2020 Game #2 South Florida Bulls
HERE COME THE IRISH
A Trip Down Memory Lane
How Good Is Your Memory?
What do the following have in common?
Clue #1 Rocky Blier and Jonas Gray
Clue #2 9/24/66 and 9/4/11
Clue #3 26-14 and 20-23
Clue #4 LeRoy Keyes and Kayvon Webster
Clue #5 Jack Mollenkopf and Skip Holtz
If you do not know already, the commonality will be disclosed later in this Irish pre-game report.
The South Florida Bulls head coach is Jeff Scott. Former Co-offensive Coordinator at Clemson, Scott is in his first year at South Florida. It is ironic that he replaced former ND assistant Charlie Strong despite Strong’s 21-16 won/loss record. Me thinks Charlie’s 4-8 2019 Bulls record probably played a significant role in the loss of his role as Head Coach.
This will be Scott’s first visit to Notre Dame Stadium since he visited as a mere lad for the 1993 Notre Dame-Florida State game in which his father, Brad Scott, served as the Seminole’s Defensive Coordinator. Expect the same result (an ND win) although not quite so close. South Florida is a 25.5 point underdog. The Irish will win, but, unfortunately, will not cover.
How about another Notre Dame connection? As you may know, the South Florida Offensive Coordinator is also in his first year with the Bulls having come over from Florida Atlantic. This young man is 27 years old, pretty young for an Offensive Coordinator. Wait, how old is Tommy Rees? Oh he, too, is 27. Pretty young for an Offensive Coordinator!
The common age of the Offensive Coordinators is not the Notre Dame Connection. This young Bulls Offensive Coordinator is generally considered one of the rising coaching stars in college football. This Notre Dame connection is familial. Charlie Weis, Jr. will be returning to Notre Dame Stadium for the first time since his father was replaced by Brian Kelly as the Irish Head Coach.
Now let me share a Notre Dame prediction somewhat far into the future. You have heard it here!! Charlie Weis, Jr. will be considered for the Head Coaching position at Notre Dame before his coaching career ends. But so will Tommy Rees. This will be after Kelly completes his just-announced contract extension AND the successful career at Notre Dame of Kelly’s successor, current Louisville Head Coach, Scott Satterfield. Wait, how about the return of Clark Lea after he leaves the Irish and enjoys success at two different schools as Head Coach?
Well, who really knows? But I predict at least one of those four will at some point be the Irish Head Coach!
ROGER, HAVE YOU LOST IT? THIS IS A TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE WITH COMMENTS ONLY INTENDED FOR NOTRE DAME VS. SOUTH FLORIDA ON SEPTEMBER 19, 2020!!! SO GET TO IT!!!!
Okay, let me identify another Notre Dame-South Florida connection. Notre Dame’s all-time record against South Florida is 0-1. The Notre Dame Quarterback in that game was Tommy Rees! Argh!!
And the Bulls Head Coach in that one and only match-up between these two teams was Skip Holtz former Notre Dame assistant and, of course, son of Lou Holtz, the last head coach to lead the Irish to the “Promised Land” of a National Championship, in football that is. (Read FENCING!!) Get the connection??
I am not done. When COVID-19 obliterated the Bulls original 2020 football schedule, among the casualties were Texas, Bethune-Cookman and Nevada, the same Nevada where Irish Special Teams Coach Brian Polian was once the Head Coach. (I AGREE THIS ONE WAS A STRETCH!)
Enough for the connections! How about football players for the Irish to prepare for? Let’s start with wide receiver, Eddie McDoom. As a football star, Eddie’s play could spell Doom for the Bulls’ opponents. But, there is no Room for Doom for the Irish, no need to Zoom on McDoom, and no need for a Broom to sweep McDoom. Nope, Eddie opted to pass on 2020 football due to COVID-19. So, in the words of Ken “Hawk” Harrelson, and one of my most over-used third party quotes, “He Gone!”
So who remains? There are two Quarterbacks likely to play. Noah Johnson #0 and Jordan McCloud #3. They combined for 103 passing yards in the Bulls opening game win over The Citadel. Irish fans not to worry with those numbers. Primary running back is Johnny Ford #1. Standing 5’5” and weighing 172 pounds, he better be darn fast and elusive. But reports on Ford do not include those words. He is not a Fusion of Jerome Bettis & Rocket Ishmael, he does not run like a Mustang, he will not Escape the Irish defenders, and, as he will not give an Edge to the Bulls, there will be no celebratory Fiesta for the Bulls #1.
I could predict these single digitized players will lead the Bulls to a single digit team score consisting of the sum of their uniform numbers. But that would mean two safeties for the Bulls. I unequivocally predict that will not happen. But I do fear I cannot predict the Bulls total will be a single digit. That is just too much. But close, as when all is said and done, there will been no “Running of the Bulls” and I predict:
IRISH – 45
South Florida – 10
So, I guess the Irish do cover!!
But, how about the Trip Down Memory Lane. And those clues? I think most (but not all) of us were in Notre Dame Stadium on 9/24/66 when during the first Irish possession of the game against the Purdue Boilermakers as the Irish appeared ready to score a touchdown at the South endzone, Rocky Blier fumbled, Boilermaker Leroy Keyes scooped it up and ran it 94 yards for a Purdue touchdown. The Irish came right back as Nick Eddy ran the ensuing kickoff back for a touchdown as the Ara Parseghian-led Irish defeated the Jack Mollenkopf-led Boilermakers by a score of 26-14. Just part of the Irish 1966 National Championship Season!
And the other portion of each of the clues? Well few (at least one I know) of us were in and out and in and out of Notre Dame Stadium on 9/4/11 when during the first Irish possession of the game against the South Florida Bulls as the Irish appeared ready to score a touchdown at the South endzone, Jonas Gray fumbled, Bull Kayvon Webster scooped it up and ran it 94 yards for a Bulls touchdown. Unfortunately, the Irish did not come right back as the Brian Kelly-led Irish fell to the Skip Holtz-led Bulls by a score of 20-23 in a game marked by multiple weather related “stoppages of play” and stadium evacuations. Not just part of an Irish National Championship Season!
But as always, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .