November 21, 2010 // Notre Dame Football

Initial Impressions – Notre Dame 27, Army 3

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Notre Dame became bowl eligible with a dominating defensive performance in the inaugural football game in Yankee Stadium Saturday night.  The Irish defense led the way for the second week in a row  as Notre Dame rolled to a 27-3 victory.

Here are some thoughts on the game.

Offense

  • Tommy Rees wasn’t asked to do too much tonight, but what he was asked to do, he did fairly well.  Outside of his first quarter interception, which was a bad throw and decision, Rees played well in his second career start.  He showed nice touch on his down field passes to Tyler Eifert and at times showed some zip we hadn’t seen out of him yet.
  • Brian Kelly deserves a lot of credit for having a true freshman as ready to play as Rees has been the past two weeks.  Kelly has also done a great job devising a game plan that hasn’t required Rees to do to much as well.
  • Tyler Eifert has his best game since taking over the injured Kyle Rudolph.  He caught 4 passes for a career high 78 yards and came up about a yard shy of having 2 touchdowns in the game.    Eifert also drew some praise from Mike Mayock for his blocking during the telecast.
  • Cierre Wood might be the most improved player on the offensive side of the ball this year.  He is making better decisions with the ball in his hands and ran with more power and authority against Army than he had all season.  Wood ended up with 88 yards on just 14 carries.
  • Robby Toma continues to impress and could end up playing himself into a more prominent role in the offense in 2011.  The sophomore from Hawaii hauled in 4 passes for 63 yards.
  • Michael Floyd had a quiet game with just 3 catches, but that had more to do with Notre Dame employing a run first attack.
  • TJ Jones played sparingly leaving the Irish thin at receiver.  Notre Dame will need a healthy Jones next week against USC.
  • Robert Hughes had a nice game before his 4th quarter fumble which I’m sure he’ll hear about during film sessions this week.
  • John Goodman appears to be at the bottom of the wide receiver rotation at this point.  Even with an injured receiving corps, Goodman didn’t see much of the field other than in punt returning capacities (more on that later).

Defense

  • Wow.  Who saw Notre Dame completely shutting down Army’s option attack after the clinic Navy put on last month?  Just a flat out dominant performance for the Irish defense for the second week in a row.
  • Even Army’s first drive when they gained most of their yards, they needed 17 plays to go 78 yards and only put 3 points on the board.
  • After that first drive, Army manage just 3 first downs the rest of the game.
  • Army gained a meager 174 yards of offense.  Heading into Saturday Army’s season low in rushing yards was 233 yards – they gained 59 fewer total yards than that this week.
  • Army’s Trent Steelman completed as many passes, 2, to Notre Dame defenders as he did to his own receivers.  Darrin Walls and Brian Smith both picked off Steelman with Walls scoring Notre Dame’s first defensive touchdown since Robert Blanton’s pick 6 against Purdue in 2008.
  • Harrison Smith got off to a slow start, but ended up having a really good game.  Notre Dame let him room free with 10 men in the box and he helped contain the pitch man well after the first drive.
  • Anthony McDonald made a heck of a play in the 4th quarter when he shed a blocker, made the stop, stripped the runner, and recovered the ball, but the refs ruled the runner down even though it wasn’t even close.  It won’t go down in the stat sheet, but I’m sure McDonald will get credit for it during film sessions this week.
  • Gary Gray had another good game this week.  The game plan this week left Gray and Walls on an island with the receiver they were covering and both responded well.
  • The entire defensive line played monumentally better than they did against Navy.  Sean Cwynar and Kapron Lewis-Moore especially played well.
  • Since the Navy game, the Notre Dame defense has given up just 1 touchdown in 3 games.  Considering where this defense was last year and even last month, that is a remarkable improvement.  Props to Bob Diaco, Kerry Cooks, Mike Elston, and Chuck Martin for fixing their approach this week and having this defense playing it’s best football at the end of the season.

Special Teams

  • David Ruffer continues to impress connecting on both of his field goal attempts including a 47 yarder.  Ruffer is now 15 for 15 this season and 20 for 20 in his career.
  • John Goodman had a few opportunities for some return yardage on punts, but he was shut down pretty well by Army.  He has been a sure handed return man, but Notre Dame needs to start getting more yards in the return game.
  • Ben Turk didn’t have to do much but he did have a 49 yard punt and 2 punts inside the 20.

Comments to this Article

  • Jared commented on November 21st, 2010 at 3:08 am

    Great win for our boys! Give credit where credit is due, the D was solid, Cierre looks like a new back lately and Eifert for stepping up with 2 huge and great catches!!

    Bring on SC! Goooo Irish, Beat Trojans!!

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  • Chi-town Copper commented on November 21st, 2010 at 3:59 am

    I will take this win and am proud of our team. We are getting some momentum on defense and its been a while since you could say that. Utah barely pulled it out against San Diego State today and Tulsa barely took care of UTEP but i still think the win against Utah was quality. At this point im just looking for ND to improve and get some of the younger guys experience. Im excited for next year and after USC got beat by Oregon State am hopeful we can close out the year with a win there.

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    Greg replied on November 21st, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    Don’t discredit San Diego State, they took TCU to the end on the road the week before. The Utah win remains impressive, especially the defensive performance.

