Takeaways from 2012 Notre Dame Spring Game

Takeaways from 2012 Notre Dame Spring Game

The number one topic is of course the four-way starting quarterback battle. Unlike other spring games, Notre Dame lets them pretty much go live at QB, which is a lot cooler than the signal caller wearing a red, no-contact jersey. Here’s the statistical breakdown.

Everett Golson 31 snaps, 11-15 passing, 120 yards, two TDs, 0 picks. 6 carries for 25 yards. Tommy Rees 7-14-1, 84 yards, 0 TDs, 1 rush for 1 yard in 26 snaps. Andrew Hendrix 4-9-1, 51 yards, 1 TD, 2 rushes for 13 yards in 15 snaps.

–Much ballyhooed blue-chip recruit Gunner Kiel came in during the second half and went 5-10-1, 57 yards, 3 carries for 15 yards. The story of last season was essentially too many turnovers, especially so from the quarterback position, and especially at the most inopportune times.

“We had two interceptions in particular, where we’ve seen that movie before,” Brian Kelly told the media after the game. The fans saw both Kiel and Rees get picked off soon after entering the game. Rees’ interception came on his fifth attempt, Kiel his second.


–Kelly essentially said not to read too much into the stats, and we assume that today’s box score won’t have too much effect on shaping the depth chart. It’s more about managing the offense and making the right reads.

“I think we saw some things that we haven’t seen before in terms of ball placement.  Then we saw some errors that, unfortunately, are all too familiar.  So, I think there were some strides made, but clearly we’re not there yet.  We’ve got a lot of work to do with all the quarterbacks to get them to the level that we want.  And we have a high bar set for them,” Kelly said.


–Kelly said the quarterbacks need to show attention to detail, and Rees talked about what means to him

“I think it’s just something that I’m going to get better at.  It’s something we’ve been up?and?down with all spring.  We’ll remain focused and get to the front where we’ve got a steady stream there.  But it’s something we’ll continue to work on and continue to get better at,” Rees said.

–The attendance of nearly 32,000 was the fifth highest in Notre Dame Blue-Gold Game history.

“That’s what makes Notre Dame unique in that the spring game you get that kind of energy.  You guys may poo?poo that and not understand it, but when you play this game and you have that kind of loyalty and support from your fans, it’s a really nice feeling.  So our guys got the opportunity to play before a nice crowd today, and I think it really excited them getting out there,” said Kelly.

Actually I don’t poo-poo that at all. I think 30,000 is about the right size crowd for a spring exhibition. I think ND fans care about the right amount as you should for spring ball. Illinois only drew about 1,000 (according to the Chicago Tribune) for it’s spring game (that’s way too little), and Ohio State drew 81,000 (according to CNBC’s Darren Rovell) for there’s, and that’s WAY TOO MUCH.

–Very little of star inside linebacker Manti Te’o or  sophomore defensive end Stephon Tuitt today, but sophomore cornerback Lo Wood had a big game today with seven tackles (second only to Kendall Moore’s 8).

“If the ball gets funneled out to him, we feel like we’ve got a really good tackler out there.  He tackles very well.  He’s an aggressive kid, and he’s not afraid to put his helmet on.  You know, he’s not a four?three.  He’s not blazing speed.  We don’t need him to do that,”

“We need him to defend the post, stay above the cut and be a good tackler.”

–Someone needs to share carries with TB1 (tailback 1) Cierre Wood this fall, especially with Jonas Gray graduated. Could be it converted receiver George Atkinson III? (we’ll have to call him GA3) He had a buck-ten rushing by halftime, and finished with 15 carries for 124 yards. He also caught 3 balls for 54 yards, and showed some really nifty moves. He’s made a statement today.

“I watch a lot of guys in the pros and try to implement what they do in my game as much as possible, I watch Adrian Peterson and those guys make moves like that, and I’m trying to do the same thing,” GA3 said.

–The final score was Gold (Defense) 42, Blue (Offense) 31 Like nearly all spring games, the scoring system is revamped with different rules and regs that column space prohibits me from explaining.

-Yesterday on ESPN, their college football analysts projected ND to have the toughest schedule in the nation, and predicted them to go 7-5 in the fall.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, MSN and Fox Sports

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