October 26, 2009 // Notre Dame Football

Initial Impressions – Boston College at Notre Dame

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Notre Dame improved to 5-2 on the season with another last minute minute this weekend topping Boston College 20-16.  Brian Smith sealed the Irish victory with his first interception of the season in the final minute.  Here are some notes on the game.

  • A win is a win.  Notre Dame probably should have won this game a little more comfortably, but Boston College always plays Notre Dame tough.  At the end of the day, it’s nice to have ended BC’s 6 game winning streak – even if it came down to the very end yet again.
  • Armando Allen continues to run hard but still seems to be just one broken tackle away from busting a really long run each week.  This week the turf monster grabbed him on a run in the first quarter that looked like it was going to be a huge play.
  • Sergio Brown played pretty well at free safety considering this was his first start there after being the nickel back the last two seasons.
  • Harrison Smith was better back at linebacker, but he was still targeted for several big plays by the Boston College offense.  I wouldn’t mind seeing Steve Filer get a little playing time at SAM next week.  He played some against Washington and did well.
  • Nick Tuasch looks like he is going to be a great kicker for the next four years.  Tausch was 2 for 2 against Boston College and has connected on 12 straight field goals now.
  • Unfortunately, Tausch’s fellow special teams classmate Ben Turk had a really rough outing.  Turk averaged just 32.7 yards on 6 punts with a long of just 38 yards.  Look for Maust to get back in the mix at punter next week.
  • Would have liked to see Notre Dame challenge the Boston College defense somewhat instead of keeping everything underneath just as Boston College wanted.  I realize that BC’s defensive philosophy is to get quarterbacks to force the ball into coverage downfield, but I would have liked to see Weis figure out a way to challenge the BC defense downfield without putting Clausen in tough spots.
  • Was very surprised to see Roby Toma in the game over Deion Walker and Shaquelle Evans. Toma looked quick, but did have a drop on a pass that hit him right in the numbers.
  • It was nice to see Duval Kamara come up with a career high 7 catches for 60 yards.  He was sure handed all game and made some nice grabs.
  • No idea why Kyle Rudolph was not more a part of the game plan.  The talented tight end caught just 1 pass for 11 yards and has just 4 catches for 20 yards the past two weeks combined.
  • I like the call to go for it on 4th and goal from the 1, but hated the play call.  The only reason I hated it was because Notre Dame came out with Hughes in the wildcat even after Boston College called a timeout to make an adjustment to the formation.  For an important play like that, I want the ball in the hands of my best player – Clausen.
  • Kyle McCarthy was huge for the Irish again today with two interceptions.
  • While the defense was a little better, there were still way too many big plays.  The defense surrendered 10 passes of 20 or more yards to a true freshman quarterback, Dave Shinskie, who just a few weeks ago was 1 for 12 for 4 yards with 2 interceptions against Virginia Tech.
  • The defense also allowed one wide receiver to do most of the damage.  Rich Gunnell caught 10 passes for 179 yards against the Irish after coming into the game with just 22 catches for 260 yards in the previous 7 games this season.
  • The defensive line is improving week to week.  Kapron Lewis-Moore and Ethan Johnson have gotten better each week and were very good again this week.   The line still isn’t generating enough of a pass rush though even when the Irish blitz.  Without a legit pass rusher o hold down the weakside defensive end spot, this will probably be an issue all season long.
  • Manti Te’o might be the best player on defense already.  Te’o completely blew up a screen pass that looked like it could have been a big play had he not knifed through the blockers and stuffed it.  Te’o led the Irish in tackles with 9 – 2.5 of which went for a loss.
  • Linebackers and defensive linemen were the top 4 tacklers for Notre Dame – a nice change after defensive backs toped the tackles chart most of the season.
  • Notre Dame bottled up Montel Harris for just 38 yards on 22 carries.  As a team, Boston College was able to run for just 70 yards on 29 carries.
  • Golden Tate had another great game.  Tate set a career high with 11 catches and gained 128 yards with two more touchdowns – including the game winner.
  • I thought it was a very nice touch for Notre Dame to give Mark Herzlich a framed #94 Notre Dame jersey to start the game.
  • Overall this was a very weird game.  It felt like Notre Dame was in control for most of the game.  The Irish held a five minute edge in time of possession and were +5 in the turnover battle, but only won by 4 points and needed a late interception to seal the deal.

Comments to this Article

  • svenghali commented on October 26th, 2009 at 3:13 am

    Armando doesn’t have very good body control at high speed. We saw him almost fall on his face on his kick return TD against Hawaii last year but the field turf saved him. Then he tackled himself before a big gain in this game. There has to be a drill for him to get a better feel for making moves on the run. Right now his vision is writing checks his body can’t cash. Until he breaks one for 40+ I’m calling it Darius Armonditis.

