Chicago Colleges: Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Here are the biggest takeaways from Saturday night at Lucas Oil Stadium:
But seven penalties did not help matters, especially with starting safety Max Redfield getting ejected in the second quarter for targeting, further depleting a thin secondary. Hats off to true freshman Drue Tranquill, a former Purdue commit who was thrust into plenty of meaningful action and performed well.
"He did great," Kelly said. "He doesn't know what he's doing, but he's awesome. He's running around there. I say that kiddingly because he does know what he's doing. But we're trying to really keep it simple for him out there. He was such a locked-in kid. We're able to do some things with him, and he's only been here, what, eight, 10 weeks? Where would we be without that young man? It's really pretty incredible."
2) Everett Golson's still got it going. At times, Notre Dame's offense looked like it went with the gameplan of "let Golson dance around and make something happen." More often than not, he did just that, hitting running back Greg Bryant for his first career catches -- a pair of 17-yarders off broken plays -- and finishing 25 of 40 for 259 yards with two touchdowns and, most importantly, no turnovers. Golson also was the Irish's leading rusher, notching 56 yards on the ground and another touchdown despite being sacked four times being hurried six times by the Boilermakers. His leaps will continue to be a big storyline all season long, and he now boasts a 13-1 record as a Notre Dame starting quarterback (.929), second to only Johnny Lujack (20-1-1, .932).
He has said and done all the right things off the field as well.
"I also missed a wide-open pass, I don't know if y'all watched the film," Golson said, critiquing his 15-yard touchdown run. "I definitely missed a pass. Yeah, it was good for us, we got a touchdown, but as far as me, I want to be more of a pocket-passer. I missed the pass. I just have to execute better."
3) Paging the offensive line. Far too early to hit the panic button here, but the play up front could use some improvements before Stanford comes to town Oct. 4. To be fair, the unit was missing its fifth-year senior in Lombard (Matt Hegarty replaced him), and though only one of the Irish's five offensive penalties came from a lineman (a Steve Elmer false start), Golson was sacked four times by Purdue. That number probably could have been higher if not for Golson's mobility. Notre Dame averaged just 3.7 yards per rush after averaging just 1.7 yards per rush in last week's rout of Michigan. Take away the quarterback on Saturday and that average against the Boilermakers drops to 3.46 yards per rush. Again, it is very early, but if there's one unit that needs to pick up its play as Notre Dame readies for the meat of their schedule, it is the offensive line.
"We're not sustaining," Kelly said. "I mean, we're in position. We're falling off a block here. We miss a fit here. And maybe it's just the continuity took us a little bit longer. It's nothing big, but it's everything.
"It's going to get better. They will get better. It's just we're not where we need to be. We're going to keep working, keep grinding. We'll get there. We're just not there yet. We're on the 3-yard line, we're running a double-team into the B-gap, we slip and fall. Somebody fires through the B-gap. Little things like that. They got to get cleaned up before we get to where we want to be offensively."
How Purdue can win: For all the talk of the end of the Notre Dame-Michigan rivalry as we know it last week, this is also marks the final Irish-Boilermakers matchup for six years, ending a 69-year streak of matchups between the Indiana schools. This game seems to brings out the best in Purdue, and they certainly will try to catch Notre Dame off guard as the Irish ride high off a shutout over the Wolverines. Take chances. Hit them hard, fast and first. Try to establish a ground game, the thing Purdue has succeeded most at through two games. If Danny Etling starts under center, continue to let him loose a little, to try to keep the Irish defense honest. And hope for the Irish to lay an egg, on top of all that.
How Notre Dame can win: Show up early and don't let the pesky Boilermakers hang around. That's the easiest formula for an Irish W. As for what would look like progress, let Everett Golson continue his magic, and try to get as many receivers involved as possible. Chris Brown, for one, could use a little love his way. Don't abandon the ground game, either, as there is a plethora of talented backs who surely were glad to see Brian Kelly continue to trust them last week, even when things weren't going so smoothly in that department. Defensively, the safeties can build off last week's success.
