December 27, 2013 // Notre Dame Football

Notre Dame Pinstripe Bowl Preview

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Pinstripe Bowl Preview

Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly (center) waits to lead the Fighting Irish onto the field to play the Pittsburgh Panthers during the first quarter at Heinz Field. PITT won 28-21. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Notre Dame QB’s: Tommy Rees heads into the final game of his Notre Dame career with 2,938 passing yards on a 53.7 completion percentage with 27 passing touchdowns and 13 interceptions. His 27 touchdown passes are the most since Jimmy Clausen had 28 in the 2009 Notre Dame Football season. Andrew Hendrix enters what will likely be his final game in a Notre Dame uniform as rumors circulate that he is likely to transfer to Miami to be with new head coach (and former Notre Dame offensive coordinator) Chuck Martin. Hendrix has completed 2 of 14 passes for a 14.3 completion percentage and 56 passing yards along with 26 rushing yards and 1 rushing touchdown.

Notre Dame QB’s vs. Rutgers Pass Defense: Rutgers has the 122nd ranked pass defense that is the worst ranked pass defense that the Irish will face since the season opener against Temple (who is ranked 121st in the nation). Rutgers has allowed opponents to complete 64.1 percent of their passes and have allowed 31 passing touchdowns and have only intercepted 8 passes all season long with 311.4 passing yards allowed per game. Rutgers has allowed 400 or more passing yards in 4 games this season as well with 456 allowed against Fresno St., 484 allowed against SMU, 400 to Houston, and the highest being 507 to Cincinnati. Rutgers also had 4 other games where at at least 300 passing yards were allowed as well to give them 8 games overall with 300 or more passing yards allowed. Opponents were also accurate in these games as well with 4 games having opponents complete 70 percent or higher of their passes as well. This gives the Irish a lopsided matchup that could give Tommy Rees the best performance of the season in the passing game.

Edge: Notre Dame

Rutgers QB’s: Chas Dodd is expected to start after starting the last 2 games the season in place of previous starter Gary Nova. Dodd has appeared in 7 games overall this season and has completed 60 percent of his passes for 712 passing yards with 2 passing touchdowns, and has 3 interceptions. Gary Nova appeared in and started the first 10 games of the season and completed 54.5 percent of his passes for 2,159 passing yards with 18 passing touchdowns and 14 interceptions.

Rutgers QB’s vs. Notre Dame Pass Defense: The Irish come in with the 18th ranked pass defense that has allowed opponents to complete 60.7 percent of their passes and have allowed 18 passing touchdowns and have 9 interceptions. While the defensive secondary for the Irish hasn’t been as good as they were in the 2012 season, the unit has done a decent job and only allowed 1 opponent to exceed 300 or more passing yards (Arizona St.). While the quarterback change for Rutgers might have helped considering Gary Nova having major turnover issues (He has thrown for 39 interceptions in his career in total over three seasons with 9 in 2011, 16 in 2012, and 14 this season), Chas Dodd still has more interceptions than touchdowns. The Irish should be able to do well against the Rutgers pass offense.

Edge: Notre Dame

Notre Dame RB’s: Cam McDaniel leads the Irish in rushing with 625 rushing yards on 135 attempts with 4.6 yards per rush and 3 rushing touchdowns. George Atkinson III has 555 rushing yards on 93 attempts for 6.0 yards per rush and 3 rushing touchdowns. Tarean Folston earned the Newcomer of the Year award for offense at the Notre Dame awards celebration that was in part to getting more and more playing time in the second half of the season for the Irish and on the season has 397 rushing yards on 71 attempts with a 5.6 yard average and 2 rushing touchdowns. Amir Carlisle has seen a reduced amount of playing time lately with 201 rushing yards on 46 carries for a 4.4 yard average.

Notre Dame RB’s vs. Rutgers Rush Defense: Rutgers is 4th in the nation in rush defense with 94.6 yards per game allowed and has held opponents to just 3.0 yards per rush, but they have allowed 15 rushing touchdowns this season. They did allow one opponent to rush for 211 yards which was a season high in yards allowed in the loss to Houston, and UCF was able to find the endzone easily on the ground with 4 rushing touchdowns. Rutgers is the third team this season that Notre Dame will face with a top 5 run defense with opponents Michigan St. and Stanford being 1st and 3rd, respectively. The Irish will likely stick to the main rotation of Cam McDaniel, Tarean Folston, and George Atkinson III, but look for Folston to continue to see more playing time.

Edge: Even

Rutgers RB’s: Paul James leads the Scarlet Knights in rushing despite battling injuries. He has 833 rushing yards on 146 carries with 5.7 yards per rush and 9 rushing touchdowns. Justin Goodwin has 518 rushing yards on 108 attempts with a 4.8 yards per rush average and 5 rushing touchdowns. Savon Huggins has 279 rushing yards on 84 attempts with 3.3 yards per rush and 2 rushing touchdowns.

Rutgers RB’s vs. Notre Dame Rush Defense: The Irish are 76th in run defense and have numerous injuries up front on the defensive line and are without Louis Nix III since he is out for the season and has declared for the NFL Draft. In the four games Louis Nix III missed this season (Air Force, Navy, BYU, and Stanford), the Irish allowed more than 200 rushing yards each time, and have allowed 200 or more yards in 5 games this season. Rutgers has just the 98th ranked rush offense and the Irish should improve upon poor performances by the run defense after allowing back-to-back 200 or more yard games.

Edge: Even

Notre Dame WR’s and TE’s: TJ Jones became the first Notre Dame player to have a 1,000 receiving yard season since Michael Floyd did in back-to-back seasons in 2010 and 2011. TJ Jones has been one of the most important parts of the offense and has had the best season in his Notre Dame career. On the season TJ Jones has 65 receptions for 1,042 receiving yards with 16.0 yards per catch and 9 receiving touchdowns. He also has 5 attempts on the ground for 51 rushing yards with a 10.2 yard average and 1 rushing touchdown. DaVaris Daniels has been really good for the Irish lately with 46 catches for 720 receiving yards on a 15.7 yard average and 7 receiving touchdowns with touchdowns in 3 consecutive games. Troy Niklas leads the tight ends with 422 receiving yards on 28 receptions and averages 15.1 yards a catch with 5 receiving touchdowns, while Ben Koyack has 9 catches for 158 receiving yards with 17.6 yards per catch and 3 receiving touchdowns. Chris Brown has 10 catches for 155 receiving yards with 1 receiving touchdown and 15.5 yards per catch, while Corey Robinson has 8 catches for 147 receiving yards with an average of 18.4 yards per catch and 1 receiving touchdown, and William Fuller has 6 catches for 160 receiving yards with an average of 26.7 yards per catch and 1 receiving touchdown.

Notre Dame WR’s vs. Rutgers DB’s: With the Rutgers pass defense being as low as it is in terms of ranking, and numerous playmakers in the receiving game for the Irish gives a major matchup nightmare here. Having 7 players with a long of 30 or more yards and 5 with 40 or more yards matches up well with a unit that has allowed 33 plays that were 25 or more yards and 90 plays of 15 or more yards. With numerous players capable of catching long passes and having done it more than one occasion this season gives the Irish more edge.