    It’s nice not having or hearing complaints about poor tackling for a change. That bodes well for the Navy game in a couple weeks.

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    GoldenSause replied on October 26th, 2009 at 11:23 am

    It rained for two hours before the game. Slips and falls happen.

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    faithfulfan replied on October 26th, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    According to the announcers the field had been covered with a tarp for 2 days and removed just before gametime.

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    Drew S replied on October 27th, 2009 at 6:19 pm

    Doesn’t explain why he does that sort of thing alllll the time.

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  • nepachris commented on October 26th, 2009 at 3:28 am

    i couldn’t disagree more about harrison smith. he is just too big and slow for safety and too small for linebacker. i have said many times over and over last year, how ineffective he was at sam because all he does is run straight to a blocker, makes no attempt to get off the block, tries jumping over the blocker. when he isn’t blocked, he just simply over pursues and the running backgoes right by. the only exception was when he actually hit the running back saturday causing a fumble. with fleming(i know he still had that hammy thing) and filer at sam, there is absolutely no reason for him to be in the game at sam linebacker! when the nickel is in, he should not be the nickel back because he can not cover. ultimately, if we didn’t blitz so much and ineffectively, maybe they could groom him into a lb/s hybrid and go from there. until then, he needs to be on the bench learning.

    anyway, i expected us to come out flat and i am happy we won. my only complaint is weis needs to quit abandoning the run. allen had 21 carries for 98 yards! why are we always running to the left?? i have wondered this for a couple years now. stewart and young combine for 650 lbs. on the right side.

    i like our d line and think they are getting better every week, but until they can get a pass rush, we need to stop blitzing! no one is being doubled on our d line so sending another rusher is not hard to pick up when there is an o lineman sitting there waiting for him. safeties and corners need to work on under/over coverage in practice as well as corners releasing their man to safeties. they look lost doing these 2 basic things.

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  • nepachris commented on October 26th, 2009 at 3:46 am

    by the way, it is mark herZlich. probably just a typo, but i don’t want “angry eagle” back here. kind of pissed nbc didn’t do more with this. the 2 wannabes in the booth need to go away. i would rather listen to mark may and lee corso call a notre dame game than these hacks. nice to see a well officiated game for a change. some missed calls, but nothing major, but why is everything in a nd game reviewed?

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    replier replied on October 27th, 2009 at 9:19 pm

    because all the big conference refs make obviously awful calls

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  • Shazamrock commented on October 26th, 2009 at 7:37 am

    A lot of ND fans complain because we didn’t bury BC with all their turn-overs. But the trend that I see is that no matter who we play we always get their best effort. We play Washington St in a neutral site game next week. It’s ND and it’s televised. Wash.St will show up.
    Holding BC to 16 points is agreat accomplishment. Remember, they put up 50+ agianst NC.St.
    BC will always be BC. Them and their fans will always be a classless bunch of losers. I saw Jimmy Clausen go to acknowledge their best player after the game and the kid (Gunnell)had to throw some final smack talk at JC. Their number 1 fan, angry eagle, a simple minded dweeb, who got exposed as a total dork, hasn’t said one intelegent thing since he showed up last week. Don’t be surprised if he pops up out of his hole like “whack-a-mole” to add one final stupid remark. Watching and listening to Him and Gunnell will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about their classless program.

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    DublinOHIrish replied on October 26th, 2009 at 9:58 am

    I couldn’t agree more about BC fans. I sat in section 9 this week and a row of BC college kids sat behind us. For the entire pregame, they were acting like complete asses, making comments about “ND loves cancer” after honoring Herzlich. Bashing our bench seats, no jumbo-tron. I told them if they don’t like being here, go back to Ass-ton and watch it on the Notre Dame Broadcast Network. Complete garbage.

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    JDH replied on October 26th, 2009 at 10:44 am

    Yeah what happened there? Claussen handled it perfectly though. Showing nothing but class, walked up to say good game and got a finger pointed in his face w/ smack talk? What an insolent little girl Gunnell must be. I loved how Jimmy gave him a shove and waved goodbye. Awesome!

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  • palk21 commented on October 26th, 2009 at 8:38 am

    A few things…I’m tired of watching Harrison Smith play football, or the lack there of, as his name is always called out and it’s never for anything good (1 caused fumble doesn’t make up for the last year and a half). I’m also tired of watching our secondary NOT look for the football. There were several plays where if we (Gray, Slaughter, Blanton) just look for the football we either have a pick or a pass defended. This is evident on McCarthy’s 2nd pick…if McNeil doesn’t tip it, there’s no pick, but since McNeil was looking for the ball, he was able to make a play. The secondary needs to be coached better to look for the ball.

