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.

Monday, September 3

More Notre Dame Misery Looms

Not to be depressing, but if you look at Notre Dame's schedule over the next seven weeks, if you consider the ineptitude of its play in the 33-3 season-opening loss to Georgia Tech, well, an 0-8 start is more likely than 3-5.

The Irish play at Penn State and at Michigan the next two weeks. Yes, that's the same Michigan that just got stunned by Appalachian State, the one directed by soon-to-be-ex-coach Lloyd Carr. Still, figure the Wolverines will bounce back strong, especially at home.

After that Notre Dame hosts Michigan State (which always seems to win at Notre Dame Stadium). Then it travels to Purdue and UCLA. Then it hosts Boston College (which always beats the Irish) and No. 1 USC.

In fact, Notre Dame might not be favored in any of those games. And while much of the focus is on quarterback uncertainty, the real key involves the offensive line. The Irish couldn't handle Georgia Tech's blitzing, so figure everybody will blitz them until that changes. And if it doesn't change, well, Saturday's miserable showing will be repeated for the next two months.

Sure, the problems can be fixed. But it has to happen fast. This schedule doesn't allow for extra development time.

Hey, it could be worse. Charlie Weis could be walking in Carr's shoes this week.


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