November 23, 2012 // Notre Dame Football

#1 Notre Dame @ USC – Key Matchups

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Southern California Trojans receiver Robert Woods (2) scores on a 29-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter against the Colorado Buffaloes at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

Notre Dame controls its own destiny, if they defeat their biggest rival, the USC Trojans, they’ll play for the national championship.  College Gameday will be on hand for the primetime showdown, marking the third time Notre Dame has been on gameday this year.  The Trojans will be without star quarterback Matt Barkley, but they still possess many weapons the Irish must slow down.  The following are this week’s key matchups for the battle between the Irish and the Trojans:

KeiVarae Russell versus Robert Woods

True freshman cornerback KeiVarae Russell will also face his toughest test of the season against Robert Woods.  Woods is the other half of the best one-two punch at receiver in college football.  The standout junior has tallied 66 receptions for 721 yards and 10 touchdowns this season.  Woods can both beat you deep and make you miss to turn a three yard throw into a 50 yards gain, so Russell’s speed and tackling will be tested.  Russell is fifth on the Irish with 47 tackles, a few of which have save touchdowns.  Russell will need his best effort of the season to contain Woods.

Bennett Jackson versus Marqise Lee

Bennett Jackson has seen plenty of elite receivers this season, but none more talented than Marqise Lee.  Lee is the best receiver in college football; he has 107 receptions for 1605 yards and 14 touchdowns so far this season, to go along with over 100 yards rushing and a kick return touchdown.  Irish head coach Brian Kelly has said the key to stopping Lee is tackling as he does a lot of damage after the catch, luckily for the Irish Jackson can tackle.  Jackson ranks third on the Irish with 55 tackles and will need to perform as he did against high-powered passing attack Oklahoma to slow down Lee.

Tyler Eifert versus T.J. McDonald

One of the many matchups Saturday that features two future NFL players going head-to-head will be Tyler Eifert versus T.J. McDonald.  Notre Dame`s all-American tight-end leads the Irish with 40 receptions for 555 yards and four touchdowns and has elevated himself to become one of the nation’s best blocking tight-ends as well.  Eifert`s blocking will be important as McDonald is a safety who likes to get involved in stopping the run as he leads the Trojans with 89 tackles.  McDonald is also strong in coverage and is very instinctive with two interceptions this season, so he and Eifert`s battle will truly be one to watch.

Christian Lombard versus Morgan Breslin

Notre Dame`s right tackle Christian Lombard has started every game for the Irish this season, and the former understudy of Taylor Dever will need to play his best this Saturday.  Lombard will be charged with shutting down Trojans defensive end Morgan Breslin.  Breslin has recorded 49 tackles, 17.5 tackles for loss, 11.5 sacks, and four bass breakups this season.  Breslin is an elite speed rusher, so Lombard will need to be technically sound to shut him down.

Comments to this Article

  • Jack W commented on November 23rd, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    I believe that if we score 30 points we will end the day 12 and 0. USC will move the ball on us but the quick decisions in the red zone will be difficult for the freshman and SC will have to settle for at least 3 field goals. Golson will need to win this game with his arm and legs but most importantly…with his head. I watched Michigan and mich st games yesterday and then watched OU and Wake and Golson has taken huge steps forward. 100 yards for Woods and we are good to go

    GO IRISH!

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  • mark commented on November 23rd, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    this one will be the toughest test all year..If we play to our potential, and SC has an off day, ND will win! The key will be who ever wins the turnover battle.

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  • Ghost of Joe Moore commented on November 23rd, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    The only key to this game is the Irish bring the sledgehammer to LA LA land with them. It aint gonna be a blow out but the Irish definitely win this game. Thats all I have to say about that.

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  • ndfaninmonterey commented on November 23rd, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    Special teams!

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  • Toulmin H. Brown commented on November 23rd, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    SC receivers versus Notre Dame D.

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  • St. Pat commented on November 23rd, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    Have to get pressure sending 4. Make the freshman qb read the defense and make good decisions with a lot of guys dropping into coverage. Our defense needs to play well once again.

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  • Jane englert commented on November 24th, 2012 at 11:09 am

    I wish them a good game with no. Injuries for either team.

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  • storespook commented on November 24th, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    Try to treat this game like the previous 11 games ND has won. I realize the the pressure on this particular game is quite different. The coaching staff better be just as prepared as the team itself. When you have a backup QB making his first start and loudly proclaiming USC will win this game either smacks as stupidity unless he backs up his mouth. Keep in mind also this same opponent said ND were quitters in last year’s game. Golson will have to make smart decisions, the D, well, I hope they let old Max know just who the hell they are by the end of the game. If ND can establish a run game to eat some clock, it will keep that highly skilled corps of USC receivers off the field. I am actually glad this game is in LA. The boys in Blue & Gold have played well on the road and nothing is better than a good USC beatdown at Troy, yes sireeee.

    A great swelling in the ocean of Blue & Gold is arising. The Irish tsunami is coming to wash away the Trojans.
    It’s arriving, it’s power.

