September 25, 2013 // Notre Dame Football

Irish Blogger Gathering: Sooner or Later Edition

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Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback Tommy Rees (11) in action during the football game between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Michigan State Spartans, at Notre Dame Stadium, in South Bend, IN. Notre Dame Fighting Irish defeated Michigan State Spartans by the score of 17-13.  (Photo: Robin Alam/Icon SMI)

Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback Tommy Rees (11) in action during the football game between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Michigan State Spartans, at Notre Dame Stadium, in South Bend, IN. Notre Dame Fighting Irish defeated Michigan State Spartans by the score of 17-13. (Photo: Robin Alam/Icon SMI)

The Irish Blogger Gathering returns this week with Subway Domer, the godfather of the IBG, answering our questions while we answered some for  Mike at ND Nation.  Full list of this week’s IBG entries below.

ibg_nokelly31. The Notre Dame offense struggled to say the least last weekend. Was what we saw just a bad performance from Tommy Rees or more of an indication that this offense will struggle to move the ball all season long?

It’s probably a little bit of both. Tommy Rees certainly had a bad game as he had countless overthrows, delay of game penalties, and just poor decisions in general. But, it wasn’t all Tommy’s fault. This offense looks lethargic from the start. The plays takes forever to get in, the audibles take forever to check into, and everything just looks slow. If this doesn’t change, the offense will struggle all season.

However, I think a move to run more “tempo” would greatly improve the performance of the offense and take some of the “slow” out of it. Look for that to happen this week.

2. Brian Kelly still can’t seem to find a go to back and as much as she says he wants to play multiple backs it is disheartening that a go to back hasn’t emerged so far. How do you see the running back rotation continuing to play out this weekend and throughout the rest of the season?

Sadly, I don’t much of anything changing until one of these backs has a truly breakthrough performance. For people to be gushing about Cam McDaniel and his running, the truth is that he is only averaging about 3.7 yards per carry. I’d love for anyone of the backs to evolve into “the guy” but either they can’t, won’t, or just aren’t given enough opportunities to become just that.

This season, it just hasn’t been in the cards as of yet, and may not be until Brian Kelly just commits to one or two of them. Hahahahah… and that ain’t happening.

3. The Notre Dame defense showed some signs of life last week. Were the Irish opportunistic against a weak offense or was there more to their performance that should have Notre Dame fans excited they could turn it around the rest of the way?

Of course the Irish played better because of the poor offensive capability of Michigan State, but there is a lot of hope that they get things turned around for the season because of the little things (that are actually big things) that I saw. The fundamentals were noticeably better when it came to run fits, breaking down, tackling, and assignment football. They also looked like they were playing with more fire and passion in this past game than at any point during the season.

So, there is some hope that this trend will continue, and will have to if the Irish want any success against a far much better offense this week in Oklahoma.

Bonus: Notre Dame is trying to get fans to wear green this weekend. Will it work and are you a fan of Notre Dame organizing things like this?

It won’t work. It never does. Sean McGarrity (Class of ’72) and Bobby O’Reily (Class of ’76) didn’t just spend $140.00 on their new blue Notre Dame pullovers to NOT wear them to the game on Saturday, and that goes with about 30,00 others. Add the Oklahoma contingent, and you’ll see patches of green and the stadium will look more like the Notre Dame turf in November than the green field of dreams that they hope for.

If Notre Dame really wanted this work, they would need to hand out 80,000 shirts and 80,000 green pom poms. It still wouldn’t work quite as well as it does in other places, but it would be effective enough.

Comments to this Article

  • Toulmin H. Brown commented on September 25th, 2013 at 11:19 am

    A excellent photograph of Tommy Rees in true Notre Dame style!

    [Reply]

  • JC commented on September 25th, 2013 at 11:58 am

    Positively positive we are emotionaless and rudderless as compared to last year! Maybe 200 gallons of “Pickle Juice” instead of Gatorade would help? Seems innocuous enough. Positive Attitude and Blue Skies all the way!!!

    GooooooooooooIrish!

    [Reply]

    Toulmin H. Brown replied on September 25th, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    Louis Nix was without emotion last Saturday versus MSU? TJ Jones was void of emotion? Cam Mcdaniel displayed little courage, emotion, determination Saturday with head stitches & a fractured hand?

    PS
    I’m a Roman Catholic as was my mother before me. (for what it is worth)
    NOTRE DAME WINS THIS GAME ! !

    [Reply]

    SteelfanRob replied on September 25th, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    THB,

    Agreed! But you’ve named 3 from a team of how many? Besides, playing with emotion is great. But playing with both the head and the heart is better. A team can play hard and still not be very good. Would you agree with that?

