Archive for the ‘Anti-Preview’ Category

The Hawai’i Bowl: Hawai’i. December 24, 2008

December 23, 2008

Welcome to the Hawai’i Bowl Anti-Preview for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Hawai’i Warriors. (Whatever happened to the Rainbows?) It’s going to be deep into Christmas Eve for the mainlanders by the time the game kicks off at 8 pm EST, and Irish fans are looking for a big present from the team as they look to end a 9 game 15 year bowl win drought.

Hawai’i won’t be looking to give this gift away and will in fact, try and regift what has been given to the Irish in the recent past– another bowl loss. So Notre Dame can not come into Hawai’i like a bunch of fucking tourists, they have to walk into Aloha Stadium like a bunch of pissed off pirates looking to destroy the native sons of the island.

Hawai’i. The Warriors finished the season with a 7-6 record and were rewarded with yet another Hawai’i Bowl berth (their 5th in 7 years). Their most impressive victory was against then #22, Fresno State. But, the game that everyone is talking about is the Cincinnati game where Hawai’i was up on the #13 Bearcats until collapsing in the fourth quarter to lose the game 29-24. Hawai’i did lose to 3-9 Utah State, but the Irish lost to 3-9 Syracuse… so whatever.

What should you be drinking? Rum. Lots and lots of rum. Since the economy is still in shambles and you spent your last dollar on a Christmas gift for the Secret Santa gift exchange at work, make sure you go with the ole’ reliable… Captain Morgan. You drank it in high school, you chugged it in college, and now that you are all grown up- you still can’t get enough of it and mix it with everything you drink as you curse all of those around you. Whew.

You can do just about anything with the Captain at your side. Here are a few short recipe’s to get you started:
  • Captain’s Booty: 3 oz. CM & 3-6 oz. Ginger Ale
  • Shark’s Nipple: 1/4 part CM, 1/4 part Mountain Dew, 1/2 part Cranberry Juice, & 3 ice cubes.
  • Captain’s Code: 1 oz. CM & 8 oz. Red Bull
  • Subway Domer Crack: 1/2 part CM & 1/2 part Apple juice or Apple cider

There are many other mixes to use with the Captain… and I suggest you try them all.

What should you be eating? Pirates ate like shit. I urge you to not eat like a pirate, unless you want scurvy or some sort of intestinal disease. Eat like the natives, but I suggest that you stay away from the poi unless you like cream of wheat and/or grits. (The Subway Domer KILLS grits). There is another way to enjoy the sacred Taro plant instead of mashing it up into poi… Lau lau.

Lau lau is a dish that takes any type of meat and wraps it with Taro leaves and is steamed. Here is a recipe to try:

•1 lb boneless pork or beef
•1 lb salted butterfish – soaked or salmon may be substituted
•1 lb boneless chicken
•Hawaiian Salt
•frozen taro leaves – thawed and drained
•taro leaves
•liquid smoke (optional)
Preparation:

This dish can be prepared using equal amounts of beef, chicken, fish and pork. I recommend using at least one meat along with the chicken and fish.
Cut meat and chicken into 1 inch chunks.
Rinse butterfish well, remove skin and cut into 1 inch chunks.
Cut and discard the stems from the taro leaves. Wash leaves. Do not dry.

In a large bowl, mix fish, chicken and meat with liquid smoke (if desired).
Take a piece of each main ingredient and wrap all three together in several taro leaves. This is called your laulau.
Place each laulau in the center of a taro leaf and wrap it. Use a second ti leaf to wrap it around the opposite direction.
You should have what looks like a little package. Secure with string.

The completed packets should be steamed, covered for several hours. They can also be cooked over a grill if kept well moist. Lay 3 to 4 taro leaves in the pan. Add half of the luau (taro) leaves. Arrange meat mixture evenly on luau leaves. Put remaining luau and ti leaves on top. Cover pan tightly with foil. Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 3 hours.

Of course, it doesn’t matter what you are eating if you are watching this…

What should you be wearing? Just like the Navy game, I implore you to dress the part. Throw away those Hawaiian shirts, grass skirts, and leis and grab yourself a hook, eye patch, and wooden leg. And for you lady friend?
Shiver me timbers!

What freshman will have the biggest impact? This has become an easy answer, because it is so obvious. Michael Floyd. Floyd is Notre Dame’s biggest threat on offense and he makes everyone else better. While Floyd was out for the Syracuse and USC games, the offense looked like it jumped in a Doc Brown Dolorian and went back to 2007. They looked awful to say the least. There is little doubt that this was because Floyd was out. Hawai’i is ranked 43rd in pass defense efficiency in 1-A. They just don’t have the personnel to cover both Tate and Floyd, and because Floyd runs such very good routes, I look for him to have a monster game against the Warriors, and even if he doesn’t have a huge “stat” game, somebody will. That’s why Floyd will make the biggest impact- that’s why Notre Dame will be able to move the ball. That’s why Floyd is probably the MVP of the Irish offense this year.

What offensive player needs to step it up? It would be easy and correct if I said Jimmy Clausen. As Jimmy has struggled, people point directly at the most visible face of the offense. This is inaccurate though. Clausen needs help, just as all good quarterbacks do to move the ball. The offensive line? All of them? Well, most of the offensive woes can be attributed to poor pass protection and uncanny ability to be worked over by inferior defensive lines. I’m sure they are capable of stepping up and doing the task against Hawai’i, but I think Armando Allen is the player that has to rise to the occasion. The question is if he is healthy enough to do so. If he is, Allen provides Clausen not only with a very good dump off option that can move the sticks and keep drives alive, but also a running back that can explode at the line of scrimmage and get 4 or 5 yards at a time. Allen may never be the game breaker that Irish fans were hoping for, but he is becoming more and more like Darius Walker. And I’ll take that.

What defensive player needs to step it up? David Bruton, what the hell happened? Bruton has to step it up against a team that likes to spread it out and chuck the rock. Bruton has had chance after chance to have more interceptions than what he ended up with this year, but he kept dropping one sure interception after another. The last TD that Syracuse scored to eventually win the game was on Bruton as he had his hips in the wrong direction as the WR came off of a cut. That was after Hammond and Hayden were talking about “NFL scouts drooling all over David Bruton.” As much as any player on the defensive side of the ball, Bruton can change the outcome of a game. He has that knack of being in the middle of the sction, we just need him to attack that action and put the Irish in good position to win the game. I think Bruton can do this, and i believe that he will as well. His last game as a member of the Fighting irish may turnout to be his most memorable. That’s what we need.

What special teams player needs to step it up? With Mike Anello out with a broken leg, I was going to go with his gunner partner David Bruton, but then I really started thinking about it for a few moments and it comes down to the central figure of special teams… the field goal kicker Brandon Walker. Yes, we need good snaps and good holds but we need Brandon to keep improving as he has over the season. Notre Dame has had 2 games against Hawai’i in the past and both of those were in Hawai’i and both were close games. Close games come down to extra points and field goals. Brandon Walker has to be money.

Who’s gonna win? Despite an obvious talent advantage on paper for Notre Dame, they will face stiff competition against the Warriors. This is the Warrior’s home field and they are looking forward to playing the high profile Fighting Irish. I think the time has come and the tide will turn for the Fighting Irish and the bowl streak. the streak dies and the Irish impress in what is a no win situation as far as the national media is concerned. Call me a homer, but I’ll take the IRISH 44-17 in a pull away victory in the fourth quarter.

Advertisements

Southern Cal. November 29, 2008

November 29, 2008

Welcome to the last Anti-Preview for the Fighting Irish in this regular season. It has been a very up and down year for the Irish, and they are looking to salvage a season with an improbable victory against our greatest rival. With most of the talk this week being about Coach Weis and his future with the program, the team is probably looking forward to getting away from South Bend and all of those type of distractions.

Speaking of distractions, I apologize to all of you who enjoy reading these Anti-Previews. This is going to be a very short and sweet version. I have had more on my plate than usual these past few days and I just don’t have it in me for a full dose. Excuses, excuses- whatever.

