Monday, October 09, 2006

Notre Dame 31, Stanford 10

An abbreviated look at Saturday's game, with some thoughts completely plagiarized from a conversation I had with Nick Yonto. Not everything is, though, so if something sounds stupid, it probably came from me. Nick's thesis: "This is not a good football team." Of course, with coaching in his blood, one can expect Nick to be a perfectionist.

Running Back:

Courtesy AP/Darron Cummings

Darius Walker once again had a field day against Stanford, going for 153 yards. He even threw in a 32-yard run for good measure.
Munir Prince just isn't physically ready to run between the tackles. For the time being, it may be best to use him as a receiving option. James Aldridge is physically ready for college football, and he impressed in his Notre Dame debut. Aldridge picked up 26 yards on 4 carries in garbage time.

O-Line: Bob Morton is spending too much time babysitting Sam Young, and Young doesn't need nearly as much help as Morton thinks. Morton is also starting to let his emotions get the best of him. There's a big difference between playing aggressively before the whistle and trying to start a fight after the whistle.

D-Line: The line actually had a good day. Trevor Laws had 8 tackles. After recording 4 sacks against Stanford last year, Victor Abiamiri added 3 more this year. Derek Landri once again seemed to be all over the field.


Courtesy AP/Darron Cummings

Mo Crum is far too passive a player. He waits for the play to come to him, instead of going after the ball. I was going to say that Anthony Vernaglia and Mitchell Thomas finally showed signs of life, but I see Vernaglia only recorded 1 tackle and Thomas 0. Joe Brockington did have 5 stops.

Secondary: According to Coach Weis, Tom Zbikowski was simply given a day off. Ray Herring stepped in well, leading the team wiht 9 tackles. In the end, though, it's hard to have a bad day when the opposing quarterback finishes 7-for-13 for 68 yards.

Kicker: According to, freshman Nate Whitaker got a chance to kickoff late in the game.

Kick Returner: Someone needs to take leadership out there, unless this is all part of some insanely clever ball control scheme by Coach Weis.

Punt Returner: I like how the return game was handled in Zbikowski's absence. When the Cardinal were punting from Irish territory, ND needed a sure-handed and confident returner to prevent a disaterous fumble. Coach Weis sent in his best set of hands in the form of Jeff Samardzija. When there was a little more room to breathe, Weis went with a true returner in George West.