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  • Blake Holzgrafe

OCTOBER 2, 2021: Notre Dame Stadium Notre Dame Fighting Irish v. Cincinnati Bearcats

Updated: Nov 5




Is this the Bearcat Band?




OCTOBER 2, 2021


Notre Dame Stadium

Notre Dame Fighting Irish

v.

Cincinnati Bearcats


Who dat on the cover? They don’t have the bulk of football players. They must be freshmen because they obviously have not been in a heavy lifting program at the hands of college strength coaches, such as the Irish’s Mike Balis!! No? Perhaps they are the speedsters and do not need that bulk. Not that either? OMG, the request to our lay-out editor for a picture of the group from the “Queen” City of Cincinnati was misinterpreted.



It is no wonder we could not find Brian May, Roger Taylor, John Deacon and Freddie Mercury in the Bearcat roster. They are not part of the team from the Queen City, but rather they are the Queen. Well, I must continue, so . . . . . . .

“Don’t Stop Me Now”

The Cincinnati Bearcats come to Notre Dame Stadium ranked as the #7 team in the country and favored by 2.5 points over the #9 ranked Irish. There are valid reasons for the Bearcats’ ranking. Even though not a Power Five Team as a member of the American Athletic Conference, they are formidable nonetheless. They cannot be taken lightly, especially Freshman Dontay Corleone who tips the scales at a robust 335 lbs. Might he be the “Godfather” of the future Defense?

The last game between Notre Dame and Cincinnati was just a wee bit ago, being in 1900 when Notre Dame defeated Cincinnati 59-0. The first game between Notre Dame and Cincinnati was just a wee bit ago, being in 1900 when Notre Dame defeated Cincinnati 59-0. Which confirms that with this just being the second game ever between the two schools, Cincinnati has never, ever scored against Notre Dame. Spoiler alert for Irish fans – that remarkable 121 year streak will end today!!

Take a peek at the team that shut out the 1900 Cincinnati team.



Now, take a peak at the team that will seek a repeat, shut out defeat.



To repeat the shut out defeat (which Rog predicts will not happen!!) will take a masterful coaching job by Irish Defensive Co-ordinator, Marcus Freeman. One would have to have been living under “the Rock” not to know that Marcus “moved on over to the Irish this past off-season” following his successful stint as Cincinnati Defensive Co-ordinator where he instilled an aggressive, attacking non-risk adverse style making for “free men” for Freeman on the defense!

As 2021 unfolded, we will not “lea” to you. No, we will be truthful and say that we lamented that Lea’s leaving would lead to lots of lingering lamentations. But after four losses by the Irish opponents, we can say that “Marcus’ minions mastered much”.

How much will the Cincinnati defense remember from Freeman’s former tutelage? Here it says not so much, as statistics from The Forgetting Clinic indicate that a person will forget 50% of new information learned within one hour, 70% within 24 hours and 90% within one week. So, with two weeks to prepare for the Irish, the Cincinnati Bearcat offense and defense should have not put anything new in for the Irish until the second of the two weeks!! Just more evidence to confirm what was said in this space last week. An Irish opponent being perceived to have the advantage of an extra week off to prepare for the Irish is a meaningless factoid. That topic has significance for one, and only one, purpose. Seven additional days for an injury to heal. For any other purpose – balderdash!

And to evidence the accuracy of The Forgetting Clinic conclusions, here is the prediction from last week if I remember correctly:

Notre Dame 2.4

Wisconsin 1.3

For the second game in a row, the Irish defense will be without Nose Guard Kurt Hinish. Nevertheless, . . . . . . .

“The Show Must Go On”

And, so it will with Howard Cross, Jr and Jacob Lacey again rising to the occasion as they did last week to badger the Badgers.

These guys also should be spotted often in the Bearcat backfield creating havoc of sorts.


Jayson Ademilola

Isiah Foskey


Jordan Bothelo

Following Irish football is something Irish fans all over the world seem to enjoy, especially when they win. It is just this . . .

“Crazy Little Thing Call Love”

. . . . . about following the Irish.

Before switching to the Irish Offense, let’s look at the Bearcats. Luke Fickell is in his fourth year as the Head Coach, posting records of 4-8, 11-2, 11-3 and now 3-0. Not unlike the records when Brian Kelly led the Bearcats to records of 11-3, 11-3 and 12-0, before being coaxed, cajoled, convinced and captured to come to the Irish, His leaving was somewhat rancorous as he left before the Bearcats appeared (and lost) the Orange Bowl, a game coached by a Cincinnati Assistant.

