Archive for October 31, 2011

Hollywood’s Minute

Crestfallen Colts Downed Again

On Sunday afternoon in Nashville the Colts were unable to get out of their own proverbial way in a 27-10 loss to the Titans.  The Colts continued to shoot themselves in the foot with penalties by committing 7 with 12 minutes remaining in the 2nd quarter, and 8 in the 1st half alone! Even The Raiders would have been disappointed with that many penalties by halftime.  Shortly after the 7th penalty of the first half, the Colts had a punt blocked in their own end zone resulting in a Titans touchdown.  With 9:52 left in the second quarter one could see the hanging heads on the sidelines preparing for yet another loss; however in the second the Colts did seem to pick it up a bit offensively, moved the ball down the field on several drives, and put a few points on the board.  They had chances to score and make this a closer game having 4 chances in the red zone, but they managed to only score on 1 of those 4 red zone attempts. Although The Colts out gained the Titans in total yards (399 to 311) it is hard to win any game in the NFL loosing the turnover battle (2-0) and having a poor red zone conversion percentage.

The one bright spot that has seemed to glimmer through the past two weeks dreadful performances would be the running ability of rookie Delone Carter. He averaged over 5 yards per carry on Sunday against the Titans, but only had 9 rushing attempts for reasons unknown to me. The rookie seems to be not only the short-yardage back The Colts have needed for years, but a player with a very high ceiling, that could become the primary back in the Colts backfield next year. As Carter continues to progress this year, as he goes through full NFL conditioning programs and mini camps next year, Cater should surpass the oft injured Addai as The Colts primary runner. This could help Joseph stay on the field more as well in more of a third down role.

With the Colt’s struggling the last two weeks it appears the team has little or no motivation other than pride to go out and get a win. As Woody Paige does I sometimes do, so I wanted to “look at the schedule” for The Colts remaining games. In doing so I can only see 2 games they will have a snow ball’s chance of winning. Those 2 games would be at home against The Jags and Titans.  The Colts will have to figure out their red zone woes and cut out the mindless penalties against the Jags in two weeks, and in the December 18th rematch against the Titans, if they want to have any chance of winning a game this year. If the Colts are unable to do so, the front office will be winning the rights to draft Stanford’s Andrew Luck.

Inside the Man Room

Come in and check us out inside the Man Room.  We hit the gridiron hard on this episode.  This week Chris and I discuss the embarrassment that was the Colts trip to New Orleans.  We also delve into the college ranks to discuss Purdue’s win and upcoming schedule.  We also look back at losses for Notre Dame, IU, and Indiana State.  Plus we review our trip to Butler to observe basketball practice at Hinkle Fieldhouse.

The Flying V

Turnovers Help Turnout Lights on Irish BCS Hopes

The first night game in South Bend since 1990 was supposed to end with a Notre Dame victory and a rebirth into the national spotlight. What we got was another turnover fest from the Irish offense. The biggest difference in Saturday nights game was the play of each teams secondary. The SC DB’s checked Michael Floyd and had him bracketed all night. The ND DB’s looked lost and highly over-matched against Robert Woods. Then of all the questionable decisions of the day; barely used CB Lo Wood gets inserted into the game and is matched up with all American Woods and boom 6 points for SC and the dagger is inserted. I don’t like to question coaching decisions but there were a couple moves that left me “SMH”. For one the Irish running game which has dominated pretty much all year was thrown to the side much of the game. Just before the Crist fumble at the 3 Andrew Hendrix was in and why take out a guy whose “package of plays” is goal line heavy. Then bring Crist back who hasn’t taken a snap under center since week 1 what happened was the fumble and subsequent 6 points for SC. The once promising Irish season has given way to asking what if and how come. Tommy Rees is the quarterback and after the Crist fumble I think it’s safe to say his Irish career are as dead as this teams BCS dreams. So this ND team has 2 choices; man up and go out and win the rest of your games against lack luster competition. Then try and find a way to ruin the National Title hopes of Stanford on Thanksgiving weekend. The other choice is you fold up shop and I honestly don’t think this team will do that. The Irish hosted a who’s who of high school all Americans this weekend and from all accounts even with the loss the recruits loved there visits. So I think the coaching staff will need to stroke the egos of these players this week but will need to quickly get ready for Navy. A team that seems to have the Irish number these last few years.

It was a tough night under the lights Saturday in the Bend but a few things I learned and loved: Jonas Gray continues to impress and dominate, the crowd was the most pumped up I’ve ever seen at ND, Andrew Hendrix didn’t look scared, and the new helmets are awesome!!! That being said I also see that ND is a year away from where we all want them to be. We have a lot of young players and it showed Saturday night. Coming down the stretch I foresee the Irish winning against Navy, at Wake Forest, against Maryland, and BC. Then the game against Andrew Luck and Stanford Nov. 26. That’s the ND Super Bowl and that will be the game where Coach Kelly pulls out all the stops and maybe I’m overly optimistic and I say we roll into Stanford and beat the Colts future QB 34-27 in OT. Yes I said it….write it down Crew members!!

