Sunday, September 25, 2005

ND-Washington Wrap-Up

Now that this game is over, hopefully the media can stop talking about Ty's firing and they can focus on ND's play on the field. Let's take a look at the good and the bad from yesterday's game.
The good:

  • The offense. Another game, another 500 yard day. Man that last sentence felt good. Notre Dame will likely lose at least 2 or 3 more games this season, but they will exciting to watch all season. Quinn was solid yet again, throwing for over 300 yards. Walker had yet another 100 yard game. Fasano was great as usual. And Jeff Samardzija continues to play out of his mind. If he doesn't have another 150 yards receiving and a touchdown against Purdue I'll be shocked.
  • The run defense. Washington was forced to be one-dimensional the entire game as they ran for a paltry 41 yards. The linebackers of Hoyte, Mays and Crum continue to show that they are the strength of the defense.
  • Red zone defense. The defense came up with huge turnovers on two separate occasions when Washington was in the red zone. One a forced fumble on the 1 yard line and the other a one-handed interception in the end zone. This game would have been a lot closer if Washington had came away with points in those two drives.

Now to the bad.

  • The pass defense. The pass defense was PATHETIC! If you let a bad Washington team throw for over 400 yards just imagine what a good team like USC will do to this defense. Matt Leinart might have 500 yards passing in the first half. The pass defense woes start up front. The last two games the defensive line has failed to consistently generate pressure the quarterback and when that happens that puts undue pressure on the secondary. However, the secondary is far from being faultless for yesterday's performance. Too many times the Washington receivers were just running by the Notre Dame secondary and Washington took advantage of that by completing a lot of deep passes down the field. I expect that more teams will use the vertical passing game to test this suspect secondary the rest of the season.
  • Field goal execution. A botched PAT snap and a botched hold on field goal is never acceptable even in game you win handily.
  • John Saunders interview at halftime with Tyrone Willingham. To quote my friend Lucas over at Daily Contentions, "[E]very time a commentator or other individual makes this trumped up charge of racism, they set black coaches back years." I couldn't agree more, and I lost quite a bit of respect for Tyrone Willingham, the man, when he seemed to go along with Saunders' accusations of racism.

On to Purdue next Saturday where all Notre Dame fans will be treated to the color commentary of the great Bob Davie. Yippy.