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  • Bill commented on November 21st, 2010 at 7:36 am

    Congrats on a nice win. I see a team starting to play with confidence. A great turnaround considering all that has happened to this team. I was at the Navy game and that was a total beatdown. At that point I wasn’t sure if we would win another game. I think BK is going to make us relevent again, and the best way to start is by beating USC and a bowl game victory!!

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    nd forever replied on November 21st, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    Matt Barkley might be out for the rest of the season with a high ankle sprain he suffered against oregon state.Oregon State won 36-7.If ND comes to play like they have the past 2 weeks I think they will win.Keep playing tough and hit the trojans in the mouth and they will cave.GO IRISH BEAT U$C!!!

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  • sdouglas commented on November 21st, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    I agree with most of the points made, but was bothered by the 3 or 4 “broken” plays on offense that smacked of disorganization.

    Overall, Rees is impressive. He reflects his football upbringing, is comfortable, and displays good leadership qualities.

    BTW, I enjoyed the ND Band/Army Glee Club performance at half time. While other high profile programs waste their time playing 1-AA teams, ND continues to find ways to be in the national spotlight with it’s history and traditions. All the best to the USMA seniors on the next stage of their careers …. God Bless.

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  • Power run the ball commented on November 21st, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    I will be happy if we beat USC.

    I don’t think we can come away from this game with to many positives or negatives. Army couldn’t beat ND’s practice squad but it was nice to see Army play with a lot of effort.

    1 positive is it was a nice tune up game for ND and give them an opportunity to defend a much slower, weaker, less efficient option attack. It would have been nice to play them earlier in the season…

    I hope teo is alright.

    I can’t believe Notre Dame up 27- 3 in the middle of the fourth quarter ran a reverse to their best player. CLassless.

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    The_Super_Ape replied on November 21st, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    I disagree with your point about the reverse to Floyd when we were up 27-3. I’d say it was less “classless” and more of coach Kelly and his staff trying out plays that could factor into a season defining game against U$C next Saturday.

    Don’t be surprised if we see a reverse to Floyd next week.

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    ted replied on November 21st, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    i don’t think the end-around was out of line. from what i remember, there was 12 minutes left in the fourth and we had like 1st or 2nd and 25. we had been running hughes and wood pretty much every play that quarter.

    not too many positives? how about a team and coaching staff caught with their pants down 4 weeks ago, getting a second chance and redeeming themselves?

    how about a defense that hasn’t held a team to 3 points or less in consecutive games since the forward pass was invented (i don’t know when we did that last but it had to have been forever ago)

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    Power run the ball replied on November 21st, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    The reverse i was referring to was like 7 minutes left in the Game and Notre dame was on about the 30- 35 yrd line…..

    The Game was over Army was a beaten team that GAVE UP OFFENSIVELY… ND was easily running the ball down the field with Hughes and Wood… If floyd would have blown out his knee it would have been called the stupidest play call in college football history second to the pass to floyd in the TULSA game… floyd got hit a little awkward on the play by 3-4 guys and I remember thinking i hope he doesn’t get hurt and that he shouldn’t even be in the game…

    Thank Goodness he didn’t get hurt;;\
    Navy will torch Army 40 to nothing

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    oomie replied on November 22nd, 2010 at 12:06 am

    Hello, Ted,

    As a Notre Dame student early in the “era of Ara,” I attended/witnessed three straight ND shutouts! BTW, the first of those was against Army.
    In that 9-0-1 season, ND outscored our opponents 362-38! Wow, that’s an average score of 36-4… ND recorded five shutouts that season.
    My son, whom I named Ara, is a “legacy,” attending ND during the Holtz era. His nickname at school was “Coach.”

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    ted replied on November 22nd, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    that’s great! thanks for the information. hopefully this team will set and break records of old!

    Kyle replied on November 21st, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    I’m really tired of hearing the “classless” thing brought up. That’s total bullshit. It’s a football game. We weren’t up by 70. Finish your opponent off.

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    Power run the ball replied on November 21st, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    the opponent was finished and it is college football not the nfl with professionals. Classy is Classy… To me Notre Dame football should be the epitome of Class. Hence NOTRE DAME

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    Kyle replied on November 22nd, 2010 at 2:04 am

    This is just a stupid comment. You’re right, this is college football. Not 7 year old tee ball. Quit worrying about the other guys’ feelings. Look at what happened to the Bengals today. Up 24 points with a quarter to play isn’t a sure thing.

    How many times have we watched these teams blow 3-4 TD leads in the second half over the past several years. Finish the game. This isn’t the country club. Shelve the “classy” argument. It’s stupid and not applicable. What this team needs is to be playing a full four quarters week in and week out. That’s something we haven’t seen in awhile.

    JDH replied on November 22nd, 2010 at 11:11 am

    I think “classless” is a gross overstatement. As Superape pointed out, it very well may have been about folding some new plays into the mix to get ready for USC.

    Have you watched ND football for the past 15 years? Have you seen the amount of times “teams that couldn’t/shouldn’t/wouldn’t beat Notre Dame” COME BACK from material deficits and DO JUST THAT? ND has become famous, or should I say infamous, for not putting games away and blowing leads to so-called, “lesser teams”. 7 minutes left? One Army touchdown and a turnover and they are right back in the game. Crazier things have happened.