    We are the Irish
    Gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo Irishhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

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  • BJ commented on November 24th, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION

    YOU GOTTA BELIEVE

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  • Ghost of Joe Moore commented on November 24th, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    My Irish are on a business trip. They will not disappoint. I expect great O line play and a D with a wee bit of attitude and all will be well! GO IRISH!!!

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  • C-Dog commented on November 24th, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    This comes down to the defensive front controlling the line of scrimmage, and even more so, getting to the QB to rattle him. I’d play the linebackers to play zone blitz, or drop and read. The corners need to play tight with confidence that the safeties will cream the reciever if a catch is made.

    Finally the offensive line not only needs to play tough but the coaches need a run scheme that will allow long sustained drives.

    Finally, just like the Stanford, USC game, the coaches need to show patience. Keep SC from scoring big points and their defense will tire. Assuming the game is close or ND is ahead in the 4th quarter, look for large gains on bruising runs.

    Jump on these guys and give them a tast of adversity and they will cave in.
    Turn the ball over and give them hope going into the second half and it’s going to be a long day.

    I’m confident that Kelly will have this Irish team ready for showing it’s A game.

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    SteelFanRob replied on November 24th, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    Excellent analysis, C-Dog!

    I keep on waiting for I. Williams to make a statement at LB. He’s such a physical specimen. Perhaps tonight he makes a key play or two.

    Go Irish!

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    Ghost of Joe Moore replied on November 24th, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    Yep! The D is definitely for real and I expect contain run all game. Kelly also needs to keep the foot on the gas like he did against Oklahoma and offense will be alright! O line will make a statement this game and the run game should be better than average which aint bad either ! GO IRISH!

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  • BJ commented on November 24th, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    http://www.crackle.com/c/Rudy

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  • Fxm commented on November 24th, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    2 to dvantage in yards and time of possession withb3 point lead, hope that advantage pays off in the 4th qtr.

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  • SteelFanRob commented on November 24th, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    Would’ve loved to have turned at least another one of those redzone trips into a TD.

    A ten point lead would be better than a six point lead.

    Need the D to not give up any points on the USC opening drive. Then the O will ideally score a TD so ND would be up by 13 half way through the third quarter.

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  • ndfaninmonterey commented on November 24th, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    We need to get pressure on Wittek. We must blitz!

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    SteelFanRob replied on November 24th, 2012 at 11:03 pm

    ndfan,

    What we need on D is:

    Stop the run with our front 7

    Get T’eo more involved

    Put pressure with Tuitt and KLM

    If ND blitzes, do it in a zone-blitz scheme, like C-Dog suggested. Their QB doesn’t look like he’s a running threat so LBs can drop into zones.

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  • jonny commented on November 24th, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    positives :
    -our ability to ove the ball on offense
    -theo riddick
    -kyle brindza

    negatives :
    -they’r ability to move the ball on offense
    -i;m running out of beer

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  • ndfaninmonterey commented on November 24th, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    Big props to Kyle Brindza!

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  • ndfaninmonterey commented on November 24th, 2012 at 11:11 pm

    USC’s cb didn’t look back at the ball and he pushed Eifert before the ball got there. Where is pa call?

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  • SteelFanRob commented on November 24th, 2012 at 11:11 pm

    Hate to beat a season-long dead-horse but we have major red-zone problems on O. I just hope we can hang on to win in spite of them. But that was a bad O possession to not get even 3 points in a game that figures to be close. Of course what we really needed was 7!

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  • Fxm commented on November 24th, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    400 yards 16 points, no margin for error here.

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  • SteelFanRob commented on November 24th, 2012 at 11:38 pm

    Win or lose, BK really needs to re-evaluate his playcalling on O in the redzone. This game could well be over if ND has just 10 more points. That means Brindza makes the one he missed and one more redzone trip turns into a TD.

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    C-Dog replied on November 25th, 2012 at 11:34 am

    SFR,
    You hit that right on the money. I felt like the players brought their A game, and the coaches had the yip’s.

    At least Diaco adjusted and turned up the heat in the second half. Kelly really got conservative inside USC’s 30 yard line. Strange that for him it meant trying the over used fade route to Eifert or Goodman. Not sure anyone noticed, but the recievers were having difficulty with footing on cut backs.

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  • Fxm commented on November 24th, 2012 at 11:50 pm

    Here we go

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  • ETX IRISH commented on November 24th, 2012 at 11:54 pm

    I’m so nervous my hands are shaking.

    GO IRISH!!!!

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  • Fxm commented on November 25th, 2012 at 12:06 am

    So why no Riddick inside the ten when he is a “a man possessed”!!!!!!

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  • ndfaninmonterey commented on November 25th, 2012 at 12:07 am

    Holding on #7 of USC on that pass to Eifert.

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  • ndfaninmonterey commented on November 25th, 2012 at 12:07 am

    Playcalling in the redzone is horrible! Why is Kelly going away from what is working???

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    tommy651 replied on November 25th, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    i would like to see kelly put in a red zone offense, the spread is not too good in side the ten yard line. however i don’t know if notre dame has the personnel to do it. there isn’t a real power running back, i don’t think they even have a fullback on the team. so maybe they can’t do it, but they lose too many scoring opportunities the way it is now.