Edge: Notre Dame

Rutgers WR’s and TE’s: Tyler Kroft leads Rutgers in receiving with 40 receptions and 530 receiving yards with an average of 13.2 yards per catch and 4 touchdowns. Brandon Coleman has 32 catches for 473 receiving yards and has 3 touchdowns and 14.8 yards per reception, while Quron Pratt has 31 catches for 493 receiving yards and a 15.9 yard average. Leonte Carroo has 28 catches for 478 receiving yards with 9 receiving touchdowns and averages 17.1 yards per catch. Ruhann Peele has 26 receptions for 278 yards with a 10.7 yard average and 1 receiving touchdown. Michael Burton has 19 catches for 149 receiving yards with 2 receiving touchdowns and a 7.8 yard average.

Rutgers WR’s vs. Notre Dame DB’s: The Scarlet Knights have shown that they can spread the ball around as well with the top 4 receivers being close in terms of receiving yards. Leonte Carroo needs to be accounted for as he basically has a receiving touchdown every 3 receptions. The top 5 all are capable of catching longer passes with all 5 having a long reception of 40 or more yards and 6 players overall have a reception of 40 or more yards this season. Preventing the big play is going to be important as always and the Notre Dame secondary will have a boost with the return of Elijah Shumate and Eilar Hardy returning after missing the Stanford game.

Edge: Even

Notre Dame OL: The Irish will be without Chris Watt for the Pinstripe Bowl due to injury and will be the third starting offensive lineman lost for the season this season. Despite this, the offensive line has been one of the best units for the Irish this season. Opponents have had a tough time getting to Tommy Rees with only 8 sacks allowed all season and have allowed 22 quarterback hurries and 50 tackles for loss. In terms of run blocking, the Irish average 4.5 yards per rush and 149.0 rushing yards per game.

Notre Dame OL vs. Rutgers DL: Rutgers has been decent in getting in sacks with 32 overall and they have 25 quarterback hurries and 76 tackles for loss. With Rutgers being good at getting into opposing backfields with the 76 tackles for loss, the Irish will need to keep that contained. Despite being down a few starters, the Irish have been able to do well despite losing players for the season and the offensive line should put in a good performance for the Irish.

Edge: Notre Dame

Rutgers OL: The Scarlet Knights came into this season with tremendous amounts of returning experience, but have had trouble keeping opponents out of the backfield this season with 31 sacks, 76 tackles for loss, and 30 quarterback hurries allowed. Run blocking hasn’t been as great with an average of 133.7 rushing yards per game and 3.7 yards per rush, but the unit has blocked decently with 17 rushing touchdowns.

Rutgers OL vs. Notre Dame DL: The Irish have only 17 sacks, but have 59 tackles for loss and 42 quarterback hurries. Most of the quarterback hurries come from Stephon Tuitt and Prince Shembo, who combine for 30 quarterback hurries alone. The Irish have been heavily banged up on the defensive line with only Stephon Tuitt being the only player to start every game this season. Despite this the Irish should be able to get pressure on Rutgers and make plays in the backfield

Edge: Notre Dame

Notre Dame DL: Out of all the units on the entire Notre Dame Football team, this one has suffered more injuries than the rest. Tony Springmann and Chase Hounshell were lost for the season before it even began and numerous others had injuries that forced them to miss time as well, and Louis Nix III missed time before eventually having season-ending surgery and declared for the NFL Draft. Stephon Tuitt has 45 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, 6 sacks, 1 interception (returned for a touchdown), 2 pass breakups, 13 quarterback hurries, and 1 forced fumble. Sheldon Day has 31 tackles, 5 tackles for loss, 1 pass breakup, and 1 quarterback hurry, while Kona Schwenke has 21 tackles and 1 quarterback hurry. Jarron Jones continues to see more playing time and has 18 tackles, 1 quarterback hurry, 1 forced fumble and 2 blocked kicks, while Issac Rochell has 10 tackles.

Notre Dame DL vs. Rutgers OL: Rutgers has had problems keeping opposing teams out of their backfield and have had issues with quarterback pressure. This plays well into the strength the Irish have in pressuring opposing quarterbacks. Considering all of this, despite being down in injuries, the Irish will be able to make plays.

Edge: Notre Dame

Rutgers DL: Marcus Thompson has 46 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, 4 quarterback hurries and 1 forced fumble for Rutgers. Darius Hamilton has 42 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, 3 pass breakups, 4 quarterback hurries, 1 fumble recovery, and 1 forced fumble. Djawny Mera has 32 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, and 1 forced fumble, while David Milewski has 31 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 1 pass breakup, 1 quarterback hurry, and 2 fumble recoveries.

Rutgers DL vs. Notre Dame OL: The Irish may be down a few players on the offensive line and Rutgers can get into the backfield with sacks and tackles for loss, and this is an area that needs to be focused on. The Irish have done well in bringing in the next player when one goes down, and having backups being prepared has been a major bonus in one of the best units for the Irish. Keeping Rutgers out of the backfield is going to be one of the biggest battles in this game.

Edge: Notre Dame

Notre Dame LB’s: The Irish have lost a couple of players here for the season to injury, with Jarrett Grace being the most notable player to be injured. Dan Fox leads the Irish in tackles with 90 tackles, 5 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 1 interception (returned for a touchdown), 1 pass breakup, and 1 fumble recovery. Carlo Calabrese has 84 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, 0.5 sacks, 1 pass breakup, and 1 fumble recovery. Jaylon Smith has been one of the best players for the Irish defense and is having an impressive season as a true freshman. Smith is third on the team in tackles with 61 and has 6.5 tackles for loss, 1 interception, 3 pass breakups, 1 quarterback hurry, 1 fumble recovery and 1 forced fumble. Prince Shembo brings in the pressure on opposing quarterbacks with 46 tackles, 5 tackles for loss, 5 sacks, 17 quarterback hurries, and 1 forced fumble. Kendall Moore has 17 tackles and 1 tackle for loss and Ishaq Williams has 16 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss and 1 sack.

Notre Dame LB’s vs. Rutgers: Run support and pass rush will be important for the linebackers, while also covering tight end (and leading receiver) Tyler Kroft. Look for Jaylon Smith to continue to make plays and Prince Shembo to bring in quarterback pressure. The Irish will need strong play from the linebackers with injuries depleting up front on the defensive line.

Edge: Notre Dame

Rutgers LB’s: Steve Longa eads the Scarlet Knights in tackles with 111 and also has 7.5 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, 3 pass breakups, 2 quarterback hurries, 1 fumble recovery, and 2 forced fumbles. Kevin Snyder has 89 tackles 7.5 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 2 pass breakups, and 3 quarterback hurries. Quentin Gause has 44 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 1 pass breakup, and 1 quarterback hurry. Jamal merrell has 37 tackles, 2 interceptions, 3 pass breakups, and 2 blocked kicks, while Quanzell Lambert has 16 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, 2 quarterback hurries, and 1 forced fumble.

Rutgers LB’s vs. Notre Dame: The linebackers help make for a strong front seven for the Scarlet Knights. Considering the high ranking of the run defense of Rutgers, this will make it a bit of a challenge in running the ball. Rutgers will need to account for the tight ends of Notre Dame as well as they have made quite a few plays this season as well. Keeping the linebackers out of the backfield is also important as well with many having numerous tackles for loss.

Edge: Even

Notre Dame DB’s: Bennett Jackson has 59 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 2 interceptions (1 returned for a touchdown), 3 pass breakups, 1 quarterback hurry, and 1 fumble recovery. KeiVarae Russell has 49 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, 5 pass breakups, 1 quarterback hurry, and 1 fumble recovery. Matthias Farley has 49 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 2 interceptions, and 3 pass breakups. Austin Collinsworth has 39 tackles, 0.5 tackles for loss, 2 interceptions, and 2 quarterback hurries. Eilar Hardy has 25 tackles and 1 tackle for loss, while Elijah Shumate has 23 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, and 1 pass breakup.

