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Irish Blogger Gathering – Air Force Edition (UHND)

Oct 24, 2013, 2:17 PM EDT

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During the football season, a group of five Notre Dame bloggers join forces to ask one another questions and see who can come up with the best and most clever responses. The group of five includes Her Loyal Sons, Inside the IrishUHNDND Nation and NDSportsBlogger (the guy writing this).

The Irish travel to Air Force this week, so I had the opportunity to ask Frank a trio of questions…

  1. 1. How important is Tommy Rees to Notre Dame? As important as McCartney was to the Beatles or Michael to the Jackson 5?

    UHND: I think the second half against USC showed everyone just how important Tommy Rees is to Notre Dame this season.  When Rees went out, the Irish weren’t able to muster up any semblance of offense.  Don’t know if I would go as far as to make a comparison to Sir Paul or Michael Jackson since both were able to be successful on their own as well and I think Rees college career with Notre Dame will be the summit of his playing days, but I’d make a comparison to how important say a Scott Weiland (a huge Notre Dame fan by the way) was to Stone Temple Pilots.  The band and Weiland both tried to have careers on their own and it didn’t work out for anyone.


    2. Who will be the key performer this week on offense and defense for the Irish to ensure Notre Dame leaves Colorado Springs 6-2

    UHND: I think the newest internet sensation, Cam McDaniel will end up being the key performer on offense for Notre Dame this weekend if Rees plays.  If the threat of the passing game is there, I think Notre Dame will be able to run at will this weekend and McDaniel figures to be the main beneficiary in that department the way the carries have been split out the last few weeks.  I think TJ Jones and Troy Niklas will both be key contributors again this week too, but if Tommy Rees is the starting quarterback this weekend, I expect McDaniel to top 100 yards for the first time in his career.

    Defensively, this could be the week Jaylon Smith puts out some eye-popping stats.  Notre Dame has had success with taking the drop backer off the field in place of a safety when defending the option in the past, but this week Smith will stay on the field.  If the freshman plays disciplined, assignment football, he should see double-digit tackles on the perimeter of the Notre Dame defense.


    3. After the 1988 National Championship team was honored last week at the game, I started to wonder, what is your favorite Notre Dame memory?

    UHND: My favorite game memory is watching Rocket Ismail take back two kicks for a touchdown against Michigan in 1991. I was too young to really remember the ’88 season, but those early 90’s teams are my first memories of being a diehard Notre Dame fan and that game is when Rocket Ismail became my childhood hero. From that day forward I was absolutely hocked on Notre Dame and no matter what sport I was playing, I tried to be #25.

    Now, as luck would have it, my favorite non game Notre Dame memory also involves the most electric football player to ever suit up for the Irish.  Last January as I was in Miami with a few very close friends that I have solely through UHND and going to Notre Dame games over the years, who else did we see on the streets of Miami the night before the title game but none other than Rocket Ismail himself.  Needless to say, I now have an amazing picture of me, a few great friends, and my childhood sports hero Rocket Ismail all decked out in Notre Dame gear.

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