Inside the Man Room

Join us in the Man Room for our first podcast! Chris and I look back at the first 6 weeks of the Colts season and a look ahead to the Sunday night match up against New Orleans.  We also look at three other college football teams in the state- Notre Dame, Indiana, and Indiana State- with a major emphasis on the Fighting Irish.  Take a listen and let us know what you think by following us on Twitter @ckosiak, @thadvandeventer, or @indysportscrew.

The Flying V

Clash of Football Titans:  Under the South Bend Lights

Hello everyone, for our maiden blog we will be attacking the showdown in South Bend. That’s right USC vs. Notre Dame. The Irish coming off a bye week and the Trojans also coming off a bye of sorts having just played Cal. The Irish come in winners of 4 straight including a 59 point explosion against the Air Force Academy Falcons two weeks ago.  For USC, the keys have to be protect Matt Barkley and get the ball to stud WR Robert Woods. Defensively the Trojans need to get to Tommy Rees early and often and try and stop the explosive and dominate ND two headed monster at RB. Oh ya and stop future NFL star Michael Floyd from adding to his already unbelievable record setting career.

First off I’ll say this will be the toughest game USC will have to this point. Other than a win against Syracuse the Trojans haven’t been tested much.. Lets break down the USC schedule so far: Week 1- played and beat Minnesota by a score of 19-17.  Minnesota is quite possibly the worst BCS team in D1. The Gophers have been beaten by New Mexico State and North Dakota State but somehow managed to have a shot with 2 minutes to go to beat SC at the Coliseum. Then USC matched up against Utah, another lack luster team. The Utes don’t yet have the top to bottom talent to compete in the Pac-12. Then came the beat down of Syracuse and remember this is football not basketball we’re talking about. A beat down of a Syracuse hoops team constitutes as a resume win come March Madness. Then the cheatin’ Trojans battled Arizona State who hung up 43 points on SC in a dominating offensive show by the Sun Devils. Problem with that win is ASU was coming off a loss to Ron Zook’s Illinois squad. Then a nail biting win over Arizona and a beat down in their bye week of Cal. The best thing about the Cal game was it was played at AT&T Park because Cal’s stadium is being renovated.  No word on if there were any splash down homers hit into McCovey Cove.

For the Irish the bye week came at a great time because it allowed some of the players playing through injuries to rest and get healthy before this match up of classic titans. As we all know the Irish came into the season with a lot of hype; like it or not it comes with Notre Dame every single season. Frankly I like it that way, who can get excited about a team that has little to no expectations? Nobody that’s who!!! The Irish offense stalled out of the gates not in terms of offensive production but in terms of TURNOVERS! Through the first two heart breaking weeks the Irish had produced 10 turnovers, let me say that again 10 turnovers. That’s more than some teams have in an entire season. But the Irish stayed the course and after an impressive win over Michigan State at home the Irish have rallied off 4 consecutive wins. The most impressive to me was the Pittsburgh game.  Here’s why: The offense looked sluggish most of the day and except for the 79 yard bulldozing run of Jonas Gray in the first half. Down 12-7 going into the 4th quarter Tommy Rees the coolest kid in the clutch I’ve seen at ND since Mr. GQ himself Brady Quinn. Led the Irish down the field  for the go ahead TD and two point conversion. Rees was 8-8 on the drive including the winning TD to Jeff Samardzija clone Tyler Eifert. This game to me was the game that if you win rolls your season but if you lose the players and fans start second guessing and losing faith.  That being said Saturday’s match up against USC is the spring board game these players have been looking for since they fell from the top 25 after week 2. A win against the Trojans will vault ND into top 20 status and back on track to a possible BCS berth.  I think simply ND is a mismatch for SC, and it’s been a long time since anyone could utter that phrase. I think the ND defense beats up Barkley and smothers the USC run game and forces Barkley to throw far too much and gets 3 USC turnovers. The Irish will use their version of thunder and lighting while Rees spreads the rock around to all his weapons. I look for 3 guys to shine for the Irish offense this week; Jonas Gray (110 yds and 2 scores), TJ Jones (3 catches for 80 yds and a TD), and Cierre Wood (125 yds and 1 TD).  The D will be lead by Manti Te’o and Harrison Smith but I see Aaron Lynch popping Barkley and a la Dwight Freeney getting a sack, forced fumble, and a recovery for a TD. So my final prediction for Saturday’s showdown under the lights and in front of every big time recruit on the Irish radar is a ND dominating performance with a final score of:

NOTRE DAME 38- USC 23