The Weekend: Week Five Games to watch

Here are the games to watch for the weekend in September.

We’re entering the final weekend of September, and the college football season has not disappointed.

Except for Clemson Tigers fans.

Clemson is 0-2 in the conference after losing to two of the best teams in the ACC, almost killing their chances to make it to the conference title game, which will likely court as an “automatic bid” for the College Football Playoffs.

After the loss to Florida State last weekend, the Tigers are projected to play in a bowl game that no one has heard of. Things don’t get easier for the Tigers as they travel to Syracuse, who is undefeated and unranked.

Sounds like a trap game to me.

Let’s check out the other games around the country this weekend.

Chargers EDGE Tuli Tuipulotu making early impression: ‘A real bright spot for our defense’

Tuli Tuipulotu has been the Chargers’ best rookie early on.

The Chargers’ pass rush brought the heat on Sunday.

They pressured Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill 14 times and sacked him a whopping five times.

It was a collaborative effort, but rookie Tuli Tuipulotu made his presence felt. The team’s second-round pick finished with three pressures and a sack.

“He has made a lot of progress,” Brandon Staley said. “He has made a lot of plays through two games and has been a real bright spot for our defense. He continues to improve. He’s been a playmaker for us for two games.”

Tuipulotu saw an uptick in playing time as Joey Bosa was on a limited snap count e was playing through a hamstring injury that kept him out of practice all of last week.

Tuipulotu was often used in pressure packages with Bosa and Khalil Mack lined up, which created mismatches and stressed blockers with their speed and power.

Tuipulotu’s most notable rep in the subpackages came on Bosa’s first sack. Tuipulotu occupied and split the left tackle and left guard to allow Bosa to loop around freely.

But Tuipulotu had one-on-one opportunities, including on his lone sack. He was lined up off the edge and went speed to power against the left tackle, which he bullied into the backfield and then disengaged to get to Tannehill.

Tuipulotu was also credited with four run stops on the day.

The Chargers need to work on defending the deep passes, but it helps when the pass rush is a well-oiled machine to minimize the amount of time for quarterbacks to get rid of the ball. Tuipulotu should continue to be a vital part of it.

Remember that Tuipulotu just recently turned 21 years old, so the best is yet to come.

Kirk Herbstreit updates top 7 college football rankings

Who does Herbstreit have in his top six? (Actually, 7 this week)

Week 3 of the college football season was supposed to be a dud. It turned out to be everything but that.

Georgia was tested by South Carolina. Tennessee was dominated at Florida. And Colorado won in a thrilling comeback against Colorado State.

We’ve seen different rankings, but how does Kirk Herbstreit see college football’s elite teams through three weeks?

Herbstreit released his top-six on Sunday night. No, Notre Dame (4-0) didn’t make the cut, but a pair of its opponents did — one of which it will see this weekend.

Below are Herbstreit’s top seven teams this week.

FIW Exclusive: Interview with Notre Dame commit Cam Williams, Part III

Hear from one of Notre Dame’s top 2024 commits.

[autotag]Cam Williams[/autotag] is a four-star receiver commit in Notre Dame’s 2024 recruiting class. He is the state of Illinois’ second-best recruit in that class according to 247Sports. He also happens to attend Glenbard South in Glen Ellyn, my alma mater. To say the least, it’s been great to have him represent the same school community I once did as a student and continue to do as an alumnus.

I had the opportunity to see him play his most recent game, and he scored two touchdowns. One of them came on this 62-yard run that I captured myself from the top of the bleachers. This run is a perfect indication that he once was a running back:

I had a chance to speak with Williams after the game, making this the third time he has spoken with this site. I did it once last year, and our own Michael Chen did the other interview not long before. Here’s what what he to say:

Notre Dame-USC: Weekly check-in with powerhouse Irish rival

USC: National champion threat or beating up on bums?

Every college football fans knows you can’t tell the history of college football without discussing both Notre Dame and USC.  It just so happens that this year’s Notre Dame-USC game has the potential to be the biggest between the two since at least 2005 and perhaps even longer than that.

