Okay … here’s the deal. If I’m in any way interested in the Notre Dame football program “being all it can be”, then this Saturday’s tilt vs long-time rival USC is my Super Bowl this season. We’re 1-6 right now, and of our 6 losses, none have been nail-biters. We shot ourselves in the foot (again!) against #3 Boston College last week in what could have been a winnable game. Aside from UCLA, we’ve fallen behind in every game by 2 or 3 TDs in the first half. All this nonsense needs to stop Saturday vs the Trojans!!!! And it should … here’s why:
1) if I’m an older player, I’m really tired of getting my nose rubbed in it at home games and by USC. This may be my last game against our best rival and I’d like to go out on top … I NEED TO WIN ONE OF THESE!!!
2) if I’m a younger player, this is a huge opportunity to show the coaches that you belong on the field for the “rest of your career” as this will be the last impression you leave them for 2 solid weeks. Next week, Oct 27, is an off-week, which by the way is at least 2 weeks overdue, but that’s another issue.
3) Next week is an off-week … so there’s no reason that every player and every coach should not leave it all out there this Saturday. Every player should be bustin’ his tail all week and twice as hard on Saturday. We expect to see INTENSITY FOR 60 MINS, particularly this week. If we don’t, this is a failure.
4) If I’m a ND coach, Charlie or otherwise, this is a huge opportunity to show everyone, including recruits and your AD, that you still know what you’re doing and there’s good reason to believe this team will be consistent Top 10 caliber by 2009. And everyone will be watching to see if you can motivate and focus your troops so they come out and compete right from the opening kick for a change.
5) And now, the fans and supporters We know all this (1-4 above), and so we expect a good game vs the Trojans. THERE’S NO REASON WE SHOULDN’T COMPETE FOR ALL 60 MINUTES ON SATURDAY, again for the reasons already stated. Plus, USC is coming in with their reputation a little tattered, they have tons of injuries and everyone has seen them struggle mightily the last two weeks against weak opponents, including a loss to Stanford at home.
As a fan, I do not want to see us fall behind 14-0 or 21-0 at halftime. It’s simply not acceptable anymore. This is the week it should change … our freshman are practically sophs now … this is, afterall, the 8th game of the season! I know we’re something like 17 point ‘dogs and, no, I don’t expect to win the game. BUT I DO EXPECT NOTRE DAME TO COMPETE FROM OPENING WHISTLE TO FINAL GUN on Saturday vs USC. We may lose, but it better be close at half, close after 3 qtrs, close at the end. We need to FIGHT FOR 60 MINUTES!!! Hey, we might even win if we do this. So … Charlie … we’ll be watching very closely this week … as will your AD and all those recruits who want to believe that you and your staff have the right stuff to turn ND around. Don’t screw it up … it is, afterall, SUPER BOWL SATURDAY!!!
Good luck Irish!
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