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Stadium and Main: If we lose, blame Adidas

Friday, September 12, 2008

If we lose, blame Adidas

And I’m not just talking about the inevitable complaints that will result from seeing our new road uniforms in action for the first time, I’m talking about the frustration that will result from seeing out team slipping and sliding all over the place. It’s going to be wet and a bit windy, and the grass will probably be longer than we’d prefer. Be prepared to flashbacks of the 2006 game at OSU, where our DL couldn’t seem to stay upright thanks to the slippery surface. I fully expect to hear horror stories about how Adidas only brought one set of cleats for Michigan. And then the conspiracy theories (which I will totally partake in) about how Adidas prefers Notre Dame to Michigan because ND has that one Adidas deodorant ad in all the sports magazines.

On a more serious note, here are some random things I expect to see in the ND game:

- A deep play-action pass out of the I-formation on 3rd and short. Kevin Grady will be in the game, and most will expect him to get the ball. He won’t. Whether it works or not is another story.

- Lots of dink and dunk passes from ND, including a variety of screens to RBs, WRs, and TEs. This has been discussed all week, since most people believe the Irish will attempt to neutralize Michigan’s DL with quick passes.

- A fluky special teams play. Most likely: the wet football is going to get dropped by a punter. And I think Michigan tries for at least one punt block (which shouldn’t really merit a mention, but it’s been so rare for Michigan to do so against ND that it will be nice to see them try it).

- More of Carlos Brown at QB than we’ve ever seen. He will get a handful of snaps, and he might even play QB on consecutive plays. And for the first time in my life, I think there’s a (small) chance that he’ll actually attempt a pass. I’d also expect a designed run to the strong side of the field which turns into a reverse when Brown hands off to Martavious Odoms.

Looking back at Miami (OH)

- As I was hoping, the blocking out in the flats improved, but there were still several missed blocks.

- 2 weeks in a row of terrible (as in, way worse than usual “bad”) announcers. They harped on Miami’s missed opportunities, but never mentioned Michigan’s: 2 or 3 dropped INTs, 2 or 3 missed wide open receivers – a few of those might have gone for TDs. I won’t even get into the stupid “the state of Michigan is crap” segment. Unbelievable.

- The defense wasn’t great, but I’m surprised at how many people were ripping it in the immediate aftermath of the game. After re-watching, and realizing that we held them to 6 points, I think people realized that we did a decent job. But, yes, Stevie Brown still has issues.

- For all of the talk about Sheridan being the better runner, Threet is the guy who appears to have made more correct reads on the zone-read handoffs this season. He made 2 very good reads vs. Miami, one resulting in the first TD. On a related note, I just feel more comfortable with Threet in there. For now.


Blogger Jered said...

When do coaches get the blame for fumbles? I know it was wet and windy, and the coaches are on the sidelines, but I think after the 3rd or 4th fumble, it's a coaching issue. Talk about imploding, ND did not win that game. 7 fumbles - 4 lost, really?

8:44 AM  
Blogger Nick said...

I don't blame the coaches for the fumbles. Not the fumbles we saw on Saturday, at least. If McGuffie had fumbled 3 times, and they kept him in the game as much as they did, then I would question the coaches. But nerves by freshman on kickoffs, a botched snap, and Kevin Grady doing what Kevin Grady does (that is, fumble fairly often) aren't the fault of the coaches. Mgoblog had a good post about this the other day. Fumbles are generally a statistical anomaly, and RR's fumble stats at WVU are average or better. His teams there were not fumble machines, so don't worry.

If you want to knock him for putting freshman on the kick team, that's a semi-valid point. But these guys have to get experience some time. There aren't many seniors (or even juniors) on the roster. The bumps we take now will pay off down the road.

On a related note, stop listening to your WVU friends rip on Rodriguez every time we lose 2 yards on a handoff or fail to convert a 3rd down. As I've said from the beginning, the reason they hate him so much for leaving is because he's a great coach. GREAT. If they had gotten a great coach to replace him, they would have packed his bags for him. They didn't, so they're mad that they're stuck with Bill Stewart (who has problems of his own, no? 3 points vs. East Carolina? And I thought our offense was supposed to be bad!).

We are going to be great in 2 or 3 years. Just give it time.

6:46 PM  

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