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  • SteelFanRob commented on November 25th, 2012 at 12:07 am

    Can someone please explain why we abandoned the RBs in the redzone? We were running the ball with oir RBs down their throats.

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    Ghost of Joe Moore replied on November 25th, 2012 at 1:07 am

    Irish should have thrown in the endzone when they got in the redzone all night. That aspect of the game was unfortunate!

    The turnover pick and no points on the chip shot fieldgoal sucked! We won however and while I am suspect on some of BK’s play calling – he did get them to 12-0. My 1988 National Championship banner hung each game needs to be retired. I want me a 2012 National Championship banner! GO IRISH!!!

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    C-Dog replied on November 25th, 2012 at 11:36 am

    On the last series ending in a field goal, they should have had a two tight end two back set. You have great blocking and know by watching tape, that USC’s defense tires in the 4th quarter. Slug them with a counter back through the middle. Lights out.

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  • Fxm commented on November 25th, 2012 at 12:12 am

    Ouch!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • Fxm commented on November 25th, 2012 at 12:18 am

    Wow, Lame baled us out., and our D

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  • SteelFanRob commented on November 25th, 2012 at 12:26 am

    Legendary D stand!

    ND #1!

    Here come Irish for the NC!!!

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  • tommy651 commented on November 25th, 2012 at 12:32 am

    who should notre dame play for the national championship? ohio state or nobody. since ohio state is ineligible notre dame is the national champ. they are the only undefeated team they should not have to play a one loss team for the championship. this shows the stupidity of the television forced playoff system.

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    Buckeye replied on November 25th, 2012 at 10:13 am

    If this were the 1970′s, the last time ND was even in this discussion, you would have a point but thing have changed since then.

    The Buckeyes would have 8 NC’s if they didn’t have to play a one loss Florida team and not many people thought Florida would win that game. This year you will most likely have a one loss Alabama and if you don’t think they are worthy of a title shot against an undefeated ND you should think again.

    Common opponents doesn’t always meany anything but both teams played Michigan with drastically different results even though ND played them at home and Alabama at a neutral site.

    In the interest of full disclosure I am not a ND fan and I think Alabama would blow the doors off of ND and I think a lot of people would agree. That is not a criticism of ND it’s just that Alabama look like men playing with boys most weeks. Besides if ND is the best team what is wrong with having to beat the consensus second best team, it’s not like ND has beaten any juggernauts this season.

    Like it or not the SEC is a cut above everyone else right now and I think any undefeated team should have to beat the best they have to offer to EARN a national championship.

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    spiceyirish replied on November 25th, 2012 at 10:24 am

    Who is a juggernaut in college football this year? All that matters is one day. You should know, Miami vs Ohio State ring a bell?

    I agree with you that the common opponents doesn’t always mean everything. It is used as a measuring stick, but it is match-ups, preparation, health and execution that day that matters in any sport.

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    C-Dog replied on November 25th, 2012 at 11:41 am

    @Buckeye,
    You really must represent the entire ignorant fan base and alum’s of that Ohio school. Are they all Gump’s like you?
    Notre Dame was in the conversation in the 1990′s, and in every decade from 1919 onward. This last decade was actually the worst for ND, but no more.
    Realize that the NCAA recognizes Notre Dame for 13 Football National Championships. That is the most of any team. ND can claim to parts of several others, but let’s use the NCAA for now.
    Also, let’s not forget the Ohio State is on probation and deservedly so. People should not forget that Tressel’s mess was not the first infraction. And isnt’ Maurice Clarett still in jail?

    Buckeye, obviously you, “Ain’t come to play school” either. Forest Gump would think you are the dummy.

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    JC replied on November 25th, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    Hahahaha, Amen C-Dog,

    Billy Buckeye believes he’s an expert psychosomatic persuader!

    Not to worry, Billy Buckeye, Bama is going down with or without your lip service!

    Here come the Irish! 13-0 NC!

    Buckeye replied on November 25th, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    First of all, the reference to the 1970′s was just a sarcastic way of saying that ND is not entitled to be named national champs because they are undefeated especially with the SEC’s dominance lately.

    I don’t know why you bring up the Buckeyes? I never said they should be in the conversation and even if they were I don’t think they could beat Alabama, I am a realist. I still think that a national championship should be settled on the field not in the polls, that was the discussion until you stooped to new lows. Jim Tressel vs. the ND coaching carousel over the last 15 years? That’s as one sided as Alabama vs. ND.

    I don’t know what other infractions you are talking about but at least we don’t have any ex-coaches institutionalized. Since Rudy has already been done maybe they can do a remake of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest with a ND twist.

    No school or person is perfect so why don’t you drop the sanctimonious crap and stick to the conversation. If you can’t win on the facts don’t comment, you are far too angry.

    JC replied on November 25th, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    Hahahahaha! Billy-Bob-Bad- Buckeye Angry Eagle!

    The Buckeye’s played the weakest schedule in the country! Yale could have went undefeated!