Southern Cal. These guys are pretty fucking good and have only got better as the season has progressed. The defense is littered with future first round picks for the NFL and the offense has been extremely efficient. Plus, they have this for a distraction. I hate them.

What should you be drinking? I don’t know. The real answer is “Yes. A lot.” You better get wasted and you should have plenty of time to do it with a prime time game. Prime Time. Go for the shamrocks, and try not to end up as butch as this chick:

What should you be eating? They are out in LA, so anything is going to be possible. But instead of going the fine dining route, get something quick and easy. In-N-Out Burger. Or, maybe something as simple as a nice watermelon:

What should I be wearing? Black. This might be a funeral for a few different reasons. But it could be enjoyable with the following company.

What freshman will have the biggest impact? I wish to Christ I could say Floyd, but we all know that ain’t happening. Darius Flemming. He has been playing very well for the defense as of late. The Irish will need to create some type of pass rush and Flemming could use his quickness to his advantage.

What offensive player needs to step it up? I’m calling you out. The ENTIRE offensive line. SC is talking a lot of shit, and they are looking to fucking destroy Clausen. So the entire line has to pull up their skirts and get to work . Sam Young, Trevor Robinson, Chris Stewart, Dan Wenger, Eric Olsen, and Mike Turkovich. All of these guys have to step up and perform. If the Irish could somehow keep Clausen on his feet and maintain some kind of consistency in the ground game, than the Irish will be able to have a legitimate shot.

What defensive player needs to step it up? Steve Quinn. With Brian Smith out and a huge void on the defensive side, look for Quinn to see a majority of the snaps over Toryan Smith. Smith is a step slower than Quinn and with the speed the Irish will see against the Trojans. Quinn has the savvy to make an impact, but will he be able to keep up? The entire defensive unit will be going against an onslaught from a USC offense that will mix up the play calling and use multiple personnel groups. Sanchez must be on his ass to have any chance.. Quinn might be able to get there and do it.

What special teams player needs to step it up? Brandon Walker. Continue the consistency and nail those 45 yard and less field goals. Notre Dame could find itself in the middle of the fight if they are getting the job done on both sides, the field goal team could put them over the edge- either way.

Is there a rivalry trophy at stake? As a matter of fact, yes. (I wouldn’t have asked otherwise) Here is an excerpt from an old Subway Domer post on all of ND’s rivalry trophy games

The Jeweled Shillelagh is the hardware given to the
winner of the annual contest of the Trojans and The Fighting Irish. Legend
states that Howard Hughes’ pilot brought this Gaelic Warclub, made of blackthorn
oak, over from Ireland in 1952. The Notre Dame Alumni Club of Los Angeles
created the award. The winner of the contest is awarded the trophy with a new
medallion to mark the victor. ND has emerald shamrocks while USC has ruby
encrusted Trojan heads. Although the trophy was created in 1952, the entire
series is recorded back to 1926. There have been 5 ties and those games are
represented with a combo medallion. The original shillelagh was retired after
the 1995 season. There was simply no more room for anymore shamrocks or heads.
It now resides at Notre Dame because the Irish won more games up to that point.
(We still do even after losses for 5 straight seasons with a 42-31-5 mark).
There is a new trophy that is a little longer than the original. It was
purchased by Jim Gillis, a former baseball player for ND and USC. It is the same
kind of oak and hails from the County Leitrim in Ireland. It was introduced in
1996.

So who’s going to win? Most people will say that this game is a sure bet. Notre Dame is a 30 point underdog and has virtually no chance to win this game or even have the delusional thought of keeping this game close. What the hell. Irish win 29-27. Somehow, someway.

Syracuse. November 22, 2008

November 21, 2008

Welcome to the Anti-Preview for Syracuse. The Fighting Irish are finally bowl eligible after surviving a 27-21 game against the Naval Academy. The Irish won the game, but paid a price as two key members of the team were injured and will not be able to play the last two games of the season. Of course, those two players are Brian Smith and Michael Floyd. They will be missed for sure, but hopefully their absence will allow a couple of other players to rise to the occasion and better prepare themselves for the 2009 season.

This will also be the last home game of the 2008 season. The Fighting Irish are looking to close it out with a bang and create some kind of momentum heading into the game at Southern Cal.

Syracuse. The Orange come to South Bend with a 2-8 record with wins over 1-AA Northeastern and Louisville. They are giving up 33.9 points a game and are allowing over 200 yards passing and over 200 yards rushing a game as well. On offense they are just as dreary. They are scoring 18.3 points a game and look awful doing it. Their lone bright spot on the offensive side has been the play of senior running back Curtis Brinkley who has 1060 yards and 6 touchdowns, and perhaps an even better stat than the 1000+ yards this season, is his 5.2 yards per carry.

It’s going to be hard to gauge the type of emotions that the Orange players will be having knowing that their Head Coach has already been fired, but I think it is safe to say that I expect them to come out as fired up and ready to play Notre Dame as most teams that come to South Bend are at any other point. Weis may be right. Syracuse will probably play very, very loose- but will it be enough to overcome the rest of their shortcomings?

What should you be drinking? In spirit of our opponent, I give you Blue Moon Pale Ale. I normally despise people putting fruit in their beer. I just don’t understand the meaning of putting a lime in a Corona, other than to hide the taste of an awful beer, and I suggest you try Tecate anyways. Lot’s better. But I digress. However, a slice of orange is not out of the question with a glass or bottle of Blue Moon. The peel may accentuate the already present orange spice found in this beer as noted by The Beer Snob:

Blue Moon is a Belgian-style white beer. The beer poured to a cloudy
orange-copper color. The cloudiness comes from the unfiltered nature of this
ale. The color can only be called extremely appropriate, as I smelled orange
before my nose even neared the glass.

If you are looking for another drink that isn’t classified as a beer, but want to keep your dignity as an alcoholic and are willing to keep the orange theme, I suggest you mix Sunkist with your favorite brand of gin. Might I recommend that you just use Tanqueray. The great thing about gin is its ability to knock you off your rocker while minimizing the effects of a hangover because of the detoxifying agents found in the liquor.

What should you be eating? This may take some time, but if you are an early riser on gameday- or if you have nothing to do on Friday, try roasting a hog. Seriously. This kind of keeps with the orange/Hawaiian theme that we have going into this game. Kind of, but honestly, pig is good. I’ll eat that hog from the rooter to the tooter. Some very easy steps to roasting a hog can be found here. However I am also supplying you with this video, and this video if you have a day and a half of nothing else to do:

What should you be wearing? Still keeping the spirit of a certain visitor to Notre Dame this weekend in mind, wear a freaking lei. In fact, if you have a Hawaiian shirt or even a grass skirt- wear those too. It takes a real man to wear a grass skirt in 30 degree weather. Maybe you’ll attract this kind girl…

What freshman will have the biggest impact? Robert Blanton. Why Blanton? Because he is going to start over 5th year senior Terrail Lambert. Lambert is hurt with a bad ankle that kept him out of the game against Navy and more than likely it will sideline him as well for Syracuse. Blanton has passed Gary Gray on the depth chart and if Lambert wasn’t a 5th year senior, Blanton would have been starting about 4 games ago. He plays with an absolute cockiness and swagger that is worthy of wearing the #12 jersey (Ricky Watters). He also has a throwback mentality to playing the game that is not seen in most players in college football, and almost zero when it comes to defensive backs and corners in general. Against a far inferior opponent, Blanton could have a great game with solid tackling and an INT or two. This kid is well on his way to becoming a difference maker for 2009.

