November 1, 2008 // Notre Dame Football

Pitt at Notre Dame – Overtime Notes

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  • Well that’s a first.  Game is being delayed slightly while the sprinklers in the opposite end zone go off with Pitt on the opposite end of the field.
  • Does the Irish coaching staff have some faith in Robert Blanton or what?  Blanton is out on the field in overtime lining up against Jonathan Baldwin.
  • Irish defense does its job for the most part by forcing a Pitt field goal giving the offense a chance to win the game with a touchdown.
  • Looks like Chris Stewart caught a cramp in his leg.  A he was running onto the field for the first offensive play in overtime, he went down and limped off the field.  Trevor Robinson is on the field in place of Stewart.
  • Two Armando Allen runs in a row and the Irish are looking at first and goal from the 10 with 3 chances to put the ball in the end zone for the go ahead score.
  • Make that 3 straight runs for Allen and the Irish are down to the 3.  4th time was no the charm for the Irish with Pitt shutting down Allen for a loss of 1.
  • Well, we head to double overtime after the Irish stall at the 4 yard line after it looked like we were going to punch it in.  I realize that Allent was running well, but why not give Aldridge the ball inside the 5 where he has been so effective the last few weeks?
  • Oh my does that suck.  Michael Floyd was running loose for an easy touchdown and Jimmy Clausen just missed him with a horrible throw, and now the Irish face a 3rd and 6.
  • And now Trevor Robinson is out and sophomore Taylor Dever is in for him.
  • Another stalled drive for the Irish in overtime as Pitt holds us to a field goal.  Walker is now 3 for 3 today.  Defense needs a big stand and will have the Pitt student section to give support on this drive.
  • Ian Williams saves the game with a huge tackle of LeSean McCoy on a screen pass and then the Irish defense comes up HUGE with a stop on 3rd and 1 which means we’re headed to a 3rd overtime.
  • Irish give up a 16 yard gain after Pitt faced 2nd and 13.  The screen to McCoy was not diagnosed early enough and McCoy blew by Blanton to pick up a huge first down for the Pitt offense.
  • AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.  So close to a David Burton interception.  Nice delayed blitz by Brian Smith forced a quick throw.  Pitt kicks the field goal and now the Irish can win it once again with a touchdown.
  • WOW. Brandon Walker is now 4 for 4 and ties a career high with a 48 yard field goal to force a 4th overtime.  That makes 7 straight field goals for Walker.
  • This is the first 4 overtime game in Notre Dame history.
  • And it doesn’t look like the game will make it to a 5th overtime… Walker’s consecutive kick streak ends at 7 with a miss from 37 yards.  Any points from Pitt win the game.  Where did the offense go in overtime?  If Pitt goes on to win, Jimmy Clausen will be asked a lot of questions about his overthrow to Michael Floyd in the 2nd overtime this week.
  • Game over.  Pitt wins in 4 OTs after the Irish offense fails to put the ball in the end zone one time with 4 tries.  Going to be a lot of second guessing this week as Pitt is by far the worst team the Irish have lost to this year and there is no reason this game should have ever went into overtime.  Once in overtime it should never have reached a 3rd OT after Floyd ran wide open into the end zone but had Clausen over throw him by 7 yards.

Comments to this Article

  • David commented on November 1st, 2008 at 4:00 pm

    I wouldnt say our hopes are gone. I will agree that clausen “i want to be play at notre dame and be in the spotlight” clausen folded while under the spotlight. But i dont believe the season is lost since we will still probably make the same bowl (gator) regardless of if we have 6 wins or more.

    I would say that this is the most disgusted i have been with ND since last season. You lost to a team that had a backup QB, receivers that couldnt catch, and you knew they were going to line up and run. Defense was on the field to long because the offense was inept in the second half. Terrible coaching calls in the fourth pushed a game into overtime that could have been won in regulation.

    These are just random angry thoughts, i will clarify some of them throughout the week.

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  • C-Dog commented on November 1st, 2008 at 4:10 pm

    This game was a weird one. The crowd sounded pretty tame. I’d think with the Irish seemingly on the upside, The crowd would been in the game and louder.

    I was disappointed somewhat with Clausen but I thought Pitt had ND’s game plan pretty well read by the 2nd half. Charlie is pass happy. Everyone knows it. Stop the run just a little and he’ll abandon it. The offensive line didn’t do much in the 2nd half. A little run blocking and very little pass blocking.

