Pete DiPrimio, sports columnist and college beat writer for The News-Sentinel of Fort Wayne, Ind., takes his best shots on the world of Notre Dame football.

Thursday, September 21

Stanton On Irish Minds

If you’re a Notre Dame defensive player, you have Drew Stanton on your mind. If not, why not? This senior quarterback is the heart of Michigan State’s potent offense. If you don’t stop him, you don’t stop the Spartans, and if you don’t stop the Spartans, you don’t win Saturday and if you don’t win Saturday, Irish civilization as we know it ends.

Because that would be really bad for NBC, Notre Dame is pushing the preparation pace. That includes using freshman Demetrius Jones as Stanton’s stand-in during practice. Jones is athletic and swift and can mimic Stanton’s ability to run and pass.

To find out how that preparation is going, let’s turn to linebacker Travis Thomas.

“We’ve got a big challenge on our hands with Stanton. He’s a dual threat with his arms and legs. They also have a great receiver and good backs. It’s an all-around challenge for the defense once again.”

The Irish stumbled against the Michigan challenge, but at least having Jones to go against improves the chances against Michigan State.

“He’s been challenging us every day,” Thomas said. “He’s real athletic, real shifty. He’s like (Stanton), maybe a little faster. It’s helping us out.”

Of course, we’ll know on Saturday night how much help it really was.


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