What offensive player needs to step it up? Duval Kamara. With the loss of Michael Floyd and a certainty that Golden Tate will be double if not triple covered for most of the game, Duval Kamara has the chance to redeem himself for what has been a disappointing season in regards to his play, after a great season last year as a freshman. Kamara only has 15 receptions for 164 yards and 1 touchdown this year. With a great freshman class of WR’s coming in next year to go along with all of our current wide receivers minus David Grimes, Kamara has to prove that he is still a dynamic player if he wants to hold of guys like John Goodman, Deion Walker, Shaq Evans, and others for significant playing time in 2009. This is his time to shine. He will certainly get the chance this week and next week against U$C. I’ll go out on a limb and say that Kamara will get 50% of his production thus far this year on Saturday. 7 grabs for about 80 yards and a TD. Calling the bank shot here.

What defensive player needs to step it up? Maurice Crum. You thought I was going to go with Toryan Smith, didn’t you? Maybe next week. This week it is going to be all about the 5th year senior that has been a 4 year starter, two-time captain, and leader of a very improved defense. With every tackle, Crum is closing in on becoming one of the top tacklers in Notre Dame history. Crum is often criticized heavily by a lot of fans, but what some people fail to realize is that he has been playing out of position for three years. Crum has been, and still is, more of an outside linebacker in stature and in skill. But, he brings everything he has on gameday and it would be hard to find anyone on the team that plays as hard as what Mo Crum does. Going against a poor team that does one thing decent, in rushing the ball, I think Crum will have a tremendous game in terms of tackles and in terms of keeping the emotions pumping throughout the defense. Saturday will be an emotional day for Crum, and I think he, we, and the team needs and will get a great game from him.

What special teams player needs to step it up? Golden Tate. People are waiting. Waiting for Tate to have the type of game returning kicks that make good players, great players. The way to do that is easy, yet so very difficult. He has to take one to the house, and the the other returns have to look as though they will even if they only go 30 or 40 yards. I think Tate can do it, I’m just not sure if he will. He needs help and the blocking has been less than stellar and he should have one if it wasn’t for an error in judgement by Leonard Gordon against Boston College. Could this be the game that the Golden legend redefines itself? Could it?

For the final time. This will be the final home game for a number of seniors and 5th year seniors. Those players are:

  • David Grimes WR #11
  • Mike Turkovich LT #77
  • Justin Brown DE #94
  • Pat Kuntz DE/NT #96
  • Maurice Crum LB #40
  • Steve Quinn LB #48
  • Terrail Lambert CB #20
  • Ray Herring S #6
  • David Bruton S #27

It could also be the last game for a few seniors that have another year of eligibility left. A couple of these guys may return for a fifth year, but nothing is set in stone as of yet. At Notre Dame, a player that seeks a 5th year must have graduated and be accepted into a graduate program at Notre Dame. Those players are:

  • Kyle McCarthy S #28 (The most likely to return)
  • Kevin Washington LB #42
  • Scott Smith LB #41
  • Asaph Schwaap FB #44
  • Evan Sharpley QB #13

This will be an emotional game for ALL of these players and those senior walk-ons such as Mike “The Dictator” Anello. If you are going to the game, be sure to stick around for the final salute to these Loyal Sons of Notre Dame. They have ALL earned it from Notre Dame’s alumni, subway alumni, and students. Love Thee Notre Dame!

So who’s going to win? This could be a defining game for the Irish. It sounds funny, I know. But, with a lot of chatter on the message boards and the media about the shortcomings of this team when it comes to putting teams away, the Irish need to pound this Syracuse team into orange juice. Syracuse has been a little “pesky” (a term used well by Dome & Domer) for a few teams this season in the first half of the games. Notre Dame needs none of that, and won’t have it all. IRISH 48-13. Weis finally takes a team and has them destroy an opponent for 4 quarters, while allowing all the seniors to get some playing time at the end of the game.

(Irish Illustrated’s McStug)

Navy. November 15, 2008

November 13, 2008

I have never liked the Navy game in years past. They usually meant very, very little other than a win and and an occasional scare. That all changed last year when Navy broke the 43 game winning streak that Notre Dame held over the Midshipmen. This year the game means everything for the Irish. Notre Dame is on a 2 game losing streak and the program, and Weis in particular, have been the hot topic for sports radio and ESPN all across the country. It’s safe to say though, that if the Irish win this game, no one in the media will be backing off of Weis and Notre Dame. It’s a Catch 22.

Navy. The Midshipmen come into the game with a 6-3 record with a huge upset victory over then ranked #16 Wake Forest at Wake. The option attack is still in full swing at Navy, even after the departure of Paul Johnson. Navy has played one common opponent of the Irish in a 42-21 loss to Pitt. It’s kind of nice for Irish fans and Navy players to hear a little more about the game instead of the respect angle. It’s great and all to talk about the sacrifice’s these Academy guys make, but it is patronizing to keep talking about it during the game. These guys are football players on a team that is a consistent winner and bowl invitee. Pay attention to the game. They are.

What should you be drinking? It’s time to go all Pirate on these Midshipmen, so I suggest Peg Leg Stout from Clipper City Brewery located in Baltimore, Maryland. This is a Russian Imperial Stout, but actually drinks more like a porter. I found this review over at Beer Advocate from a poster named “Mitchster”:

$1.80 for a 12oz bottle at Jacks. Brewed with English Pale, Crystal, Chocolate
malts, and Black Barley. Hopped with Fuggles and Styrian Goldings. 8.0% ABV.
Best By notched label. Bottle Conditioned.

Pours out to a clear dark
brown. Not as black as expected, nor as thick as expected. Forms a tall fine
dark tan head with good retention and lacing. Carbonation is moderate. The aroma
is composed of molasses, prune juice, milk chocolate, distant espresso, rotting
red apples, and plums. The mouthfeel is soft and very silky. Medium bodied, but
with a very full, smooth palette that makes it feel thicker than it really is.
Almost as smooth as a nitro tap. The taste is a recap of the aroma with a nice
bittersweet edge. Decidedly American in flavor, not British as anticipated by
the ingredients. There is a faint sourness which makes me think that this beer
would not store very well. Perhaps it’s the green hoppy acidity. Well balanced.

As an imperial stout, this isn’t very representative of the style. It’s
rather mild for that, but overall, it’s an excellent, very enjoyable beer. It’s
not rich beyond compare, but it is well-balanced, smooth, easy to drink and full
flavored. I would certainly buy this one again.

What should you be eating? When I think of Baltimore and food, I immediately gravitate towards an all time favorite of the Subway Domer… Crab Cakes. You can get real Maryland Crab Cakes anywhere in the country from a place called Angelina’s of Maryland. they do an overnight service and after reading some of the reviews- I intend on doing this for the game Saturday. BTW- If you are in the Fort Wayne Indiana area, check out Dickey’s Wild Hare or Lucky’s Terrapin Tavern (both formerly known as Munchie Emporium Georgetown and Munchie Emporium Dupont respectively). They have some of the best crabcake sandwiches I have ever tasted. If you are going to the game in Baltimore, you can check out Dock of the Bay in Baltimore. Of course you can make them yourself, with a little help from this crazy broad:

Just remember this…

What should you be wearing? Be a real Pirate. Throw on the gear yourself, and grab your lady friend and have her do the same. Who cares what the weather forecast for the game is in this outfit?

“Arrrrgh”

What freshman will make the biggest impact (besides Floyd)? I have to go with two guys that are on the same side of the ball. Ethan Johnson and Darius Flemming. Defending the option is such a disciplined affair that sometimes the biggest contributors are guys that rarely get their name called. The defensive tackle (E.J has been playing mostly at a DT) is the first option defensively. What they do decides whether the QB hands the ball off to the FB or pulls the ball and starts working his way down the line of scrimmage. Next is the defensive end, what they do (along with a linebacker) decides if the QB cuts up or continues to move along the line. I think ND will certainly try to stretch the field with the option and force late decisions. The two freshman can be key deciders in how this develops. This will be the first game this year where ND has a huge size advantage along their defensive line as compared to the opposing teams offensive line. What Navy has is discipline and speed. The freshman also have a lot of speed, but can they use their power to overwhelm the Navy front line and disrupt the options that Navy has. Watch these two.