Both teams are currently 3-0 and have some tough opponents before the October 14 meeting, but I feel safe in saying both sides of the rivalry are hoping for the other to be unbeaten when the matchup takes place.

We’re again checking in with the Trojans this week as Matt Zemek, the editor of Trojans Wire, was kind enough to update us on the 3-0 Trojans.

Highlight: Chargers EDGE Tuli Tuipulotu makes first big play vs. Dolphins

The Chargers’ second-round pick made a great play against the run.

There’s a reason the Chargers selected USC edge defender Tuli Tuipulotu in the second round this April.

That reason: run defense. Tuipulotu is a gifted pass rusher, but he adds much more bulk in the run game, where LA struggled mightily a year ago.

In the third quarter, that theory began to translate. Tuipulotu split two Dolphins blockers and met Miami running back Salvon Ahmed in the backfield. In a welcome change for a Chargers defender, Tuipulotu secured the tackle and wrestled Ahmed to the ground for a loss of two, his first TFL of his NFL career.

Notre Dame to play in 2024 Rady Children’s Invitational in San Diego

Make your travel plans for Thanksgiving weekend next year.

Notre Dame’s 2023-24 season won’t start for another two months, but we already know one event on its calendar for the 2024-25 season. The Irish will take part in the 2024 Rady Children’s Invitational in San Diego. Also participating are Purdue, BYU and latest entry Arkansas. The first edition of this invitational will take place this Thanksgiving weekend, so it’s safe to assume next year event also will happen at the same time.

Breaking the mold for the invitational in 2023 will be USC, Seton Hall, Iowa and Oklahoma. The Irish have their own multi-day event this season in the Legends Classic in Brooklyn. They’ll tip that tournament off against Auburn and then play either Oklahoma State or St. Bonaventure.

The difference between this year’s Legends Classic and next year’s Rady Children’s Invitational is that in the latter tournament, [autotag]Micah Shrewsberry[/autotag] will have a team more in line with what he’s looking for. Until then, he’ll go through some first-year struggles with a young roster that was patched together quickly out of necessity. It shows how different things can be from one season to the next.

Contact/Follow us @IrishWireND on Twitter, and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Notre Dame news, notes, and opinions.

Follow Geoffrey on Twitter: @gfclark89

Notre Dame football: How Irish opponents fared in Week 1

More concerned about the Duke game or Clemson game this year, Irish fans?

The first full weekend of college football has officially come and gone.  It started with a bunch of blowouts and ended with another one – one that just happened to be a traditional basketball school wiping the floor with a preseason top 10 squad.

Oh, and both of those teams are on Notre Dame’s schedule in 2023.

Notre Dame moved to 2-0 with a 56-3 beatdown of Tennessee State.  How did the rest of Notre Dame’s opponents do in Week 1 of the 2023 college football season?

Irish opponents went 8-2 this weekend (not including Tennessee State) – we take a look at all below.

How social media reacted to Notre Dame-Tennessee State: Irish side

What are your thoughts on the victory?

It probably goes without saying, but Notre Dame fans are happy right now. Their team followed up a 42-3 drubbing of Navy with a 56-3 thrashing against Tennessee State in its home opener. No, it won’t be this good the entire season, but it sure does instill confidence in both the team and the fan base for at least most of the rest of the schedule. We’ll see how much that confidence will pay off when it’s time to face Ohio State, USC and Clemson.

Even if this game was decided in the first half and thus plummeted interest in the second half, you still had Irish fans celebrated on social media afterwards. After all, since it won’t be this easy throughout 2023, one might as well let it all soak in while they can. Otherwise, it might be regrettable not to later on. Here are some of the best postgame tweets from Irish fans:

Glen Millican opens the next chapter with Missouri at Dalhousie Golf Club

Millican was named men’s golf coach at Missouri roughly a month before the start of the 2023-24 season.

Glen Millican’s history with the University of New Mexico encompasses his entire adult life. Until he landed in Columbia, Missouri, this fall, he had only ever known golf with the Lobos.

Millican played college golf for New Mexico in the late 1990s and at 23, joined then-head coach J.T. Higgins’ staff as an assistant coach. At 26, he took the head coaching role.

