Tagged with "Michigan"
Irish Football Mid-Season Review
Category: NCAA
Tags: College Football Notre Dame Tommy Rees DeVaris Daniels Jaylon Smith Temple Purdue Michigan Michigan State Oklahoma Arizona State

Holy shit…the college football season is half-over already?

Indeed!  And Irish Shu is here with his mid-season review to look back at the first 6 games for his beloved Fighting Irish of Notre Dame as they enjoyed their bye week.

The short version?  Well, they’re a step below what I expected.  4-2 is a game below what I predicted they’d have at the halfway mark and, honestly, I’m surprised it’s not any worse.  Why?  Well, the team has something in-common with how it played last year – the defense is carrying an under-performing O to the wins they have gotten thus far…but this years’ defense is not nearly as dominating as last years’ was.  After the first 6 games last year, Manti Te’o and company had yielded only 52 points.  Pretty damn impressive when one considers that 3 of the teams they beat were ranked in the top 25.  This year?  The Irish D have yielded 153 points after 6 games – 3 of the teams they played were ranked again – and they lost 2 of those.  OUCH.  The D lost only 4 starters from last year but Te’o, Zeke Motta and Kapron Lewis-Moore were HUGE losses, not only for how they performed statistically, but for their leadership.  Clearly the Irish are missing that.

With that, let’s recap the first half game-by-game:

TEMPLE:  Well, I expected a win and got one…not much more can be said.  The Irish scored on their first 2 possessions – both TD passes to receiver Davaris Daniels - and then put it in cruise control against the outmatched and currently-winless Temple Owls to win 28-6.  It was a game that had kind-of a “blah” feel to it that one gets when a team is keeping some plays and some effort in the back pocket.  After the game, it was announced that Head Coach Brian Kelly had signed a new 5-year contract to stay with the Irish.  Not too surprising considering the teams’ results from the previous year.

MICHIGAN:  I predicted this as a loss and so it came to pass…still hated it, though.  Michigan QB Devin Gardner donned jersey number 98 to honor long-ago Heisman winner Tom Harmon and tore through the Irish D for 460 yards including 82 rushing as Meat Chicken downed the Irish 41-30.  Gardner connected with receiver Jeremy Gallon for 184 yards, 3 touchdowns and a career night, thus exposing the Irish D as, well, not what they were last year.  Gardner did throw a pick-6 to Stephon Tuitt in what was his only huge error of the game, but in the end it didn’t matter.  Since then, Meat Chicken has had milquetoast showings in the games that followed – after closer-than-expected wins over the likes of the Akron Zips and U Conn, the Wolverines finally did lose last weekend to Penn State in 4 overtimes.  HA!

PURDUE:  The Purdue Boilermakers have won only one game this year…you wouldn’t know it from how they played against the Irish that night.  Notre Dame needed a bounce-back win and got it over the inspired Boilers 31-24.  It took some late-game heroics in the form of 2 TD passes from Tommy Rees to Daniels and then a pick-6 from cornerback Bennett Jackson for the Irish to seal the deal.  Rees looked as good as he ever has as he went 20 of 33 for 309 yards, 2 TD’s and no interceptions and made it 3 games in a row with over 300 yards passing…an effort that, sadly, would not repeat against the stronger defenses in the games that followed.

MICHIGAN STATE:  An UGLY game in which defenses ruled…but the Irish prevailed in the end 17-13 over a Spartan team which hasn’t lost before or since…of course, Sparty still has yet to face the meat of their Big Ten schedule but it’s still a nice thought, nonetheless!  The Irish mainly exploited 2 things in this win: an inexperienced quarterback in Cameron Cook who hadn’t faced the kind of defensive pressure the Irish would bring to him, and a sloppily over-aggressive Spartan defense that would be flagged 4 times for pass interference and once for defensive holding (I have to admit a couple of those were bullshit calls – but I’ll take em!). Between that and the Irish offense doing just enough, Coach Kelly got his 10th home win in a row.

