Great Shane of Subway Domer video fame decided to sit down and simulate the 2012 Football Season on NCAA Football 2013. He took notes as he watched the Notre Dame games unfold. Dear god, he's going to die at a young age... Week 1 - Notre Dame @ Navy (Dublin, Ireland)
Notre Dame has named Everett Golson the starter with Andrew Hendrix as his backup. The coaching staff presumably can’t shake the idea of their QB being tackled by a cab driver and as a result, decide to square Tommy Rees off against Gunner Kiel for the 3rd spot on the depth chart. Anyone smell another transfer?
Navy comes out slow from the gate and after a couple of decent runs by the FB they go 3-and-out and have to punt. Theo Riddick shows ND Nation that the punt-return game has been corrected and brings it back for 15 yards already multiplying last year’s production by about 80…don’t quote my math.
Enter Golson, who leans heavily on production from Cierre Wood to drive down to the Navy 30 at which point they sputter and are forced to kick a FG and go up 3-0 on the Mids.
After the ensuing kickoff, Notre Dame does its best to keep Navy off schedule, but get charged for an encroachment penalty by Stephon Tuitt which helps keep their drive alive. Immediately following the penalty, however, Manti Te’o corrects the problem by taking the running back down in the backfield. Navy is forced to punt. Riddick can’t do much on the return and nets about 7 yards.
On the first play of the next drive, Wood appears to decide he wants to get cute and tries to hurdle a defender, which he pays for with a loss of 4 yards. Taking the game into his own hands, Golson checks out of the call on the next play and drops a pass into Robby Toma’s hands on a crossing pattern which he turns up field for 28 yards. Following a Golson sack, Cierre Wood takes the handoff for 5 yards and gets hit hard enough that he leaves the game with back spasms and doesn’t return. Golson dumps off a pass on the next play to TJ Jones who falls just short of the 1st to bring up 4th and 1. Of course, Brian Kelly decides he’s going for it (mostly because fuck Navy) and calls a HB sweep to the right and they pick up the 1st inside the Navy 30 to take the game into the 2nd quarter.
To start the 2nd quarter, Notre Dame calls a dangerous pass play over the middle that gets tipped by the Navy defense and then follows that up with a QB run that goes nowhere to bring up 3rd and 14. Golson does his best to get the 1st and hits a 12-yard pass play to Toma but they’re forced to kick another FG to go up 6-0.
Navy starts off next on their own 19 by getting sacked and then follows that up with a devastating tackle in the backfield by Prince Shembo. With a chance on 3rd and forever to get the 1st on a deep pass, the Navy WR can’t get there in time and they’re forced to punt again. Riddick returns it for 10 yards.
With Wood out the rest of the game Riddick takes over to start the drive from the Notre Dame 45 and picks up 9. ND follows that up with a 7 yard pass to Toma. As the Irish pick up momentum and speed, Riddick runs again for another 9 yard gain. On the next play Golson tries to do it with his feet but can’t pick up the 1 yard needed and brings up 3rd down. On a sweep left, Riddick can’t seem to turn the corner and falls inches short of the marker bringing up 4th and inches. As you can already imagine, Kelly doesn’t give two shits about 2 inches and goes for it only this time it’s Golson who picks up the first with his feet to get down to the Navy 21. Golson tries to pass over the middle again and the pass is bobbled by about five Navy defenders before failing harmlessly to the ground. On the very next play he checks out of the call, stares down TJ Jones over the middle for about 10 seconds and calmly throws the most obvious interception in the history of football right in the end zone and Navy returns it to their 45.
You can already hear the cries of “Oh for fuck sake shades of 2011 again…”
Navy comes out on their next drive and the QB runs for 12 yards. Notre Dame appears deflated by the turnover as they allow the QB to run on them again this time straight up the middle for another 11 yards. With time winding down in the half and Navy right at the Notre Dame 31 they call time out.
From the time out Navy calls a pass to the sideline where they pick up 5 and stop the clock by getting out of bounds with :47 to go in the half. Kapron Lewis-Moore stops the QB for no gain only to let the next one go for the 5 yards Navy needed to get the 1st down at the ND 21 yard line. With :31 to go in the half throws incomplete and stops the clock at :22, where Navy runs the QB and goes nowhere down to the 20 yard line. The clock goes down to :05 and Navy calls their final timeout to setup the short FG and get back in the game.
6-3 Notre Dame going into the half.
The Irish get the ball to start the second half and I’m assuming Kelly has had an aneurism by now. Golson throws the ball away on the first play and Riddick gets dropped for a loss on the next. Golson decides to go deep and Goodman was there but drops it…yea that was gonna be a touchdown, asshole.
After the punt, NDs defense shuts Navy the fuck down with 2 straight tackles for losses and an incompletion. Navy punts and Riddick returns for 8 to the Notre Dame 40.