    I think we should’ve won by more, but we seemed to have one play on each drive that hindered us in some fashion, whether it was poor play calling or lack of execution, we punted more than usual. And the punting…ATROCIOUS. Ben Turk may have a bright future, but Maust is better than this kid right now and needs to be in there. We can’t afford giving up this kind of field position.

    Personally, I wish we had 11 Manti Te’o’s on defense because that kid is a beast. When he hits people, they know it, and he wraps them up, unlike most defensive players these days who dive at the runner’s legs hoping they’ll fall over them (I will never understand who teaches this dive technique). Te’o plays at full speed, he reads and reacts well. If our entire defense had this mentality, we could be in for a treat. Also, 10 Golden Tate’s and a Jimmy on Offense would not be bad either. Tate just seems to make plays everytime he touches the ball. I love watching him play the game.

    I will be at the ND-Wash St. game next week and I hope it’s a comfortable win so I can hit the Riverwalk hard after the ND win. Wash St. may “show up” but it’s still Wash St. and we better not struggle with them or the Navy and Pitt game may be a challenge because they DO play us tough everytime we get together. Wash St. has no history with ND and shouldn’t be categorized in the “they play us tough” column, unlike Michigan, Mich St., Purdue, USC, BC, Navy, Pitt, and Stanford. I expect all those to “play us tough” and show up. Wash St. may think they’re showing up, but ND should handle them quite nicely in route to a large margin of victory. Go Irish!

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    Shazamrock replied on October 26th, 2009 at 9:29 am

    Everything you said is 100% correct so I hope you’re right about getting an easy win agianst Wash. St. We could sure use one. Syracuse was a simalar type team. They had a lousy record, were terriable on the road, and their coach was toast at the end of the season. But play ND on national TV and they play the game of their lives.
    Don’t take them for granted. Learn from your past mistakes. Practice hard this week. Protect the football and jump on them early and we sould win going away.

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  • spiceyirish commented on October 26th, 2009 at 9:13 am

    Kyle McCarthy is awful. If he didn’t make that first pick, he is really really bad. He is consistantly out of position and part of the reason (the dline being the other part) why ND continues to give up big chunks in the passing game. ND really needs to get some big time talent at the safety position this year in recruiting. The dline continues to struggle. QBs are keeping their jerseys clean, while the line fails to mustard any type of pressure.

    Also like to see Jonas Gray get more carries. I really hope players like Shaq Evans and Deion Walker don’t transfer because they are not getting the playing time.

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    JDH replied on October 26th, 2009 at 10:47 am

    What?! Mccarthy is one of the only DBs that we consistently can rely on. He plays the man AND the ball, unlike most of our DBs that do neither. And his # of interceptions shows that. Plus he hits like a truck.

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    spiceyirish replied on October 27th, 2009 at 7:31 pm

    ND has made below average QBs pass for 250-300 yards this season. Notice during these games on 3rd down and longs that these passes are in the middle of the field. McCarthy is helping out on receivers that are already covered by a DB with a LB taken the comeback route taken away. When the DB is beaten deep, McCarthy is way too slow for the help. Again, intelligence and speed are important for the safety position. McCarthy is neither of those.

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    nepachris replied on October 27th, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    are you serious??? anyway, mccarthy is slated as starter for free safety while sergio and jamoris will try strong safety. harrison smith will be a costarter with fleming at sam which has got to be the dumbest thing i heard this year. it should be fleming and filer sharing the sam with harrison playing gunner on special teams. our nickelback should be slaughter, motta, walls, blanton, or any one of our backup dbs outside of harrison.

    spiceyirish sounds like your name is harrison smith!

    palk21 replied on October 26th, 2009 at 10:54 am

    Kyle McCarthy is AWFUL??? Are you kidding me? You HAVE to confusting him with Harrison Smith. He IS in position the majority of the time and after Manti Te’o, he’s the best tackler we have. Without him back there who knows how many more big plays our defense would have given up. He also lays the wood when hits people. He’s a great safety and we are fortunate to have him back there. To say he’s awful is ridiculous…you must either: not watch the games or think #28 is someone other than McCarthy. I don’t think I can disagree with you anymore.

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    palk21 replied on October 26th, 2009 at 10:55 am

    *You HAVE to [be] confusing (sp) him with Harrison Smith.*

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    bleednd82 replied on October 26th, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    McCarthy is by far our biggest play maker on defense. Dont know which ND team you have been watching this season but Harrison Smith has not been very good. I’d say Wall’s hasnt played well this year either.

    We are 5-2 with a trip to Washington St. Should be a W that is 6-2. Getting M. Floyd back will be HUGE HUGE HUGE. Our offense will start to get rolling again. I see us beating Navy. Now, Pitt. Hmmm I say this is the biggest game for us the rest of the season. Pitt is currently ranked #20 and could by as low are #10 by the time we get to them. This is going to make or break our BCS run.