Notre Dame DB’s vs. Rutgers WR’s: Preventing the big play is going to be very important with quite a few players for the Scarlet Knights being able to catch long passes. Rutgers can spread the ball well too which also must be accounted for. The defensive backs are going to be back to full strength for the Pinstripe Bowl and this helps in the matchup here.

Edge: Even

Rutgers DB’s: Lorenzo Waters has 50 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, 1 interception, 4 pass breakups, 1 quarterback hurry, 1 fumble recovery, and 2 forced fumbles. Jeremy Deering has 39 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 interception, 1 pass breakup, while Tejay Johnson has 35 tackles, 0.5 tackles for loss, and 3 pass breakups. Gareef Glashen has 34 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 1 interception, 1 pass breakup, and 1 quarterback hurry. Nadir Barnwell has 31 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 3 pass breakups and 1 fumble recovery, while Davon Jacobs has 30 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, 2 pass breakups, and 1 quarterback hurry. Anthony Cioffi has 28 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 3 pass breakups, 1 fumble recovery, 2 forced fumbles, and 1 blocked kick.

Rutgers DB’s vs. Notre Dame WR’s: The secondary for Rutgers has been one of the worst units in the nation when it comes to defending the pass. With the Irish coming in with a talented group of receivers that all are capable of having big games and catching long passes will make for a major challenge for the Scarlet Knights secondary. This is a perfect game for Notre Dame to continue using the true freshmen in addition to TJ Jones, DaVaris Daniels and Chris Brown.

Edge: Notre Dame

Notre Dame Kicking Game: Kyle Brindza is 15 of 20 on field goals with a long of 53 and is 3 of 4 when it is 50 or more yards with 1 blocked. Kyle Brindza averages 41.3 yards per punt on 42 punts with a long of 56 with 3 touchbacks, 13 fair caught, 7 inside the 20, 7 of 50 or more yards, and 1 has been blocked. Alex Wulfeck averages 33.7 yards per punt on 7 punts with a long of 49 with 1 touchback, 3 fair caught, and 6 inside the 20. Kyle Brindza averages 63.6 yards per kickoff on 67 kickoffs with 33 touchbacks.

Rutgers Kicking Game: Kyle Federico has made 9 of 15 field goals for Rutgers with a long of 48 and has had 2 kicks blocked. Nick Marsh averages 40.3 yards per punt on 62 punts with a long of 58 with 9 touchbacks, 19 fair caught, 21 inside the 20, and 9 of 50 or more yards. Nick Marsh averages 61.3 yards on kickoffs on 60 kickoffs with just 12 touchbacks.

Stronger Unit: Notre Dame

Notre Dame Return Game: George Atkinson III averages 25.2 yards per kickoff return on 31 kickoffs for 780 yards with a long of 50. Cam McDaniel has returned 8 kickoffs for 137 yards with a 17.1 yard average and a long of 26.

Rutgers Return Game: The return game has been a strength for the Scarlet Knights this season with 2 different players each returning a kickoff for a touchdown and 1 punt return touchdown as well. Janarion Grant has returned 18 kickoffs for 390 yards with a 21.7 yard average, 1 touchdown, and a long of 100 yards. Quron Pratt has returned 14 kickoffs for 372 yards for an average of 26.6 yards per return, 1 touchdown, and a long of 99 yards. Janarion Grant has 17 punt returns for 156 yards with a 9.2 yard average, 1 touchdown, and a long of 58 yards.

Stronger Unit: Rutgers

Everything Else: The Irish are coming off a close loss at Stanford to give the Irish a regular season finish of 8-4, while Rutgers beat USF to finish 6-6 and become bowl eligible. Despite losing offensive and defensive coordinators Chuck Martin and Bob Diaco to Miami and Uconn as head coaches, the Irish should still be fine as Rutgers fired a few members on the coaching staff. The Irish should try to stay balanced on offense, but with Rutgers having a major weakness in pass defense, this looks like a great opportunity for making plays in the air. Injuries have mounted this season for the Irish, and especially on the defensive line and getting out of the bowl game injury free will help as well and the playing time for the backups has proven to valuable along with the additional practices that going to a bowl game offers. Winning this bowl game would help give the Irish a more positive shift in momentum going into the 2014 season that will feature the return of Everett Golson at quarterback.

Prediction: Notre Dame 44, Rutgers 13

Comments to this Article

  • Ron Burgundy commented on December 27th, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    Could Charley Molnar return?
    Would bj’s head explode if this occurs?

    [Reply]

  • duranko commented on December 27th, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    Ron, this info was purloined from the estimable Eric Hansen of the South Bend Tribune. There were a number of “meet the coaching staff” events when the initial staff was assembled in 2010. Hansen, as ever, watched and observed. He thought that Molnar, and one other coach, it may have been one of the two that wound up at OSU, did not really “fit in” with the rest of the coaching staff. Eric mentioned that his surmise was confirmed by one or more of the other press observers.

    So, Molnar will need to look elsewhere for employment. Further, Kelly spent a lot of practice time one on one with Golson last Spring. There may be a “nominal” qb coach, who would really get to know Malik Zaire and Deshone Kizer. But Kelly will be Golson’s coach.

    On the matter of “exploding heads” where in the Scripture does it say that that is a bad thing?

    On the game, it does not surprise me that Gary Nova was replaced. As always, Rutgers played well against Louisville, but when push was confronted by shove, Gary Nova could not make a play. It was almost pathetic, in the sence of evoking pathos.

    And I don’t think we’ve lost in Yankee Stadium since the nonpareil Hugh Devore’s farewell in 1963, to Syracuse, 14-7. that was the darkness just before dawn. Slightly more than a fortnight later, Ara
    Raoul Parseghian was named coach at ND.

    [Reply]

  • HURLS commented on December 27th, 2013 at 11:47 pm

    Ron Burgundy -

    Here’s some “nominal” defense of Charlie Molnar: I’m in MA and have been for 45-years. Charlie was head coach at UMass. UMass is in Amherst, MA, which is 2+1/2h (pretty sure) from Boston. Despite the 3-almost-5-time-Champion NewEngland Patriots, football’s not really that big a deal here. Sure, there’s BC, but they get more the “fair-weather-fans.” (only when they’re doing well) Flutie Heisman in ’83 (’84) and early ’90′s Caughlin, when they upset NotaDame and prevented/prohibited a NatChamp the week after we had beaten FlaSt.

    Massachusetts ain’t that big on football. Hence, Charlie didn’t get too much support.
    That would be called “rationalizing.” Not to poke-holes-in-my-own-argument, but where is BK (not “bj”!) from?

    W! (my sort-hand for “whatever!”) I don’t even know what my point is. I’m just discussing. G’day!

    [Reply]

  • JC commented on December 28th, 2013 at 12:34 am

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1901896-notre-dame-football-the-road-back-to-glory

    [Reply]

  • JC commented on December 28th, 2013 at 12:56 am

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1846805-notre-dame-football-how-offense-will-change-in-2014

    [Reply]

  • Jack commented on December 28th, 2013 at 10:36 am

    I heard a rumor that Clancey Pendercast will be the next D-coordinator. I read a little and like his defensive scheme of the 3-4/ 5-2 scheme. He likes to BRI g the heat. He also took Cal from last defensively to first and look what he did to USuC’s defense. What are your thoughts?

