This edition of the Irish Blogger Gathering is brought to you by Matt Mattare over at We Never Graduate. We could spend the rest of this paragraph explaining to you what you’ll be reading below, or you could just keep reading…
1. The biggest story of the spring was the quarterback competition between Dayne Crist, Tommy Rees, and to a lesser extent Andrew Hendrix and Everett Golson. Crist and Rees donned the red jerseys while the youngins were fed to the wolves with live contact. How would you rate each signal caller’s performance in the scrimmage? Then put on the Swami hat and predict what we should expect from each of them this fall and in the long term.
I’ll rate each QB based on the sounds my body made while watching each in action. Luckily for you all, these were all sounds coming from my mouth, and only my mouth.
Crist: “BLERRRRRRG” I was either quite hungry, had just belched, or I’d just witnessed Dayne make an attempt at the fabled “skip pass” long forbidden in American football, though rumored to be embraced and celebrated right along with forward-motioning receivers in a game I call “Canadian Hullaballoo.” The kid was 5 of 11 for 34 yards. Meaning he got 3.1 yards per attempt. Had he managed to complete that first 15 yard out, rather than testing the dynamics of earth-football friction, he’d have been averaging 4.5 yards/attempt. Note: It’s never – ever ever ever – a good day for a QB when a single completion would raise his yards/attempt by nearly 50%.
Rees: “MMMMRPHHH” Things were looking pretty damn near acceptable for Rees until he threw a pick that made him look like a candidate for “Lease Likely To Ever Beat Utah, SoCal, and Miami In A Lifetime, Let Alone To End A Single Season.” Mind you, as noted in the question, both Crist and Rees were wearing no-touchy-touch jerseys, so witnessing rushed, poor decisions like that INT was like watching that stupid kid in high school try to complete math problems on the board in front of everyone – you started to wonder just how long he’d need to ever actually get it right.
Hendrix: “Huh.” We all saw it and thought the same thing: “He kinda reminds me of Tebow. DERP.” But to compare Hendrix to Him is to compare my daughter’s works in Crayola water-based “paints,” to Mona Lisa. You really, really, really want to make that comparison and not have anyone pipe up and point out that you’re delusional, but, well, you’re delusional. Still, when pairing the easily-washed-away abilities of Hendrix with the master-strokes we all hope Kelly will make in this medium, it’s tough to deny that we’re not at least intrigued by what could be.
Golson: “Om NOM NOM NOM NOM.” At this point, I’d managed to track down a sandwich, so I can’t be held to creating high expectations for the kid. But, as with all of you out there, watching him run around, buying time, and gaining yards on his feet kept reminding me of Bon Jovi’s “Slippery When Wet” album art. Great minds and all that. I’m not trying to over-hype the kid, and this is certainly not based on the Blue and Gold Game, but if the next ND player to win a Heisman is a QB, it’ll be Golson.
2. Freshman defensive end Aaron Lynch burst onto the scene with seven tackles, including 1.5 for a loss. You might as well have attached his hype and expectations to an Apollo rocket and launched them into orbit they’re so high right now. Is he that good or should Notre Dame fans temper expectations like Brian Kelly keeps saying?
Temper them. To recount, on one of his best plays, he left his contain to tackle the carrier from behind, leaving himself wide open to assault via running QB. On another of his “highlights,” he left his feet and hopped through the gap between the guard and tackle – a move that will usually get you clobbered. Twice he used a spin-move to absolutely no effect because, well, he just had no idea what the hell to do when he was stone-walled (hint: his arms should have been up in the air, at least those 2 times). He’s a heaping ton of raw talent, and he still plays like he’s never really been in a game where anyone could contend with him (hint: the OL in a spring game aren’t really blocking – they’re working on any of a dozen of their own personal developmental goals on any given snap).
3. Pick two players that surprised you this spring–one pleasantly and the other unpleasantly–and explain yourself.
Pleasant: Louis Nix. I know, sacrilege, right? By even admitting to being pleasantly surprised, it’s admitting that my expectations of the kid were anything below “a god.” But as has been displayed numerous times via his twitter account, Nix is a goofball, at least off the field, and so one can’t help but wonder just how serious he might be on the field. Answer: Louis Nix is a very, very serious individual on the field.
Unpleasant: Steve Filer. I’ve not really paid a ton of attention to spring practice reports, in all honesty, and perhaps he had a stunning spring, but his showing in the B&G game (1 tackle) leaves a lot to be desired. I mean, dude can jump out of a pool! How does that not translate to spectacular domination on the football field?
4. Over/Unders for 2011!
Cierre Wood Rushing Yards: 1000
Under. I think it’s unlikely that he’ll get the requisite 167 carries that his 6.0 yards/carry average will necessitate to eclipse to 1000 yard mark.
Jonas Gray Rushing Yards: 300
Hrm. 300 yards over 12 games would be 25 yards per game. A rather paltry sum. Though that’d be a nice round 5 yards/carry if he got 5 chances in each game. I’ll take… over.
Games Michael Floyd Will Miss: 1.5
Under, but just barely. I have a feeling it’s gonna be a missed game to start, plus “not starting” in the 2nd game. Not saying I agree with the approach, but that’s what my gut says.