Some Bearcat fans still harbor ill will to Kelly for leaving as he did. And others now harbor ill will to Freeman for leaving. By contrast do they feel “fickle” over Fickell getting only a partial, single season as interim head coach at Ohio State following the abrupt NCAA suspension of Buckeye Head Coach Jim Tressel for recruiting violations followed by the hiring of Urban Meyer? Of course they do not! But that makes for some “good press”, does it not? Nope!!

Fickell will bring his team “loaded for bear”!! Actually , just loaded!

The Bearcat Quaterback is Desmond Ridder (#9), a 6’4”, 215 lb. 5th year Senior. Let there be no mistake, Ridder is experienced, talented, poised, strong and possessed with good receivers. The Irish D will be challenged to get “rid” of “Ridder’ who is in his fourth season as the Bearcat starting Quarterback!

Ridder was a surprise returnee to the Bearcats this season as he was projected as a high NFL Pick and some say he may be drafted in the top 10 this year.

Part of his reason for returning may have been the opportunity to connect again with his senior receivers, Alec Pierce (#12), Tyler Scott (#21) and Michael Young, Jr. (#8). Young is an Irish tranfer to the Bearcats. There is also a running game headed by Alabama transfer Jerome Ford (#24). Do I hear Football Championship aspirations!

While Freeman is “Young” in his ND career, it says here that his defense will not allow “Pierce” to pierce the Irish defense, with big plays that would make Irish fans exclaim “Great ‘Scott’ what the heck is going on”? (AGAIN!!) The Irish cannot “afFORD” to allow more than one big play to these guys!! And especially to Scott, who “returned one to the Hoosier House” two weeks ago.

For the Bearcat Defense look most carefully at Linebacker Darrian Beavers. He can bring it!!

Among famous Cincinnati Alumni there are some who were champions and other who were championed. In 1960, the Big “O”, (Oscar Robertson, not the tire retailer) led his Bearcat Basketball team to the NCAA Championship, enabling them to sing . . . . .

“We Are the Champions”

Cincinnati and Notre Dame have another alum that shared a pretty important position. President William Howard Taft followed his time as President by becoming a Supreme Court Justice, a term for life. Notre Dame Alum, Amy Coney Barrett. has just begun her term for life on the Supreme Court.

Which triggers this cogent observation. Have you ever noticed that a football game and a Court session can be very similar. When the Justices reach the bench, all present will rise. When an Irish touchdown is scored, all rise until the team reaches the bench.

With that digression we now return to the Irish offense where the burning question is who will be the Irish Quarterback against the Bearcats. For those who want “Jack back”, expect that to happen unless Jack lacks his full ankle back. For those who “pine for Pyne”, all will be fine despite being just a tad over 5’ 9”. For Buchner to start, his playbook must expand from bland. It says here, “Coan”, but you cannot take that to the bank.

The Wicsonisn tilt saw a tilt on the field as the Irish allowed Tyree to return a kick. Might there have been a strategy building for the first 3 and ½ games? Meaning no return, no return, no return, no return, return to the right, no return, return to the right, no return, nor return, then POW! RETURN TO THE LEFT ALL THE WAY TO THE HOUSE.


Will this be the week for Kyren Williams to return a Punt for 6? He is getting closer and closer! We will just see.


So, it is time to predict the outcome and here it is:

Hold that thought for a bit as we share another compelling bit of lore. It is a darn good thing our lay-out editor did not interpret a request for a cover photo to mean a photo of another, one-time nickname for the City of Cincinnati. It was once called “Porkopolis’” which might have triggered this picture on the front.



Which, by the way, is the message we now convey.


And, now, for the prediction:

Notre Dame 31

Cincinnati 20


Which means . . . . .


“Another One Bites the Dust”

GO IRISH!!


Here is your Irish Trivia Question for this week.


When Brian Kelly left the Cincinnati Bearcats to beome the head coach of the FIghitng Irish, a Cincinnati Assitant Coach served as the Head Coach for the Cincinnati Orange Bowl game. Can you name him?


Here are your Irish Trivia Answers to the questions from last week.


The Irish-Badgers match-up in Soldier Field will be the first between these two teams since- you tell us the answer!! 1964. The Irish won 31-7 in Ara Parseghian’s first game at the helm of the Irish.


And, Notre Dame has played in Chicago’s Soldier Field 12 times coming into this match-up. What is the Irish record in Soldier Field? 10-0-2. Of course that record is now 11-0-2!


Finally, what other Notre Dame sports team has played a game in Soldier Field? The Irish Men’s Hockey Team. Also, can you name the opponent in that game? Miami Redhawks








And, our hearts forever, . . .

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