    It was an end around for god’s sake, not a flea-flicker when they were up by 40 points…

    Poz replied on November 21st, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    What???

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    Poz replied on November 21st, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    What??? as in response to your comment about the reverse….classless??? Are you serious?

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    Power run the ball replied on November 22nd, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    Okay, so i quess we disagree.

    I would hope Notre Dame wouldn’t practice a play against army in preparation for usc especially a reverse play b/c USC will be watching the film….
    Teams usually do the other. they run plays and formation they are not going to use so USC would have to prepare for something ND will not use…

    Personally, I think Kelly wanted his offense to score more then 2 TD’s and tried to run a reverse to FLoyd to make the score look a little more dominant…

    Bottom Line ND dominated a Lesser team.

    Reese is a true fresh who is very inconsistent and the offense will struggle..

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    natharmarshall replied on November 22nd, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    While I agree with what you say about… “I would hope Notre Dame wouldn’t practice a play against army in preparation for usc especially a reverse play b/c USC will be watching the film….
    Teams usually do the other. they run plays and formation they are not going to use so USC would have to prepare for something ND will not use…” that is true but ND could throw in a wrinkle off of this play. That is very common. Get them thinking about a reverse to Floyd and then hit toma with a deep pass, something to that effect.

    Power run the ball replied on November 24th, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    good point

    bo hart replied on November 22nd, 2010 at 9:03 pm

    didn;t Colorado blow a 28 pt lead with 8 minutes left? quit being a dumbass

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    Power run the ball replied on November 24th, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    not such a good point.. We did play army? are they even div 1a

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  • Physical Ed commented on November 21st, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    Great work by the defense, and Cierre is looking really good, in blocking as well as his running game. And you can’t say enough about Tommy, and the way Coach Kelly has planned the two games he has started. Everything is working in favor of the Irish leading to the final game of the regular season. The Trojans are reeling, the Irish are rolling, and they are going to roll right into the coliseum next week believing in themselves. If this team plays to it’s potential, they have a really good chance of laying the Trojans out. The win over Utah seemed to be fueled by the teams desire to send the seniors of the 2007 class out with a home win. Looks like they may be able to use the same sentiment to send them out with a big win over USC. Like Lou says, “It starts with a belief…”. GO IRISH, BEAT USC!

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  • Dan commented on November 21st, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    Actually the defense has just allowed one touchdown in the last three games (the first drive of the Tulsa game). They’re sitting at 11 straight quarters of keeping opponents out of the end zone.

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  • fed up commented on November 21st, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    Any word on T’eo?

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    nd forever replied on November 21st, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    In Kelly’s press confrence he said Teo was fine it was just a bad bloody nose.He didn’t say it was broken.

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    JDH replied on November 22nd, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    It IS broken, but he will play against USC.

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    Beaver replied on November 21st, 2010 at 6:09 pm

    Teo has a broken nose but Kelly said he will be cleared to play Saturday. On another note, who would have thought a few weeks ago the a victory IN SC would even be a possibility. Very excited.

    GO IRISH!! BEAT SOME TROJAN!!!

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  • ted commented on November 21st, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    what a difference november makes! to think, last year we were riding high going into november and nose dived. this year, we were at a serious low coming into november and have handled teams. seeing improvement in all phases of the game.

    all the while usc has lost 4 of their last 7, getting annihiliated by oregon st. 36-7. without bowl-eligibility, they have nothing left to play for. we are like ships passing in the night, usc going down, nd going up.

    this is the perfect stage for notre dame to go to the colosseum and lay some wood. after all of the blow-outs we have received from pete and the trojans, i can’t wait for next sat.

    GO IRISH! BEAT TROJANS!

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    nd forever replied on November 21st, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    This month has showed that Kelly has developed depth.To have so many players hurt and to be playing this well it tells me he is developing players across the board not just the qb.Give him a few years and you will see this team back to where we belong.I know it was Army, but they held Army to the least pionts they have scored all year the defense is playing great.(when was the last time anybody could say that)GO IRISH!!!

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  • irisheye62 commented on November 21st, 2010 at 7:20 pm

