This week, Tex gave me the keys to this blog, told me to feed the HLS Hamsters, and left me to make mischief with the weekly Irish Blogger Gathering. I humbly obeyed his request by sending 3 questions to Mike Coffey AKA El Kabong at NDNation.
Given my comfort-level on Twitter, I limited my questions to 140 characters in length. El Kabong’s responses need no such constraints, and we appreciate his wisdom around these parts.
We have enough data to assess the 2013 team’s identity. What gameplan will we see Saturday vs. Oklahoma? Is this what you’d like to see?
I believe (or at least hope) we’ll see more of the ground game than we saw in previous weeks. For whatever reason, Brian Kelly seems to have an aversion to trying to run on B1G teams, but is a little more willing to unleash the hounds against other schools on the schedule. If that tendency continues, the Gang of Five will see more carries, and I think that will be a good thing provided the OL can make the necessary holes. It certainly was effective in Norman last year, but trying it with a less mobile quarterback might be a problem.
The offense’s success seems to center around QB play. Has Tommy Rees peaked as a starter? What else do you want to see (or not see)?
I believe Tommy Rees’ arm strength has improved this year and we’re seeing a longer range on his passes. Unfortunately, his accuracy has not improved apace, so we’re seeing a lot of receivers having to leave their feet to make the catch. I would agree he’s probably getting as much out of himself as he can get right now, so if that constitutes a “peak”, then yes, we’ve reached it.
Even with the improvements, Tommy’s physical limitations still present a ceiling for the ND offense. So I’d like to see them center less around the QB. I’m not sure that’s something that can be done in a limited timeframe, and it disappoints me the staff didn’t spend the four months they had to prepare after Everett Golson’s suspension trying to put such a thing together. I’m hoping the aforementioned tendency to avoid the rush vs. the B1G has factored in here, but there’s always the chance it won’t. I fear if they stick to what they’ve been doing, it will cause ND problems as they get into the meat of the schedule.
“Green Out” for the fans: good idea, or great idea? Or, put another way: What other efforts would effectively increase crowd volume?
I think it’s a good idea. Showing some solidarity in the stands can help with the game-day atmosphere. I wish they would just make The Shirt an Irish green color every year so eventually a larger part of the fanbase would wear it, but that probably reduces the chances they’ll sell shirts every year, so we won’t see that.
Given that I’m not a big fan of some of the other efforts they’ve tried or hope to try regarding the crowd, I’m content seeing something like this, which I believe will be effective.
But wait…there’s more!
My IBG answers are posted over at the official ND Football blog, Strong and True, so head over there for more pearls of wisdom. Check out UHND, The Subway Domer, NDNation, and Inside the Irish for other scintillating discussion to get you ready for gameday.
Like it? Hate it? Have another opinion? Sound off in the comments below.