    [Reply]

  • Jack commented on December 28th, 2013 at 11:42 am

    Atkinson suspended for the game. Not the way you want to start!

    [Reply]

    Ron Burgundy replied on December 28th, 2013 at 11:46 am

    Jalen as well.

    [Reply]

    Ron Burgundy replied on December 28th, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    Brown not Smith

    [Reply]

  • SteelFanRob commented on December 28th, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    Let’s go Irish!

    [Reply]

  • Storespook commented on December 28th, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    Need TDs not FGs in the red zone. Hope TF is not badly injured

    [Reply]

  • SteelFanRob commented on December 28th, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    Can we just find just one damned punt returner!

    Who coaches STs at ND?!

    [Reply]

    Storespook replied on December 28th, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    How about our punter, let’s change it up a bit. What do you think Rob?

    [Reply]

    SteelFanRob replied on December 28th, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    Stores,

    Hopefully we don’t punt one time this game!

    I’m glad ND scored a quick TD. No more FGs inside the 20 please!

    [Reply]

  • Storespook commented on December 28th, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    Well interesting turn of events. Hope that is not a harbinger of things to come badly in this game. Jones has been sure handed throughout the season and now that return gaffe.

    Play like a champion pinstriper, Go Irish

    [Reply]

  • Storespook commented on December 28th, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    A shoot out with Rutgers? Defense looked absent on that scoring drive for Rutgers.

    Go Irish

    [Reply]

  • SteelFanRob commented on December 28th, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    We better score 44 if the D is going to play like this!

    Pathetic start to yet another bowl game!

    Think if ND had scored a TD on its first drive and then after 3 and out scored another TD instead of fumbling the punt. It’s 14-0. Instead it’s 10-10.

    That’s how you keep a bad team in a game and give them confidence.

    [Reply]

    jeff replied on December 28th, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    I liked that screen pass to Folston right before the end of 1st qtr. Like to see more of that in the future.

    [Reply]

    irisheye62 replied on December 29th, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    Steel Fan:

    I read the comment–before I read the name—and by golly –you wre right AGAIN!
    I’m glad we won, of course.
    But this entire year has been scrappy, just getting by –a bit above mediocre –and I
    “think” we have the talent to put up points or shut out or a combo of both. Instead, we have won three games by four, another byu three, another by a TD and another by 10. Two biggest wins, Air Force, Temple and the losses can all be attributed to turnovers, turnovers, turovers—even against “mighty” Oklahoma.
    I REALLY wish Reese well.
    I REALLY hope Golsen is all they say he is. RUNNING GAME, and for the love of Mary, Mother of Jesus– a kick off return team please?
    Seriously–still 9-4 is better than 4-9–
    I thought we would end up 10-3 or at best 11-2–but I really thought the play making would have more imagination than what we did have. Rutgers/ND? Like watching paint dry!!!!!!

    [Reply]

  • JC commented on December 28th, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    6-6 Ruthers are you kidding me…we suck!

    [Reply]

    jeff replied on December 28th, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    Yes we do

    [Reply]

  • jonny commented on December 28th, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    PLEASE STOP THROWING DEEP!

    TOMMY CANT THROW THE DEEP BALL

    [Reply]

  • SteelFanRob commented on December 28th, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    JC,

    You’re wrong. You see, this is Rutger’s Super Bowl. We’re getting their best effort. You see, JC, in a few weeks Rutgers turned into the Crimson Tide. There’s nothing ND can do when another team gets up for them, JC.

    [Reply]

  • jonny commented on December 28th, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    playing DOWN to the level of competition. a staple in the BK era (and several coaches prior to him to be fair/honest)

    [Reply]

  • JC commented on December 28th, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    For 26 year this garabage has been going on!!! Next will be a joke also!

    [Reply]

  • SteelFanRob commented on December 28th, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    What a monster Shembo is! Greatest D player in ND history!

    [Reply]

    Shazamrock replied on December 30th, 2013 at 10:13 am

    “Shembo Monster” was a well known term coined by one of our fine fighting men (Sad Warrior) who only sought a bit relief from the riggors of war and defending our freedom with some light, well intnetioned interaction with a few of his fellow ND football fans back here in the States.

    Unfortunetly, for him, he found out the hard way that the feeling wasn’t always mutual.

    Since he was run off this site long ago by the incessant bulling and relentless selfishness and brow beating (and with Prince Shembo now set to graduate) there is probably no further need to pursue this vendetta or continue to beat an already dead horse.

    I for one can only hope he is doing OK.

    [Reply]

  • JC commented on December 28th, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    My page is crashing faster than I can type. Next year will be a joke also!
    We lose to Ruthers-Rutgers don’t come back BK just head straight to the NFL! Thank you for the misery NOT STARTING Zaire in 2013 Coach of the Year! 26 years of BS continues!

    [Reply]

  • Storespook commented on December 28th, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    Not much of a change on D without Diaco. D can’t finish off a potential sack and dumbass penalty to let crucial 3rd down stops. Unacceptable as a fan. 6-6 team being allowed to look so freaking dominant. Not a new phenomena.

    [Reply]

  • SteelFanRob commented on December 28th, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    This site crashes faster than ND’s title hopes! Can someone on this site figure out what the hell is wrong?!

    Can somone else on this site please suggest that no more outlandish predictions be made? When I read this guy’s predicted final score I almost threw up. ND is the most under-achieving program over the last 20 plus years. This is exactly the kind of team ND has struggled against for the last two decades.

    If ND loses this game we have to really question whether this program has any soul left.

    [Reply]

    jonny replied on December 28th, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    i agree with your 2nd paragraph. but that goes for virtually every ND fan site. not just here

    [Reply]

  • Storespook commented on December 28th, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    We can’t run against a 6-6 team. Offense looks sluggish and the fair hair wonder boy isn’t looking exactly outstanding either. Wow current 13-13 tie with this team and we just wasted 3 attempts and failed on a FG. We end up losing to this 6-6 team, some questions need to be asked and honest answers given. The play and coaching warrant critique right now. Letting their QB run and look like he is Cam Newton or something. I se Tuitt just had a stupid penalty, lack of discipline. Why don’t we just play a FCS team. This is inefficient but hey an Int oh boy

    [Reply]

    irisheye62 replied on December 29th, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    Hey Storespook–we
    can’t run at all!!!
    ND was ( notice WAS) known for a running game—and know we have lots of yards and records but damn little to show for it in terms of points and bigger victories.
    Don’t get me wrong’I don’t expect us to be 12-0 every year. However, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out ND sloppy play this year—just out last the opponet just enough to get a W. Whoever had the ball last with Mich. St won ( now a crowning glory in our year, given how they beat the suckeyes and won the big “10″ )
    then stopping Navy on downs to win and run out the clock.
    We could have been 6-6 like Rutgers or maybe 5-7 and sat home. I love ND but SO disappointed with this suck ass play this year.
    Good moments for sure.
    But in between, I’d rather paint my basement. At least there I would know a process is happening and there is a goal to the project.
    With our Irish, IDK???

    [Reply]

  • SteelFanRob commented on December 28th, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    This site is crashing every minute or so.

    What’s wrong, Frank?!!!

    This game is the usual garbage. No guts. No heart. No brains.

    This is what Nd football become. Gutless. Heartless. Brainless.

    What’s worse are excuse makers who will be out in force win or lose.

    [Reply]

  • jonny commented on December 28th, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    the only good thing about this first half …………its the last first half i ever have to watch Tommy play quarterback with an ND uniform on

    [Reply]

    Storespook replied on December 28th, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    So true Jonny, so true.