Breakout player: Amir Carlisle has certainly looked the part the last two weeks, but we'll go with him here as he faces his father's team. (Duane Carlisle is Purdue's director of sports performance.) Last year's trip to West Lafayette is when things began to come apart for Carlisle last year, with a late-game fumble. But he has turned things around after converting to slot receiver from running back, giving the Irish another dimension in the passing game.
Prediction: Notre Dame 35, Purdue 10. Purdue has played Notre Dame ridiculously close the last two years, but the Boilermakers were also facing Irish teams that had some questions on offense. The 2014 version of Golson brings a different dynamic to Notre Dame.
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Joe Schmidt is a former walk-on who worked his way to a scholarship before earning Notre Dame's starting middle linebacker role. He is a coach's dream who never makes one game or snap out to be bigger than it really is.
Yet when Schmidt entered the media room after Notre Dame's 31-0 win over Michigan, the optimist in him was outdone by the sheer absurdity of the goodbye his young and unproven defense had just delivered the Wolverines.
"You want to believe that this is something you can accomplish every time you go on the field," Schmidt said. "And there's still a lot of things we could've done better today, but …"
He paused for three seconds and collected himself with a deep breath.
"Shoot. This is a great feeling right now."
As finales go, this was more Sopranos than Breaking Bad, a much-hyped shootout that turned into a dramatic letdown. Notre Dame didn't just send Michigan back to Ann Arbor with a 1-1 record and a bad taste in its mouth from being on the losing end of these programs' final meeting. No, the Irish flat-out demoralized the Wolverines. They bullied their hapless offensive line, shredded their patchwork secondary and delivered one indignity after another following a week that did nothing but suggest the visitors would be the ones who would enter with chips on their shoulders.
"I just got the stat from [SID Michael] Bertsch: 1984 was the last time these guys were shut out?" Schmidt said as he double-checked with reporters. "I think that kind of speaks for itself on how great this feels right now for me and for this defense and for this team."
Michigan left here last time feeling disrespected, with athletic director David Brandon on the receiving end of a cancellation letter from counterpart Jack Swarbrick. The Wolverines had said what Notre Dame did to them was a slap in the face. To add insult to injury, the Irish announced Thursday they would play a future series against Michigan's arch-rival, Ohio State.
What Notre Dame did to Michigan before a sellout crowd under the lights was far more humiliating.
The Wolverines seemingly dared Everett Golson to beat them with his arm. He looked every bit as lethal as he did last week against Conference USA member Rice and completed 23 of 34 passes for 226 yards with three touchdowns.
Michigan's quarterback, Devin Gardner, received help from no one but Devin Funchess, which led coach Brady Hoke to defend why he stuck with his signal caller after Gardner threw three interceptions and lost a third-quarter fumble on a reckless spin move Schmidt saw coming from a mile away.
"Sometimes it just opens up, and as a defensive player, that's the stuff you lay awake at night dreaming of," Schmidt said. "Quarterback's back, ball's right there, you know you can force the fumble."
Gardner's predecessor, Denard Robinson, had tossed four picks and lost one fumble in a 2012 loss to Notre Dame. That was against the No. 2 scoring defense in the country, the catalyst behind an Irish team that went all the way to the BCS title game.
This year's defense started eight new faces from a year ago in its second game under new defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder, who himself turned into an overnight internet celebrity for a raucous late-game celebration.
"I would say it really just ceases all the doubts about, We're young, 'Can we execute?'" Jaylon Smith (10 tackles) said.
VanGorder can be forgiven for his excitement, but the best was yet to come.
Whereas Hoke had quipped last year that Notre Dame was chickening-out of this rivalry — a brushfire Michigan threw gasoline on by playing the "Chicken Dance" after its win over Notre Dame in 2013 — Notre Dame fans took matters into their own hands in the closing minutes and started a stadium-wide rendition of "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye."
