With all the hoopla, I must have missed this all important battle between the independents for the right to be best of the uncategorized. Being game 8 on the docket, we have no idea what shape either side will be in when BYU plays their second Holy War.
One thing that most will agree on: Notre Dame is looking to be better than last year’s lackluster team. The only problem is, they must fill more gaps. But let’s start with the positives for Brian Kelly’s squad. Offense – The running backs position will be the anchor to keeping Notre Dame in ball games. Last year’s starter, Cierre Wood, is back ready looking to improve on his 1100+ yards in 2011. Backing him up will be USC transfer, Amir Carlisle. When your rushing game is working well for you, it opens up the play action pass. And who is one of the most important pieces in the play action. The tight end! Tyler Eifert, a future NFLer, will most certainly cause defenses nightmares if the running game works. He’ll be needed to fill in some of the vacated responsibility of departed Michael Floyd.
And if everything seems to be clicking, that will take immense pressure off whoever will be the Irish’s starting QB. It will be Tommy Rees to begin the season, even though he is suspended for season opener. But don’t expect to see him too long if his inconsistencies and untimely miscues rise up again. Brian Kelly will not be afraid to go with another in his arsenal of ‘future’ star QB’s.
Defensively, the shining star is Manti Te’o. What else can you say about him other than he’s returning for 2012, ergo, a nightmare to contain offensively. The future Pro-Bowler will be joined by nearly all the starting linebackers from last season. On the defensive line, Kapron Lewis-Moore and Louis Nix III, while defensive end Aaron Lynch transferred to South Florida. Unfortunately, Notre Dame will have to fill 3 out of 4 spots in the secondary. Last year’s defense had a tough time creating turnovers, yet they ranked 15th in total defense. They look to be comparable this season, with the exception of the secondary, which could be open for giving up some big plays.
No blowouts are looming in this religious clash. Both teams stack up comparatively and this match-up has the possibility to be a classic, back and forth slug-fest.