Monday, September 11, 2006

An Annoyed Aside on ND/PSU

If I see one more "OMG ND torched PSU we're not ready" story I'm going to pull a Ned Flanders, head up on a roof, and pick off every Homer I see. This is getting re-god-damn-diculous.

Sportswriters and announcers, by nature, are a panicky group. They're paid to relate what happened, and when there's not enough natural filler to find more. Generally good journalism mandates that the filler be actual useful information rather than uninformed blathering. Not so when Notre Dame is concerned. After a short perusal of the websites and papers, it's apparent none of them watched the ND/PSU game before declaring the upcoming ND/UM game a Domer whitewash.

A few points of note:

1) Penn State’s offensive game plan was horribly flawed. The offensive attack should have centered solely around RB Mike Hunt and not Morelli’s overhyped arm. Morelli spent most of the day flinging softly throw moon scrapers behind his receivers and into double coverage. Hunt on the other hand was the most effective offensive weapon the Lions had before PSU panicked and tried to pass their way to a win. Even when PSU got in a position to score they shot themselves in the foot with turnovers and botched kicks.

2) Charlie Weis is a dick. You’re up four touchdowns and you fake a punt? You’re going for it on fourth down in the fourth quarter up five touchdowns? Classless. Absolutely classless. I know you keep playing till the final gun, but that kind of crap is uncalled for.

3) The PSU secondary is much, much worse than I thought it was. Either the front four are useless or the secondary is riding around on Rascals. They looked slow and out of place. A good portion of that could be the coaches fault. There is no excuse for the soft zones PSU used in goal line situations.

4) Anthony Morelli is not a good quarterback. He looked out of place and scared the entire game. Two things also make it clear he doesn't have much of a memory either. First was his inability to remember that if you throw a ball high enough everyone can get under it. Second was the fact that he has his last name tattooed on his arm, you know, in case he forgets. It’s a much sadder version of Memento.

5) Notre Dame’s defense pitched a shut out into the third quarter and didn’t give up a TD until the final 5 minutes. Kudos. However, I’m still not sold on the Irish defense. Knowing that Penn State would be throwing the entire game they only registered two sacks and one INT. The Irish should have had their way with a young, inexperienced Penn State line. Even so the Lions had 150 net yards (192 gained) on the ground and average of 4.8 ypc. The PSU offense almost matched ND's 397 yards, posting 383 of their own. Those numbers ought to set off alarms in South Bend.

6) Other warning bells. The Irish only managed 110 net yards and 145 gained. No. 1 back Darius Walker only managed 56 yards.

7) The Irish gave up three sacks despite having their way with the PSU secondary.

8) Mo Crum can play. MLB for the Irish is set.

9) If Daryll Clark isn't starting for the Nittany Lions at QB next week Joe Pa's needs to get his prescription changed. His arm is stronger. His legs are quicker. And his reads are better.

After watching the game, I wasn’t blown away by the Irish. They looked like a good team that handled an inferior one convincingly. To their credit, this is something Michigan has yet to do this season (according to the pundits). However, Michigan is the best defense the Irish will have faced and the Wolverines possess a substantially better offense than ND’s prior opponents, regardless of their passing numbers. So, sportswriters, in sum, look at the team objectively. Please. Know the opponent before writing the obituary of the team you cover.


At 11:59 AM, Anonymous bullfrog said...

The fake punt was run when it was 27-3 with over twenty minutes left in the game.

You can have classless running up, or you can have our defense is shitty and suspect. But if our defense is shitty and suspect, then wouldn't it make sense to score as much as possible? And if you want classless, wouldn't Evan Sharpley have been chucking passes? Or still on the pine?

Just wondering.

At 3:20 PM, Anonymous Ben said...

Faking a punt when you're up 27 (or 24) points is a plain 'ol dick move. There's not much you can say that will change that.

At 6:07 PM, Blogger JB said...

Good post. That was Morelli's first real test and hopefully he will learn from it. Charlie Weis is a dick. The Mich. Vs. ND matchup should be a good one.

At 7:19 PM, Anonymous bullfrog said...

Ah! I see. Thanks.

At 11:09 PM, Blogger Johnny said...

Good look on this, Dave. You'll learn soon enough the two keys to increase your traffic dramatically: 1. Create blog entry; 2. Write it about Notre Dame. And then you just wait for the inevitable tidal wave. Sorry to hear about that funeral, but thankfully you didn't miss much. And you're more than making up for it by going to the Notre Dame game. Please, PLEASE be as obnoxious as possible to the notre dame fans.

At 9:29 AM, Anonymous Jim said...

I'd much rather have a winning coach who inspires charges of dick-ness on our sidelines than the pair of meathead coaches who helped the rest of the college football world feel so good about themselves through their herculean efforts to drag ND football into mediocrity.

I do understand that Michigan fans have no conception about game management when you're winning by more than 20 points against a respectable football team, given Bo/Lloyd's mania for keeping games close and "winning them in the 4th quarter." Charlie went for it on 4th down at PSU's 26 yard line. What did you want him to do? Kick a field goal and run up the score some more?

Dave, your needless and unfounded charge that Charlie is a dick is music to my ears, because it confirms that we are back.

At 10:00 AM, Blogger Maize n Brew Dave said...

Johnny- Thanks man. You weren't kidding though. Sheesh.

Jim- Call it clock management if you like, but the fake punt and going for it on fourth were classless. And please, don't act like PSU was a respectable team during that game. They couldn't find their ass with both hands, a map, a GPS, and a seeing eye dog. PSU had no chance to come back.

Up by four scores on a hapless opponent and rubbing it in their face is inexcuseable. Even if I give you the fake punt, going for it rather than kicking the FG was garbage. There is a difference between 7 points and 3, and it ain't just numbers.

Part of the ND tradition is class and respect towards your opponents. Those play calls showed none. If you want I'll call out Petrino for hanging 62 on Temple. Coker for f-ing with po-dunk state. I'd call out michigan but the only score after the third was on an INT by a 5th year walkon.

Take a hard, honest look and ask yourself how you'd feel on the other end of those calls.

BTW, I remember when your most recent "Meat Head Coach" was hailed as your savior. Don't be too quick to bury his memory when his BCS record is the same as Weis'.

At 3:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Um, his BCS record was 0-0. Weis, admittedly has the same number of wins, but we faced a better team in our one bowl loss under Weis than we did in any of Coach Willingham's bowl losses.

As far as the yardage, Penn State gained approximately 170 yards in garbage time when they were 'running up the score' (taking timeouts to score lipstick-on-the-pig TDs with their first team against our second team, then against our third/freshman team defenses) to protect JoePa's legacy because 41-3 would have just been too embarrassing.

At 9:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You Michigan ninnies.

ND 41, PSU 17 = ran up score
UM 41, CMU 17 = fine game

Despite the fact that ND was playing a ranked opponent and UM was playing an also ran...
Despite the fact that Joe Paterno called it a great play call and said he thought PSU was still in the game at that point...
Despite the fact the the PSU starters were still in the game...
Despite the fact that ND has blown leads >27 in Notre Dame Stadium in the past...

you still call it "running up the score" and "classless" and "a dick move".

Apparently your football team's graduation rate is indicative of the general intellectual caliber of the UM population.

Enjoy your 11 National Championships, further evidence that UM fans have trouble counting once they make it over to the left hand.

At 11:25 AM, Anonymous Chris said...

Mr Anon,

It's not about the score, it's about how you get to it. Last I checked, Michigan didn't go for it on 4th down when they had a chip shot field goal.

One should really analyze when the scoring occurred before they come out and post a score and assume that both teams got to that score the same way.


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