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2015 Notre Dame Defense – An Early Glimpse

January 12, 2015Comments (13)

Three overarching factors will impact the 2015 Fighting Irish Defense. First, it is the second year of the Brian Van Gorder defense.  While Van Gorder and Kelly, for counter-espionage  reasons, attempted to downplay the extent of the retooling, it was a complete and radical overhaul.  When the change was made  from the Diaco 3-4 to […]


Duranko’s Digest: What Did We See Against LSU?

December 31, 2014Comments (26)

Duranko's Digest: What Did We See Against LSU?

Hard by the banks of the Cumberland River, and in easy walking distance of the cathedral of country music, the Ryman Aauditorium, the  Fighting Irish defeated those long, thick, swift  men from LSU 31-28.  It was Notre Dame’s 8th win of the season and the first since beating Navy on November 1st.  It was a […]


2015 Irish opponents in the Bowl Games

December 24, 2014Comments (18)

Eight of Notre Dame’s scheduled opponents for 2015 are playing in bowl games. Virginia, UMass, Temple and Wake Forest are not. We list them chronologically, with some possible points of observation and analysis. NAVY v. San Diego State, Poinsettia, Tue, Dec. 23, 9:30 NYC time 7-5 Navy, which has been defeated four times in a […]


Duranko’s Digest: What Did We See Against USC?

December 2, 2014Comments (107)

Duranko's Digest: What Did We See Against USC?

Ugliness, embarrassment, second disaster of the year.  USC, resisting the temptation to run up the score, buried the Irish 49-14, sending the Irish to its first four game losing streak since 2009, and its biggest loss since 2008. Steve Sarkisian was able to bequeath the very accurate Cody Kessler, able to function calmly without a […]


For Notre Dame, It’s Often Darkest Before Dawn

November 25, 2014Comments (100)

For Notre Dame, It's Often Darkest Before Dawn

NOTRE DAME has won four national championships in the post-Leahy era: 1) 1966, 2) 1973, 3) 1977, .and 4) 1988. There were myriad near-misses: ’64, ’70, ’80, ’89, ’93, ’12. While past performance is never a guarantee of future results,   there was an eerily similar pattern in the year PRIOR to the four championship years.  Three common themes: […]


Duranko’s Digest: What Did We See Against Louisville?

November 23, 2014Comments (27)

Duranko's Digest: What Did We See Against Louisville?

The Fighting Irish lost their third straight game as the Louisville Cardinals befouled Senior Day, 31-28. It is axiomatic to football’s unforgiving math that a team’s stronger units must compensate for its weaker units.  In 2012, Notre Dame’s fierce defense carried a young offense on the defense’s back to a 12-0 season and the National […]


Duranko’s Digest: Paul Hornung, Notre Dame’s 1956 Heisman Winner

November 18, 2014Comments (6)

Duranko's Digest: Paul Hornung, Notre Dame's 1956 Heisman Winner

With Louisville coming in on Saturday, the 22d, Louisvillians will mark this as their first visit to South Bend for football purposes. But over 60 years ago, in a galaxy far, far away, a native son of Louisville found his way to South Bend for a little football.


Duranko’s Digest: What did we see against Northwestern?

November 17, 2014Comments (78)

Duranko's Digest: What did we see against Northwestern?

Northwestern beat Notre Dame 43-40 in a game that was as repulsive in its unfolding as the result. It was a bad loss to a bad football team, which may be weaker than Tulsa 2010 or USF 2011. The Fighting Irish played hard, but with shattered confidence. Irish fear and doubt may have been Northwestern’s most valuable assets.


Duranko’s Digest: Notre Dame’s Disaster in the Desert

November 9, 2014Comments (60)

Duranko's Digest: Notre Dame's Disaster in the Desert

On a weekend when the sports media bubbled over with Veteran’s Day references, Notre Dame’s offense, in whole and in part, was simply overrun  by Arizona State’s blitz package.  It involved as much shock,  awe, cost and casualty, discounting for the fact that football remains a delightful,  but essentially,  extracurricular,  activity, as North Viet Nam’s […]


Duranko’s Digest: What Did We See Against Navy?

November 4, 2014Comments (31)

Duranko's Digest: What Did We See Against Navy?

The Fighting Irish squeaked past Navy 49-39 in a weird affair that more closely resembled a Halloween House of Horrors than a first rate triumph by an outstanding team.


Duranko’s Digest: Notre Dame Football Program-Semi-Annual Report

October 29, 2014Comments (11)

Duranko's Digest: Notre Dame Football Program-Semi-Annual Report

With seven games behind us it’s time for the Midyear Report. ASSETS/LIMITATIONS: THE UNITS We rank the units according to three categories: FINAL FOUR MAJOR BOWL BOWL This is primarily an evaluation of asset potential and value in the future, albeit based on past results along with other factors that can influence the future performance […]


Duranko’s Digest: What did we see in Tallahassee?

October 20, 2014Comments (61)

Duranko's Digest: What did we see in Tallahassee?

Jameis Winston led three excruciating, Heisman-quality drives of 70 yards or more to lead Florida State to a comeback 31-27 victory over the Fighting Irish, extending the Seminole win streak to 23 games and leaving them as one of just four unbeaten major college teams. The Fighting Irish, big enough for the potentially unforgiving moment […]


Duranko’s Digest: What Did We See Against North Carolina?

October 13, 2014Comments (52)

Duranko's Digest: What Did We See Against North Carolina?

Notre Dame’s Fighting Irish overcame potentially fatal offensive turnovers and the first signs of vulnerability from the hitherto impregnable defense to survive North Carolina 50 -43. Though the tilt was a textbook demonstration of the perils of a sandwich game, the Irish moved to GOLSON’S TURNOVERS Ev continues to confound us. As a sophomore, albeit RUNNING LESS […]


Duranko’s Digest: What did we see against Stanford?

October 6, 2014Comments (39)

Duranko's Digest: What did we see against Stanford?

The FIGHTING IRISH validated their nickname in a tense 17-14 win over Stanford. Everett “Two Minute Drill” Golson floated a sweet 23 yard pass to the steadfast Ben Koyack to give the Irish a 17-14 lead with 1:01 left in the fourth stanza.


Duranko’s Digest: What Did We See Against Syracuse?

September 29, 2014Comments (59)

Duranko's Digest: What Did We See Against Syracuse?

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was a display of genius, it was a display of foolishness- for Everett Golson. (Apologies to Dickens) Four touchdown passes, 25 consecutive completion, spreading the passes to 8 different receivers? Wonderful! Four turnovers? Who is this guy? The fumble at the end […]


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