I finally went back and watched the film. As always, it tells an entirely different story than the immediate response at the conclusion of the game. This game was the story of two halves of different problems. In the first half our O-Line couldn't run block or pass block. More specifically the right side of our O-Line couldn't run or pass block. Spencer Lovell is slower than an elephant stuck in a mud pit. The guy got beat numerous times ON RUN PLAYS because he wasn't quick enough to his block, nor was he aggressive enough. He was not just worthless, he was a detriment. Same on pass protection. He was a sieve and was terrible. Neither Brayden Rhome or TJ Sessions were great, but Sessions was better than Rhome. Rhome missed some obvious assignments in pass pro that led to hurries and sacks. And, he's doesn't appear strong enough to beat his opposing player either in the run game or in pass pro. I will say, Notre Dame's d-linemen were strong as fuck. Their 3 tech was a fucking beast.

In the second half Vatikani came in for Lovell. Huge improvement, even though Vatikani is a freshman and doesn't have the technique or polish yet. What he does have is quickness, amazing strength and the most important thing an O-Liner needs: nasty! And he has a boatload of it. He was good in pass pro as well. The battle between Vatikani and the Notre Dame 3 tech was brutal. Vatikani got the job done but I'm sure he would tell you this was the toughest opponent he ever played against.

And Sessions was better when Vatikani was in the game. Now, we did give up some pressures and sacks in the second half. But like Plummer said, those were on him. He missed a lot of throws that put us in 3rd and 10 and even 4th and 10 situations. In those situations Notre Dame rushed 4 or 5 and pinned their ears back because we had an empty set and there was no threat to run the ball. Sorry, but if you're a QB, don't put your O-Linemen in that position. It's an impossible one. Plummer still can't read the inside delayed blitzes and was sacked on one of them. He has to be ready to get rid of the ball to a check down receiver. I also noticed too often on first or second and long he would take a more difficult longer throw over an open man underneath. There was a critical play where he went down the seam to Sturdivant who was tightly covered but he had Latu wide open with no one on him 10 yards out on the right flat. Easy throw, easy catch and easy 1st down. Instead it ended up 3rd and 10 and he got hammered.

The good news: if Vatikani and Sessions start on the right side against AZ, it will be a BIG improvement. If Plummer can pull his head out of his ass and make his checks and pick the open man and not try and force it long into tight coverage, he'll have more completions, we'll move the sticks more and it will open up our running game.

We'll see if I'm right come Saturday.

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Sep 21, 2022Liked by Berkelium97

Highland Dutch, Lowland Dutch, Rockfight Dutch, and the Irish.*

The Irish being a rockfight with additional Cal proclivities.

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Thank goodness for the weekly Rating the Bears report. Overall, the observations and comments are more positive than my own. Now I can move forward with a more positive attitude toward the game with Arizona........

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