Please let me remove the egg from my face for thinking that Notre Dame would destroy Purdue. The Boilermakers had a better defensive scheme than the blocking scenario of the Fighting Irish, which was poor, poorer, and porous when it came to NDs rushing and, many times, passing game.
However, the Irish did win, with much credit going to Tommy Ree's clutch performance (the stats weren't that great), when a big applause should go to the post-Purdue touchdown runback by George Atkinson that set up the final drive. Atkinson also should have been given more snaps at running the ball earlier in the game. Theo Riddick wasn't exactly Thunder Alley, although much of the blame should be dumped on NDs offensive line, especially Mike Golic, which really got manhandled. Perhaps, they still had thoughts of "Anchors Away in Dublintown."
By the way, Notre Dame's special teams don't seem to be in sync, as witnessed by strong runbacks by Purdue returners. And, God bless Davonte Neal back there on punts. There is absolutely no blocking oncoming defenders. They're simply turned loose. What the hell is the story there? Same situation as last year.
Grades, you ask?
--Rushing Game F
--Passing Game B
--Defense (Rush) B+
--Defense (Pass) B-
--Special Teams D
That's my opinion and I don't see any reason not to stick to it.
Michigan State is a formidable opponent and has many of the same characteristics that Purdue does, but they are even better and stronger in whatever category under comparison. And, the Spartan's coach is one of the best in the nation, and has proven he can beat Notre Dame in the clutch (which Purdue couldn't).
It is the belief here that if the Irish can stop MSU's quarterback, who is suspect, and limit their ace running back, who is superb, this game should go into the last quarter up for grabs. And, yes, State also has its own G(h)ols(t)on, who is among the best DEs in the country.
Hopefully, Easy Ev Golson and Tyler Eifert, ND's good hands man, can put a major victory in the win column (that's assuming that Golson will be in there from beginning to end---and not under the bus where Coach Kelly dropped him on Saturday).
While the Glory Road is one less travelled by the Fighting Irish over the past several years, wins over the coming two teams that reside in Michigan's East Lansing and Ann Arbor will very definitely put the Irish caravan on the right course.
With fingers tightly crossed for an upset: Notre Dame 24 Michigan State 21
--Scott B Views: 1421 E-Mails: 14
Select E-Mail Joey/Omaha: I agree that Kelly "done Golson wrong." The young QB can never again feel confident that he won't be pulled on a moment's notice. His back isn't covered by BK, it's a target!!