Well now, how you liking the football season so far?
Seriously, did you see that crazy end of the Alabama-Auburn game, with the Tide’s missed field goal and then a 100-yard-return for a Tigers TD with no time left? ’Bama QB AJ McCarron said it was “almost like a video game… something you do on Madden or NCAA. It was just a wild play.” It really was. I haven’t seen anything like that before. According to NCAA records, it was like only the fourth time that a missed field goal was returned a hundred yards! That might be the best college football game I’ve ever seen.
We stay in a hotel even for our home games, just so the coaches can keep an eye on us, LOL. The wake-up call comes way too early for me—8 or 8:30 a.m.—so I just unplug all the phones!
So with the conference championship games coming up, who’ve ya got for the BCS title game? My Fighting Irish and I played that game last January against then reigning champs Alabama. If Florida State beats Duke and Ohio State beats Michigan State, the voters really don’t have a choice. There are other deserving teams like Auburn and Mizzou, but I’m pretty sure that’s how it’ll play out—two undefeated teams going at it. If Ohio State goes unbeaten for two years, that’s pretty impressive and it’ll be pretty crazy if they don’t get in. My Fighting Irish could be going to a nice-weather game like the Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego or the Hawaii Bowl. If all goes well, I’ll be playing NFL playoff football when that happens.
Right now, we’re 8-4 and leading the AFC North. Last weekend, we grinded out a 17-10 win at San Diego by running the ball hard for 164 total yards. Veteran BenJarvus Green-Ellis paced the running attack and my fellow rookie Giovani Bernard stepped it up. That’s what the Chargers’ defense was dictating we needed to do. You’ve got to take what the D gives you, and we did, 38 times. Meanwhile, our own defense continues to play good, solid football. We can always rely on them.
When we’re running that much, it’s normally out of a two tight end formation, and we’re often blocking at the point of attack. I’ve still got to learn more about blocking in the NFL, but when you make a big block that springs your back, it feels pretty good! Jermaine Gresham and I didn’t get too many targets between us, which can be a little frustrating, but the team’s winning and it’s all good.
Next up we’ve got fellow AFC contenders Indianapolis, which could be a conference tiebreaker down the road. That’s huge, and then we have two more divisional games also coming up. Our motto is stick together, don’t splinter up, and we’ll be alright.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis picked up 92 yards and TD to go along with his sweet name.
It’s nice having three of our last four games at home, and my routine the night before has me hitting the sack pretty early for a 1 p.m. Sunday kickoff. We stay in a hotel even for our home games, just so the coaches can keep an eye on us, LOL. I’ll watch a movie or catch up on the college games on Saturday evening. Then it’s lights out about 10:30 or so. The wake-up call comes way too early for me—8 or 8:30 a.m.—so I just unplug all the phones!
We don’t have to be at the stadium till 10:15, so I get up about 9.30 a.m. and eat a quick breakfast to get there on time. At the stadium, I take a shower and get fully awake. Then the quarterbacks, tight ends and receivers go out before we officially warm up and just get some routes in, not full speed. We come back in and put on our pads, then head back out with the team for the warm up, run some more routes and plays and do some blocking.
We return to the locker room about 30 minutes before game time, Coach Lewis says a few words, and then we say the Lord’s Prayer as a team. I try to stay pretty even keeled and conserve my energy. Some players get really jacked up, that’s their way. Then it’s back out for player introductions, the national anthem and game on!
I got some much-needed rest during our Bye week. I really enjoyed my time away, and now I’m refreshed for the stretch run. I’m not putting too much pressure on myself, just trying to play well and help the team continue to win. I figure if I can keep doing that, the rest will take care of itself.
Please hit me up on Twitter @EiferTy85. Go Irish, and Who Dey!
—As told to Ashley Jude Collie