    I was most disappointed in the game calling. The coaches never seemed to adjust to Pitt once Pitt’s defense settled in in the 2nd half. They’ll never get to the top unless they get a decent running game. Too bad because they have all the weapons. Someone is not teaching these kids how to execute a running play properly.

    Oh well, hopefully three more wins. The next too games look a lot tougher and now USC seems really remote. Even a close game against USC looks good and that really hurts.

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  • svenghali commented on November 1st, 2008 at 4:22 pm

    This offense can’t do anything unless Tate or Floyd bail them out.

    The defense? Well benching Lambert would be a good place to start.

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  • Vin commented on November 1st, 2008 at 4:23 pm

    When defenses drop 7 or 8 into coverage
    Clausen is at his worst… he’s a better QB
    when he needs hot reads

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  • jonnyC commented on November 1st, 2008 at 4:30 pm

    David & Cdog, i agree w/both of you. this is definatley the most upset I’v been this season & the play calling left me a little p*ssd off to say the least! i mean,what was w/the 4th down call to floyd?? and then on 4th & 1 at mid field to not just run the ball with either Aldridge or Hughes makes no sense! i know you can call that a 2nd guess & if clausen completes a long pass on play-action everyones happy, but i still think it was a huge mistake. Bruden saved the day (for the moment) but as it turned out, he just delayed the inevitable.
    -on a side note does Justin Tuck have a little brother somewhere?!?! i would give anything for even a slightest semblance of a pass rush!

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  • David commented on November 1st, 2008 at 4:33 pm

    OK i had some more time to look at everything. I agree with C-Dog, and i believe the majority of the blame should be shouldered by the coaches. Not only was 2nd half playcalling terrible, overtime was way to conservative. I also agree that good teams can run the football. It is damn hard to throw against a team that can drop 8 into coverage. Which brings me to the offensive line, a 3 man rush should never get to your qb.

    Once again, i do want to re-iterate that Clausen did not play well. He will be good for us, but it wasnt today. i think he took a step back in this game.

    Finally, a few of you may think i am crazy on this one, but i think everyone on the team should go pick up brandon walker. I have been against him since his numbers are terrible, but he really carried this team through overtime. They should have put in a TD for that kid knowing the well will run dry. I never thought i would say this, but i was overall pleased with his performance.

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  • svenghali commented on November 1st, 2008 at 4:48 pm

    That sucking sound is from the 50+ 2010 prospects at the game who just said, “Thanks, but no thanks.”

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  • David commented on November 1st, 2008 at 4:48 pm

    To ad onto JonnyC’s comment, pass rush is non-existant. Ultimately, LB’s and Safety’s have gotten a little better at timing their blitz, but they still seem off. My biggest problem with LBs and Safetys in the blitz is Maurice Crum. He runs in with his head down, and absorbs blockers. He needs to start using his hands to get the lineman off him to make a play at the ball.

    But ultimately our pass rush problem comes from our Hog-mollys up front. When you blitz like ND does, you have each defensive lineman basically manned up against an o-lineman. One of them has to have the talent to break free and get some pressure, that will force teams to gameplan for the d-lineman with a double team, which will open up the LB to blitz freely.

    Anyone seen Pat Kuntz anywhere.

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  • john commented on November 1st, 2008 at 4:54 pm

    Clausen did not play great today, but any decent offense cannot rely on a passing game to carry it every game. We cannot run the ball and never have been able to run very well since Weis arrived. That is a big problem now and it will be even bigger next year when our team should be better/more competitive. You have to be able to run the ball, which we cannot do. It’s pretty simple. We’re going to continue to have serious problems on offense, until this deficiency is addressed.

    We also get pushed around on defense too much. Didn’t Weis say that we were going to have a “mean” football team when he first arrived in South Bend? I haven’t seen too much of it.

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  • Jeremy commented on November 1st, 2008 at 6:39 pm

    Seriously. Calm down.

    We’re still relying on primarily freshmen and sophomores. I’m ticked off about this one too, but all of our top talent (except, maybe, Bruton) can’t even buy a beer yet.

