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Bob Birge's Irish Eyes Are Smiling


September 6, 2009 2:55 AM

Irish impressive in season-opening win over Nevada

Watched the game today with a fellow Notre Dame fan who wanted another touchdown in the fourth quarter.

"Don't want to be greedy," he said, "but 42-0 would have looked a lot better than 35-0."

Oh, well. Some guys are never satisfied.

Maybe Notre Dame's 35-0 win over Nevada doesn't qualify as a true blowout, but it certainly was a decisive, workman-like victory for the Irish.

Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Notre Dame's triumph is that the game took barely three hours. That's because there weren't an abundance of possession changes due to the Irish's ball-control attack.

Really, it would be difficult to find much wrong with ND's performance Saturday. If you want to pick some nits, you could say that the Irish weren't quite as effective in the second half after building a 28-0 lead at the intermission.

But that's only for guys who need to complain about something. Notre Dame scored touchdowns on five of its first six possessions and gained more than 500 yards. Jimmy Clausen threw four TDs. What's not to like?

It quite apparent that Notre Dame has a pair of speedy receivers in Michael Floyd and Golden Tate. The Irish also got a semblance of a running game going against the Wolf Pack after ranking near the bottom of the Football Bowl Subdivision in rushing the last two seasons and recorded their first shutout of the Charlie Weis' era.

Still, somebody needs to tell NBC commentator Pat Haden to tone down the shilling. Haden suggested Weis, already well-compensated, "deserved a raise."

Even if said in jest, it is a ridiculous over-the-top comment after one game. The Irish beat Nevada, not the 1978 Pittsburgh Steelers. Haden should stop drinking the Kool-Aid, at least until the Irish beat USC.

The Irish now need to show they can win in a hostile environment (at Michigan next week).

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