Tag Archive for Notre Dame football

Who? What? When? Where?

College Football Recap Week 14

Who?

Indiana quarterback Tre Roberson had a career day against Purdue on Saturday.  Roberson tied a school record with six touchdown passes tying a mark that had stood alone since 1943.  Roberson guided IU to an Old Oaken Bucket victory by going 25-37 for 273 yards and the six touchdowns.  He also rushed for a career-high 154 yards.  The Hoosiers hung up 56 points as they captured the Bucket for the first time since 2010.

What?

Indiana and Purdue’s atrocious defensive performance.  The Hoosiers and Boilers have struggled all season defensively, but on Saturday their ineptitude reached an all time high.  IU accumulated a school record 692 total yards of offense while picking up an incredible 42 first downs.  See the Who? section of this post for all of Tre Roberson’s accomplishments, but Roberson along with Stephen Houston and D’Angelo Roberts all rushed for over 100 yards.  That is a first for IU.  Cody Latimer had seven catches for 110 yards and a touchdown.  All of this was en route to 56 points.  Not to be outdone IU’s defense allowed the dormant Boilermaker offense to explode in the second half.  Purdue racked up 516 yards of offense with basically all of it coming through the air.  QB Danny Etling had shown signs of improvement down the stretch of his freshman season, but no one expected this.  As my friend James Motz said, leave it to the IU defense to make Etling look like Drew Brees.  Etling finished the day 33-49 for 485 yards and four touchdowns.  Everything on this day was a career-high for Etling.  Purdue had two players go over 100 yards receiving as Danny Anthrop and DeAngelo Yancey both cleared that mark while catching one touchdown apiece.  The best part about this game for all parties involved is that it is over.  It was ugly and frustrating.  Even for the winners in IU they still feel like losers with a defense that bad.  Almost forgot to mention with Purdue’s offensive outburst, IU’s defense gave up the most points of any Big Ten team ever in one season.

When?

Although they still have a bowl game to play (most likely the Pinstripe Bowl), Notre Dame fans are turning their attention to next season’s quarterback.  The reason this is in the when category is because ND is waiting to see if/when Everett Golson will be re-admitted to the school.  Golson is the quarterback that lead the Irish to the National Championship game last season.  Most Golden Domers will be glad to see Tommy Rees go, but Golson coming back to the program may pre-determine their fate in 2014.

Where?

The waiting game is being played in Muncie as Ball State sits around to see where they will be playing their bowl game.  The Cardinals dismantled Miami (OH) last Friday 55-14.  The win gave BSU their 10th of the season and the second best record in the conference.  Unfortunately they will be the third team available from the MAC as both championship game participants will get first dibs.  What could help them is Northern Illinois reaching their second consecutive BCS bowl.  If that happens Ball State should easily land in one of the conference’s automatic bowl tie-ins.  It would most likely be the Little Caesar’s Bowl in Detroit but there are a few other options in the Poinsettia Bowl or any of the new MAC-Sun Belt bowl games.

Follow me on Twitter @thadvandeventer.

Who? What? When? Where?

College Football Recap Week 12

Who?

Purdue quarterback Danny Etling finally showed some promise under center for the Boilermakers.  The freshman signal caller had looked very over matched before yesterday’s game at Penn State.  Although the Boilers lost, Etling guided the offense to their most production (21 points) since facing Northern Illinois back on September 28.  Etling finished the game 21-33 for 223 yards, 1 touchdown, and 1 interception.  The young QB showed more poise in the pocket and was following his progressions much better than in his previous starts.  In a 1-9 season thus far, Etling finishing the season strong could be the lone bright spot moving forward for Darrell Hazell’s program.

What?

After losing on Wednesday night, Ball State’s MAC title chances are gone.  The Cardinals went up to Northern Illinois for the game of the year in the MAC and came away with a 48-27 loss.  The game was tied at 27 after a BSU field goal with 3:07 remaining in the third.  It was all Huskies after that.  NIU’s Jordan Lynch made two huge plays on critical third downs that turned out to be back breakers.  The Cards are still 9-2 with one conference game remaining so they should feel most assured of a bowl bid.  Pete Lembo and the crew had higher goals than that this year but still a solid season to this point.

When?

