Just What The Doctor Ordered: Notre Dame

By Adam Caparell - September 11, 2007

Michigan's 0-2. So is Notre Dame. The good news is one will come away with its first victory Saturday when the two rivals meet in Ann Arbor. And the even better news for Lloyd Carr and his beleaguered Wolverines defense is that they'll face a team whose offense is as woefully inept as it gets.

The Irish enter the game as the worst offensive team in Division I-A football, averaging just a measly 133 yards per game and feature a freshman quarterback in Jimmy Clausen, who coach Charlie Weis seems reluctant to let air it out.

That's music to Carr's ears considering Michigan is allowing 508 yards per game - good for 108th in the country - and have had an easier time tackling their homework than ball carriers.

But even after arguably the most disappointing start in Michigan football history, at least certainly in Carr's time with the school, the coach is actually happy with the effort his team has showed, despite the perceived lack of heart some would argue they've displayed.

"I don't see anything there in terms of not playing hard or with a sense of urgency," Carr said. "Any time you give up big plays and you're not leveraging the football you're going to look like a poor tackling team because that's what happens when you let the ball get outside or behind you."

Carr's team has done that more than he cares to remember. The Wolverines have allowed 11 plays of 19 yards or greater - a big play in football is generally defined as 20 yards or greater. Fortunately for Michigan, the Irish have run only two plays for 20 yards or more in their two games and have yet to score an offensive touchdown. So Michigan could be getting Notre Dame at just at the right time.

"All the issues in my mind are correctable and that's what we're trying to do today," Carr said.

Granted, Notre Dame has played Georgia Tech and Penn State, two strong defensive teams to start their season. But if the Wolverines can't keep Notre Dame in realtive check, then there's absolutely no hope for MIchigan this season. Just as much talent is gone from that Notre Dame offense as the Michigan defense.

Posted by Adam Caparell at 12:50 PM on September 11, 2007
Comments (2)


I must take what you say with a grain of salt considering nd defense has been a whole lot better than you have indicated here. If you really did know what you where talking about then you would realize that once nd gets it offensive line tightened up then watch out. Did michigan loss to gt and penn state no they lost to app state get out the banjo and oregon and have a far worse d than ND


While the offensive line is a problem for ND, I think a lack of speed, size and talent at WR providing any separation for Claussen is also a very significant problem. Grimes and West are both small (both 5'10" or less) and slow. And no one has been established in the backfield (mostly due to the O-line woes) but Taylor, Allen and Jabbe all seem to be second-tier players. I thought Aldridge would step up this year but he received 1 carry vs. PSU after Weis touted him during the week. Charlie Weis either has no development plan or it's so brilliant none of us can figure it out.

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