    [Reply]

  • JC commented on December 28th, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    Well, I am going to shoot trap with my grandson the hell with this game!
    ND should refund all ND tickets for this performance!

    [Reply]

    Storespook replied on December 28th, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    Do some good shooting JC.

    [Reply]

    SteelFanBob replied on December 28th, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    Well, at least it’s one less trap we have to listen to the rest of the game.

    [Reply]

    SteelFanRob replied on December 28th, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    The only trap that needs to shut up is yours, loser.

    Go stay classy at the salon sippy whatever it is you get drunk on, moron.

    Anyone notice this loser Booby never adds anything? I guess stupid is as stupid does.

    [Reply]

    SteelFanBob replied on December 28th, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    And a Merry Christmas to you to!

  • Storespook commented on December 28th, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    Another delay of game penalty due to TR not getting a play off in time. Hopefully we will make some adjustments.

    [Reply]

  • Storespook commented on December 28th, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    Well this juggernaut 6-6 team is just looking awesome against ND. This shouldn’t be even close. 59 yards of rushing against this talented Scarlet Knight team. We just are playing a buzz saw club, aren’t we?

    [Reply]

  • Jack commented on December 28th, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    Typical TR game lead in stats only field goals. Can’t run the ball and TR can’t throw into the wind. ND loses 24-20. I’m losing faith in BK.

    [Reply]

    jonny replied on December 28th, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    you’re not the only one

    [Reply]

  • jonny commented on December 28th, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    lol @ BK complaining about the footing and the turf

    …hell, that should be a strength for us! we’r used to it!

    [Reply]

  • Storespook commented on December 28th, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    This tremendous Scarlet Knight defense continues to stymie a ND. Offense. I am glad our 50+ pound in weight of our OL over this talented DL isn’t being held in reserve.

    [Reply]

  • SteelFanRob commented on December 28th, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    The BK Chinese Fire Drill at its finest! Down to TOs with a quarter and a half to play. Genuis!

    [Reply]

    jonny replied on December 28th, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    you beat me to it

    [Reply]

  • jonny commented on December 28th, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    2 time outs used before the 3rd quarter is even half over!!

    [Reply]

  • Storespook commented on December 28th, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    It’s refreshing our senior QB still has faith in his game clock management. Thank goodness we have TOs to use when he over estimates his ability to run it down to around 0 seconds.

    [Reply]

  • SteelFanRob commented on December 28th, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    A Merry Christmas to you too, Booby. Now, go back to the salon and to sipping your Burgundy.

    [Reply]

    SteelFanBob replied on December 28th, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    Much more enjoyable listening to you whine and moan like a baby.

    Or should I call you JC, C-Dog, Stores, Irisheye 62 etc.

    I guess I can play calling out the multiple names as well. Now tighten up your Capri pants and start calling this defense gutless.

    [Reply]

    SteelFanRob replied on December 28th, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    More of us on here than you, Booby.

    This ND performance is much like you. Under-whelming.

    What’s sad is that you have to enjoy our comments more than the game becuase both you and ND football are so mediocre there’s nothing else to enjoy.

    How sad is that?!

    [Reply]

  • Storespook commented on December 28th, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    Another stupid penalty to force us into, yep, you guessed it, a red zone miss for a FG, wait, another FG Opportunity, and 3 points, oh boy we are a scoring machine against this mighty Rutgers team, coming out of no where to play so tough. If I wasn’t a fan I’d say this game is a sleeper. Elite status? Yeah right, we can’t finish off this 6-6 team. Ridiculous.

    [Reply]

    irisheye62 replied on December 29th, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    Store—I wasn’t on computer during game but your words echo my thoughts. This is TERRIBLE—yawn. Mediocre. And to think–people actually stated and PUT IN WRITING that ND had BCS hopes? Really? HOW? with what????
    Whew–glad it’s over–and sure glad we won–but just by enough to put them “away” in the latter part of the 4rth quarter. On paper ( and by the stats heavily in favor of ND) we should have won this with 16- 20 more points on our side. But alas, we don’t have a freaking running game!
    Ugghh—NEXT YEAR???????

    [Reply]

  • JDH commented on December 28th, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    Pathetic beyond belief. Talent gap doesnt matter. Ditto on size at the line. Desire does and ND has none.

    [Reply]

  • Storespook commented on December 28th, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    I will say Zack Martin has been a shining bright spot on offense as has Cam.

    [Reply]

  • Storespook commented on December 28th, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    We can’t put 6 points from the 5 yard line and settle for another 3 point FG. Hope Brindza has Bengay to put on that kicking leg for how much use it has had in this game.

    [Reply]

  • Storespook commented on December 28th, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    Don’t kick in the end zone with the wind and allow a big return. Oh wait they let that happen.

    [Reply]

  • jonny commented on December 28th, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    lets get a big turn over here boys!

    [Reply]

  • SteelFanRob commented on December 28th, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    I have a sinking feeling ND will find a way to lose this game. This reminds me of so many other games ND has lost in the recent past to mediocre teams. Syracuse, Tulsa, Pitt.

    [Reply]

  • SteelFanRob commented on December 28th, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    The D can end this game right now with a 3 and out or TO. First, STs have to not allow a long return. Then the D has to get the ball back to the O. to grind out a few first downs to seal the deal.

    Go D.! Play with some guts and heart!

    [Reply]

  • jonny commented on December 28th, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    ball game!!!

    [Reply]

  • Ron Burgundy commented on December 28th, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    By the hymen of Olivia Newton John, that was closer than expected!

    Well guys, it’s been real it’s been fun but it hasn’t been real fun.

    Don’t just have a great night, have an American night!

    I’m Ron Burgundy, you stay classy!

    [Reply]

    irisheye62 replied on December 29th, 2013 at 8:06 pm

    Oh Ron—-really bad choice of words. Really? Olivia Newton JOhn? Really?
    What sort of person are you to refer to the hymen?
    Tell us to stay classy?
    Why don’t you learn some manners? You obviously lack class—and do not represent ND fans. Burgundy—hope you turn your ways around in 2014.
    You are to be pitied.

    [Reply]

    JDH replied on December 30th, 2013 at 11:39 am

    Wow. If the word “hymen” bothers you that badly you may have a few deeply-rooted issues with human sexuality. It was a joke on an all-male football site for god’s sake.

    [Reply]

    JC replied on December 30th, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    Amen JDH,

    Happy New Year!!!

    JDH replied on December 30th, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    You too JC! I, like ND Football, have alot of work to do and some important New Year’s resolutions. :)

    Irishchan replied on December 29th, 2013 at 8:53 pm

    Burgandy….I chuckle at how easily you get these girls hot and bothered. Bahahaha

    The human torch was denied a bank loan!

    [Reply]

  • Storespook commented on December 28th, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    9-4 season. This was certainly not a stellar performance. Hopefully we will start 2014 with a modern QB in Golson or Zaire. Of course I thought that last year. Hopefully the gain in weight in muscle and his lessons he will have the year in 2014 we thought he would have 2013. I am happy for the seniors to go out with a win but we have issues to address, especially defense. It least we didn’t end the season like last year unless BK secretly interviewed for a NFL position.

    [Reply]

    fred menkens replied on December 29th, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    I hope and pray that BK has secretly interviewed for that NFL position. I think that’s the best we could hope for in 2014. Maybe we could get lucky and get J. Gruden to change his mind and come back to coaching.