And that wasn't even the final indignity.
On what looked like it would be the final play of the game, Gardner was picked off one last time by Elijah Shumate, who returned it 61 yards for a touchdown. Michigan personnel had already made their way to the locker room, having escaped the hysteria engulfing Notre Dame Stadium — except the officials ruled Max Redfield had roughed the passer on the return, the touchdown didn't count and the game couldn't end on a defensive penalty. This made for an awkward delay, as the playing grounds cleared and a chunk of the Wolverines' roster made the long walk back through the tunnel and onto the FieldTurf before going right back up after the Irish showed mercy and took a knee.
"We temper it by knowing that we got a long season ahead of us, and it counts as one, it doesn't count as two," said coach Brian Kelly, who tried so hard all week to not give in to the hype. "If it counted as two, we would probably be a little bit happier, but it counts as one.
"But there's no question -- I would be lying if I told you that it doesn't feel great to shut out Michigan 31-0."
The Irish? Why, the Golden Domers are way too cool for Michigan anyway. It's the Wolverines who are distraught, remember? "We" dumped "them." "They" need "us" more, because Michigan doesn't have another big game (or two) to circle on its calendar every year. Nope. And in case you weren't already convinced just how little Notre Dame concerns itself with Michigan, Irish fans are shelling out only $349 per person to get into the building Saturday. You know, just to prove that they don't care.
Michigan and Notre Dame will have gotten together only 42 times after this weekend. But the fact this relationship has been put on hiatus so often speaks to the complicated feelings between the two sides. Breaking up is hard to do.
Want mixed messages? Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick may have delivered the divorce papers to Michigan AD David Brandon before the 2012 game, but the Wolverines had given off the vibe that this was an open relationship. Less than three weeks before delivering the edict, the Irish had set up future dates with the ACC and were feeling a little claustrophobic. There was a three-year out clause in the Michigan agreement that simply made this affair the easiest for Swarbrick to get out of. Four months beforehand, Brandon himself had been non-committal about anything long-term. And there was already a fork in the road awaiting both parties in 2018 and 2019.
Brandon said he was blindsided in 2012. Swarbrick told the AP this week that he had let Brandon know in a phone call beforehand. In case that wasn't clear, Notre Dame announced Thursday -- two days before its last meeting with Michigan -- that it has a pair of dates with Ohio State.
We've heard you've been talking about us, Michigan. Now excuse us while we make arrangements to see the homecoming queen down the road ...
"For a team to opt out of that contract, and to opt out of playing another team that is a great rival and is one of those great games, it's almost like a slap in the face," Michigan defensive end Frank Clark told reporters.
Countered Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson: "I don't think I get into all of the hype of the game and things like that. But at the same time, you have to take care of business and you have to prepare."
This latest wave of accusations from each side of the family simply follows what's in their bloodlines.
Michigan may have taught Notre Dame how to play football ... but then the Wolverines blocked the Irish from Big Ten entry.
Michigan may have canceled the 1910 game a year after its first defeat in the series ... but Notre Dame had been using ineligible players.
On and on it goes, from the Fielding Yost-Knute Rockne feud that kept the union on ice for a 32-year stretch, to the tit-for-tat on the all-time winning percentage record -- a battle that, fittingly, is at stake Saturday.
"Who knows when is going to be the last game?" Wolverines coach Brady Hoke said. "We just know we aren't going to play them in the near future."
Irish coach Brian Kelly is also looking ahead.
"We understand the great tradition and the rivalry of the Michigan game, and if it could have worked, it would have worked," Kelly said. "But it does open up some pretty exciting games in the future."
It was hardly a picture-perfect marriage, but it was far more than a fling. Here's to one more fond memory Saturday night.
