Here is a Q&A with Rakes of Mallow go check out their site for Notre Dame news
1. How much better will the offense be then last year?
It almost has to be better thanks to it being absolutely abysmal in 2007, but there are some reasons to expect improvement. There is more depth and experience in the offensive line, which was the biggest problem last year, and considerably more physical, back-to-basics practices. There is a lot of talent at all the skill positions, but it’s young and relatively unproven, so it could be feast or famine, especially when it comes to the wide outs.
2. How much better will the defense be then last year?
It should be better, although a little thin along the offensive line. The back seven should be able to lend some support, but the main difference will be the style. The Irish imported Jon Tenuta from Georgia Tech, along with his BLITZ BLITZ BLITZ mentality, meaning that if Notre Dame is giving up a big play on defense, they might get it back via some extreme pressure.
3.Who much improvement do you see Jimmy Clausen having from year one to year two?
After an offseason where he had arm surgery and had to compete against three other competitors, but now he’s been healthy, anointed and with another year in the system, so here’s hoping he looks a lot better. It was hard to judge any of the skill positions thanks to the offensive line woes last season, so if Clausen is kept off his back, his healthy arm and another year of tutelage under Weis lead me to believe he’ll be more than capable of vastly improving on last season.
4. Who are some names to look for on Saturday besides, Clausen?
On defense, anytime the Aztecs go deep, look for ball-hawkin’ David Bruton to steal one out of the sky, and Kerry Neal might be the first line backer/defensive end hybrid crashing into your backfield. On offense, it’ll be a strong dose of power back Robert Hughes, with a dash of lightning in Armando Allen. When a tall, handsome gentleman wearing the number “3” steps onto the field, expect a loud cheer from wise Irish fans in the Stadium: That’s freshman phenom Michael Floyd, the Julio Jones of the north. If he isn’t the second coming, some fans are going to be disappointed.
5. Who wins and why?
I’m taking the Irish, because the Aztec offense was apparently one-dimensional and rather ineffective against I-AA Cal Poly. The Irish are not going to mess around, running right at the Aztecs and blitzing Ryan Tindley to high heaven. I think the Aztecs are just too impotent on offense and banged-up on defense to keep up with a talented Notre Dame team hoping to get their campaign of redemption off to a respectable start.