Notre Dame 24 - Michigan 28
Congratulations goes out to Michigan on another win I guess. Denard Robinson is definitely a playmaker who is a mismatch for any team in college football. He's got a bright college career in front of him.
The main reason Notre Dame lost is obvious... Dayne Crist was out for almost two full quarters. It isn't making excuses for them, its a fact. Even Michigan fans must admit it. When Crist was in the game, Notre Dame outscored Michigan 24-7. When he wasn't in the game, Michigan outscored Notre Dame 21-0. Watching Kyle Rees and Nate Montana play gave me the same feeling I got when I witnessed Curtis Painter destroy the Colts' perfect season last year. Absolutely gut wrenching seeing an offense so ineffective when Dayne's offense essentially scored at will.
I saw a comment on facebook saying, "It wouldn't matter if Crist was in the game or not, he can't help the defense tackle better." Quotes like this are fairly silly and reveal that the person who said it doesn't really know how football works. A good offense can help the defense out tremendously, just like a bad offense can hinder it. When an offense sputters and doesn't produce long drives, the defense is on the field longer, wearing them out. Also, there is this thing called leadership and momentum which Crist brings to the game. Dayne Crist clearly inspires his team as the leader. When he was in the game, the defense simply played better football. They had a hop in their step and a little extra punch in their hits. You have to acknowledge this. I'll say it again... 24-7 when Crist was in the game.
Overall it was an entertaining game. I wish Dayne could have played the full game, so there would at least be no "what ifs" to think about all year. I'm left with the feeling that Notre Dame is still the superior team. If Crist would have been in the game the whole time and we still would have lost, I would at least be able to say we lost to the better team. But unfortunately I don't really believe Michigan is the better team.
What Impressed Me
Armando Allen: How much of a stud is Armando Allen? The dude is lightning quick and has good power as well. My mind keeps coming back to the play when he dropped the pitch behind the line of scrimmage, picked it up, and gained 5 yards on the play by plowing through a Michigan defender. He was lightning every time he touched the ball. He has definitely come a long way since his earlier years when he was constantly going down on the first hit. He's developed into a very balanced running back.
What I Found Unimpressive
Dayne Crist: I know, after I just got done pumping him up, he is the player that I was unimpressed with? Yep. He is deadly when throwing from 10-15 yards. He is absolutely dreadful throwing the deep ball though. That is one thing that Jimmy Clausen excelled at when he was at Notre Dame. He always gave his playmakers a shot at catching the ball. Crist needs to learn how to keep the ball in play, instead of constantly launching the ball over his target's head. That last play of the game, for example, was just awful. There was no reason to not give his players a chance to catch it, but he overthrew them by a mile. He needs to learn how to get some more touch on his deep balls if he wants to become an elite quarterback.
That's all I got on college football for now. I'm definitely looking forward to a full slate of NFL games tomorrow though.
My next posts will be:
1. Thoughts on the Colts/Texans game
2. My playoff predictions after seeing teams play their first games