Nov 8, 2012, 8:37 AM EDT
This weekend, Notre Dame will play its fifth primetime game of the 2012 season, when it travels to the Bay State for a meeting with Boston College (Saturday, 8 pm ET on ABC). The Eagles are just 2-7, but will seek to spoil an unbeaten Irish season for the third time in 20 years.
Before head coach Brian Kelly leads his team back to his home state, I caught up with Grantland X for this edition of the Irish Blogger Gathering. Grantland is the anonymous student blogger over on Her Loyal Sons.
I also took a stab at answering a few of Grantland X’s questions. Click here for those responses.
In the meantime, here’s what he had to say…
As a recent grad, a lot of my friends are pretty jealous of the season I have been witnessing week in and week out. For the last few years, I feel like there’s been a general sense of apathy among students towards the Fighting Irish. What’s the vibe among the student body? What are people saying on campus, in the dining hall, DeBartolo, etc.? Do they know how lucky they are? Are the majority of students excited beyond belief? Because they should be.
Well, you picked a good time to take a couple of victory laps, that’s for sure. I don’t know that I would ever have described the student body as “apathetic” towards the football team, but certainly expectations had been tempered a bit for the last couple of seasons. Even at the start of this year, many people didn’t have grand hopes for the football season. But now, obviously, any preseason expectations have been thrown out the window and the student body is clamoring for a title. The energy in the student section this season has been unmatched (we have been treated to some wild finishes, which helps) and I think everyone — particularly the older students — really appreciates how this season is going. I would guess that campus-wide GPAs are a bit lower this fall than in years past.
Among the Notre Dame blogosphere, you’ve consistently been the strongest voice in supporting Tommy Rees as the starting quarterback. What do you think about the job Everett Golson has been doing lately? How do you think the rest of the season will play out at the quarterback position? Will we continue to see the two QB system?
Pythagoras told people that the earth was round for years and he was ridiculed — but he turned out right, didn’t he? So I guess I dare to be different.
I think Everett Golson has continued to show flashes in recent weeks, and at the very least his confidence is way up right now. The way he stayed tough versus Pittsburgh when he could have hanged his head after a terrible late interception is definitely something worth noting, because he had been getting down on himself after mistakes earlier in the year (Michigan game comes to mind).
But while that was a positive, he still got pulled earlier in the game for Tommy Rees. Coach Kelly indicated that he pulled Golson because he had been missing reads and progressions, so I don’t know that he’s really improving as much as people think. Is he capable of making some impressive plays? Absolutely. But don’t conflate the ideas of winning and improving (the 45-yard pass to [DaVaris] Daniels vs Pitt comes to mind — that was a Denard Robinson throw). My big issue with the offense under Golson is that we rack up fairly good number of yards, but our point totals suffer. Kelly cited “offensive efficiency” earlier this year as trying to come away with points for every 80 yards you put up, and the Irish have not done well in that regard due to poor red zone offense.
Moving forward, I think you are going to see both Everett and Tommy continue to get on the field, because clearly there are some situations where BK believes in Tommy more. That being said, it’s all up to Everett how much Tommy plays. If he makes his reads, doesn’t turn the ball over, and doesn’t set himself up to take vicious hits, he’s going to remain on the field. The one takeaway for Irish fans is that truly we do have two guys who can run the show, no matter who your preference is.
What do you expect to happen on Saturday night? Do the Irish easily improve to 10-0? Do they pick up another ugly win? Or does, heaven forbid, BC spoil a perfect Notre Dame season for the third time in 20 years? Why?
I think it’s a blowout in Notre Dame’s favor. We have played extremely well on the road this year, and seem to play better when the world doubts us. Now. nobody is touting BC for the upset, but what the Irish team has been hearing all week is that Notre Dame was “exposed” by Pitt and really isn’t as good as previously thought. Expect them to quiet some doubters by running through a pretty awful Boston College team.
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