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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Four Issues Notre Dame Must Address For A BCS Run

Brian Kelly and the Fighting Irish have four major hurdles to overcome if they intend making a BCS and National Championship run.   

A Healthy Dayne Crist. 

Academic senior and eligible junior Dayne Crist will start for Notre Dame.  Sorry all of you out there thinking Tommy Rees will be returning as the quarterback of choice for Kelly.  There is no quarterback controversy period.  Can we count on Crist?  Two years ago he went down with a non-contact, season ending injury that left Charlie Weis with a nagging injury ridden Jimmy Clausen and a quarterback want-a-be Evan Sharpley.  Then in 2010 Crist got nailed with a near out of bounds hit by a Tulsa defender that possibly cost the Irish the game and ended his season once again.  How long will Crist last?  He has the maturity, talent, and knowledge to be a winner for Notre Dame.  The durability is highly questionable.  He is being counted on as a leader and his loss will be a blow to the offense.  

Dayne Crist

Avoid Injuries To Skill Players.

Last year was a disaster.  Dayne Crist, Armando Allen, Theo Riddick, Michael Floyd, Kyle Rudolph, all went down for various or permanent lengths of time.  Cierre Wood and Jonas Gray were dinged up as well and that only includes the offensive side of the ball.  Sure injuries happen and guys have to fill-in however championship teams win with their starters.

Utilize A Platoon Quarterback System.

This is a must.  Dayne Crist and Andrew Hendrix will have to share time on the field.  A limited pocket passer and a mobile quarterback with the true spread offensive system will wreck havoc with opponent’s defensive game plans.  The possibilities are intriguing.  Example one:  Crist starts against South Florida and Hendrix starts against Michigan.  Would the Skunkbears be prepared for that, heck no.  Example two: How about if Hendrix started the second half after Michigan thinks they have adjusted in the locker room to starter Crist?  Example three: How would Sparty plan for that possibility the next week?
Andrew Hendrix

Establishment Of A Running Game With a Dearth of Running Backs.

The Irish have Wood and Gray.  They also have Gray and Wood.  However you say it, they still only have two running backs.  No one wants former running back Theo Riddick in the backfield, he belongs complimenting Michael Floyd.  Cameron Roberson is just not going to be ready early on if at all in 2011.  Incoming freshman George Atkinson is an interesting possibility.  However who wants a freshman running back stepping up to the plate that early.  We see a heavy dose of the “Leprechaun” with a number of speedsters to take pressure off Crist and a thin back field.  

The most critical issue is the running back position and Kelly has not even recruited a running back in the 2012 class.  He is pinning his hope on longshot possible Irish recruit William Mahone.  Mahone has delayed his decision after a great visit to Notre Dame and that can only be good news for the Irish.

William Mahone
If these isssues are not addressed the Irish are a 8- 3 or a 9-3 Team.

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