Golson comes out with 5 wide and drops a 10 yard pass to DaVaris Daniels. The next play sees Robby Toma line up in the backfield (cuz it’s fuckin’ TOMA TIME!) to take the hand off for 5 yards. Golson uses the spark to go throw downfield to TJ Jones who catches it just in bounds at the Navy 20. On first down, Golson checks into a screen to Toma who turns it up to the Navy 8. Daniels go nowhere on a Fly Sweep and with Toma still lining up in the backfield, he gets the handoff to pick up 5 and bring up 3rd and goal from the 5. What does Golson do with such an opportunity? Get sacked. FG try is good and they go up 9-3.* Sigh*…
Once again Navy can do absolutely nothing against ND and goes 3 and out. Riddick returns for 11 yards.
Golson starts the next drive with an 11 yard dump pass to Goodman. On the next play Golson breaks off a run of his own for about 15 yards having broken a tackle, only to get taken down and fumble the ball, which Navy recovers. Yea…
Navy comes out with a few positive run plays and gets the 1st at their own 40 heading into the 4th quarter. Navy’s attack is sniffed out on the next set of down and they go nowhere and are forced to punt once again. Riddick takes it about 12 yards up the sideline to the 27.
On the next drive, Ridick runs for little gain, and then Golson is sacked deep in the backfield to bring up 3rd and 20 from their own 18. All hope begins to dwindle as it seems as though Navy will get a chance to make a comeback. On 3rd down, Robby Toma will have none of that shit as Golson drops back and unloads an absolute bomb to Toma who catches the pass at the Navy 45 and takes that bitch to the house for 6. In case you weren’t sure, that’s an 82-yard TD pass. Glorious. ND isn’t fucking around today as Kelly decides he’s going for two to ice this fucker by two scores. The only problem is Riddick gets smacked in the backfield and the score stays at 15-3.
Navy gets the ball back with 3:30 to go in the game and does exactly what they need to do. After 2 shit plays, Navy throws a bomb pass downfield for a TD of their own. Navy kicks the PAT and the score is 15-10 just like that…well shit.
Notre Dame gets the ball and comes out on 1st down and can’t connect on the first pass play. Golson then tries another handoff to Riddick on a HB sweep and Navy sees it coming and destroys Riddick in the backfield. On 3rd and 14 Golson drops back, waits, waits, waits, waits, and gets sacked AND fumbles the ball at his own 10. Navy recovers. FUUUUUUUUUUU!!!
So Navy takes over with literally a 1st and Goal at the Notre Dame 9 and has 2:08 left in the game to take the lead. On the first play Zeke Motta gets in the backfield and makes a tackle for a small loss. On the next play Navy options to the back and gains only 2 yards to the ND 8. On 3rd and goal Navy drops back to pass and hits their WR wide open in the endzone. Navy goes up 16-15 and they decide to go for 2. Navy can’t get there. Notre Dame still down 1 with 1:37 left and all hope now rests on this next drive.
Davonte Neal gets his feet wet with the KO return which he brings back to the 31.
Notre Dame comes out on 1st down and Golson passes to Goodman over the middle to the 42 yard line and a fresh set of downs. On 1st again Navy swats the pass to Goodman away. Golson decides on a new target and hit Toma for 15 yards and he gets out of bounds with 1:19 left at the Navy 45. On 1st down Golson strikes quick to TJ Jones for 13 down to the Navy 32. FG range here we come!! ND keeps up the no huddle tempo and Golson audibles into a hand off to Riddick who does work and picks up 12 down to the Navy 20 having 1:02 left in the game. Kelly calls his first timeout of the game (yea right). With hints of Tulsa peeping its head into the game Kelly for some reason calls a pass play, which thankfully Golson throws out of bounds. :56 seconds left in the game and on 2nd down Golson takes that bitch himself and runs it down to the 5. WOOHOO!
On 1st and goal with :46 seconds left Golson hands off to Riddick who gets maybe a yard down to the 4. ND lets time wind down to :18 seconds left and they decide to run one more offensive play before kicking the FG. On 2nd and Goal, Golson takes it himself only to get stopped short of the endzone. With :08 seconds left Kelly calls timeout and lines up to kick the GW field goal. ND puts it up and in for the 18-16 lead with :03 left. Navy can’t go anywhere with the kickoff and Notre Dame Wins 18-16 as the final score.
First and foremost, holy blood pressure Batman. If this is what we wait all summer and offseason for, Notre Dame has some SERIOUS fucking work to do. Not to mention WHERE THE FUCK WAS EIFERT??!! Secondly, holy shit Robby Toma! Dude walked out of this one with 155 receiving yards and clear player-of-the-game honors. If anything, I really hope at least THIS happens. Lastly, the run game was clearly not much of a factor. The time Wood did spend in the game he rushed for 43 yards so who’s to say he wouldn’t have eclipsed 100 if he hadn’t gotten injured. But Riddick didn’t really do much to back him up rushing for 36 yards on 9 carries. Not so great production there.
Anyway I thought it to be interesting that a lot of other people have simulated this game and gotten landslide victories. Just goes to show you never know how fucked a game can be. So now that we’ve dodged a South Florida-shaped bullet we can move on right? Nope, you already know ESPN has to show off its raging boner after this one. Off to week 2!!
Golson: 13/21, 226 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT, 61% completion, 5 sacks. Toma: 6 Recs, 155 yds, 1TD Wood: 6 Carries, 43 yds