Tag Archives: 2014 Season

2014 Season Primer: Mad Libs!

Can we all agree that pre-season fatigue has set in? While some worthwhile pieces and words still get spilled on endless hypotheticals, I for one am ready to get this season going. It’s been a while since I wrote, and I may do something more substantive prior to the season getting going. In the meantime, I felt inclined to do my own season primer. Too lazy to generate novel writing, I’ve decided to let you the fans do all the work….Well, with a big assist from the numerous ND blogs that have already weighed in in these areas.

Welcome to your 2014 Season Primer Mad Lib! Below, you’ll find arbitrarily selected paragraphs from some of the ND blogs recent pieces. Of course, like all good Mad Libs, I’ve left some blanks for you the reader to fill in. Feel free to go read the actual pieces which I’ve linked to below, but that seems kind of self-defeating. Make up your own reality, man (or woman).

If you’re up to the challenge, complete the mad lib and send your response to DowntheTunnelMadLibs@gmail.com. I’ll select the best segments to re-post prior to the season, and the best overall entry I’ll send out a Down the Tunnel “Too Turnt to Sit” t-shirt.

Enjoy! – Moons

Changes are always happening. What’s new with the revamped ND defense?

Its a whole new year for the Irish defense and its going to look ¬¬___________ than it has the past few _____________. Its time to see life after _____________ and __________ combo on the defensive line. The last few seasons the front seven of the Irish defense has been the _______________of the defense while the back end has been ___________ (Gary Gray, Bennett Jackson). However it seems like that will all be ____________ this year. The front seven has _________________ from the _____________ of the defense to a bunch of question marks. _______________ will be the marque player on the defensive line. The linebacking corps is very ______________ except for ___________ Jaylon Smith, who was moved to __________________ this off season. Meanwhile the defensive backfield looks to be ______________ solid. Kavairee Russell is a bona fide ______________ who will be in the running for the _______________ this season. Cole Luke, and _________________ will all be difference makers on the ______________ while Max Redfield, Austin Collinsworth and Elijah Shumate look to be solid in the back end. All of this with a new ________________ who brings a completely new __________________ to South Bend that calls for alot of ___________ and ___________ on an Island.
– via @DowntheTunnel Down the Tunnel Fall Camp Primer

I’m sure Brian Kelly’s got some thoughts on the upcoming season as well. Coach, what do you think?

The offensive line is a definite _______________. “Getting Christian Lombard back _________________ has been __________________. He’s _______________ and strong and moving ______________.” With four returning starters on the O-line, the Irish are in a “_____________________.” With two quarterbacks who play off the same script, Kelly is eager for that to “____________________” throughout the ________________ — a scenario that has not been there in __________________ past. This should allow the offense to score more __________________, a need Kelly ____________, and to play faster. __________________ is now learning the “why’s” of the playbook, while Malik Zaire is able to play “_____________________.” Kelly wants him _____________________ “championship football.”
– via @HerLoyalSons Brian Kelly Opens Fall Camp Presser

Gotta know your opponents too. USC’s always excellent creative fodder…..

I side with the folks who think ___________________ should be pretty darn ________________ this year. The loss of ____________________ should do nothing but help the _______________________ in numerous ways. I’m not sure Steve Sarkisian is a ___________________ yet he might have the ________________ to make the Trojans a lot better, and _____________________. Even if you don’t think USC is all that right now then you have to ___________________ they have massive ___________________ potential. That’s weird to say since they _______________________ last year, too.
It’s a new ______________________ for USC with a familiar face back _________________ the program. As Notre Dame fans we’ll be watching _________________of the Trojans very closely. If they stay _______________ they are capable of some big things under _______________________.
– via @OneFootDown 14 for 14: Steve Sarkisian and the (Somewhat) New USC

And finally, it’s prediction time!

That’s a fairly wide assortment of ____________________. Using this _______________, one could ___________________ anything from UNDEFEATED to ______________________. YIKES! Even more disturbing is there is a _________________ being formed, and the 2014 ____________________ looks like it is _________________________ towards a 7-6 season with some other ______________ bastard starting the 2015 season ranked _________________ and then going undefeated.
Of course, you can _______________________ the pattern if you like and we could be sitting on the other end of the ______________________. At any rate, I’m prepared to offer this prediction for 2014 based off of this data
– via @TheSubwayDomer Predicting Notre Dame’s 2014 with Science

DTT Reviews ND Insider’s Season Preview Magazine

-Sgt Shamrock


So by now I would assume that most of you have read at least one of the many season previews out there as the beginning of the 2014 Notre Dame Football season draws close. While I really hope you all check out our Fall Camp Primer, which you can find it HERE, there are plenty of other very good season previews out there. The amount of quality Notre Dame websites and blogs is truly amazing and really gives fans a vast amount of Notre Dame coverage. I recently was able to read ND Insider’s 2014 Season Preview Magazine powered by The South Bend Tribune and I was very pleased with the product. It was very well put together and was packed full of content. 

