Archive for the ‘Davieham’ Category

The Washington Hangover… Gone Generic

October 27, 2008

It feels good to be disappointed again. Notre Dame battled against a far inferior opponent, but despite a 33-7 victory- I can’t help but think that it should have been 57-0. I never thought I would feel that way for another year or two, here we are at 5-2 and I want more. It feels good.

So here are just a few thoughts from the game. I have some other stuff going on outside of blogging, so I will make this brief and a little generic. This is the Washington Huskies Ty Willingham Post- generic as Flavorite.

  • Clausen was off his game. I was worried that the bye week and having to travel across the country might do this to a few of the younger players, but I thought that Jimmy would have been able to overcome. It’s not like he played rotten- just not the same as we have seen in the first 6 games of the season. He’ll shake it off and get back to form this week. I have no doubts about it.
  • Mike Floyd is just sick. He had another good game with 4 receptions for 107 yards and a TD. The TD catch was different than the other scores Floyd has this year, because it was a catch and run for 51 yards. It is nice to see that kind of playmaking ability that close to the line of scrimmage by a wide receiver- not named Golden. Floyd should of had one or 2 more TD’s, but Jimmy’s lack of accuracy that night didn’t help. Regardless, he had a good night and especially good for a freshman coming off of a bad play the game prior.
  • It was nice to see Harrison Smith finally getting rewarded for getting his nuts crushed every week. I always see Smith go up in the air on the blitz and get an opposing lineman’s helmet stuffed right in his jock. Smith came away with 2 sacks and once again he proved to be a decent running back as well. Smith took a fake punt 35 yards. This was the second time this year that Harrison got a carry off of a fake punt. Both times he was successful as he got the first down and then some.
  • I wanted that shutout. I WANTED IT BAD!!! Oh well. The Fighting Irish have not shutout an opponent since Rutgers in 2002 42-0. The lone touchdown was scored on our third teamers and walk-ons. BTW- 2002 saw another shutout as well when the Irish blanked Maryland in the season opener 22-0. It’s ironic that the 2002 team was a Ty coached, Davie built defensive team. Weird.
  • Speaking of Davie… I thought he did a very good job in the booth. His counterpart was Mark Jones, and that ass clown tried more than a few times to slam ND. Davie backed Weis and the University up time after time. It was just very surreal. Just imagine if Holtz showed up. You can tell it is close to Halloween.
  • Notre Dame suffered last year in some part to the lack of experience as much as the relative youth of the team. The Fighting Irish have had too many close games this year, to really get some real playing time for the second teamers and freshman. One that stood out was Jonas Gray. Gray came in for mop up duty and ran the ball 9 times for 61 yards. He passed the eyeball test. Also, Flemming got the start at Jack LB over Mo Crum. It wasn’t planned according to Weis, but it says a lot about what they think about Flemming.
  • The defense was fucking good. But, Washington is just as awful. It is very encouraging, however, that the defense only allowed like 78 yards before the TD “drive” by Washington late in the 4th quarter. Brian Smith was hitting players as hard as a fat girl hits the open buffet at Golden Corral. Some interesting things from our defense came about Saturday: Herring was the leading tackler for the game after being almost non-existent for most of the season. As stated before, Flemming starting over Crum. The Irish had no takeaways. I’m not sure what happened , so let me know- where’s Gary Gray? Is he hurt? Anyways, the defense played great and just destroyed any hopes for Washington early in the game.

That’s about it for me. I apologize if this was a little too generic, but like I said… I got some things going on and haven’t the time to type out all of my thoughts.

You don’t want to go there anyways.

BTW- James Aldridge is catching on fire with another good performance. 13 carries for 84 yards and 2 TDs. He looks happy.

All-Davieham Team… Part 2 Defense

January 1, 2008

Now it’s time for the other side of the ball. I received some pretty passionate responses to my offensive selections. Remember, I am basing these choices on production and not on a man-crush. Well, most of them anyways. Again, the criteria was for the players to play in at least 2 years of this God-awful era.
Defensive Ends: Grant Irons & Justin Tuck. Grant Irons came to ND after a heated recruiting battle with Michigan. Grants older brother played for the Skunkbears, but Grant showed his superior intelligence for choosing ND. Irons was plagued by injuries during his 5 years at ND, but was quite a force on the field. Grant was switched from OLB to DE and was a 4 year starter at ND. Justin Tuck was one of the best (if not THE best) pass rushing DE in Irish History. Justin could have been legendary. Tuck did not see the field his freshman year and was an outside linebacker. His sophomore year Tuck moved to DE and was a pass rushing specialist. He finished that year with 10 TFL and 5 sacks. His breakout year was his junior year at ND. He set the single season sack record with 13.5 sacks and also left as the career leader as well and dominated the game at times. After “The Molder of Men” was sacked himself, Tuck left ND for the NFL draft despite having 2 years of eligibility left. Tuck was truly one of the best ever and may not be remembered as well, due to his short tenure at ND.

