"What Tho the Odds Be Great or Small, Ol' Notre Dame Will Win Overall"
It isn't supposed to be this hard to win a game, is it? For the fourth week in a row a Notre Dame game was decided in the final minute, this time in overtime as the Irish upstaged Washington 37-30 in South Bend. As well as Notre Dame played late, lapses nearly cost them a win against the Huskies.
We all saw the game, many will argue that Notre Dame didn't deserve to win. Perhaps many think that because the lack of red zone scoring the Irish had on Saturday, leaving plenty of points off the scoreboard. However, the defense stepped up and made six consecutive stops inside the five yard line that allowed for an eventual victory.
My main thoughts from the game:
Golden Tate is a playmaker and a half. He may not have the same NFL potential as Michael Floyd does when healthy, but with the ball he runs hard enough with his body leaving little chance to get two hands on, leaving him very hard to bring down at the college level. Without him the Irish lose this afternoon.
Jimmy Clausen has turned into amongst the most clutch quarterbacks in the country. Sure, his latest comebacks have been against Purdue and Washington but they are comeback victories against BCS conference teams that have kept Notre Dame's dreams of the BCS alive.
Robert Hughes has been the greatest surprise to me over the past two weeks. 8 carries for 70 yards today, including the game-winning touchdown. We also can't forget his two point conversion late in regulation, without that this game doesn't see overtime. He has made us quickly forget who Jonas Gray is...for the time being.
The Notre Dame defense stepped up and made major plays down the stretch to give Notre Dame a chance. With that said, Washington running quarterback sneaks without a running back in the backfield was an awful idea by the Huskies. Sure we complain about the "Bush Push" but reality is that penalty is never called, Sarkisian should have given his quarterback a bit more of a chance at the end zone late.
Golden Tate is a playmaker (see above) but he is going to get a taunting call by the end of the season if his celebrations on first downs are kept up.
This game turns out entirely different without the wet-field. Despite throwing for 422 yards, the wet field/rain got the best of J-C in the first half, keeping his and Notre Dame's first half numbers at a minimum.
Golden Tate had 275 total yards today...think about that for a moment.
Tenuta's defense made a stop when they needed to at most, keeping Washington out of the end zone late, twice. However, they struggle with disguising the blitz. Its easy for an untrained football eye to tell where pressure is coming from, let alone college quarterbacks/coaching staffs.
Robert Blanton one day be a star at Notre Dame but he had a rough afternoon on Saturday.
2-10 on third down today for the Irish, not as bad as USC did against Washington but bad enough to nearly cost ND a win. That number must be better against USC if the Irish hope to pull an upset.
Charlie Weis chose to play more conservatively and not attempt any fourth downs today after taking heat for failing a fourth and long a week ago.
Manti T'eo is starting to show why he is going to be a very special player at Notre Dame. He and Brian Smith had excellent performances.
Was anyone else watching through NBC in Chicago? At the start of overtime the crew for some reason went to a black screen with the peacock on it for two minutes before coming back to the game, only to leave it for two more minutes in order to air part of Access Hollywood. In that time the Golden Tate overtime reception took place, coming back from Access Hollywood all I saw was Tate doing a summer-sault during a replay, I thought for sure he had fumbled as NBC Chicago cut away. Someone likely lost a job over that...
Two weeks to get healthy/ready for USC before the Trojans come-a-calling. USC hasn't allowed a passing touchdown in 2009...time for that to change!
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