What offensive player needs to step it up? Jimmy Clausen. After a 4 INT game, has to come out and fire on all cylinders. The Fighting Irish offense will have a limited number of possessions because Navy runs such a time consuming and ball control offense. They are a suspect when it comes to the deep ball as it showed in their 3 losses (Ball State, Duke, and Pitt). BSU and Duke both threw for over 300 yards while Pitt had McCoy, but still managed over 250 yards in the air. The Irish throw the deep ball well when Clausen is clicking. But, the biggest test for Jimmy will be his patience and how he reacts to the safeties rolling up on his WR’s. He has to get a rhythm going with his underneath receivers such as Allen, Grimes, Rudolph, and Kamara. Clausen’s accuracy has been way off due to a couple of injuries, health overall, and poor decision making. If the Irish are going to win this game and win it by a margin that will keep the naysayers off of the programs back for at least another week, Clausen must be deadly accurate and take what the defense is giving him. Sounds simple enough.

What defensive player needs to step it up? I went with two freshman on the defensive side of the ball, now I’m going to take two more guys on the defensive side of the ball (get the hint?). David Bruton and Kyle McCarthy. The Irish don’t want these two to have big tackle numbers as they would rather the LB’s and DL make most of those, but these are two outstanding run supporters and both fly to the ball very well. The key is to hold Navy’s offense in check. they may get a few yards here and a few yards there, but ND has got to stop the big run and that comes with great safety support. Navy running back, Shun White, is averaging 8.4 YPC. He looks like a duplicate of former Irish great Julius Jones. He is fast and runs with great power. The key for Bruton and McCarthy will be to keep the lanes closed and prevent the long carries. If they can do this, and help force the plays inside, Notre Dame should be able to control the way Navy attacks our defense.

What special teams player needs to step it up? I got two players for you once again. Jonas Gray and Leonard Gordon. Against BC Gray had two penalties on kick returns and he has had two muffs this year when returning a kick ( NC & Washington). Gordon could not/ would not get out of Golden Tate’s way as Tate was returning a punt against BC. The Tate return should have went for six. C’mon guys.

Who’s gonna win? This team is in serious trouble right now and needs a big win. They have all tools to get it done Saturday, but they may not have the confidence or swagger to do it with authority. If they can restore that confidence early in the game, I think they can blow the doors off of Navy. If they struggle early, we may be in for a long afternoon. They get it done. IRISH 35 – 14. Call me crazy or super optimistic, but I think ND controls the run game against Navy and becomes efficient on offense. Notre Dame should be fired up for this game and come out wanting revenge. All I have to do is watch this clip and it puts me in the fucking stratosphere. Go Irish!

Boston College. November 8, 2008

November 7, 2008

Welcome to the 9th edition of Subway Domer’s Anti-Preview’s for the 2008 Fighting Irish Football team. This week the Irish travel to historical Boston Massachusetts for another battle with the Boston College Eagles. Notre Dame will be trying to become bowl eligible after they failed to do so versus Pitt last week in a kicking contest. At Notre Dame, all games are “must wins”- but it is even MORE necessary that the Irish win this week for their own confidence and the confidence of a nation.

Boston College. The Eagles enter this game on a two game losing streak and with an overall record of 5-3. Boston College is feeling the sting after 5th year senior and gay porn star, Matt Ryan, left and headed to the NFL. Ryan’s replacement, Chris Crane, has been inconsistent to say the least. He is completing 56% of his passes and has 12 interceptions to 8 TD’s. Historically, B.C. quarterbacks have been pretty accurate throwers, and especially against ND, they have stepped up in a big game and delivered with a good performance. The common opponent that B.C. and ND have had this year was North Carolina. Both games were in Chapel Hill. Both teams lost. The Eagles lost to the Heels 45-24. So whatever.
What should you be drinking? Well we are going to be in Boston. Sam Adams seems like a good fit here. But which one? The Sam Adams website has a great section that pairs all of its brews up with foods in the same way those fucking wine snobs do. Seeing as Boston is a coastal city I had to go with a beer that blends with a seafood palate. Sam Adam’s Cream Stout.

Samuel Adams® Cream Stout is a true cream stout, balancing body and
sweetness with the natural spiciness of grain and hand selected English hops.
Our Brewers use generous portions of roasted chocolate and caramel malts as well
as unroasted barley to impart a fullness of body, a roasty malt character and
rich, creamy head. Its dark mahogany color make it almost as easy on the eyes as
it is on the palate.

Those are a lot of words for something that will make you unable to read in a short amount of time.
What should I be eating? Oysters! If you haven’t tried oysters by now, please do so this weekend (unless you are allergic to shellfish- sorry about the whole death thing). You can eat them raw, fried, baked- whatever really. It’s all up to your taste and desires. Here is a delicious recipe to make your own Rockin’ Oysters Rockefeller. It may be a little hard to make this dish while tailgating, but it has been done before! If you are in Boston and want a good dish of oysters and don’t feel like making them yourself, check out the Union Oyster House. If you do, you will also be enjoying a little bit of history along with your meal. The Union Oyster House is the oldest restaurant in America, dating it’s origin back to 1826. And BTW- here is what Sam Adams has to say about the oysters and that Cream Stout you’ve been pounding back:

With fresh shellfish, you get a lot of salty flavors but there is also a subtle
sweetness from the meat of the shellfish. These interesting flavors are the
perfect compliment to our Cream Stout. There is a slight bitterness and
sweetness from the roasted malt.

I do know, that you definitely don’t want to blend Oysters. Watch and see…


What should I be wearing? The forecast is not looking that great for gametime. If it was an afternoon game, the weather would be perfect for football- 60 and cloudy. As it stands, the rain will start sometime around 6 pm and should last for most of the game. Standing in the rain sucks. Cold weather games are bearable and even enjoyable if you have the right amount of liquid heat in you and a good Carhartt outfit. However, if you are caught in the rain for the game, make sure you are packing a good yellow rain suit. Take some tips from the New England fisherman that seem to be iconic in them. Plus, if you happen to have your pet with you to ward off those bastard Boston College Jesuits, grab them a suit as well.

What freshman will make the biggest impact? This week I should have named this section, “What freshman do we need to play balls out?” The answer is Kyle Rudolph. Kyle has kind of disappeared these last few games after emerging as a go to option for Clausen. With so much attention being given to Floyd and Tate (rightfully so), this should open up the middle of the field for the 6’6″ tight end. Not only do the Irish need to get back to utilizing Rudolph in the middle of the field in the passing game, but they also need Kyle to really step it up when it comes to run blocking and sealing the edge. If Rudolph has been criticized this year, it has usually been about not finishing his blocks and allowing his end to crash down on the runner. I think we see the re-emergence of Kyle Rudolph as an offensive weapon this week. I’m guessing that he will see about 5 receptions and one of those will be a TD.

What offensive player needs to step it up? I think it comes down to line play on both sides of the ball in bad weather games. Of course you can always say the “battle is won in the trenches” every week, but when footing is a problem the line of scrimmage can be like a force field. Sam Young needs to step up his game. The dude is 6’8″ and 330 pounds. Pay physical. Young can dominate at times, but more often than not throughout his career he has been beaten by a speed rush and then he gets bull rushed BECAUSE HE HAS BEEN PLAYING WITH A SKIRT. (Sorry Sarah). When Clausen is pressured, the natural movement for him is to roll out to his right. When Young gets beat, Clausen gets powerbombed into the turf with or without the ball. I’ve always liked Sam Young. I think he has the potential to be great. I remember when the story came out last year about Sam waiting for Weis in the early hours of the early morning to ask Charlie what he (Young) could do to be a bigger leader on a team that was in dire need of leadership. This is the time and the moment is coming Saturday night. Young can establish himself as the anchor of the line with a good PHYSICAL game against a hated opponent. I believe in him and I think that he can produce those type of results. I just hope he still believes in it as well.