Defensive Tackle: Anthony Weaver & Lance Legree. Notre Dame was very consistent during this era with the lack of TRUE playmaking defensive tackles. To this day, the Irish have had problems with acquiring those important hogs for the d-line. Of all of those guys that fit the mold of play making DT it would have to Weaver. Anthony was a 4 year starter at ND and was a dominant run stopper as well as a very good pass rusher. He was moved around a lot during his time at ND from DT to DE, but one thing remained: Weaver stayed on the field and produced. Lance Legree became a very good DT for the Irish during his stay at ND. Lance was moved around as well, but settled in at DT and was a force his 5th year with 50 tackles.

Outside Linebacker: Kory Minor & Rocky Boiman. Kory Minor came to ND as part of a number 1 recruiting class. Minor was a 4 year starter at ND and was a very fearsome pass rusher. He is 2nd all-time in sacks at ND and developed into a fan favorite during his time there as well. Speaking of fan favorites, Rocky Boiman made the list as well. Rocky will probably be remembered most for his love of rocking out to Metallica before a game and his fiery red hair. Boiman was a very energetic player and seemed to be around the ball a lot.

Middle Linbacker: Jimmy Friday & Courtney Watson. Jimmy Friday was a staple of the Irish defense for 2 years at ND. He led the team in tackles his junior year with 109 and was 2nd his senior year with 79. Not as well known as other Irish players, Friday was very physical and was very intimidating as a run stopper. Courtney Watson developed into a modern day Irish legend. After coming to ND to be a RB, Watson quickly found himself on the other side of the ball. Once there, Watson found his home and was a starter for 3 years. In his final 2, he led the team in tackles and was the first Irish player to do so in two consecutive years since Irish Great Demetrius DuBose (R.I.P.). Watson was undersized, but his speed allowed him to make contact quickly and once there, Courtney took his man down. Perhaps his greatest game was during an Irish loss. In 2001 ND played Nebraska. Watson was all over the field and recorded a career high, 18 tackles. Watson truly played bigger than his physical stature would have you believe.

Cornerback: Vontez Duff & Shane Walton. These two players were teammates and really helped and relied on one another to shine and be as productive as possible. Duff was a 3 year starter at cornerback for the Irish. During a time in ND history of being scorched through the air, Duff was an exciting coverman. Duff was a very quick player with a knack to find the ball in the air. Anytime Vontez picked one off, you had to hold your breath. True Story: I was at the Purdue game in 2002. Remember that year, the Irish did not score during their first 2 games (Maryland & Purdue). The Irish were ties and I was saying to my buddy, “Duff needs a pick 6 right now for us to win.” Tada… Duff came through. Walton IS a legend at ND. One of the best finds of the Davie era, Shane was a soccer player for ND. Usually, when a soccer player comes over to play football it is because they need a kicker. Not so with Shane. Davie saw his quick feet and the rest is history. Walton went on to become an All-American and was a lockdown corner. Walton always found himself in good situations and was rewarded for those with being able to make big play after big play. My favorite was the INT that sealed the victory versus Michigan in 2002.

Safety: Glenn Earl & Gerome Sapp. Another teammate tandem and on top of that, they were teammates with Duff and Walton. It says a lot about the secondary that was there and about the lack of depth during the Davieham era. Sapp was a ball hawking safety who just made plays. He was in on a lot of tackles and helped keep the deep zone well covered. Ironically, he may be better remembered for his fumble recoveries than his INTs. Glenn Earl was a very physical player for the Irish. Earl was only 6’1″ 205 pounds, but played much bigger. He was 2nd in tackles for the team his junior year and delivered big hit after big hit. One of Glenn’s best moments came during his sophomore year against Air Force. Earl blocked a 28 yard field goal as time expired to send the game into overtime. (ND wound up with the victory).
Part 3 will be available soon and will cover Special Teams and those who missed the cut.

The All-Davieham Team… Part 1 Offense

December 29, 2007

Things need a little lightening up around NDNation. I realize that even the slight utterance of Bob Davie and Tyrone Willingham has the opposite effect. However, many of the players on these 2 buffoon’s teams are quite loved and respected. To honor these players and to change the topic around the blogosphere (recruiting, depth charts, etc.) I bring you The Subway Domer All-Davieham Team. To be a member of this team, a player would have had to been at least a 2 year starter during the years of 1997-2004. Enjoy…

Quarterback: Jarious Jackson. Surprise! I know some of you are already yelling at the computer screen for Brady Quinn, but Jarious started more games in his 2 years and set passing records that Quinn didn’t break until his Junior year (with the help of Weis). Jarious had a very up and down 2 years at the helm, but managed to beat USC both years and had an amazing comeback victory versus Oklahoma. Need more to satisfy? Well, The House That Rock Built put this paragraph together that is quite poetic:

By far one of the gutsiest quarterbacks ever to don the blue
and gold,
particularly since he was unfettered week to week with anything
resembling an
offensive gameplan or playbook. Nay, Jarious was instructed to
run around in the
backfield, dodging potential career-ending tackler after
career-ending tackler,
then fling the ball haphazardly downfield and pray
for a miracle. Surprisingly,
he set an impressive array of school records
doing this. You can read more about
this proven offensive strategy if you
buy ESPN Insider. Bob Davie’s columns
alone on the “Run & Fling” offense
will make it all worthwhile.

