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October 12, 2013

Bye-week mailbag

Notre Dame may be on a bye week, but we here at Irish Illustrated are so dedicated to our craft we keep the content coming. Or is it that you readers are so devoted that you kept sending questions despite -- or perhaps because of -- the bye week, making a mailbag necessary?

Tim Prister and Pete Sampson tackled more questions than usual in the Irish Illustrated Insider. Now, let’s take a look at a few more.

ndstatman: While the win over ASU was encouraging, it also raises some concern. It took Notre Dame’s best overall effort on offense, defense and special teams to win by three points over a team that is a bad referee’s call from being 2-3. How close will ND have to come to matching Saturday’s performance to win the next five games?

While I agree with your assessment that Notre Dame needed to play its best ball of the year to top Arizona State, I strongly disagree with your dismissal of the challenge presented by the Sun Devils.

Looking at your record argument, the first issue is that Arizona State is 3-2. However it got that win, it got the win. Even if Wisconsin had won that game, do not discount the Badgers simply because they have dropped out of the polls. They came closest to handing Ohio State a loss this season. But, back to the topic at hand, Arizona State’s other loss -- again, one of only two losses, not three -- was against Stanford. Need I say more?

Now that I have insisted on giving the Sun Devils proper credit, you asked about Notre Dame’s next five games. By no means will the stretch be easy, but the Irish will be favored in each game and appropriately so.

Jason4Irish: What is the point of the play-calling sequence of offensive coordinator Chuck Martin to Brian Kelly to the red hats to Tommy Rees? It doesn’t seem very efficient and no other teams in college do this.

cstromd: And how do other teams handle this?

Prefacing this with the obvious admission that I’m not dialed into the coaches’ headsets on Saturdays, I disagree with nearly all of Jason4Irish’s post. Actually, now that I think about it, I disagree with all of it.

Often, at least one of the red-capped quarterbacks has a headset atop his bright baseball hat. The call is going directly from Martin to the signalers. Unless you feel the play-caller should be on the sideline, there would be no other method to make this chain more efficient in college football.

As for other teams, they do indeed do this as well. Sports Illustrated had a much-discussed article on Ohio State a few weeks ago in which the writer sat in the coaches’ booth for the season-opener. Included in the piece was a section on the signal-callers: back-up quarterbacks wearing a variety of brightly-colored shirts on the sideline. What would you prefer, red hats on a few quarterbacks or spots of orange, purple and yellow on the sideline?

Brian1usmc: Is a medical red-shirt possible for Jarrett Grace?

Not even a little bit.

@JFire5118: Need advice/must-do’s for my first game ever vs. BYU.

I’m taking a leap of faith and assuming this is not only the first time you’ll see Notre Dame play BYU, but also the first time you’ll see Notre Dame play in-person.

Two weeks ago, an old buddy of mine came to town with a lifelong Notre Dame fan, who had never stepped foot on campus. I’ll tip you off to some of the highlights of their itinerary, and let our readers help you out further as they see fit.

Friday 6 p.m. -- Pep rally. Details are usually released a few days beforehand.
Friday midnight -- Drummers’ Circle outside of the Main Building. A bit more authentic than the pep rally, though in the November cold I suspect numbers may be limited.
Saturday 1:15 p.m. -- Player walkover. Situate yourself somewhere between Touchdown Jesus and the Stadium.

That all may be obvious, but that’s what I’m here for.

NDFaninMadtown: So Bon Jovi, David Robinson, Cris Collinsworth, Phillip Daniels and Snoop Dogg all walk into the Linebacker on a Saturday afternoon…

Hey, @JFire5118, also check out the Linebacker Lounge, but don’t wear any shoes you would ever consider wearing to a date in the future. You’ll find the ‘Backer about 150 feet past the softball stadium.


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