Jimmy Clausen reminds me of Joe Montana – not.
Every Notre Dame quarterback must compare himself to greatest ever Domer, Joe Montana, as the clock winds down and the game is on the line. For Jimmy Clausen the only apt comparison is that they both played part of their careers in California.
What would Joe Montana have done as the clock wound down and Notre Dame only needed one more first down to clinch the win against Michigan on Saturday?
He would have got the first down.
What did Jimmy Clausen do? He blew it. Two hurried passes went nowhere and Michigan took over. Blame Charlie Weis for poor play calling and not running the football and forcing Michigan to use timeouts. But blame Clausen for not getting the job done when it counted.
Yes I know he had a fine game overall, but he lacks the killer instincts of the great Notre Dame quarterbacks, the Theismans and Montanas. Like the rest of Weis's team, there is something missing when the crunch comes .
Clausen was essentially outplayed by rookie quarterback Tate Forcier. He showed the Montana cool in the final few moments as he marched his merry Michiganders down to the end zone to pull off the upset.
By all accounts there is no love lost between the Forcier family and the Clausens, both from Southern California, both with family traditions in the quarterback position. Well chalk this one up for clan Forcier.
Clausen and Weis share an unhappy destiny at Notre Dame. Weis is clearly unable to motivate and replicate what he did with the New England Patriots. Clausen is unable to produce in the pinch.
The result is a Notre Dame team that lacks the clutch performance that separates the great from the merely good.
If we lose to Michigan State this could get really ugly.