BC at ND Breakdown
Image from: AP Photo/Michael Conroy
Overall (Grade B-)
This was supposed to be a celebration for the seniors and instead, it once again became another exercise in frustration and what-ifs.
It was very tough for me to see Jonas Gray get hurt and not because he is the central piece of the Irish running game. He had finally seen the light and was playing to the full extent of his talents. I was really pulling for him and was hoping that he would eventually get a shot at the next level. I hope he has a speedy recovery and eventually tries to play in pro football.
With that in mind, it was also very difficult for me to see Dayne Crist on the sidelines. This guy is a fine representative of the university and handled the benching with dignity. He deserved a better treatment from B. Kelly. Here is hoping that he finds a nice spot in a different program (Florida, perhaps?) and reaches his full potential.
Now, back to the game
Eventually, opposing coaches will figure out T. Rees and Brian Kelly. It was a matter of time. The plan was simple yet masterful. It consisted of a 2 prong strategy. The first was to confuse T. Rees and stop the Irish passing attack (which consists of passes between -10 to 20ish yards). In order to do that, fredo dropped 7-8 in coverage, clogging up the short to middle range. It essentially shut down the passing game. They forced T. Rees to look at the deep routes and the middle of the field. He was highly inaccurate and made some bad decisions, which shaked his confidence. Once that was accomplished, they turned to shutting down ND’s rushing attack. It almost worked. ND was capable of breaking through a couple of runs and a few short passes. That was the difference in the game that was dominated by both defenses.
Guess what ND will see against Stanford?
- Roby Toma. Making the case to move Riddick to RB
- D-Line. Solid pass rush and outstanding against the run
- T. Eifert. Clutch player with WR hands. Hope he stays
- T. Rees. Below average
- LBs. Expecting more
- Coaching staff. No Plan B to counter 8 man drops?
The Bonehead Call(s) of the Day:
How about inserting either D. Crist or A. Hendrix to stop the 8 man drops with a few QB runs?
Offense (Grade B-):
Tommy Rees (Grade C-): That was not his best effort. He made bad decision after bad decision. He’s deep balls were very inaccurate on deep balls. He lacks physical skills that almost cost ND 2 picks. The gameplan is out there to stop ND’s offense.
RBs (Grade B-): Sad to see Gray get hurt. Wood is good but the 1-2 punch was great. Towards the end, Wood was able to get the tough yards. Gray is just a notch better.
O-line (Grade B-): Good pass protection even with just 3 man rushing. Got pushed around a bit in the run game.
WRs and TEs (Grade B+): Besides #3, #80 and Toma, did anyone else play? Going to miss #3 next year. Hoping T. Eifert stays for senior year. Without those 2, WR’s and TEs is highly suspect.
Defense (Grade B):
DL (Grade B+): Great effort by this group. Stout against the run and good in pass rushing situations. #19 is relentless. If Tuitt or Nix play to their abilities, watch out.
LBs (Grade B-): Not too crazy about their performance.Run D was good but was surprised at their inability to defend the pass. Is this Manti’s final year?
DBs (Grade B): Good outing. Played a bit more aggressive in the 2nd half. They took some chances and fredo did not make them pay.
Special Teams (Grade B+): The FG unit has returned to its old self. The punter is in the good category as well. .
Coaching (Grade B-): Not a lot of confidence, knowing that Stanford and Andrew Luck is next.