We slip Notre Dame’s Southern Cal Hangover right in, like one would slip in a shot (or a half-dozen shots) of bourbon into- well… anything. Notre Dame is 6-1 and sits in a comfortable place in the polls, while it heads into the bye week. The 41-31 victory over the Trojans was the perfect send-off for this downtime.
We’re throwing fist pumps up like Halloween candy. Let’s discuss…
Oct 17, 2015; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish running back C.J. Prosise (20) is pursued by Southern California Trojans cornerback Adoree Jackson (2) and defensive end Greg Townsend Jr. (93) at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
The Heisman talk is a tough conversation to listen to if you’re a Notre Dame football fan. The Leonard Fournette story is solid. There is no denying that he is probably the best running back in the country, and he proves it each week as he racks up yard after yard after touchdown after touchdown.
Still, I can’t help but think that CJ Prosise, or CJBORG, is being undervalued even as he is repeatedly mentioned as a Heisman “darkhorse.” Where would the Irish be this season if CJ Prosise was only marginally as good as he has been? We can only wonder in horror at the thought.
Against the Trojans, Prosise had 143 yards on 19 carries and 2 touchdowns- and he added another 32 yards receiving. Even in his “worst” game this season, CJ still had 150 all-purpose yards. The kid is phenomenal, and his story should be louder. He’s got 5 more regular season games to really turn up the volume.
There may not be another game in the Brian Kelly era at Notre Dame that one could see a real honest to goodness gameplan on special teams. It was extravagant in design, and possibly perfect in execution. Notre Dame did NOT want Adoree Jackson to beat them. Jackson is used in all three phases of the USC game, and returning kicks and punts is what may be the most dangerous considering all that a return gives a team outside of the whole “points” thing.
Using DeShone Kizer as a “pooch” punter was brilliant, but it also had much more depth to it than just pooch punting. Keeping Kizer out on 4th down took away USC’s ability to return the punt, and Kizer put bot attempts inside the 20 yard line. Given Kizer’s skill at this punt thing, this may be more of the Norm for the Irish if they have to punt inside the opponents territory.
DID WE EVEN MENTION A BLOCKED PUNT FOR TOUCHDOWN BRO? No, we didn’t and it was the first one for the Irish since the Utah game in 2010. The Irish even saw freshman Justin Yoon nail two field goals.
It was an exemplary effort from the special teams units, Scott Booker, and Brian Kelly. This is the “x” factor that Notre Dame has needed in these big games.
Sep 12, 2015; Charlottesville, VA, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish defensive lineman Isaac Rochell (90) participates in warm-ups prior to the Fighting Irish
I was listening to a podcast yesterday and they were discussing Jaylon Smith and made mention that perhaps we were taking Jaylon for granted. Basically, it was suggested that he was having a great year but because of one or two plays here or there, some fans and media professed a disappointment in Smith’s performance.
I agreed with the podcast… people are crazy. There is a name of a player who I think has been undervalued thus far this season and it’s Isaac Rochell. Sheldon Day gets a lot of the glory and rightfully so. Day is having a tremendous year and looks epic at times. Rochell’s play reminds me more of Brian Hamilton (not the commuter).
Maybe it’s the #90, and I keep think I’m seeing one thing when I know it’s another. Maybe- but every time I watch Notre Dame play, all I see is hustle, effort, grit, and determination from Isaac Rochell. Against the Trojans, Isaac had 6 tackles, a sack, and 3 quarterback hurries. He was getting after it.
I think we should all appreciate the play and pray that he stays healthy for this second half run.