OKLAHOMA…or as the Steve Martin character “Rupricht” from the movie “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" would say: “OKLAHOMA-OKLAHOMA-OKLAHOMA-OKLAHOMA!!!”:

Rees dropped back twice in the first 3 minutes of the game and said: “here Sooners!  CATCH!...here Sooners!  CATCH AGAIN!”  Well, to be fair, those first 2 picks weren’t entirely on him.  On the first one, a blocking assignment was missed and Rees was hit from behind as he threw the pick-6 and on the second one the ball hit TJ Jones’ arm but glanced off for the 2nd interception.  Both picks, however, got the Irish in a 14-point hole that made them play catch up the rest of the game and led to the 35-21 loss to the Sooners.  The loss cast a shadow over what was a career day for running back George Atkinson III who ran for 148 yards and a touchdown in the losing effort...he was about all the Irish had offensively that day.  The Sooners, meanwhile, suffered their first loss last weekend – to a Texas team whose fans, up until today, had been calling for Coach Mack Brown’s head on a stick…and who knows?  They still might.

ARIZONA STATE:  For the second week in a row, Rees threw a pick 6…fortunately for him, so did ASU quarterback Taylor Kelly.  The Sun Devils had 2 other turnovers that were the difference in the game and the Irish won what may have been their best-played game thus far this season 37-34.  Rees had a decent night as he threw for 279 yards and 3 touchdowns.  Another big difference in this one was that, in spite of yielding 34 points, the Irish D finally showed some domination with 6 QB sacks – 3 by linebacker Prince Shembo – and did a good job of keeping ASU’s powerful offense at bay by limiting their time of possession and bottling-up their running game…I can only hope their effort in this one represents a “turning of the corner”.

So with the first 6 games in the books, we look ahead to the last 6.  The second-half opponents don’t appear to be quite the “gauntlet” the first 6 were, but there are a couple tough ones.  Their next opponent in USC, even with Coach Lane Kiffin being fired recently, always comes at the Irish hard and I expect that BYU and Stanford will, too.  Stanford was upset by Utah last weekend for their first loss, but that may end-up being their only loss this year if they use the wake-up call as motivation.  I do think a 10-win season and BCS bowl spot is possible for the Irish, but not likely.  I see at least one more loss in there before it’s all said and done, which means they’ll have to settle for a bowl bid a step down from a BCS…but as I always say, I’ll be elated if I turn out to be wrong about that!

My big concerns are in 2 areas.  The first is at quarterback.  Tommy Rees is, and has always been, good at times.  That’s all.  For his career, the senior has 508 completions in 837 attempts (just over 60% completion percentage) for 47 touchdowns and 30 interceptions.  Not bad for a QB who cannot run…but that’s the problem; he cannot run and opposing defenses know that and plan accordingly.  He’s done fairly-well against teams that box-up the running lanes and force him to throw for the most part, but has also made mistakes.  I should point out, though, that it really isn’t Rees’ fault that last year’s starter in Everett Golson made poor choices to neglect his grades and get suspended from the team after all the plans and preparations went into him being the starter well-past Spring drills before he was kicked-out, but I really wish Andrew Hendrix (a better running QB than Rees) would get a better shot than he’s been allowed so far...with the season half-done I wonder if he ever will.

The other concern is with team health – the Irish already had to start the season without several key defensive players including starting outside linebacker Danny Spond (retired due to chronic migraines) and backup d-lineman Tony Springmann  (knee injury during fall drills that ended his season).  Now add to that: defensive end Sheldon Day missing several recent games with a high ankle sprain, their leading tackler in linebacker Jarrett Grace breaking his leg in the ASU game, backup receiver Daniel Smith also breaking his ankle in the same game, highly-touted frosh running back Greg Bryant having tendonitis in his knee (he likely won’t play again as the coaching staff has decided to seek a medical redshirt for him, instead) and a couple others, and you have injuries piling-up.  Irish depth WILL be tested as the season continues.

One other bright spot does encourage me, though; that of true frosh linebacker Jaylon Smith. 

I’m not saying this kid is going to be another Manti Te’o...that is possible...but he’s going to be damn good.  He already has had some moments, particularly against ASU; he broke into the backfield and disrupted several plays in that game.  Smith is very quick and very aggressive – he just needs to get some reads and assignments down with experience and he’s gonna be something!

We’ll see how the last 6 games play out!  GO IRISH!!!

