#BookClub Meeting Adjourned: UNC Instant Reaction

Well, as we suspected most of the week, Notre Dame didn’t send Brandon Wimbush out at QB this week with his foot injury that we somehow didn’t know about until Tuesday. Instead, the Irish convened the (Ian) Book Club. And the results were pretty much in line with what we figured we’d see from the young sophomore, while the Irish cruised to a 33-10 win.

Ian Book still doesn’t have the right jersey, but he played fine

I noticed this the first time Book took the field for ND, against Boston College – he’s wearing a pre-2016 jersey, without the new monogram and the “Leahy” font. The same held true against Michigan State. Interestingly enough, he has the updated uniform at home, but not on the road. I thought he might be fit for the new one given that he was starting the game, but no dice.

Outside of that uni update, Book was more or less fine. He threw too many times early in the game (25 attempts at the half had me wondering if Kelly just has a thing with games in North Carolina in heavy rain) but he only tossed it up six times after the break. He had a horrendous red-zone interception that ruined ND’s 100% red zone efficiency rating, but most of his throws were varying degrees of good. I really like his throwing arm; once he decides the ball is going out, it’s a laser beam. Not always accurate, but delivered with authority. An acceptable debut. Stats: 17/31, 146 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT.

The bye is coming at a good time

Between Wimbush’s injury and Josh Adams’ “cranky ankle”, as coach Brian Kelly put it, the bye week has arrived just in time. (Nyles Morgan also scared me with that hand injury late in the game, but he returned later, so I think we’re good there.) As nice as it has been that Adams hasn’t been needed much these last few weeks, I’d like his game-breaking ability back in the lineup. (He still ran for over 100 yards in the first half, thanks to his latest long-distance house call.) And obviously this team needs Wimbush to hit its ceiling.

MANBALL

Man, Notre Dame is fun to watch when they line up and play MANBALL. Deon McIntosh, who had been less than impressive in garbage time, banged out his nicest day of the year today, and C.J. Holmes was impressive in his on-field debut. Love the way that kid runs. Mike McGlinchey and Quenton Nelson were on point in this one, as was the whole offensive line. In addition to their run blocking, they gave Book eternity to throw on most plays. Stats: 6 yards per carry, 341 yards rushing.

DEFENSE

Ok, there’s virtually nothing you can take from beating a team like UNC (see below), but I have gotten to the point where I just enjoy watching our defense play. Pressure gets home, guys make tackles, and plays like Drue Tranquill ripping the ball away from a Heel and Julian Okwara tipping an interception to himself are becoming more and more common. I don’t know how Mike Elko got here, but I hope he never leaves. Stats: 70 plays, 265 yards allowed (under 4 per play) and 3 turnovers forced.

UNC, or what’s left of them, is really, really bad

There were several points in this game where a lesser team might have made ND sweat, most notably at the end of the first half and into the second. Instead of running QB sneaks and seeing what he could do in the third quarter, though, coach Larry Fedora went shotgun twice, and it resulted in an ND safety that completely skunked whatever Heels’ momentum had been gained by their TD a few plays before. Even Peak Reckless Brian Kelly might have thought twice before calling those plays.

Then again, there was little Fedora could do. UNC is a MASH unit, and they play like it. They were completely outclassed all day and never had much of a chance. I actually felt bad for them watching several players go down during this game on top of what they were already dealing with. Hope things look up for them later, because this one had to be painful to watch for their fans.

It’s been a pretty successful first half, but I think we all know none of these five wins have been against the kind of teams ND needs to beat. Those games start in two weeks. USC, NC State and Wake at home, then the body-blow trifecta of Miami, Navy and Stanford. ND’s season story will be told in those six games.

(Photo credit: AP)

By | 2018-05-09T22:25:53+00:00 October 7th, 2017|18S Reads, Football|44 Comments

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Russell Knox
Russell Knox

Great write up Andy. The first half left a little bit to be desired, but the second half was great.

MSU just stripped the ball from Michigan. Is it sad that I hate Michigan so much, I watch their games in hope of seeing them lose?

Anachronism
Anachronism

No.

Concrete Charlie
Concrete Charlie

I’m sadder. I hope to see them lose in the most embarrassing manner possible. I have four college age and close to college age kids. I have been very up front with them. I will underwrite 4 years anywhere. Except Michigan. I will not pay that place one ****Ing dime. Ever.

cwod
cwod

It’s a good school. But if they went there and became Michigan football fans? Ugh!

Concrete Charlie
Concrete Charlie

Not good enough.

Concrete Charlie
Concrete Charlie

To clarify, I went to Penn. I really hate Princeton, too. But I would pay for a degree at Princeton. Not ****ing Michigan, though.

#Elko – Penn Guy

cwod
cwod

I don’t feel strongly one way or another about the Ivy League. I hear Princeton is lovely, though!

