Posted: November 2nd, 2011 | by: Blog Davie
Categories: College Football, Gameday 40, IBG, Irish
distinguished gentlemen random posters here at GameDay 40 are happy to be hosting this week’s edition of the Irish Blogger Gathering. With GameDay 40 at the helm, however, the IBG has officially reached a new low. Some have even suggested that having GameDay 40 host the IBG is like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. That’s not true; the IBG isn’t sinking. In fact, the IBG is soaring; if anything, it’s like rearranging the deck chairs on the Hindenburg (tip of the hat to Stephen Colbert).
Anyway, we hope you enjoy this week’s questions and the responses from our fellow IBG members. Check back here to find links from our brother bloggers. Beat Demon Deacons!
IBG LINKS FOR WAKE FOREST (UPDATED AGAIN!)
Mouth of the South over at One Foot Down drops some good knowledge warning the boys not to take Wake lightly. Plus he demonstrates appropriate apostrophe usage in conforming to haiku conventions.
Keith Arnold of Inside the Irish writes that he’ll be granting absolution to any of us who decide to watch LSU v Alabama on Saturday while he liveblogs the Irish. No need for that, Keith, I hate both those teams and I’m not looking forward to highlights interrupting my ND viewing. The LSU/Bama game almost makes me pine for the pre-overtime rules so I could root for a 0-0 tie. I’ll be jacked into the liveblog, though, don’t worry.
Over at The Unofficial Home of Notre Dame Football Frank V. agrees with us on Givins, the running back situation, and Hendrix/Rees. But he passed on the haiku! Frank, check out the “haiku-off” at One Foot Down. Those guys found a way to use “Refrigerator” which means that anything goes.
LGI and 1960s Leprechaun have their takes up over at Let’s Go Irish. They class up the gathering with some Steely Dan while letting us know that Matthew Mulvey is NOT being underutilized.
1. I don’t know anything about Wake Forest except that Tim Duncan went there. Who is the Tim Duncan of the Wake Forest footballers, i.e., one guy that the Irish must game plan for on Saturday and why?
Blog Davie: According to google, Wake Forest has a pretty good wide receiver named Chris Givens. Givens already has 52 catches on the year for 928 yards and 8 touchdowns. That translates to nearly 18 yards per reception. In fact, Givens has been so productive he’s ranked ahead of Michael Floyd in receiving yards, yards per reception, and touchdowns – not too shabby.
While Givens is no Tim Duncan, ND better be prepared for him on Saturday. ND needs to do whatever it is that North Carolina did last week to slow him down. The Tar Heels held Givens to a season low 6 catches for a meager 42 yards.
2. Cierre Wood and Jonas Gray have been a solid running back tandem this year with Gray coming on strong in the last couple of games. With a finite amount of opportunities for each back, how do you think BK should split the carries in the coming weeks? Explain.
Blog Davie: I’m not sure that there’s a right or wrong answer to this question. Both backs can get tough yards and can get to the edge. That said, Gray could use a few more carries considering he averages nearly 8 yards per carry. While a high average is not necessarily indicative of a back being underutilized, players shouldn’t average more yards per carry than carries a game. Right now it’s close: 7.88 attempts per game/7.97 yards per attempt.
3. Andrew Hendrix did not play against Navy. Without speculating as to the reasons why he didn’t play against the Midshipmen, do you think he’s being underutilized? Why or why not?
Steve in Iowa: Andrew Hendrix is underutilized for the precise reasons that Eric Murtaugh spells out at One Foot Down and Frank V. does at UHND. To run the spread successfully you need mobility at the QB position or vertical passing game, ideally both. If you are limited in one area you rely on the other. Hendrix has more upside in both areas. I know we have to trust the coaches so the default position is that there is something that Rees does running the offense (reading coverages, timing, chemistry with receivers) that elevates him over Hendrix. I think it comes down to reps pure and simple. Rees has the reps in the offense, is a known quantity, we can’t rock the boat, etc. At this point in the season the most we are ever going to get from Hendrix is a limited package of plays on a few series. Then a reopened QB tryout in the spring if there are no transfers.
4. What do the following series of statements mean—if anything— for Notre Dame versus Wake Forest this weekend? Wake Forest beat NC State. NC State beat Virginia. Virginia beat The U. The U beat Ohio State. Ohio State beat Illinois. Illinois beat Arizona State. Arizona State beat USC. USC beat Notre Dame.
Steve in Iowa: This is what some folks call a “beat-path.” I’m sure that there is a beat path running in reverse from ND to Wake, but I gave up trying to find one after about 15 steps or so. The transitive property just doesn’t apply to most real world athletic competitions, college football in particular. But we desperately cling to the illusion that it does because it makes so much intuitive sense and helps us find our place in the pecking order. But then our intuition runs up against the empirical reality of events like: Michigan beats ND, ND beats MSU, MSU beats Mich, and our brains get stuck in an infinite loop, “DOES NOT COMPUTE, DOES NOT COMPUTE.” So the beatpath doesn’t really tell us anything other than a lot of teams are pretty much the same, that anything can happen any given Saturday, and quality wins are important to evaluate within the context of a whole season, not in isolation. But the fact that the transitive property doesn’t hold is also the source of much hope since the fact that Stanford beat USC and USC beat ND DOES NOT GUARANTEE that Stanford beats ND.
5. What’s your prediction for Saturday’s game against the Demon Deacons and why? Bonus points if your answer is a Haiku.
Steve in Iowa:
ND goes to Wake
Demons get exorcism
From Manti with love.
Wake gets a beat down
Smothered in Irish Chocolate
But thanks for playing.
Or. . .
Norte Dame wins big
Rees to Floyd is the alpha
And the omega.