Let’s just say Notre Dame won’t be trying to steal the report card out of their mailbox so their parents can’t see it.
Obviously, there’s really nothing to complain about here. They racked up over 510 yards of offense, had ZERO turnovers, and connected for 20 first downs. The entire offense played out of their minds. However, like a fifth grader in the school cafeteria, I’m going to be picky. Two of Clausen’s TD passes to Floyd would have been avoided had they been playing a secondary that knew how to tackle. Also, their best offense is yet to come (they’ll go over 35 points multiple times this year). Grade: A
The Irish get extra credit in this department. It’s the first time they shut out an opponent on opening day since 1973. They held Nevada 2-for-11 on third downs, picked off two of Kaepernick’s passes and recovered a fumble in the red zone. They did, however, give up 114 yards to Taua on 18 carries. But so what, they held one of the most prolific offenses in the country to a giant goose egg. Grade: A++
Aside from Eric Maust’s punting, special teams was pretty solid all around. Riddick, although extremely excited (you could see it), showed good burst on the opening kickoff return. Freshmen Nick Tausch didn’t attempt a field goal, but busted his extra point attempts right down Broadway. Grade: A
Notre Dame’s game plan was more effective than Nyquil. Wies had plenty of time to strategize for Nevada’s “pistol” style offense and it showed. The Irish were disciplined (only three penalties) and took advantage of the Wolfpack’s atrocious secondary. Even though it’s only one game, maybe some of the criticism will be refrained from coach Weis. For a week at least. Grade: A+
A 35-0 score is as good as it gets when opening the season against a worthy opponent. A report card like this used to reward me with an iced cream sundae and a swift handshake from my father. And if there are still any unsatisfied Irish fans; go grab a Guinness and thank god you’re not an Oklahoma fan.
OVERALL GRADE: A+