What defensive player needs to step it up? Staying with the theme of trench diggers, I pull out the guy that looks like a grave digger. Pat Kuntz. Kuntz needs another one of those emotional trainwrecks of a game like he had against Stanford. I don’t think it takes a lot for Pat to get fired up and the thought of those BC fucks across the line from him is probably making him smash his head into a fucking window as I write this. If Kuntz is able to help provide pressure either himself or to help open the blitz lane for another defender, he will be doing his job. Crane is shaky enough, where he will make multiple mistakes without pressure let alone with an animal on his ass. Emotion is always a need for the Irish and Kuntz has that in bunches. I think Kuntz gets the job done and provides that spark that the entire team will need to win what will be a tough road test.

What special teams player needs to step it up? We all saw Brandon Walker grow up before our eyes last week. And we all saw the agony he showed at the end of the game. He may have missed that last FG, but he made all of the other ones that put us in a position to win. You may want to knock on wood, but I think Walker is settling in as a good kicker. It is up to him to continue that streak of good fortune. This week we need Eric Maust to step up. In a bad weather game, or really any game for that matter, field position is key. Maust has the leg and the Irish punt team has the coverage skills to flip the field on an opponent. Maust had a shaky game last week- he HAS to step it up and do the job.

Is there a rivalry trophy at stake? As a matter of fact, yes. (I wouldn’t have asked otherwise) Here is an excerpt from an old Subway Domer post on all of ND’s rivalry trophy games

This is the only rivalry game in existence, that I have heard of, that contains
two trophies to the winner. The one depicted to the right is called The Ireland
Trophy. It was created by the Notre Dame Student Government as a sign of
goodwill and sportsmanship. The second is called The Frank Leahy Memorial Bowl.
This second trophy gives this game its unoffical name- The Leahy Bowl. This is
after legendary ND and BC coach Frank Leahy. Frank coached BC during the 1939
and 1940 seasons leading the Jesuits to a 20-2 record. He than left for his Alma
mater, ND. BC fans will say he was stolen away, but remember… they are idiots
and are insanely jealous of ND.

Who’s gonna win? I have took the Irish every week this year as the winner. To my and their credit, they had a chance in every ball game to win. This week is no different as the Fighting Irish head into Chestnut Hill as a 3.5 point underdog. I think the Irish defense holds strong against a team that has a lot of issues at QB and is on a 2 game losing streak. Notre Dame gets the job done in an ugly game that will still produce points. IRISH 34-24.

Pittsburgh. November 1, 2008

October 30, 2008

Welcome back to another Anti-Preview from The Subway Domer. The Irish are back home to take on the Pittsburgh Panthers in their second to last game at home for the 2008 season. Notre Dame can become bowl eligible with a win and they can also earn a little bit more respect with the voters with a nice victory over an opponent with a winning record. So here we go…

Pittsburgh. Pitt limps into South Bend with a similar 5-2 record and they are coming off of a 20 point loss to Rutgers at home. In that game, Rutgers quarterback Mike Teel threw for 351 yards and 6 TD’s as they put up 54 points ( the highest point total Pitt has allowed since a 60-6 loss to the Fighting Irish in 1996) on a supposedly good Pitt defense. Pitt may be without starting quarterback Bill Stull after he suffered a neck injury in the Rutgers game. It’s looking more likely that Stull will play as he has practiced in full pads this week but if he is not able to play, Pat Bostick will get the nod. Pitt has a dynamic running back in LeSean McCoy and the Irish have trouble with those types of backs.

What should you be drinking? Someone mentioned in an e-mail a few weeks ago that Steel Reserve would be a good choice for the Pitt game. I begged to differ, because I find it almost undrinkable. Fucking nasty. There is another Pennsylvania treat that has been a good friend to The Subway Domer for as long as I can remember drinking- Rolling Rock. Sadly, Rolling Rock was bought out by Anheuser-Busch and the brewery was moved to New Jersey.
How about a fall classic then that is simple and addictive? Apple Cider and Morgans. OOHHHH! How do I make it Subway Domer? Simply. That’s how. Any moron can make this concoction:
  • Take one bottle of Captain Morgan (750 ml)
  • Take one gallon of Apple Cider.
  • Mix it all up.
  • Enjoy!
  • You may also warm this up in a pot and add some cinnamon sticks if you are straight up gay.

This would also be a good week to imbibe in a blue collar beer such as Pabst Blue Ribbon. A personal favorite, or any of these family of beers.

What should I be eating? Lots of solids if you choose the Pabst. Seriously though, make yourself a chowder. I like a good shrimp and corn chowder. You can make this right at your tailgate if you do just a little prep work at home and brink along some kind of big ass pot and a tripod. Here is a video of yet another variation of this classic. They use crab instead. Still sounds fucking tasty. (BTW- Do yourself a favor and have some cornbread ready to serve with the chowder).

What should you be wearing? The forecast calls for great weather (especially for a November game in South Bend) on Saturday. This will be a great game for a t-shirt ( I always recommend these) and a pair of jeans. Plus if you want to celebrate the great mustaches in the world, stop shaving or get a fake one and let Dave know what you think of his porn star image. But, there is something that would top it off and make it complete. I want one of those Golden Dome Hard Hats with Mary on top. Where can I get one? Anyone? I can’t even find a good picture of them on the internet anywhere. Those things need to be worn by about 40,ooo fans inside the stadium. It would be too sweet. So if you know where to get them, shoot me an e-mail or just leave a comment below. I want one!

What freshman will make the biggest impact? I have been putting Michael Floyd in a different category for a few weeks now, and that is stopping right now. Mike Floyd will make the biggest impact. I really don’t have to explain why. He kicks ass and dominates his competition. need proof? Here ya go (I swear I hear Jimmy say “Pink Floyd” before the ball is snapped)…

What offensive player needs to step it up? Armando Allen. Irish fans are starting to forget that Allen is the main option at running back for Notre Dame. That should be a hard thing to do considering that Allen is the Fighting Irish’s all-purpose yardage leader. But, after a couple of good performances, fans are screaming for more Aldridge. “I gotta have more Aldridge baby!” But Allen is the option that the Fighting Irish need to go to more often than not. Not only has he kept improving as a runner with better vision and a spectacular burst, but his receiving out of the backfield has proved to be very dangerous and a nice option for Clausen as the last check down. The Irish offense is becoming more and more potent as more weapons emerge from the freshman and sophomores, but the mainstay should be Allen. I’m calling for a HUGE game for Armando. 130+ yards rushing and 60+ yards receiving with a couple of touchdowns. Mark it down.

What defensive player needs to step it up? Brian Smith. Brian is coming off of a game against Washington where he suffered a mild concussion. I’m surprised that he didn’t have a full blown concussion after a few of the hits that he had on the Huskies. Pittsburgh has a fantastic tailback in LeSean McCoy and the Irish are going to need to slow him down as much as possible to get the Panthers off of the field and get Jimmy and the scoring machine back on to it. Brian Smith will be the key to this formula. he has the speed and the strength to get to McCoy and drag his ass down… hard. A forced fumble or two would certainly be nice from Smith, but mostly the Fighting Irish just need Smith to be a McCoy Death Ray and destroy him play after play.

What special teams player needs to step it up? Golden Tate. Tate watches highlights of the Rocket every week to study how one of the greatest players in college football history played the game. The Rocket not only had great speed, but he had a knack for finding the seam and making a move on a guy and then exploding for daylight. Golden has the chance to become a fierce weapon like Ismail, but he needs a few more touches. Those extra touches can come on a punt return or a kickoff return. I would love to finally see a return for 6 (who was the last Irish player to return a kickoff for 6, Julius Jones?) but even if that isn’t the case, a good return to set the offense up with a short field is equally important. If Tate somehow manages a score on a return Saturday, he will really begin to cement his own legend and follow in one of his heroes footsteps.
Who’s gonna win? As long as the Irish defense can dictate the play selection from Pitt, i think they can slow them down and turn them into a one dimensional team. That of course would also be the case if the Irish offense puts a lot of points up early. I think that they can do both. I’m looking for a big victory that puts the Irish in a bowl game. 44-20 Irish. Clausen returns to form and makes Wannstache look like a fluffer instead of a star.