    Yea, we know all about the kookville realists here!

    Like you Buckeye, they too have a special relationship with their proctologist!

    By the way, we will love to settle this on the field!
    Stick around your not going to like the results!

    Here come the Irish! 13-0 NC!

    JDH replied on November 25th, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    Dear Buckeye,

    Why are you here? I find it so odd how fans of other teams/schools are have such dick envy of ND that they must come to our sites. It would never occur to me, in a 1000 years, to go to other teams blogs. So strange.

    Oh and I love how a group of Buckeye fans petitioned Obama to “pardon” OSU so they could go to a bowl. Classic OSU fanaticism and delusion. If your prez Mr. Smith (a spectacular moron and douchebag) would have just taken the ban LAST year, we’d look forward to playing you.

    C-Dog replied on November 25th, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    Buckeye,
    This is a blog for Notre Dame fans only. You can go spew your Forest Gump ignorance elsewhere. You mentioned the Buckeyes and now try to dissaciate yourself with them. So you have no idea why Ohio St is on probation? Who are you, Jerry Sandusky or just a fan of Jerry Sandusky.

    Notre Dame is on top for three reasons. 1. They are undefeated and have played one of the most competitive schedules in the country. 2. They are not on probation like that Ohio team in Columbus. 3. They also provide a true education to their players and people are waking up to that fact.

    The SEC is a third world education system worthy of getting folks jobs in a banana republic. Like Ohio St. their players “Ain’t come to play school.” Perhaps, Buckeye, you have avoided acknowledging the Ohio St. player who tweeted that comment.

    People who hate Notre Dame, also hate achievement and hate the effort required to keep our nation competitive in the world. Thoses folks would rather wait for someone to take care of them while countries like China overtake our once great nation.

    Notre Dame represents what can be great again in our country. Embracing Notre Dame is like embracing America. Hating Notre Dame is like hating America.

    Go Irish!!!

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    Buckeye replied on November 25th, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    C-Dog, you are an idiot. I guess you’re not related to Snoop Dogg since you spell your name with one ‘g’.

    What in the world does Jerry Sandusky have to do with Ohio State?

    Notre Dame is on top for one reason only, they are undefeated, therefore they should be on top. You should re-examine the toughness of their schedule however. You best wins are against 2-loss Stanford and Oklahoma. The Stanford win is questionable and Oklahoma, while talented, aren’t called Chokelahoma for no reason. Also, they are not ranked #1 because they “provide a true education” especially if your reasoning is an example of said education.

    I guess there are lot of people who hate achievement because there are many who don’t like ND but I think it has more to do with the pompous attitude and thin skinned insecurity of fans like you. Your insecurity is understandable however after two decades of football mediocrity hence the need to always introduce education into a football argument.

    I don’t read tweets, they are idiotic musings by people who have way too much time on their hands but I will take you at your word that a Buckeye player may have tweeted something that you find amusing. You seem to be the type that would be well versed on Twitter.

    The Forest Gump reference? I don’t get it, I am not an Alabama fan just a football fan who appreciates excellence and unfortunately for ND they will get to appreciate it first hand in January.

    Finally, you love to bloviate about strength of schedule, why won’t ND schedule Ohio State? Is it because of the beating in the Fiesta Bowl where we put up more yards against that team than any ND team in history? Or is it the back-to-back drubbings in the mid 90′s – when you say ND was still a relevent power? It really is too bad the Buckeyes can’t play in a bowl game because nothing would feel better than kicking the crap out of an overrated ND team.

    spiceyirish replied on November 25th, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    @ Buckeye… Why don’t you re-examine Notre Dame’s schedule. Notre Dame has beaten 8 bowl eligible teams (with the possibility of Pittsburgh becoming #9). Ohio State has beaten 7 bowl eligible teams (I’m counting Penn St., even though they can’t go. I didn’t count Miami for ND. I’m being a nice guy) Alabama has beaten 5 bowl eligible teams, while Georgia has been 4 bowl eligible teams. When we compare and contrast, Notre Dame schedule speaks loudly when compared to all other top teams.

    JC replied on November 25th, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    Brainless Buckeye,

    Whassamatta? Having a bad case of ND-phobia?

    Poor ‘Butt-eyes,’ have to stay home and watch ND win a National Championship!

    WOW, Really could have not asked for a better nightmare for you and your sycophantic minions!

    How’s that Urban Renewal program working out for ya! Hahaha!

    Oh, but your “just a football fan who appreciates excellence.” Hahahaha! Yeah, sure, the best procrustean ND psychobabble to date, hardly, your a bush league sore looser…get over yourself!

    However, I see you like the word “bloviate” I introduced to you in our last entanglement. Definately, impressive new metamorphosis of intellectualness for just a ordinary football fan! Oh well, I guess we have to live with some of your ‘ape’ mental retention.

    Finally, Woody Hayes only wanted to play ND in Columbus, he flat refused to come to South Bend! Woody completely rebuked a home and home series! So that set the standard or shall we say he did not want any part of ND! A well known fact! Google it!
    Anecdotal evidence won’t carry the day here!