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  • jim in Arizona commented on November 1st, 2008 at 6:48 pm

    someone on this “coaching” staff needs to be fired! a 17-3 lead at halftime. what the “hell” was going on in the ND locker room at halftime? the IRISH had a golden (parden the pun) opportunity to put PITT away & they must have been
    watching the CHICAGO CUBS playoff(s) highlights instead.
    shame on this team. p.s. i’m not so sure that we have the
    “right” coach & at least one of his staff!

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  • Sean commented on November 1st, 2008 at 7:05 pm

    Great comments. I think the Irish have some problems that have been exposed:
    1. Offensive Line. They were all highly rated out of high school, but can’t block. Has to be coaching, John Latina has to go! If you have Tivo, I suggest breaking down there blocking schemes, they are very poorly coached, and they never pull, why not? I feel bad for the players.
    2. They need help on the defensive line, they get pushed around up front, alot of big holes for McCoy to run through

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  • El Kona commented on November 1st, 2008 at 7:36 pm

    RE:”Going to be a lot of second guessing this week as Pitt is by far the worst team the Irish have lost to this year.” Asking why this game ended so tragically is not second guessing. It is the job of the people who cover ND to ask CW what the hell happened and how he’s going to keep it from happening again. Try asking CW a real question and we might actually get some real answers. And call it second guessing if it makes you feel better about it.

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  • Jacob commented on November 1st, 2008 at 7:36 pm

    Call me crazy but I’ve noticed a trend.

    All three loses have come when Scout has done in depth pregame analysis with ESPN.

    I feel like we screwed at the worst possible times throughout the whole game. Two missed tackles in one on one coverage. A game winning TD to Floyd in overtime is overthrown.

    The whole thing goes back to the offense though. 7 yards in the 3rd quarter is just unacceptable.

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  • Jacob commented on November 1st, 2008 at 8:10 pm

    I think we had a very poor plan for containing McCoy. It would not have been too difficult to simply have a linebacker play farther up. Every single time McCoy got past the defensive line or caught a screen there was no one there to pick him up.

    On a more positive note though, I believe that this team really is about two years from being a serious National Championship contender. Jimmy Clausen is starting to average close to 300 passing yards a game. We finally have good, reliable receivers again. The secondary and linebackers look pretty good on defense. The only real need for improvement is run blocking on the offense line and stopping the run on the defensive line, and both of those are simply things that take a bit of time and experience (Looking at new coaches in that area might not be too bad either). All in all, we just need to weather the storm. This team is going to return to its rightful place among the elite teams. It’s just going to take a year or two.

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  • bleednd82 commented on November 1st, 2008 at 8:58 pm

    Ok, O played conservative 2nd half it was sad. I am so angr with ND fans at game. was told to sit down, quiet, no hands, cheer multiple times. I am F’n hate ND fans that are old. I am so angry with this loss. We played HORIBBLE 2ns half but our crowd sucks. SUCKS so bad and nothing at all will change that. My student section is good but they cant make the entire stadium stand up, loud, cheer, blah blah. Honestly, I hate being a loud hard core nd fan. I cant stand the elderly. I dont mind the “crap” I get after this post but it’s BS after the COMPLAIN about cheering too much. FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF that. Go to sleep honestly.

    Ugh go Irish.

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  • bleednd82 commented on November 1st, 2008 at 9:01 pm

    Again,
    I love ND but seriously I am a alum and im so sick of OLD alum bringing us down. SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO sick. No not everyone not at all but some. Geez, please stand and cheer. It was sad. I love ND so much there is just horrible fans. HORRIBLE

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  • DRob commented on November 1st, 2008 at 9:13 pm

    Irish won’t matter on the national scene until a defense surfaces. You cannot expect your offense to outscore the opposition every game (a theory to which Charlie subscribes). 24 Points should beat Pittsburgh every time.

    Still have the weakest defense of any major team I have seen this year and I am not talking about talent, I am talking about strength and scheme.

    I told Frankie V. 2 weeks ago that we would be in big trouble against Pittsburgh because of LeSean McCoy.

    BC will be tough because they are always good on the lines of scrimmage and be prepared now to watch Navy drive the ball up and down the field on this defense.

    Please find some stronger defenders along with craftier scheme.