    PS. For the remainder of the season we are the better team talent wise every time we step on the field. Should not lose another game this season. If our D steps up and improves we should be BCS bowling come January.

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  • DublinOHIrish commented on October 26th, 2009 at 10:17 am

    I’m still confused by why Weis is still shuffling our WR group for playing time? Thank God Jimmy has been at the top of his game all year and able to have rhythm with whoever is in the game. 4th and goal was very disappointing. We gave BC the look, they called TO and we still went with the play. Why wasn’t Aldridge in the game?? Would have been better to have Jimmy take the snap in the I with James lead blocking. Very concerning we can punch it in there.

    Can anyone tell me why do we make stops of 1st and 2nd down, and then give up HUGE plays on 3rd down?? How many times has this happened this year?? Our corners are a step slow, not physical and do not look for the ball while in the air. We haven’t had a solid corner since Shane Walton. Until we recruit better D-lineman (pass rushers) and DB’s, we will have a serious struggles on defense. I can’t say this enough…thank GOD we got McCarthy back this year!!

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  • GoldenSause commented on October 26th, 2009 at 11:28 am

    1. Kyle McCarthy is not the problem.

    2. Harrison smith should not be playing. Ever.

    3. Blanton doesn’t deserve a scholarship. To anything. Not even highschool. Every team picks on him every game – and he is out of position and slow on every play. I’d rather have Sam Young in coverage than blanton. And that’s not a joke. Two weeks in a row he makes a mediocre freshman quarterback look all-american.

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  • MikeRomo commented on October 26th, 2009 at 11:30 am

    Does anyone have any answers about Shaq Evans. My understanding was he was quickly moving up the depth chart. Past observations where that he looked like an experienced route runner not a true freshman. I don’t understand why he is not be utilized since we are having trouble keeping WR’s healthy. Robbie Toma?

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    JDH replied on October 26th, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    Shaq was ill this week.

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    tom replied on October 26th, 2009 at 6:49 pm

    there is a report inside ND that he might be getting to leave, academic issues, and is unhappy.

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    JDH replied on October 29th, 2009 at 12:30 pm

    What does “a report inside ND” mean? What is your source? These are rumors at best. You may be correct, but at this point that is hearsay. Weis specifically said that Shaz was sick the week of USC and is still recovering.

    nepachris replied on October 26th, 2009 at 8:32 pm

    toma was in there as a slot receiver, which parris plays. shaq and walker are outside wrs.

    where are these “reports” of him leaving tom.

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  • JDG commented on October 26th, 2009 at 11:47 am

    Overall like most of you have said, A win is a win. Especially against BC who I hate more than Miami, now that we don’t play Miami any longer.

    Some takeaways from the stands.

    One- I don’t coach football for a living, but even I can recognize single coverage with no saftey help over the top. Our CB’s were a few BC’s drops away from being burnt. It is not so much that the athletic ability is not there, it is the fact the we are out of position on these big gains.

    Two- We have one slow guy in pass coverage, McCarthy, we can’t afford 2, the other being Harrison Smith. If we aren’t getting to the QB running a 4-3, then why not run a 3-4, put Filer and Harrison Smith in the middle, and Brain Smith and Manti on the edges. All I heard about is this great defense that Tanuta was going to have and he has the wrong personel, in the wrong place, majority of the time. How many passes are we going to give up over the CB’s, but under the Saftey’s? That is why we lost to USC. Cover 2 only works if you get to the QB. The interceptions in the 4th qtr all came from QB pressure. So if I can see, guess what, ANY college coordinator can see it too.

    Three – Manti is the man. Best defensive player since Zorich, simple as that. In fact, he should switch to number 50.

    Four – There is this thing called a screen, and another receiver called a tight end. Where were these all game? Run the screen, run the TE over the middle and the edges open up. Sure Allen had 100 yard game, but it didn’t materialize into TD’s. I understand being conservative with Parris and Floyd out, but we could have been more aggressive in the passing game.

    We have some big games coming up and have to travel to Pitt. I want nothing more for an Irish win in Pittsburgh so Mark May will once and for all shut his trap. He has never gotten over Ty being fired…and I wonder why? You say Davenport is 15 miles away, but I don’t see it on the map, and you’re really smart…..

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    Bill Meehan replied on October 26th, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    For the record: Mark May will never stop hating ND. Ever. Saying beating Pitt will shut him up is like saying giving hitler Poland will appease him. It’s just not how things work.

    Even If ND were undefeated (11-0) and had beaten Pitt and USC 100-0 (each) Mark May would pick an 0-11 BC with a wheelchair bound QB to win.

