At last we have a second victory for Brian Kelly. While this was by no means a perfect game for Notre Dame, I think Notre Dame is better off now, than when Notre Dame defeated Purdue. The nagging turnovers continue to plaque Notre Dame. The running game was stuffed at times. D. Crist did not have a great game in passing the football. Yet, I still will argue that after its baptism by fire, Notre Dame has made some progress with this win.
I will start off with the negatives from this game. Those three turnovers made me physically ill. It would seem that Notre Dame still cannot go through a game without harming itself. The one long pass play also was irritating, but it was still only one mistake. The offensive line, again, shows it still needs to improve. But what concerns me the most was some of Brian Kelly's play calling. I was shocked when, at times, it seemed that Notre Dame would waste a down on foolish calls. The quarter back plunge when Notre Dame was backed up was a strange call. Now, that could have just been a broken play. I certainly hope that Brian Kelly did not intentionally call such low percentage play.
Now, for the good results for the Irish. The three touchdowns in the first quarter really made me breath easier. While the second quarter made me feel physically ill, we have to remember that Notre Dame had already won the game on the third drive of the game. The kickoff return package seems to be dramatically improved. I think that it bodes well for the future that Notre Dame has such speed for the next couple of seasons. Notre Dame was also able to shut down the Boston College offense when necessary. That is important for Notre Dame fans. In recent history, I have witnessed far to many "amazing" performances given up by Notre Dame. Again, just like last year, I believe the main under-performance for Notre Dame came on the offensive side of the ball. Finally, I think that it was fantastic that D. Crist ran in for a touchdown. That is another element that Notre Dame opponents will have to attempt to control. As Notre Dame fans can verify, it is not fun to try to stop a quarter back that can throw and has good mobility.
I think I should explain why I think that the offense needs the most work. I have argued with several people last year that the offense failed more than the defense. The simple answer was that last year the defense really could not let us down, as Notre Dame fans should not have expected any great result from that unit. Yes, it seems that the defense took a couple of games off last year. But it also had a shut out and won a defensive struggle for Norte Dame. Last year the offense was supposed to be fantastic. I would say the offense performed extremley well last year, but not fantastic. This year, the offense has gone into extended periods of ineptitude and turnovers. That has put Notre Dame's defense into some precarious situations. I happen to believe that Notre Dame took a step forward with this victory. I just hope that Notre Dame can continue to improve as the season progresses.
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