    [Reply]

    Irishchan replied on December 29th, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    Gruden? Where does this come from? Yes he’s a coach…who hasn’t coached in years. He’s also been every teams fan base go to guy for recently departed positions.

    It’s comical at best!

    [Reply]

    JC replied on December 30th, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    Hmmm…comical? Winning a superbowl is comical? Yet you prefer a DC with weak credentials who has not won in years?

    Who’s comical? I suggest you look in the mirror.

    JC replied on December 29th, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    Ah…Cmon Stores!

    How do we know we know? Hahaha!

    Happy New Year!

    [Reply]

  • SteelFanRob commented on December 28th, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    Stores,

    9-4 season is good but not great. I don’t know about you, but great is what I want to see from ND football. This game was a synopsis of all our problems this season. The D was far from stout, esp. in the first half. The O was inconsistent. Red zone O was poor again. STs were dreadful. ND won this game because it played Rutgers. Play like that against an even average team and it’s a loss for sure.

    To me, Rutgers lost this game when it settled for a FG instead of going for it from inside the ND 1. And when the Knights called that HB option pass that got picked. Thank you! They were moving the ball on our D easily and went for a trick play. (That’s at least 2 times ND benefitted this season by an opposing coach getting too cute!) Again, thanks, Rutgers! Those two Rutgers fails allowed ND to win the Pinstripe Bowl.

    [Reply]

    Storespook replied on December 28th, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    Yep, I agree with ya SFR. Certainly far from a dominating performance against such an over whelming opponent. A lot to be critical about and the score is very misleading. Some questionable decisions by the Rutgers coaches and personnel helped immensly. I am not going to stew for months end like last year after our decimation by Bama but we do have issues to address for 2014. Maybe just maybe we will experience an offense we all have been waiting for these last FOUR years come 2014. This team should have been 11-2 versus 9-4. Those losses to Mich and Pitt shouldn’t have happened maybe even to Oklahoma also. After a 5th coaching year, I am expecting more for 2014 by BK with this team and talent coming back. Time to put that big paycheck to use or maybe it’s time to go if a top5 or 10 finish doesn’t occur for 2014.

    Go Irish

    [Reply]

  • Jack commented on December 28th, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    What did we learn today?

    1. Running the football with s games
    2. Cam McDaniel is the most consistent back
    3. If she can’t play power football inside the 10 you kick field goals
    4. If you run the spread you need the threat of a running QB
    5. ND needs to stop playing to the level of their competition
    6. Bennett Jackson is not a one on one corner
    7. Finally ND had a nine win season with a ton of injuries, bad luck with players and coaching losses

    Good riddence 2013, it was a horrible year for ND football!

    [Reply]

  • duranko commented on December 28th, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    HURLS, I will see you one and raise you one on football in the Commonwealth.

    I spent significant time there in the 80′s. In ORDER Boston is
    (1) and (1a) A baseball/hockey town
    either order will suffice
    (2) a basketball town, but more after Bird than after Russell
    (3) a football town.

    The year after Flutie left, BC was still playing in the Old Foxboro Stadium (Schaeffer Stadium) with Mike POwers at QB and drawing 20,000 fans. They were not football fans they were “Ah, isn’t Flutie cute” fans.

    You’re right Amherst is a long way from Boston. It’s a long way from anywhere. After Julius Erving, le deluge!!!

    [Reply]

  • Irish Eyes commented on December 28th, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    As I watched all 13 games this year and reflect just a bit, there are four areas that I think really kept ND from being a very good team this year. These four weak areas were the difference in finishing 9-4 instead of being 11-2 or perhaps 12-1 and playing in a BCS bowl.

    1. Injuries – couldn’t be helped, but really a tough year on the injury front – they weren’t quite deep enough to overcome it (hopefully this changes soon as Kelly builds more and more depth)
    2. Rees at quarterback – this is not an indictment on Tommy Rees, but he just isn’t skilled enough to play quarterback on this level – never has been. In fact, I am amazed that he played as much as he did during his four years at ND. With the exception of last year, I can’t believe that ND did not have a more talented option at quarterback than Rees. He has certainly given a great effort but he cannot move and isn’t a particularly great passer. Bottom line, he is probably a better fit for a Division 1-AA program and, as a result, ND has really struggled to be consist offensively with him at quarterback in 3 of the past 4 years.
    3. Lack of speed and quickness at the middle linebacker position. They played hard but they could not cover very well and often were out of position.
    4. Lack of a pass rush. This one left me dumbfounded all year. With the exception of ASU they didn’t rush the quarterback at all throughout the entire season and it really killed them defensively. There were numerous games where they couldn’t get off the field defensively and the primary reason was the lack of a pass rush. Their linebackers struggled to provide coverage anyway and a lack of a pass rush exacerbated that weakness.

    Hopefully, ND will be much improved in these areas next season. If they are, then I think they can be a top-10 team in 2014.

    Go Irish!

    [Reply]

  • duranko commented on December 28th, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    to Irish Eyes first, Jack seond.

    Of all the things you list I, too am dumbfounded by the lack of a pass rush. Prince Shembo may be one of the most overrated players in Notre Dame history. Sure, injuries played a part there, but good grief! What amazed me is that they blitzed a lot in the first three games then abandoned it almost completely I don’t understand that. For Irish Eyes, EYES, I think the linebacker quickness problem will be solved in 2014 ff.

    To Jack, agreed on Jackson, In my game article, I compared him to Elvis “Toast” Patterson.

    But I was irate today at the errors of Jones and Jackson in the first quarter. Jones, whose stupid fumble destroyed us against Pitt, reprised it with the mind-numbingly inexplicable fumble on the punt. In the same quarter, Jackson went Bolshoi against Coleman, lovely pirouettes, with no impact.

    SENIOR CAPTAINS-DO NOT MAKE MISTAKES!!!!!!!!!!!!

    [Reply]

    Storespook replied on December 28th, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    I have to agree with you Duranko, especially your observations on Jones and Jackson.

    [Reply]

  • Jack commented on December 28th, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    Dam auto correct

    [Reply]

  • duranko commented on December 28th, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    Kelly indicated that Tommy Rees can have a job as a graduate assistant anytime he wants one. That is kind of a nice thing.

    [Reply]

    JC replied on December 28th, 2013 at 11:59 pm

    Yeah, sure, start today by learning how to tie both shoes together and throw accurate interceptions! Definitely “kind of a nice” and sure thing!

    [Reply]

  • Jack commented on December 28th, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    Looks like George Atkinson isn’t happy and may want to transfer, the problem is he will have to transfer to a lower division to play. Also, I hope Niklas stays at ND

    [Reply]

    jonny replied on December 28th, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    no way hercules leaves

    [Reply]

    jeff replied on December 29th, 2013 at 3:39 am

    Good let him go. GA111 has been a bust imo.

    [Reply]

  • jonny commented on December 28th, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    looks like we got ourselves a new D coordinator

    welcome aboard Brian VanGorder. i hope you have a much different overall philosophy than that of our previous coach

    [Reply]

  • JC commented on December 28th, 2013 at 11:18 pm

    http://espn.go.com/new-york/college-football/story/_/id/10207054/brian-vangorder-hired-notre-dame-fighting-irish-new-york-jets-defensive-coordinator?&co=f000000013912s-1248979074

    bj you were right! Grand valley days are here again!

    [Reply]

    JC replied on December 28th, 2013 at 11:40 pm

    WOW! 3-9 & 0-8 ????

    Ooooooooo another paper tiger championship year!!! woo hoo!

