Saturday, September 13, 2008


Wow! That was the Notre Dame team we were expecting to see. I had forgotten how great it feels to beat Michigan - that was fun! A ton of thoughts swirling through my head. Here's a few:
  • I hate to be the "I told you so" guy, but we saw Aldridge, we had more throws to Floyd and we ran towards Young and Stewart/Robinson - anyone still think the coaches weren't holding a few things back last week?
  • Speaking of Trevor Robinson, great to see him get the start - he's going to be a monster.
  • For the second week, the offensive line looked solid in pass protection. Run blocking was improved as well against a very stout Michigan defensive line. There were some nice holes out there.
  • Jimmy Clausen just keeps getting better. He had two interceptions (though the one at the end was the result of a stupid throwaway call by the coaches), but he managed the game brilliantly, avoided pressure/sacks on a number of occasions and flat-out threw the ball well.
  • Robert Hughes looked quicker and less tentative than last week. In better weather and against weaker defenses, he's going to be unstoppable.
  • Golden Tate showed that, in spite of being a full-time wide receiver (and a damned good one), he still has the strength and ability to break tackles and work the open field from his days as a running back. The 60 + yard slant play was a thing of beauty.
  • The defense was of the "bend, but don't break" variety. The positives were their ability to cause turnovers and, for the most part, limit big plays. On the flip side, they didn't do a great job stuffing the run or pressuring the quarterback for most of the day - and this was a pretty mediocre Michigan line.
  • David Bruton is going to make some NFL team very, very happy. He was all over the place and his athleticism is really remarkable.
  • His partner at safety, Kyle McCarthy, was no slouch himself. Another week with double-digit tackles.
  • Brian Smith certainly redeemed himself for getting run over for a touchdown with that fumble return.
  • Great to see Gary Gray get some playing time and make an immediate contribution.
  • Special teams has now turned the tide for the Irish in two straight games (Allen's punt return and Brown's punt block last week and then the great coverage, ball strips and fumble recoveries this week).
  • Tough break for Charlie with his knee. Here's wishing him a speedy recovery. He showed some real toughness hanging in there on the sideline and then giving a post-game press conference. He represented Jersey well today.
  • Two games in, and I think we're starting to see the makings of a team Irish fans are really going to like. They're tough, they're scrappy, they're opportunistic and they play well together. It's still early, but these guys have a real special quality to them.

It's going to be a tough game up in East Lansing next week, but we'll have plenty of time to talk about that in the days ahead. For now, after two years of Wolverine domination, Irish fans should take a moment to savor this one. Lift a glass, Irish fans, we're 2-0!!!!

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