November 2, 2001
This Is Notre Dame?
IrishEyes Has Dim View
The IrishEyes.Com NewsService
NOTRE DAME, IN (IE) – Here's how four members of the IrishEyes staff sees tomorrow's Tennessee at Notre Dame clash. The Volunteers are an eight-point favorite. Only one other time in the past 15 years -- Nebraska, last September -- have the Irish been a larger home underdog.
MARK ALLEN, "Fan's Perspective" Contributor – Tennessee brings in a quick, big and athletic team it has been said. Running back Travis Stephens appears to be a William Green clone as far as statistics. Casey Clausen is a good QB. The defense against the run is a Volunteer strength. Still, the SEC power is not dominant and can be beat, especially in Notre Dame Stadium especially. For Coach Bob Davie, one last great win? This can be a "Notre Dame Moment." NOTRE DAME, 24-20.
TOM BECK, "Beck's Beat" – If the Irish can score first it could be a close game. If fact an upset could occur. However it is just to tough to pick against Tennessee. Its offensive personnel is excellent and they DO utilize the TE. But they are not any more talented than the ND offense. The Volunteers have, however, demonstrated that they execute better than ND's offense. The difference, however will be their quick and solid defense, ranked 7th in NCAA total defense. If ND doesn't score early it could be a wide margin for Tennessee. TENNESSEE, 24-17.
ALAN TIEULI, IrishEyes Managing Editor – John MacLeod was a great guy, too. It's time for a change. The football team plays hard, but clearly has learned to accept defeat – there was no anger, no passion in the post-game exit from Alumni Stadium Saturday. It's painful to watch what this program has become. Notre Dame has similar talent offensively to Tennessee, but the players (with poor execution) and coaches (with head-scratching playing calling) will alternately let each other down in key spots. Only thing that keeps it relatively close is Tennessee stepping out of conference in early November, always a risky proposition. TENNESSEE, 27-10.
JOE TYBOR, IrishEyes Founder – This is bad news for the Irish. Tennessee is in the thick of the BCS championship race, assuming Miami and/or Nebraska pick up a loss the rest of the way. And the Vols aren't going to spoil their chances by dropping a game to lowly Notre Dame. This will still be interesting to watch for Irish fans, however. There's the continued development of Carlyle Holiday; the possible insertion of Jared Clark, if Holiday doesn't play for one reason or another; and the verve with which the Irish play. The latter will be a measure of whether or not Bob Davie has lost his team, assuming he's probably already lost his job barring a miracle on Saturday and the rest of the season. TENNESSEE 41-17.