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Author Archives: Frank Vitovitch

Notre Dame DC Brian Vangorder Fired!

Photo: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Wow.  Talk about an about face.  Less than 24 hours after stating that coaching wasn’t a problem and that he was not concerned at all about the defensive coaching leadership of his team, Brian Kelly has announced that he has fired Brian Vangorder as the defensive coordinator for Notre Dame.  In an official press release, Kelly also said defensive analyst Greg Hudson will assume Vangorder’s responsibilities. “This is a difficult decision,” said Kelly. “I have the utmost respect for Brian as both a person and football coach, but our defense simply isn’t it where it should be and I believe ...

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Brian Kelly’s Defense of Defensive Staff Getting Offensive

Photo: Matt Cashore // USA Today Sports

Following Notre Dame’s latest loss – an embarrassing home loss to Duke – head coach Brian Kelly was quick to point the finger at everyone except those that deserved it the most – his defensive coaching staff that hasn’t taught a roster full of players they selected and recruited basic fundamentals. [UPDATE: Brian Kelly has pulled an about face on Sunday announcing that Brian Vangorder has been relieved of his duties!] Notre Dame is not a fundamentally sound football team – especially on the defensive side of the ball where the missed tackles are piling up at record pace. Notre Dame ...

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Notre Dame v. Duke ’16: Post Game 6-Pack

Photo: Matt Cashore // USA TODAY Sports

Notre Dame lost to Duke.. in football.  Let that sink in for a minute.  Notre Dame lost to Duke in football.  I don’t care how many games Duke won a year ago, they were 1-2 this season with losses to Wake Forest and Northwestern.  They are now 2-2 with a win over now 1-3 Notre Dame. Notre Dame came out on fire on Saturday but by the end of the game the only thing left burning in South Bend were any hopes of salvaging what was already a lost season.  The Irish, ranked #10 just three weeks ago, dropped their ...

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Notre Dame v. Duke ’16: Gameday FAQ

Photo:  Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire

Notre Dame returns to action this weekend following their second loss of the young season.  Notre Dame will look to rebound and get back to .500 as they play three straight “easier” games.  Here’s all the logistics for today’s contest. Who does Notre Dame play today? Notre Dame is playing Duke today at Notre Dame Stadium.  The Blue Devils enter this game with an identical 1-2 record as the Irish following losses to Wake Forest and Northwestern. For more background on Duke: Frankie V’s Notre Dame v. Duke Prediction Notre Dame offense v. Duke defense preview Notre Dame defense v. Duke offense ...

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Almost No Longer Good Enough for Notre Dame, Brian Kelly

Photo: Matt Cashore // USA TODAY Sports

Year seven of the Brian Kelly era wasn’t supposed to start out like this.  Notre Dame wasn’t supposed to be out of the playoff mix by the middle of September.  Notre Dame’s defense wasn’t supposed to be among the nation’s worst.  But it did, they are, and it is. And at this point “almost” being great is no longer good enough. Last year, with a star studded team that featured multiple early NFL Draft picks, Notre Dame “almost” made the playoffs.  Two close losses to two of the top 5 teams in the country separated Notre Dame from a perfect ...

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Notre Dame v. Duke ’16 Weather, Tickets, & Odds

notre-dame-scouting-video

Get ready for this weekend’s contest with Duke with the game day weather forecast, odds and betting trends, and ticket price trends for what will hopefully be the game that gets Notre Dame back on track. Game Day Weather Forecast The forecast for Saturday in South Bend looks ideal for football.  The high is forecasted to be 78% with just a 10% chance of rain in the area.  Humidity will still be high though at 75%.  Very little wind is forecasted as well. With this kind of forecast, tailgating and playing conditions will be ideal.  Unlike last week when showers ...

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Frankie V’s Prediction: Notre Dame v. Duke ’16

Deshone Kizer - Notre Dame QB

Notre Dame is back in action this weekend with an unsightly 1-2 record following another defensive meltdown last weekend.  The Irish enter the contest unranked after sitting at #10 just three weeks ago.  That feels like an eternity ago.  The Irish will look to get back on track against equally unimpressive Duke – also owners of a 1-2 record.  How will the Irish fare this week? Let’s (attempt) to find out. How’d I Do Last Week? Hmmmm, not good.  I was concerned with the tick plays from Michigan State and they did pull one over on Notre Dame with their ...

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Notre Dame Football Depth Chart: Duke ’16

Notre Dame WR Chase Claypool

Notre Dame limps into week four sporting an unsightly 1-2 record for the third time in seven years under Brian Kelly.  The Irish will look to get back to .500 and turn their season around by hosting a Duke Blue Devils team featuring the same record.  Even with another disappointing loss in September, no changes to the official depth chart were made this week. While there were no “official changes” made, here are a couple things to keep an eye on. Watch out at WDE where Daelin Hayes played more against Michigan State than he had in the past and ...