The magazine immediately catches your eyes once you see Jaylon Smith and Everett Golson, two of the premier star players on the Irish roster, on the cover. Once you flip past a few advertisements and the table of contents you find the season predictions from Eric Hansen, Al Lesar, Tyler James, and Bob Wieneke. Not only were the regular season records predicted by the South Bend Tribune Crew, but also things like “Hottest Tangent Topic- Field Turf, Mustaches, or Publix Crab Legs?” and what game is the yearly “Trap game”. The responses are pretty funny and should play well to all the ND interwebs folks who have plenty of laughs about the typical hot sports topics.

Following the predictions, the magazine transitions to the feature articles. The first Irish player was Everett Golson. Now from when Golson was dismissed from school in the spring of 2013 to his return to to the team and preparation for the upcoming season there have been countless articles and features written about Golson and his time away from Notre Dame. However I can say without a doubt that this article written by Eric Hansen is by far the best I have read. Not only does the article contain a great account of Golsons time in San Diego with quarterback guru George Whitfield, but also the events surrounding Golson immediately following his dismissal. Hansen also sheds light just how involved Notre Dame was in the decision of Golson to train with Whitfield and how the university had the possibility to nix the entire idea. During the time that Golson was away from Notre Dame, message board posters on multiple sites would always ask site mods if there was any update on how or what Golson was doing. Now those same posters can read this fantastic piece by Hansen and know what Golson was doing during the entire time away from the University.

Immediately after Hansen’s piece on Golson, Bob Wieneke follows it up with another very well written piece on Jaylon Smith, the star sophomore linebacker. Not only does it give great insight on Smith as a football player but it also gives insight on Jaylon Smith as a player off the field. Wieneke really sheds light on the switch from outside linebacker, where Smith played his freshman season under Bob Diaco, to inside linebacker this season under new defensive coordinator Bob Diaco. The piece does a great job shedding light on Smiths work during the off-season training at AWP Sports Performance and his preparation for his much anticipated sophomore season in a new scheme.

Eric Hansen finishes off the feature article section with two well written and very informative articles on new defensive coordinator Brian Van Gorder and Brian Kelly and how he is approaching his fifth season with a new perspective along with bits of advise from New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick. Also you can find out what Brian Kelly does and does not like about the recruiting process and what coaching decision he would change from his first 4 seasons at Notre Dame.

Following the feature articles, the magazine goes into an in depth analysis of each position on the Irish roster including position battles, depth chart, and players to watch in each group. Its a great section to read as this years team is missing a lot of big names that Irish fans have been accustomed to seeing the past few years. I really enjoyed the Linebacker Analysis section and how it described Brian Van Gorders history with linebackers, how he uses them in his scheme, and the experience from the NFL that he brings to South Bend.

With a new football season always comes a new batch of players and for those who dont follow recruiting very closely throughout the year it can be difficult to learn all the new names and faces. Dont worry though because ND Insider and the boys at South Bend Tribune have you covered. They put together freshman profiles on each new addition to the Irish roster this season complete with rankings from various recruiting sites, fun facts, when they knew they were going to commit to Notre Dame, and who the hardest school/coach it was to say no too. It really gives the fans a good look into the new batch of the players that will suit up for the Irish this season. The magazine also looks at which incoming freshman have the best chance to excel and look at the “It” factor they bring to campus.

Finally Tyler James, the recruiting writer for the South Bend Tribune, gives fans an inside picture into what happens on campus on official visit weekends on campus complete with an itinerary of events. Not only that but Tyler really paints the picture of just how much planning goes into the big official visit weekends that most fans never see or would never even know would go on behind the scenes. Tyler provides some first hand experiences from current Irish player KeiVarae Russel and what occurred during his official visit to Notre Dame.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed reading ND Insiders Season Preview Magazine. It provided great insight into this years squad, the expectations, and some of the key players that will ultimately decide the success of this years team. The magazine did an outstanding job of not only focusing on the overall season preview but also the in depth analysis of the position groups, the new coaching additions as well as a good look into the world of recruiting for Notre Dame Football.

I really recommend that you purchase the ND Insiders Season Preview Magazine. You will not regret the decision. If you do want to get your own copy you can order either a printed copy or an iPad version at the South Bend Tribune website. The printed version is $12.95, which includes shipping, and the iPad version can be downloaded from the App Store. I really hope you guys will consider purchasing this outstanding preview. Its more than worth it.

You can purchase the printed version at https://www2.southbendtribune.com/ndannual/index.php

You can purchase the iPad version at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/notre-dame-football-preview/id890206389?mt=8