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5 Time POTW--Gringo Mafia Director of Guerrilla Warfare
Maybe it is because Notre Dame is an amazing 8-1 all-time against Oklahoma.
The series came about because in 1949 Oklahoma finished 11-0 and defeated LSU 35-0 in the Sugar Bowl, yet Notre Dame won the national title for the third time in four years. Oklahoma wanted to challenge the top dog and the first two games were outstanding. Long-timers will tell you that maybe next to the 1988 Miami game, the 27-21 victory vs. OU in 1952 was the most exciting ever in the Stadium. The next year, ND defeated Oklahoma in the 1953 opener and OU wouldn't lose again until four years later — 7-0 to ND.
Yeah, ending that win streak is one of the programs better highlights. I can't wait for this home and home series to kick off. Oklahoma at home is definitely a game I would pay the stub hub ticket prices for.
3 time POTW, member since 2006, MLWTI: 4-3
Hey Lou, is it my imagination or does this 2012 team have much more speed? From the limited practice video I have watched they just seem to be quite a bit quicker off the line and the skill players look to have that extra gear ala Al Hunter, Vegas Ferguson, Alan Pinkett, Joe Howard, "Rocket" Ishmail or Rickey Watters. What say you Sir?
One time POTW winner.
I'm not really comfortable answering that question until 1) they put on the pads and have full contact and 2) I see them on the field, when the lights are on, especially against an opponent that is considered equal (Michigan) or superior (USC). I don't really like to judge speed against Navy.
Keep in mind that Golden Tate had great football speed — including pads — and that Armando Allen ran the fastest 40 among 400 or so players at the U.S. Army Combine. It's how you maximize it within the confines of a football field, not on a track.
You mentioned a great name from the past, Vagas Ferguson. Did you know he ran something like 4.75 to 4.85 (similar to Tony Rice at the Combine)? What Vagas was sensational at was he had the moves to slink by you even if you were playing touch football in a phone booth. Conversely, people often complained about how slow Ryan Grant was (especially compared to Julius Jones), yet he ran a 4.43 at the Combine. He ran track with a bunch of other ND athletes from 2002-05 like Ambrose Wooden, Dwight Ellick, Tom Zbikowski, among others. I've always loved John Wooden's definition of speed: "Speed is the quick and proper execution of the fundamentals, and you don't have to have the faster athletes to have the better team speed."
You tread sacred football soil when you start mentioning Rocket Ismail, and I am averse to linking anyone with him when it comes to speed. To this day, one of my most memorable moments as a spectator was watching him run in a 100-yard tag drill at the Loftus Drill on one of the first days of practice in August 1988. I had to excuse myself to pick up my jaw (so did Lou Holtz), sort of like Wile E. Coyote did when the Roadrunner kicked it into the extra gear just as he was bearing down on him.
Cierre and Theo have fine speed, but George Atkinson III does possess the extra gear, as we saw on the kickoff returns vs. MSU and USC. The flat-out speed is concentrated more in the sophomore and freshman classes. I had a chance to talk with junior corner Bennett Jackson after Monday's practice, and he said the freshman trio at receiver (Neal, Brown and Ferguson) have added more tangible speed to the lineup (more on that in future features), although Ferguson has been listed as "only" a 4.62.
I'm usually on the cynical side when it comes to talking about speed because in the late 1990s the popular mantra was how Notre Dame didn't have any speed at the skill positions, yet people like Julius Jones, Javin Hunter, David Givens, Arnaz Battle and Tony Fisher all had NFL careers, while others such as Mike McNair, Tony Driver, etc. were state champions in the 100 and 200 — McNair's coming in the state of California. I didn't find many teams that could match that.
Experience has taught me to reserve judgment until I actually see it in live action against decent competition.
Thanks Lou! When speaking about guys like Vegas Ferguson, Ryan Grant and we forgot Lee Becton,... football speed. That is what I was getting at. And the freshman and sophomore talent looks to have football speed. I was not trying to force you to make a definitive call either way on the team speed. I guess what I was trying to get you to do was sort of give me your blessing in thinking that my observation is correct. That is knowing that if certain players are playing positions that make the best use of their football speed, they will look very fast indeed. I have never seen a track team beat a football team in a game of football.
I was delighted to hear what Bennett Jackson had to say. That is sort of a read between the lines affirmation I was seeking, either from you or a closer source. I am satisfied with your reply. Thanks a million. I really like what I have heard and seen so far coming from this pre-season camp. There is no doubt in my mind that this team can play with anybody in the country. How would you like to see a ND/FSU rematch in some BCS bowl on or about January 1, 2013? Stranger things have happened. Please pardon my Beno Cook like departure. Go irish!
This post was edited by Frawls42 20 months ago
Was wondering if you have any word on Danny Spond's injury? I am hearing it was a non-contact injury (stroke) and is still hospitalized... Is there any truth to this? And of coarse it goes without saying all our prayers are with him and his family.
This post was edited by roc351w 20 months ago
GRINGO MAFIA-SERGEANT AT ARMS-
This information is not going to be released by Notre Dame until everything has been evaluated by the medical staff. Spond looked woozy leaving the field and was trailed by some trainers, and beyond that I couldn't tell you anything else.
Every practice since Aug, 8 has been closed, and we won't be able to see another first 20-minute session until Thursday, Aug. 16. Brian Kelly will be available to the media after tomorrow's (Saturday, Aug. 11) practice, so he might be able to provide an update around 1 p.m. our time. As soon as we hear anything, we'll post it.
is Rees a candidate to start the purdue game or is golson the man for the long term? I just see Rees leading this team to a bcs game.
i meant to say not leading this team to a bcs game. Sorry..
If Brian Kelly has his druthers, Everett Golson will be the starter from Game 1 through 13. That means he likely performed well enough to not have to be replaced, and also demonstrated that he can be durable against an arduous schedule.
Tommy Rees will attempt to vie for the starting job again for the Purdue game after not taking any game-like reps in August. My feeling is that after last year's opener with Dayne Crist at the throttle, Kelly does not want to make another immediate change but stay the course.
However, this will also depend on Golson and how he performs. It's always based on production. If Golson performs at a level that Kelly deems anywhere from acceptable to stellar, the job is his. If he is not reaching an acceptable standard, then he will have to consider putting in someone else if he believes it is justified.
Getting to a BCS level is not just about the QB. JImmy Clausen broke the all-time single-season passing efficiency standard at ND in 2009 (including just four Interceptions all year), but the team was still only 6-6. So do people say "he's not a BCS quarterback"? Tony Rice was 5-of-21 in the two games to start 1988, but the team was 2-0 in those games. It's a TEAM and every player, every unit has to do his part to make the collective whole a success, or pick up others in spots.
Lou, are there any rumblings in South Bend this morning about a pending announcement from the athletic dept that they have struck a deal to join the ACC in all sports except football and hockey? It is rampant here in the mid-atlantic over the last 24 hours.
My luck w/the Irish 20-6...GO IRISH!!!
There are rumblings about it but I don't know yet about a pending announcement. I've said all along that the ACC would seem to be the most sensible route.
However, it was always my understanding that it was going to "all in" to join the ACC, and to leave football out would not be acceptable. We even had former ACC commissioner (and ND AD) Gene Corrigan on the Irish Huddle saying that to take ND without football would go against the grain.
But dynamics can change, so nothing would surprise me by now on that end.
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