Mike Frank Chat: Dec. 28 Archive

We welcomed in Mike Frank, editor of IrishEyes.com (notredame.scout.com), for a special Chat session on Wednesday. Frank shared his opinions on Notre Dame and the match-up with Ohio State in Monday's Fiesta Bowl (5 p.m., ABC). Dave Biddle will host a Chat at 1 p.m. Thursday and Gary Housteau will host one at 1 p.m. Friday.

buckeyenut (Dec 28, 2005 1:14:12 PM)
Has any team been effective at getting pressure on Quinn, and if so, how did they go about doing it.

Mike Frank (Dec 28, 2005 1:15:21 PM)
Tennessee did a pretty good job. Tenn had the game plan. They put 9 men at the line of scrimmage and then made ND beat them deep. THey shut down ND's run and then played tight press coverage. That's how I'd attack ND. Got to have a good pass rush though

atepesm (Dec 28, 2005 1:15:30 PM)
Stanford BYU and Pittsburgh had 7, 4, and 5 sacks on quinn

Poz79 (Dec 28, 2005 1:15:32 PM)
Mike in your opinion, what's the biggest strength of the ND defense? Biggest weakness?

Mike Frank (Dec 28, 2005 1:16:16 PM)
ND is pretty good against the run. If you can pass deep, and get good protection, you can hit ND for big plays.

returnofthenasty (Dec 28, 2005 1:16:20 PM)
mike, what is the biggest challenge facing the ND defense in stopping the OSU offense?

Mike Frank (Dec 28, 2005 1:16:50 PM)
Stopping Troy Smith I believe. Can't let him get loose on third down.

amstack (Dec 28, 2005 1:16:52 PM)
How do you see the split between run/pass for both ND and tOSU?

Mike Frank (Dec 28, 2005 1:17:42 PM)
I think ND will throw it a bunch. I'd could see ND throwing almost 70 percent early. OSU will try to shorten the game and run the FB I assume.

buckeyenut (Dec 28, 2005 1:17:45 PM)
How do you think ND will fare against a mobile quarterback?

Mike Frank (Dec 28, 2005 1:19:10 PM)
That depends. I haven't seen a lot of OSU, what I have seen, I've been impressed with Smith. But, ND does a pretty good job of taking one guy out of the game. It's when they have 3-4 great players that they have to worry. OSU has that many, but I really believe keeping Smith in the pocket and making him earn in on 3rd down will be the key for ND. If he continues to get out of the pocket, ND could be in trouble

boulderbuck1 (Dec 28, 2005 1:19:21 PM)
Mike, regarding the Tenn game, i remember on the first drive charlie calling like five screen passes in a row to darius walker, is this his M.O? in other words, will he continually run a play until the D adjusts, or run a fake off of that play for a big shot down field? Thanks

Mike Frank (Dec 28, 2005 1:20:25 PM)
Yeah, he will. That's where Charlie is his best IMO. First few drives have usually be masterful. I expect him to have some good stuff early and then OSU to adjust. Key will be for ND to score early. Once OSU adjusts, it will be who wants it more.

Poz79 (Dec 28, 2005 1:20:38 PM)
How has NDs punt and kickoff coverage been this year?

Mike Frank (Dec 28, 2005 1:21:22 PM)
Kick has been poor, but only because they don't ahve a guy who can get it to the end zone often. Punt has been real good for the most part.

amstack (Dec 28, 2005 1:21:28 PM)
It is obvious to me who has the advantage in special teams, but could you hit on the return games of both teams and how field position will be key?

Mike Frank (Dec 28, 2005 1:22:55 PM)
I could see OSU taking advantage of the poor kick coverage. ND has struggled in KO coverage. That very well could be the difference in the game. I think it's all pretty even but in that one area.

returnofthenasty (Dec 28, 2005 1:23:03 PM)
Given ND's safeties weakness against the play action and pass in general, do you think Tressell will open up the offense?

Mike Frank (Dec 28, 2005 1:24:25 PM)
I doubt he opens up the offense, but I bet he tries to take advantage of that. If Smith doesn't throw the deep ball well, it's just another imcompletion. But if he hits it, could be a long day. His deep passing will be key in this game I believe. I think they can attack ND deep if they can connect on it

buckeyenut (Dec 28, 2005 1:25:22 PM)
Has Fasano been used a lot this year? He scares me more than the wide receivers because of what Minny did against us, and the fact that very few teams seem to try to attack OSU in the middle of the field.