    Here come the Irish! 13-0 NC!

    Book-it!

    C-Dog replied on November 25th, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    Buckee, or Buckeye, or Angry Eagle, or whomever you are. You really have exposed yourself for having a sad sorry existence. You go out of your way to come to a Notre Dame fan blogsite and insult those of us who are fans and/or alums or students and expect not to be shown what a loser you are.

    You’ve used the monicker, “Buckeye” for a reason. You referred to Ohio St. in your first post, yet you don’t have the courage to state your allegience. I can tell you that I am an alum from the 1980′s and was at Notre Dame when they won their 12th National Championship under Holtz. You have not idea what it’s like to be at a place where the players are students and are, “one of us”. We had class guys on that team. And real students.

    I make the reference to Sandusky because if you tal about Ohio State in any positive way, you must not care about ethics or morals. I make the case that you probably have no opinion on whether a school cheats or does very bad things to young boys and so I make the case that you would probably support Sandusky, Jim Tressel, Pete Carroll, Jimmy Johnson or and other cheating immoral creap.

    ESPN and other blog sites are for people like you. Go where you can wallow in the cesspool you came from.

    JDH replied on November 25th, 2012 at 11:34 pm

    Pompous and holier than thou like Buckeye fans thinking they shouldn’t be punished for cheating and then lying about it? And vomiting up hilarious BS about how Tressel did what he did because he loves his players so much. He is just so altruistic and he had no selfish motives. All about the kids….those kids at THE Ohio State University where 60% of them graduate.

  • jonny commented on November 25th, 2012 at 12:33 am

    WE DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • ndfaninmonterey commented on November 25th, 2012 at 12:37 am

    One more game!

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  • jack commented on November 25th, 2012 at 12:53 am

    I woke my kids up when the clock was at zero. Gentleman the Jameson was smooth

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  • Nuts4ND commented on November 25th, 2012 at 12:58 am

    ND rocks! Lane Kiffen is a horrible coach -his daddy set him up nicely. See you fellas in Miami!

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  • Ghost of Joe Moore commented on November 25th, 2012 at 1:03 am

    How about dem Irish!? Like I said, wasn’t worried. Little apprehensive mid 4th quarter but overall Irish definitely in control the whole game and what a way to end with a goal line stand after two interference plays and a sack of the big mouth Freshman on the last play of the game! Fitting. Wasnt worried – GO IRISH – bring whoever on….!

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  • Ghost of Joe Moore commented on November 25th, 2012 at 1:10 am

    I dont drink the good stuff often but when the Irish go 12-0 with a win at USC, I drink Markers Mark. Stay thirsty for the National Championship win my friends!

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    jeff replied on November 25th, 2012 at 1:21 am

    Makers Mark on the rocks. Gotta love it.

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  • spiceyirish commented on November 25th, 2012 at 1:16 am

    Theo Riddick “Play Like a Champion” tonight.

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    Ron replied on November 25th, 2012 at 1:22 am

    Absolutely!

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  • tommy651 commented on November 25th, 2012 at 1:17 am

    i’m so happy for doug flutie, robert smith and mark may.

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    Michael the Archangel replied on November 25th, 2012 at 2:52 am

    Haters- all three . . . and consistent losers as players as well.

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    ND Southy replied on November 25th, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    What a bunch of losers…….

    Doug Flutie
    Heisman Trophy
    3 CFL Championships
    6 time MVP of CFL
    Pro Bowler

    Mark May
    2 time Super Bowl Champ
    College Football Hall of Fame
    Outland Trophy

    Robert Smith
    2x Pro Bowler
    2x Mr Football in Ohio

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  • storespook commented on November 25th, 2012 at 1:47 am

    Well, it wasn’t prety. The lack of scoring TD’s in the red zone is still concerning. Be that as it may, 12-0 for the regular season and playing for a national championship. Let’ face it, most of us hereif asked back in August would we be in this position, mostw would have to say probably not. This has been a great time to be a ND fan. Manti should win the Heisman. If the honor goes to te persn who contributes most to the team, he defines it, both by his play on the field and his contribution off the field. It will be interesting tose who the oponent will be. I’d love Alabama, reminds me of the great Sugar and Orange Bowls played back in 73 & 75 against them. Of course losing to Georgia in that Sugar Bowl sucked back in 81.

    Congrats to the 2012 ND team for an outstanding regular season, on to Miami.

    Go Irish

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  • spiceyirish commented on November 25th, 2012 at 10:27 am

    Notre Dame needs to improve on Red Zone offense. Saying that, they are tops in the nation in allowing the fewest rushing TDs, Red Zone defense and most drives over 5:00. Plus one of the best in the nation in scoring defense and turnover margin. That is the reason why they are 12-0.

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  • C-Dog commented on November 25th, 2012 at 11:45 am

    I was extremely impressed with the play of the team. The secondary played great, as did the linbackers and the defensive front. The offense also executed quite well.

