Michigan Preview

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 

Wait til' Next Year?

The Irish fall 4 yards short of greatness. Just 4 more yards for Notre Dame and they would control their own destiny to play in a BCS bowl. Clausen came up 4 yards short of of potentially winning the Heisman Trophy. So now what happens? Clausen plays great rest of season and gets invited to New York for heisman ceremony and Notre Dame ends up playing in the Gator Bowl. Some might think that we've done well to improve over last year but that's really not important. We're Notre Dame and our expectations should always be BCS win or bust.

I dont want to keep having to say wait til next year. I want "just wait til the title game". We (Notre Dame fans) have been talking about the future for the past 5 years. In 2005 it was just wait til' next year we will have Brady and Samardzija back. I know we went to a BCS bowl in 2006 but we lost big to Michigan, USC and LSU. In 2006 we were all hype with National Title expectations; we werent looking towards future but immediatley after USC game in '06 i know at least I was saying "Oh just wait til we have Jimmy Clausen, no stopping him and all of our great recruits". My dad bought 6 tickets to that SC game in '06 so that my me and the rest of my family could go down and see a  Notre Dame win. I left Southern Cal wanting redemption. Right after I left I thought about when next our best chance to get redemption against SC would be. It was this game, Clausen as a junior, at home. And again, we fell short. I probably shouldnt even talk about 2007; that year was only for the future. Again in '08 we were waiting for our great recruits to transform into great players. Well our great recruits are all emerging (Clausen, Tate, Floyd, Rudolph, etc.) but still we are left waiting for next year. Just waiting for those players to lead the Irish to greatness. I dont know about the rest of you but I am sick and tired of waiting.

I'm not gonna say that I don't think that our future is bright but I don't think our future has us winning a title game with Weis. I will reconsider keeping weis if we go undefeated the rest of the way and a win over a decent oponent in at least the Gator Bowl. Otherwise, we should bring in Jon Gruden. He would be that hard-nosed but fun loving college football coach. Pete Carol-esque?. If we were to bring in Gruden we would keep most of our defensive and offensive recruits like Martin and potentially more recruits that we might get this week. The recruits would look at Gruden's defenses with the Bucs and would come right to Notre Dame. I know it was Monte Kiffin coaching defense with those Bucs teams but Gruden would bring in that tough defensive attitude and possible some NFL assistants with him.

If Notre Dame wins out or just loses a barn-burner in  a bowl game, Notre Dame should bring Weis back and see what he can do with Clausen. I dont think it would be a good idea to bring in a new coach and system when you have Clausen, Tate and Allen all seniors.There's a good chance it'd be Floyd's last year as well. Could be a complete waste of year for those great players.  I would like to see what this offense could do next year rather than seeing all these great athletes waste a season. Would be better to do a coaching change the following season and bring in new system with Crist , Theo Riddick and Shaq Evans all being juniors.

After this past loss to USC, Charlie's seat has gotten alot hotter. No more room for mistakes.