I'll admit I was scared. As I watched a third-and-two Brady Quinn pass sail over the head of a wide open Maurice Stovall in the opening series, my heart sunk. The first three-and-out series to start the game for the Irish under Charlie Weis….oh no! The Boliermakers stopped the Irish, they had momentum and they had a very loud crowd behind them.
But the Irish made a statement on Saturday night. No, Notre Dame isn't the best team in the nation. They also probably don't have the best offense in the nation despite Brady Quinn's heroics, but they did say something loud and clear on Saturday: "We come to play."
Seven plays, 90 yards, touchdown. 15 plays, 98 yards, touchdown. 13 plays, 73 yards, touchdown. 5 plays, 63 yards, touchdown…..goodnight Purdue.
Five games into the Charlie Weis era and one thing is certain: this Irish team comes to play.
Probably more important, this Irish team is well coached, disciplined and they have a game plan to be successful. When was the last time Irish fans could say that?
As impressive as Brady Quinn's record-setting performance was, and it was one of the best I've seen any player have in an Irish uniform, one can't lose sight of the big picture. And the big picture is Notre Dame finally has a coach.
This Irish team is focused from the first whistle. This Irish team wins the turnover battle. This Irish team doesn't shoot themselves in the foot with stupid penalties. This Irish team tackles. This Irish team executes on offense. Fundamentals and techniques? Indeed.
Weis would be the last person trying to steal the thunder today from his team's performance, but in reality the turnaround has to start with him, and it appears Weis has the turnaround on hyper speed at this point.
I think my wife said it best last night. "This team is fun to watch." They are fun to watch, but can you imagine how much fun it must be to play for this team, especially on offense?
And we have to be excited for the players as this group of players deserve the success after what they've been through.
Weis said he hated night games at a press conference this past week. He gave his reasons, all valid, but I am going to guess he kind of liked Saturday's night game.
Weis essentially had a three and a half hour prime time commercial, the only game in town on Saturday night to inform all of college football, and more importantly prospective recruits, that his team comes to play. Weis' team does come to play, and more importantly, win.
It's too early to crown Weis as the next great Irish coach, but all signs are certainly pointing to a future coronation, and what fun this will be to be along for the ride. It's been a long time Irish fans…