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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Apr 2017
    Albany, NY

    Post Game Observations (Temple, 2017)...

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    1. This was a big win, in that ND put a team behind the 8 ball early, and then put them away for good, late. 28 points in the first half, 21 points in the second half. A very nice balance for the Irish. A balance that hasn't really been seen in some time.

    2. Brandon Wimbush. Wimbush looked both good and bad. He looked a bit shaky in the first quarter and a half, but then settled in fairly nicely. In the first half, I thought he exhibited a bad case of happy feet. It looked like he couldn't wait to get out of the pocket if his first read wasn't open. But that changed as the game went on. I couldn't speculate as to whether that was the result of a big, comfortable lead; or whether he just got more comfortable with the speed of a live game. He still made a few throws that he should never have made. But that's not alarming at all, for a guy in his first start. He finished the day 17/30 for 184 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT. The INT was horrible. That was one of the throws he should never have made. But, again, not atypical for a first time starter. I thought his accuracy looked good, except that he tends to lead his guys a little too much over the middle. He almost got a couple of guys beheaded. Hopefully he will clean that up before anyone gets hurt. With 106 yards on 12 carries; he looks like a very capable runner, but not an electric runner like a Mike Vick or Tony Rice. That's fine, though. He looks like he is perfectly capable of moving the chains with his feet consistently, and breaking a long one every once in a while. With the stable of Running Backs that we have, that's more than enough production from the QB position.

    3. This stable of Running Backs......................... WHOA! The team rushed for 422 yards on 44 attempts, for a 9.6yards per carry team average. All three RBs showed the ability to break off big chunks of yardage at a time. They all have great talent and any rotation of them should be successful.

    4. The WRs............. Meh! I wasn't overly impressed. But I wasn't really disappointed, either. They say that a team's biggest improvement comes between week 1 and week 2. Hopefully the Receiving Corps will take a big step forward. It wasn't that they were bad, they just weren't memorable. About the only play that sticks in my mind was the throw down the sideline to Alize Mack, right before the FG attempt at the end of the 1st half. It wasn't a very good pass, and it probably should never have been thrown(into double or triple coverage), but it was catchable, in the end. And Mack didn't come down with it. That was disappointing. The receivers are going to need to make those plays, if they want to make the playoffs.

    5. Defense. Woof! The front 7 didn't impress at all. A few big plays, here and there, but for each big play, it seemed like they missed 3 easy plays. They weren't terrible, they just weren't good. First game in a new system under a new coordinator, though. Hopefully this game was just an adjustment period, and things will look much better as the season goes on. Drue Tranquil I thought was the brightest spot on defense. He seems to take to the Rover position, and it seems very well suited for him. The D Line needs to be more disruptive, though. I think I saw Tillery make one "big play", where he stayed with the play and ran the ballcarrier down from behind, on the opposite side of the field. The problem was that this tackle occurred about 20 yards downfield from the line of scrimmage. Lots of things to still hammer out and improve on, on Defense. But there appears to be an opportunity for guys to shine. And that's already an improvement over the recent past.

    6. Special Teams. I thought the Special Teams played well. Yoon had two missed FGs, but both of those were from 40+ yards. The last stats I could find were from 2014 and indicated that FBS level kickers only converted 40% of FGs from between 40-49 yards. So not surprising that Yoon missed a couple. I don't think it is anything to worry about. Would have loved to have had the points, but he can't hit from everywhere on the planet.

    All in all, I was happy with the opener, and am cautiously optimistic about Georgia. Win or lose, I hope that people won't be saying, "ND didn't even belong on the same field as UGA", afterward.

    Last edited by kmoose; 09-05-2017 at 07:23 PM. Reason: Inside ND Football video added

  2. #2
    Moderator IrishDodger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Benton, Arkansas
    Thats a fair assessment Moose. Based on the eggs laid by the majority of favorites in openers & NDs performance last season, I'm happy with todays game.

    Mack had a bad day period. He whiffed on some key blocks and didn't make an impact offensively. Hopefully he will shine going forward.

    Tillery had a favorable matchup vs a RS Fr center. While he didnt dominate he was very busy. The kid hustled his ass off. He made at least two downfield tackles from behind. He also cleaned up a few plays up the middle and did a nice job filling the gap for the LBs.

    Hayes & Okwara are SEC/ACC-caliber athletes. They may be one-dimensional early on but I liked what they brought to the table. Hayes really impressed.

    I agree with you on Tranquill. Solid game and he did a great job shedding blocks and making TFLs or short gains.

    All in all, the secondary did better than I expected. The caveat is they need to improve fast. WaY too many 3rd & longs seemed to be converted. The only time I recall the safeties getting blatantly burned was when the Temple WR dropped the TD pass. Granted...I was expecting a shitshow with the safeties.

    Wimbush had a nice day all things considered. What a talent that young man is? He seemed to look stiff or confused on a few handoffs that were telegraphed and the RB was stopped for a loss. He got away with one bad decision that could've been a pick six so I wasn't surprised when he finally threw a pick. He'll make some more bad decisions but thats expected from a first time starter. When all is said & done, I'm splitting hairs b/c the kid looked good. I'd like him to miss long (like the St. Brown miss) vs underthrows. The kid throws lasers so I suspect he'll get better with more reps.

    The OL exerted their will...esp Nelson/McGlinchey. Hopefully, theyll get the RT figured out. Hainsey had two false starts but the kid is a true freshman. I'd like to see Kraemer win the position outright but hes still young, too. Overall, the OL, RB & TE groups are deep.

    Great win. Georgia will be much tougher but ND has no excuses & should be up to the task.

    Temple was solid. I was impressed with the QB. The kid wasnt overwhelmed by the stage & ran the offense proficiently. The quick passes were killers and tough to defend. I hope they go undefeated the rest of the way but I suspect USF & UCF are the class of that conference.

  3. #3
    Senior Member LOVEMYIRISH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    A great game overall considering the QB was in his first start...

    It's funny, because while we won by a HUGE margin, I think we can all see that this team could still lose 5. Then again, they could win them all. This game didn't prove anything other than this: The boys are not going to lay an egg against a team like Temple.

    I am OK with that.

    We saw some glimpses of excellent play. Some good pressure, some great runs, and a few good passes.

    The whole team looks SUPER rough around the edges...but they are playing fast and attacking the ball (on both sides).

    They will watch the tape and see it was a much closer game and that there is so much to fix.

    I couldn't think of a better way to start the season!!!

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