Thursday, July 31, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Irish eyes won't be blurry this time

Sister Barbara Anne did not foresee Dayne Crist’s blurred vision injury last Saturday, neither did Notre Damus, so there’s an excuse why a 7-0 lead became a 21-7 deficit and an eventually thrilling 28-24 loss to Denard and his Wolverines. After watching reams of film, I figured out that Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez runs a single-wing, without the other three backs in the backfield, just Denard. Last year, I obsessed on Jimmy Clausen winning the Heisman. The way this season is going, he would have been a real contender if he had stayed for his senior year. Then again, the way new coach Brian Kelly rattled Michael Floyd’s and Armando Allen’s and Monte T’eo’s cages, everyone from last year’s 6-6 underachievers had to prove themselves all over again, recruiting hype notwithstanding. Denard Robinson is a freak of nature. I liked UMass better when Calipari was coaching. Marcus Camby was tough in the red zone. This week, the Irish get Michigan State and quarterback Kirk Cousins. Playing on the road at night is never easy. Coming back from last week’s loss has to be demoralizing. Staring at 1-2 and facing Stanford and Andrew Luck would be even worse. Michigan State has always had freakish talent, going back to Bubba Smith and Gene Washington (Notre Dame outplayed the Spartans in that 10-10 tie and would have won in overtime, anyway). Brian Kelly needs to get some juices flowing tonight. At least last year's .500 record was a thrill-a-minute. Now a quick timeout for a Philly moment: Penn State is like root canal this year, not even an $88 million donation to start Division I hockey could make anyone feel good yesterday in the 24-0 win over Kent State. Temple had yet another crazy fourth quarter and literally stole the ball and a win over UConn. I am waiting to see the spread from Vegas, then you'll get a good indication of how the rest of the country feels. If Temple only had a quarterback ... Back to East Lansing ... Why does Michigan State always seem so different than the other Big Ten schools? They play up-tempo and make mistakes, take chances and live and die while playing on the edge. (Maybe because it's a basketball school.) Kyle Rudolph tried to save the day last week and that horrible late-hit penalty by Christian actually helped Michigan because Crist airmailed the end zone by 15 yards on the final play. This time Crist will see just fine. If they wind up using Rees and Montana, the playbook will include one of the 17 different draw plays they run. As for Michael Floyd, it's time to step up. I had you in the Snow, Seymour, Gatewood, Tim Brown pantheon. Right now, you have some catching and catching up to do to get to Pete Demmerle and Pete Holohan. Irish win, 38-37 in quadruple overtime.

Irish eyes won't be blurry this time

Sister Barbara Anne did not foresee Dayne Crist’s blurred vision injury last Saturday, neither did Notre Damus, so there’s an excuse why a 7-0 lead became a 21-7 deficit and an eventually thrilling 28-24 loss to Denard and his Wolverines.

After watching reams of film, I figured out that Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez runs a single-wing, without the other three backs in the backfield, just Denard.
 
Last year, I obsessed on Jimmy Clausen winning the Heisman. The way this season is going, he would have been a real contender if he had stayed for his senior year. Then again, the way new coach Brian Kelly rattled Michael Floyd’s and Armando Allen’s and Monte T’eo’s cages, everyone from last year’s 6-6 underachievers had to prove themselves all over again,  recruiting hype notwithstanding.
 
Denard Robinson is a freak of nature. I liked UMass better when Calipari was coaching. Marcus Camby was tough in the red zone.
 
This week, the Irish get Michigan State and quarterback Kirk Cousins.
Playing on the road at night is never easy.
Coming back from last week’s loss has to be demoralizing.
Staring at 1-2 and facing Stanford and Andrew Luck would be even worse.
Michigan State has always had freakish talent, going back to Bubba Smith and Gene Washington (Notre Dame outplayed the Spartans in that 10-10 tie and would have won in overtime, anyway).
Brian Kelly needs to get some juices flowing tonight. At least last year's .500 record was a thrill-a-minute.
Now a quick timeout for a Philly moment: Penn State is like root canal this year, not even an $88 million donation to start Division I hockey could make anyone feel good yesterday in the 24-0 win over Kent State.
Temple had yet another crazy fourth quarter and literally stole the ball and a win over UConn. I am waiting to see the spread from Vegas, then you'll get a good indication of how the rest of the country feels. If Temple only had a quarterback ...
 
Back to East Lansing ... Why does Michigan State always seem so different than the other Big Ten schools? They play up-tempo and make mistakes, take chances and live and die while playing on the edge. (Maybe because it's a basketball school.)
 
Kyle Rudolph tried to save the day last week and that horrible late-hit penalty by Christian actually helped Michigan because Crist airmailed the end zone by 15 yards on the final play.
This time Crist will see just fine. If they wind up using Rees and Montana, the playbook will include one of the 17 different draw plays they run.
 
As for Michael Floyd, it's time to step up. I had you in the Snow, Seymour, Gatewood, Tim Brown pantheon. Right now, you have some catching and catching up to do to get to Pete Demmerle and Pete Holohan.
 
Irish win, 38-37 in quadruple overtime.
John Quinn Inquirer Staff Writer
About this blog
John Quinn, 57, is sports editor at the Philadelphia Inquirer and is a third generation member of the Subway Alumni.

His grandfather used to listen to the radio and yell out to his son playing on the hardscrabble streets of Corona, Queens: “Bill Shakespeare just threw another touchdown pass!”
His father used to listen to the transistor radio and yell out to his son playing for Stony Brook on Long Island: “Joe Montana just threw another touchdown pass!”
He listens to the radio and yells out to his son watching Phineas and Ferb on a 46-inch HDTV: “Dayne Crist just threw another touchdown pass!” Meanwhile, Jack, 9, will not be a fourth generation member of the Subway Alumni. Reach John at jquinn@phillynews.com.

John Quinn Inquirer Staff Writer
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