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USC might be “down,” but the skill position talent still provides plenty of challenges to the Notre Dame defense.
As I said in some earlier post at some earlier time, my biggest fears are turnovers and GG. I want GG to have the game of his career.
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ok...I am sufficently scared now...dang it, Lou....
“The thing we harp on with those guys is we want to keep the points down as a defense overall,” Cooks said. “We’re going to do what we do — we’re going to play sound, we’re going to play fundamentally … there’s not a magical coverage we can put on [Woods]. He’s going to make plays and we’ve just got to make sure we’re in a position to make our share of them.”
That's the equivalent of the feared 'kiss of death" given to coaches before they're canned.
Let's hope other coaches are going to assist Cooks.
I'm with IFR. I mean no dis-respect to Gary Gray, but that is the siginificant concern for me as well. In my opinion Gray has improved but I'm guessing Barkley will be throwing in his direction early and often. And then there is the turn over bug. If ND can manage to limit this to no more than 1, I believe we should win.
This is the first time in forever, that I can say "on paper" Notre Dame is better than USC, as we all know the game is played on the field however....
No down-vote please - thank you!
No down-vote por favor, gracias !
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I am so pleased that someone finally got the "give the people something to wave around if you want them to be unified and energetic" memo. And those of you who will be there on Saturday - please be unified and energetic. :)
Gringo Mafia: The Girl. Director of Musical Activities and Group Hugs. 3-time POTW.
Gary Gray is in for the fight of his life!!! They will definitely test him early and often. That being said, our whole secondary will be challenged....We have to have a very strong pass rush and get to Barkley often. We also need to make their receivers aware that they are going to get hit and hit hard!! We can't sit back and let him pick us apart. It's going to be a great game....Go Irish!!!!
If GG gets burned early..I would pull him off the field or go double coverage on his side of the field..the key to this game is not to give Barkley time to look for receivers..if he has time we are not going to win..the secondary of ND is not that good..
Lou thanks for bringing some reality back to our thinking about this game. After everything you wrote ... it comes down to "this is USC" ... and strange things happen in this game. This is not just another game ... and anyone who thinks it is - has not been an ND fan long or has a very faulty memory.
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Clutch Cargo... I don't see what is so wrong with that statement from coach Cooks. He seems to recognize that Woods will get his... we just need to be in a position to make sure they dont' turn into points. That sounds very much the same philosophy that held MSU to 13 points, even though they threw the ball up and down the field on us.
As important as the play of Gary Gray is going to be on Saturday night, we need our D-Line to put pressure on Barkley all day long.
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If we play a clean game, we win...it's that simple. If we have a couple of turnovers at halftime, it will come down to who has the ball last, just like in Ann Arbor.
This post was edited by simm on 10/19/2011 at 9:28 AM
My luck w/the Irish 20-6...GO IRISH!!!
I'm sure one of your favorite quotes is by Lou Holtz — "I have never known a quarterback to be effective from a supine position."
great read Lou, now i am nervous,lol.
Two time Poster of The Week, 2011 and 2013.
Everyone is all over Gray but Motta and Smith are going to have to cover as well and neither is very good in man coverage. The key will be the pressure on Barkley - No pressure and he will pick us apart and it will be up to the Offense to score more points than they do
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I see this game as playing out similar to Michigan St. ND will shut down the run, and force SC into being one-dimensional. D-line will tee off and get sacks and holding penalties. I think Barkely has lots of yards, but hopefully, we keep them out of the end zone like we did with Sparty.
Great stuff Lou!
I have watched USC on TV and while they are NOT the same team they were under Carroll, they are NOT to be taken lightly. They are a very dangerous team and our DB's will have their work cut out for them!!
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I remember that 71 game vividly and cited it in an earlier post. USC was 2-4 and just wasn't supposed to win. ND, on the other hand, was undefeated. Two years later, wtih Luther Bradley in the defensive backfield, Lynn Swan was neutralized.
This year, they have to stop Barkley, not let him get comfortable back there. Otherwise, he will torch us, and the game will wind up a shootout with the win going to the team that has the ball last.
I don't see SC slowing down ND's offense. TOs and penalties will determine how many points ND puts up - clean play and we score alot!! ND's Dline will stop SC's rushing and our Dline rush has be be effective by disrupting Barkley's rythm - keep any completions in 'front' of our dbs. Also I see our OL as a big factor to our benefit - we're much more experienced in this area - we win on the line & ND controls this game limiting SC offense on the field. We can win BIG but it can be close depending on how clean ND plays. ND will be pumped - just play with discipline. GO IRISH!!
Lou, great read.
You certainly have identified the match-up that gives USC an advantage. Other posters have identified how to neutralize it (stuff run, pressure Barkley).
But SC certainly has talent that can't be overlooked.
The difference now is -- so does ND.
We have talent on both sides of the ball that they have to game plan to stop.
I like our odds.
"No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another" -- Charles Dickens
Its time to take last year's win and grow on it. ND needs to push them around all over the field and make an example out of them. I think this ND team is better than their record, and Saturday can prove that. If they get up, they need to keep the pedal down and run it up!
The main problem with his quote is his belief that "we're going to play fundamentally sound".
When has this happened, apart from Blanton's performances? Motta and Smith haven't looked like game changers, either. Yes, they managed to hold MSU to only 13 points but do you really believe their passing attack is comparable to SC?
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