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    mike fahey replied on October 26th, 2009 at 4:29 pm

    u r right out of position watch McCarthy he changes the coverage all the time and gets his guys all fu–ed up If he does’t get in harrison head just before the snap he was in the right position and follows the receiver into the flat and does not have everbody all over him again

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    nepachris replied on October 26th, 2009 at 8:38 pm

    mccarthy…”hey harrison, watch for a pick or wheel route”
    harrison…”huh, what? dude this is football not basketball or car repair.”

    result…td on a wheel route with harrison smith looking stupid and mccarthy looking like murder would be a good fate for someone.

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  • Chitown Copper commented on October 26th, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    Heres what i think we have to be proud of this year: 1) broken streaks against BC and MSU. 2)No blow out (yet). 3)a great offense (seems so long ago when we mired in the depths of Carlyle Holiday and Arnaz Battle as our signal callers). On the flip side we havent looked good winning, but a win is a win as many have said on this site. As good as our offense is though, when we get the ball back in the 4th Q with a chance to close out we usually go 3 and out and then it gets real interesting. The defense has improved but this article highlights how we make heisman candidates out of poor quarterbacks. We are eeking out wins on superior talent. ND has usually had superior talent but never in my short memory have we had ths much trouble with subpar teams. Im proud have a winning record, dont get me wrong, i just dont think we are a top 25 team and im frankly scared to get into a BCS game at this rate should we win out. This is what is really frustrating to me as a fan, that with our record we arent doing a better job on the field and intimidating anyone.

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  • Greg commented on October 26th, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    Harrison smith sucks!!! why do the coaches continue to play him?? Why not Steve filer at the sam?? Even if Shaq is an outside receiver, he should still play before Toma, Paris Goodman Etc. Seems like where becoming the Stanford basketball team of football. Those safeties would even make the team at Florida Alabama Texas Ohio state etc… we need more athletic offense linemen. Again championship teams have athletic safeties (read into that as you may)

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  • Greg commented on October 26th, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    Roby Toma… are you kidding me??…… Where is Dion Walker and Shaq Evans

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  • Greg commented on October 26th, 2009 at 1:16 pm

    Was Goodman, Parris, or Toma recruited by USC???

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  • Fergnation commented on October 26th, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    When you lose like we have the past two years with young players it takes time to learn how to win again. I am proud of the progress this team has made over the past two and a half years. Everything seems to be right on schedule when it comes to re-building a program. I hate to see the secondary struggle the way they do and it has hurt us in every game played this year. I don’t think it is a lack of effort or even thewrong scheme. You just have players that lack the speed to keep up with the receivers. Without any preasure on the QB, the secondary is going to get burnt. The D-line has to disrupt the timing of the other teams passing game or any secondary is going to fail. Couple that with slow safeties and you get what we have seen the past seven games.

    Unless you are Ohio State, it is tough to recruit fast safeties and corners because they want to play in warmer conditions. Also, corners tend to be a little lacking in the IQ category (they would be receivers if they could catch or remember an offense) so getting into ND is out of the question.

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  • Joe commented on October 26th, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    Manti is a stud. On USC, he would be just another terrific defensive player blazing around the field. On ND, he stands out big time.

    ND made Gunnell look like Michael Irvin. Yet ND only gave up 16 points. That’s what not turning the ball over will do for you, so great job in that respect by ND.

    All of the remaining games are winnable. That being said, ND might lose any of them (except maybe Wash St, although they can throw the ball so watch out).

    Hughes goes down way too easily for a guy his size. He reminds me of Blair Thomas when he was on the Jets. Just breathe on him and he’s down. I’d also like to see more Jonas Gray.

    I can’t believe ND can’t find a way to get Rudolph the ball more. He’s a total weapon out there, and without Floyd, we need all the weapons we can get. Get Rudolph the damn ball!!

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    palk21 replied on October 26th, 2009 at 3:32 pm

    I have to disagree with your Hughes comment. He went down easily that ONE time and that was because he seriously got his bell rung. He needed help off the field. He didn’t seem to go down too easy against Mich St. on the 2-pt conversion or against Washington to win the game, but if you want to knock a guy because he went down one time due to a likely mild concussion, that’s your call (which I don’t respect).

    I love when Hughes enters the game and…I think him at the wildcat (in short yardage situations) isn’t a bad idea, but it should’ve been changed at the goal line once BC called a time-out and figured out what we were doing. That’s just poor recognition by our coaching staff. Otherwise, Hughes probably gets in because he does NOT go down easily. You can thank him for 2 of our W’s.

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    David replied on October 26th, 2009 at 4:46 pm

    If you watch closely, you will see that Allen breaks more tackles than Hughes. Hughes should be a lot better back given his size. I would rather see Allen be an all-down back that have hughes in there.

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    palk21 replied on October 26th, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    You may be somewhat right. I think I just like yelling HUUUUUUUUUUGHES, everytime he touches the ball, lol. Allen is definitely the superior back.

    Joe replied on October 26th, 2009 at 8:53 pm

    I’ll take Hughes in short yardage (like when we need 1 yard at the goal line), since he is a load, but for regular running, let’s see Jonas Gray.