    Our men of Notre Dame have stepped it up. The team looks and plays as if they were a totally different team. Utah is still a quality win, despite the naysayers. Obviously the BCS formula found them to be worthy of being in the upper echelon of the top 10 for some time. Army is not an automatic gimme. The triple option coupled with one of the best Black Knights teams in many years was indeed a good matchup. ( For the Herbstreits of the world, saying that Utah was over rated–he should look at his beloved buckeyes and see the “powers” they’ve played in Eastern Mich and year after year MAC teams from Ohio and playing them at home. Meanwhile, Herbie should be looking at -yet once again-Ohio State due to rotation of schedule avoids a good match–and potential loss via Michigan State not being on their schedule this year. BTW, the bucks didn’t have Northwestern –who may have given them quite a run for their money. Some conference, huh?) I bring this up because I’m tired of hearing a team- be it Notre Dame or anybody else discredited for a win courtesy of the Columbus Media. ( I know, I know, don’t listen to it) But-unlike Fox News-columbus, Ohio is not fair and balanced! It’s just fresh to the ears right now along with an improving Irish team.
    Can we beat USC? I have not seen the Trojans in 2 weeks. I don’t know.
    I DO CARE. It does not break my heart that they are going through “transitions” while Pete Carroll the Coward bolted. We shall see.
    Rees–GREAT
    TEO-Party ON
    Wood-you the man.
    Field goals???????????? Oh yeah –bring it on again!!!!!!!!
    Army??? Class Act. Discipline. They bring awe to my heart and patriotic self with the display of their dedication, sacrifice and placing country over self.
    WITHOUT APOLOGY, I would gladly play ALL THREE Service Academies year after year. *( the Local media in columbus, Ohio has slammed Notre Dame for playing these opponets–all in the same year while we play our FIRST MAC Team! Meanwhile, OSU fans of the so called grreat “buckeye nation” must be reminded that Navy ALMOST beat OSU and Air Force DID beat them years back in the Liberty Bowl. So much for “easy” opponets from the Miltary-the last two times OSU played the Service Academies.
    I know this is not ( Thank God) an OSU web site. The Media, here, however, pounces on any success Notre Dame has -more than every so often and this year, they “love to hate Kelly” cause he left an Ohio team to coach Notre Dame. ( Tressel left his job too for OSU but I guess that’s “different”)
    It’s a one sided coin here and one cannot argue with tunnel visioned people from High Street in columbus. Again, just fresh on the mind because of local media. (I believe they call that a double standard. On tinker toy tech on High Street , such phrases to be coined may be aboe the IQ of most.) Living here is my penance, I’m sure.
    NOTRE DAME –BEAT USC!!!!!!!!!!!
    IRISH -WIN A BOWL GAME–LETS BUILD FROM HERE!
    One more time for the record, GOD Bless the Service Academies!!!!!
    respectuflly submitted, irisheye62

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    JDH replied on November 22nd, 2010 at 11:15 am

    Dude,
    Everyone knows Ohio State fans are the most delusional fans on the face of the earth. They take the cake. Worse than Redsox fans, worse than Philly fans, worse than Michigan fans, etc. etc.

    They are insane. I can’t imagine what it would be like to live in Columbus. I have nothing against OSU per se, only their fans.

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    DublinOHIrish replied on November 22nd, 2010 at 11:25 am

    JDH,

    I can tell you first hand from living in the Columbus area that you are correct. Buckeye football is the gospel around here. Nothing compares to it to the people here. I have lived in Ohio all my life and been an avid ND because we are the connoisseurs of college football. I enjoy watching the team and have been to games before, but the fans are above and beyond. I could never imagine taking my 8 year old daughter to an OSU game. The local sports radio show bashes ND every chance they get. It all boils down to jealousy. They are a huge university and alumni everywhere, but ND is and always will be ND. They can’t stand that.

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    JDH replied on November 22nd, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    I’m from Ohio and know exactly what you’re talking about. I know alot of people from alot of different backgrounds. They run the gamut from Ivy Leaguers, ND grads, small schools, big schools, state schools, private schools- you name it. All kinds of different traditions and strong loyalties. But I’ve never, EVER seen behavior and opinions like that of OSU fans. I can sum it up like this:

    OSU football is the greatest institution in the history of the world. OSU is the best school in the country, bar none. Columbus, OH is the greatest city in the world, bar none. No other schools, teams, cities etc. matter, at all. We are the only people who count.

    Like I said- it’s a delusion and arrogance is not a big enough word.

    irisheye62 replied on November 22nd, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    JDH-You are right.
    You are right. You are right.
    This town is called “cowlumbus” for a reason.
    I will take ND in a losing year (s) anytime, anywhere over an institution on N. Hight St. who should thank their lucky stars to be on the same field with the likes of the service academies!
    ( Mind you they have ony-to my knowledge played them twice since the Earl Bruce era-and he has more double negatives and dangling participles in one speech than the average man–just like the team he coached.
    Duh?

    PROUD TO BE IRISH
    THROUGH THICK AND THIN
    LOYAL
    LOYAL
    TO THE END
    AND BEYOND

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    JDH replied on November 23rd, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    Irisheye-
    You need to talk to my wife! I like how you wrote:
    JDH- You are right. You are right. You are right!

    That’s what I keep telling her…about everything! But she disagrees… :)

    Chi-town Copper replied on November 22nd, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    Heres a little something for your pals at OSU to put in their pipe and toke, a short criminal history of THE Ohio State:

    RB Maurice Clarrett–Robbery, Concealed Weapon 2006
    RB Ira Guilford —Robbery 2004
    TE Louis Irizarry —Robbery 2004
    OL Tim Downing —Cocaine/Oxycontin trafficking 2008
    RB Bo DeLande —DUI 2009
    QB Antonio Henton —Soliciting Prostitution 2007
    K Jonathan Keete — 1/2 lb of marijuana sold to undercover police 2005
    OL Alex Boone —tazered by police for resisting 2009
    WR Terry Glenn —Pot 2009, Assault 2001

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    irisheye62 replied on November 22nd, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    To all of the above:
    JDH, Chi-town Chopper, DublinOHIrish:

    Thanks for confirming what I dare not say aloud for fear of being mugged. Even WEARING an ND shirt somewhere in freaking March is looked upon with indifference and suspicion of not ” fitting in”
    It’s almost like : ” You aren’t from around here are ya?” ( quasi southern accent and dueling banjos mentality)

