The Fighting Irish are very impressive on the line of scrimmage. Their O-Line features four seniors and a couple of all-star candidates. Notre Dame’s D-Line also presents a big challenge. The ‘Dogs better show up with a great plan.
Jim Chaney’s best plan would start with featuring the strength of the offense; which is Nick Chubb & Sony Michel. Let’s say that Chubb gets 20 carries and Sony touches it 15 times. That might leave around 30 plays to spread the ball around to the other playmakers on offense.
Javon Wims deserves some targets. Godwin, Nauta and Swift need to be involved too. Let’s say these guys get 5 touches each, for a total of 20 plays. That would leave around 10 touches to distribute.
Allow me to recommend that Mecole Hardman and Ahkil Crumpton get the ball in their hands on offense some Saturday. These two have big-play ability. Find a way to get them the ball in space a few times and they may take a couple to the house a couple times.
How does Chaney & Fromm get these dudes involved? The easiest way would be to throw it to them on a short crossing route, working the middle of the field. Catch it, make a guy miss and then sprint to the end zone! It appeared both ran this route against App-State, but the ball went to another receiver.
Don’t be concerned about Jake Fromm playing poorly in South Bend. He’ll have a week of reps with the #1 Offense and game video of the Fighting Irish defense to help get him prepared to play these guys. I was really impressed with his performance against App-State. He made quick decisions and the ball got out of the pocket on time. His pocket presence was impressive too. He moved in the pocket effectively and made some nice throws. Fromm will be ready to help the team win.
The one area I’m concerned about is the O-Line. The two guard spots and the center must play better. Maybe Solomon Kindley’s return will be a boost inside. Anyway, this group looks like a work in progress right now. Isaiah Wynn can be counted on at left tackle. And thank goodness freshman Andrew Thomas was able to handle the right tackle spot, or this group would really be in trouble.
Chaney needs to have a few wrinkles to use at the right time. Can’t see the Bulldogs offense pounding them with a heavy dose of power runs. So, get Chubb outside the tackles and throw it to Michel lining up out of the slot. Get the playmakers the ball early and often.