Notre Dame Football
If you can remember last years’ Blue and Gold game you might still have an underwhelming taste in your mouth as the offense only managed to score one touchdown that was late in the game, thrown by a player who never saw the field during the season. Add on the 2012 spring game in which Gunner Kiel basically took every snap in the 2nd half, my expectations of the Blue and Gold game football product have since taken a back seat.
This year, the game will continue to be an Offense vs. Defense/Blue vs. Gold game. I really like the format providing each side of the ball the ability to work with every player personnel combination possible. The defensive team scores by forcing punts, causing turnovers, and creating other havoc-causing plays, to establish the unique game style.
On offense this Saturday, fans will see Everett Golson and redshirt freshman Malik Zaire run the unit with the same players, drive after drive. The running backs should all see equal time as the group is expected to roll three-deep throughout the season. The wide receivers are all vying for roster-depth and I am expecting a lot of effort from this group.
Trying to stop the offense, expect new defensive Coordinator Brian VanGorder to throw his aggressive play-calling schemes at the offense throughout, whether his players are ready or not. Do keep an eye out for missed assignments and tackling within the defensive backfield as this unit is yet to come together and still searching for three of the four starting positions for the upcoming season. It will be interesting to see who might create separation towards solidifying a starting role.
It will be great to see the players take the field on Saturday, but this is still only a scrimmage. However this game turns out; just know a lot will change before the regular season this fall. I would set your DVRs now, since this is the only action you will see for a few months. The game starts at 12:30 Saturday April 12, and will air on NBC Sports.
Here are a few predictions to revisit for the game recap Saturday afternoon.
- Offense wins 34-28
- Greg Bryant scores a touchdown
- Jaylon Smith gets my attention more than five times
- Offensive has 3+ plays over 40 yards
- Corey Robinson will catch a jump ball in the end zone
- Quarterbacks will throw at least two interceptions and fumble the ball at least once.