Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Irish Blogger Gathering: Boston College Week

Hosted this week by Poot over at Her Loyal Sons.
  1. Having actually seen the uniforms in the wild on Saturday night, what are your final thoughts regarding them? Does Ronald Darby stating that he liked them change your views on trying out the different uniforms for the “Shamrock Series”?


Oh right, sorry, I think I'm still recovering from my shamrock-helmet-induced hypnosis. I'm not sure I even noticed the players were wearing different-colored uniforms because I couldn't tear my eyes away from their heads. Maryland's helmets were practically austere by comparison. But then I started noticing them, too, and spent a fair amount of time pondering how the Maryland state flag could easily double as the pennant of a deeply confused religious order steeped in the tenets of NASCAR.

And then I remembered there was football on and decided not to care.

Overall, I don't think there's really any point to the uniform switch-up for the Shamrock Series, other than it gives Adidas a chance to throw some new swag in our direction. The whole change-up uniform thing does seem to be taking hold across the country, and part of me wonders whether this obsession isn't somehow linked to the fact that college football games can now be viewed on TV almost every night of the week. Everyone's getting TV time now, so everyone wants to stand out, right?

As for the recruits commenting on the uniforms: if they like them, great. If they don't, whatever. If a recruit's basing his decision to come to Notre Dame on whether or not he likes the uniforms, then I think I'd care. There are so many other much more important factors for the recruits to consider that I'd like to think the uniforms aren't going to be the tipping point.

Mostly I'll just be glad to see the boys back in the traditional blue & gold on Saturday. Gosh, you know, especially since they finally got the paint color right.

2. Manti is clearly hobbled right now. Re-watching the game on Sunday, I barely noticed him on the field and I rarely remember Mayock or Hammonds calling his name. I believe Kelly stated in his Sunday teleconference that Manti was did not play most of the 3rd or 4th quarters. If you are BK, do you sit Manti on Saturday?

Well, in his Tuesday presser, Kelly commented that Manti was running around and the rest seemed to have done him some good. Based on Manti's own comments earlier in the season that he can still feel the sting of that '09 UConn loss on Senior Day, I think he really wants to be out there on the field to send out the seniors with a win. Although it's certainly more important for him to be alive and well for the Stanford game next week, you gotta give the guy a chance to play for his teammates on Senior Day. Even if it's just for a quarter or two.

3. We’ve seen Tommy Rees play deep into blowouts against Navy, Air Force and Maryland with Hendrix only getting a significant number of snaps in the Air Force game. Rees is only a sophomore but it seems most Irish fans take it as a foregone conclusion that Golson or Hendrix will pass Tommy going into the 2012 season. So do you agree with the use, or lack thereof, of Hendrix so far this season? Do you accept the thought that this is Rees’ last year as starter?

Hm. Well, every time I try to predict something like this I'm terribly wrong, so let's just assume I'm incorrect when I say: I'd be very surprised to see Rees benched at the start of next season. As I noted in my rant after the Wake Forest game last week, I don't think a sophomore-year Andrew Hendrix (or Everett Golson) is going to be any less prone to throwing interceptions than a junior-year Tommy Rees.

Further, I think Rees is much more likely to have a breakout season next year than either of the younger QB's. He's been in Kelly's system for two years now--and if you recall, both Brady Quinn and Jimmy Clausen looked a whole lot better as juniors than they did as sophomores. Obviously this occurred for different reasons in each case (Weis showed up and whipped Quinn into a better-than-50%-passer; Jimmy finally had GOLDEN TATE and an O-line that would block for him--plus he learned how to throw the ball away), but overall I think the biggest change between a sophomore and a junior starting QB is in the mind. It's knowing the playbook. It's knowing your teammates. It's knowing how to thwart opposing defenses even when they're showing you looks they haven't shown all season.

I haven't seen enough of the younger QB's in action to make fair judgment, of course, but it doesn't seem likely that they'll be more mentally ready with the playbook than Rees, or more prepped to take on a leadership role and pick apart opposing defenses.

More likely than seeing Rees totally ousted, I think, is that we'll see more of Andrew Hendrix (or Golson, maybe) as the switch-up quarterback. I can't see Hendrix being totally ready for the starting spot next season, and as long as Tommy's around it seems foolish to completely yank him for someone with so much less experience. I'd much prefer to have just one starting QB, of course, but if Kelly can work in Hendrix effectively in certain situations and keep Rees in there as more of a stabilizing force (assuming, you know, he doesn't keep throwing INT's), then...well, maybe that's what we need to do. But I guess we'll see.

4. Tommy Rees needs 608 yards for 3000 passing yards on the season. Cierre Wood is 93 yards short while Jonas Gray is 270 yards short of 1000 rushing yards. Michael Floyd is 78 yards shy of 1000 receiving yards for the season. Despite SubwayDomer’s insistence that bowl stats count, predict final numbers for all 4 players before the bowl. Do they all hit the milestones?

I say yes. Why not? Let's contemplate how.

It's unlikely Rees will pull out a 300+ yard game against Stanford, so he needs a 400+ yard effort against BC. Let's say 444 yards by the end of the third quarter. At least 200 of those will need to be to Floyd, because it's Senior Day.

Speaking of which--it being Senior Day and all, Jonas Gray will rush for 270 yards in the first half alone.

Cierre may have to hold off until later in the game, but I say as long as Gray has the yardage covered in the first half, might as well have him scamper for the century mark in the second. Or, you know, there's always the Stanford Game.

  1. Notre Dame opens up as a 24.5 favorite for Saturday’s game and this is clearly the worst Boston College team in recent memory. That said, BC absolutely loves to play spoiler when it comes to Notre Dame and this game will be the last chance for something good to happen this season. Given those two thoughts, does the margin of victory matter to you on Saturday?

We will score over sixty points. Every single senior will play for the entirety of the fourth quarter. Boston College will score field goals and only field goals, and they will not know the glory of our endzone.


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