What I saw from here

Submitted by alex on September 5th, 2009 at 7:54 PM
Friends.  I must say that I feel weary and drained right now.  I just witnessed the fulfillment of all my highest hopes for this team.  Yes, it was against a middling MAC team.  And yes, the display wasn't without its hiccups.
But man.  That was a fantastic football game.

The things that impressed me the most (thoroughly subjective, and nowhere near the level of analysis readers of this site are used to, for what it's worth): Tate Forcier is a goddam general on the field.  Skinny arms and all.  His poise is almost uncanny.  It reminds me of Muad'dib's little sister in the Dune books: springing from the womb fully intelligent and aware.  Ready to bend circumstances to her will.  Today young Tate showed that, indeed, age ain't nothing but a number.  And I can't imagine how good he'll get over the next four years.

Denard Robinson is faster than anybody I've ever seen wearing maize and blue.  He's like, SEC fast, the kind of fast that doesn't get run down by safeties, the kind of fast that makes me keep my eyes glued to every second of offensive possession because I don't want to miss the next rip.

Our defense…looked good!  More specifically, our guys were making tackles more consistently than anytime I can remember, reaching back into fin de siècle Carr years.  They were making hits, and making them stick.  And it was a pleasure to behold.

And the crowd.  It was obviously big, but it was also almost rabid in pitch.  Maybe it's the new press boxes, but whatever.  It was loud, it was energetic, and it was clearly and comprehensively behind this team.  All of a sudden, I realized that I was watching my team again.  The team that makes me look forward to Next Saturday each and every week during this glorious time of year.

Blah, blah.  We're back.  Redemption is palpable.  The ninjas are loose.  Can't wait for next week.



September 5th, 2009 at 8:04 PM ^

James thinks that Robinson and Forcier should be in the game at the same time. I wonder how many plays like that they have in store for ND? It would be nice to see Robinson in the slot, running a reverse, and throwing a pass out of it to a wide-open reciever.


September 5th, 2009 at 8:38 PM ^

The defense tackled 100% better than last season. I was very impressed with the intensity and passion the defense played with. They were great except for the long TD pass by Western. That will need to get looked at because ND can go deep much better than Western.

Tate was great. He's no doubt the #1 QB. Denard is the backup. He needs to work on his passing progressions a little more. But he just needs more reps in practice. Sheridan is what we thought he was.


September 5th, 2009 at 9:48 PM ^

I feel that series he played was necessary so as to put to rest any claim Nick had to the starting job. Tate clearly is the guy to beat; While Denard showed some great stuff out there, a couple passes, as well as the TD run-The legend is born-, he seemed a little out of place in the second half.
Definitely, the defense was much improved. I'm sure a good deal of it is due to facing a spread offense in practice. I was joking with some of the people around me that we should chant "Gerg Robinson" as well.

The Original Seth

September 5th, 2009 at 8:40 PM ^

Rich Rodriguez has to know the entire Maize and Blue Nation is behind him. 40,000 people on the West side of the stadium roaring his name.

What an absolutely convincing victory -- doesn't matter who it was against. PERFECT first half, with the second half allowing everybody who needed to touch the ball and feel out the speed of the college fame getting his reps.



September 5th, 2009 at 9:42 PM ^

the majority of the rest of the 69,000 were chanting/cheering/clapping as well; that was a sweet moment. In case you weren't there it occurred near the end of the first half, during a time out, just all the sudden part of the crowd started chanting "Rich Rodriguez!" *clap,clap, clap-clap-clap!* "Rich Rodriguez!", then the entire stadium joined it. It was loud and heartfelt.
Unfortunately, I think the team lost focus after that moment, they weren't quite as aggressive.


September 5th, 2009 at 10:26 PM ^

Yes, there were a few times you could tell the noise reflected back in from the boxes. However, credit our fast start and the fact that the place was buzzing beforehand too. The southeast corner was especially loud (I sat in the student section and I could definitely hear them a few times).

Western side at the 50 yard line FAILED at the wave. Took them like six times to get it.


September 5th, 2009 at 10:34 PM ^

East sideline). It was definitely louder. Crowd noise is much more intense and louder. The only drawback is, believe it or not, I think it's harder to hear the band, especially during halftime from opposite the pressbox.

I think the should move the band over a section or two toward the endzone, so the other end of the stadium can hear them. I would imagine the South endzone doesn't hear much.


Offense: B+ (1st half A, second half C+)
Defense: B+ (All but the final drive of the 1st Half was an A, the second half was good, but gave up some longer drives and the one long pass. BUT TACKLING A+
Special teams: A Matthews, Zoltan - duh
Coaching - AAAA+ Well prepared and this team learned to tackle!

Get Minor healthy and Cissoko back and ND could be in some trouble.

DC Dave

September 5th, 2009 at 11:50 PM ^

it doesn't rank above Koger's catch or the DRob run but in the first half, Brandon Herron had a great play where he drove the lead blocker back, forcing the RB outside, then spun off and caught the RB from behind. I think the run went for 6 yards but the tackle saved a first down and who knows how much more. Also, it was incredibly athletic and the sort of play that we didn't see much from last year's defense.