Sunday, September 09, 2007

Notre Dame Sputters Again

It was another day to forget for the Fighting Irish on Saturday, as they were beaten soundly by the Penn State Nittany Lions before more than 110,000 fans at State College, Pennsylvania.

Freshman Jimmy Clausen (pictured) actually did fairly decently in his first college start. He went 17-for-32 and 144 yards, but could not get Notre Dame into the end zone. They have not scored an offensive TD in their first two games, and are 0-2 for the first time since 2001.

Once again, the ND offensive line looked inept, allowing 4 sacks. Clausen was on the run all day. The running game was non-existent, and they gained a grand total of 0 yards on 28 rushes. They are currently in negative yards in total rushing the first two games.

Notre Dame actually got off to a good start. They had a nice drive to open the game, but a 50-yard field goal attempt went wide right. Darrin Walls then intercepted a pass from Anthony Morelli and brought it back 78 yards to give the Irish their first lead of the season.

But it was all downhill after that. Penn State's running game took over, and their defense shut the Irish down, allowing only a third quarter field goal. The Irish committed 14 penalties, which added to their overall misery. It was another long game, and Charlie Weis and his staff have a lot of work to do with this young Irish team.

Next week should be interesting, as Notre Dame takes on Michigan at Ann Arbor. Michigan got hammered at home by Oregon yesterday, 39-7, so that makes Michigan and Notre Dame both 0-2 for the first time in the same season in history. So something has to give next week.

Today, the NFL gets going in earnest with the Giants, Vikings, Jets and Patriots all on the schedule. The Jets and Pats play each other, while the Vikings take on Atlanta and Giants are in Dallas tonight. I'll be catching most of the action today from my favorite watering hole, while keeping a close on eye on the Red Sox game in Baltimore.

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