Thursday, November 08, 2007

Irish Seek Split With Academies | by Brian

Troy Calhoun: the strong, silent type
In the wake of a demoralizing loss to Navy, Notre Dame hopes to rebound when they host the Air Force Falcons this Saturday. It's a new-look Air Force squad, with a new head man on the sideline. After 23 years at the helm, Fisher DeBerry has given way to '50's matinee idol Troy Calhoun.

Calhoun's coaching pedigree includes stints as an assistant to Evil Genius Mike Shanahan with the Denver Broncos, as well as getting David Carr killed as offensive coordinator of the Houston Texans.

For the second straight week, the Irish must deal with an option offense, this time led by Air Force quarterback Shaun Carney. The Falcons average 395.2 yards per game, 272.8 of them on the ground. With 122.4 ypg passing, they are a bigger threat in the air than Navy, with the possible exception of Navy pilot Pete Mitchell. The Academy's ground game is led by 1100-yard rusher Chad Hall, with an impressive 12 rushing touchdowns on the season. Carney is second in rushing with 411 yards and three scores.

The Air Force defense, though better than Navy's, is again below most of the teams Notre Dame faced through the first eight games. They allow just under 142 ypg rushing, but are also susceptible to the pass, allowing over 200 ypg. With Top Jimmy back in the starting lineup this week, this game could be a showcase for talented freshmen Clausen, Duval "The Ugandan Giant" Kamara, and Armando Allen.

Idris Leppla, May I Have Your Attention Please?

The United States Air Force Academy is affiliated with the United States Air Force.

Beau Morgan: A Worthy Foe

Yippee ki yay, Mister Falcon.
In 1996, the Falcons came into Notre Dame Stadium and defeated the Irish 20-17, in Notre Dame's first-ever overtime game. No Irish fan in attendance will ever forget the name of Falcon quarterback Beau Morgan, who practically willed Air Force to victory.

Though Morgan completed only 5 of 11 passes for 51 yards, he rushed 23 times for 183 yards and a touchdown, picking up crucial, spirit-crushing yards seemingly every time he touched the ball. He also conducted the Band of the Fighting Irish in its halftime show The Songs of Billy Joel, performed the Heimlich maneuver on a choking fan sitting in Section 28, and filled in for Officer Tim McCarthy for that day's safe driving announcement:

"May I have your attention please? This is Deputy Beau Morgan of the Indiana State Police. Whether it's driving your car back to Colorado Springs or driving your football team down the field for a winning score, it requires alertness, concentration, and quick reflexes. So remember, if you're headed for the Rocky Mountains, lay off the Busch."

For all this, and so much more, we here at BGS give a tip of the cap, and coveted Worthy Foe Status, to former Air Force quarterback Beau Morgan. He is one of only two Worthy Foes for the 1996 season, joining former Ohio State running back That Damn Pepe Pearson.

When Coach DeBerry's Career Began to Short Circuit

Fisher DeBerry and Steve Guttenberg plead
their case for using robots to the NCAA
In every coach's life, there comes a time when he realizes that the game has passed him by. For Fisher DeBerry, it happened prior to the 2006 season. Hoping to level the playing field, so to speak, with some of the big-time programs in college football, DeBerry realized that he would be hard-pressed to compete with them for the top recruits. So, he hit upon the idea of using robots to fill out his roster.

Ultimately, however, the NCAA ruled against the use of robots, citing the inherent danger involved as well as the fact that such a practice would clearly be offensive to cyborgs. Miles Brand commented as follows: "Robots are everywhere, and they eat old people's medicine for fuel....And when they grab you with those metal claws, you can't break free, because they're made of metal, and robots are strong." I really can't dispute any of that. Chalk it up as a rare sensible decision by the NCAA.

The Government Knows You're Reading This Right Now

Dat's how da AF rolls
The National Security Agency was officially formed in 1952, after an embryonic stage of sorts which dated back to the National Security Act of 1947. The Director of the NSA, by law, must be a commissioned military officer with at least the grade of a three star lieutenant general or vice admiral. From 1999-2005, the Director was Air Force General Michael Hayden. In 2006, President Bush appointed Hayden to the post of Director of the CIA. We recently got Gen. Hayden's thoughts on this week's game, in a Blue-Gray Sky EXCLUSIVE:

"Yeah, Air Force up in dis bitch! We gonna run it down yo throats all day, son. We got luv fo' da flyers and Luvs fo' da liars. Tell Charlie to go eat another donut! You Irish 'bout ta get hit wit a LIGHTNIN BOLT!!! Peace out bitches. Dinkin' flicka."

QB Browns Alert Level Update: BLACK

Since it's been a while since the last update, I figured we'd check in on the progress of QB Browns. There really isn't much to report: the QB Browns Alert Level is ensconced in BLACK (Backup). Behind quarterback Derek Anderson, the Browns have been surprisingly frisky: they are 5-3 and are headed into a matchup with archrival Pittsburgh with first place in the AFC North on the line. They have benefitted from an easy schedule to this point: their five wins have come against teams with a combined record of 10-30, and one of their losses was to 2-6 Oakland. The schedule doesn't exactly get tougher: after this week's game in Pittsburgh, their remaining schedule is as follows (current record of each opponent in parentheses):

11/18 @ Baltimore (4-4)
11/25 HOUSTON (4-5)
12/2 @ Arizona (3-5)
12/9 @ NY Jets (1-8)
12/16 BUFFALO (4-4)
12/23 @ Cincinnati (2-6)
12/30 SAN FRANCISCO (2-6)
Total: 20-38

I'm calling my shot, ladies and gentlemen: the Cleveland Browns will go to the playoffs (where they will be promptly shellacked). But more to the point, QB Browns won't see the field this year in anything other than mop-up duty.

Prediction From the Oracle

With the Irish offense exploding last week for 44 overtime-assisted points, will The Blind Oracle at Bristol still have doubts about their ability to score? Let's find out.

"Having been weakened by one fighting force, reinforcements arrive to finish the job. The ninth plague descends from above. A flash of blue lightning, beautiful but deadly, like Lenin's goatee. Once led by a Fisher of Men, they now blaze their own path. Bottom line, the Irish lack the team speed to keep up with the Falcons. Air Force beats Notre Dame 35-10."