    Sadly, being a Roman Catholic doesn’t guarantee either Christian charity or knowing what the Church actually teaches. Too often, sadly, and I speak here from personal and familial experience, it’s about ritualism and cultural heritage and not about genuine faith. But that’s something we’ll be accountable for one day.

    As a Catholic, then, you should have not been so amusingly perplexed by my phrase about reading the Bible canonically and organically. Since I’ve already been chastised by someone on here for talking about the Bible I won’t get into it any longer.

    [Reply]

    Toulmin H. Brown replied on September 25th, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    Agreed but not just “any three” especially Louis.

  • SteelfanRob commented on September 25th, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    Now, now, JC, we can’t risk running afoul of our moral superiors. I thought you’d know this by now. Let’s be nice and by their rules. Freedom of expression is good for Ron Burgundy and the trolls who come on here, they get a free pass in the name of political correctness and respect for dialog, but God forbid a true ND fan try to make any comment counter to the holy inquisitors on this/their site. I see ropes, whips, and a “San Benito” outfit for us in the near future as our would be Torquemadas make us pay for our sins against them (not against ND football mind you, but against their prejudices).

    Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa!

    [Reply]

    JC replied on September 25th, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    Robby,

    Google this sentence: “The Department of Defense classified Catholics and Evangelical Christians as religious extremists similar to Al-Qaeda, according to training materials obtained by the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty.”

    Yeah, the conformity and control boys want the last positive word waterboarded out of us! Seems innocuous?

    [Reply]

    Ron Burgundy replied on September 25th, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    Easy with the troll talk there Marsellus.

    [Reply]

  • SteelfanRob commented on September 25th, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    Boy, JC, I’m terrified of our inquisitors. After all, our moral leaders here seem to be experts in making all kinds of things up. Apparently,JC, I’ve been living under the delusion that ND and the Steelers are one and the same team. I had no idea that Ben Roethlesberger played against MSU on Sat. Of course, the way he’s playing, perhaps he throws a pick six and fumbles that game away, too!

    I disagree with you about one thing though, JC, waterboarding may be way too modern a torture technique for our inquisitors. These guys are medieval. (Many of them think that the Middle Ages were the height of Catholicism!) So, I’d say they want to get medieval on our ass. (See that, JC, another movie reference by me. I’m just so clever and learned! Let’s see how many can identify the movie.)

    Of course, I’d disagree with the report from the no doubt ultra-liberal Chaplain Alliance. But I see your and their point. There are certainly fundamentalists in all religions that want the only word (forget about the last one).

    [Reply]

  • JC commented on September 25th, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    Amen Robby,

    Seems innocuous?

    Goooooooo(Real)Irish!

    [Reply]

  • SteelfanRob commented on September 25th, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    Hey, JC,

    All BS aside with our moral superiors, what’s your gut telling you about Sat.? I think this may be the pivotal game. Win and play well and I really believe ND can go at worst 10-2, assuming the team builds on the victory against OU. Play like we’ve been playing and lose and it could get ugly really fast.

    Of course, we could lose by 50 at home to OU and our moral leaders will tell us everything is great and we just have to wait until next week. So I guess that there’s always that bit of pie in the sky Sun. morning punditry to look forward to.

    [Reply]

    JC replied on September 25th, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    Well, there’s no middle of the road for this one. It’s really going to go well or really subpar. I have no idea where this team is going to land this year after the last four games. It’s now a mixed bag for me as all my predictions are off the table.
    I wish I had a better answer, however, I don’t follow the ‘yellow brick road zealots!’ Show me the signature wins not mediocrity and show me the National Championship! End of story!

    GooooooooooIrish!

    [Reply]

    SteelFanRob replied on September 25th, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    Totally agree. My gut tells me the Irish will play well. But who knows.

    “Yellow brick road zealots”! Love it! It seems that too many here have a misplaced idea of loyalty. Loyalty for them seems to mean don’t say anything bad at all. I guess some of the ND faithful have grown so used to ND losing that they’ll settle for anything. That’s so sad to me, JC.

    Go up and read “duranko’s” diatribe against me. Now, I can respect anyone on here who hates the Stillers. I get it. But to say that a team that has won 2SBs and played in 3 within the last years sucks, well, then what does that say about ND by comparison. I’d give multiple losing seasons for the Steelers right now if my equally beloved Irish could win just one NC!