Millican was named head men’s golf coach at Missouri roughly a month before the start of the 2023-24 season, replacing Mark Hankins – who was set to replace longtime head coach Mark Leroux – when Hankins took the head men’s golf job at USC.

It’s hard for Millican to put into words exactly what led him to Missouri.

“I don’t have a specific reason why you would leave somewhere that you’ve been forever,” he said. “I had a great 30 years at New Mexico as a player and coach and it’s my alma mater so that place and that golf program is always going to mean a lot to me.”

Millican only beat his Missouri players to campus this fall by a couple of weeks. The Tigers roster includes four returners and five new players, including freshman Adam Miller, whom Millican and assistant coach Sean Carlon (formerly Millican’s assistant at New Mexico) had recruited at length, as well as Lobo transfer Virgilio Paz.

Mizzu set to host at Dalhousie Golf Club

This weekend, as Millican leads a team that’s not the Lobos into a tournament for the first time in his career, you might say the slate is clean at Dalhousie Golf Club in Cape Girardeau. Missouri is the host team for the 2023 Golfweek Collegiate Kickoff, a new event on the schedule that replaces the Tigers’ usual start at Turning Stone Tiger Collegiate in Verona, New York.

“We’ll go down to Dalhousie and play some golf and that will show us a lot more than we can find out this week,” Millican said of getting to know his new team, top to bottom. “And then we’ll be off to the races.”

Millican pays a lot of attention to history, and in that respect, there are similarities between New Mexico and Missouri that he can’t ignore. At New Mexico, Millican was very aware of the success of coaching legends that came before him, from Dick McGuire, Duane Knight and John Fields to his predecessor Higgins. At Missouri, he follows men like Richard Poe, Leroux and Hankins.

“Same type of situation where you’re coming in behind guys you have a lot of respect for, guys that have done a really nice job with the program and then had a lot of success, run it the right way, have built it, have made things better in their time here,” Millican said of Missouri.

New Mexico won eight Mountain West Conference titles under Millican and advanced to NCAA Regionals 20 times in his tenure. The Lobos finished in the top 25 at the 2023 NCAA Championship. In fact, Millican left such an impression that after he announced he’d taken the job at Missouri, his alma mater issued a press release simply thanking him. Just like at New Mexico, Millican said his goal at Missouri will be to find ways to make the program better.

“I felt like there’s a ton of opportunity here,” Millican said. “Obviously they’ve already shown that they’ve had really, really good years and had great players, All-Americans, future tour players come through here and we want to continue that and get more of those guys and continue to have great finishes and find ways to keep getting better in a really competitive game.”

As Millican notes, when you haven’t competed on a course before – as will be the case at Dalhousie – sometimes it’s not immediately apparent where the course will show its teeth. Bill Morrow, the General Manager of Golf Operations at Dalhousie, went right to the rough.

“We normally don’t have the rough up,” he said. “The golf course, it’s a world-class golf course. . . . It’s very scenic, tree-lined but great par 3s.”

Dalhousie, a Gary Nicklaus design that opened in 2002, appears among Golfweek’s Best Private Courses in Missouri and the Golfweek’s Best list of residential courses in the U.S. The course has hosted championships at every level, from the Missouri Amateur to the Missouri Valley Conference Championship to Gateway PGA-sanctioned events to the AJGA’s prestigious Rolex Tournament of Champions.

The closing three holes are particularly intriguing for a college event. No. 16 is a challenging, downhill par 4 with a fairway bunker on the left and a well-bunkered green while the uphill 17th is the longest par 4 on the golf course. The 18th hole features a green that stretches 105 yards from front to back.

“It’s a great closing par 5 and it’s just an amazing green complex from front to back,” Morrow said.

Summer rains have left the course in what Morrow calls spectacular shape. A new venue and new event will give Millican a good tell on where his team is to start the season.

“When you go somewhere you’ve never played, it gives you the opportunity to see how well you can really prepare and see how well you can handle things that may have come up that you didn’t expect,” he said. “You don’t really know until you know.”

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