When Indiana faces Wisconsin, expect a bloodbath.  This is a simplistic take on this situation but over the last decade it has held true.  The Badgers have been the worst match up for IU of any Big Ten opponent.  They bring everything that the Hoosiers cannot stop which is basically a huge, strong, and talented offensive line with good running backs.  For the past twenty years, IU has struggled stopping the run and yesterday was no different.  Wisconsin rolled up 554 rushing yards and six touchdowns on 50 rushing attempts in a 51-3 demolition.  IU now sits at 4-6 with two games remaining.  They will have to beat previously unbeaten Ohio State and arch rival Purdue to qualify for a bowl game at this point.

Where?

The Pinstripe Bowl is looking like the postseason destination for Notre Dame at this point.  With West Virginia’s loss to Kansas, the Big 12 will not be able to fill their bowl allotment.  This would leave a spot open for Notre Dame who did not have a conference affiliation this season which made their bowl opportunities an interesting situation.  There may be a few other spots that could be available since the Big Ten and SEC may not fill all of their bowl slots either, but nothing makes more sense than ND playing in New York at Yankee Stadium given the opportunity.

Additional Who?

Major kudos to several small college football teams around the state from yesterday.  Butler beat Morehead State to clinch a share of the Pioneer Football League title.  Butler and Marist are co-champs with a computer ratings driven tiebreaker to determine who will participate in the FCS tournament.  The University of Indianapolis scored a touchdown with just 1:03 to go to beat Truman State.  The win secured the GLVC conference championship and an automatic berth into the NCAA DII playoffs.  Franklin pounded Hanover to win a share of the HCAC title.  They became the first team in HCAC history to win the conference four consecutive years.  The Grizzlies will share the title with Rose-Hulman who grabbed their first league title since 1983.  As the result of their head-to-head meeting Franklin gets the automatic spot in the NCAA DIII tournament.  In the NAIA, St. Francis beat rival Marian to clinch the conference title, keep Marian out of the postseason, and lock up a spot in the NAIA tournament.  The Cougars have been a top ten team all season in the NAIA and expect to make a deep tournament run.  Lastly a shout out to Wabash who beat DePauw in the 120th Monon Bell Game.  The Little Giants enjoyed their fifth straight win in the series.  They finished the year with one loss but did not win the conference so they will wait to find out if the selection committee will be putting them in the DIII tournament.

Follow me on Twitter @thadvandeventer.

Who? What? When? Where?

College Football Recap Week 6

Who?

Jahwan Edwards rushed for 155 yards and 3 touchdowns in Ball State’s huge win over Virginia 48-27.  This is the third consecutive game Edwards has found pay dirt three times.  Nine touchdowns in three games normally garners some major attention but when you are on the same team with Keith Wenning you can get overlooked.  Edwards missed two games earlier in the season but since his return he has been awesome.  Wenning leads the drives and Edwards is the hammer that caps them off.  BSU still has some big games coming up and Edwards may be the key to them winning the MAC Championship.

What?

Indiana, Ball State, and Notre Dame all got huge wins that have bowl game impacts.  IU beat Penn St. for the first time ever 44-24 yesterday.  Their first win in 17 tries against the Nittany Lions was not only a major program victory, but it puts the Hoosiers in a much better position for a bowl.  With three winnable home games left, they have the opportunity to go bowling.  Ball State won their third straight game against BCS competition beating Virginia.  It is also their fourth BCS win in the last three seasons.  Although they let one get away at North Texas and should be undefeated, this win gets their momentum rolling again and puts them in a much better light when bowl selections come up.  Notre Dame is in a unique situation this season with bowls.  Since their tie in with the ACC does not start until next year, the Irish could be shut out of a bowl game if they don’t reach a BCS bowl.  All of the other bowls have conference tie-ins making it tough for an independent to crash the party.  I find it hard to believe ND would get left at home, but beating a ranked Arizona State team at a neutral site may go along way towards their bowl chances.

When?

Indiana beat Penn State on the strength of their impressive second half.  The Hoosiers scored 31 points after halftime to take command.  The most important stretch was a three minute and forty second stretch at the beginning of the fourth quarter.  After Penn State had cut the lead to 21-17, IU put together a scoring drive that was capped off with a Tre Roberson two yard TD run with 14:10 remaining.  That put the score at 28-17 in favor of IU.  The IU defense then stopped PSU on downs and took the ball over offensively at the 33 yard line.  Two plays later QB Nate Sudfeld hit Kofi Hughes for a touchdown that made the score 35-17 with 10:42 to go.  The ensuing kickoff saw Penn State fumble and Indiana recovered it on the nine yard line.  The next play Tre Roberson was in again and rushed for a 9 yard touchdown.  That score put the game away with 10:30 left to play and IU’s largest lead at 42-17.