    I’ve always gone out of my way to compliment Dick Arrington for his contributions on here. But I guess he’s just one of those types that requires you only compliment him and never disagree with him. If you play along with “duranko” you get along. If you don’t, then you get emotion-laden, ego-violent diatribes. From our personal exchanges off this site I would’ve never thought that he is that petty. But perhaps the anonymity of this medium makes people more prone to diatribes. I know I’ve been guilty of this a few times, for which I’ve always tried to apologize.

    Go Irish! Excellence instead of Mediocrity!

    [Reply]

  • SteelfanRob commented on September 25th, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    THB,

    I for one think “Irish Chocolate” has had a more than decent season. He’s getting double- and at times triple-teamed. He’s doing what a true 3-4 NG should be doing. Namely, eating up O linemen to allow the ILBs to make plays. The problem is the ILBs have not been very good, as several here have pointed out. That makes Big Lou’s work go unnoticed. But, I agree with you that Nix III is a heart and soul player for us. Good call on that one, THB.

    Boy, we really miss Manti. (By we I mean all of us minus “duranko”!)

    [Reply]

    Toulmin H. Brown replied on September 25th, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    He is awesome he really is. Seeing him Saturday was a clear improvement and gave me comfort in knowing ND is building like a hurricane.

    [Reply]

    SteelfanRob replied on September 25th, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    From your mouth to God’s ears, THB.

    Go Irish!

    [Reply]

  • SteelFanRob commented on September 25th, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    Ron,

    Trolls will always be public enemy #1 to me and others on here who truly love ND football and don’t care to make erstwhile alliances with anti-ND haters. There are plenty of public sites to go to bash the Irish. Let me suggest ESPN for starters.

    Who’s Marsellus?

    Cheers.

    [Reply]

    JDH replied on September 25th, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    SFR,
    Ron’s main problems are these:
    He sits at his keyboard with a grin on his face, inherently the glibbest of creatures. He gets off thinking that he is the smartest one in the room and that we “just don’t get him”. He implies that we should be obsequious. In other words, he believes his infantile one-upmanship renders him superior and the rest of us are not hip enough, nor do we possess his intellectual range.

    But the reality is that his attempts to be humorous, by tossing a line from a movie or using some cryptic, mildly-clever line, are really just stale and pathetic.

    The best course of action is to simply ignore, as a matter of course. His self-aggrandizing behavior proves constantly that he is nothing more than an attention whore with an inferiority complex.

    Any bets on whether or not he answers my post with some passive-aggressive, “witty” remark?

    Oh yes, GO IRISH!

    [Reply]

    Ron Burgundy replied on September 25th, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    Thanks for the kind words, haven’t had the pleasure of speaking with you and I appreciate your diagnosis. It was just darn hilarious.

    Not sure if this qualifies as passive aggressive or “witty” but I hope you have a great day.

    Thanks for your concern.

    Stay classy and Go Irish!

    [Reply]

    JDH replied on September 26th, 2013 at 10:06 am

    Sure you’ve had the “pleasure of speaking with me”, albeit in your drive-by nonsensical sort of way. I’m quite sure you don’t remember because none of your conversations here are at all meaningful.

    “I appreciate your diagnosis.”
    It was really quite simple because of how utterly predictable you are.

    “It was just darn hilarious.” I wasn’t trying to be funny.

    “Thanks for your concern.”
    I’m not concerned for you, just calling it as I see it. What you might seek to understand is that the other regulars on this site agree with me.

    Put it this way: We certainly enjoy jokes, humor, giving eachother a hard time as guys will do. Yet as this is a site about ND football, the discussion of that subject is sort of encouraged.

    If we all just used infantile alter egos from films we like and vomited out one-liners, well then that’s not much of a football site is it?

    I have no hope that you will change your ways or contribute to the discussion on this site in any way. Nor does anyone else. And this is the last I’ll speak of it.

    Continue to be the court jester of the site as much as your heart desires.

    Ron Burgundy replied on September 25th, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    The guy who said I want to get medieval.

    To be fair I am not a ND hater but rather a fan. Just look at the posts on here during a game to see real hate and name calling of players and coaches.

    [Reply]

  • SteelFanRob commented on September 25th, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    JDH,

    I actually think I’m beginning to understand Ron Burgundy better. Yes, I do get the glibness. And some of his remarks are too witty. But my main problem with Ron Burgundy was (I say was) not so much his glib attitude but that I apparently mistook him for a troll by a similar name. Like I’ve said, if you’re a true ND fan, then what you say and how you say it are up to you. Of course, that doesn’t mean we’ll agree with either the message of the messenger but as a ND fan you are welcome. (At least until as such a time as you disagree with one of our upstanding and high-minded moral consciences, then you’ll be censored.) So, yes, I think Ron takes some getting used to but I’m sure a lot of people say that about a lot of us.