College Football Top 25 Week 7
Category: NCAA
Tags: ALABAMA AUBURN BAYLOR CLEMSON FLORIDA FLORIDA ST. GEORGIA HOUSTON LSU MICHIGAN ST. MISSOURI NCAA FOOTBALL OLE MISS STANFORD

Top 25

rank / team / prior
1 Alabama 1
2 Missouri 22
3 LSU 9
4 Clemson 3
5 Florida St. 6
6 Ohio St. 4
7 Stanford 2
8 Oregon 7
9 Va. Tech 14
10 Miami 10
11 Baylor 21
12 Georgia 5
13 UCLA 17
14 Oklahoma 11
15 Auburn 20
16 Louisville 18
17 Texas Tech 13
18 S Carolina 15
19 Fresno St. 19
20 Houston –
21 TX A&M 16
22 N. Illinois 24
23 Michigan 12
24 Mich. St. –
25 Utah –

Out of rankings: (8) Washington, (23) Florida, (25) N’western

Many of you probably know where to find my other blogs (such as more detailed rankings discussion) by now, but if you need specific directions, let me know.  The above is my first purely mathematical ranking.

Also, feel free to submit your top 25 rankings for my All-Blogger Poll.

Monday Moaning 9-23-13
Category: FEATURED
Tags: NFL NCAA Notre Dame Cleveland Browns Rosie Jones Michigan State Finnegan The Beeze Alabama Minnesota Vikings

     WOW!

That's all you can say...This past week the Cleveland Browns traded Trent Richardson to the Colts...Cleveland fans were pissed, and rightfully so...HERE was my view the day after...Most Browns fans saw it as the organization throwing in the towel on the season...That tied with the fact that 3rd string QB Brian Hoyer was going to start this week's game...Then our pal Radatz posted THIS history of the Browns on Sunday...For those who are unaware of the highs and lows of the franchise, it's a great piece...

So after all this, what happened Sunday? The Browns rolled into Minnesota, and found their way to a 31-27 victory...The team seemed to have an energy they lacked the first two weeks...A key piece of that spark on offense was the return of Josh Gordon from a two game suspension...Hoyer added another spark...While the Vikings did get three picks, Hoyer seemed to scan the field better then Weeden...And the most noticeable thing he did was get the ball out of his hand quickly...Quick decision making and quick release...Something Weeden hasn't shown...

That said, I'm not planning on seeing the Browns in the postseason...Part of this win falls on the Vikings Defense that has shown a knack to crumble in the fourth quarter...That and their offense has looked one-dimensional...Hoyer is probably not the long term answer, but he could be a nice stop-gap for the time being...Sunday's game may have helped Browns fans' mood...It may have helped people's view of the front office, but I suspect that will be short lived after next week, when in my opinion they'll lose to the Bengals...

-This week College Football was full of a lot of shit games...A week full of many of the big boys beating on smaller programs...People were raving in this neck of the woods about (4) Ohio State destroying FAMU 76-0...Well no offense to FAMU, but Ohio State should have destroyed them...(1) Alabama beat Colorado State 31-6...But don't let the score fool you...'Bama struggled...They didn't pull away until the fourth quarter...Heading into the 4th they were only up 17-6 and the Rams had shut them out in the 3rd quarter...

For the second week in a row, (15) Michigan nearly lost to a team they should have blown out...It wasn't until just under 5 minutes left in the game, that the Wolverines took a 24-21 lead...Did these guys shoot their load against Notre Dame, or are they simply playing down to their competition?

Speaking of (22) Notre Dame, they defeated rival Michigan State 17-13 in a sloppy, sloppy game...both teams didn't look that good...You could call it a defensive battle, and both D's did play well, but both teams racked up too many penalties...And Irish QB Tommy Rees showed too many flashes of his old self...Looking right at his primary target...Not scanning the field...Luckily, MSU's aggressive corners were too busy getting too physical with receivers, drawing penalties, instead of reading Rees' eyes...Sooner or later, Rees is going to lose a game all on his own...He's just not that good...For 3 years I've been dying to see Andrew Hendrix get a real shot as the starter...I don't think Coach Kelly has that in his plans unless Rees gets hurt, or full-out shits the bed, which he has done before...The road doesn't get any easier as (14) Oklahoma comes to South Bend this week...

