Temple-Notre Dame Q&A: Enter The Subway Domer

Temple-Notre Dame Q&A: Enter The Subway Domer

With Temple and No. 14 Notre Dame set to kick off at 3:30 p.m. Saturday (NBC / 97. 5 The Fanatic), we scoured the internet (ran a Twitter search) to find the best semi-amusing ND blogger we could find. We came up with The Subway Domer, who's the A-No. 1 Tommy Rees supporter on the interwebs. Our chat with the Domer appears below, and I answer some Temple questions over on his site. Enjoy:

1. First off, I had no idea Tommy Rees was referred to as the Reesus. I'm not sure this is a question. Respond.

Obviously, there is a resurrection that is happening here. It's OK. It may take 2000+ years before some people accept Reesus into their heart. The prophecies were correct!

@TheSubwayDomer @tricerapops @kevib47 How's this for photoshop? ::Flex:: pic.twitter.com/LcqIAtwDCb

— Brendan McAlinden (@verypiratey) August 12, 2013

2. As far as Tommy's concerned, he had some moments last year when he came into games, righted the ship, swung some games, and really kept the National Title hopes alive. But you guys had to think he would fully take a back seat to Everett Golson this year, right? Now Golson's off the team and Rees is back under center. Odd as it sounds considering what he did at times last year, is this a disappointment?

Yes and no. Golson would have definitely been been the starter, and Irish fans (myself included) would have been extremely pumped to see Everett blossom and grow in Year 2. But ... things happened, and we have Tommy Rees. I am still confident that this offense will do pretty well this season. Tommy is a senior, he knows the offense better than anyone, and he has won a lot of games for the Irish. I'm sure there is a little disappointment, but if the wins start rolling in, no one will care.

3. Another Tommy question before we move on: How does the Rees-Brian Kelly dynamic play amongst the fan base? There are always coaches who get on players, but for casual observers of the program, this is an especially high-value source of entertainment.

Honestly, I don't know if the fanbase is really all that concerned with it. It's noticeable, but more in a way that says, "Tommy is a tough dude, he can take Purple Face." This is almost a non-factor in my thought process during a game.

4. The Irish defense is now without it's most high-profile player from last year in Manti Te'o, but defensive tackle Louis Nix is likely a top-10 pick and the defensive line is arguably still the best in the country. The defense carried the team to the title game last year. Is it still on that level?

I truly believe that it is. Te'o was a great linebacker at Notre Dame, but like most great linebackers, he had a lot of help from the big boys in front of him with their hand on the ground. The defense returns so much back, and the secondary should be even better than last year when the Irish had to piece together the unit due to injuries. It may sound strange since this defense lost the runner-up to the Heisman ... but they will probably be better than 2012.

5. We just mentioned him, and we can't get through this talk without addressing it: Manti Te'o and Lennay Kekua/Ronaiah Tuiasosopo. The Internet can be a cruel place, but for a good while, people couldn't get enough and the details only got weirder, which kept feeding at the beast. How was the whole thing received amongst the fan base? Were Domers just as morbidly curious and entertained as the rest of us, or was there a sense of embarrassment or sympathy or exhaustion or ... ?

No offense, but I have zero time for any of this. Didn't care much then and don't really care now.

6. We're around a year out from ND's announcement that it's joining the ACC in 2014. The football independence is still in tact but now comes with a mandated five ACC dates a year. How was the move viewed at the time and how is it viewed now, a year later? Was there ever a shot with the Big Ten? Was that preferable? Or did it not particularly matter once the Big East became a rapidly sinking ship?

There's mixed opinion about this whole ACC deal, but I personally welcome the partnership. Notre Dame will never join the Big 10. Geography is the only similarity for that type of alliance. The ACC and ND fit together quite nicely and is a better match in terms of academics, and overall mission. Notre Dame would join the Sun Belt before they join the Big 10 (there's a history of "screw you" there).

7. Let's go back to June, when ND still had 14 teams on its 2014 schedule and things with Arizona State were getting testy. Since then, the Temple game originally scheduled for next year at Lincoln Financial Field was pushed back to 2015. You're Jack Swarbrick: Who would you have dropped at the time? And you've still got one more team to axe from next year's schedule. Who would you like to see bumped now?

Temple was the right call then and is still the right call as to what team needed to be dropped. As for the next "cut," I would say it should be Rice, but it could most likely be Northwestern.

8. I'm not breaking new ground here. Notre Dame fans are perceived as arrogant. Give us your best arrogant response. Inject a little bit of religious fervor into this if you're so inclined.

I can't believe I'm wasting my time by answering questions from a Temple writer?

9. Perfect segue to bring this back around to Temple and close this up. Is this game already an afterthought for Irish fans? Like, "Yeah, we have a game against some Jewish school (kidding) but the season starts Week 2 vs. Michigan." Accurate, not accurate?