Mike Frank (Dec 28, 2005 1:26:30 PM)
I also think that Fasano will be key for ND because I've seen how OSU uses linebackers often to blitz. He's a great receiver, but not overly fast. But he'll get open, he'll catch the ball, We'll see what happens.

buckgrad (Dec 28, 2005 1:26:37 PM)
Troy Smith can make some bad decisions if you get pressure on him, do you feel ND can pressure Troy into those bad decisions? And who on the d-line do you think we will have a hard time blocking?

NCSlainted (Dec 28, 2005 1:27:24 PM)
This game needs to be Victor's coming out

Mike Frank (Dec 28, 2005 1:27:45 PM)
Derek Landri has really be tough to stop inside. Abiamiri had four sacks in the last game, but I think ND will have to bring some pressure from LB, S and Corners as well.

boulderbuck1 (Dec 28, 2005 1:27:52 PM)
Sorry if this has been asked, how in your opinon does the osu db's match up w/ the big tall recievers of ND? I know during stanford they threw up jump balls, could that be used aginst tOSU?

Mike Frank (Dec 28, 2005 1:29:05 PM)
OSU has some taller DBs, but ND's WRs have been outstanding this year. Quinn just throws the ball up and they go get it. Some truly amazing catches by both Stovall and Samardzija. I think most people underestimate how good and dominate they are. They'll surprise.

atepesm (Dec 28, 2005 1:29:14 PM)
ND's jump ball offense is only used minimally, tOSU really should worry about all the other passing attacks ND will use (short dump pass for 8-15 yard pickup, slants, etc)

SteveHelwagen (Dec 28, 2005 1:29:25 PM)
And now the flip side of that equation ...

ndfreak (Dec 28, 2005 1:29:28 PM)
The ND defensive backfield has been burned repeatedly throughout the season, will they be able to stop Ginn and Holmes?

amstack (Dec 28, 2005 1:30:18 PM)
If the ND safeties bite on run, it could be a field day for Ginn and Holmes.

Mike Frank (Dec 28, 2005 1:30:26 PM)
I think the only way ND stops those receivers is by putting pressure on Smith and keeping him in the pocket. Also, if ND can slow down the run game, play action won't be as effective, which has been the real problem for ND this year.

SteveHelwagen (Dec 28, 2005 1:30:47 PM)
Now for some ND running game questions ...

atepesm (Dec 28, 2005 1:30:50 PM)
Mike, how will Darius Walker and his multi-purpose attack (running, catching) fair against tOSU's tough run defense?

amstack (Dec 28, 2005 1:30:53 PM)
Do you see ND having any success running the ball with Darius Walker? He is effective with quick hitting draws and darts, but will his stretch running style work against a great defense like tOSU's?

Mike Frank (Dec 28, 2005 1:31:53 PM)
I don't expect ND to get much out of Walker early, and frankly, I doubt they even bother trying. Later in the game is usually where he becomes a factor. However, if OSU keeps coming up field with DE, LB, etc. they'll hit you with the screen pass over and over like they did against Tennessee.

RI (Dec 28, 2005 1:32:02 PM)
Do you see Travis Thomas as a key in this game?

Mike Frank (Dec 28, 2005 1:33:17 PM)
Thomas could be a key, especially since I doubt holes will stay open long. Thomas hits the hole quicker and with more authority than Walker, and in this type of game, Thomas might fit well into the game plan

SteveHelwagen (Dec 28, 2005 1:33:42 PM)
Here's a loaded question (this guy seems sure of himself ... ha ha)...

Sorry Charlie (Dec 28, 2005 1:33:45 PM)
Since Charlie arrived flashing his Super Bowl rings, the team seems to be believe that they can compete against good teams again. What impact do you think a double digit Irish loss would have on the psyche of this impressionable team?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 28, 2005 1:34:52 PM)
I'd say this has been a great year for ND regardless of the outcome of this one game.

