Notre Dame defeated Michigan 13-6 on Saturday but they did not play a flawless game. Here are a few negatives that stuck out to me:
Notre Dame’s Offense
Yes, Notre Dame defeated Michigan for the first time since 2008. This game wasn’t pretty, since Michigan outgained Notre Dame in total offense, first downs, and time of possession. I haven’t seen the offense this bad since Jimmy Clausen’s freshman year. It is very predictable, this is the reason the running game hasn’t been successful since the Navy game. Why is this? We can’t throw the football consistently with Golson or Rees. So the opposing defenses stack the box and sends different run blitz’s that shut down the run game. Rees is slow and steady; Golson has the talent to take Notre Dame to the next level, but has shown us he makes some bad mistakes. Golson has been inaccurate and Rees has a below average arm. We need to pick a quarterback and stick with him. The offense has no rhythm when you switch quarterbacks, especially when they are completely different style quarterbacks. Coach Kelly keeps reaffirming that Golson is his guy, well show us that! Where is the read option we saw at Cincinnati? Golson is the future of this Notre Dame offense and that is the guy for the spread system. With the bye week I am confident that Coach Kelly will work with Golson and the offense to make big strides as Miami approaches.
I am still a fan of Everett Golson and think he is the future of Notre Dame Football going forward, but it’s hard to defend him after his performance on Saturday. Golson went 3-8 for 30 yards with 2 bad interceptions, one in the endzone. Why he didn’t throw the ball out of the endzone to live another day is beside me. The short of it is that he is young and hasn’t had much experience as of yet. After being pulled from the game there were times when the camera would go to Golson and you could see the disappointment, anger, and disgust in his face for the way he performed. Did taking him out hurt him? His confidence does take a hit, but maybe it will work more as a lesson. Don’t turnover the ball, or you will be riding the pine pony, pal.
Limited touches for Cierre Wood and Tyler Eifert
I think everyone will agree that Wood and Eifert are the two impact players on offense. Eifert an All-American tight end who has had one catch in the last two games! Are you kidding me? Get him the football! In 2011 he had 63 catches for 803 yards and 5 touchdowns. Eifert was only targeted 2 times on Saturday and he was open plenty. As our only big target at 6’5’’ we should be able to take advantage of smaller defenders like he did on his only catch against Michigan. Cierre Wood rushed for 1,102 yards last season with 9 touchdowns and he only had 7 carries on Saturday. There is something wrong here, since he has come back from suspension he hasn’t been the number one back (Theo Riddick). Theo Riddick is a good player, but he isn’t an every down back. Cierre is more of a downhill runner and sees the holes in the defense very well. He must have hindered Brian Kelly’s image of him (actions that led to suspension), since it seems Theo will remain the guy.