Tailback: Autry Denson & Julius Jones. There was no way I was going to chose between the two great ones. Denson left ND as its all-time leading rusher (4318 yds.) and second in rushing TD’s (43) behind Allen Pinket (49). Denson was a very smart runner and ran the draws and screens better than anyone that ever put on a Gold Helmet. (Yes, better than D. Walker). Jones was one of the most electrifying players in Irish history. Whenever Jones carried the ball or was returning a kick, you held your breath in anticipation of something magical. Jones holds the single game rushing record of 262 yards and is currently 5th all-time in yardage. Jones was a Ty victim. If he was fed the ball, we won. Instead, he played second fiddle to a then fumbling and less explosive Ryan Grant. Jones won the hearts of many Irish fans with his perseverance in a time of adversity. Jones left school for academic reasons in 2002 and worked hard at a Junior College in Arizona to comeback to play for the Irish and graduate.

Wide Receiver: Bobby Brown & Rhema McKnight. Of all the wide receivers to play during this era (and a lot were underused by Kevin Rogers) these 2 were the only ones to lead the team in receptions and yards in 2 different years. Bobby Brown might be more remembered for his personal foul penalty against Michigan in 1999 after a touchdown that helped the Skunkbears to victory. (It was a bullshit call…Q-Dogs!What!) Brown was THE go to WR in a system that didn’t know how to use one. McKnight came to ND as a 5-Star recruit and put together a very good career at ND. During the Ty era McKnight was used as the bubble screen runner extraordinaire. It was as if ND didn’t have any other route for him. Rhema did have some spectacular catches at ND but was ridiculed by fans and media his senior year for some dropped balls. McKnight will always be remembered for his season ending injury in 2005 (against the Skunkbears) that helped jumpstart the Legend of Samardzija.

Fullback: Tom Lopienski. After the great fullbacks of the Holtz Era (Bettis, Zellers, and Edwards), the Irish have been pretty bare at this position which continues even today. Tom, however was a 3 year starter and a very gritty special teams player. Had only 1 TD in his tenure at ND and it was a pass reception. Tom was a very good blocker and continued on to the NFL to do more of the same dirty work as he did at Notre Dame.

Tight End: Jabari Holloway. The Irish have had a long history of great tight ends. Holloway will never really fit into this category, but was very good during his time at ND. He was a three year starter and a clutch option for Jackson. Holloway was a ferocious blocker and in the system provided, that was priority #1.

Offensive Tackles: LT Luke Pettigout & RT Kurt Vollers. Back when the Irish had actual depth on the O-Line, There were generally only 2 year starters in a career. Pettigout was one of these guys. Luke was a stout run blocker and protected the quarterback fiercely. Kurt Vollers was an enormous specimen at tackle. He had a decent career at ND, but was called for holding quite a few times. Never the less, he held his own against some of the nations top defenses during his tenure at ND.

Center: Jeff Faine. Quite possibly the greatest center in Irish history. He certainly was the most pissed off. Faine wasn’t just intense, he was downright NASTY. Watching him block was a clinic on blocking from snap to whistle. His ability to give 120% on every play and still wanting more, created a spot for himself in legions of Irish fans hearts. Jeff liked to mix it up with the opposing defense and was called for more than his fair share of personal fouls. But, that’s what you get from a offensive lineman with a defensive lineman’s mentality. Think: Zorich at center. Jeff was a 3 year starter and then moved on to the NFL as one of the 1st round draft picks in this dreadful era.

Guards: Mike Gandy & Sean Mahan. I really have no stats or reasoning for these selections, but I would like to think that I would. Both Mike and Sean were standouts at their positions as they benefited from depth to compete against. (Thanks again Ty!)
I will provide Part 2 (defense) and Part 3 (special teams) along with a short editorial on this era of players soon. On another note, as I was writing this post I started to wonder if this had been done before. Meaning: it’s a good idea and probably a few years too late. Lo and behold, after I wrote this piece and before I published it, I stumbled onto a Blue-Gray Sky post that covered these topics already. Man those guys are good. Looks like I won’t even waste my time with the All Holtz-team. But as I said, I will continue with parts 2 & 3.