The Notre Dame-Michigan series goes on pause Saturday night, most likely for a while. Some are sad to see the annual game go, but there are positives for both sides.
So which team benefits more from the series ending: Notre Dame or Michigan?
Reporters Matt Fortuna (Notre Dame/ACC) and Adam Rittenberg (Big Ten) debate.
Take 1: Matt Fortuna
We can probably agree that each side will blame the other for ending this series. We can probably agree that the losing side of Saturday's game will end up doing most of the complaining. But if we're looking at who benefits more from this rivalry ending, it has to be Notre Dame.
Brian Kelly wouldn't say that ending the series with the Wolverines is a good idea. What Kelly did say was that not playing Michigan "opens up so many more exciting opportunities for us."
First things first, though: Notre Dame's scheduling concerns. The Irish now have five mandatory ACC games a year. They have their three non-negotiable rivalry games in Navy, Stanford and USC, the latter two ensuring one trip to California every year. That leaves them four games a year in which to get creative, and they have done what they can within that framework to not abandon some of their Midwest rivalries (Michigan State, Purdue) in the Big Ten.
There is also a future series with Texas and one with Georgia, both later this decade.
For Michigan, losing Notre Dame means adding a neutral-site game with Florida in 2017, a home-and-home with Arkansas in 2018-19 and a whole lot of meh. Yes, Virginia Tech, UCLA and Oklahoma all make for enticing opponents, but they are very far down the line, and it would be foolish to think Notre Dame doesn't have a comparable slate of games it is looking into. This is a Notre Dame program, after all, that opened its 2012 season in Ireland and had once discussed playing a game against Stanford in Japan.
Notre Dame is set up for the immediate future with one of the nation's most appealing annual slates. With the way Michigan has started to schedule, the Wolverines might not be far behind in the next decade.
It would be great if they can find a way to play again, but both have already gained plenty on their own. And if you're going to blame Notre Dame for ending this late-summer classic, then you have to credit the Irish for all of those attractive future opponents, too.
Take 2: Adam Rittenberg
I'm worried about you, Matt. You and Brian Kelly already have the same stylist, and while those blazers are fashion-forward, no matter what anyone tells you, I'm concerned that being around him has brainwashed you about who really benefits from this series ending. It's Michigan. Hands down.
There are several factors that go into scheduling, but the top priority always should be the new playoff. Notre Dame and Michigan can exalt the past all the way, but if both don't start making the playoff relatively soon, they will become less and less nationally relevant.
While you're right that Notre Dame's scheduling gets trickier with the ACC partnership, the Irish will have a playoff-worthy schedule every year, barring all hell breaking loose around the country. They'll almost always get credit for playing Stanford and USC. Not all of the ACC games will help Notre Dame's playoff cause, but Florida State and/or Clemson will in most seasons. And if other programs rise up (North Carolina, Duke, Miami, etc.), the Irish will get a bump. I really think the playoff comes down to the one-loss and two-loss teams with the strongest résumés. Notre Dame is in that category with or without the Michigan series.
The Wolverines, meanwhile, desperately needed more diversity in their schedule (diversity that Notre Dame naturally has as an independent). Don't gloss over future opponents such as Florida, Arkansas, Washington, Virginia Tech and Oklahoma. Many of these games don't happen if Notre Dame remains an annual opponent, especially with the Big Ten adopting a nine-game league schedule in 2016.
Beating Notre Dame hasn't helped Michigan's national profile in recent years. The Wolverines should get a bigger playoff boost from beating some of their future opponents.
Coach Brady Hoke and athletic director Dave Brandon make it clear that Notre Dame is at fault for ending the annual series. But in terms of reaching the playoff, Touchdown Jesus might have provided Michigan a blessing in disguise.
There was the first Everett Golson bomb to C.J. Prosise, which Prosise dropped. And there was the second Golson bomb to Prosise, which Prosise caught.
