|Irish coach Charlie Weis doesn't mind Michigan's Hart for guarantee|
|Written by Admin|
|Sunday, 09 September 2007 15:19|
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) - Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis has no problem with Michigan tailback Mike Hart guaranteeing a victory against the Fighting Irish.|
``If I watched the (Notre Dame) games the last two weeks, I might have made the guarantee myself,'' Weis said Sunday.
The Irish haven't done much right so far this season.
Following a 31-10 loss to Penn State on Saturday, the Irish offense still hasn't scored a touchdown this season. It has minus-8 yards rushing. It's last in the nation in rushing offense, total offense, tackles for loss allowed and sacks allowed.
The Irish are 0-2 for just the sixth time in school history.
In short, the Irish are bad. And unless things change quickly, they could be on their way to a historically bad season.
The 45-point spread in those three games is still less than the 51-point spread the past two weeks. So any loss to Michigan (0-2) on Saturday would surpass that mark.
Including last season's 44-24 loss to USC in the regular-season finale and the 41-14 loss to LSU in the Sugar Bowl, the Irish have lost four straight by 20 points or more for the first time in school history. They also have given up 30 or more points in four straight games for the first time since the final four games of the 1999 season.
In Weis' 17 games as Notre Dame coach, the Irish have given up 30 or more points 10 times. That is two more than Tyrone Willingham's teams gave up in 36 games and two less than Davie's squads gave up in 60 games.
Despite those stats, Weis sees reason for hope on defense.
The offense is worrisome.
Weis arrived here touted as an offensive guru who helped the New England Patriots win three Super Bowls in four years. And for the first two seasons, the Irish offense has generally played well, setting some school records.
Now the Irish are on course to set records for futility.
The Irish, who had never scored fewer than 14 points in Weis' first two seasons, have just 13 points this season - with the lone TD coming on a 73-yard interception return by Darrin Walls.
The offensive line is the biggest concern. The Irish have given up 15 sacks in their first two games and are on pace to break by midseason the school record of 38 sacks allowed.
The sacks have warped Notre Dame's rushing stats, leaving them in the negative for the season. But there's no doubt the Irish have been unable to run the ball.
``Our running game is inadequate at this time,'' Weis said. ``It's a subject that is going to be continued to be broached. The problem is it was broached last week and we got back to some fundamental runs we didn't handle very well at the point of attack.''
So the Irish will try to focus on that in practice this week. Weis believes the problem can be fixed.
``I think as long as the coaching staff takes accountability and the players take accountability and there's no finger-pointing, you have a very good chance of fixing the problems,'' he said.
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