A little bit. Mostly, Irish fans are just excited to get the season started and get this weird offseason behind us. If this was the third game of the season, I think you would see us looking past Temple quite a bit more, but we love football and are just excited to start another run at the title.

10. Last one. We've known the spread was going to be quite large for some time, and that it was only going to get bigger. I'm writing this to you on a Tuesday and the line is currently Notre Dame (-29.5) or (-30) depending on where you get your numbers. That number is getting a lot of love here locally, and not for emotional, fan-related reasons, with Temple to cover. If you're putting down on this game, are you taking or laying the points?

Historically, Notre Dame hasn't covered the spread very well and this would look like another game that I would take the opponent and the points -- at least a couple of years ago. Temple is not a good football team, and Kelly really steps on the throat against those types of teams. I'll spot ya 30. [ducks]


Head over to Subway Domer as we flip things around and talk Temple.

Sans Spellman, challenges face Villanova in run to repeat

Sans Spellman, challenges face Villanova in run to repeat

VILLANOVA, Pa. — Darryl Reynolds said it hurt. And he wasn’t alone. 

A month ago, Reynolds and the rest of the Villanova Wildcats found out five-star freshman big man Omari Spellman would not be eligible to play in 2016-17.

And despite Spellman — at 6-foot-9 and 260 pounds — being the biggest competition cutting into Reynolds’ playing time for his senior year, Reynolds understood the ramifications from losing what was expected to be a key cog in Villanova’s next run for glory.

“We lost a — no pun intended — big piece to the puzzle,” Reynolds said Tuesday at Villanova’s media day. “He went down, but everybody else has realized that we need that much more from everybody else.

“Me and Omari are close, in more ways than on the court. It would’ve been exciting to play with him. But it also provided that much more motivation.”

Motivation because Reynolds, a Lower Merion grad, also understands what the ramifications mean for him, too. The 6-foot-9, 240-pound senior may arguably be the most important player on the 2016-17 Wildcats. 

For three years, Reynolds has largely taken a backseat, hidden by the shadow of Daniel Ochefu. Now he’s front and center.

“He battled through that,” fellow senior Josh Hart said. “Never complained. Never had any down moments. Brought it every single day. We know he can play at this level.”

Reynolds heads a position in which Villanova was supposed to have depth. Now it has question marks. Reynolds and Spellman were going to be a 1-2 punch inside and a perfect supplement to a bevy of offensive talent around them. The question marks up front include sophomore Tim Delaney and freshman Dylan Painter. How quickly the two of them get going will be big. And so, too, will be figuring out where Fordham transfer forward Eric Paschall fits in the rotation.

Coach Jay Wright, who said Reynolds would be a starter, talked more about the other pieces behind Reynolds when asked what he’d be expecting from the senior big man.

“I think part of our challenge is Tim Delaney and Dylan Painter,” Wright said. “Which one of them, if not both of them, can step up and give us the depth that Darryl gave us last year up front when we needed size? Down the stretch in big games against big-time teams, you need that size. We’ve got to develop Tim and Dylan and see how they do with that, see how Eric Paschall can do. Can he play bigger? We definitely have our challenges.”

Those challenges also include replacing leadership roles vacated by Ryan Arcidiacono, Ochefu and a trio of walk-ons.

Insert Reynolds there, too. The Wildcats will start three seniors this year. Hart and Kris Jenkins may do most of the scoring, but they’re pretty reserved off the court and when talking to the media.

“Obviously Ryan (Arcidiacono) was a great leader for us. He was our rock,” Hart said. “When you look at this team, a lot of times we look at [Reynolds]. He calms everybody down. He vocally tries to make sure everybody’s on one accord. Basketball-wise, he’s always been good. You saw the Providence game last year when we needed him to step up and he had, what, like 19 and 11?”

Hart remembers the numbers well, even if he added an extra rebound to the ledger. Reynolds was 9 for 10 from the floor and had two blocks in 36 minutes of action to help the Wildcats earn revenge with a road win after the Friars beat them in Philadelphia two weeks prior.

That game was the last of a three-game stretch in late January into early February when Ochefu was sidelined with a concussion. Reynolds’ minutes over that stretch: 29, 31 and 36, respectively.

That experience, Reynolds says, coupled with the rest of 2015-16 — when he saw an uptick in minutes from his sophomore season’s 5.4 per game to 17.1 per game — will be easy to draw from in 2016-17.

“There’s nothing like getting out there and actually playing,” Reynolds said. “You see a lot from the sidelines. You learn a lot playing spot minutes. You get different things. But just being out there throughout entire games, playing 20-plus minutes, it teaches you things that you could never have learned from another perspective. I learned a lot from those experiences and I think it made me the player that I am in many ways. It’s the same thing with this year. I’m still going to learn a ton in a sense of being out there that much more and not having Daniel. 

“In many ways he taught me a lot. So not having him, not having that voice in my ear, not having that guy to go against in practice, it will make me grow up. 

“Nothing wrong with that,” he said with a smile.