    I was at the same time dissapointed with the coaches. They could have turned the team loose and won the game by 30. If they go up against a free wheeling gambling agressive SEC team, and call plays like they did last night, then this team will loose big. To compete, this team needs to be turned loose. Play to the strengths on the field, not to some formula. I do hope Kelly opens things up on offense while realizing ND can win a slugfest. At least there is time to hone this thing. They almost need a December 26th game to keep them sharp.

    I am hopeful, but still concerned.

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    JC replied on November 25th, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    Kudos C-Dog,

    Definately need the long ball against Bama and Riddick scoring in the red zone!
    Not to mention, a great time to work on kick returns!

    Pull out all the stops!!

    Here come the Irish! 13-0 NC!

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  • JDH commented on November 25th, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    #1 in graduation rates in the nation (again). 12-0 and going to the title game.

    THEY TRULY ARE ND!

    [Reply]

  • JC commented on November 25th, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    Teo will win the Hiesman!!!

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  • Laf Irish commented on November 25th, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    So does Kiffin stay or go?

    USC now looking at 5 losses and another game yet to play.

    His own self doubt about about his play calling cost USC a touchdown when they needed it most when he called a time out on play that clearly worked. I would think the California natives are quite restless today.

    Another text book goal line stand from the best D in the country. Bring one Bama or Georgia. Don’t care which one they beat for the NC.

    [Reply]

    C-Dog replied on November 25th, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    I think Kiffin stays. He’s a bit odd, but that program is 8 years away from competing at the top. The fact that they didn’t give up does offer some credit to the coach. I say that objectively, because I don’t like that school or how much academic cheating they did under Carroll, nor do I like Kiffin, but I’d give him a break under the circumstances he came into. I also hope that Pat Haden would lead a small revolution in southern california to clean up their act for good.

    I’d like to see more ND’s Stanfords, Northwesterns, Dukes, Vanderbilts, and Ivy Leagues.

    [Reply]

    storespook replied on November 25th, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    I will say this, they may have a very dangerous QB for the next 2-3 years in Max W.

    [Reply]

    jeff replied on November 28th, 2012 at 3:59 am

    Gunner Kiel has the same cannon for an arm and can also run a little bit. QB situation next season will be interesting.

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    cousinnap replied on November 28th, 2012 at 8:05 am

    It could get intesting but EG
    will have to have the edge the way he has come around – Gunner may be #2 with Reese at 3 – but Reese will hang in there because of the “experience” I will not be surprised if Hendrix transfers – not much future if you are #4 on the depth chart

  • JC commented on November 25th, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    Brian Kelly will win Coach of the Year!

    [Reply]

    storespook replied on November 25th, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    I agree he deserves it but you watch and see it go to Urban Meyer because the anti ND pundits will say of his “circumstances” he came into at F_ckeyeland and gave them “hope” for the season (sense the sarcasm), blah, blah, blah. The same could be said also for Penn St’s coach who came into a real bad thing. My vote- BK.

    [Reply]

    JC replied on November 25th, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    Amen storespook,

    In an ever growing faithless society, sadly, you may be right. Probation does not mean anything to the unethical and scurrilous supporters of these probation teams.

    My vote – God & BK!

    Here come the Irish! 13-0 NC!

    [Reply]

    storespook replied on November 26th, 2012 at 12:30 am

    Speaking further, given some of the “postings” on here by the so called “Buckeye,” I found it a bit odd during the OSU/Mich game they celebrated the 2002 championship by having the very man who had a large contribution as to why OSU football is in the probation position it is, with fans wildly applauding him and getting hoisted upon shoulders. I guess if I am Mr. Meyer, I would be rubbed a little bit the wrong way by this “cultural” adoration of outpouring by OSU fans for this knucklehead. Well, not my issue and glad that it appears we have a program not falling into the crap that happened at OSU.

    Hope Kelly will receive coach of the year. It’s like Holtz commented last night, ND just needed the right guy to lead the way, like Leahy, Ara, Devine, and good old Lou did in their days. I know I have offered what I considered performance criticsm of some of his past decisions as coach, he has truly grown/developed this year as a head coach. He has had success everywhere he has been so I didn’t think it would not happen here at ND. I am surprised he did it as fast as he did. Now, hopefully he can make one better than Cincy and win it all.

    I congratulate you Coach Kelly on a fine year and congrats to the coaching staff as well as the team (of course).

  • Todd Swisher commented on November 25th, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    I am so happy for this team!! This team has won with class, dignity, cohesiveness, and great senior leadership!! They deserve all the good that comes their way. In an age, where we see less and less of the true “student-athlete” in major college sports, Notre Dame does it the right way. They have a 99% graduation rate (tops in the nation) and have earned a berth in the National Championship game. They embody what intercollegiate athletics should be – not what it has become at so many colleges/universities around the country. Notre Dame truly is a special place! Go Irish!!

    [Reply]

  • IrishfaninAR commented on November 25th, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    Kiffin didn’t cost his team a TD with his timeout. The ball was separated from the receiver while he was going to the ground. The line judge initially ruled a TD then saw the ball on the ground and called it an incomplete pass. Mush mouth was too busy worrying about Kiffin running down the sideline to actually watch the entire play.