Where?

Coming off of a big win against Penn State, Indiana travels to Spartan Stadium in East Lansing, Michigan to take on Michigan State next week.  The battle for the Old Brass Spittoon is a big opportunity for IU.  This will be the Hoosiers first road contest in 2013 and comes with a lot of momentum on their side.  Michigan State got a win yesterday at Iowa.  The Spartans are a defense first team and have struggled offensively.  This could be a classic offense versus defense match up as IU is twelfth in the country in scoring offense (44.4 ppg) and Michigan State is seventh in the scoring defense (13.4 ppg allowed).  A road win for IU here puts them in great position for a bowl game and gives them a 2-0 start to conference play.  A great opportunity for Coach Wilson and company.

Follow me on Twitter @thadvandeventer and @IndySportsCrew.

Inside the Man Room

Colts talk is the prominent feature for this week’s show.  Matt Taylor from the Colts Vectren Radio Network joins me leading up the team’s trip out west to take on San Francisco.  We will also touch on some college football and a quick second on the Pacers.  Tune in and let me know your thoughts on Twitter @thadvandeventer and @IndySportsCrew.

Who? What? When? Where?

College Football Recap Week 3

Who?

Indiana defensive coordinator Doug Mallory somehow got his defense refocused.  The Hoosier defense did not allow an offensive touchdown to Bowling Green and limited the Falcons to just three points.  IU bounced back a week after getting shredded by Navy’s triple option offense.  Navy had 515 yards of total offense with 444 coming on the ground.  Bowling Green was still able to move the ball churning up 409 yards of offense, but IU’s bend but don’t break D came through.  With the super powered offense IU has, the defense just needs to be solid and hold teams at bay.  They did that yesterday beating BG 42-10.  A bowl bid is still possible if the defense can hold up.

What?

The scare that Purdue put into Notre Dame was unexpected and gave two fan bases two different feelings.  Notre Dame came from behind for a 31-24 victory in West Lafayette.  Purdue was much maligned in their first two games.  Darrel Hazell’s first season was expected to be a work in progress, but the worry was put into the Boiler faithful after the first two outings.  The 21st rated Irish came to Ross-Ade a very healthy favorite.  The Boilers had other plans controlling the game for the first three quarters.  Notre Dame scored three consecutive touchdowns to open the fourth quarter to take the lead for good.  For Purdue fans, this was the sign they were waiting to see.  Hazell and company putting together a complete and solid effort and with it against rival ND made it feel better.  The Irish fans have more concerns now than they have had in a year and a half.  The defense they had last season is not showing up.  The offense has not found a good rhythm.  Rees has been solid but they have not been consistent.  There is a lot of season left but the questions for Coach Kelly are plentiful right now.

When?

A three and a half minute stretch to begin the fourth quarter spelled the end to Purdue’s upset bid.  The Boilermakers led 17-10 going into the fourth quarter.  With 14:47 remaining, Tommy Rees hit DaVaris Daniels for a 9-yard touchdown pass.  Moments later after a Purdue punt, Rees connected with Daniels again.  This time for an 82-yard touchdown pass and ND took the lead 24-17 with 12:40 to go.  Purdue’s chance to respond ended when Bennett Jackson stepped in front of a Rob Henry pass returning the interception 34 yards for a touchdown with 11:18 to play.  The Irish scored 21 points in exactly 3:29 to go from trailing by seven to leading by 14 on their way to a 31-24 win.

Where?

Ball State stubbed their toe in Denton, TX yesterday blowing a lead allowing North Texas to come from behind for a 34-27 win.  The Cardinals led 20-3 in the first quarter and looked like they would not look back.  The offense then went stagnant and BSU did not score in the second half.  The Mean Green scored the final 25 points of the game.  This was shaping up to be a special season for Ball State.  The team had some big expectations.  They can still reach most of their goals but the possibility of being a BCS crasher are now slim.  A lot of time remains as the MAC West title, MAC conference title, and a bowl game still remain.

Bonus What?

What in the hell was going on with Coach Darrel Hazell’s hat bill?  Does he not know how to properly break in a cap or did someone hand him that right before he took the field?  Hazell had the two sides of the bill bent but the top was flat and straight across.  It just looked incredibly goofy.  As someone who works at the corporate office of Lids, I would gladly send him a tool that would break a hat in correctly.  If you have not seen this please try to find a picture from last night’s game and report back on your thoughts.