The 55-yarder was Golson making something out of nothing before launching a rocket that went right through the unguarded receiver's hands. The 53-yarder, two plays after a turnover and just five seconds before halftime, was Golson again making something out of nothing -- avoiding a sack, barely setting his feet and absorbing a hit as he threw the ball roughly 62 yards through the air and into the hands of Prosise for his first career touchdown.
That Golson shook off the small bit of in-game adversity to deliver Prosise his first career touchdown is one thing. That the Irish's quarterback made a pair of otherworldly throws look so routine is quite another.
Notre Dame was entering its 48-17 season-opening win against Rice under the cloud of four players being suspended as part of an internal academic probe. The Irish learned Thursday that a fifth would be held out. The same day, they lost another safety, this one a captain in Austin Collinsworth, who will also miss at least Saturday's game against Michigan with a Grade 2 MCL sprain.
They turned in about as complete of an opening-game performance as coach Brian Kelly could have hoped for, with Golson looking every bit like the key piece that can finally make this offense roll. They enter Michigan week, their last Michigan week for the forseeable future, uncertain about their five suspended players, three of whom would almost certainly be factors in a game as big as this one. The game is, seemingly, the biggest obstacle before October. It's part of a slate Kelly himself described last week as "manageable" before the heavy-hitters line up, and a game the Irish absolutely need to have if they are to go on to a successful season.
There is the anticipation of the last meeting for a while against the Wolverines, whom Kelly knows best as a team that has beaten him three times in four years. There is the Notre Dame Stadium night-game atmosphere, which has not exactly been kind to the home team since it returned in 2011 -- first with an embarrassing loss to USC, then with two strenuous wins against Michigan and USC by a combined 27-16 margin.
But the Irish should have little trouble avoiding the noise, as Kelly likes to say. They graded out spectacularly in that area in Week 1, and they had much more on their plates going into Rice than they do going into Michigan.
Kelly's answer Sunday when asked about avoiding this week's outside influences was telling:
"Similar to what I've done in past years," he said. "We really keep our focus on what our technique and our own individual work needs to get better at. For example, (Elijah) Shumate and Max Redfield, they can't be thinking about Michigan because they have to learn how to communicate better, really focus on that. Chris Brown has to do a better job of getting in and out of his breaks. We're really, really focusing on the individual and what they have to get better at this week.
"If we really focus on those things and really drill hard on those, it keeps their mind at what they need to get better at instead of thinking about big-picture items. That's kind of how we go about it. It keeps the guys so much on what will help them win."
So he mentioned Michigan, once. He mentioned little else as it relates to peripheral opponents. On the same day-after-opener teleconference last season, he had more or less fueled week-long hate talk by suggesting the Wolverines weren't a rival. Last season's Irish team, fresh off a title-game appearance, probably needed the fire lit under it more than this season's team does.
Kelly saw what this group did Saturday with bigger distractions when facing an inferior opponent. Now comes a truer test that will likely dictate what kind of season this could be.
Here are our three biggest takeaways from this game, starting, of course, with the man under center:
"Obviously the story of Golson was electric," Kelly said. "He kept his eyes downfield. Knew when to run, knew when to throw it, and those are things we really talked about. We didn't want to overcoach him in that we were going to allow him today to get outside the pocket and be a football player, and just naturally go play the game. And I thought he did that today extraordinarily well. He came back today and I think really showed the kind of player that he can be."
2) Golson's weapons aren't too bad either. Will Fuller was the receiver of a choice Saturday. And while his line (four catches, 85 yards, TD) is hardly eye-opening, it's worth noting that three other players eclipsed the 50-yard receiving plateau. Golson hit seven different targets against the Owls, and with the signal caller being one of five Irish players to rush for 40 or more yards, he showed just how explosive this offense can potentially be later on this season. The Irish showed great balance, tallying 295 passing yards and 281 rushing yards.
