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What I want to see today:

  • 1. A culture at ND in which the O and D challenge each other, know the other’s weaknesses and set out to exploit them.

    2. Will Diaco, Cooks, Elston, and Elliott go after the O like USC did: bring up the safeties to take away the intermediate routes and support the run, attack the run and the QB with variations of 4 or 5 from the front 7, knock Eifert down at the line of scrimmage, and tell the corners to keep everyone in front of them. Make the QB beat us running or throwing deep. This ain’t practice. And no QB can beat us when he is on his back or running for his life. Take away ND’s QB’s run reads and short/intermediate routes and he will be stuck with the ball in his hands and a lineman or linebacker in his face. He cannot beat us. He will not make a first down all day.

    3. Have Martin and Kelly installed an offense that has answers to USC’s defensive plan? Does any QB know all the reads he must know to execute Kelly’s O? If he knows them, can he see them live and execute them. Can he get the ball to the right man quick, and if they ignore the QB’s run option, can he make them pay? Can he use the QB’s run option to buy the time his receivers need to get deep? And if he can, can he throw deep accurately under pressure? Can this O with its experienced receivers go after ND’s corners and force the safeties into deep pass coverage, and then force the linebackers to defend the pass in the intermediate zones. That is a whole new ball game. Can the QB and receivers execute an effective intermediate passing game? And once the D starts defending the pass and the QB, can the running backs make them pay?

    Every offense and every defense faces risk/reward propositions. Diaco (IMO) needs to risk his corners against ND’s receivers until the QB and receivers prove that they can exploit that risk. Until then, he must go after the rewards that are available to his D by taking away everything quick, and getting pressure on the QB. If no QB can exploit that plan, D wins, and we all learn the truth, for now, about the ND QB competition: no one is ready to compete on Saturday.

    But Kelly and Martin know what happened last year. They know what the O must be able to do this year. But can these coaches and these players exploit that defensive plan? If ND has a QB who can run, throw deep, and throw intermediate without turnovers, we can all start getting excited about this fall.

    And quite frankly Scarlett, I don’t give a damn what his name is.

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    Irish legend CMC Quote Master and Director of Football Related Discussions 5 Time POTW & 2 Time WPOTW Winner Joined 09/17/05

  • You play for the jersey and the school.