One Down, 12 To Go
Aaron Horvath (@NDSportsBlogger)
The first game isn’t always the closest game or the toughest opponent, but you tend to learn a lot about your team throughout the course of the contest. Saturday’s game against the Rice Owls was no different for the Notre Dame football squad as tallied they moved to 1-0 after a 48-17 win.
After one week, a plethora of pundits are astonished by the play of quarterback Everett Golson after he threw for 295 yards and accounted for five scores (3 rush, 2 pass). On numerous occasions Golson channelled his inner Willie Beamon, breaking Rice’s defensive contain and scrambling outside the pocket to buy time and find a receiver downfield.
My last thought on the offensive side of the ball comes from the “Seinfeld backfield.” I gave Notre Dame’s backfield that nickname last year because of their ability to structure an entire game plan (episode) after a different back (character - i.e. George, Jerry, Elaine, Kramer) and not lose the season (story arch). Each back has their own story and abilities that can carry the team or the game. We could call the Rice game the season’s “pilot episode” because it laid the groundwork for the entire year and no back had over 71 yards, yet the squad amassed 281 on the ground.
As far as the defense, the linebacking corps was strong today in both run stopping and pass coverage and I loved the play over cornerback Cody Riggs. Riggs, a Florida transfer, showed his athleticism returning punts early in the game and his stellar coverage skills throughout the Irish win.
The Irish return to the field next weekend against the Michigan Wolverines on September 6th at 7:30 p.m.