"I think I needed to polish a lot of things," Golson said. "There was a couple throws where I stayed in there and made a throw. That's what is in my mind now, but I think just being more on timing I think a lot of stuff today, I was kind of getting out of the pocket and making plays and having the guy scramble and things like that. Definitely going to get the timing down and be more precise."
3) Special teams might finally be a threat. Florida cornerback transfer Cody Riggs' biggest attribute Saturday was as a punt returner, as he brought back the first two punts for 24 and 25 yards, respectively. Greg Bryant added three returns for 31 yards (including a 10-yard return that he probably should not have picked up at the 1.) Notre Dame's average starting field position was at its own 36-yard line. They punted it just three times. Add that with an offense capable of spreading the field and the strain on a young defense is lessened considerably.
"It was driven by personnel and it was driven by wanting to improve in that area," Kelly said. "We had (80) yards in punt returns, and we only had (106) the entire year last year. I think we've improved there. We need to do it consistently.
"Cody Riggs was gassed and we had to take him out. He had not played that much football at Florida I think in a couple years. But Greg Bryant is fearless and does not know what a fair catch is. So all those people wondering why he was catching the ball, he came up with the, 'I can't hear you, my earplug is in.'
"So we have got guys back there that are fearless, that will catch the football and stick their foot in the ground and get north and south, and that is absolutely crucial. And we have guys that are committed to covering people up. So we have got the want to and the resolve to do and we have to continue to do it."
- Brian VanGorder's personal touch helps players buy in, JJ Stankevitz writes on CSNChicago.com.
- Jarron Jones matures in the classroom and on the field, Chris Hine writes for Chicago Tribune.com.
- Being a captain is an unbelievable honor for Austin Collinsworth, Pete Sampson writes on IrishIllustrated.com.
- A Michigan NBC affiliate looks at the Brian Kelly coaching tree. (And has some good old footage.)
- Will Mahone has landed at Youngstown State.
- Jimmy Clausen is your new No. 2 quarterback for the Bears.
- The Lions have moved TJ Jones to the PUP list, our Michael Rothstein writes.
- Former walk-ons Connor Cavalaris, Charlie Fiessinger and Tyler Plantz have all been granted scholarships for this season.
- Notre Dame is not worried about its running back dynamic, JJ Stankevitz writes on CSNChicago.com.
- Everett Golson is now taking charge at Notre Dame, Chris Hine writes in the Chicago Tribune.
- Yours truly joined ESPN Upstate earlier this week to talk some Notre Dame.
- Is the BYU series in jeopardy?
- Funny stuff from Tommy Rees and Mike Golic Jr., who took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge together.
- The read-option has become second nature to Everett Golson, JJ Stankevitz writes on CSNChicago.com.
- The Wall Street Journal looks at how Brian Kelly and others fare against ranked teams.
The biggest surprise? Early enrollee Andrew Trumbetti will be the starter at weak-side defensive end, where Romeo Okwara had appeared to have the initial leg-up. Ishaq Williams is the other starting end.
"We think that he’s got a huge upside for us in so many areas that sometimes I don’t talk about him enough," Kelly said of Trumbetti. "But a great motor, physical, smart, does all the things that we ask him to do. But again, you’ve got to keep in mind we’re talking about first-and second-down players."
Another first-teamer, a name that is considerably less shocking than Trumbetti's, is Florida transfer Cody Riggs, who will start opposite KeiVarae Russell at cornerback.
Kelly repeatedly praised the approach of his defensive freshmen, saying that tackle Jonathan Bonner is in the two-deep, that linebacker Kolin Hill and lineman Jhonny Williams are third-down pass-rushers, and that linebacker Nyles Morgan will play.
While Kelly admitted that he probably would have been uneasy counting on so many rookies to contribute in the front seven, he says his eyes tell him different when he watches them every day on the practice field.
There is also, of course, a new defensive coordinator in Brian VanGorder. Kelly was asked if the new scheme is easier to grasp than what former coordinator Bob Diaco ran.
