Notre Dame football Bowl game nuggets, tidbits



The Notre Dame football community has a bowl game to get geared up for. In just over 24 hours or so the Music City Bowl versus LSU will kick off. There’s story lines galore, as we profiled in our previewish-kind of thinggee which we published yesterday.

Also, there’s a lot of “first day guys” in the 2015 NFL Draft and 2016 NFL Draft, as profiled here. That said, let’s move on to the more Notre Dame football specific narratives in the Music City Bowl.


1. It doesn’t matter who starts at QB since both will get playing time

Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly is having fun with this whole QB1 vs QB2 situation, as he popped into a meeting room unexpectedly and turned the table on reporters.

“So, who’s the starting quarterback?” he asked during the media availability of selected Notre Dame players

“If I knock once, it’s Everett,” he said jokingly. “If I knock twice, it’s Malik.”


2. Both Everett Golson and Malik Zaire will play. 

Just remember what Kelly towards the beginning of bowl prep:

“I’m going to play them both because (they) have different traits and we need to find a way to win, and I think both of them can help us win,” Brian Kelly told the media yesterday about two-QB system.

No one knows who will start now, even star WR Corey Robinson, the Admiral’s offspring, said even he doesn’t know, according to a quote in The Tennessean today.


3. Can the Irish stop the bleeding on defense and turn the tide?

Since the 6-0 start that saw Notre Dame football ascend to #5 in the national polls, the Irish stumbled badly to a 1-5 finish. The season finale, versus USC, was the worst showing of all. ND needs to stop this downward spiral, and quick. A win over a banner program like LSU in the Music City Bowl would accomplish this.

“We need as many practices we can get with a youthful team,”said Notre Dame Coach Brian Kelly.

“We need to grow them up. We look forward to a number of practices and preparation for this bowl. We will practice that second team extensively getting them prepared to play not only in this game, but the near future.”

music-city-bowl lsu notre dame


4. Getting Healthy on D.

Sheldon Day, the Fighting Irish’s best Defensive Lineman, returns for this one. As does CB Cody Riggs, arguably the team’s best DB, so that should help a lot.

5. Familiar surroundings

The Notre Dame football team practiced this week at Father Ryan High School, who are nicknamed the Irish, have a “play like a champion” sign in their locker room, and a Knute Rockne quote on their football field, FWIW.


-It’s never too early, as one publication has ranked ND #16 nationally for the 2015 college football season. LSU is ranked #11 for next season. 

 Prediction: LSU 31, Notre Dame 24

This just isn’t a very good match-up for the Fighting Irish. ND has given up at least 200 yards rushing in four of their last five and LSU is a power running team. The Tigers QBs have had issues, and if they turn it over it it will keep N.D. in it, but the Tigers’ three-headed monster at tailback will cause major problems for a defense that definitely needs to get its groove back.

After its Pinstripe Bowl triumph a year ago against Rutgers, Notre Dame football will be looking to post bowl victories in back-to-back seasons for the first time since doing that in three straight seasons from 1991 through 1993. I don’t think it’s going to happen, but I am predicting the Irish to cover the spread.

Paul M. Banks owns, operates and writes The Sports ,which is partners with Fox Sports. Read his feature stories in the Chicago Tribune RedEye edition. Listen to him on KOZN 1620 The Zone. Follow him on Twitter (@paulmbanks). His work has been featured in hundreds of media outlets including The Washington Post and ESPN 2

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