    Thanks for the list of the criminal minds from N. High Street and the denial they must have. ( They will say it’s everybody, everywhere)

    Final thought: At the ND game in suckeye country in 95, I actually saw an adult male
    ( approx. late 30′s)
    verbally assault a boy
    ( approx. 13 years old) wearing a white ND shirt with Green and Blue lettering.
    The lad was happy go lucky with his guardian and he was told ” f–k you little Notre Lame fan. You f–kin- su-k. go to hell.”
    This–ladies and gentlemen is what the “great buckeye nation” is about.
    Thank you men, for understanding.
    AS for the Irish–PLAY WELL AND GO FROM HERE AND BEAT USC!
    IT IS POSSIBLE!!!!!!!
    WE BELIEVE!

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    nd forever replied on November 22nd, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    and yet ESPN did not post negative articles about Ohio State for many of these things.if your going to do it ESPN at least try not to seem so biased.I have been saying this since the old sweater vest got there that they are one of the dirtiest programs in college football and sooner or later it will catch up on them.Go IRISH!!!

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    irisheye62 replied on November 26th, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    1. I know the Boren Family whose son left Mich. for O. state
    2. Then Coach Lloyd Carr said he would help the borens helping him get to the “cleanest” program in football–Ohio State.
    3, Hmmm.. Really?
    4. This week President of ohio state tinker toy tech on north high street said ” Ohio State doesn’t play the little sisters of the poor and these other teams don’t play the tough teams and the test ohio state does.
    5. every week it is always something about how osu doesn’t get the respect they deserve and on and on and on
    6. Texas Christian and Boise play their scheduled opposition very well–they schedule those within their conference and are playing well
    7. So–they win and win big and are unbeaten–is it tough?
    68th and 73rd most difficult schedule in the nation –
    8 OSU is 59th most difficult
    9 given that, the latter can hardly accuse the former of playing “little sisters of the poor.”
    10. two years ago Herbstreit said that the big 10 was down and it’s “nobody’s fault.”
    11. that mentality said, again “it’s nobody’s fault that TCU and BOISE are moving in on the big time.
    12. do i not hear more jealousy on the part of OSU
    with the “lesser conference” teams moving in?
    13. If the BCS does not want the so called lesser conference in, they shouldn’t be in the equation at all and screw the automatic bids.
    14. The WAC and Mountain West and what not MUST be part because it expands things and is good for the game–even when it is stacked against the Irish—more teams with something to say—good for all–why not?
    finally–a university who must THE empasized at the beginning of the name surely must have insecurities far more than what any of us can see –except for ESPN herbstriet-
    * who receives condemnation for not being buckeye enough when reporting–OMG its true
    and then–in the midst of THIS
    the IRISH more than occasionally receive criticism from the Columbus media and the Lantern–the OSU newpaper–on THE campus of THE ohio state university–ranked 54th in the nation academically-
    CONCLUSION:
    It’s dirty pool out there and WHAT THE IRISH MUST DO IS WIN WIN WIN WIN OUT AND SHUT THESE PEOPLE UP AND MEANWHILE PRAY FOR THE PROGRAMS FALL LIKE SMU DID IN THE 80′s –HOPEFULLY IT COMES OUT IN THE WASH–AND SOMEBODYS scarelt and gray socks will be dirty–for a long time–PROGRAM ON ITS WAY!!!

  • fed up commented on November 21st, 2010 at 7:52 pm

    Not 4 nothin but before this next game USC will be saying “this is our bowl game” and all the other usual rhetoric that a team going no where says before playing ND. -the irish DO NOT respond well (over the last decade plus) when we get the other teams best effort. I certainly hope I’m wrong, but I’m still worried.

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    Tannim replied on November 22nd, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    USC said the same thing before they went out and got pasted by Oregon, too.

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  • nd forever commented on November 22nd, 2010 at 12:30 am

    I don’t know anything about the allegations, I’m sure if anything is true the University will take care of the player.Justice Hayes has been rumored to want to play with one of his best friends De’anthony Arnett who committed to Tennessee.He told reporters that he attended a game a few weeks ago and wasn’t feeling comfortable(probably Tulsa).I am hoping that Savon Huggins and a few other players commit and build a nice class.This Notre Dame team is young witch may sway certain highscool players away.Cierr Wood is a sophmore so he has two more years, Jonas Gray is a junior.We do need another runningback to at least make three backs Kelly will pick up somebody.

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  • DeltaIrish commented on November 22nd, 2010 at 9:24 am

    The last two weeks have certainly awakened some echoes for me. Seeing a ND defense stand up, push back and flat out freeze a couple of potent offenses brings back memories of Stonebreaker and Zorich. We aren’t on that level yet, but for the first time since Willingham’s first year and those improbable defensive wins I have hope we are once again headed down the road of dominant defensive play.

    Herbstreit, kiss my shamrocks. The Utah team we beat last week has lost twice, once to us and once to one of the top 3 or 4 teams in the country. They aren’t far removed from hosing the mighty Crimson Tide in the Sugar bowl a couple years back (2008) and they are on their way to the “mighty Pac 10.” It’s a quality win. And Army? They don’t have the manpower of most FBS programs but they average well over 200 yards a game rushing. And we stopped it. Not just stopped it, destroyed it. We beat them like ND should be expected to beat them. That has happened in a while either.

