Blue and Gold Illustrated

Oct. 30, 2017

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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Page 12 of 55 OCT. 30, 2017 13 THEY SAID IT "He shook up his staff and made some very shrewd hires, including defensive coordinator Mike Elko. Despite breaking in a new quarterback in Brandon Wimbush, the Irish are just a narrow loss to top-five team from being undefeated." Bruce Feldman of Sports Illustrated on ranking Brian Kelly No. 3 in his midseason award for 'Best Coaching Job, Hot Seat Division' "Mike Brey went back to his DeMatha roots to tab this 6-6 forward and Harvey will be a key piece for the Irish next season. Under Brey, Notre Dame has always thrived when playing smaller and Harvey fits the mold of a classic undersized four-man. Expect this kid and Bonzie Colson to close out a lot of games up front for the Irish next season." — Jon Rothstein of FanRag Sports on Irish forward D.J. Harvey being one of his 20 underrated freshmen for the 2017-18 season "Are you sitting down? What if the SEC gets two teams in — and Notre Dame is in. Then you're talking about three — three! — Power Five champions left out. If No. 1 Alabama and No. 3 Georgia are undefeated heading into the SEC title game, and Georgia loses a nail-biter, it's plausible the SEC's two best teams both finish in the top four. Then, consider Notre Dame — a team that lost by one point to Georgia — running the table. Notre Dame has the seventh-toughest remaining schedule, according to FPI, tailor-made to impress the committee. If the Irish knock off No. 11 USC, No. 16 NC State, No. 8 Miami and No. 22 Stanford to finish 11-1 — with their lone loss to a CFP top-four team — how does the committee leave them out?" — ESPN's Heather Dinich on how Notre Dame could create chaos with the College Football Playoff "The Irish hardly missed a beat offensively without [junior quarterback Brandon] Wimbush against North Carolina. But much bigger tasks loom, including USC next week, NC State, Miami and Stanford. Wimbush, expected to return to practice this week from an ankle injury, diversifies the Notre Dame offense as a more dangerous running threat than his backup, Ian Book. But Wimbush needs to take a step forward as a passer over the next six weeks." — ESPN's Mitch Sherman on the X-factor for Notre Dame moving forward "Notre Dame is capitalizing on a line featuring two likely high draft picks in Nelson and left tackle Mike McGlinchey. The Irish have revved up the rushing attack under new coordinator Chip Long, eclipsing 300 rush yards in four games after failing to do so once last season. Notre Dame's 10.1 yards per carry at Boston College set a modern-era record. Nelson is a preseason All-American who has done nothing to diminish lofty predictions." — Adam Rittenberg of ESPN on Irish left guard Quenton Nelson making their 2017 midseason All-America team OF THE WEEK "Saturday Night. Under The Lights. Primetime. @NDFootball takes on @ USC_Athletics! #USCvsND." NBC Sports official account (@NBCSports) Oct. 16 PHOTO BY BILL PANZICA UNDER THE DOME

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