    Thank you Mr. Swarbrick for the elite schedule and the elite coaches to go with it!!!
    Yep, they are breaking down the doors just to get here!

    Hmmm…a CW cryptic agenda moment I take it? A Put-up or shut up in 2014? Poor Brian!

    [Reply]

    Storespook replied on December 29th, 2013 at 12:41 am

    Can’t exactly say I am thrilled with this hire. He didn’t do all that great at SEC land Auburn. Grand Valley State connection too, well, I hope he has better success with pressuring an opposing QB.

    [Reply]

    Michael the Archangel replied on December 29th, 2013 at 2:12 am

    re: pressuring the QB. I fear we’ll soon discover it wasn’t Diaco who was mired in the “keep everything in front of you” D-scheme, it’s BK. With his new hire, I suspect more of the same. Love watching the other Kelly, Chip, the one with the Eagles, game-plan. His offense and defense are both about pressuring the opponents- modern day 21st century football that promotes trying to bury early rather than keep your opponents within range late. Note the two teams playing for the BCS championship a) keep pressure on their opponents, and b) have mobile, athletic QBs . . .
    re: the future/ Other than the star-power of Nix, Zach Martin, and TJ ( and hoping Tuitt and Niklas are back)- thanks Seniors, but others are in place or on the way to replace the rest. Watching this team routinely “breaking bad” on special teams coverage and their third and long deficiencies, with, again, abysmal red-zone futility, and untimely interceptions made this a difficult season to watch and overshadowed some real positives, like timely critical FGs, few fumbles lost, some great WR and TE moments, and an incredible OL’s ever reliable ability to protect an immobile, less than explosive armed and no threat to ever run QB, which had to be a tremendous advantage for our opponents game planning.
    Glad this season is over.

    [Reply]

    Jack replied on December 29th, 2013 at 10:59 am

    Let’s just look at how the corners have done one on one. Bennett Jackson gets beat likes its his job and let’s not talk about Gary Gray. They had to playthis two deep because of the big plagplay. Vangorder coached under Rex Ryan who loves to bring pressure. I can see ND with the new DC and better corners bringing the ppressure and playing more man to man.

    Ron Burgundy replied on December 29th, 2013 at 11:09 am

    Didn’t do great in SEC land? He was the nations top assistant while at Georgia.

    What’s the over/under on when bj calls for this guy to be fired?

    [Reply]

    JC replied on December 29th, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    Ronney Burgundy,

    What difference does it make with your adopted Whatadomer millennium mentality? Stoogeism sells in that compact air space between your ears! Yeah, Georgia! He’s definately on a roll lately! Killer track record!

    By the way, Happy New Year!

    Storespook replied on December 29th, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    I don’t know Ron, 3-9 at his last stop at AU as coordinator isn’t all that great. Time under Ryan definitely is beneficial and hopefully he brings some new perspective to the D here at ND.

    Jack replied on December 29th, 2013 at 11:17 am

    JC,

    You wanted a DC from the SEC, you got one. He coached with BK over 20 years ago. He was at Auburn for one year, but that team was a train wreck. The one thing I do like is a year under Rex Ryan. Rex lives to bring the heat and hopefully we’ll see. Finally, I think this guy will bring experience and coaching to a weak and young middle linebacking core. The Jets defense is really good.

    [Reply]

    JC replied on December 29th, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    Sorry Jack,

    I never had a wish list on coordinators. I am starting to wish for a new head coach that is good and not mediocre!

    Further, if everyone wants to drive over the cliff with BK just like the CW denial crowd…be my guest.

    I loved your 2013 recap…makes duranko meaningless. Keep up the great work!

    [Reply]

    Jack replied on December 29th, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    I can understand BK wanting to hire someone he feels comfortable with, but this guy runs a 4-3 base and not a 3-4. That worries me a little, it’s reminiscent of CW. Now he did spend some time with Rex Ryan but different defensive philosophies which means another learning curve. I do think right now ND has better personnel to run the 4-3. Day, Jones and others can play a decent D tackle. My problem is can this guy is an attacking defense not contain and that could be a problem with corners who can’t cover man to man well and slow middle linebackers is not a good recipe for a great defense in this scheme. We will see and if it turns south you may get your wish JC.

    I do like the new up pace offense just need to be able to pound the ball inside the 20

  • jeff commented on December 29th, 2013 at 4:10 am

    I wonder who will be the next recruit to decommit from ND. Im hearing that TE Luatua is having seconds thoughts and wants to take a visit to USC. He is saying that all his relatives are from Ca and Utah and it would be hard for them to see him play if they had to travel East. Also wouldnt be surprised if BK interviews for another NFL job. I dont trust that guy. If we dont see a huge turn around next year I would cut him loose.

    [Reply]

    JC replied on December 29th, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    Jeff,

    I wonder if Hendrix will start for Miami? Maybe your right, 9-4 will allow BK to bolt to the NFL? Must be why we didn’t play 9-3 Cincy. Hahaha! What happen to our 10 win goal for the BSC Bowl?

    Further, love the millennium crowd ‘next year’ mantra when they have never lived through a real champsionship win!
    However, one thing is for sure with this aggressive Swarbrick schedule in place, BK has NO where to hide. He either cuts the mustard or he’s gone! 2014 Boo Hoo Baby!

    By the way, how’s that Pebble Beach golf swing? I sold my Stryker Gold clubs over a decade ago! I have more fun driving the cart! As in John Deere Gator! Hauling the grandkids around on the farm is my best job over the holidays!

    Happy New Year!

    [Reply]

  • duranko commented on December 29th, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    Jack, I concede that there is an issue with VanGorder’s preference for the 4-3.

    But I offer the following in mitigation:

    He’s been at this for 25 years, and much water, and many offenses, like the veer and Nebraska’s ISO Iback with the fullback have come and gone, and some, like Malzahn’s triple option, have resurfaced. But Brian
    has had to make some adjustments.

    I wish I had the count, Jack, but it seemed this year that ND was about 50/50 in the 3-4/4-3. Agreed, the nominal base was 3-4.

    There’s something else here. Van Gorder was with the Dogs in the SEC and now with the Jets. He knows how important great athletes are on defense, and what coaching against great athletes on offense demands. I think his second order of business, after embracing Elliot Cooks and Elston, will be to end this madness at safety.

    Jack, I expect your reasoned, intelligent skepticism to remain in play.
    I expect nothing less. But I’m more optimistic about van Gorder than you are.

    Further, although it’s tangential, Van Gorder is Catholic, and Kelly has spent time with him. I expect none of the travail of the hires of Haywood, Tenuta and Brown.

    [Reply]

  • Jack commented on December 29th, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    Duranko,

    I’m not saying it’s not going to work, I am merely pointing out the problems that lay ahead. I know they ran 4-3 at times but its not the same defensive scheme that VanGorder runs. His defensive ends are pushing up the field and his linebackers have different responsibilities. It could work or it could look like the Cowboys defense this year.

    [Reply]

  • Mike commented on December 29th, 2013 at 6:19 pm

    I know Van Gorder has history with BK and Van Gorder has had past success. But that was years ago. He hasn’t had recent success and I have further concerns regarding his preference for the 4-3. Does anyone know if this guy is a good recruiter?

    [Reply]

  • Bruce johnson commented on December 29th, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    Swarbrick’s tragic mistake was hiring a guy with no big time bcs experience. Life is about connections and who you know and befriend. Kelly just doesn’t have these connections. So we get a collection of grand valley second tier assistants. Clearly Kelly have the courage or strength emotionally to take time and find a momentous voice. It’s time to go to the grotto and pray for him getting hired by the redskins and Jenkins doing something out of character seeking advice from Lou and Ara and others about who should replace him. All I see is the road to high mediocrity. Another series guys living off the glory of ages past.