Washington. October 25, 2008

October 23, 2008

Light the couch on fire and rock out to some Soundgarden, Subway Domer is back for another Anti-Preview. This week the Fighting Irish travel out west to take on the Washington Huskies.

BTW- Some guy named Willingham is coaching for Washington and a guy named Davie is calling the game for ESPN.

Washington. Ouch. The Huskies are 0-6 and have lost their best player and starting quarterback, Jake Locker. They haven’t showed much life since they lost a game they should have won against BYU. Their pass defense is awful and they have been just awful overall. They have lost all of their games with an average score of 40-17. If you take their best game out of the equation (BYU 28-27 L) the average score is 43-15. If you take their worst game out of the equation (Oklahoma 55-14 L) the average score is 37-18. You get the picture.

What should you be drinking? Check out a local brew that has gone nationwide- Red Hook Beer. This beer and brewery is based in Washington and is just a 20 minute drive from Seattle in Woodinville. The flagship beer from Red Hook is their ESB brew (Extra Special Bitter) and is crafted after the U.K style pub beer. This review was published at Beer Advocate:

We highly recommend allowing this beer to warm-up as much as you can handle,
like more than usual, otherwise most of its nuances are completely lost and the
malt profile will seem rather week. Aside from that, this is a very decent,
balanced, malty, drinkable brew, and a good entry beer into more flavorful
offerings.

What should I be eating? Well, you are in Seattle and Seattle is known for Starbucks. I’m not saying that you should go to Starbucks and get a scone, I’m just saying that coffee is big there. So big, that a Coffee Steak was introduced. I’ve had it once before and i have to say that the result was masterful. I have never been so buzzed after eating something that weren’t considered a hallucinogen. The place to go in Seattle is Rippe’s Steakhouse. They were the first and I’m told the best. If you can’t make it to Rippe’s to grab a steak, here is their recipe. Here is a “how to video” for yet another recipe for coffee steak (Grilled Chocolate Coffee Steak)… get some:

What should I be wearing? You are in the birth place of the Grunge movement, so duh… go grunge. Grab yourself some old torn up blue jeans, dye your hair another color, and grab a flannel shirt – a real flannel shirt from Sears or K-Mart. Put the AE and A&F down, unless they are from 1995. Speaking of the 90’s, get into your music library and dig up all of your classic 90’s music. If you need a quick hit, check out the video below of one of the greatest recording sessions of all time. Alice In Chains Unplugged (1996).

What freshman will make the biggest impact (besides Floyd)? Ethan Johnson. Johnson returns to the northwest, battle tested and ready to rock. He has seen quite a bit of action for the Irish defense this year as a freshman and the playing time will probably increase as the season gets older. Johnson has played as a traditional defensive end and as a defensive tackle for the Fighting Irish this year. The Irish are going against a more traditional pocket passer in Ronnie Fouch as opposed to Jake Locker, so pressure from the down lineman is critical. I expect Ethan to do just that and help a defense that has put pressure on a lot of offenses, but without a lot of sacks.

What offensive player needs to step it up? How about Duval Kamara. With David Grimes being doubtful for the game Saturday, Kamara will likely be the main substitution in Grimes’ absence. Duval had a very good game against North Carolina, but for the season he has only 9 receptions for 103 yards and 1 TD. He needs to take this opportunity for more playing time and turn it into something special. Washington will probably do anything it can to stop Floyd and Tate (and I’m not sure that they can) so Kamara could see more one on one matchups and a decent amount of open green. With Duval’s size, he could emerge as a huge threat for the Husky defense. Look for a lot more balls thrown his way and at least one TD.

What defensive player needs to step it up? Kerry Neal. Mike Frank made a great point on Power Hour this week when he stated that Kerry Neal was getting engulfed by the opposing offensive line. It has been a shaky transition for Neal from the defense ND ran last year to the one they are running now. He has moved from primarily playing at OLB to more of a DE. However. His athleticism and hard work are his keystones and if he can figure out a way to create a little more havoc rushing the passer, he would become a great asset to a defense that is looks like it is just a half step away from grabbing a lot of sacks. On Saturday night, keep a close eye on #56 as he works his ass off to do his job. I think the hard work pays off this week and he has a big game. Maybe a couple sacks, maybe a big forced fumble- something that will make you stand up and yell your fucking head off.

What special teams player needs to step it up? Brandon Walker of course. As much as I would love to say Golden Tate and the return game, the most important part of special teams is making points on the opportunity. Brandon Walker represents those points. Whether they are the PAT’s or a field goal, those are points that that should not be left on the field. He needs to keep his head together and do what he does in practice… drain ’em. And he should have a little more motivation this week. David Ruffer is making the trip. Ruffer is a walk-on that just walked on less than a week ago. He is a tranfer student from William & Mary. Didn’t Holtz coach at W & M? Hmmmm.

Who’s gonna win? I just see no way that ND loses this game- I don’t. With that said, the Irish a battling a public image battle right now and are in a “no win” situation anyways. If they would lose- the nightmare is too gruesome to imagine. If they win by a close margin, than the media is still going to harp and harp on them. The Fighting Irish need a big win in a small game. The biggest thing that bothers me is if this young team can keep the momentum moving forward after a bye week. A veteran filled team could, but we will have to wait and see if this team will be able shake off the week rust and shine from the first whistle all the way to the last. I think they get it and we may see Clausen break a few records along the way. IRISH 47-17.

(Irish Illustrated’s McStug)

North Carolina. October 11, 2008

October 10, 2008

Heading south. This is as far south as the Fighting Irish will play until, as it stands, Army in Orlando in 2011. (By south I mean, south of the Ohio River and east of the Mississippi River). So get ready for a good old fashioned hillbilly lovefest in the heart of NASCAR country. And now for the Anti-Preview

North Carolina. The Tarheels come into the game with a 4-1 record and a #22 ranking that looks a little generous when you look back at their schedule. North Carolina has beat: 1-AA McNeese State 35-27, Rutgers 44-12, Miami Fla. 28-24, and UConn 38-12. They lost to Virginia Tech 20-17. Not bad, but no victory over a 1-AA team will impress me and they beat up on a UConn team that played a backup QB in Zack Frazer. What does impress me is their dynamic wide receivers; Brandon Tate and Hakeem Nicks. Both are big play WR’s and both are licking their chops at the fact that #20 still plays for ND.

What should you be drinking? Moonshine buddy! That great southern tradition still lives on throughout Appalachia and surrounding areas. The good stuff is still quite illegal, so if you wish to imbibe in some White Lightning be cautious. Most shine will come in either a clay jug or a mason jar. However, I have found that most moonshine coming from Kentucky is bottled in plastic milk jugs. The rest of the Southern Community looks down on that practice. Now when you’re down there tailgating, don’t mix your shine with a soda, juice, or anything else. In fact, just break the jar out and start passing it around. This is the only acceptable way to drink it. Have fun, but remember that moonshine is 100 proof or greater so be prepared to be knocked directly on your ass if you drink too much. I know you will.

What should I be eating? You’re in the south. Fried Chicken and more fried chicken. So break out your deep fryer for the tailgate and follow this delicious recipe. Now, if you feel like cooking up the chicken yourself- have your mama do it. Mama Dips, that is. No trip to Chapel Hill would be complete without a visit to this classic example of southern cuisine. Don’t forget your sides of blackeye peas, yams, okra, greens, cornbread, etc., etc.

