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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

ND vs. USF Important Questions and Decision Points

With fall camp in the rearview mirror, a quarterback finally officially named and preparations well underway for South Florida, a number of obvious questions and issues bubble to the surface.

Key Questions:

Will Dayne Crist be effective reading USF’s defense, throwing accurate passes for first downs and leading the offense?  No one wants to see him heaving it all over the Stadium.

Will the Irish establish the running game and it's smash mouth identity than later opening up the passing game?  Or will it be the other way around?  This is probably the biggest question at the start of the season. 

Will the much-ballyhooed BCS caliber Irish defense show up as anticipated?

What will Irish Head Coach Brian Kelly hold back for Michigan?  Will it be that type of a matchup to hold back?

Will the Irish cheerleaders be better than average looking this year?

Will the freshman play, contribute and respond as forecasted?  Aaron Lynch, Ishaq Williams, Stephen Tuitt, Davaris Daniels, George Atkinson, Kyle Brindza, Troy Niklas, Cam McDaniel, et.al.
Will the student section be a mass of funny colored blue T-shirts in the warm weathe of September?

Will the kick and punt return games show life with Theo Riddick?

Will Kyle Brindza consistently kick the ball deep into the end zone?

Will 5th year senior David Ruffer start another field goal completion streak that will propel him into the NFL?  Corollary Question: Will Brian Kelly remember him sitting on the bench?

Will the old guys in yellow jackets be ever vigilant and on the lookout for student shenanigans?

Two Key Decision Points:
The first half will show us whether Kelly or Holtz (boy does that sound funny) can establish the tempo and rhythm needed in the all important first game of the season as both Teams search for an identity.  What will Kelly do?  If Kelly wins the toss will he kick or receive?  Where will his confidence lie? What does Skip have up his sleeve?

The second key will be adjustments at half time.  Charlie Weis stunk to the high heavens at adjustments.  Sometimes we wondered why he pulled the team off he field into the locker room at half time.  We also failed to see critical defensive adjustments by Kelly in the Navy blowout last year.

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