    [Reply]

  • scav commented on November 25th, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    Earlier this year, I posted that ND would never be back to what they once were because college football passed them by. I talked about them being on a journey that would allow them to catch up to college football and that they were close to arriving. Well, after last nights game, ND has ARRIVED and will be a NC contender for years to come.

    The great thing about this is that they did it without compromising their standards. They did it without lowering the academic standards and they did it without joining a conference. I was one who thought these things needed to happen, but Brian Kelly and this ND team proved me wrong. To be a team that was not ranked at the beginning of the season to a team that is ranked #1 and playing for a NC is amazing, but when you add the fact that they are the #1 team in the nation in graduation rate as well, you have yourself one heck of a program. Can you imagine Brian Kelly sitting in a recruits house explaining those things to a recruit and his parents?

    Now I know all we will hear for the next 6 weeks is that ND will be dominated by the SEC team they play and I’m OK with that. The SEC has won the last 6 BCS titles and they deserve that respect. If you want to be the best, you have to beat the best and ND has that chance. Regardless of what happens, the culture of losing at ND has been reversed and ND is now a program of mentally tough and physically strong young men. All these close wins don’t earn you style points, but they do make you stronger and give you the belief that every game is winnable, home or away.

    One final thought about the Heisman. ND would not be in the NC game without their defense and Teo is the best player and the heart and soul of the team. Kelly said last night, that if Teo doesn’t win, then the Heisman should be referred to as an offensive award. Teo’s stats were better than Woodson’s so despite the fact that Johnny Football is like a video game character, what has his stats really done for his team. Texas A & M is not playing for any championships and Teo is. I hope they take that into consideration when they vote.

    6 weeks sure seems like a long way off

    [Reply]

    JC replied on November 25th, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    Scav,

    I’m guilty, I borrowed your coined term “ARRIVED” since the OU game! (If you have not noticed, hahaha!) It seemed fitting for EG’s progress and the team! Not to mention, you saw early BK attributes I over-looked.

    Too your credit, I definately like your buzz words! “Return to Glory” definately outdated and long gone. This ND team and HC deserves a new exclusive chapter in ND History!

    Lastly, I think it was Herbie
    said to Brent: “We have a lot AARP guy’s that will absolutely NOT vote for a Freshman” concerning the Heisman. I hope that is the case! I know very well all about AARP! And sometimers too! Hahahaha!

    There can be no doubt! Here come the Irish! 13-0 NC!!

    [Reply]

  • Ghost of Joe Moore commented on November 25th, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    Not understanding why a lot of commentators are referring to this win as an ugly win? I thought the Irish were in total control. Aside from a couple times in the redzone when they should have thrown for 7 – nothing ugly about it! Must be hating on the Irish already – nothing more. GO IRISH! 6 weeks is indeed a long way off it seems.

    [Reply]

  • SteelFanRob commented on November 25th, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    I’m not sure if “Buckeye” is the same OSU troll who a while back got on here and tried to argue that OSU’s academics were comparable to ND’s. That OSU’s grad rate for football players at OSU was comparable to ND’s. Wrong and wrong on both counts. He couldn’t provide any facts while I cited several independent studies proving ND’s student-athletes graduated at a much higher rate than OSU’s. That OSU apologist disappeared shortly after being totally discredited by facts.

    So whether this “Buckeye” is the same troll or not is irrelevant. He’s full of words without substance.

    Go troll somewhere else if you’re going to bring so little to the discussion, “Buckeye”.

    [Reply]

    C-Dog replied on November 25th, 2012 at 10:17 pm

    ND’s business school is rated #1. The Chemical Engineering program is typically in the top 5. The pre-med program is rated one of the best with a very high placement rate.

    ND academically is talked about along with Ivy League schools, Stanford, Cal, Cal Tech, MIT, Duke, etc. About the only thing you hear about Ohio St. is the scandals. It’s a massive herd school and if you don’t have the grades or somehow can’t get financial aid, then it’s a decent back in. But if yyou have good grades in today’s market, you can get aid for private top colleges. Often the price for a parent or student is lower than the actual State school cost. ND was big enough for me and a 13:1 student teacher ratio was also the way I liked it. It was worth the money for sure.

    [Reply]

    SteelFanRob replied on November 25th, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    C-Dog,

    Don’t forget about a top tier law school and world-class theology and religion programs.

    OSU can’t even compare to Michigan academically.

    [Reply]

  • Bdumb commented on November 25th, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    Greatest year ever. Can’t say enough about the coaches and the players, especially Manti Teo. Loving this team, I actually had them pegged at 9-3 with sophmore QB, NC next year. I can’t wait to shut up all the SEC lovers. It’s going to be a dogfight, we will be in it, hoping we can pull it off. See what Holtz and May say about Kelly here, http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=8673108.
    Go ND

    [Reply]

  • JTRAIN commented on November 25th, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    Gentlemen!!!!!! The boys did it!!! What a freakin season! Hey buckeye you can’t piss on our parade! End game, we are goin to the ship and buckeyes blew it. You know what’s hilarious? The suckeyes could be eligible THIS year but they just HAD to take their 6-6 ball team to a bowl game last year. Bwahaha sucks to suck! It’s open season on you haters now. So go ahead troll and keep thinking ND isn’t any good. I hope you and all these other clowns, that are “green” with envy, keep tellin the boys they can’t win. The hate fueled this team. It’s part of what got them here. Enjoy you’re bowl game….oops.

