This past Saturday was the 84th annual Blue and Gold game in South Bend. It was the offense in white and the defense wearing blue squaring off for intersquad bragging rights before the season starts. The defense came out with the win 54-42, but the real score was 17-2 favoring the offense. The biggest worry for many fans would be how will Te’o, Lewis-Moore, and Motta be replaced? Carlo Calabrese looked like himself, a hard hitting linebacker that is mainly a 1st and 2nd down guy. He still struggles with his pass coverage’s, but he looks improved on his footwork. Kona Schwenke came away with the safety for the blue team and looks improved from his past years. He has played all 4 years, but has never started. Kona will be a key backup for the defensive line this upcoming season. Shumate was the 3rd leading tackler on Saturday with 7 and one pass breakup. Farley looked good, but he and Shumate must compete with Redfield when he gets on campus, which could get interesting.
The defense dominated the entire game recording 10 sacks, 2 interceptions, a safety, and only 42 rushing on 17 attempts (2.47 yards a carry). The secondary looked improved throughout the game only giving up 283 passing yards with a lot of substitutions. Overall the zone coverage looked better, but there were still obvious holes over the deep middle. That is one of the usual holes in a zone, but safeties can jump converge on receivers faster than they have in the past. Louis Nix III is the anchor of this defense and I expect him to be the leader this season. Tuitt will have a breakout season in 2013 and the country will realize how great of an athlete he is. As the incoming freshmen come onto campus it will be clearer how deep the Irish really are on defense. Look for Vanderdoes, Smith, and Redfield to contribute in 2013.