One-on-one with Irish Legend Mike Golic

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Irish Legend Mike Golic joined Allison Hayes on ABC57 Saturday Kickoff to discuss the changes that have happened in his career over the last few months as well as the Notre Dame game against USF.

Allison: Things have changed for you quite a bit over the last few months, your role has changed. You did radio, now you’re back on TV calling games live once again for ESPN. How has that transition gone for you?

Mike: It was somewhat unexpected. So you just kind of have to go with the flow. I said to them, ‘Hey, let me go back and call college games again.' That’s what I first did when I got out of football and I love doing it, so they were agreeable to that and it started last week, calling games and looking forward to it each week now. And it really takes me back to the game and college football is just, it’s just fantastic.

Allison: Looking at this matchup, Notre Dame hosting USF, what do you see as the most intriguing aspect of this game on Saturday?

Mike: You look at South Florida and what they did at Citadel, over 300 yards rushing. They’ll run that ball. No doubt about it. And with the Charlie Weis bloodline, in Charlie Weis Jr., running that offense. You know it will have some twists and turns to it in the passing game, as well. But that’s what I would expect. Notre Dame, you know, certainly, Notre Dame got off to a shaky start. Understandable. We saw many teams, maybe except Clemson, get off to kind of a shaky start at times. But that run defense for Notre Dame is going to have to be pretty stout, specially up the middle.

Allison: I actually did a story on Charlie Weis, Jr. back in 2008. He was just 15-years-old. He was at St. Joe High School, in South Bend, and he was a manager on the team. And at that time, he was breaking down game film as if he were a college coach and that he went on to have an incredible season and I talked with Charlie Weis’ father about that, you know that dynamic and now here he is, actually an offensive coordinator at this level. What have your interactions been like with him over the years? You remember him when he was just a kid on the sideline at Notre Dame?

Mike: Oh yeah, absolutely. Charlie was a coach there when Mike first went to Notre Dame and then, Jake. So, yeah, I mean I met Charlie Jr. who was just a kid at that point. We’re talking about back in 2008. And you know, and I certainly got to know him. But the story, even though Charlie Weis, Charlie Jr.’s dad didn’t have the success he wanted to at Notre Dame. Charlie Weis is still such a smart football guy and a great coach that he was, especially in the NFL when he was a coordinator with the Patriots. Charlie Jr., he wanted to soak that up. He wanted to learn. So from an early age, he has been able to pick the brain and watched how his father, a highly intellectual football mind, goes about his business. So, there’s no doubt that at such a young age that Charlie Jr. wasn’t going to have a chance and show some success. I mean, the sky is the limit for him going forward.

Allison: And of course, looking at this match-up, his offense, playing two quarterbacks. Interesting. Some people say, ‘Hey, if you’ve got two, that means you don’t have one.'

Mike: Yeah.

Allison: What are your thoughts on USF playing two quarterbacks in the game?

Mike: Well, I’m still of the mind that you’d rather have one. You’d rather have the one guy that’s leading the way, instead of two. Then, you’re splitting reps in practice. Your O-Line is working with two different cadences from quarterbacks, and certainly, you’re going to rep it enough in practice, even though that practices and preseasons haven’t been the same, as they have in the past. You know, what that shows is where the talent level is there. They just don’t have a quarterback right now that says, this is QB1, all the time, no matter what. And, I’m sure, push come to shove, you would much rather be in that situation. But you have to deal with the talent you have and right now, if that means going with two quarterbacks, that’s what you have to do.

Allison: Absolutely and kind of, like you mentioned earlier, coming through this first week of college football, some teams struggled a little bit, kind of getting their feet, Notre Dame, a little bit of a slow start, finished out well. I’ve seen so many people, chattering and complaining on social media that, ‘Oh, Notre Dame, they’re no good, they should’ve done this, they should’ve dominated.' What are your thoughts on this team, and seeing what they did well, and what you’d still like to see them improve on as they go forward this season?

Mike: Well, again, we saw a lot of teams struggle. But let’s also be honest. Notre Dame has struggled blowing out teams they should blow out, right? They have sometimes played down to the level of their opponent. We’ve seen that in the past. You would love, and occasionally, they would do it, where, ok, Notre Dame is supposed to handle this team and they handled them. But there are times where it’s shaky. And you add this year in the fact of how the preseason went and wasn’t normal. So it was going to be a bit of a slow start and it was. It certainly was. You see some of the struggles between the offense and Ian Book still. Still trying to get his feet under him, you know and be that consistent quarterback that we saw a couple of years ago. I think he struggled at times finding that, again. But I think that’s, while Notre Dame has been winning, that’s kind of been the thing about Notre Dame is that they struggle at times, when they shouldn’t and I think that’s a hump they’ve been trying to get over for a while.”

Allison: Absolutely. I want to see some domination.

Mike: Yeah.

Allison: But hey, it’s been a tough 6 months for just about everyone in the country. So I think Notre Dame takes the win and they move forward. My last question for you. We kind of joke around about it. But baby number 3 on the way. I’m going to have two boys, 18 months apart. You have a lot of experience yourself with your boys, Mike Jr. and Jake, just 15 months apart. What advice do you have for me?!

Mike: Um, really, I would say, entice with cash or other things, your 11-year-old daughter to help out. You know what. I think that’s a great age. She can start to learn to help out a little bit, because yeah, those 18 – Mike and Jake were 15 months apart and at times, it felt like they were twins in doing what they were doing. That, Mike sometimes would revert back to some of the baby things Jake would do. So you may get that, you may not get, but I wish you the best of luck. You have three kids now. So you are now out of man-to-man. You’re going to a zone defense, which is something you’re going to have to deal with. But definitely, you can entice your 11-year-old daughter to help out.

Allison: I’m going to try to entice everybody I know to help out. Leave us with just one parting shot here. What do you have for a prediction for this game?

Mike: Oh, I think Notre Dame wins this game. Again, I would love to see them take care of business the way they should. I think it will be a double-digit win. I think, eventually, they’ll roll up on this team. So I would expect a 17 to 20 point win.

Allison: Alright. Thank you so much, Mike Golic. We hope to see you back on campus, hopefully, if they open things up in December. We love having you though.

Mike: Oh, I appreciate it and we will be there. Whether or not fans can get in or not. We’ll be around. Good luck to you!

Allison: Thank you.

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