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  • ted commented on October 26th, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    i agree, playing toma over shaq is completely absurd. i don’t care what is going on schematically, you get the best players on the field to win the game, period. cw keeps saying how shaq is an outside receiver and toma, goodman, and parris run the slot, who cares!! guess what, when floyd is healthy, shaq will be #4 behind floyd, tate, and duval. why not move shaq to the slot so he can play?
    I have no problems with kids earning playing time, but i think it should be shaq’s time to lose, and i have seen nothing to suggest he doesn’t deserve more pt

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    nepachris replied on October 27th, 2009 at 1:32 am

    i am no expert, but with young wr’s learning a pro-style offense, they have to learn their position first and foremost before progressing into another positions responsibilities. according to all reports coming out of nd, shaq was sick before usc and most likely carried over into practice for bc. he was available but kamara was having a good game. as far as walker goes, your guess is as good as mine. we are starting to get a log jam at wr, and i don’t think it would be a bad idea to let evans or walker get some reps at slot receiver. one of them not both. we need the depth out wide. tate with walker/evans. floyd with kamara. parris with walker/evans. the others like goodman/toma could fill in when we go 4-5 wide. considering all of the injuries/illnesses at wr, i know i would not want to game plan with all of that uncertainty.

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  • Bill Meehan commented on October 26th, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    Two things:

    1. I don’t see why we NEED to be playing Walker and Shaq. Their role seems to be big play receivers. We already have those in Tate and Kamara (even though Tate and Kamara seemed to fill a different role themselves in this game). Toma and Goodman did a fine job of running the crossing routes that help take some pressure off of Tate and Kamara. Just because Shaq and Walker have big play potential doesn’t mean we should put them in against a D designed around stopping the big play.

    2. I thought this game was a great example of how taking what a D gives you might be better than going for the knockout. Part of the reason why Rudolph wasn’t thrown to was because of the HUGE number of quick hitches we threw to Tate and Kamara. In the end, one of those quick outs/hitches turned into the game winning TD because Tate broke a tackle. I thought BC’s bend but don’t break D was played well by them, but that ND managed to overcome it because they took what was given. In years past, Clausen might have had a tendency to look for the big play that wasn’t there. His willingness to throw it to the open receiver and take what was offered spoke very highly towards his development as a QB.

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    ted replied on October 26th, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    tate breaking a tackle and going for a td is exactly why you have ‘big play’ receivers at every position if you can.

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  • Erik commented on October 26th, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    This defense will be suspect for as long as Weis is in charge. Manti is a manimal and I can’t wait for him to grow into a captain role in the next years.

    McCarthy is the best thing in the secondary, which doesn’t say much but at least he’ll make a few plays to cover the mistakes he’s made.

    Tausch has been solid, but man this punting situation is bad. A good team will take advantage of 30 yard kicks. Luckily, ND hasn’t faced too many good teams.

    At the end of the year every you’ll take every ugly win possible. Especially against BC…

    Dayne for a change of pace? 6’6 260lb Kyle Rudolph for a 1 yard pop pass maybe?

    [Reply]

    David replied on October 26th, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    I am with you that Dayne needs some time in the coming weeks. If Clausen goes pro, it would be nice to have a QB that has gotten some snaps

    [Reply]

    Chitown Copper replied on October 26th, 2009 at 6:14 pm

    I think McCarthy is a very capable DB. He is fast enough, but certainly not the fastest. John Lynch of Tampa Bay lore wasnt the fastest either but he was a sure tackler. McCarthy has to posess some quicks if he is leading the team in tackles and having to come up from safety to do it. He brings alot of intangibles as well and i dont think he is some slow plodding stick in the mud out there. He’s made some very athletic plays this year.

    [Reply]

  • Doug commented on October 26th, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    Did anyone notice how the NBC announcers were really trying to not point out every play that HS screwed up but could not help themselves? It seemed like everyother play they were saying Harrison Smith was a little out of position, Harrison Smith was late getting there, etc. I wish I would’ve kept a tally lol

    [Reply]

    nepachris replied on October 26th, 2009 at 8:46 pm

    it says alot about harison smith if those two hacks are seeing it as well. he was just abused by bc, esp. the pump fake by shinzkie beyond the line of scrimmage. how can you try and defend him?

    [Reply]

  • TC commented on October 26th, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    Yea, does anyone know why Mark May picks against ND so much, well everytime to be exact? I think sometimes its to rile Holtz but that one post had it right I believe. He would pick BC if they were 0-11 with a wheelchair qb playing. I did however like the fact that he gave Clausen a helmet sticker at the end of College Football Live after the Purdue game.

    Oh, and it seems a lot were wondering about Evans, he was sick with the flu before the USC game and wasn’t quite ready to play against BC. I would think we’d see him out there against Wazzu.