What should I be wearing? The forecast is looking pretty good for the most part. There is a slight chance for some rain showers, but it’s a small chance. So what do we wear? Wll, since we are in the south and around the racing rednecks, get your NASCAR t-shirts. Get Michael Floyd #3 / Dale Earnhardt, #7 Jimmy Clausen / Robby Gordon, #55 Eric Olsen / Michael Waltrip, and #77 Mike Turkovich / Sam Hornish Jr. The list is mighty long. Also, check into grabbing a mullet for the game. No, not the guys in front of you but a sweet wig to help blend you into the crowd.

What freshman will make the biggest impact (besides Floyd)? Last week I went with Kyle Rudolph and predicted a redzone TD for the young tight end. BINGO. This week I am going with freshman cornerback, Robert Blanton. Blanton should see plenty of playing time this week as ND is going up against some very good WR’s and the Tarheel rushing attack is worse than ND’s (or close to it). ND should still bring a decent amount of pressure this week and that may force a couple of really bad passes by Nort Carolina QB, Cam Sexton. Look for Robert to pick one off while Sexton is just trying to get rid of the ball. Blanton is certainly capable of the big play, and I think he has a couple on Saturday.

What offensive player needs to step it up? Eric Olsen. I keep hearing how North Carolina has this super tough and super good defensive line that the Heels use as the main source of pressure against the passing game while they drop 7 back into a zone coverage. So it’s safe to say, that a lot of the battles in the trenches will be one on one battles. Olsen needs to make sure his shit is together as well as firing up the guys on the line with him. There are going to be moments in this game where ND will have to line up and get that one yard to keep a drive alive. This is where Olsen and his brothers in arms on the line have to suck it up and play balls out. Olsen has been one of the Irish’s emotional leaders since the Spring, and his play and pissed off demeanor have really helped the line to develop into a better unit. Olsen must continue to be that guy on the line Weis and all of the Irish faithful can trust to kick a little ass.

What defensive player needs to step it up? Raeshon McNeil. It looks as if there is no possible way Terrail Lambert is going to come out of his shell this season and make a play. I just keep seeing him burnt whether the ball gets there or not. McNeil is coming home to North Carolina and he is ready to prove to his home state that he is a rising star. He will have to play extremely well as I see the safety help, rolling on the other side.

What special teams player needs to step it up? The “Gunners”. What? Not Brandon Walker? No. I am not sure he is capable of stepping up and making clutch kicks. It’s a sad commentary, but it is a reality that we have to face. What was disappointing last week, was the return yards Notre Dame gave up to Stanford. David Bruton admitted that he didn’t play up to his level of expectations as it pertains to kick coverage and Anello was not as visible as well. North Carolina has a VERY dangerous return man in Brandon Tate, and the Irish gunners have to get downfield and make a play early to help the defense’s cause. I fully expect Anello and Bruton to be back to form this week and make those plays. Not only does it help with field position, but it also fires the defense up and sets the tone for the following series. This is HUGE.

Who’s gonna win? The fashionable pick by most everyone so far this week, has been North Carolina in a close game. Nope. The Irish win in impressive fashion: Irish 42-21. The defense will step up to the challenge and create turnovers like they have all season. This week they turn those turnovers into short fields and then into points, Last week ND had 3 takeaways that resulted in 0 points. That will be the difference this week.

(From Irish Eye’s London Domer)

Stanford. October 4, 2008

October 3, 2008

Welcome to Anti-Preview for the Stanford Cardinal. This week Notre Dame faces an opponent that, quite honestly, is a little scary. Look at that fucking tree mascot. It’s nightmarish.

Stanford. The Cardinal come into South Bend with a lot of confidence, but no real marquee win. Stanford is 3-2 with victories over Oregon State, San Jose State, and at Washington. They lost handily to Arizona State 41-17, a game where Rudy Carpenter (ASU) threw for 345 yards and 3 TD’s. They also lost at TCU 31-10, a game where the Cardinal offense was dreadful. Stanford is also a little banged up with leading rusher Toby Gerhart coming off of an injury(mild concussion?), and one of the Cardinal starting WR’s will be out for the game (I can’t recall which one). Stanford has not beat ND since Bob freaking Davie was coaching during his last year. Since then, the Irish have pounded the Cardinal and that includes 3 victories by the Molder of Men, Ty Willingham. Ouch.

What should I be drinking? Wine and lots of it? Stanford is surrounded by wine country. Napa, Sonoma, Livermore, and Santa Cruz engulf the area of Palo Alto/ San Francisco. So more than likely, a good bottle of wine would suffice- if you are a tool or a Spartan. Instead, grab a beer that is overlooked due to the amount of wussies in the area. Anchor Steam Beer is a refreshing beer that is a style all of its own:

The California Common, or Steam Beer, is a unique 100% American style lager.
It’s usually brewed with a special strain of lager yeast that works better at
warmer temperatures. This method dates back to the late 1800’s in California
when refrigeration was a great luxury. The brewers back then had to improvise to
cool the beer down, so shallow fermenters were used. So in a way the lager yeast
was trained to ferment quicker at warmer temperatures. Today’s examples are
light amber to tawny in color, medium bodied with a malty character. Mildly
fruity with an assertive hop bitterness. – From
The Beer Advocate

So grab a hold of this unique American invention and enjoy. If you are attending the game, please bring your camcorders, and cameras for tailgating and use them to document the gestapo marching around campus looking to incarcerate you and your family.

What should I be eating? San Francisco is famous for its treats. No, not Rice A Roni, but its wide varieties of Sushi. As much as people eat this Oriental dish out at a restaurant, it can be made quite simply at home. Here are a few recipes that you can whip together at home the night before, or even at the tailgate itself: California Sushi Roll, Salmon and Seaweed Sushi Roll, and Tuna Sushi. Of course, if you do this in South Bend and on a whim say, “Man, wish I had some sushi,” you can always go to Matuba Japanese Restaurant Sushi & Sashimi on Mckinley Avenue.

You may get some weird looks from other tailgaters as you tear into a sushi roll, and don’t be surprised if you conjure the wrath of Sarah at Bad Trade:

When I went to visit Stanford while looking at colleges, they weren’t cooking
anything. Because, you know, sushi doesn’t require cooking. And they were
drinking wine.I’m sorry, any team with fans who think sushi is an appropriate
item to eat at a tailgate is not a team we should be playing on a regular basis.

You may want to consider a log table while serving this dish, and I’m certain the Roman Catholic Church will look down on a nyotaimori style platter.

What should I be wearing? You mean, besides a platter of sushi? The forecast calls for a mild fall day that is mostly sunny and a high of 64. That sounds perfect for a bunch of aging hippies and hippies that have no idea what a real hippie really is. So grab a tye dye blue and gold shirt, some old torn up jeans and a pair of Birkenstocks (with or without socks). It might be a little cool in the morning, so grab an old Army jacket and take a Sharpie to draw a big peace sign with the words Notre Dame around the circle. Crunchy!

What freshman will make the biggest impact (besides Floyd) ? Michael Floyd is going to be a major contributor for the remainder of the season, so he will no longer be eligible in this category. Last week I said Blanton would make the biggest impact and I was prophetic as you could argue that it was his INT return for TD that really sparked the Irish to kick the shit out of Purdue. This week, I am going with Kyle Rudolph. Stanford likes to blitz as much as the Irish. I think Rudolph will be key in helping to protect the QB in max protect situations, he should find a lot of room in the middle of the field with the coverage schemes that Stanford likes to run, and he is oh so important in locking down the edge when ND is running the ball- especially with the delays and draws that have been the most successful part of the rushing attack. I think Rudolph scores a redzone TD and continues to improve on his blocking. We need him to.

What offensive player needs to step it up? Last week I chose Armando Allen and once again I was prophetic as he gave his best performance as a football player since his junior year in high school. This week I am going to go with another sophomore, and it is a safer pick- but crucial. Jimmy Clausen. Clausen had his best week in an Irish uniform as well against Purdue as he threw for 275 yards and 3 TD’s with 0 INT’s. He is going to need to the same kind of stat line this week if ND expects to put another ass whooping on the Cardinal. Of course the biggest stat is the no INT’s. As long as Jimmy can make those good decisions, ND should roll on offense with a good balance of passing to set up the run. Carpenter (ASU) is a similar type of QB and he threw for 345 yards and 3 TD’s in their home win versus Stanford. Jimmy could beat those numbers with the stable of WR’s that he has at his disposal… Tate, Floyd, Grimes, Kamara (strong #2 candidate for this category this week), and Rudolph. Californication.