Dayne Crist Passing Touchdowns: 19.5
Under. To get 19.5 Passing TDs, he’d have to beat his current career total by 4 passing TDs. The formula would involve beating out Rees for the starting job, keeping the job, not getting hurt, and getting Kelly to rely on his throwing the ball more heavily than on Riddick and Wood carrying the ball in various ways. Not to mention the inevitable “Goal Line” package that will involve either Hendrix or Golson.
Games Started by Tommy Rees: 3.5
Under. I actually think Crist will win the starting job and hold onto it. And, shocker of all shockers, I think Crist will stay healthy because he’ll be used differently. I just think the Goal Line package will hurt his TD numbers.
Combined Games Started by Golson/Hendrix: .5
Under. At no point this season will Golson/Hendrix get a start, save for a scenario where ND returns an opening kick to the opposing team’s 3 yard line.
Aaron Lynch Sacks: 5.5
Under. 5.5 sacks would equal the total of 2010’s leader in sacks: Darius Fleming. And he beat out Ethan Johnson, Prince Shembo, and Kapron Lewis-Moore, among others, all of whom are still on the squad. Aaron will get his opportunities to make message board posters squall over why he’s not playing more often, but not enough to overtake the field.
Victories in ND Stadium: 5.5
Over. ND will not lost a game at Notre Dame this year.
5. This offseason athletic director Jack Swarbrick added two teams to future schedules: Temple and Northwestern. There’s a chunk of people who are outraged about the Temple games, but the vast majority approve of Northwestern. What are your thoughts on each of these scheduling moves?
I actually much prefer the Temple game over the Northwestern game. What’s gained by a date either at Northwestern or at ND for the Irish? Exposure to an unfamiliar market? Nope. Coverage by media members who don’t usually see ND play? Less than no – half of the ND beat is covered by NU grads/jerkoffs. Opportunity to play a “traditional” opponent? This is only valued by walking fossils who are still far too hazy on the entire Kuharich-Parseghian transition to have a firm grasp on the reality of the series anyway (hint: Ara won all of those games). Opportunity for ND’s fans to visit a storied campus full of college football tradition and a great atmoshphere? AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. I’m hardly in love with the Temple game, but now that I’m an East-Coaster, I appreciate the opportunity to head up I-95 and see my Irish pummel someone. And after last year’s Navy game, I’m still waiting for that chance.
6. Irish Illustrated senior editor Tim Prister, one of the most respected and longest tenured journalists in the Notre Dame community, had this to say in article following the Blue-Gold Game:
“How would NBCSports.com’s Keith Arnold know that “there’s a different feeling around Notre Dame” when he’s rarely at Notre Dame to report on its football program? Reporters have a feel for the program because they are immersed in it; bloggers take the feelings/opinions formed by those on the scene and make it their own.”
You’re an esteemed member of the Irish blogosphere. What are your thoughts on Prister’s jab?
I think it was a failure to even attempt to hide a bit of jealousy. And it should sort of serve as frosting on Keith’s cake for a week in which he also scooped everyone on the news of the decision in Floyd’s case.
I don’t know anything about Prister. I don’t really even read him. I do read Keith’s stuff because Keith has a) access and b) keen insight.
I do, however, do a lot of tracking of the “mainstream media versus the blogosphere” universe, and I can tell you that disparaging bloggers has already been done, and the commemorative t-shirts of MSM’s hoped-for victory have already been shipped off to a 3rd world country. There is, in fact, plenty of room for both approaches, but the MSM is often too busy trying to pick fights with the blogging world to bother with their supposed craft.
Outline what your day will be like from the moment you wake up until the moment you go to sleep on October 22nd, the day Notre Dame faces off against Southern Cal under the lights of Notre Dame Stadium.
Awaken to cries of either a 3 year old or 11 month old, watch some Little Eintsteins or perhaps some Special Agent Oso, depending on the hour. Discuss whether or not either I or my wife thinks either or both of the kids “feel hot.” Wonder if we should call the pediatrician’s office. Decide against it. There’s no way our kids could be sick 7 weekends in a row.
Take the kids to the park. Ask a parent if they would mind telling their kid to stop using one of my kids as a kick-ball.
Explain to the 2 officers who arrived a few minutes ago that, no, in fact I never threatened that dude or his kid. I’d simply asked that his ugly kid stop using my kid as a kick-ball.
Discuss if we want to hit up home depot to get the necessary hardware to fix the screen door, or if we should just wait until nap time.
Start to wonder if the kids will ever take their naps.
Hit up Home Depot.
Fix screen door.
Wake kids from nap so they don’t sleep right through to Sunday.
Have dinner. Hey! Look at that! Chicken! Again.
Check twitter for indication of victorious victory of defeating defeat.
Tweet message about how you’re all welcome. Once again, as with every game since the last 2 minutes of Tulsa, I didn’t watch any of the game. The Jinx is still intact and in my safe keeping.
Watch recording of game on DVR at 2x speed, with 8x speed during commercials.
Go to bed with same satisfied feeling I get after a really nice, cold glass of milk.
This is my commitment to you.