Sep 7, 2013, 10:00 PM EDT
The 14th-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish and 17th-ranked Michigan Wolverines just wrapped up the first 30-minutes of tonight’s ballgame.
During the first half there were some things that I liked, and adjustments I feel need to be made for the Irish to have a chance to come out with a victory after entering the locker room trailing the Wolverines, 27-13.
1. Start The Half With A Stop
This seems like a simple thought, but the importance of this cannot be overstated. After starting off the game with the ball, the Wolverines will begin the second-half on the receiving end of the kickoff. The Irish cannot afford to fall behind anymore as the running game is important to their offense to achieve balance on their play calling and to keep the Michigan defense on their heels.
2. Be Sure To Hold Contain
This is more of a reminder than anything. Thus far, the outside backers of Notre Dame have done a pretty good job of keeping contain of defensive end … err … quarterback Devon Gardner. A few times, the outside of the Irish defense has gone for the inside run or draw and has given the Wolverines an outside lane to run for a big gain. In the second half it is important for the Irish to stay aggressive running downhill, yet hold strong in their responsibilities to limit big plays from the Wolverines. The Notre Dame linebackers have done a great job off applying pressure and getting upfield quickly off the snap, so they need to be ready for the screen-play from the Wolverines.
3. Play Between the Hash Marks
To do this there needs to be some help from the defense. In the second-half I want to see the Irish use the middle of the field to move the ball down the field. Try to get Troy Niklas and Ben Koyack some passes thrown their way and possibly use the middle of the field to run more routes for the wideouts.
In the first half, I can honestly say that Rees has played a solid half and has helped keep the Irish in the game with some solid throws down the field. Let’s tighten up along the offensive front and make a comeback to finish off this rivalry for a few years.
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