    [Reply]

    David replied on October 26th, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    I think it is because him and Holtz offer a contrast that makes good television for the average viewer (not ND Fans). Lou is to high on ND and May battles that by being to low. I think it is more of a network decision.

    [Reply]

    Irish84 replied on October 26th, 2009 at 11:07 pm

    Mark May is a Pitt guy … an All American who played from 1976-1980 under Jackie Sherrell when Pitt had great teams (Tony Dorsett, Matt Cavanaugh, Hugh Green, & Dan Marino) … They won a Natl Championship in 76 but ND beat them in 1977 & 1978. I’m sure ND is not on Mark May’s xmas card list.

    [Reply]

  • Cliff commented on October 26th, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    On rivals.com they posted a video on the state of recrutiting and it appears we are in very good shape for some of the top talents in the country….lets hope!

    http://rivals.yahoo.com/video/amp-football/NotreDame/AMP-Weekly-Whispers-56146

    [Reply]

    SteelFanRob replied on October 26th, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    Huge gets would be OT S. Henderson (should be 4 year starter), WR K. Prater (highlights remind anyone else of Golden Tate?) , DT L. Nix (big D lineman), and one of the stud LBs and esp. DBs left on the board (need I elaborate on our need of coverage CBs?)

    [Reply]

    Cliff replied on October 26th, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    My take on our DBs is this…starting with the CB’s I think Gary Gray is our best corner…I think McNeil is good…so those would be my two starters. As far as FS…although out of HS Harrison was a 4.37 40 guy- he looks slow and unsure…I did like seeing Slaughter out there…and of course Kyle is the cornerstone. If we could get Riley, Joyner, and Parker (to add to our other commits) we are GOLDEN!

    [Reply]

  • SteelFanRob commented on October 26th, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    Hopefully we can keep both Shaq Evans and Deion Walker. They are solid prospects. But if we land one of the 4 or 5 star WR recruits we’re still in play for (in addition to T-L Jones and the other 2 WRs in this class), then we may well lose either Evans or Walker if they don’t see the field. I’d hope CW would get a pipeline system working at WR (and eventually TE) where the younger players sit year one (saving a year of eligibility). Play ST year 2 (year 1 of eligibility). Work their way into the rotation year 2 of eligibility. Start last 2 years. That would allow for a nice 5 or 6 deep WR corps of 3 (solid role players) to 5 star (All-America talent) every year. Do you think Aurelius Benn at Ill. wishes he’d committed to ND instead? G. Little at UNC? Imagine a WR corps with Tate, Floyd, Benn, and Little as your top 4!

    [Reply]

    Cliff replied on October 26th, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    wow….would that be amazing! however i like who we have now…and if we add prater to the mix…holy cow…look out!!

    [Reply]

    David replied on October 26th, 2009 at 4:52 pm

    As far is recruiting goes, i think we need to pull some offers from WRs that have not accepted them. I know they are playmakers but you cant get them all on the field. We need OL and DL. You cant through to the WR if the offense isnt on the field and OL cant give the QB enough time.

    I would never consider pulling a scholarship offer from a kid that has verbally accepted, but we should consider it with others that havent and refocus our recruiting efforts.

    [Reply]

    svenghali replied on October 26th, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    Seeing how Prater is committed to USC, I think ND has to keep that offer on the table. Right now USC has the top 2 WR’s in the country in their fold. Do you want to go against that for the next 4 years? USC is going to have top-flight skill guys regardless, but we don’t need to do them any favors.

    Cliff replied on October 26th, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    Good point..the game is won/lost in the trenches. However looks like we are in good shape to add three O Line…and two D Line.

    svenghali replied on October 26th, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    Benn and Little can suck it. Right now they’re getting exactly what they deserve.

    [Reply]

    SteelFanRob replied on October 26th, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    Amen, brother, Amen!

    [Reply]

    Jack replied on October 26th, 2009 at 6:26 pm

    Steelfan,

    I heard that Shaq had a the flu and missed the week of USC and neither Walker or Shaq are slot receivers that is why Toma played.

    [Reply]

  • Greg commented on October 26th, 2009 at 5:15 pm

    Gary Gray and McNeil at corner; Slaughter and McCarthy safeties. gary Gray is by far the best corner. Walls sucks and get beat way to much ditto blanton and mcneil.

    [Reply]

  • leo commented on October 26th, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    Is Walls hurt or just benched?

    [Reply]

  • tom commented on October 26th, 2009 at 7:05 pm

    rumor from some people inside ND has it Shaq is having grade issues and is not very happy (homesick)

    [Reply]

  • Chitown Copper commented on October 26th, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    A guy at work who is a big ohio state fan claims ND has a soft schedule. Is there any way to look up the strength of schedule ratings? Theres no way Ohio State has a tougher schedule than ND with toledo, indiana, minnesota and new mexico state

    [Reply]

    svenghali replied on October 26th, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    I can’t answer this directly, but the BCS computers have ND ranked 19th and OSU 23rd. That pretty much says it all.