    Take a look at our losses. Michigan: bowl team we lost, 2 year headstart on transitioning to the spread, we lost in the final minutes. MSU: probaly co-Champ of the Big 10, beat us with a trick play in OT. Stanford: one of the top programs this year beat our pants off. Navy: We got caught with our pants down. Tulsa: Crist hurt, emotional game, stupid play call.

    Point is, we could have won three of those. A defensive stop against Mich, a slight turn in OT against MSU and a FG in Tulsa and the Irish are at 9-2 right now. I know it’s not horseshoes and close doesnt matter but I can’t help but feel pretty good about the future. Considering we came in this year with a QB from a different system that was rehabbing a knee, lost Matt James, have suffered more key injuries in a season that I can remember, had the emotional loss of a wonderful kid in Declan Sullivan and it all happened in the first year of a new coaching regime installing entirely new systems on both sides of the ball?

    This year has been about overcoming obstacles. And, quite frankly I feel pretty good about how we have done.

    Herbstreit, May and the ESPN cartel like to talk about how football is cyclical and good teams have bad stretches. ND’s has been longer than most. I’ve seen them compare us to Miami, Nebraska, Florida State. None really fit though. Miami had a great run for a decade. Nothing before, not much after. Same with Florida State. Nebraska comes closest but they weren’t down as long as we have been or had the coaching changes. The closest is Bama. Great history. Alot of recent coaching changes. Their trouble with the NCAA hurt recruiting to the point they were similar to how ND standards restrict it’s recruiting. They hired the right man (whether you like him as a person or not). His first year he focused on overcoming obstacles and building depth. Saban’s first year at Bama he ended the regular season at 6-6 and won the lowly independence bowl. Next year he had an undfeated season (then got absolutely trounced by that “overrated” Utah team). The next year, they won a national Championship. Their first since the early 90s. The same time period when ND was last in contention for a NC. Not saying we will perfectly prallel the Tide’s rise from the ashes but the similarities are intriguing.

    GO IRISH….beat SCum!

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  • cousinnap commented on November 22nd, 2010 at 9:49 am

    OK OK it looks good now or at least better – Let’s not get too excited remember we will be palying USC at home the last home game for their seniors – USC will not lay down and will definitely be up for the Irish. THe best we can look for is a win – that is doable – jsut hope the Irish don’t get blown out – if Blakely is out that should help – but Rees is going to see the fastest defense so far and a lot will be put on him – not the “safe” games he has seen so far. A win very gettable – USC defense does give up a lot So it looks like a regular season 7-5 is within reach

    Do It

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  • teo commented on November 22nd, 2010 at 11:47 am

    A nice win by the Irish. They defended the option very well and used their strengths on defense much more than they’ve done all season. They pursued the ball throughout the game and that was one main reason why Army could not score. Excellent ball pursuit. And, I was glad to see our defense have ten guys within about five yards of the line. Army was reluctant to pass and we had to compensate for this.

    Offensively, Rees looked good. He made some nice tosses to receivers who had some great catches. Mostly, though, our running game looked punishing. We’re bigger and stronger than Army, for sure, but our backs also punished linebackers and cornerbacks. It was so nice to see.

    As for the end-around to Floyd, I sort of wondered about the call — late in the game, up by three touchdowns — but that play is a regular part of our offense. That was not a flee-flicker or some trick play. It’s pretty much a running play using a wide receiver — a glorified screen pass. I don’t think it was inappropriate. We can’t just take a knee.

    This was a nice overall win — something that should make us feel a bit better on the way to Southern Cal.

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  • IrishChan commented on November 22nd, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    Green Jerseys… I liked em!

    How much fun was it for me to watch the defense play within themselves. The coaching staff made some crucial changes to the game plan after Army’s first possession and absolutely took the pitch man out of the game.

    Last year after Kelly was named CW successor I looked for as much info as I could about Kellys offense. I had read that early in his coaching career that he had used a “smash-mouth” kinda of spread offense. He tended to run the ball more than he passed. As his QB’s began became more talented as his coaching career ascended he began throwing the ball more.

    Early this season I (as well as a few of you) critized Kelly for NOT running the ball at all. Well, the last two games Kelly seems to be falling back on his earlier days of coaching and knows that he may have one of the more talented group of backs in the country.

    I was really happy to see that 3 of our backs were used consistently throughout the game.

    Reese played well and certainly showed that he can put some heat on the ball as well as some touch. I will say, I hope that as he improves that Kelly remembers how much success we have had BECAUSE of the running game.

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  • IrishChan commented on November 22nd, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    BRING ON USC! They have not defended the Spread well at all this year….

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  • IrishGer commented on November 22nd, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    I really can’t stand when people complain about a special play being called when a team is up…

    A reverse is a running play for goodness sake. It wasn’t like a hook and ladder or something…

    A football play is a football play. Are they supposed to run it for the first time with a frosh QB against USC?

    27-3 isn’t enough of a beating to let up. If they get up by three TD’s against USC, I definitely don’t want them to hang back.