"They can go. There’s a lot more going on. There’s a lot more pieces to this," Kelly said. "But Brian let’s them run and let’s them go. And so that’s why a lot of these young guys can just, in the places that he’s putting them, in the fronts that he’s calling with Nyles Morgan, he’s not asking him to two-gap anybody. He’s saying, ‘Listen, we’re going to cover everybody. Just go run. Go make a play.’ And some of the freshmen are getting similar kind of front calls where they can just pin their ears back and go."
- Everett Golson is taking command of Notre Dame's offense, JJ Stankevitz writes on CSNChicago.com.
- NFL.com's Bucky Brooks looks at three areas of Golson pro scouts will study this fall.
- Greg Bryant is finally ready to roll, Chris Hine writes in the Chicago Tribune.
- Great story here from the Cincinnati Enquirer's Tom Groeschen on Jake Golic, who's fighting back for his football career.
- Colleague Travis Haney says Notre Dame can spoil Florida State's season.
- Brady Quinn is back in business, finally getting a chance with the Miami Dolphins, our James Walker writes.
- Our friend Aaron Horvath recaps Monday's ESPN #BusBlitz at Notre Dame.
- SI.com's Brian Hamilton spends some time with Jaylon Smith, who seeks every answer in his pursuit of greatness.
- Did BlueandGold.com's Andrew Owens find the Fighting Irish's first Under Armour jersey?
- Tough news out of Houston concerning Week 1 Irish opponent Rice, as offensive lineman Drew Carroll has been forced to retire because of a kidney disease.
- KeiVarae Russell wants opponents to dread facing him, Rachel Terlep writes in the Elkhart Truth.
- Per LaMond Pope, Jeff Samardzija had some to say about the end of the Michigan rivalry.
Jeff Samardzija on MLB Network on end of #NotreDame-Michigan: "That's about as absurd as Notre Dame putting FieldTurf in instead of grass...— LaMond Pope (@lamondpope) August 6, 2014
but hey that's the way things are going these days and times are changing in college football. ...— LaMond Pope (@lamondpope) August 6, 2014
It's an awesome rivalry and hopefully they find a way to mix it in some more down the road for sure."— LaMond Pope (@lamondpope) August 6, 2014
- The Chicago Sun-Times' Steve Greenberg says Notre Dame is looking to rediscover its mojo.
- CSNChicago's JJ Stankevitz explains some of his rankings of the top 25 Notre Dame players.
- BlueandGold.com's Andrew Owens says Jaylon Smith deserves to be named captain, regardless of age. (Subscription required)
- The Chicago Tribune's Chris Hine looks at how Ben Koyack is dealing with increased expectations.
- Everett Golson is ready to compete, JJ Stankevitz writes on CSNChicago.com.
- Tempo stood out to Brian Kelly during the Irish's first practice, Andrew Owens writes on BlueandGold.com.
- IrishIllustrated's Tim Prister and Pete Sampson break down practice No. 1.
- The best college football coach for the money? Forbes says it's Kelly.
TOP 25 SCOREBOARD
Final Wyoming 14 2 Oregon 48 Final Southern Miss 12 3 Alabama 52 Final Tennessee 10 4 Oklahoma 34 Final 6 Georgia 35 24 South Carolina 38 Final Rice 10 7 Texas A&M 38 Final 9 USC 31 Boston College 37 Final Louisiana-Monroe 0 10 LSU 31 Final Purdue 14 11 Notre Dame 30 Final 12 UCLA 20 Texas 17 Final Louisiana-Lafayette 15 14 Ole Miss 56 Final Army 0 15 Stanford 35 Final 16 Arizona State 38 Colorado 24 Final East Carolina 28 17 Virginia Tech 21 Final UCF 10 20 Missouri 38 Final 21 Louisville 21 Virginia 23 Final Kent State 0 22 Ohio State 66