What defensive player needs to step it up? Kerry Neal. Neal has been a man without a position this year. the Irish have been using more 4 man fronts with the nickel packages, and the 4-3 alignments that we have been seeing. Neal is a bit undersized at DE and really doesn’t have his off of the ground in a LB stance at all this year. I just have a hunch that he is going to be unleashed on Pritchard and have a sack or two. Just a hunch and definitely a hope.

What special team player needs to step it up? Brandon Walker. This is a new category for the Anti-Preview, but it is needed since this is such an important part of every football game. Walker finally had a field goal go through the goal post last week as he went 1-2 with a 41 yarder made. He is still perfect on his PAT attempts, but he really has to focus as Weis seems determined to get this part of the Fighting Irish scoring machine on track. Weis does not want to fall back into the misery of HAVING to go for it on 4th down because his kicker can’t come close to a 40 yard FG kick. Walker has a leg that is strong enough to make most kicks within 45 yards, but his execution has been awful. He has to improve this week and keep his confidence on the rise. Maybe he should pay attention to Sprout and Eric at The Subway Alumni Show as they had some good tips for Walker.

Is there a rivalry trophy at stake? As a matter of fact, yes. (I wouldn’t have asked otherwise) Here is an excerpt from an old Subway Domer post on all of ND’s rivalry trophy gamesThis might be the most obsolete trophy. It is not even published by a video game. It was presented for the first time in 1989 by the Notre Dame Club of the San Francisco Bay Area. The Legends Trophy, is a combination of Irish Crystal and California Redwood. Whatever the hell that means.

Who’s gonna win? Despite any of the shit spewed out of Stanford offensive lineman Chris Marinelli’s mouth, the only thing that they are going to gash is their ass as ND should continue to dominate this series. I see a confident and improving Irish team that is going to continue to get better and play with more emotion thanks to that dumb ass Marinelli. Irish 45-17. The offense gets its balance by throwing the ball to create running lanes for Allen and punches it in while in the redzone. I don’t think Stanford will be up to the task, but this is still a decent Cardinal team so the Irish must continue to play with emotion and prepare like it’s a must win game.

Purdue. September 27, 2008

September 24, 2008

Because Purdue likes to keep with their theme of gay trains, this weeks Anti-Preview is going in a different direction than the previous three. The non-gay direction.

Purdue. The Boilermakers come up to South Bend with a very deceptive 2-1 record. Why so deceptive? Well, I’m not sure how good or bad they really are. They blowout their 1-AA cupcake, they lose a tough game to yet another ranked opponent (Oregon) in overtime, and they escape against Central Michigan because of one juke. By all of those indications I would say that they look pretty good. However, Curtis Painter (QB) is not looking that great. Painter has only 3 TD passes and 3 INT’s and has been sacked 6 times. He has had help with Kory Sheets running the ball, but everytime Purdue gives ND trouble it is because the Boilers throw the ball around. Purdue may find it difficult to toss the pig around with ease this time as the Irish have developed their defense into a decent pass stopping unit. Joe Tiller is Wilford Brimley.

What should I be drinking? A boilermaker, right? Wrong fucko. We are the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and they are a school full of future vets and farmers. It’s all Irish this week and the drink is none other than the monster killer itself… an Irish Carbomb. The recipe is easy enough: 3/4 pint of Guinness, 3/4 shot of Jameson Whiskey, 1/4 shot of Bailey’s Irish Cream. Drop the bomb! Caution is advised while drinking these and I would also recommend an 11 bomb limit unless you plan on shitting yourself in front of your entire family. Another tip: If you are at a bar, order the pint of Guinness and the shot of Jamesons & Bailey’s together (less time). Sip your stout for a few minutes, then drop the shot- BOMBS AWAY!!! Make sure you wink and nod at the first girl you see. Works everytime.

What should I be eating? Forget corned beef and cabbage. The true Irish dish had bacon instead of corned beef because of the availability of pork to the common people. Instead, try a stew- Molly Malone Stew. And if you are in South Bend, go check out Fiddler’s Hearth Public House for traditional Irish dishes and music. You can get the stew there or you can try their Bangers and Mash. Or put plan “C” in effect and keep drowning in the car bombs.

What should I be wearing? The weather forecast is calling for a gorgeous sunny day in the Bend. So nice in fact, that kilts should be worn. Be a real man and step up to the challenge of setting your balls free from constriction. Be sure to accessorize with a cock knocker and solid footwear. A walking stick is optional. A shillelagh is not- have one for the ass whooping you want to unleash.

What freshman will make the biggest impact (besides Floyd) ? Robert Blanton. Blanton has an extreme amount of confidence that borders along cockiness. Exactly what you need as a cover corner. Blanton’s role as a freshman was increased after the departure of starter Darrin Walls. Blanton did not make an appearance against San Diego State, but he has been on the field during key passing downs since the first quarter of the Michigan game. The reports out of fall camp were that Robert was a skilled cover man and was capable of making big plays early in his career. I think he will against Purdue. They throw the ball enough to give the frosh all the chances he will need. The Irish need him, and I think he comes through.

What offensive player needs to step it up? Armando Allen. Since arriving in South Bend, Allen has been hailed as a game breaker and someone who could take it to the house anytime he touches the ball. This has been far from the truth during his first year and a quarter at Notre Dame. What I’ve noticed is that his vision is not as good as other backs in the country with the same or less speed. Sure, we can blame the offensive line as much as we want, but Allen has to make the right cuts on the plays designed for him. Example: During the first quarter against MSU, ND ran a stretch run to the left and Allen cut inside when if he took it outside it is likely he scores. That has been his biggest problem, he almost always cuts in instead of using his speed and bouncing out. MSU brought the house against ND, and everyone knows that to help slow the rush down you have to run screens and draws effectively. Allen is the guy who needs to be more like Darius Walker and run smarter, and then use his speed for the run to daylight.

What defensive player needs to step it up? Gary Gray. I would have said Terrail Lambert, but after the amount of times I have seen him get burned this year alone, the fifth year senior is more of a liability right now than a weapon. Gray has been touted by most insiders as the BEST cover corner on the team. (That was after the spring game and included Walls). McNeil is more than holding his own on his side, but ND needs two guys on the island to lockdown Boiler targets. We need Gray to play a bigger role and we should see one this week. I am very confident in our defensive backfield when we go to a nickel package, which we should see against Purdue. Mark it down… Gray with 2 picks.

Is there a rivalry trophy at stake? As a matter of fact, yes. (I wouldn’t have asked otherwise) Here is an excerpt from an old Subway Domer post on all of ND’s rivalry trophy gamesthe shillelagh theme we next look at the Purdue game. It is simply called The Shillelagh Trophy. It was donated by a merchant seaman and Fighting Irish fan, Joe McLaughlin. He purchased the blackthorn oak club while in Ireland. The winner of the game has received this trophy since the 1957 game. The winner has its initials put on a football medallion, along with the score, and that is placed on the oak stand the Shillelagh sit upon.

Who’s gonna win? The Fighting Irish played like dog shit against a tough opponent last week in Michigan State and they were only down 13-7 with 7 minutes, or so, left in the game. How did they lose? By turning the ball over twice in scoring range and once deep in their own territory, and missing two field goals. I think ND makes less mistakes this week, although I ‘m not sure about the FG unit, and really takes it to the Boilers at ND Stadium- Irish 38-20. A bold prediction no doubt, but one that can become reality if ND wins the turnover game and sticks to what it does best… spread it out and throw the god damn ball

(Irish Illustrated’s McStug)