SportsCrack Blog

Thursday, August 30, 2018

ND Starting Nickelback Shaun Crawfod Out for Season with Torn ACL

Just days before the season is going to kick off we get a giant kick to our Irish nuts...

First off I feel horrible for Shaun Crawford.  This is the 3rd, yes, 3rd time he has gone down with a season ending injury either before the season started or right after.  He's battled back from a torn ACL and torn achilles to earn a starting nickelback job only to tear his other ACL on Tuesday.  Gone for the season.  Brutal.

Before we get all doom and gloom we got to remember Notre Dame has depth in the secondary.  While losing Crawford is a blow it gives a guy like senior Nick Coleman a chance to step up in Crawford's starting spot.   Coleman has plenty of experience including starting experience and by all reporting accounts has had a great camp.  Navy transfer Alohi Gilman will still start at boundary safety while Coleman mans the field safety.  Freshman Houston Griffith will get a chance for more playing time and so will Jalen Elliott who was a starter last year.  Devin Studstill and Nico Fertitta provide depth and have plenty of experience at the safety position.  Freshman Derrik Allen will also be given a chance to step it up if need be.  The corners are still loaded with Julian Love, Troy Pride, Donte Vaughn and a bunch of freshman (Tariq Bracy, Noah Boykin, DJ Brown) to provide depth.

So everyone take a deep breath.  It's gonna be ok.  It sucks to lose a kid like Crawford who is a great talent on the field and a great teammate off the field but somebody has to and will step up.  Next man in.  Go Irish!

Notre Dame Head Coach Brian Kelly's Press Conference for the Michigan Game

Some interesting notes from Brian Kelly's press conference...

1) When asked about "suspended" RB Dexter Williams status for the Michigan game he said "He'll be dressed and he'll be on the sidelines.  We'll see what happens when we kick it off."  I presumed Dexter wouldn't even dress for the game but this leaves a little bit of an opening that Dexter might play vs Michigan.  Personally I hope he does play because he's their most proven back averaging over 7 yards per carry.  We will see Saturday night.

2) Kelly reiterated that he is not afraid to go to backup QB Ian Book if the team needs it.  Starting QB Brandon Wimbush accounted for over 30 TDs last season but in the Citrus Bowl vs LSU he was benched because of ineffectiveness while Book led them to an inspired come-from-behind victory.  I'm not a fan of a two QB situation because the last time ND went into the season (2016) with a "QB controversy" they sputtered to a disastrous 4-8 season with Deshone Kizer and Malik Zaire behind center.  Team Kizaire never worked.  We will have to see if Team Wimbook works this season.  Ugh.

3) The Notre Dame defense is the most loaded from top to bottom since Kelly has arrived.  The last time ND had this much talent and experience on the defensive side they went all the way to the 2012 National Championship game with an undefeated regular season.  This gives me a lot of optimism.

4) Still have no idea if ND will come out in green jerseys for Michigan.  The fans have been encouraged to wear green for the "Green Out" but so far Kelly has been coy when asked if the team would come out in green too.  We are gonna have to wait till kickoff.  Personally I hope they wear the traditional blue and gold but the tea leaves read green jerseys Saturday night.