    [Reply]

  • C-Dog commented on November 25th, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    Let’s hope the Irish use their time to prepare wisely. Let the players have some time for exams since those are coming up in a few weeks. But
    use the time to work on speed, agility, and timing. Let’s hope they solidfy the playbook for Golson, but also put a few new wrinkles in. I’d like the coaches to see how well the cornebacks stayed with the USC receivers and realize it’s about coaching some technique, not worrying about whether we have the speed. Let’s get the D-Line tuned back up a little.

    And definitely I’d like to see a power run package. Riddick and Wood in the same backfield or perhaps a two tight end fullhouse backfield.

    SEC teams typically psych out opponents with early shock and awe. If a team isn’t phased by that, then you can stick it to and SEC team because they tend to gamble recklessly.

    As for my hoped for opponent, I’d rather see Alabama. My opinion is that ND matches up a little better. However, Georgia might have weaknesses that can be exposed if the coaching staff is on top of it. ND shouldn’t be afraid of either. No team is unbeatable.

    [Reply]

    JC replied on November 25th, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    Amen C-Dog,

    I like Bama, need redemption for Mich-State-Saben games!

    Here come the Irish! 13-0 NC!

    [Reply]

  • storespook commented on November 25th, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    A well fought 12-0 regular season. The wins weren’t always pretty but a win is a win. The lack of scoring TD’s in the red zone is a bit concerning from last night but hey, a win is a win and a trip to Miami in the NC game is stupendous. Manti should win the heisman, Kelly coach of the year. We’ll see about those honors later. Now it’s a wait to see who will be the opponent (my guess Bama). That would bring back memories from those 70′s bowl games they played between Ara and the Bear.I can truly say I did not see this coming back in August and for the most part, I would say many others didn’t either. One more game to play. I have worn my Green jersey each of these 12 games. It will not go on again until that monday night battle in January for the NC.

    On a bit of a sad note, my dad’s best friend (a man that my dad had made many trips with to South Bend to see the boys in Blue & Gold play) died right before the kickoff of the game last night. I know John would have loved to have seen that game. I’m hoping his spirit was there for all the action.

    It’s been a great year to be a fan. I hope BK has put us in a position for many more years of top notch competitive football. Onward to Miami.

    Gooooooooooooooooo Irishhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

    [Reply]

  • SteelFanRob commented on November 25th, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    storespook,

    Your father’s dear friend had the best seat in the house, my brother!

    The saints are more alive, and therefore more joyful, than you or me.

    [Reply]

    storespook replied on November 26th, 2012 at 12:15 am

    Well said, SFR. I couldn’t agree more.

    [Reply]

  • C-Dog commented on November 25th, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    Just took a look at Alabama’s schedule and Georgia’s schedule this year. While both Alabama and Georgia have quality football programs, Notre Dame’s schedule is every bit as tough and in fact might be tougher. No one who runs down the list of teams played by each of these three schools will successfully argue that Notre Dame’s schedule is easier than the other two. Buffalo, Florida Atlantic, Georgia South? Really? And let’s look at Vanderbilt, Missouri,Auburn, Tennessee, Kentucky. Not impressive for Georgia if you want to debate.
    And for Alabama: Western Kentucky, Florida Atlantic, West Carolina…Wow! and then Missouri, Tennessee, Auburn, and Ole Miss, and finally, Arkansas with slap himself silly, John L. Smith. At least they played Michigan, LSU, and Texas A&M.

    I will agree that Bama and Georgia are certainly top programs. But ND is in that class this year. Frankly you can put the top 15 together for a season and no team would have less than 4 losses. Stanford and Oregon might get my vote for upper tier in that scenario. But make all those schools play in bad weather. Football is not a man’s game unless played in adveerse weather conditions.

    [Reply]

  • JC commented on November 25th, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    From here on out BK deserves a bonus coupled with more contract extension! Duplication of going 12-0 at Cincy has been accomplished ND fans. No easy task by any stretch of the imagination, and it only gets better from here. Further, the recruiting and player development has been spectacular! EG’s progress is definately beyond belief! NC bonus next for BK! All fans aboard the BK train!

    Here come the (Dynamic) Irish! 13-0 NC!

    [Reply]

  • JDH commented on November 26th, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    Everett Golson will very likely be a Heisman candidate in the next 2 years. His ability to keep plays alive, run, and his arm strength make him a major threat. Case in point: The pass to TJ Jones between 3 USC defenders, in stride, was a thing of beauty. Golson is the total package physically- and he seems to have the mindset of a killer. A freshman on the field who has done what he’s done on the road? That can’t be taught.

    [Reply]

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