Originally posted on Crystal Ball Run  |  Last updated 4/24/13
Rumblin', bumblin', stumblin'. (Photo Courtesy: USA Today Sports) Only a few months removed from its crushing loss in the BCS Championship game to Alabama, Notre Dame finds itself in unfamiliar territory: In the national conversation. For the Irish, this is a significant development, and a situation that has only occurred two or three times in the last 20 years. Entering the 2013 season, Brian Kelly can focus his energy on addressing a few specific questions and figures to be in excellent position for another successful campaign. Saturday’s annual Blue-Gold Game was the de facto beginning to Notre Dame’s follow-up effort. Some general observations: *Defense ruled Defense remains the central theme for the Irish, so it should come as no  surprise that the defensive squad won by an inventive, scrimmage-only score of 54-43. (Strangely, last year’s defensive team won by the same margin.)  Notre Dame’s front seven should again be one of the best in the country, and though its secondary has questions at safety, the experience from last season should help catapult younger players towards a better season. *Irish Chocolate tastes so sweet Louis Nix played offense. And scored. Important note: This isn’t going to be a secret weapon situation moving forward. Also important: It was fun to watch. *Martin making the calls Chuck Martin will be taking over offensive playcalling duties from Brian Kelly. We’ll see if this sticks, but as Mike Mayock pointed out, Martin and Kelly are like-minded when it comes to calling offense, so it would seem to be a natural fit. *Crowded backfield George Atkinson III is ready to take the next step as a running back, but will need to overcome some challenges to get there. Atkinson has blazing speed, but runs with a high pad level, which was highlighted emphatically when Carlo Calabrese delivered a crushing blow to him early in the game. It will be interesting to see how Kelly splits up work in the backfield this coming season as Cam McDaniel, Amir Carlisle and potentially freshman Greg Bryant could all contribute. *Golson... Guh! For what it’s worth, Everett Golson looked dreadful. Spring scrimmages are often a poor barometer for future success, and Golson’s in-season growth throughout 2012 should not be overlooked, but it was clearly not his best effort. Kelly commented that Golson resorted to old “playground football” tendencies in Saturday’s game, which was a fairly accurate description. Most of Golson’s throws were woefully off target, and his presence in the pocket was lackadaisical at best. The expectation is that Golson will improve upon his completion percentage this coming season; Saturday’s effort didn’t do much to boost confidence. Both Tommy Rees and freshman Malik Zaire looked more impressive.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Carson Wentz out for season with torn ACL

Roger Goodell: Colin Kaepernick not being blackballed by NFL

Stanton said to be ‘very happy’ over trade to Yankees

Victor Oladipo ‘sick and tired’ of Paul George comparisons

NFLPA to investigate Tom Savage concussion

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Josh Gordon says Packers CB ‘couldn’t hold my jock strap’

Orioles GM hints team will not trade Manny Machado

NFL signs $500 million deal with Verizon to stream games

Top takeaways from Sunday's Week 14 action

Jack Morris, Alan Trammell voted into Baseball Hall Of Fame

Dirk Koetter responds to report that he has not supported Jameis Winston

Sports & Politics Intersect: When Olympic gold corrupts

The naughty and nice athletes list for 2017

Dissecting the road to the NFL postseason

The 'And the winner is...' quiz

The NFC playoffs will be loaded from top to bottom

The 14 most intriguing NFL draft prospects playing in 2017 bowl games

Why Antonio Brown deserves to be in MVP discussion

Is this when Zach Werenski and the Blue Jackets really get their season going?

Joel Embiid and displacing fundamental truths

The 'What's old is new again (but also still old)' quiz

NHL Weekender: Caps gain ground, Kings ready to rule?

NFL Week 14 predictions

Fighting Irish News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

NFL Week 14 injury report

Sports & Politics Intersect: When Olympic gold corrupts

The best games of 2017

The naughty and nice athletes list for 2017

The 'And the winner is...' quiz

NHL Weekender: Caps gain ground, Kings ready to rule?

Dissecting the road to the NFL postseason

The 'What's old is new again (but also still old)' quiz

The NFC playoffs will be loaded from top to bottom

NFL Week 14 predictions

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker