This week, I’m answering questions provided by William Yurasko with Run Up The Score, There Is No Name On My Jersey, Nittany Line, Black Shoe Diaries, and the Nittany Blog providing some answers for you to check out.
1.) Thus far the defense has given up three points (on a short field) in two games. Have they proved that they are an elite unit or are they still untested?
The fact that the defense has held its first two opponents to a combined -3 yards rushing is just downright amazing. I don’t care if FIU and ND have shitty running games, that is an awesome statistic no matter which way you slice it. Add in the D-line’s injury issues and I can only wonder how much more brutal it could get for the opposition if/when Abe Koroma returns.
You also gotta give the defense props for not allowing a single offensive TD thus far, that’s a testament to the quality linebacking corps and secondary though I should say the secondary hasn’t been tested much this year (that probably won’t happen until we roll into Ann Arbor next Saturday).
2.) Anthony Morelli made a great throw to Chris Bell for 51 yards but also fumbled and was picked off twice(Correction: ONCE). How concerned are you about him as the starting quarterback?
Morelli’s mistakes were disconcerting no doubt, as I thought he was past those kinds of mistakes that dogged him all of last season. Jimmy Clausen looked more poised in the pocket and showed better smarts than Morelli did this past weekend. However, it was plays like the pass to Chris Bell, the screen pass to Matt Hahn, and the TD pass to Jordan Norwood that remind me why I’m still supporting the kid as our QB, he’s still vastly improved from last year in his maturity and decision-making (despite the foolish fumble). Something tells me that come Thanksgiving, we’ll look back on this game as one of his worst performances of the season, and that would be a good thing.
3.) Don’t look now, but this week’s opponent Buffalo dropped 42 on Temple this past Saturday. Granted Temple is awful, but should we be concerned at all?
Let’s put it this way: You have permission to cut off my left nut if Buffalo QB Drew Willy goes 20-for-22 passing on our defense and one of their tailbacks even begins to “sniff” 100 yards rushing.
Translation: No, I’m not concerned at all.
Where you at the game? If so, does the atmosphere stand up to other big games like Nebraska in 2002, Ohio State in 2005, etc.?
I was at the game this past weekend and unlike RUTS, I was sitting about 25 rows up from the visitors’ tunnel so I could definitely gauge the atmosphere better. To be honest with you, it wasn’t THAT great. Sure, the “White House” looked nice but I think it was the fact that we pretty much expected to pummel ND (as opposed to being very unsure about beating Nebraska or OSU) that made the celebrations a bit more mellow. While it was a fun and rare site to see us play ND, I dunno if I would even put this amongst my Top 5 atmospheres in Beaver Stadium that I’ve witnessed first-hand. My list at the moment would actually look something like this:
1. Ohio State 2005
2. Nebraska 2002
3. Michigan 1995
4. Michigan State 1994
5. Purdue 2000
Do you think Jimmy Clausen will be a good QB?
No doubt, he showed plenty of poise and did not get forced into making the kind of mistakes that freshman QBs making their starting debut would make. The only ND turnover that happened was really not his fault as the receiver he threw to had stone hands. I see Clausen having a break-out contest in a win over Michigan, causing Mike Hart to “guarantee” a Rose Bowl berth during his post-game interview while Michigan’s fan base commits mass suicide like the “Blainetologists” in South Park
Saturday’s game against ND will mark the last straw for Michigan fans
Do you work with any Notre Dame fans? If so, what kind of mood where they in on Monday morning?
I’m a full-time law school student so I’m not working. However, there is a kid in my dorm who is a Notre Dame fan although he’s the stereotypical “subway alum” (he’s Irish Catholic from New York). All last week he kept talking about ND putting the beat-down on us in a half-jokingly way. Even though I have yet to see him this week, I’m about 98 % certain he’s still alive.