What I saw from the stands was a defense with lots of heart and fight and fantastic conditioning. The detnews found the silver lining too. The other thing I saw was the confidence in them shown by their coach who punted the ball back to ND late in the 4th. I was all for that move even though many weren't.
But I also saw that the deep support is absent and the linebacker play atrocious.
Here are the numbers courtesy of mgoblue.com
No surprise, but this was a heavyweight fight with the two teams going toe to toe. M scores 14 in the first, but then gives up 17 in the second. Gets 7 in the 3rd (while allowing ND only like 24 yards of offense?) and then allows another 14 points in the 4th. Mano a Mano all game long.
Check this out: (ND on the left, M on the right)
TOTAL OFFENSE YARDS........... 490 430wow.....490 yards given up to the opponent yet we still win????
Total offense plays......... 72 71
Average Gain Per Play....... 6.8 6.1
I'll let someone else discuss the watershed/awesome coaching moments that got us over the top, and I'm still basking in the sweet joy of victory, but um....well, we gotta talk about the elephant in the room.
Run Defense: ND rushed for a net 154 yards, averaging 5.1 yards per carry. Ick!? Only Stevie Brown and Brandon Graham got TFLs but even then, they only backed them up for 8 yards.
but the real damage came on the....
Pass Defense: 336 net yards thru the air, with Jimmeh going 25-42-0 with 3 TDs. Average yards per attempt? EIGHT. Average yards per completion? THIRTEEN. And you wonder why Fat Charlie was throwing late into the game??? Why wouldn't you? You were getting first downs with almost every toss. Jimmeh was sacked only twice for a total of 9 negative yards. (oh, but how about a BIG shout out to our O line...Tate was not dumped once in the back field for a sack)
While Floyd and Tate killed, a few other receivers racked up catches as well...
Receiving No. Yds TD Long
TATE 9 115 2 27
FLOYD 7 131 1 37
RUDOLPH 3 38 0 24
ALLEN 2 24 0 19
EVANS 2 15 0 8
GRAY, J. 1 7 0 7
KAMARA 1 6 0 6
Totals... 25 336 3 37
So what to do??? Luckily we don't face Golden Tate and Michael Floyd again. Golden Tate is listed at 5' 11", 195 pounds and Michael Floyd is like 12 feet tall and all muscle (6'3", 220#). Poor Boo-Boo (5'9", 177#) was looking up to him head and shoulders all day long. Coach doesn't have many other options in the secondary.
The linebacker core is comprised of mainly freshmen and sophomores with Stevie Brown (!?) as the only senior LB....
Basically I think that the defense is at least a year or two behind the offense and that Mr. Robinson needs to take the trolley to the Land of Make-believe for solutions....
Good thing we can score at will!!??