    [Reply]

    Ron Burgundy replied on December 29th, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    And there we have it folks, not officially named the new DC and bj has determined its a bad hire!

    I wish all of you curmudgeons a happy new year!

    [Reply]

  • Jack commented on December 29th, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    For all of you guys when want to fire Kellh , who do you want to replace him? I remember this board being all over hiring Kelly. So, guys give me the wish list? If you say Urban Meyer or Sabah your clinically insane, they will never come to ND.

    [Reply]

    Irishchan replied on December 29th, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    Stunned this is even being discussed.

    [Reply]

    JC replied on December 30th, 2013 at 1:03 am

    Jack your wrong!

    Kelly will replace himself and I’m confident ND has a short list without any help from us. You may not like Meyer or Saban but they are definitely the hot commodity! Albeit not surprisingly, it’s no secret Meyer or Saban will never come to ND! Why would they? I can also say with great confidence it makes no difference whether BK stays or leaves. Going on 26 years ND is more than willing and content to come in 2nd place forever. Besides, we don’t want to upset the diaper dandy’s do we? Hahaha!

    [Reply]

    Shazamrock replied on December 30th, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    Jack,

    WOOOOO WHOOOOO!

    The Fighting Irish are finally back where they belong, on top of the college football world once again!

    With ND’s win in the Pinstripe bowl coupled with Michigan’s loss in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, the Irish moved past the Wolverines to take first place in all-time college football winning percentage!

    Notre Dame is now 874-305-42 all-time. That equates to a winning percentage of .7330057. Michigan drops to 910-321-36 for a winning percentage of .7324388.

    And to think it’s all do to the recent success of Brian Kelly and players like Tommy Rees who have done it all despite suspensions, injuries, and one of the most difficult schedules year in and year out!

    WE’RE #1 !

    [Reply]

    JC replied on December 30th, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    Ooooooooooo Return to Glory with a win over 6-6 National Champion Rutgers!

    The utopian BK kool-aid festival begins!

    “WE ARE WHO WE ARE!”

    Now now boys, be good and follow the yellow brick road!

    [Reply]

    Shazamrock replied on December 30th, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    “Hey, BK delivered more than expected! BK still deserves a big raise for 12-1. Now that we know where we are at and where we need to be; do we not learn from our mistakes? “

    [Reply]

    Jack replied on December 30th, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    What all of you fail to realize Rockne, Ara or Lou couldn’t compete with this current board of trustees and administration. It doesn’t matter who you have coach with the scholarship restrictions and ND’s ability to recruit a limited amount of top athletes the depth isn’t there. You can say all you want about Standford if the ever play in a NC game against a school with Dline depth they will get drilled. MSU doesn’t have that depth, so arguing about a d-coordinator hire or replacing Kelly is a mute point. Top notch coaches won’t ever come to ND because of an unrealistic view of who they can recruit and the fan base demanding you do all of this and win NC. Nicki boy can do it because if you don’t perform on the football field your gone and that’s not how it works at ND. This team and program

    [Reply]

    JC replied on December 30th, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    Jack,

    I recently posted: “ND will never win a national championship again!”

    Yes, we agree! Further, you are spot on with this day & age! Yes sir, Standford would get mowed over by Bama too!

    This adminstration is only interested on how pretty they can make the campus and promote the brand with past history. They prefer a preppy institution not how we got here!

    Now you’re PC buddy! Hahaha!

  • Irishchan commented on December 29th, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    Seems like the new DC has put together a strong defense in the past. His time spent coordinating for bulldogs was certainly impressive. He had some top in talent on his defense there as well….and put it to good use. The idea that he isn’t a good Cordinator due to a 3-9 performance at Auburn means nothing. That was a very bad team in a very good conference.

    The numbers don’t lie while he was at Georgia. Top 10 defense in yardage and scoring and in the SEC. Granted the SEC may not have been the power house that it is today at that time but he had that bull dawg D playing damn good football.

    Personally, I’m excited to see what the man brings to the table.

    [Reply]

    Storespook replied on December 30th, 2013 at 9:41 am

    The other thing about Brian is 4 straight one & done years with previous teams which makes me wonder about if there are issues with either commitment or ability to get along with others. I’m not here to lambast him. I hope he does well and stays but to ignore both his most recent record as DC and his jumping around in the last 4 years job wise, isfair to evaluate/critique.

    [Reply]

  • Storespook commented on December 30th, 2013 at 9:49 am

    Correction above is 2 previous not 4 but has numerous one and dones.

    [Reply]

  • duranko commented on December 30th, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    Well, Bruce I guess we differ on “tragic.”

    Katrina was tragic.
    The Tsunami was tragic.

    You, and other princesses on peas define “tragedy” a little different from the AVERAGE NOTRE DAME MAN.

    Further, I hope you read St. Matthew enough to understand how to pray.
    Christ told us.

    Surely, Bruce Johnson, you were joking about going to the grotto and praying about football matters. Christ taught us how to pray. You were kidding, Bruce, were you not?

    [Reply]

  • duranko commented on December 30th, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    Jack, I think you are 100% correct. But if you think about Doris Kearns Goodwin’s great book on Lincoln, “Team of Rivals” you realize that great men do not hire yes men. They don’t hire numbskulls either.

    I would love to observe the first meeting among Kelly, VanGorder, Elston, Cooks and Elliot. It could be stormy in the best way. I would surmise that it will not be the traditional Van gorder defense, but some amalgam.

    In the corporate world, some of the best decisions result from exchange of ideas and opinions, one of my droogs once labeled it “the freedom to blurt.” Covey describes it as “Not my way or your way, but a third way” It will be interesting and the defense needs a shakeup. The most astounding and unpredictable thing the ND defense did this year
    was not sack the quarterback. Interestingly, the 2009 Cincy Bearcat
    defense was in the top 5 for plays for lost yardage in America. It just didn’t translate at ND

    Jack, I’m confident the new defensive regime will take time.

    One other thing, Van Gorder should be more adept at scheming against Navy.

    [Reply]

  • bj commented on December 30th, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    the ideology of losers

    “It doesn’t matter who you have coach with the scholarship restrictions and ND’s ability to recruit a limited amount of top athletes the depth isn’t there.”

    [Reply]

    JC replied on December 30th, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    bj,

    With 26 years of losers and counting! I like to say the return to glory is possible, however, this is indeed the same whining, same chapter, same redundant page year after year!

    Further to our demise, who picked the 6-6 team over the 9-3 team? Surely it demonstrates the loser mentality in full focus! Real high expectations, suuure! Other than money, what did we have to gain from the prinstripe/jock-strap bowl? Oh yes, recruit retention with an impressive win! In the old days with 8 wins we would decline to go bowling, now it is purely marketing to keep the four horseman alive! You’re right! No one is really serious about winning a championship! The pronosticators are all ready touting feckless BK magic for next year! I’ll laugh my ass of if he bolts to the NFL! The KellyCare Bromance guys will definitely fill their pants going off the cliff! Then again, sit back and relax and witness how these crafty snake oil salesman spin 2014! The rearranging of the chairs on the bk titanic has begun!

    Championships talk and the rest walk! Just being in the conversation Mr. Swarbrick is not good enough!

    Happy New Year bj to you and your family!

    [Reply]

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