Mike Frank (Dec 28, 2005 1:35:14 PM)
I doubt they have a double digit loss, but you never know. However, I don't think it would matter. Last game of the year. I think it would hurt ND's recruiting next year more than the team. Not that it woudl hurt that much. I doubt ND gets blown out by anyone in the near future, but that's my opinion. i'm certain most Buck fans think they'll beat ND by 30, so we'll see who's right. lol

RI (Dec 28, 2005 1:36:01 PM)
I don't see a double digit loss in the works, but an 8pt victory seems about right. Either way, a late TO or mistake gives the winner the game.

Mike Frank (Dec 28, 2005 1:37:16 PM)
RI, I could see that happening. I think that's a logical pick for either team. I think either team will win by 8 points or less. I could be wrong.

atepesm (Dec 28, 2005 1:38:14 PM)
remember ND has only lost two games by a total of 6 points all year, and one of those games was against the #1 team and the other was an overtime loss. It will be awfully hard to put up a double digit win against this ND team.

returnofthenasty (Dec 28, 2005 1:35:28 PM)
Mike, do you see Charlie using a lot of empty back fields to try to spread out the OSU backers?

Mike Frank (Dec 28, 2005 1:36:17 PM)
I could see Charlie doing just that. I wouldn't be surprised to see 5 wide and no huddle early.

ndfreak (Dec 28, 2005 1:36:24 PM)
Do you see Bobby Carpenter either playing or not playing as a major factor in the game?

Mike Frank (Dec 28, 2005 1:37:55 PM)
I think Carpenter can hurt OSU more than he can help if he isn't at least 90 percent. I bet they know that as well. If he's healthy enough to go, he's always a factor in the game.

SteveHelwagen (Dec 28, 2005 1:38:00 PM)
As an aside, I posted this earlier that Jim Heacock said today Bobby has been jogging. A decision will not be made until tomorrow or Friday and OSU is preparing as if he will not be available.

amstack (Dec 28, 2005 1:38:26 PM)
Empty formation is a great way to spread out a defense that is stout against the run and it just so happens to be the most effective formation for Walker to find his quick hitting runs

kasmardj (Dec 28, 2005 1:38:30 PM)
Does ND need to control the ball the same way they did against USC to win this game?

Mike Frank (Dec 28, 2005 1:39:51 PM)
USC had a more explosive offense than OSU, well hell, anyone. That doesn't necessarily have to be the game plan in this game. I think Charlie will challenge the pass defense early and see what happens. Just my two cents on what I think will happen. I bet we see a lot of 4-5 WR sets early.

returnofthenasty (Dec 28, 2005 1:40:00 PM)
Mike, what do you think of the coaching matchup between Charlie and Tressell?

Mike Frank (Dec 28, 2005 1:41:52 PM)
I think Tressell is a very good coach and the continual BCS bowls and NC speak for themselves. However, I think Charlie is the best OC in all of college football. I think OSU has the edge in overall talent. So, it should an interesting game. Should be interesting to see what Weis has in store for this great defense.

kasmardj (Dec 28, 2005 1:41:59 PM)
Allot has been made of Charlie having a month to gameplan. Do you think this is really an advantage, or is it blown out of proportion?

Mike Frank (Dec 28, 2005 1:43:25 PM)
I think it's a very big advantage. When Weis has been given an extra week, the offense usually comes out smoking. Tenn and USC found out. Unfortunately USC had too much O for the Irish that day, or anyone.

Sorry Charlie (Dec 28, 2005 1:43:33 PM)
Mike - What is your favorite memory from the '95 & '96 OSU / ND games?

Mike Frank (Dec 28, 2005 1:44:18 PM)
Favorite memory? When the games were over. lol

SteveHelwagen (Dec 28, 2005 1:44:20 PM)
They kind of ran into a buzz saw those 2 years against 2 of the better OSU teams from the last 30 years.

boulderbuck1 (Dec 28, 2005 1:44:28 PM)
Can you tell Charlie to stop recruiting Ben Martin?

Mike Frank (Dec 28, 2005 1:45:15 PM)
You guys stole Lawrence Wilson. Let ND have Ben

SteveHelwagen (Dec 28, 2005 1:45:18 PM)
I know Duane Long, from our staff, has Martin -- a DE from Cinti. LaSalle -- as the top player in the state in the 2007 class.

amstack (Dec 28, 2005 1:45:24 PM)
Evege and Torrence too?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 28, 2005 1:45:27 PM)
Ha ha.

