Sunday, September 26, 2010
What we learned: Notre Dame, Week 4
By Brian Bennett
What we learned from Notre Dame in its 37-14 home loss to Stanford on Saturday:
1. Not enough fight to the Irish: Brian Kelly has talked all along about putting some toughness into this program. But it was Stanford who had every bit of that toughness on Saturday, pounding the Irish with physical play on both sides of the ball and an intensity that Notre Dame couldn't match. The Cardinals led 34-6 until late in as one-sided a performance as you could imagine. The Irish could learn a lot from how Stanford plays, and they'd better.
2. Dayne Crist is still developing: Crist has had some great moments this season, but he still has a lot to learn. He still misses reads that Kelly wants him to make. He still throws way too many incompletions, too; he had 19 in 44 attempts on Saturday, and the offense didn't score a touchdown until late in the fourth quarter.
3. Manti is a man: In one of the lone bright spots, sophomore linebacker Manti Te'o collected 21 tackles. That's the most by a Notre Dame player since 2006, and Te'o continues to get better every week as he becomes a superstar. Kelly called Teo's performance "one of those watershed moments for a defensive player that we can model."