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Notre Dame 4 Horsemen of the Week: Michigan State ’16

Photo: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Another week, another tough job selecting the 4 Horsemen of the Week following another disappointing loss for Notre Dame.  The Irish offense once again carried the way as the defense surrendered 500 yards yet again.  Despite a furious comeback attempt, however, the offense couldn’t overcome the defense’s letdown or their own early mistakes to pull this one out. Here are the four players who stood out the most in Notre Dame’s 36-28 loss to Michigan State. 4. Jerry Tillery – Might sound crazy to have a defensive linemen on the list after Michigan State ran for 260 yards, but Tillery ...

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Notre Dame Recruiting: 4-Star DE Donovan Jeter Commits!

Photo originally from Twitter

Notre Dame’s disappointing weekend on the field didn’t completely ruin what was a huge recruiting weekend for Notre Dame off the field.  Weekend visitor Donovan Jeter, a 4-star DE, committed to Notre Dame on Monday over the likes of Alabama, Ohio State, Michigan, and Penn State. Want to thank everyone that helped with the decision.. but here it is 😬 pic.twitter.com/yR3VYkEzM8 — 5⃣God (@JeteNificent34) September 19, 2016 Jeter visited Notre Dame officially this weekend and following the visit, he moved his commitment announcement plans from Halloween to today.  Needless to say, Notre Dame knocked the visit out of the park ...

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Post Game 6-Pack: Notre Dame v. Michigan State ’16

Photo: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

This week’s post game 6-packs is coming in late due to some traveling yesterday and to save my Mac’s keyboard from getting broken had it been written in the heat of the moment.  Disappointing doesn’t begin to describe this one.  For yet another time, the Irish fell way behind only to mount a furious comeback that came up just short.  The Irish showed great fight, but in the 7th year of the Brian Kelly era being 1-2 in September and continually following the same script in big times is just not acceptable. 1. Deshone Kizer continues to impress.  I’ll start ...

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Gameday FAQ: Notre Dame v. Michigan State ’16

Photo:  Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire

Get ready for today’s Notre Dame game with this week’s Gameday FAQ! Who does Notre Dame play today? Notre Dame is playing Michigan State today at Notre Dame Stadium.  The Spartans enter this weekend’s contest ranked 8th and 12th in the two major polls and bring a 1-0 record with them. Michigan State beat Furman 28-13 in their season opener two weeks ago and haven’t played anyone since. For more background on Michigan State: Notre Dame Offense vs. Michigan State Defense Notre Dame Defense vs. Michigan State Offense Tickets, Weather, Odds Who is starting at quarterback for Notre Dame tonight? We can ...

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5 Defensive Players Notre Dame Needs to Step Up

Photo: Kevin Jairaj // USA TODAY Sports

After the offensive explosion from Texas in week one, the Notre Dame defense looked like it could be a train wreck this year.  Last week the Irish returned to their base defense – why they ever left it I’ll never know – and looked a lot more solid.  But it was Nevada after all.  What we can expect of this defense throughout the remainder of the season probably lies somewhere in the middle. What is clear, however, is this defense does have some talent.  Way too much talent for this unit to be giving up 500 yards and 50 points ...

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Frankie V’s Prediction: Notre Dame v. Michigan State ’16

Look for Deshone Kizer to shine bright under the lights Saturday night.  (Photo: Matt Cashore // USA TODAY Sports)

In the pre-season, this game looked like it could be a battle of unbeaten, top 10 ranked teams.  Michigan State held up their end of the bargain – barely – by squeaking by Furman two weeks ago, but the Irish sit at 1-1 and are looking for some redemption this weekend for their opening weekend loss.  Will the Irish insert themselves back into the playoff conversation, or will the Irish have two notches in the loss column before the end of September for fourth time in seven years under Brian Kelly? Let’s dive in. How’d I Do Last Week? My prediction last ...

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Positive Nick Watkins Injury Update

Nick Watkins - Notre Dame CB

Notre Dame got its first good news on the cornerback front in months on Thursday when Brian Kelly revealed that Nick Watkins could potentially be back for the Fighting Irish in a couple of weeks.  Watkins has been out since the spring with a broken arm and the thought was he could be headed for a medical redshirt as recently as last week. “There’s been some bone growth there.  That has been a positive sign for us,” Kelly said on Thursday.  “They’ll do a little more work next week and we’ll probably have a definitive word on him next week.” ...

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