Sunday, September 14, 2008

Report Card vs. Michigan

By Joe Pierce

QB: B+
Jimmy Clausen lead the team well, and made some key passes to put Michigan out of the game. However, you can't ignore the fact that he threw two pretty bad interceptions. One thing's certain, though - Jimmy Clausen's the real deal.

RB: B+
Notre Dame's RB-by-committee trio played pretty well, lead by Robert Hughes' two TDs. James Aldridge contributed with some tough running in the red zone, but Armando Allen played sparingly and poorly, mustering up only 4 yds on two carries. I want to see someone emerge as the featured back.

Golden Tate is a star, Michael Floyd is a star in the making, and Duval Kamara rebounded from his poor game last week to score a touchdown on a beautiful jump ball in the end zone. The TEs were quiet in the receiving game, but must be contributing in the blocking game by helping keep Jimmy Clausen clean two weeks in a row.

OL: A+
The big guys didn't allow a sack for the second week in a row, and imposed their will on a very tough Michigan front seven. Trevor Robinson made his Notre Dame debut, spelling Chris Stewart at RG.

They were more active than last week, and Pat Kuntz played well, but they were gashed all day by Michigan RB Sam McGuffie. Michigan State will destroy them next week if they don't get it together.

LB: B-
They made some nice highlight reel plays, including Bryan Smith's fumble recovery for a TD, but they need to take some blame for the poor run defense.

DB: A+
David Bruton, Sergio Brown, and Kyle McCarthy pace the defense and are true playmakers. I also believe that Saturday was Raeshon McNeil's coming out party. I haven't seen him play this well his entire career at Notre Dame.

ST: B+
A punt was tipped, but they recovered a muffed kickoff and pinned Michigan deep most of the day. Mike Anello is one of the best gunners I've ever seen.

Overall: B+
This was a terrific and fun game to watch, but there were mistakes made, too. If Notre Dame makes the same mistakes against Michigan State next week, the outcome will be significantly different.

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