    I’ve heard claims that ND’s schedule is as high as 13th.

    [Reply]

    David replied on October 26th, 2009 at 11:59 pm

    someone posted a link a while back that was updated on a weekly basis that showed how tough a teams schedule was based on how their opponents performed

    [Reply]

    JDH replied on October 27th, 2009 at 9:22 am

    Sagarin is a main source for schedule rankings.

    [Reply]

  • IrishFan commented on October 26th, 2009 at 7:42 pm

    Giovanni Bernard becomes 17th verbal commit.

    [Reply]

    bleednd82 replied on October 26th, 2009 at 8:29 pm

    Good news!

    [Reply]

  • Joe commented on October 26th, 2009 at 8:58 pm

    Kamara had a very nice game, very sure hands. We destroy him when he messes up, so have to give him props now. He was money on Saturday.

    And again, where the #%#$$!! was Rudolph. 1 catch? Really? That’s the best they can do?

    [Reply]

  • Connor commented on October 26th, 2009 at 10:57 pm

    Why are Toma and Goodman playing over Walker and Evans…seriously. USC wouldnt even think about recruiting the former but we fought all the big schools tooth and nail over the latter.

    [Reply]

  • Mike commented on October 26th, 2009 at 11:45 pm

    Sagarin has ND 17th. NCAA has ND 31st. In both, ND is lower (tougher) than OSU.

    [Reply]

  • Irish84 commented on October 26th, 2009 at 11:52 pm

    Coaching adjustments … I don’t see us making many. On defense, if one guy from BC is killing you, how about double teaming him and forcing an opponent to try something else. The same for USC’s TE not getting checked on the line all afternoon and making one catch after another. On offense, there’s not a player on BC’s team that could cover Golden Tate and he doesn’t touch the ball on the last 2 ND offensive series. We were just asking BC to beat us (the same as Mich, MSU, Purdue & Wash), they just couldn’t execute. My view is that we’re getting outcoached on both sides of the ball (especially on defense).

    [Reply]

  • Shazamrock commented on October 27th, 2009 at 7:30 am

    Lots of talk about why this receiver was in and that one was wasn’t. Or why did we go with Hughes instead of Allen? I for one like the fact the Charlie Weis is useing his entire roster. We have seen 2 QB’s, 6 running backs, maybe 8 WR’s, 3 tight ends. A couple of kickers, and who knows how many different D-linemen, linebackers, and secondary players. Useing this many players and being 5-2 I think bodes well for our future. I know you like to have continuity,but having this many players with good playing time will give our coaching staff lots of options and flexability. The confedence will be there is someone goes down with a injury, and opposing teams will have that much more to prepare for. I think it also builds team chemistry and unity. Everyone gets a chance to contribute. Incoming recruites have got to like the fact that chances are good that with hard work, that they could see the field as well.

    [Reply]

    palk21 replied on October 27th, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    I have to agree with Shazamrock. At first glance, my initial reaction was, what the hell?!? Why are we playing so many receivers and mixing up our offense evrey play, but after seeing Shazamrock’s point of view, I can see how this is a good thing. While some may say that ND could be 1-6 just as easily as we could be 7-0, but the fact is we are 5-2 and playing everyone on our roster. I agree, this bodes very well for our future because if we can get these kids out there, even just a little bit, they won’t completely have the “deer in the headlights” look when they have to start opening day having never stepped on the field. I like that we are winning and getting everyone some experience because experience is how you build depth on the roster and for the future.

    As well, I also agree that it looks good to recruits because if they know they can play as a Freshman providing they do their part, they will want to come here and work that much harder. It’s not as bad as we’re making it out to be. This could be a great thing for the future of our team and Charlie.

    [Reply]

  • MikeRomo commented on October 27th, 2009 at 11:45 am

    Someone get Shaq some tutoring. Have his parents visit more often or at least send him a lot of care packages. We cannot loose a WR of his caliber!!!

    [Reply]

    Shazamrock replied on October 27th, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    Charlie Weis is a good and understanding coach. It wasn’t but maybe a year or two ago we had the same problem with another player.
    I can’t remember his name, but he was a freshmen, first time away from home. Overwhelmed by the demands of school work and football. Homesick. CW let the kid take some time. Go back home for a while. Get his priorities in order. The kid got his act together and made up his time in summer school and played the following season. Does this sound familar to anyone. Remember his name? I seem to remember that he turned out to be a pretty good player.

    [Reply]

    sdoomie replied on October 29th, 2009 at 7:49 pm

    Chris Stewart.

    [Reply]

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