November 4, 2011 // Notre Dame Football

IBG – Wake Up the Demon Edition

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Chris Givens is a dangerous wide receiver that could give the Notre Dame secondary a lot of problems this weekend. (Photo / Icon SMI)

Notre Dame makes it’s first trip to Winston-Salem this weekend to face the Demon Deacons for the first time and the guys over at Gameday 40 are hostingthis week’s Irish Blog Gathering

1. I don’t know anything about Wake Forest except that Tim Duncan went there.  Who is the Tim Duncan of the Wake Forest footballers, i.e., one guy that the Irish must game plan for on Saturday and why?

Chris Givens is a wide receiver that could give Notre Dame a lot of problems on Saturday.  He’s recorded 100 yards in all but two games this year.  Same with touchdowns.  He does his damage with big plays too.  He is averaging almost 18 yards a reception this year and has nearly 1,000 yards already with 8 touchdowns.  North Carolina is the only defense to keep Givens in check so far this year.  The Tar Heels held Givens to 42 yards on 6 catches for just a 7.0 yards/reception average.

In terms of receptions, Givens has been the model of consistency this season too.  He’s had either 6 or 7 catches in every single contest this year – no more, no less.  If Notre Dame can slow down Givens, they’ll walk out of Winston-Salem with a win.

2. Cierre Wood and Jonas Gray have been a solid running back tandem this year with Gray coming on strong in the last couple of games.  With a finite amount of opportunities for each back, how do you think BK should split the carries in the coming weeks?  Explain.

I would employ the play the hot hand approach with these two since both have had their moments when they’ve played better than the other.  Wood was on fire against Purdue while notching a career day.  Same could be said for Gray when he erupted for the 80 yard touchdown against Pitt or last week when he scored three touchdowns.  Both have been great this year so it would be hard to argue with whatever Kelly does here.  The only time I would definitely play Wood over Gray would be on passing situations since he is a better receiver out of the backfield and has really improved his blocking.

Another option would be to use Gray early running right at opponents to soften them up and then unleash Wood who is more elusive in the open field later in the games.  Like I said though, there’s not really a wrong way to use them in my opinion.

If Notre Dame gets some early leads it also wouldn’t surprise me to see Gray get a few more carries to help him improve his draft stock.  As much as Kelly says he only cares about what is best for Notre Dame (ie not liking having players who only see college as a stop gap to the NFL), he’s smart enough to know that producing high draft picks at the skill positions will only help recruiting.  Considering the last time Notre Dame produced a high round pick at running back was Julius Jones 9 years ago, Kelly would be wise to help Gray improve his stock over the next three weeks if the situation allows for it.


3. Andrew Hendrix did not play against Navy.  Without speculating as to the reasons why he didn’t play against the Midshipmen, do you think he’s being underutilized?  Why or why not?

I’ve said a number of times that I thought Hendrix should see more playing time because I am not sold on Tommy Rees as the long term answer at quarterback for Notre Dame.  The Navy game was a great time to get him some more playing time since Notre Dame was rolling throughout and the issue was never really in doubt.  For Notre Dame to upset Stanford Thanksgiving weekend, I think the Irish will need to pull out all of the stops too so getting Hendrix some more experience by then should be a priority over these next three games.

4. What do the following series of statements mean—if anything— for Notre Dame versus Wake Forest this weekend?  Wake Forest beat NC State.  NC State beat Virginia. Virginia beat The U. The U beat Ohio State. Ohio State beat Illinois. Illinois beat Arizona State. Arizona State beat USC. USC beat Notre Dame.

Not a whole lot.  Every year you can make a case for some awful team like that.  For instance, in 2007 Notre Dame beat Staford who beat USC who beat the crap out of us on our home field.

5. What’s your prediction for Saturday’s game against the Demon Deacons and why?  Bonus points if your answer is a Haiku.

Not much of a poet so I’ll just say that I think this game will be closer than people think.  Wake may be slumping recently, but they are a solid team with a good coach.  This game will also be their biggest game of the year and will give Notre Dame their best shot.  Where the Irish are mentally right now we don’t know either.  Notre Dame has been flat after two of their convincing wins this year too.  After thumping Michigan State, they squeaked by Pitt.  After destroying Air Force, they were flat against USC and got beat.  The only time Notre Dame has looked sharp back to back this year has been the Purdue and Air Force games.

I think Notre Dame will still win this game, but it’ll be a tough contest with the game still in doubt late in the second half before Notre Dame finally pulls away.

Comments to this Article

  • Chris commented on November 4th, 2011 at 8:21 am

    I completely disagree with your #5 statements. This is going to be another beating, with the game never being close except at opening kickoff. This team should have never lost a game this season. It’s a shame.

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  • JDH commented on November 4th, 2011 at 10:58 am

    I honestly believe it will, per usual, come down to turnovers. WF has a couple impact players and they will be way up for this game. Athletically and physically they just don’t match up well. But unforced TOs will result in another loss.

