Why Irish Fans Shouldn’t worry too much after potential rough start
Georgia Tech running back Tashard Choice rushed for a career-high 196 yards, Demetrious Jones had 2 fumbles, Evan Sharpley entered the game and was sacked seven times, only 122 yards of total offense, rushing yardage in the negatives…it goes on and on and oh yeah the final score was 33-3 Georgia Tech the victor. And with road games against Penn State, Michigan, and UCLA on the horizon, its time for Irish fans to start a panic frenzy right? Well not yet…
As bad as it looks for Notre Dame after the 30 point beat down they received from the Yellow Jackets and how the media is portraying the loss, including Tyrone Willingham comparisons again, is Weis on the hot seat?, and of course good ol‘ Mark May basically saying I told you so. Things will only get better for the young Irish and here are five reasons why:
Reason 1: Youth…Didn’t the experts say this was a young, inexperienced team, and will take time to win games. Yet the Irish lose their opening game and Charlie Weis is yet again the target of media outlets shouting overrated and as ridiculous as it sounds saying he should be worried about his job. Notre Dame is not USC(not yet anyways) and cannot simply reload at every position, this is only Weis’ third year as head coach. Just like every other school they must throw young inexperienced players in, no matter how talented they are, and let them grow. The young guys are talented without a doubt, but are rich in youth from the Offensive Line to the Quarterback all the way to the Linebackers. It has to be expected for these type of players to struggle early on, especially against a blitz happy defensive coordinator in John Tenuta. The best thing about youth is that they do grow and get better, and these young studs will do so. With every game expect the Irish players to only get better and grow up, and pull of an upset or two in the process.
Reason 2: Corwin Brown…Sure the defense gave up 33 points and Tashard Choice had a career rushing day but anyone who watched the game clearly knows that the offense held Corwin’s D out to dry this past Saturday. The Tech offense was over the 50 for the majority of the first half and yet only scored 16 points in the first half including 9 of off field goals(one was blocked) and one touchdown after a third down stop which was overturned because of a bonehead penalty by Notre Dame defensive end Justin Brown. The other two touchdowns were in the 4th quarter when the game was pretty much out of reach for ND. Now they will face some better offenses other than Georgia Tech, no doubt about that but the point is, the defense looked a heck of a lot better with Brown at the helm. He has tore up in recruiting this past off season and it looks like his defense will hopefully continue the trend on the field as the year goes on as they, like the whole football team, will only get better.
Reason 3: Jimmy Clausen…The Golden Boy, the best QB recruit in years, the Lebron James of Football…We have all heard the nicknames, even though the kid had never taken a college snap. But if you watched him in mop up duty this past Saturday and have seen his film from high school, than you definitely know why he earns this much praise. And he has the trust of the head coach after enrolling early last spring to get a leg up on the competition.
“I think he's ready to run offense,” Weis said. “If I didn't think he was ready, I wouldn't do this. I think that he was always ready mentally.”
“I think he gives us the best chance at winning,”
“I think what we felt, at the end of spring, we took every throw by every player, and running the operation and everything we do, as we evaluated as a staff, the nudge would have gone to him at that time.”
All quotes from Weis about Clausen all point to one thing: he is the only man for the job now and in the future and the stud may have been his man all along. The quick release, the poise, the mechanics…and the fact that he just plain looks like a quarterback should look like. He also looks like a kid that is ready to step in and lead the young Irish to victories, with the help of a hopefully improved Offensive Line week in and week out(just remember their young). If any True Freshman Quarterback can step in and give his team chances to win and win on the road in tough environments, it is Jimmy Clausen.
Reason 4:: It is Still Very, Very Early…Arkansas started their season by being worked over by the Trojans, Cal went to Knoxville and got embarrassed, and heck Penn State came to South Bend and left dazed and confused. Besides opening up their young seasons in embarrassing fashion, the thing they have in common: they all went on to have pretty good seasons. The Irish can do the same thing, its one game, they lost to a better prepared and more experienced team. They need to learn from it and move on to next week. There is no time to sit and sulk as the Nittany Lions and Wolverines of the world will show no mercy when the Irish show up to Happy Valley and Ann Arbor. Weis must break down the troops for their mistakes and pick them back up so that the young team can learn and grow from this, and like I said earlier they will only get better each and every day.
Reason 5: We Still have Charlie Weis…Although his gameplan may not have been what we were expecting and the play calling may have been pedestrian, this guy still knows how to coach, he didn’t get those three Super Bowl rings by just standing on the sidelines in New England. This not only a challenge for Notre Dame’s young team, but also for Charlie Weis and his staff. Being put in the position, for the first time, of coaching mainly very talented Freshmen and Sophomores, and making them into great college players that can win. It is easy to say his Georgia Tech gameplan was a mistake now, hindsight is 20/20, and things could have been different if number 7 was healthy. But if the past is any indication, Charlie Weis is a great coach and will bring Notre Dame great things in the future.
Young teams only get better every game, and this team is no different. There are a lot of Freshmen and Sophomores out there and them being out there against the country’s best will only make the Irish team better for now and in the future. By later on into this season and by the end of it, these young talented players will develop into something special, and as much as the media will try to convince everyone, Notre Dame’s football program has nothing to worry about.