    Ron: You’re the winner! I was expecting the name of the movie but you did me one better and named the character who said the line. I had totally forgotten his name. Yes, Marsellus it is. I just remember the “Gimp”. My other favorite line from the movie is “Who is Zed?…. Zed’s dead, baby, Zed’s dead.”

    Now the name-calling can get too much. But what we’ve seen from the team this season and for so many seasons with different coaches warrants real criticism, Ron. Now, to someone who only wants to hear rosy, pie in the sky analysis, criticism may come across as hate but it’s just criticism. But like I’ve said before, there’s a broad middle ground people of good will can come to between the “Sky is falling” pessimism and the “Pie in the sky” blind optimism. But sometimes you just have to call a spade a spade.

    [Reply]

    JDH replied on September 26th, 2013 at 10:09 am

    My issues are stated. It’s simply my opinion that football should be discussed in addition to one-liners. What if we all did that and that alone? It gets a little old.

    [Reply]

  • Todd Swisher commented on September 25th, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    I am usually very positive with my comments on this site, but I don’t have a good feeling about the next stretch of games, particularly Oklahoma and Arizona State. I think ND may be 3-3 heading into the SC game. This team is just mediocre and I haven’t seen anything that makes me think we will see dramatic improvement. Despite losing some talented seniors, certainly the loss of Golson, Springmann, and Spond has also hurt.

    I really had high expectations heading into this year. I really thought they would be a top-10 team before they lost Golson. Even without Golson, I still thought they would be a very good team (top-20) however I have been extremely disappointed in their play so far – and I have seen nothing that leads me to believe they are poised to play better. I hate to say this but they are going to get embarrassed over the next two weeks if they don’t play at a much higher level. The frustrating thing is that they have a lot of talent – top 10-15 talent. Kelly and his staff have really done a poor job preparing this team to play this year. This is his worst coaching job in his 4 years at ND.

    [Reply]

    JC replied on September 25th, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    Todd,

    I have witnessed your positivity and it has been exceptional high caliber, not over the top like some shooting for 15 words or less of fame. I definitely share your pain and HAD the same expectations for this year.

    I hope this is NOT a CW event all over again. It seems everytime we sign a new contract the wheels fall off.
    Hey, you have been a perfect diplomat do not feel sorry about a single thing. I believe a lot of people are feeling the same vibe just not willing to deal with it. Contrary to our inhouse contrarian specialist: duranko, visual assessment is indeed 50% of the equation. I don’t see the dominance or passion of last year either.

    GooooIrish!

    Oh what was that prediction of duranko? Game 6 & 10 offensive improvement? Couple with a 10 win season prediction after being 1-1?

    Well, The Big Chicken Little will be purple-faced if the chickens come home to roost! Ugly, real ugly!

    Goooooo(Real)Irish!

    [Reply]

  • SteelfanRob commented on September 25th, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    Todd,

    How dare you be so pessimistic? Didn’t you got the memo from our betters? Only pie in the sky allowed here. How dare you criticize BK? “duranko” will now excommunicate you for sure.

    Seriously, I agree this is the critical stretch of the season. But I’m going to go out on a limb and say this team gets slowly better and beats all 3 of these teams. In this case style points won’t matter. We just need to win. But this team needs to get on a role after this 3-game stretch and beat the snot out of the likes of Navy and AF. Ideally we roll into Stanford 10-1. Even if we lose to one of these three (let it not be SC, please!), we can still be playing for something meaningful against Stanford.

    Now I guess I’ll be slammed by “duranko” et al. for not being optimistic enough.

    [Reply]

    JC replied on September 25th, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    You need to be slammed you wishful optimist!
    Hahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

    [Reply]

    JC replied on September 25th, 2013 at 9:46 pm

    la la la la follow follow the yellow brick road!!! hahaha!

    Rob, you’re definately a bona fide iconclast!

    [Reply]

  • JC commented on September 25th, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    Whoops: iconoclast!

    [Reply]

  • JC commented on September 25th, 2013 at 9:53 pm

    Rob,

    Don’t forget to drink your “Pickle Juice” before you go to bed tonight! So you can grow up to be just like our fearless diatribe expert: ‘duranko!’

    Goooo(Real)Irish!