-If you were looking for a shootout this weekend, your game was Friday night as Boise State and Fresno State got it on...I missed the first half...Friday evening I decided I needed to get away from this house for a bit...This new puppy shit added to the mix has been kicking my ass...For some reason, I'm the one this dog wakes up in the middle of the night...And I'm the one he wakes up at 5:30 AM everyday...Between the kids, and my role as Mr. Mom, along with work, mixing in the puppy, I was feeling frazzled...So, I went to a local bar and watched the Indians game and talked movies with some strangers...And I got a solid buzz on...

When I came home, (slice of cheese cake in hand to help stay out of the dog house) I popped on this game...I always enjoy watching both these teams...Sadly, I passed out in my chair...Luckily Finnegan the puppy started jumping on me and scratching my leg to wake me up at 3:30ish AM...The game was being replayed...So I took him to dump, then he ran around the house like a maniac, and threw stuffed dog a hump be fore he laid back down...And I enjoyed watching Boise State coming back to take the lead with 7 minutes left, followed by Fresno State scoring the game tying TD and game winning extra point with 2 minutes left...41-40 Fresno State...

I ended up staying up until 8:30AM...Then I went to bed for a 3 hours before getting back to the grind...

So, since I mentioned the little mutt...I may a swell share this video I took this past week...And Older couple down the street have the same type of dog...The kids loved seeing it when they would walk him...This dog is what started the push for us to get one...He's a year old now, and has some size on our 6 week old Finnegan...And Finnegan missing playing with his sisters, and dad, was looking to get rough with another dog...This is just tiny bit of what was an hour of Finnegan acting tough...

The other dog, Jasper was actually afraid at first, but he finally realized he could easily knock Finn on his butt...And up until this interaction, we had only heard two tiny barks from Finn...The kids got quite a kick out of it...

That's it for now...

Have a week...

The Beeze.

College Football Top 25 Week 2
Category: NCAA
Tags: NCAA Football ALABAMA AUBURN BAYLOR LSU MIAMI MICHIGAN OHIO ST. OREGON STANFORD

Top 25

rank / team / prior
1 Alabama 1
2 Ohio St. 2
3 Stanford 3
4 Oregon 4
5 LSU 5
6 Clemson 6
7 Georgia 7
8 Louisville 8
9 S Carolina 9
10 TX A&M 10
11 Oklahoma 13
12 Washington 16
13 TCU 17
14 Florida St. 18
15 Miami –
16 Michigan 24
17 Ole Miss 20
18 N’western 21
19 Wisconsin 22
20 Okie St. 23
21 Mich. St. 19
22 Nebraska 25
23 Auburn –
24 Baylor –
25 Florida 12

Out of rankings: (11) Texas, (14) USC, (15) Notre Dame

All of my recent blogs can be found in full (and are first posted at) my Wordpress site: http://theknightswhosay.wordpress.com/

Monday Moaning 9-9-13
Category: FEATURED
Tags: NCAA College Football NFL Cleveland Browns Cleveland Fans Notre Dame Michigan Texas BYU USC Lane Kiffin Rocky Colavito Kids The Beeze

 

Now if you saw this at the Browns game, then you actually would have had a decent reason for all that wasted time and money...To steal from Ben Folds, Sunday the Browns opened their season at home against the Dolphins in "The Battle of who could care less." Although the Jets and Bucs seemed to have one of those going on too...

 

Living in Cleveland and being a sports fan sucks...You won't get the normal Cleveland whining from me though..."We're cursed"..."I'll never see a championship"..."Just one before I die"..."Art Modell and LeBron did this to us"..."Why did we trade ROCKY_COLAVITO?"...Fuck that...Grow up! 

 

The Browns suck because of years of bad management...The Expansion Browns were a rush job and everytime a new coach and/or GM come in, let alone owner, the process is started over again, because they all want to do it their way...Sundays in Cleveland were happier days when the Browns were gone...Clevelanders spent a lot less money on Sundays...Fans loyalty shifted solely to their fantasy players...Now you always have that one dope who;s gotta draft Browns...You go right ahead and draft Weeden and his 3 picks! Nothing like a second year QB who is a project, and he's about to turn 30...Just one of many problems that the Browns put on display Sunday...I will say the defense wasn't half bad...They shutdown the Dolphins ground game...Although that could be because the Dolphins don't have a ground game...

