Kelly vs the most hated college football coach in the country Lane Kiffin. I really wish recruits would start questioning this guy. He has nothing. He is not loyal at all and he is selfish. I hope we destroy him.

Irish add depth at QB

    Brian Kelly got another solid commitment today, solidifying the depth at quarterback. Andrew Hendrix recommitted to Notre Dame today, choosing the Irish over the Gators. Hendrix originally committed to Weis and his staff all the way back in june. Here's an article from back in june from Truegipper. Hendrix is now the second QB in the class high school class of 2010. Tommy Rees from Lake Forest, Illinois is the other QB who enrolled early so he can practice with the team in the spring. To add to the depth at quarterback Nate Montana transferred back from Pasedena College. Some even thought that WR John Goodman would be moved back to QB (use to play QB in high school). Now with the Irish gaining Montana and Hendrix this week, Goodman will stay at wideout.

I would like to see Kelly bring in a more mobile QB in the years to come. I liked the play of Cincy QB Zach Collaros last year, he rushed for 325 yard in 5 games when starting QB Tony Pike was hurt. It wasn't like ColIaros had blazing speed, he just had good speed for a QB. am not questioning at all what Brian Kelly is doing, I am just saying that I think a mobile QB would only be for the best. Plus it would be pretty awesome to watch.

Kelly keeps Alford

Today many media outlets are reporting that coach Brian Kelly will only retain running backs coach Tony Alford from the Weis era. This shouldn't be a huge surprise to anyone. Last week I wanted our new coach to retain great receivers coach and recruiter Rob Ianello but he was chose to become the head football coach at Akron. I am happy that Kelly held onto at least one of the coaches from the Weis staff because of recruiting reasons. Tony Alford is a solid coach to bring back, in only his first recruiting season with the Irish; he has gotten verbals from top recruits Giovanni Bernard and Louis Nix.

Coach Kelly will likely bring along a handful of coaches with him from Cincy. He will almost certainly bring long time offensive coordinator Jeff Quinn. Only problem is Jeff Quinn could get coaching gig somewhere else. Yesterday Cincinnati chose Central Michigan head coach Butch Jones which eliminated a job for Quinn to take. I wouldn't be surprised though if Central Michigan takes a look at Quinn.

It's Over

    Looks like the Charlie Weis era will soon be in the past. The Irish have to win out for Weis to have a somewhat good chance of staying. Winning out won't easy, Weis has to beat Pitt and Stanford, two teams that will most likely finish the season ranked. Weis hasn't even beaten two teams that have finished ranked in the top 25 in his life. Even if Weis wins out and losing in a bowl game he should still be gone. There is no reason why this Irish team should have four losses. Its unacceptable. When Weis came in has head coach in his press conference he stated that being a 6 and 5 football team was not good enough for us (obviously) and that it certainly wasnt good enough for him. Well Charlie you have a pretty good chance of having five losses this year. That is simply not good enough.

    Yeah, yeah. I know we will in be in almost the same situation we were in 5 years ago. It breaks my heart to see us have to fire another coach. Especially after seeing such a successful and quick turnaround in 2005. But look on the bright side we could bring in a proven head college football coach in Brian Kelly. We will have great players for sure for about the next 3 years after the recruiting Weis did. This team would come in next year has if we have had the same great coach for years. We would immediately be a top 25 team at minimum with Brian Kelly