    We’ll see where this ND team is mentally and emotionally.

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  • jack commented on November 4th, 2011 at 11:22 am

    I also disagree with it being a close game. I watched the FSU and BC game last night. If BC’s offense can score 19 points againts Wake there defense is horrible. Also I think the team coming out flat againts USC was not a matter of them being inconsistant as a fact of them being on fall break and getting out of rythm. Kelly eluded to this in his press conference before SC. When they practice well and are focused they can beat 3 of the 4 remaining on their schedule handidly. Run the ball with Gray and Wood. I also think they will get a TD from Atkinson. I think this will be a blow out, but I have been wrong before. O-line will control line of scrimmage and D-line will be better getting a healthy Cnywar.

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  • TR55IRISH commented on November 4th, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    This will be a tough test for The IRISH, Jim Grobe is one of the most underated coaches in the country and usually gets the most out of his team. This is a great oppertunity for the boys to beat a solid team on the road in a hostile environment. Im never on e to single out players but Dan Fox takes horrible angles and misses tackles in space so often he has stuck out so many times this year and usually for the wrong reasons, would like to see more Steven Filer and maybe Kendall Smith, or even Calabrese who plays a lot and struggles in coverage a bit but plays reaslly hard and with an edge. Great oppertunity to get some consinstancy going in know we have been saying that the last few years. GO IRISH!!!!!!!

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  • Teo commented on November 4th, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    On paper, we’re better. We have a much bigger offensive line than their defensive front and we have a pretty big defensive line that’s quicker than their big offensive front. And at the talent positions, guys like Floyd, Wood and Gray are better than WF’s defenders. That is how it looks on paper.

    But an opponent like Wake Forest is going to be really pumped to play Notre Dame. Again, this is practically their bowl game. I mean, they may be in a bowl game (even a BCS game if they finish strong), but playing Notre Dame on national television is different. The crowd will be nuts. The energy will be palpable. Everyone will be excited.

    So, I think we better come prepared for everything that they’re willing to throw at us – and I suspect that it will be a lot. Winning on the road against a good football team is tough. Though they’re struggling right now, Wake has played pretty well for much of the season. I think Kelly gets the kids ready and executes a good game plan. And I think we score a late touchdown to put the game away, 31-17.

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  • Chi-town Copper commented on November 4th, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    i still dont like the fact we even schedule a team like this with no real football credibility. i cringe when i tell my friends who we’re playing this week. the fact we might even lose to a team like this is even worse. we should really take wake forest to the woodshed and if we had a different qb i would be very confident

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    irisheye62 replied on November 4th, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    Chi-
    just remember that Wake beat Florida State by 5. They can be competitive–it is not a gimme. To keep this in perspective, I would rather the Irish play Wake than the likes of in State Teams who are part of non BCS conferences. Ohio State schedules at least two in state teams at home every year at noon on a Saturday in Sept. ( yawn) onoy to bolster their minimum bowl eligibility. Not QUITE the same with ND–IF you look ahead to next year, we have the likes of Oklahoma and Stanford and the ghetto cocaines of Miami, Northern Cuba in a short span. FEW teams can handles this -and THIS ND team can’t handle big guns every week. Don’t cringe–le’t sjust win and do our best and NOT turn the ball over. Teams whose IQ is meathead at best boast about beating Kent State with “smash mouth style” with the horrific local media.
    ( Of course I’m referring to Ohio State North High Street Institution) ACC is tough and Wake is no slouch–we just have to play good football–and I mean GOOD football –the deacons can sneak up on most teams. Given the chance OSU would play Ball State or Western Carolina most weeks. Perspective here–win-win big and God willing win out if possible!WE SHOULD BE UNDEFEATED!!!!

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  • storespook commented on November 4th, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    With this current squad, what’s on paper hasn’t always translated to what occured on the field. Certainly, ND should be favored. If TR can keep the ball away from Wake and offensive red zone consistency occurs, then, this game could get out of hand. Givens WILL need to be contained by our DB’s, as he is a pretty good receiver (and we know how well from past games ND can let opposing receivers have great games). Wake will be pumped (all 31,000+), it’s prime time, and it seems that teams that have never played (or played infrequently) ND seem to have a game “of their life” against the Irish (and I fricking hate that). I’m sure TR will play the whole game even if it gets out of hand because backup QB’s seem to get little playing time or opportunity to work to be better prepared, which is crap. I digress in my ranting. If the defense shows up (and thank goodness it’s not an option team) Wake’s offense plays somewhat to ND’s defensive strength.
    GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Irishhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

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  • JC commented on November 4th, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    Well, Good football teams don’t make turnovers on a regular basis. The turnover battle will determine the outcome of this game too. However, our extraordinarily misguided HC utilizing amazingly poor judgement concering ACCEPTED QB turnovers is without question unacceptable.

