How do we even describe this win? This season? This team?
Tip of the cap to the Stanford Cardinal. David Shaw's team featured a big, strong, focused and game group of young men who, for the fourth year in a row, took the game to Notre Dame on both sides of the ball. In a throwback battle of football's physical, aggressive heyday, Stanford went 12 rounds in a prize fight and fell just inches away from an epic victory. These academic institutions playing SEC type football, like that on display this afternoon, can only be a great thing for college football.
The goal-line call that ended the game is only a controversy if ESPN decides to drive that bus. The ruling on the field was made, refs correctly determined progress was stopped and there was NOTHING on film that made it a clear TD. Those are the rules ladies and gentlemen. In other news - this Notre Dame defense continued their absurd streak of not allowing rushing TDs against another name brand opponent with a fantastic rushing attack and future NFL running back. This beastly unit has earned every ounce of praise raining down on them. The heart, poise, determination of the defense as a whole is awe-inspiring. They're big, nasty, opportunistic and they make opponents pay for the yardage they get. A joy to watch
Game thoughts - I couldn't have faulted Kelly for yanking Golson a bit earlier in the game, but as the Head Coach has done all season - he read the situation and let Everett Golson go in for the big TD drive and he made multiple big plays that led to the tying touchdown. At some point, likely not during the season, Kelly will sit down with Everett and break down his terrible body language from a game like today. He had quite a few pouty moments that just have to go away. He certainly showed poise in his final two drives and we're all witness to the learning experience that is his development.
I tweeted out mid third quarter that if ND went down, the Irish game-plan would have been shredded by everyone in the blogosphere and rightfully so. The running game was having quality success, as in the backs were averaging over 4 yards/carry throughout the game. Cierre Wood, Theo Riddick & George Atkinson finished with a 4.89 yards/carry as a group, but Kelly continued to go to no back sets on early downs. Even on the series with their backs in the end zone, Golson was dropping back to pass like the Irish were down 10 with 5 minutes to go in the game. Here's hoping he's healthy following the boom he received on his final rush on the night. Maybe that will teach his butt to get down and maybe tuck a football away once in a while. Hard to believe Golson crossed the line for the ND masses where most WANTED Tommy Rees to come in. It happened and Kelly didn't oblige until forced. Naturally Rees goes 4-4 and wins the game. Unreal. As far as writing about the defense ... it's hard to put into words what we're seeing as this group grows. Amazing stuff
Final note: Nothing is bringing us down off a 6-0 high, but I have a Twitter gripe that I'm going to address. Having the kids of athletes and/or famous people playing for ND is cool. I find it somewhat obnoxious that WR DaVaris Daniels father, former All-Pro NFL defensive lineman Phillip Daniels, spends a decent amount of time on Twitter bitching about his son and his playing time as well as the play-calling. DaVaris is obviously talented, but he's also a sophomore who didn't see the field last season and plays quite a bit. In overtime he sent a little note about how "You never see #10 (Daniels) in the Red Zone". On cue, Tommy Rees was sacked, #10 went in and had a key OT pass come his way.
Phil - I'm sure you're a nice guy, but using your Twitter influence to whine like an overanxious Little League pops is out of line. Questioning the moves and intentions of a team that is now 6-0 only makes it look worse. Grow up. Set to arrive on campus this February are two more receivers with impressive bloodlines. Torii Hunter Jr. & Corey Robinson are the kids of, to be honest, far more distinguished athletes in their prospective sports than Phil Daniels - Torii Hunter & David "The Admiral" Robinson. I would bet a lot of money if I had it that you'll NEVER hear them place anything but encouragement around their kids and the program on social media because that's the kind of men they are and it's what should be expected.
Back to the reason we're here. 6-0 feels amazing. As a ND Football fan for life, this is nirvana. Thanks &