    I agree that you have to have some grace when you are up big, but you have to admit that the way the BCS & AP rankings work, you are judged alot by the points you put up against strengths.

    Let us also not forget that Army gave a pretty good beating to airforce and tulane.

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  • Power run the ball commented on November 22nd, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    USC will be tough.
    We will have to lean heavy on our defense…

    Reese has played well for a TRUE FRESHMAN but he is only a fresh who does struggle at times with some easy pass… He will need to play his best game versus a faster and better D in USC…

    I watch the first half of the purdue game last night and ND really looked good with Crist, Rudolph, AA, Tailer Jones, riddick, Ian williams and company the offense ran the ball almost every other play and the defense played well to.. The only big issue was the Crist overthrow of Rudolph in the endzone…Do u remember those days….

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  • tommyg commented on November 22nd, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    Can’t agree totally that Cierre Wood is playing really well.
    He can’t seem to shake or break tackles, the way Armando was earlier this year. Wood is the future back, but he needs to be much stronger and tougher to take down.

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    Power run the ball replied on November 24th, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    I agree.

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  • JDH commented on November 22nd, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    Does anyone know the likelihood of Allen and Riddick playing against USC?

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    jack replied on November 22nd, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    Allen is out for the season, Riddick may be cleared to play.

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  • ted commented on November 22nd, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    i think this game will come down to who shows up for usc. part of the usc ‘swagger’ the past decade was arrogance. the same arrogance might cause the team to fold and phone it in. but, what do i know?

    kelly will pull out all the stops for this one. i think he learned his lesson re true freshman qb hucking it 49 times and they will run it… but when he does air it out look for play-action and trickeration, like a goodman wr-screen pass, or mabe even floyd, does anyone know if he has an arm? flee-flicker or anything else he has up his sleeve.

    with all the crap this team has been through this year a win would really shut people up, let alone a blow-out.

    GO IRISH! BEAT USC!

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  • Chi-town Copper commented on November 22nd, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    If we beat an unranked USC team without Matt Barkley is it still payback or a quality win? Mitch Mustain was pretty decent at Arkansas and they stil have alot of talent

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    SteelFanRob replied on November 22nd, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    Chi-town Copper,

    You bet it’s payback and a quality win. It’s USC! You better bet ND’s going to get SC’s best effort on Sat. night. Not only is it SC’s finale and bowl game, but that scumbag Lane Kiffin knows he can’t afford to start his USC-ND rivalry with a loss. Not with his reputation, at least. Expect SC to play hard and fast. Hopefully, ND can hang in there and win at the end somehow.

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    irisheye62 replied on November 26th, 2010 at 10:34 pm

    lane Kiffin and pete the cheat carroll are two peas in a pod–one point win is good enough
    just do it Irish

    BTW-I did NOT know that the good folks in the administration in South Bend accomodated USC some years back by switching the home game for the Irish in the series to October and, thus, making it “better” for usc ? really? I say–SWITCH IT AND PRAY FOR COLD AND FREEZING AND SNOW–in Nov. If no switching light candles in the grotto and pray for Freezing rain ( not for the good travelers of course) and give the university of spoiled children frost bite, the poor dears.

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    DeltaIrish replied on November 22nd, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    Allow me to ponder the depths of your query……hmmm…interesting. My response: HELL YES! IS’S SC, THE ANTIIRISH, ANY WIN IS A QUALITY WIN!

    (As to the implication that SC being unranked and possibly not having Barkley somehow impacting the “quality” of a victory….not buying it. ND is unranked as well. And without our starting QB, NT, inside backer, RB, slot receiver and TE. Sounds more than fair.)

    GO IRISH

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    NDFan replied on November 22nd, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    @Chi-town Copper
    Mustain was only good at Arkansas because his backfield consisted of Darren Mcfadden, Felix Jones and Peyton Hillis. The USC win would be nice, a dominating win would be awsome.

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    teo replied on November 22nd, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    If we beat SC, it would be a huge win for the program. I don’t care who their quarterback is. It’s Southern Cal. It’s an archrival. It’s a very accomplished program that has beaten us for the whole decade.

    Regardless, we need that W. Let’s go get it.

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  • The Piper commented on November 22nd, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    Amazing how things change in 1 year….

    Last year we lost on the last play to a USC team that had Joe McKnight (a 1000yd rusher), Anthony McCoy at TE, Damian Williams at WR, Everson Griffen at DT, All Everything Taylor Mays, as well as an experienced OL. They also had Johnny Morton, Rocky Seto, and Super Bowl champ Ken Norton on the coaching staff and a sideline filled with Hollywood heavyweights.

    Throw in that Head Coach Pete Carroll rolled into ND in ’09 having won 79 of 89 games, 2 nat’l titles, and 6 of 7 newyearsday bowls, and it was hard to see how we’d compete.

    At that point, USC had a bowl game, Pac-10 title, and even potential natl championship to play for.

    Well it now appears that they’ve lost Barkley (we’ll see) to an injury, Galippo has 22 tackles total, the OL is thinner than a piece of toilet paper, their defense is allowing 415yds/game, and they’re being coached by an also-ran in Kiffin.

    At this point they have little to play for besides pride, and we saw with Stanford in ’09, and OregSt this year, that when they’re only playing for pride, they basically pack it in.