    Why? This year WAS a BSC bowl year PERIOD! So LIP SERVICE does not win football games! A bellweather of accepted QB turnovers will destroy BSC hopes for next year also. Six games with excessive turnovers is WITHOUT A DOUBT extremely disappointing. Not to mention, with this quagmire we are not going to achieve stated goals ever. So, we will be looking for a new HC after next year if he does not change his direction on accepted turnovers PERIOD.

    It is impossible to make a prediction when the HC endorses excessive QB turnovers.

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  • C-Dog commented on November 4th, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    It’s not one player. The entire team including the entire coaching staff need to be ready to play. It should have happened this week. If they are ready, then this game will be settled early and we’ll just want to see if Notre Dame closes out a 60 minute effort. Defensively we have the talent except possibly at the corners to dominate anyone. They just have to play at their potential. That means all players all the time.

    On offense, the coaches need to appreciate what is happening and address it. I mean the offensive line. If it’s lack of physicality, remind them, or better yet, see it throughout the week and be prepared. If it’s gametime adjustments, then do your job coaches and make the adjustments. finally do not give up on the run. Be patient and keep swinging the hammer. Hit the defense the way Aaron Taylor and company did back in the day.

    Wake Forest is a well coached team. But I’ve seen enough this year to be more highly dissapointed in Notre Dame because the Irish definitely have the talent to be a top 10 team. They’ve blown opportunities and hopefully the juniors on down will understand not to let that happen next year.

    Dr. Lou talked about the LSU vs. Alabama game the other night. He talked about not having regrets and making sure that whatever the outcome, each player making sure they did everything possible to do their best. His words should echo in the halls of the Notre Dame locker room each week.

    If this particular Notre Dame team plays to it’s potential, they can win every game. It is only up to how they approach the opportunity.

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  • JC commented on November 4th, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    C-Dog,

    You are absolutely correct, however, because of the extra turnover allowance given to the QB position coupled with other team turnovers this year certainly has been a total disappointment. Especially in a year where stated goals were to march to a BCS bowl. Mis-management of the USC game was beyond belief. Believe me we have a pool of talented QB’s. So, with a two turnover mulligan given to our starting QB; why not bring in someone else as a normal HC would do in an attempt to win the game? Did our HC not make a change in UCF game in an attempt to win? So, now we just acquiesce to turn overs? I’m sorry endorsing turnovers by not yanking someone to utilize our highly talented pool of players is beyond belief. You already know what Lou would do.

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  • Bj commented on November 5th, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    I still think swarbrick, kelly and diaco are inadequate to the task. clearly they have not been able to motivate the team, the school, the fans. every effort since swarbrick got there has been to lower expectations. now this talk of a conference. what a sad pathetic joke. maybe swarbrick can find some more second class football schools to schedule to beat. its all about his tv show, the “corporate experience,” the money. rudy and lou must throw up at the sight of this debacle. there was a time on friday nights when the band would march around the campus, soon thousands were following them to the old field house, our football was our passion, our religion, our faith. the team would promise to do their best for the school. they always looked good. coats, letter jackets, and some old great player or even pat obrien would confirm our faith with some motivating words. “Be The Best You Can Be”-rocky blier

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  • JDH commented on November 5th, 2011 at 8:08 pm

    I have to admit, I am very nervous right now at kickoff. ND does not play well at night- it messes up their heads for some reason. Here’s hoping they protect the football. That will be the determining factor between a W or another L. GO IRISH!

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    fxm replied on November 5th, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    Well, they just went through us like @#%# through a goose.

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    JDH replied on November 5th, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    Desire vs. faggotry. WF wants to win. ND wants to be warm in their dorms.

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    irisheye62 replied on November 6th, 2011 at 12:50 am

    what a stupid jr. high, homophobic comment to make and inappropriate at best–this has nothing NOTHING to do with “faggotry” or being “straight” ND –a team I love until the day I die is playing second tier –if that is what YOU MEAN then SAY THAT–without insulting a group of people who simply prefer somebody of their own gender ( which happens a hell of a lot more in football than you might think despite the macho male being the “ultimate” man.)
    That said, Rugby teams ( gay or straight -I wouldn’t care to say) play with more heart over all than NOTRE DAME THIS YEAR–that’s Rubgy WITHOUT THE PADS and only a cup or jock —yes it is about desire–but no place for the faggotry word is needed her JDH as you are out of line. Wake Forest ( as did USC) ran through the defense as if ND was Swiss Cheese)
    We are not living up to the potential and talent we have–and when the announcers talked about ND being BCS I wanted to laugh. Love the Irish-but I hope we get Iowa State or something–or an extended vacation in Hawaii because that is the level we are playing to and the bar is not raised. Thank you.

    JDH replied on November 6th, 2011 at 9:14 am

    SIGH. This again? Really? Go back to last week and see how I had to explain, in great detail, that sometimes words have meanings other than literal. Example: When my coaches thought we were phoning it in / not playing hard / they might say things like: “Stop acting like a bunch of homos! Let’s go!” Guys taunt eachother all the time.

    Do you REALLY, HONESTLY think I am/was calling Notre Dame’s football teams literally homosexuals?

    And yes, here’s the politically-correct disclaimer, if there are actual gay players, good for them. I could care less whether someone is gay or straight etc.

    It was frustrated taunt- that’s it. I cannot believe how sensitive some people on this board are. I will guarantee you that the players on ND’s team use such taunting and language all the time. Guys just do.

    Calm down.

    JDH replied on November 6th, 2011 at 9:33 am

    Irisheye:
    And as I explained below, the reference to the players “wanting to be back in their dorms” was NOT a “homosexual reference”. I swear to that. Just that the players, at night, seem to not want to play. As I said below, though, I can totally see how that got misconstrued with my other comment. That was my bad. Now I’m going to get back to talkinga about football.

    irisheye62 replied on November 6th, 2011 at 10:50 am

    point taken–just talk about football then
    as for the WAY we were playing, I agree with you 100% -am Irish to the core but I’m tired of just half assed uninspired football when we COULD and SHOULD be in their face and winning and tearing them apart–at least that is what the early season said–is it coaching? is it leadership on the team? Is the longevity possible for 12-14 weeks of focus for the best playing possible? I agree with your analysis-all words aside–

    JDH replied on November 6th, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    Agreed Irisheye. And thanks for understanding my explanation above. After I reread my comments I completely see how the whole “being back in the dorms” things sounded below the board.

  • storespook commented on November 5th, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    Well, WF walked down the field like a stroll on the park, 0-7, great.

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    storespook replied on November 5th, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    A FG for 3 pts. Didn’t look good on opening D or O.

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  • SteelFanRob commented on November 5th, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    What I wouldn’t give for a darned QB who could makse something happen with his legs when no one is open downfield!

    Let’s see how the D responds to that utter sucka_ _ opening drive by WF.

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    fxm replied on November 5th, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    Looks like we are sporting our USC zombie look again. I watch freakin Northwestern play with spirit and go into Lincoln and take out the 10th ranked Huskers and now I have to get set for a nail biter with the Demon Deacons.

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  • Rich in CT commented on November 5th, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    Hate to play teams for a first time and ND doesn’t look like a football powerhouse.

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  • fxm commented on November 5th, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    How come we can’t even sack anyone? This guy has been sacked an incredible amount this year.

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  • SteelFanRob commented on November 5th, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    Uninspired!!!

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    fxm replied on November 5th, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    I can’t even rant anymore, this team gave up almost 600 yards to North Carolina last week and coughed it up 5 times.

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    storespook replied on November 5th, 2011 at 9:58 pm

    Absolutely looks that way to me too, SFR

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  • lester diamond commented on November 5th, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    I’d probably be upset ….. If I didn’t totally expect this kind of performance going in

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  • jack commented on November 5th, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    This team goes as Rees goes and he is having another bad game. Bench him now! Put in Hendrix what can you lose. Defense better pick it up in the 2nd half.

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  • storespook commented on November 5th, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    Uninspiring, devoid of enthusiasm, lack of energey/spirit, boring, and of course a TR INT to add in the mix. I don’t have a brick to throw at my TV and I’m too damn tired to even yell. Hope the 2nd half is better. Glad there is Ala-LSU to watch during commercials. Battle of the defenses there.

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  • JDH commented on November 5th, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    I believe this half is a crossroads for the program. Who are they? Can they motivate themselves and get the job done? Or do they PROVE to the world that they only want to play sometimes. I think this half is critical to the success of the season.

    Who is this team?

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    irisheye62 replied on November 6th, 2011 at 12:52 am

    agreed

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  • JDH commented on November 5th, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    WOW. THESE OFFICIALS SUUUUUUUCK!!! The interference on H. Smith and calling back Gray’s TD? Horrible.

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  • fxm commented on November 5th, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    You think someday when we are playing a smallish defensive front we may give the ball to Jonas 25 times and let him beat them to a pulp?

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  • SteelFanRob commented on November 5th, 2011 at 10:29 pm

    TR SUCKS!!!

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  • storespook commented on November 5th, 2011 at 10:30 pm

    INT-2
    Well, lucky enough to get a fumble recovery, oh boy

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  • JDH commented on November 5th, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    BRIAN KELLY NEEDS TO VERBALLY BERATE THESE IDIOT INSURANCE SALESMEN POSING AS OFFICIALS!!!!! AND FILE A FORMAL COMPLAINT WITH THE ACC!!! Are you kidding me? HE WAS IN BOUNDS!!!

    Worst officiating I have seen since the 2009 Michigan game.

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  • greenday commented on November 5th, 2011 at 10:35 pm

    Holy you know what. No spirit, spark or desire. Hmmmm, coach has lost them? They should be killing these guys. Every week one or two guys on offense and defense have their game of the life. Why does this not happen every week??? I don’t care if and what they may win by tonite, they are average at best and ACC teams will eat em up let alone Big East. Yeah stay independent so they can beat up on service academys. Sorry, I think Kelly way in over his head but unfortunately no one will bring em back to glory days.

    Yeah Rees maybe Hendrix battle year end, Golsen next year to start the so called Kelly offense. And I’m sick of east west running, get us a physical fullback to run it down their throats. I will not advocate to fire Kelly now as some do, one more year, three classes of his recruits and Golson QB. Oh yeah, the schedule next year – OMG!

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  • greenday commented on November 5th, 2011 at 10:45 pm

    Yeah blame the officiating. They plain stink and have no heart – QB, offense, defense is incedibly horrible and ……….. no it’s the officials? Real game being played in Bama now – all defense.

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    JDH replied on November 5th, 2011 at 11:20 pm

    I didn’t “blame” the officiating. I called it like I saw it. It sucked…bad. And the officials need to answer for horrible calls, 2 of which gave WF SUBSTANTIAL advantages and field position-it mattered. If you read more and don’t nitpick, you’ll see I commented about their lack of desire, albeit with brevity.

    Thank God for the WF fumble near the goal line and some decent play in the 2nd half. Very glad to get away with a “W”. Not pretty at all.

    I wonder why, when it’s nighttime, these ND players want to be back in their dorms.

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    irisheye62 replied on November 6th, 2011 at 12:58 am

    Contrary to what is said on ABC to the General Public, not ALL ND players have to live in the dorms. As for “why” they want to be back in the dorms, I could care less. I just want to see some wins–with dominance.
    Bi-polar team Let’s see
    South Florida nightmare in the storms
    Michian-let’s give up a big lead-
    Mich. St. OK dominate
    pitt -we win but it is like a root canal
    Purdue-like the Holtz Days–ok run and WIN and score
    Air Force- win-blowout-oops not 60 minutes of ball but too many points given up
    USC-Swiss Cheese Irish-HOLY ( wholes) in defense could have won fumble city AGAIN
    NAvy–Oh yeah
    Wake–let’s just get this over with
    does this sound like a team ( regardless of what happens in the dorms)
    that could win a BIG bowl game??? really????
    and it is really not kind to imply “why” they want to go back to the dorms– YOU should care less JDH–and yes I’m writing in incomplete sentences so you think and apply to your own fragmented thoughts

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    JDH replied on November 6th, 2011 at 8:57 am

    My comments “about the players wanting to be back in their dorms” had absolutely nothing to do with the commentators. None. They looked like they didn’t want to be there for at LEAST 2 quarters.

    Not sure why that implies my thoughts are “fragmented”, but whatever.

    Irish replied on November 6th, 2011 at 9:06 am

    ????????

    JDH replied on November 6th, 2011 at 9:19 am

    To Add: I CAN see why me talking about “the players wanting to be back in their dorms at night” looked like a blatant insult about their sexuality. I swear, that is NOT what I meant. I was only making an opinion that they do NOT like to play at night. I can see why that comment was misinterpreted- not what I meant though at all. Just a poor choice of words because of the inference.

    irisheye62 replied on November 6th, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    JDH-got it I got it–yeah guys make references on the field , we all know that–doesn’t mean that a reference needs to be put in writing. Perhaps you could have said ” Playing like sloths or with desire” you know? The Faggot word is like the N word to some ( all PC aside) You may not have to over explain yourself if you choose other words. Fragementation refers to broken or mixed up thoughts but that was lost on you. As you said in juvenile style, “whatever.” Esera Tualo -former NFL player who came out may have a lot to say about these types of words and hundreds of other players in football who are closeted ( and yes they exist and it does not make them less a man) I got it-case closed-case dismissed.

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    JDH replied on November 6th, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    Irisheye-
    Ok I get your point. I understand what you are saying and I won’t use those words/references on this board. Like I said, I really didn’t mean anything by them. Moving on…

  • lester diamond commented on November 5th, 2011 at 10:57 pm

    Can someone in the secondary ever make a big INT !??!?

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  • storespook commented on November 6th, 2011 at 12:03 am

    It should have been a team that was handled better than a 24-17 score. Another “pins & needles” type outcome, which again, is bothersome. It was nice to see the team win the game, but, still have a long way to go to be even at a slightly higher standard of play. I’m so sick of TR as the QB. I’m too tired to say anything else.

    Bring on the Terrapins and their ugly looking uniforms.

    Go ND

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  • spiceyirish commented on November 6th, 2011 at 12:15 am

    Five General Observations:

    1) This will be probably be the most popular sound-off. The officials looked like they were paid off. Wake couldn’t cash in

    2) Notre Dame’s best two defensive lineman since Justin Tuck are Stephon Tuitt and Aaron Lynch. Both came up with big time plays. I must mention Robert Blanton, Darius Fleming and Prince Shembo. All three supplied game-changing plays.

    3) After tonight’s game, I’m not sure if Michael Floyd will be selected in the top 15. The Wake defensive backs were very physical with him and it seem to rattle him. He did have that spectacular TD catch, which was the game-winner. Other than that, he had a quiet night. #6 on Wake Forest plays like he will be a 1st rounder. Very physical corner with tremendous cover skills and tackler.

    4) More and more props to Tyler Eifert. I’m not sure what criteria they select All-Americans, but I think if ND was to get an All-American this season, then Eifert at the TE position should be the choice.

    5) If anyone wants to vote for the most underrated play of the season for ND, then I will start the voting for Ben Turk’s big time punt with the giant roll in the 2nd half. He was punting from inside his 10 with Wake destined for good field position. But Turk came up big, with a little luck, to hit a punt and have it bounce over twenty yards down the sidelines to place Wake at their own 30. At the time, a big field position turn in ND’s favor

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    JDH replied on November 6th, 2011 at 9:40 am

    Rees did what he usually does- turns in an avg performance but finds a way to win. Not pretty, but he got the W.

    Not sure what happened with Floyd. Was he always covered well? Or would a better QB be able to get him the ball in that tighter coverage? I don’t really know.

    Eifert has really become an impact player. He should be up for AA.

    If Kelly does not file a formal complaint with the ACC and the NCAA then, to me, it’s just another example of his bad decisions. During some of those blatantly obvious, absurd calls, he just stood there. Didn’t say a word! I don’t get that.

    This was a game that was tight and officiating that was THAT bad could have very easily lost the game for ND.Granted, ND’s performance was weak, but those calls were just horrid.

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  • Chi-town Copper commented on November 6th, 2011 at 2:32 am

    We really should have pounded this team but im glad with a win. Already looking forward to next year here are my hopes:

    1) Hendrix or anyone else but Tommy Reese at QB
    2) Eifert stays another year
    3) Landry Jones and Broyles enter the draft so we dont catch a beatdown from the Sooners
    4) Barkley enters the draft so we dont catch another beating from USC
    5) We somehow find a replacement for Floyd at WR
    6) Our defense gets better

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  • JC commented on November 6th, 2011 at 3:20 am

    Well, for 7 games our HC has taught TR that 2 turnovers per game is certainly acceptable. Unfortunately, for our HC this will lead to his demise soon. We should have beaten WF by more than one touch down! Stanford will really capitialize on this flawed approach. How can we be “work in progress” when there is no progress on correction of turnovers?

    I would agree we definately need someone who can run at the QB position, rather than relying on “dinking” the ball hoping it will clear the D-Line.
    However, with this HC he is certainly not worried about this year or next.
    I would hope he would see the value of making a change now before it is too late. Wishful thinking with this HC. Someone needs to get out crayons and draw pictures for him.

    So, the question then becomes: Why not make a change at QB? Maybe he likes being mendacious about the QB position? Especially for the future. Or maybe he’s lazy and has not prepared the other QB’s properly to step in? Or maybe it’s his infamous narcissistic attitude blinding his judgement concerning our more talented QBs?

    Being highly predictable on offense this late in the season will take its toll with the better teams soon. Certainly Standford and a future bowl opponent. Well, you know the future is not bright when lip service trumps corrective action.

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  • Brandon Wicks commented on November 6th, 2011 at 9:06 am

    I am going to go out on a limb and say that I believe that Coach Kelly knows what he is doing on the QB front. I think if ND would be better off with Hendrix then he would most certainly start. I read a article that said that Hendrix is not worried about wether he starts or not, he just wants to go to Med School at ND. I have a feeling that although Hendrix has talent he is not ready and I think Kelly knows it and Hendrix knows it. I also have a feeling that Kelly has no intention of starting Reese next year. Golson was sick in High School, and Gunner is in our cross hairs to play at ND.

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    Brandon Wicks replied on November 6th, 2011 at 9:10 am

    To top it off Kelly has been known for developing QB’s with little talent and making them NFL draft picks. Although everyone on this board is experts of the gridiron I am sure. I have a feeling that Kelly is doing his best to get through this season with what he has and as many wins as he can get. Then he will implement his system with his QB when the QB is ready.
    Go ND!

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    storespook replied on November 6th, 2011 at 11:47 pm

    No more of an expert opinion maker than yourself either. I don’t hear anyone (including myself) proclaiming themselves an all-know-it expert This is an opinion blog which is about giving opinions. As to your comment about Hendrix regarding whether BK thinks he’s ready or not, we don’t know how ready he is or isn’t (hell, the coach won’t put him in when it would be appropriate to see how he does in extended plays). He came to play Div 1 football (and get his degree), it’s not like he is completely incapable of playing football or he wouldn’t have been offered a damn scholarship. The last time Hendrix got to see the field, he didn’t do too bad. Let’s don’t forget Mr. Rees was not that prepared to start when Crist went out year. BK needs either to adjust his offense to suit TR or put a QB that better fits what he is trying to do. I’d love to see TR be under center a little more. The run game seems to be good coming out of that set. Hey, I’m not trying to stir trouble with you or start a pissing contest, Brandon,on this opinion blog. As it can be said, we can agree to disagree. As to Gunner, I don’t think he would be a best fit QB for the type of offensive scheme this coach wants to run.

    Go Irish

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  • C-Dog commented on November 6th, 2011 at 9:24 am

    A decent win against a decent team. I do not think the Irish are ready for a top ten team. The younger talent on defense still needs time to mature.

    Bob Diaco still causes me to have concerns. Adjustments were slow.

    I am more concerned as to whether the coaches know what they must do at Notre Dame to get the kids ready week in and week out. It is different. Although the announcer on ESPN got it way wrong on teh dorm thing. Yes, the football team must live on campus but other students may live off campus. Personally I wouldn’t. There is no good safe housing in an area that has off campus advantages. The dorms are pretty nice. But the general statement about ND being different holds true. However, if Stanford can do it, so can Notre Dame.

    This team needs to realize it has very high potential. They need someone to tell them to wake up each day determined to take care of school work and also to stay focused on getting better in each detail in football.

    I truly would like to see an inspiring Notre Dame football team again. Because frankly although I really enjoy the game, seeing the corruption and greed in both the NCAA and NFL is less than inspiring.

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    JDH replied on November 6th, 2011 at 9:42 am

    Good post C-Dog.

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    irisheye62 replied on November 6th, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    C-Dog –the game is being lost on viewers because of it. You are exactly right. ADJUSTMENTS ARE SLOW!! BTW, there are football players that live off campus–maybe it is in the Spring –but they do live off campus –off season perhaps or all the time. Whatever.C-Dog your comments are right on the money. Inspired Notre Dame is not there. 1993-we were called no names–and SHOULD HAVE won the National Title but they kissed Bobby Bowden’s fat ass and gave it to him even though we beat them head to head 31-24 and they had to come back to make a game of it because we outplayed them 99% of the time. Title or not in 93, they PLAYED well and this team has “TALENT” and is a notch or two above lackluster. I pray we can dominate 50-0 the next two weeks. But you are right C-Dog , we can’t play with top 10 teams right now–and at the end of last year, even folks in Columbus, Ohio said the Irish were heading BCS style as the horses were in the barn. What has happened???

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  • Bj commented on November 6th, 2011 at 9:26 am

    why bob diaco is a joke, 12, 24, 34, 37, 13, 17, 20, 35, 28, 3, 16, 17, 23, 35, 13, 12, 10, 33, 31, 14, 17, the opposition average scoring? 21.14, no one shut out in two years, a zone defense that lets everybody score, a defense based on being afraid of the opposition?, i remember that stanford game last year, they looked like the nd of old, chargin across the line, re-watch the lsu-alabama game last night, they wanted to win, these guys have given up on diaco, swarbrick is the new kevin white. and kelly blames the guys he didnt recruit.

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  • Sal commented on November 6th, 2011 at 9:55 am

    Oh my God! WE WON people stfu already and quit whining. ND is having a solid season and is improving.

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    irisheye62 replied on November 6th, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    no we are not

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    storespook replied on November 6th, 2011 at 11:52 pm

    With all due respect, I would not agree ND is having “a solid season.”

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  • jack commented on November 6th, 2011 at 10:55 am

    BK’S teams are QB driven, period. ND goes as Tommy Reese goes. He did not play well last night and neither did the offense. We are now seeing his limitations, no running ability, no ARM defenses are sitting on short routes, locking in on receivers and turning the ball over an average of two times a game. As far as the defense, a lot of injuries are their problem. Lewis Moore, Ethan Johnson and Manti Two. The only defenses in the FBS that could handle those loses are Alabama and LSU. I am sorry to say this but Rees is great number 2 not a number one. Three years ago LSU had issues at QB and had three loses and a loss to Penn State in a bowl game. Solve QB issues and you will see a different team. Look at the 2006 ND team, if it wasn’t for Quinn they would have been 6-6. I like the way this team looks with a sub par QB.

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  • greenday commented on November 6th, 2011 at 11:36 am

    Jack right on with the QB situation. I would like to see Golsen start next year with Hendrix backing up or visa versa. Moving forward the rest of this season, could Hendrix be any worse than Rees if put in? Might be a spark they need. Yeah last night was a win but not impressive by any means. Seems to be the same old thing every week. Not sure what Sal is seeing? Looking forward to next year but seem to say that every year. Getting old!

