Friday, October 17, 2003

Well, to start, the ND basketball season kicks of this Saturday at midnight for the men, with the women holding a Sunday afternoon session. That's a good thing, since I really have no desire to watch baseball any more this year (and this is me).

On to the game:
We'll have to see another first half like FSU last year. Our defense needs to capitalize. The D should be confident after Pitt last week, but can't slack off at all, especially in the secondary. Once again, the big play receiver will cause everyone to step it up. They've got a two-headed running game - neither back is impressive and if the front 7 steps it up like last week, we may see 1 big run but that will be about it. This looks like the type of game where another receiver (Keary Colbert?) has a big game because of all the attention on the #1 guy.
On offense, the USC run D has numbers just a little worse than MSU/Purdue. But, they've only played one team that runs the ball worth a darn, and that was Auburn before they decided to start playing. Look for good but not great games from Grant and Julius (60 yds a piece, maybe?) One surprising stat is that USC gives up more passing yards (270/game) than it produces (260/game). Time for the receivers to be key. I think that Quinn is the type of guy who can win a game throwing 50 passes if he needs to. Whether he's ready to do that now, or it's something for the future remains to be seen. I'd prefer if he didn't have to prove it tomorrow. A game in Rock's house against a team that has played well but not impressively. It'll be tough, but it's entirely winnable.

Look for a big game from: the Oline, Omar, Rhema (with a solid performance by the TE's, both catching and blocking, and a big play or two from Stovall), Senator Butkus Watson, Darrell (and solid play from Landri/Pauly), Tuck (he's finally arrived), Kyle B (again), Glenn Earl (channelling the spirits of Walton & Sapp), and DJ Fitzpatrick

Final: ND 25, USC 24 (with inspired dancing by Mr. Pete McCall)

I leave you with the only Viewpoint letter I've ever seen that's worth the ink it's printed with: