Irish still have questions to answer before fall

Conjuring up memories of “The Fridge” during the Chicago Bears’ championship season of 1985, Notre Dame but super-sized nose guard Louis Nix in the backfield for a play during Saturday’s Blue-Gold Spring Game.
Nix, listed at 305 (pretty sure those last two digits should be reversed) but still gifted athletically, had a bet with Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly.

So after the only touchdown of the spring game was scored, Nix came trotting out for the two-point conversion. He lined up at quarterback in the shotgun, faked as if he was going to pass, and then pulled the football down and rambled up the middle.

All that was missing was the sound of the Purdue train whistle. Sorry Boilermakers, but Notre Dame has a “Freight Train” in its playbook.

Linebacker Kendall Moore could have attempted to tackle Nix at the goal line. Instead, he quickly got out of the way — along with everyone else.

“They were scared,” said Nix. “I wouldn’t want to tackle me. Would you?” Nix asked. “I saw fear in his eyes. I would have done the same thing.”

Kelly said he wasn’t too concerned with the lack of offensive production. A lack of depth on the lines forced the Irish coaching staff to again go with a spring game concept that was nothing more than offense vs. defense. A manufactured scoring system enabled the defense to prevail 54-43.

The offense also benefited from some bogus bonus points, but the only scoring came from three field goals by Nick Tausch and a touchdown connection between freshman quarterback Malik Zaire and C.J. Prosise that covered 35 yards.
Then came Nix to part the defense.

Returning starting quarterback Everett Golson completed just 6 of 13 passes for 98 yards and was picked off in the end zone by safety Matthias Farley.

The crowd of 31,652 was about 7,000 less than the average spring crowd in the Southeastern Conference. In the SEC, seven schools had at least 35,000 in attendance — Auburn (83,401), Alabama (78,315), Tennessee (61,0760). Arkansas (51,088), Kentucky (50,831), Georgia (45,113) and South Carolina (35,218).

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About Randy Beard

Randy Beard has been at the Courier & Press since 2007 and became the sports editor in 2012. He has previously been a sports editor at the Anderson (S.C.) Independent-Mail and the Tallahassee (Fla.) Democrat. He began his professional sports journalist career in 1976 and has spent his career primarily covering college sports in the ACC, SEC and Big Ten. He's also covered the NFL, the original North American Soccer League and professional tennis and golf. He's covered two Super Bowls, three college football national championship games, dozens of NCAA basketball tournament games, an Olympics, a World Cup and once hung out with soccer legend George Best for two days and sat in a golf cart with Jan Stephenson.

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