Mike Frank (Dec 28, 2005 1:46:34 PM)
Yeah, I think ND and OSU will be going after a lot of the same kids this year.

neutershame (Dec 28, 2005 1:45:34 PM)
What do you think of ESPN (Herby and May) basically declaring USC best team ever considering ND almost beat them? How many points do you think ND can score on OSU and vise versa? Thanks.

Mike Frank (Dec 28, 2005 1:48:09 PM)
I think ND played out of their minds that day against USC. I doubt they can match that intensity again. We'll see. I also think USC played their best game, despite some of what happened. I don't think either team will play that well again this year, but maybe USC will against Texas. I think ND can score on OSU. I think they'll score 28 on OSU. I really do. But I also worry that OSU can score on ND. I think it will be a close game with the outcome going either way. Turnovers or a special teams play likely will be the difference.

SteveHelwagen (Dec 28, 2005 1:48:31 PM)
I have felt the whole series ESPN has done with USC was ridiculous. Let them beat Texas first, then declare them the best ever. They aren't better than OSU's 14-0 team in 2002 until they win this next game, IMHO, and I'm not sure that's a done deal.

JoeMcDonald (Dec 28, 2005 1:49:07 PM)
ratings Steve ESPN no longer reports news.......they create it

Poz79 (Dec 28, 2005 1:48:44 PM)
Looking into your crystal ball, what do you think ND's record will be next year? Maybe we can meet in the Fiesta next year too.

Mike Frank (Dec 28, 2005 1:49:46 PM)
If Quinn comes back next year, ND could be playing for it all. However, they could lose a game or two, but I bet they're right near the top next year with Quinn back. ND has a lot of players returning.

irish4life (Dec 28, 2005 1:49:53 PM)
I think ND has a very good shot of going 10-1 next year going into the bowl game.

Angel (Dec 28, 2005 1:50:00 PM)
Nah...we're going for the NC next year!

returnofthenasty (Dec 28, 2005 1:50:11 PM)
Do you think Tressell will change his defensive gameplan? It appears the defense has been very effective in past games. Or, do you think Tressell will spend more time planning to exploit the weaknesses on ND's defense?

Mike Frank (Dec 28, 2005 1:51:15 PM)
I think Tressell will look for the weaknesses in ND's D and see if he can exploit them. I also think he'll want to run the ball and keep the ball away from ND's offense. At least that is what I would do if I were him.

Sorry Charlie (Dec 28, 2005 1:51:23 PM)
If the Irish pull off the upset, do you think Charlie will begin to entertain NFL offers?

ndfan (Dec 28, 2005 1:51:59 PM)
He just built a huge new home no moving for him

irish4life (Dec 28, 2005 1:52:07 PM)
No to the NFL. I think he is very happy where he is now.

Mike Frank (Dec 28, 2005 1:52:14 PM)
No way on the NFL. I doubt he ever considers the NFL again, unless he wins the NC a time or two. He really likes it at ND. Money doesn't drive him. He wants to retire in 10 years.

atepesm (Dec 28, 2005 1:52:26 PM)
Mike, how do you think these teams should be ranked ? USC, Texas, PSU, tOSU and ND?

Mike Frank (Dec 28, 2005 1:53:50 PM)
I think OSU is a better team than Penn State. I just think OSU got caught sleeping. I think they're the third best team in the country. I think ND is 4 until they prove they can beat them. I think either would beat PSU.

Sorry Charlie (Dec 28, 2005 1:54:09 PM)
Which team do you think will be better represented in Tempe (from an attendance standpoint of course)? 50/50 - 70/30. Will you be there?

Mike Frank (Dec 28, 2005 1:55:02 PM)
I think OSU will probably have the edge in attendence. Probably a 55/45 thing. I'm not going to be there. Our beat writer, Colin, will be there. I'll be watching it with beer in hand. lol

SteveHelwagen (Dec 28, 2005 1:55:15 PM)
Ah yes ... the way it should be!

kasmardj (Dec 28, 2005 1:55:20 PM)
Mike there is allot of talk about how ND played noone this year, and how they didn't deserve to be in a BCS game. How would you defend this?