I’ve long thought about going back to school, possibly to Michigan (if I could get in). In my field, they’re doing some good things. Then I think about football weekends there…

Concrete Charlie
Concrete Charlie

Cwod, my feelings have no basis in rationality or logic. They are visceral. I can neither justify nor explain them.

If it would help, I would happily write a letter to whatever Neanderthal is currently burdened with the Presidency of UM to heartily endorsing your candidacy for whatever program you hope to pursue. But, it wouldn’t help. Because I would probably use paper watermarked with F*ck Michigan. I feel very strongly. I can’t explain it.

cwod
cwod

Hey, I get it. I went to Indiana for my other degree. And now I can’t stand UK. I can’t tell you why. I just can’t.

Concrete Charlie
Concrete Charlie

PS. Princeton is not lovely. Beelzebub lives there.

KG
KG

Show us on the Ben Franklin doll where Princeton hurt you, Charlie.

KG
KG

Princeton is awesome, way better than that city block of a campus called Penn 🙂

Michigan is one of the best places to go in my field. I need a job in about 5 years. They’ve got a prof in my exact field who is old and might retire right about that time. My nightmare scenario is applying for and getting that job. I’d have to apply, because specific medieval Japanese history jobs, you can count on one hand in the US. And in any given year, I can count the prof jobs for “Asian history” on two hands. So I’ll have to apply, if it’s open. But the thought of actually teaching there makes me want to vomit. I tell my peers this and they think I’m insane. They just don’t understand the evil of that place.

Clay Cossé fka Mouth
Clay Cossé fka Mouth

Damn name dropping ivy leaguers

Concrete Charlie
Concrete Charlie

Guilty.

Did I mention I have a degree from Harvard, too?

Concrete Charlie
Concrete Charlie

Down goes Frazier Down goes Frazier Down goes Michigan

KG
KG

You are literally the only Ivy League person I’ve met who has strong feelings regarding sports. Or, at least, that the thought isn’t “eff Harvard.”

cwod
cwod

I am not watching the game, but I keep checking the score. I really want Michigan to lose, but both of these offenses seem so bad.

Does anyone actually believe Michigan is good this season? What is this belief based on?

HolyCrossHog
HolyCrossHog

Not much apparently

KG
KG

HAAARBAAAAUUGGGHHHH

KG
KG

Nothing is sad about a Michigan loss, except the fact that they keep deciding to play rather than close down the football program and the entire school.

cwod
cwod

I hope UNC’s players can get healthy, but in terms of their program and fan base, I don’t have a ton of sympathy, given the NCAA/classes stuff.

It is amazing to watch the defense this season compared to the last few years. Even though they still need to work on things, they really step up at key moments. That Crawford sack early really killed any momentum for UNC coming after the turnover on downs.

Anachronism
Anachronism

Irish win. Nats win. Michigan losing. Pizza and beer for dinner. Pretty good day so far.

Publius2010
Publius2010

And all is right with the world

HolyCrossHog
HolyCrossHog

Into the fire Virginia Kizer would’ve thoroughly dismantled this team.

Coyote1985
Coyote1985

You speak the truth. I think post Miami (Ohio) Wimbush would too. Why? Who knows. I just think he would have.

Russell Knox
Russell Knox

The longer the season goes on, the tougher the sledding looks in regards to Miami. USC looked like they took care of business too. N.C. State is still looking pretty tough. I don’t even know who Stanford played. We might have some true resume building games coming up yet.

Hitman
Hitman

A good day for our SOS.

MikeyB
MikeyB

Miami looked thoroughly unimpressive in the first half, but Florida State just got worn down. I think at this point the most complete team on the schedule is NC State.

Stanford snuck past Utah. This might be the most David Shaw-y Stanford team I’ve ever seen. Our game with them might have a total of 150 passing yards between the two teams.

KG
KG

My current status is “shruggy emoji” when it comes to how this team is going to finish. On the plus side, we lost by one point to a team most think will play for the SEC championship, and some are (optimistically) starting to say might push Bama in the SECCG. Outside of that, we’ve taken care of business, and treated bad teams like they were bad teams. That’s not something we’ve always, or even often, been able to say. It’s easy to say “UNC was terrible, we should have beaten them badly, so there’s no reason to be impressed” but we’ve all seen as recently as last year that we can’t take that for granted. So regardless of what happens after the bye, I appreciate relatively stress-free beatings of bad teams.

On the flip side, it may actually be that we’re kinda really good. Maybe UGA actually IS a Top 5 team, and taking them to the wire is a big deal. Maybe Sparty isn’t as bad as we thought (or Michigan sucks, which is a given) and we’re just that good of a team that we had our way with them. Maybe we’ve actually got some coaching going on, and there’s a lot to be said for beating a P5 team (even a MASH unit like UNC) by a comfortable margin on the road in foul weather with a backup QB in his first start and cranky ankle’d running backs so you’re essentially using 4th stringers for major playing time. Maybe we’re actually getting backup/depth development in these games because we’re building comfortable margins. And the defense has actually been fun to watch–such a change.

