I've been busy the last couple of weeks, and it has really cramped my blogging (jury duty sucks, by the way).
However, I do have a couple of minutes to roll out this week's keys to victory for the upcoming gridiron battle between the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame and the Pitt Panthers.
Limit the touches of LeSean McCoy.
There are two ways we can do this - either by getting up early and forcing the Panthers to throw the ball, or by selling out against the run and forcing whichever QB ends up playing to beat us over the top.
Of the two, I'm hoping that we can get an early lead, because LeSean McCoy, much like Javon Ringer who we saw earlier this year, will eventually find a way to gash us if they can commit to running the ball all day.
Gash them over the top.
Pitt has shown a tendency to get burned deep this year, especially in their loss last week to Rutgers. With our receivers, we should be able to use our long passing game to great effect this week.
In order to set up the deep passing game, look for a lot of runs and short underneath passes early in the game to pull the safeties up close to the LOS, and then some go routes and fades for long gains.
Improve consistency in the kicking game.
This should be a competitive contest, and we need to be able to convert drives into points. We can't afford to be going for it on 4th and long like we did against Washington last week. When we stall in the 30-50 yard field goal range, we need to take those shots at field goals, rather than trying to force a conversion.
So there you have it, the goals to victory against the Panthers.
I'm really excited about this game, as I have (almost) all of my favorite people going to the game with me, and we have a big tailgate planned in the Joyce Handicap lot. Feel free to stop by and try to find us if you're in for the game - we should have a Honda Pilot set up with tables and chairs and whatnot.
Notre Dame 34