Mike Frank (Dec 28, 2005 1:56:47 PM)
I think they played a lot of good teams. Michigan is a good team, but when ND beat them, it took a little wind out of their sails. It happens almost every year. If ND beats Michigan, ND usually has a great season and Michigan has a mediocre season. Same thing in reverse. Thank God Michigan has lost three out of the last four to ND. Something the Buckeyes know a bit about as well lol

SteveHelwagen (Dec 28, 2005 1:57:46 PM)
I don't think you can bang on them for their sked. Purdue was supposed to be great (although I didn't see it that way), Michigan is usually top 10, Washington and Tennessee have been big names through the past 20 years. Pitt was coming off a BCS bid, for goodness sakes.

SteveHelwagen (Dec 28, 2005 1:58:00 PM)
None of those teams ended up representing themselves well, though.

amstack (Dec 28, 2005 1:58:06 PM)
Go back and look at the teams when we played them, half were ranked, there is a reason they had a down years and it had to do with losing to ND.

Mike Frank (Dec 28, 2005 1:58:12 PM)
probably the only thing ND fans and OSU fans can agree on, beating Michigan is SWEET!

Guest (Dec 28, 2005 1:58:16 PM)
BIG 10 was weak this year............Only teams worth anything at year end was OSU and PSU

Mike Frank (Dec 28, 2005 1:58:53 PM)
I agree, none of them did. But ND beat them all handily as well. Something they hadn't been doing in the past.

SteveHelwagen (Dec 28, 2005 1:59:09 PM)
Good point ... you can only play the teams on your schedule.

buckeyenut (Dec 28, 2005 1:58:21 PM)
Is Weis like Tressel in that he has very little input in what goes on defensively, or does he get involved on both sides of the ball?

Mike Frank (Dec 28, 2005 1:59:26 PM)
Weis says he has little input, but I doubt that. I doubt he sticks his nose too much into it unless he feels the D is coming up with a wrong plan. Then I firmly believe he'd step in.

SteveHelwagen (Dec 28, 2005 1:59:43 PM)
We will be winding down in the next 10 minutes or so. Any final questions for Mike Frank of Irish Eyes.com?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 28, 2005 2:00:20 PM)
A reminder to the OSU subscribers here, Dave Biddle will Chat at 1 p.m. Thursday and Gary Housteau at 1 p.m. Friday.

returnofthenasty (Dec 28, 2005 2:00:28 PM)
Mike, is it true they call you the Godfather?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 28, 2005 2:00:33 PM)
Ha ha.

SteveHelwagen (Dec 28, 2005 2:00:42 PM)
He is the Godfather of all ND info, I know that.

Mike Frank (Dec 28, 2005 2:01:00 PM)
Some do, but not my wife. lol

Poz79 (Dec 28, 2005 2:01:04 PM)
Do you like ND being independent or would you like them in the Big10+2?

Mike Frank (Dec 28, 2005 2:01:59 PM)
I love being independent, but I also think sometime down the road ND will be forced to join a conference. If they do, it will most likely be the Big 10.

neutershame (Dec 28, 2005 2:02:07 PM)
I think ND fans are forgetting about Teddy Ballgame!

atepesm (Dec 28, 2005 2:02:15 PM)
Mike, how do you think ND punt return and kick return teams will fare against tOSU?

Mike Frank (Dec 28, 2005 2:02:52 PM)
Kickoff scares me. I'd be tempted to kick it out of bounds. Punt should be OK.

kasmardj (Dec 28, 2005 2:03:00 PM)
ok Mike lets have it. What is your prediction?

buckeyenut (Dec 28, 2005 2:03:02 PM)
If you had to put money on a winner, who would it be?

Mike Frank (Dec 28, 2005 2:04:11 PM)
As I said on the Bucknuts show, ND wins by one, 28-27. I have to go with ND, but it wouldn't surprise me if OSU won.

atepesm (Dec 28, 2005 2:04:15 PM)
Which team will most likely fare better in the turnover battle? BQ was interception happy in his last game, will that continue?

Mike Frank (Dec 28, 2005 2:05:14 PM)
I doubt it continues. He had a horrible first half. I was surprised that OSU has only forced 12 turnovers for the entire season. That really surprised me considering how great their defense is.