The thing that worries me most is that, while none of our upcoming opponents, even SC, are at the level of UGA, there is no break. Aside from the 4 mentioned, the other 2 are Navy (never easy) and Wake Forest, which comes to play and gave Clemson and FSU games. We get this week to rest, then it’s a slog the rest of the way. My gut says 3-2 out of that stretch, with neither loss to Navy or Wake, is a good job. And I hope the temperature in South Bend is nippy in 2 weeks.

Geaddas
Geaddas

Weather channel currently showing 72 with a chance of pm showers. Given their history of forecasts in this area, you can be assured of mid 50’s and no rain.

I love your second paragraph. It’s how I feel about this team. While the question of how good we are is still up in the air, I feel like we are way ahead of the ‘16 team. We are fun to watch again. We have a defense that is fun to watch again. I have only had that “here we go again” feeling once this year (early in the BC game). I think our program is building in the right direction, regardless of what the record is at the end of the year.

Geaddas
Geaddas

So I don’t have any game comments other than, “it was fun to watch”.

But this is what is currently happening when I load 18 Stripes (using an iphone6 in safari on private mode):

Instant reaction didn’t show up till this morning. Shows 16 comments on front page. Load the page. No comments showing. Log in, comments show up. Some from 12 hours ago, yet when I loaded 18S 10 hours ago, the Instant reaction post didn’t show. Like I said on slack, the site is just acting all wonky for me. This has been going on for at least two weeks. Am I the only one? Is my phone just messed up?

PS. This happens on my non apple tablet also. Not sure what happens on a laptop or desktop. Will test sometime this week if it would help.

Scarponi
Scarponi

For me, the most current content won’t show up until many hours (or a day) later unless I’m logged in. I literally can load the page, and then log in and have new posts that weren’t there seconds before. No idea if that might be tied to your issues.

Geaddas
Geaddas

Thanks. I’ll just log in from now on and see if that fixes things. I don’t comment much so I’ve never felt the need to make loging in a habit.

Eric Murtaugh

Thanks for the input.

The reality is that we’re on a managed WordPress platform so we’re pretty limited with fixing bugs. The best thing you can do is sign in and remain signed in at all times on the site.

DrIck
DrIck

Most obvious solution would be to update your Credit Card info. Probably can’t get your monthly subscription processed and you’re getting throttled down to the free tier of service.

Geaddas
Geaddas

Couldn’t find where to update subscription Would you like me to just put my cc number here along with SSN, last three addresses and DL number….

In all seriousness, I’d happily pay a nominal fee to this site. It’s my first source for Notre Dame football.

Clearwall
Clearwall

Wow, really? You know there is a site called NDN…

Geaddas
Geaddas

My life is negative enough without adding NDN to it.

What I love about all y’all is that even when you’re being negative, it’s usually based in truth. People on here were blasting Wimbish a few weeks back. But it was rooted in his bad performance. I have yet to see someone seriously complain about something like “we don’t win because we don’t use fullbacks”.
I don’t need that level of stupidity/hate in my life.

Clearwall
Clearwall

I’m happy with a great number of things. First of all, I’m happy (looks around for the wooden bar) that no one was seriously injured. Apparently Nyles just had a bit of a stinger so the off week he can rest that and get right. I’m happy we saw what the #BookClub is and possibly can become and I’m happy that it looks very good. I’m also happy that we are using the right QB right now, even with all of his foibles he is clearly the better of the two. I’m happy that we LEARNED that so it eliminates any inkling of a QB controversey the rest of the year. I’m glad we beat the spread and I’m glad we won, of course.

Eric Murtaugh

The man who always paints himself into a corner with the quarterbacks!

KG
KG

Paints himself into a corner? Hey guys, we’ve got another art pun thread! Donatello me you think there should be a QB controversy!? The Paint wimBrush is mightier than the Book! Or…something.

Clearwall
Clearwall

I’ll take the miss on one guy. I’ve had far more successes in picking QBs than failures.

hooks orpik
hooks orpik

Formatting fail, I’ll put this in the newer post..

Shinons
Shinons

UNC is bad, but ND has had a tendency of making bad teams look reasonably competent in the past. Them looking like a far superior team is certainly a good thing.

What’s weird is that even though Ian Book is supposed to be the superior passer, he looked like a better passer on Saturday, but Wimbush has the better passing numbers still. Better completion percentage, better average, better TD/Int ratio. Book just seemed better thanks to looking more decisive and throwing with more authority. But that speaks to Wimbush’s upside. If he can just get to that point – and it’s reasonable to think if he can just get an ounce of confidence going then he can – then he could be pretty dang good.

Also, Josh Adams deserves Heisman buzz. Sixth in the country in rushing yards, fourth in the country in yards per attempt. A healthy second half could get that bandwagon going in earnest.