Follow me on Twitter @thadvandeventer.

Who? What? When? Where?

College Football Recap Week 2

Who?

I might have to rename this honor the “Keith Wenning stat update” as the Ball State quarterback did it again yesterday.  Wenning threw up 325 yards passing and two touchdowns in BSU’s 40-14 victory.  Through two games this season Wenning has thrown for 665 yards, 5 touchdowns and has a ridiculous 165.8 quarterback rating.  The Cardinals are 2-0 which is the start to this season they expected.  Wenning and company are looking to turn this into a record breaking season in Muncie.

What?

Nate Sudfeld will be the starting quarterback for Indiana moving forward.  Sudfeld entered the game after the Hoosiers went three-and-out and four-and-out in their first two series.  He went 31-42 for 362 yards and four touchdowns.  IU dug themselves a 17 point hole against Navy and were never able to pull out of it.  That was not the fault of Sudfeld and the offense who nearly scored every time, but the defense could not stop the Midshipmen triple option.

When?

Ricardo Allen saved the day for Purdue with 19 seconds remaining to seal a 20-14 victory over Indiana State.  The Sycamores were driving with a chance to tie and take the lead at the Boiler 36-yard line when Allen dove in front of a Mike Perish pass attempt.  This game was tight throughout but Purdue came through with their first win of the season and the first for Darrel Hazell in West Lafayette.

Where?

Where has the defense gone for Notre Dame?  The Irish were torched on Saturday night as Michigan hung 41 points on them.  ND was the number one scoring defense in the country last season allowing just 10 points per game.  The final scheduled match up between these two teams at the Big House was a high scoring contest, but Michigan’s Devin Gardner stole the show.  Gardner went over, through, and around the Notre Dame defense throwing for 294 yards and 4 touchdowns plus rushing for 82 yards and another score.  Notre Dame will need to sort these issues out as they continue their Big Ten swing playing at Purdue in another Saturday night prime time game.

Follow me on Twitter @thadvandeventer.

Who? What? When? Where?

College Football Recap Week 1

Who?

Keith Wenning and Tommy Rees set a high standard for their 2013 seasons.  Wenning went 24-40 for 340 yards and 3 touchdowns as Ball State beat Illinois State 51-28.  Maybe even more astounding is the fact that the Cardinals trailed 21-9 late in the second quarter before scoring 42 consecutive points.  Wenning and company have some high expectations this season especially on offense and they did not disappoint.  Rees set a career high with 346 passing yards.  He was very efficient only needing 23 passing attempts to get there.  He completed 16 attempts with three going for touchdowns.  This was a great opener for Rees who is back in the starting role for the Irish.

What?

The Indiana offense came into the season expecting to be explosive.  In their Thursday opener against Indiana State, they set a school record with 73 points.  The Hoosiers rolled up 623 yards of total offense on their way to scoring nine touchdowns.  The quick strike ability of the offense was in full affect.  This was all done with a three man QB rotation.  Tre Roberson got the start and threw for two scores.  Then the offense really took off when sophomore Nate Sudfeld stepped in.  He went 12-17 for 219 yards and a very impressive 4 touchdowns.  IU will lean heavily on the offense this season to put up major points and they showed that ability in a big way.

When?

Most of the early season games for the in-state schools are not huge heavyweight battles.  The one big exception is next week when Notre Dame travels to Michigan.  This is the last scheduled meeting for these long time rivals.  Notre Dame is moving to the ACC in all sports other than football but with that agreement the Irish will play five ACC schools each year.  The annual match up for these two schools was a casualty of the move.  This will be a top 20 match up with emotions running high.  The last time the Irish traveled to Ann Arbor it was a primetime classic with Michigan scoring a touchdown late for a come-from-behind win.  This one is shaping up to a be another late night thriller.

Where?

Where did Purdue go at halftime in Cincinnati?  Darrel Hazell’s first game as Boilermakers head coach started off slow, but in a tight contest.  The end result however was a blow out with the Boilers on the wrong end.  It was a 7-7 game before Cincinnati scored a touchdown with just :17 seconds remaining in the first half taking a 14-7 lead to the half.  That score started a Bearcat onslaught of 35 straight points resulting in a 42-7 victory.  Purdue never found a rhythm offensively and when Cincy gained the momentum the Boiler defense had no answer.  This was a disappointing opener for Hazell.  The new pro-style offense he is installing never got off the ground and turned the ball over four times.  The 35 point loss was the worst season opener for Purdue since a 52-14 loss at Michigan State in 1996.  PU will look to get on track next week when Indiana State comes to Ross-Ade Stadium.

