Friday, November 28, 2003

Insert your own "aspirational peer" joke here.

To start, I won't be watching this game tomorrow, or listening on the radio. Why? ABC will have Miami/Pitt for most of the country, while our local Westwood One affiliate also carries Cavs games. Looks like I'll be glued to my computer monitor.
This is a PAC 10 team, so let's start with their passing offense. 182 YPG isn't great for a team in that conference, and it looks like they have a little QB controversy on their hands (or it could have been an injury; I haven't really looked into it). Chris Lewis is the "better" of the 2 QBs, with an efficiency near 100, but with only 126 yards passing per game. Trent Edwards, the other guy, is a little worse with an efficiency of 80 and 93 YPG. Niether is anything to be worried about, but that's no reason to get caught napping in the secondary. There's no true #1 receiver here, with Luke Powell and Mark Bradford each averaging 45 or so YPG. Teyo Johnson is obviously missed. If the Stanford passing offense was a baseball team, they'd be known for their bloop singles and Baltimore chops (look it up). Their run game is also two-headed, once again with their top 2 guys each having about 45 YPG. Niether QB is a threat to run. The front 7 should be able to shut these boys down for most of the game, and pick up a few sacks in the process.
Stanford gives up almost 307 YPG in the air. Remember, this is mostly against top PAC 10 teams, so the coaches should ignore this stat and instead focus on the 119 YPG Stanford gives up on the ground. Julius, now the center of attention, should have a big game, and I'll tell you now that he'll have his 1,000 yards by the 3rd play from scrimmage (he's 4 yards shy). Quinn will continue to mature and show his poise, but he'll only pass when he needs to, and even then it won't be in impossible situations.
Stanford's kickoff team is nothing to be taken lightly. They'rre gaining a respectable 21 yards per on returns, while giving up only 13.8. Their punter has a good average of 43 per, and they've managed to shut down the punt return game. Of course, they also haven't done too much on punt returns.
Stanford doesn't look like a good team. Still, this is their senior day against their former coach. They'll be up for this one. But, the Irish will be up for it too.

Look for a big game from: Julius, Frosh All-American Ryan Harris, Quinn, DC (still have that picture from last year), Ced, Tuck, BHoyte, Senator Watson.

ND 24, Stanford 14. (Julius for 2, and Vontez finds the endzone somehow)

Now, if you'll excuse me, I think it's time for an aspirational beer.