    [Reply]

  • D-Train 65 commented on September 25th, 2013 at 10:01 pm

    It would appear that non-football comment is taking over this blog.and I for one am getting SICK of all the “moralistic, philosophical, bullshit that seems to becoming a blight on the site. Could those of you who want to continue with non-football related garbage find somewhere else to babble on PLEASE. Re: the running back situation you can note that on this day in September I predicted that at least TWO of the current running backs at UND will have transferred out by April of 14′ from Bryant, Folston, Mahone, due to LACK of playing opportunities. Additionally, the class of 2014 will have no 4-5 star running backs in it due to Kelly’s continued REFUSAL to run the ball despite having SIX capable backs available in this current year and a QB who cannot run to the corner store for a newspaper. They will follow Lynch, Kiel, Vanderdoes, the Arizona kid and the receiver whose names escape me for the moment. Kind of scary to think what this years roster might have been capable of if all of these guys had stayed and someone other then Kelly called the plays and Turnover was not at QB to bore us all to death.

    [Reply]

    Ron Burgundy replied on September 25th, 2013 at 10:46 pm

    Crikey D you sound mad. Crack open a Fosters and take the night off.

    [Reply]

    JC replied on September 25th, 2013 at 11:27 pm

    Excuse me duranko jr.

    You’ve been ranting the same garbage for weeks prima donna!
    Are you the the master of the obvious? Why don’t you just fire BK and come-on in with your deluxe coaching abilities. I’m sure Father Jenkins is waiting with pen in hand for your expertise.
    Enough football for you?

    [Reply]

    D-Train 65 replied on September 26th, 2013 at 3:37 am

    Gidday JC, I think your “all my predictions are off the table” and I have no idea where this team is going” pretty well sum up your level of EXPERTISE on all thing football. Re your comments on Duranko from my readings of his comments it would appear he has “forgotten” more about football then you appear to have learned. Get back to me on October 20th with an “up date” on Kelly/Rees and the Irish season and I will get back to you in April re my predictions to see who is the more knowledgeable. As RB would say Stay Classy (would appear to be a “stretch” judging on the majority of your comments on this site.

    [Reply]

    JC replied on September 26th, 2013 at 7:31 am

    I’m sure you will with baited breath old wise one. Who was the one you were willing to die for…”for the right to say it?”

    Why don’t you practice what you preach and save us another BS follow up visit?

    Cheers!

    sam replied on September 27th, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    Who do you recommend plays qb? Zaire freshman just coming back from mono?
    Hendrix SUCKS. Everyone who follows the team on SBT and NBC central has said it. Who do you Think should play then. Offer a realistic solution. No Superman or batman options.

    [Reply]

  • JC commented on September 25th, 2013 at 11:09 pm

    Hahaha! This is scary Ron even you’re starting to win me over! Hahaha!

    [Reply]

  • Storespook commented on September 25th, 2013 at 11:19 pm

    Why don’t we hire Winston Wolff as head coach, he gets stuff done fast.
    I think this week’s game will really define where this team is at in development. I think we have regressed and if you would have asked back in 2010 if what we are seeing from this current team would not match what would have been described back then. The Boys in Blue & Gold can win this game if they show up and have a level of inspiration to play. I truly think the NFL flirtation at the time of a NC game really rubbed a lot of current players the wrong way about BK’s commitment to this team.

    Lets Go Irish

    [Reply]

    JC replied on September 25th, 2013 at 11:39 pm

    I agree Storespook, hope this does NOT turn out to be another 2011 Ground Hog Year.

    [Reply]

    JC replied on September 26th, 2013 at 12:26 am

    By the way, Jack says your buying the beer Saturday!

    [Reply]

    Storespook replied on September 26th, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    Okie Dokie, JC, I will buy the cold adult beverages.

    Go Irish

    [Reply]

  • PhillyIrish commented on September 27th, 2013 at 11:02 am

    First time commenting, long time lurker…..

    I have to admit that during the games I get pretty frustrated watching. However they are 3 and 1 and without one of our top weapons from last year in Golson who everyone thought with a year under his belt that Kelly would finally be able to run the type of offense he promised when he arrived in 2010. I go in to every game nervous, but that is nothing different as that has happened ever since I was old enough to watch ND, besides the Holtz years of course. However winning ugly is better than losing, I shudder when I think of the Davie years. What I am trying to say is that Kelly ain’t perfect, the team ain’t perfect, but I will root for them till the day I die. I believe in Kelly, after a long road since Holtz left we finally have a coach that had head coaching experience AND success as a HC before arriving in South Bend. I think we all feel the same way, again depending on the day, if you were to talk to me during the Michigan game or the Purdue game or any game I would be singing a different tune because well, I think most of us get irrational and wear our hearts on our sleeves during the game. So in ending I say let’s hope for the best but prepare for the worst….and yes I would like to see them win multiple NC’s to shut all the haters up before I die!

    Go IRISH!!!!

    [Reply]

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