Sunday, October 5, 2014

Deja almost-vu in South Bend

The song commands that you wake up the echoes, and so, in that most resonant of places, they begin to stir a bit again.

Which is to say: It's starting to look, feel and smell a little like 2012 up there in the Land O' Rockne.

2012 was the year Notre Dame had Everett Golson at quarterback and a defense that allowed only intermittent slivers of daylight, and yet it seemed to impress fewer people with every victory. As the Irish climbed toward 12-0, every week was the week when America would find out just how good (or not good) the Irish really were.

And then that week would come around, Notre Dame would win again, and the next week would become the true test of its worth.

And now?

Now Everett Golson is at quarterback again. And the defense isn't letting anyone drink a drop again. And, at 5-0, the Irish are still perpetually a week away from proving how good (or not good) they really are.

That was the theme music Saturday against No. 14 Stanford, and as in 2012, the Irish danced gracefully to it. In a come-from-behind 17-14 victory, Golson threw for 241 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winner to Ben Koyack with a minute to play. The defense, meanwhile, planted the Stanford run game -- the Cardinal scratched out just 47 yards on 32 attempts -- and limited the Cardinal to just 14 first downs and 205 total yards.

And now, with Texas A&M and Alabama both going down Saturday, the Irish are climbing through the top ten again. They're undefeated again. And they still may or may not actually be any good.

The echoes of  2012 may not yet be fully awake. But they're coming closer to wakefulness every week.

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