    THIS USC TEAM IS BEATABLE. Our boys are playing good, hard, smart football. They’re playing their best defense since early ’02.

    Let’s get to em early and often. Seniors: this is your legacy. This is yours. TAKE IT.

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    nd forever replied on November 22nd, 2010 at 7:36 pm

    Piper,
    Totally agree with you, punch them in the mouth and see how they respond.I always say a team takes resembles the head coach, if that’s the case then USC fill fold.The key will be hit them early and often let them know we are the Fighting Irish and that they are a contraceptive.More then any other team I hate U$C, I grew up in southern california and hated them then.GO Irish beat the condoms.

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    JDH replied on November 23rd, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    There is even more to hate about USC now, because Kiffin is the coach.

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  • IrishChan commented on November 23rd, 2010 at 7:57 am

    What in the piss is going on?!

    Matt James falls to his death while on Spring break…

    Declan Sullivan falls to his death while filming practice…

    NOW… “An investigation is underway into the suicide death of a Saint Mary’s College student, who may have been sexually assaulted ten days before by a Notre Dame football player”.

    http://www.wndu.com/sports/headlines/Chicago_Tribune_SMC_student_committed_suicide_after_reporting_ND_football_player_sexually_assaulted_her_109713604.html

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  • SteelFanRob commented on November 23rd, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    Just lost another recruit. RB Justice Hayes has committed to Michigan. That makes landing Savon Huggins even bigger. Huggins is rated higher than Hayes. Anyone have any news about what Huggins and Ishaq Williams thought about their ND experience on Sat. night? (That damned loss to Tulsa seems to have screwed up this recruiting class. Let’s hope beating USC and winning a bowl game can salvage it.)

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    Cav replied on November 23rd, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    I read that he was late for his unoffical visit and when the staff didn’t treat him like a king, he soured on ND. Also heard that his step-father wanted him to go to Michigan all along.

    All 4 who have de-committed never seemed to be committed in the first place. Burton wanted Florida all along, Lynch was wavering as well before making the decision.

    I don’t think the Tulsa game had anything to do with it. The kids in Florida were getting hit hard by the Florida schools 24/7. Hard to compete with in-state schools. Any doubt that came from the Tulsa game would have been erased by the Utah and Army game.

    We need a great performance against USC to show that this team is heading in the right direction. A win against USC and a bowl win will do wonders before the Feb signing day. I think we have a great shot at Huggins, especially since ND is running the ball more.

    I still believe that this will be a Top 10 class when it’s all said and done.

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    SteelFanRob replied on November 24th, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    Cav,

    How does ND stop the Florida schools from doing this every recruiting cycle? One easy answer is winning. It’s no coincidence we lost so many recruits after the Tulsa loss. That was a bad one, Cav, both in the final score and on the recruiting score board as well.

    Totally agree with the rest of your post, which pretty much agrees with what I just wrote above and have been saying for a while — winning will save this recruiting class. Get Huggins, Williams, and make a pitch for Lynch and Prestwood (if both ND and the players are ready to listen to each other). Screw FSU!

    Cav,in 2012, a starting D line of Lynch, Nix, and Tuitt would look very good.

    [Reply]

  • JC commented on November 23rd, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    USC 7 ND 28

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    irisheye62 replied on November 26th, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    I hope you are right–
    I hope you are right
    I hope you are right—-

    Irish!!!!!!!!!!!!

    [Reply]

    ted replied on November 27th, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    i like your style…how about we keep the defensive td streak alive and win going ahead

    31-9

    nothing like starting the kelly-era with a trojan a** pounding…this is best case scenerio, but hey, stranger things have happened

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  • nd forever commented on November 23rd, 2010 at 11:31 pm

    I want people to remember this name Cameron Roberson.He was listed as a fb from Superprep last year and signed with ND.He rushed for 1500 yards and 18 tds in California.Brian Kelly pionted him out as one of the freshman that has impressed him.He is 6-1 215 and I looked at highlight reels, he does not look stiff.Not sure why he was recruited to play fb he ran a 4.48 40(according to superprep).So we might have more depth then we think right now it’s just that we havn’t seen this kid play.With Kelly he will lean him up and make hime faster and I believe turn him into a good back.I believe recruiting rankings are overrated.Kelly said it himself his strength is developing young men and believe that is what he is doing, he will get the most out of his players and eventually that top recruits will come to play fora championship.I’m not trying to sound overly optimistic about a couple of wins, but with as many injuries as ND has had they are better now then they were when all the players were healthy, that shows a good coach who builds players.GO IRISH

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    DocBinge79 replied on November 24th, 2010 at 5:16 pm

    I am agree 100%. Cam has been forgotten by everyone (except perhaps by Justice Hayes) and will be working his way into the “next guy in” rotation next year.

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  • Kevin Joyce commented on November 27th, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    As an Army- 101st Airborne Division Vet, I was proud to see Army wearing the 101st patch on their jerseys. The 101 is taking many casualties in Afghanistan. I hope we can beat USC tonite. It will be a sinature win and may help the Irish get to a better bowl game.Next to ND, I always root for the service academies. These young men and women are the real heroes. Putting themselves on the line so we could be free.

    [Reply]

    IrishChan replied on November 27th, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    I’ll second that!

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