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  • jack commented on November 6th, 2011 at 11:48 am

    Greenday,
    The problem with this team on defense is the injury bug. They have several key players on the front line out with injuries. I think Diaco has found a system to handle spread attacks. The problem is the Stanford game must have a healthy defense to stop their rushing attack. Right now the defense needs to get healthy. I don’t see anything different on because BK won’t switch QB’s and if Rees is hot ND will crush the opposition, if not close games.

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  • Castine83d commented on November 6th, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    While Rees may not be the most talented I would certainly want him over any untested QB at this point. Mixing it up once in a while with Hendrix is desireable. Seeing the offensive line being able to close the game out last night was encouraging…seeing more consistent run blocking spells success.

    Defensively, this team is young, especially on the line: three freshmen do not spell success. To Kelly’s point about the upperclassmen: they make too many mistakes in pass coverage. It’s a work in progress.

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    Michael the Archangel replied on November 6th, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    You don’t become “tested” until you are allowed to play. It’s like telling kids out of school they can’t be hired because they have no experience. You don’t get experience until you are given the chance.

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    fxm replied on November 6th, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    They make too many mistakes in coverage because last year Chuck Martin was responsible for the whole defensive backfield and this year they fixed something not broke and made Chuck in charge of the safeties and Kerry Cookes in charge of the DBs and the results look dis-jointed.

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  • JC commented on November 6th, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    To Kelly’s point about upperclassment may have been a correct point? Just not an ego centric driven point shared with the media 1st!! It is moronic to say after the fact “We are a family and it stays in the family.” Purely a statement of convenience and CYA that does not resonate. In this case BK is dead wrong speaking outside the FAMILY 1ST! But don’t due as I do…do as I say! A really sincere apology? Not at all! By the way, this whole team is a work in progress not just the upperclassmen.

    Special treatment to certain classes is certainly defined as Class Warfare in every day life and is unacceptable to a blind eye.

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  • fxm commented on November 6th, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    Here is the QB problem in a nutshell, you are down by 6 with a minute thirty left on the clock on your own five. Do you have any prayer at all of going 95 yards in that time (of course I am assuming you are not playing us:) )? This dink and dunk stuff is fine but if you don’t have an arm you can’t cover the necessary ground when you have to and if you can’t stretch the field all aspects of the game become tougher.

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  • JC commented on November 6th, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    Where is all the dynamic offense we were expecting to see with Kelly? Kelly’s team blame game doesn’t work anymore. I’m beginning to wonder, why did he leave his undefeated team early for ND? Team loyalty seems to be an additional Achilles Heel for him late in his career?? Check out all the comments on TR at ndnation.com. All these fans or hyperventilaters (LOL!) can’t be wrong also?

    Lets be clear: Do you really think you can be drafted or coach in the NFL with your name being synonymous with turnovers? And it is patently untrue that one of our highly talented QB’s cannot have a great performance comming off the bench or starting. I have not checked lately, we have to be leading the NCAA in turnovers or in the bottom ten. It is highly possible we will end up 8-5 like last year ignoring the lackluster play at QB. Ah yes, the unthinkable?

    Remember the last guy around here to win a national title was a true motivator not an agitator!

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  • scav commented on November 6th, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    Brian Kelly took over a team that averaged a 7-5 record since Holtz left. I have said it before and I’ll say it again, this is not going to change overnight, however, I do see major improvements.

    When was the last time ND was able to run the ball the way they are? The O-Line hasn’t allowed a sack since the Pittsburgh game. All I remember from the Weis years is a team that could throw it all over the field but couldn’t pick-up a 3rd and 1 on a regular basis.

    I like what Kelly is doing and I do think it will lead to great things. I agree that Rees is not the answer, but there is a reason Kelly is sticking with him. Rees will remain the starter unless he gets hurt.

    The defense seemed uninspired at first, but they did shut them out in the second half. Teo is playing hurt and the D-Line is a mess, but they did some nice things at the end of the game. The defense also seems to play better in the nickle.

    Take the game for what it was…a win. We should win the next 2 games and then we have a shot at a Top 10 team. The Stanford game is going to be our BCS game. This will be the first game that ND is not favored, so they can put it all on the line. There always has to be that one game that puts a team over the top…Stanford could be the one. Kelly even said in his press conference after the game that he hopes Stanford is undefeated when they play. It may be a stupid comment or it may be coach that believes in what he is doing.

    I choose to believe as well because when you stop believing you should stop watching and find a new team.

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  • JC commented on November 6th, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    Every one has their own personal litmus test and you are certainly entitled to yours. However, forget about enforcing your rudimentary my way or the high way conclusion on others. What else do you have in your armamentarium worth listening to?

    [Reply]

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