Follow me on Twitter @thadvandeventer.

Inside the Man Room

College football is here so it is time for my season preview.  The Man Room this week is completely filled with college football talk and nothing else.  I break down all four of the FBS schools as well as several other in state schools.  Plus Jeremy Gray from IU joins me to preview the Hoosiers’ season.

Follow me on @thadvandeventer or @IndySportsCrew and remember to subscribe to the podcasts on iTunes.

Inside the Man Room

Football is the topic of choice this week in the Man Room.  I take a look back at the Colts’ preseason opener.  Notre Dame is the second college football team we talk about in our preview series.  Pat Doherty from the Regional Radio Sports Network joins me to talk about the Irish.  Follow me on Twitter @thadvandeventer or @IndySportsCrew.  Subscribe to Indy Sports Crew podcasts on iTunes.

Rise and Fire

Who? What? When? Where?

College Football Recap Week 13 (or Notre Dame Edition)

Who?

Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly has taken the Fighting Irish to the National Championship game.  In just his third year at the school, Kelly has turned the program around and changed the fortunes of the most recognizable college football institution in the country.  The Irish were not expected to be in this situation at the season’s outset, but coach Kelly remade this team.  The Irish became a physical team relying on the run game and defense.  This was not Kelly’s M.O. coming to Notre Dame.  He was known as an offensive guy who utilized the spread offense to out score his opponents.  This season however he was smart enough to play to his team’s strengths and now they have earned the opportunity of playing for ND’s first national championship since 1988.

What?

The Notre Dame defense has been one of the most surprising things in all of college football this season.  The Irish defense has finished their regular season second nationally in points against average (10.3 ppg).  ND has played this season in an old fashioned style depending heavily on the defense.  Manti Te’o and the boys did not disappoint.  The most points they allowed in a game was a 26 point effort by Pittsburgh in triple overtime.  The play by the defense was without a doubt keyed by their leader Te’o.  Te’o leads the team with 103 tackles and seven interceptions.  He also has 5.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, and two fumbles recovered.  Without a doubt Te’o will be in New York for the Heisman Trophy ceremony and his defense will be showcased in the title game.

When?

Notre Dame coaches have had a great history of championship third seasons under the golden dome.  Frank Leahy, Ara Parseghian, Dan Devine, and Lou Holtz all won national titles in their third season guiding the Irish.  Brian Kelly looks to join the pantheon of legendary ND coaches this year.  Kelly has the Irish on the precipice of hoisting that crystal football.  They are the only undefeated team in the FBS ranks and are awaiting to find out who their final opponent will be.  Kelly has turned Notre Dame back into the winning program many have hoped for.  They have the chance now to put his name down with the rest of the legends in South Bend including Mr. Rockne himself.

Where?

Sun Life Stadium in Miami, Florida is the location the Irish will take the field against the SEC Champion with the national championship on the line.  Notre Dame has played in some big games but without a doubt this will be the biggest contest since 1993.  Notre Dame will look to do what they did following the 1989 Fiesta Bowl and that is rush the field to celebrate an undefeated season and national championship.

Other Notes from the Final Week

The Ball State Cardinals won their sixth straight game to finish the season 9-3.  BSU took down Miami (OH) on Friday 31-24.  Pete Lembo has completely turned this program around and back to where it was a few years ago under coach Brady Hoke.  Lembo’s Cardinals finished second in the MAC West and third overall in the conference.  Now Ball St. will wait to see what bowl game they will get invited to and who their opponent will be.

Purdue beat Indiana for the second straight season.  With their third straight victory, the Boilers became bowl eligible.  They finish the regular season 6-6.  Although Purdue beat IU again and will be going bowling, that was not enough for coach Danny Hope to stay on board.  Purdue Athletic Director Morgan Burke announced this afternoon that coach Hope will not be returning and will not coach the bowl game.

The Marian University Knights have advanced to their second consecutive NAIA Football Championship Series semifinal.  Marian beat fellow in-state NAIA power St. Francis 45-34.  The Knights lost last season in the semifinal round to St. Xavier.  Next Saturday Marian will travel to #2 rated Missouri Valley College with a trip to Rome, GA and the NAIA title game on the line.

Follow me on Twitter @thadvandeventer and @IndySportsCrew.