Mike Frank (Dec 28, 2005 2:05:55 PM)
maybe i was reading the wrong stats, but that is what I saw.

SteveHelwagen (Dec 28, 2005 2:06:10 PM)
Anything else before we go ...

buckeyenut (Dec 28, 2005 2:06:25 PM)
OSU's defense has been so dominant that most teams simply go 3 and out, which leaves fewer plays in which to force a turnover. ; )

SteveHelwagen (Dec 28, 2005 2:06:28 PM)
Ha ha.

Mike Frank (Dec 28, 2005 2:06:45 PM)
good point buckeyenut

kasmardj (Dec 28, 2005 2:06:51 PM)
Good luck next week OSU

neutershame (Dec 28, 2005 2:07:16 PM)
Your right. And the one game OSU got turnover, Texas, they lost anyways.

SteveHelwagen (Dec 28, 2005 2:07:28 PM)
Last question for Mike ...

atepesm (Dec 28, 2005 2:07:32 PM)
Mike, how will the game progress, from a qtr by qtr point of view?

atepesm (Dec 28, 2005 2:07:54 PM)
btw, ND usually scores a lot in the 2nd and 4 qtrs, whereas tOSU scores most of its points in the 2nd and 3rd.

SteveHelwagen (Dec 28, 2005 2:08:00 PM)

Mike Frank (Dec 28, 2005 2:08:30 PM)
I think ND will score quickly and get an early lead. I think OSU adjusts defensively and finds some running room. Think it will be a 3 point game at half, and then I think they slug it out in the second half. Whichever team wants it more will win. Going to be a classic game.

SteveHelwagen (Dec 28, 2005 2:08:44 PM)
We want to thank Mike Frank of IrishEyes.com for stopping by and sharing insights on Notre Dame and this Fiesta Bowl match-up. Great job, Mike!

Mike Frank (Dec 28, 2005 2:08:47 PM)
thanks Steve for having me over. Enjoyed it.

Guest (Dec 28, 2005 2:08:49 PM)
looking forward to watching two powerhouses, good luck to ND.

returnofthenasty (Dec 28, 2005 2:08:52 PM)
Yes, good luck next week! Here is to a great game by two good teams and coaches!

boulderbuck1 (Dec 28, 2005 2:08:55 PM)
thanks mike

Mike Frank (Dec 28, 2005 2:08:57 PM)

Mike Frank (Dec 28, 2005 2:09:05 PM)
sure, anything time

SteveHelwagen (Dec 28, 2005 2:09:10 PM)
There was one question for me ...

returnofthenasty (Dec 28, 2005 2:09:16 PM)
Question for Steve: how good are OSU's lbs in pass coverage? How do you think OSU's lbs will do in pass coverage if ND goes to an empty back field? Also, how will they do defending TEs or RBs? Thanks.

SteveHelwagen (Dec 28, 2005 2:09:41 PM)
The OSU LBs in coverage ...

SteveHelwagen (Dec 28, 2005 2:10:19 PM)
Carpenter and Hawk were decent with good speed. Schlegel not so much. They'll need help from behind if Carpenter doesn't go. Hawk has actually become real good at it. He has great timing to break up plays.

SteveHelwagen (Dec 28, 2005 2:10:35 PM)
I will turn off moderation now, feel free to talk among youselves.

returnofthenasty (Dec 28, 2005 2:10:42 PM)
Thanks Steve.

MacAuley (Dec 28, 2005 2:10:45 PM)
Thanks guys!

Poz79 (Dec 28, 2005 2:10:48 PM)

MacAuley (Dec 28, 2005 2:10:50 PM)
O - H !!!

Guest (Dec 28, 2005 2:11:06 PM)
I - O !!!

boulderbuck1 (Dec 28, 2005 2:11:12 PM)
Samardzija (sp?) really does look like a shark in his photos doesn't he

SteveHelwagen (Dec 28, 2005 2:11:20 PM)
Take care guys!!

returnofthenasty (Dec 28, 2005 2:11:44 PM)
it's funny...the team gave him the nickname because of that movie...they think he looks like the main character

ndfan (Dec 28, 2005 2:35:15 PM)
good luck you all you will need it

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