Have not really seen much of Notre Dame this year, so I tuned in last night to watch their games vs UM and Stanford on CSS................................
1) I know some ND types have been comparing Golson to Manziel, but I just do not see that at all. Golson has elusiveness, and a strong arm - but he does not use these attributes to his advantage ala Manziel. Manziel is much more accurate, especially on the move, and just displays better poise and pocket presence than Golson.
Golson has potential to make plays, but Manziel MAKES them more often.
PS - ND had to bring Rees in at QB, or I think Stanford wins in regulation.
2) The "3 yards and a cloud of dust" type blandness of their offense.
Riddick and Wood at RB have talent, but Michigan and Stanford were able to contain them well. ND does not seem to a lot of playmaking ability at the WR position, in part due to spotty QB play in the pass game. As result, the announcers in the Stanford game kept hammering on the point that it would be decided late, and the 3 yard runs would become body blows that would bear fruit late in the issue.
Sounds a lot like the UA philosophy.
3) ND has a playmaking Tight End in Eifert. He is tall, agile, athletic, and can make plays on the ball while in the air. This is the guy Bama must account for, especially in the red zone, imo - and if I am Kelly, I tell Golson to throw the ball up to him ANY time there is single coverage.
4) Te'o Who??
I tuned in in part to see the Derrick Thomas, Lawrence Taylor type performances expected from a guy who nearly stole the Heisman. I was a bit nonplussed - Teo is a fine player who makes plays, big plays at times, but was not a dominant force in either game I saw.
I did see some other guys make plays - CB Bennet Jackson, DE Tuitt, S Matthias Farley. The supporting cast concerns me more than the Manti Ray...............
5) Stanford QB pressure - they were able to get a LOT of pressure on Golson, and Golson was not able to use innate athletic ability to elude and make plays down the field. I think a guy like Dixon or HUbbard could have a big role, and a big game.
Overall, I saw a talented defense that is usually in the right place, and plays sound fundamentally. They are not world beaters by any means, and good execution will yield good results for us.
I also saw an offense that struggles to sustain drives, and still has a nagging QB controversy lingering on the back burner of the Irish stove. If Jesse Williams can control; the middle like I expect, I think the Bama Defense will have very good success against the Irish.
I think my sleep will be sound before this game