 

The Browns lost Sunday, and they looked bad doing it...I know Clevelanders hate this local boy for his negative views,  but since I gave up on being a loyal Cleveland sports fan, I've been a lot happier...Sunday I watched the whole Browns game...It was the first time I've watched a Browns game from start to finish in 2 years...I just wanted to see the direction this new coaching staff/GM/owner were going in...I wanted to see if there may be any progress...Looks like the same old shit...Maybe I'll see ya in another 2 years....Go Seahawks!

 

Sadly, Saturday evening sucked for us Notre Dame fans...The (#14) Irish fell to (#17) Michigan 41-30...So much for the Irish Defense being the unit to rely on...Not that the offense was stellar...One Irish TD came on a Stephon Tuitt interception in the end zone...

 

One point that needs to be made to coach Kelly and his offensive staff...Golson isn't there...Tommy Rees is your guy, but he can't throw on the run...So taking those fucking plays out of the game plan....Or play Hendrix who has a better arm, and can run, and can run and throw at the same time...Rees threw a INT late in the first half that was very costly...He was rolling left and attempted a throw he can't make...This is the shit that gets Rees in trouble...Coach, you want to stop screaming at the kid...Stop trying to get him to do shit he can't do...

 

I didn't expect the Irish to win this one...After week one, it seemed clear to me that Michigan was a better team...Then Kelly said stupid ass shit about how he didn't think Notre Dame vs. Michigan was that big of a rivalry...WTF! Where the fuck have you been...I've been to 4 ND/Michigan games...Shit is intense...By halftime I'm looking for a Michigan fan to skull fuck!  When he said that shit, I just knew it...Brady Hoke was gonna have his guys geared up...And look out Buckeyes...Hoke has got that program turned around...That Big-10 title isn't locked up yet...

 

There were other fans feeling low Saturday...(#15) Texas got fucking steam rolled by BYU, giving up 550 yards on the ground...The QB ran for 259...Hey Texas, the read option is here to stay...Time to get in some film study and tackling drills!

 

(#25) USC Trojans showed they don't deserve their ranking, losing at home to Washington State, 10-7...USC only scoring 7 points...Wow that is beautiful! The world's most overrated douchebag coach, Lane Kiffin looked clueless...As usual...He tried both his QB's because he just can't figure out which one sucks less...How many more chances is this dick-bag going to get...He fails and leaves programs in a mess, yet he keeps coming back...I hope USC keeps him for awhile so he can run that program into the ground for a long time...

 

(#12) Florida fell to Miami 21-16, turning the ball over 5 times...(#16) Oklahoma, like USC, grossly overrated, squeaked past West Virginia 16-7 in an ugly game...(#7) Texas A&M gave up 28 points and 240 rushing yards in their victory over Sam Houston State...Boy oh boy the rest of the SEC are going eat them up....

 

For the second game in a row, South Carolina star defensive end, Jadeveon Clowney didn't do much to live up to the Heisman hype that has been swirling around him...His (#6) Gamecocks fell to (#11) Georgia 41-30 in what was a must win for the Bulldogs after falling to Clemson last week...

 

In Beeze news, we're getting a puppy...The talk has gone on for awhile...I fought it for a few years...But the wife, and Molls broke me...We picked out a little fella when friend shad a litter recently...We've named him Finnegan...Finn for short...

 

 

 His got a little cleft lip, but it gives him some character...He's been healthy, and goes to the Vet this week for another check...And if the Vet gives the okay, we'll get him by the weekend...He's been the most active of the three puppies, and the first to eat solid food...He's little but tough...We went to see him Saturday...

 

 

Molls loves the him...Or as she put it..."Him my puppy, Finnegan loves me!"

 

Mrs. Beeze is all excited to buy stuff for the puppy...I swear to God she's more excited then the kids...That is until the first time he shits in her shoes...

 

That's it for now...

 

Have a week...

 

The Beeze.

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