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The fanatics will exclaim this class is the "best"...(LOL)... "the best ever"...
--- and in some areas it is truly outstanding..no doubt about it (assuming everyone matriculates).
But when you drill down into our areas of perceived weakness, we seem to have come up "less than stellar"...
--- in comparison to the other Top 5 programs, especially the SEC, OSU, Michigan.
Look at 2 specific areas:
(1) corner back
(2) wide receiver
The problem from my perspective is that these two position areas were clearly shown in the NC game...and during the season,
--- to be serious areas of weakness and obvious to almost everyone as weak.
The 2013 class isn't going to fill those 2 voids IMO...the talent simply isn't there...
--- we simply won't match up in BCS bowl games unless someone comes from out of the woodwork as a miracle.
Getting back to the NC championship game next year will prove difficult given these weaknesses.
We've got some talent at wide receiver. DeVaris Daniels is already good, and Chris Brown may be better. Davonte Neal could be very good as well. Of course, we could use more, but this is the nucleus of a very good group, and, by the way, the fastest group of wide receivers we've ever had.
I think there's some talent at WR I also think Russell is goin to be special at cb. I felt that in the championship game (as well as a few other games) our def line was exposed. It felt like we were incredible in the first half of the season, then our dl disappeared.
I think what got exposed was the 12-0 season record. There is 12-0 and then there is 12-0. Trust me on this, the only team outside of the SEC who would have made that game interesting is Oregon. I would have liked to pick up one genuine elite cover corner who played the position in HS. Filling those Secondary needs with offensive players is scary to say the least. I think our WR group will be fine.
Wide Receiver is still a guessing game from my perspective,
--- because the lack of offense was partly attributable to their inability to get separation vertically.
The four WRs coming in this year simply aren't at the level we have seen come in previous years...going back to Willingham and Weis,
--- which tells you they most likely will have difficulty translating as anything but "least objectionable alternatives".
If the previous class WRs were truly gifted, and I doubt they are, they would have shown up somewhere during the season...
Kelly's offensive scheme won't really work until he can find someone who can go deep regularly and make some catches...
--- and I'm not talking about doing it against SEC quality teams either.
Well, Brown got open very deep several times, but Golson only got him in the Oklahoma game. After that, for some reason, we didn't see much of the really deep ball. We need to do more of that.
Agreed. We need to see more of the deep ball. I believe we have WR's who can get that seperation. With a year under Golson's belt and his arm, I am hoping that next year we do see more of that. Daniels, Brown, and probably Neal are all very capable of that.
The problem I see is that people are saying 1 game, 1 GAME, exposes ND's weaknesses! I don't buy that. You cannot base a season on one game alone. I, along with many others, thought the secondary would get shredded all season after the Navy game.
In the NC game, there were a lot of other factors - what type of defense ND played, how we got behind early, how we did not blitz enough and rushed 3 guys on third and long against a hot QB. I do not see that as a big seperation in talent. I still see it as just one game that just got going the wrong direction and they could not turn it around. That happens. Unfortunately it happened at a bad time for ND. A lot of the blame goes on the coaching staff and play calling. A lot of the credit goes to Alabama and a great game plan that was executed to perfection, with a QB that was in rythym (which we helped by only rushing 3 guys and giving him all the time in the world - does not work against an o-line like Alabama's).
I agree that the NC game didn't really expose "weaknesses." We played so poorly across the board that it's more likely we prepared poorly and had a very bad game. And Alabama was a tough opponent as well.
One very good sign was how well Golson played. He didn't really show nerves at all and had a great game against a very tough defense. This is a very good sign for the offense next year.
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