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  • bleednd82 commented on November 1st, 2008 at 10:59 pm

    McCoy didnt do CRAP. I swear it was conservative play calling and our HORRIBLE crowd. I could hear crickets cherping while the “old” peoples were telling me to sit. Seriously, I would be out with by buds drinking at a local Wings bar but I am here typing my grad presentation and typing here and I love this site. I am just really sick and tired of people (not on this board at all) but at the game telling me “shut up” “sit down” “dont yell”. ITS FOOTBALL. Wow. I dont know but I spent 5 years outside student section (h0ltz and davie era) it was loud and crazy. Ty era quiet cause I had to start sitting wtih my Father in his season tix are which is right behind the band section 3 row 7. I swear I never EVER sit by anyone that come back. Its always somesone new. Its my dad and bro’s and no one I know every F’n game. Yes Im angry. VERY.
    No i dont blame loss on fans at all. We sucked 2nd half. We couldnt move the ball AT all. Ugh that it.

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  • Justin G commented on November 2nd, 2008 at 6:46 am

    What nobody is mentioning is the REAL turning point of the game. We stop PITT on 3rd and 8 with a 14 point lead, and “Hayseed”, makes a dumd ass late hit, 15 yards, first down, PITT TD. We could have had the ball up 14, but instead we get it back up by 7. How many slants was Kumara wide ass open? How the hell do not run a two back set with Allen and Aldridge and run some screens, no reverse or hand offs to Tate (He is the closest thing to the Rocket in 20 years). The defense played fine, but I agree someone needs to get Lambert the hell off the field. With the exception of his INT for TD 3 years ago at Michigan State he has TOTALLY SUCKED for 4 years. I am however a little confused as to how when we know McCoy is going to get the ball the whole game, just like Ringer got the ball the whole game, why don’t we play a 3-4, put a bigger free saftey in as the 4th LB for speed purposes, and rush 2 LB’s in the gaps, and have the outside 2 seal the edge? I mean holy crap, is it really that hard Tenuta? Really? I mean you 25 is going to get the ball 35 times and you don’t key on him? The last time our defense did anything, Charlie Strong was running things for Holtz…find a way to get him back before he goes to Miami…Miami will be scary then, and seeing Miami become good again is worst then watching MSU plant a flag at midfield.

    I am so frustrated, pissed off, and just want to scream. California Sunshine better find a way to win a big game, or just put in Dane Crist. The next big Clausen wins will be his FIRST!!

    I will say great halftime piece on Charlie and “The Farm”.

    GO IRISH!!

    [Reply]

  • Jake W commented on November 2nd, 2008 at 8:43 am

    1. Defensive Line: No one seems to be getting off blocks. We’re really seeing the impact of not having a guy like Laws this year. Ian Williams has had a QUIET year, almost as quiet as the ND home crowd. When our interior guys are getting blocked one on one, that allows other O-linemen to get to our linebackers. That brings me to point 2.

    2. Linebackers: We had TWO nice containment plays yesterday. The linebackers just can not get off of blocks. Brian Smith, who was supposed to be a huge “playmaker” for us this year, hasn’t really done much. Yes he recovered some fumbles early in the season, but they were mostly “gimmes”. We really really need to start getting help from our linebackers. I want to see some tackles FOR LOSS. I can’t count the amount of plays where we have a potential 2 yard loss and it becomes a 2-3 yard gain. That makes a big difference.

    3. Secondary: I like these guys, but they are terrible against short patterns. Whenever teams throw quick slants, stops, or outs, our guys seem to be giving a huge cushion. I haven’t seen a jumped pattern since Blanton in the Purdue game (and if you watch that, it’s more him being out of position than it is a jumped pattern). Our secondary isn’t nearly aggressive enough when making plays on the ball. Also, I feel like I haven’t seen Sergio Brown make a play in a while. One more thing, what happened to the safety blitz that we kept bringing with Bruton against Michigan? He blew up a few plays then, why not use it against a run heavy team like pitt with a less than mediocre quarterback throwing to guys who would be lucky to even catch the ball, let alone make a play afterward (except when our corners forget to tackle).

    4. Play Calling: Where to start? I feel like we depend on the same 5 or 6 plays every game. Whenever we’re stuck inside the twenty and don’t know what to do, we throw a fade. The fade in the first overtime(?) I think was ridiculously predictable on third down. I yelled before the play please do NOT throw a fade. Of course, it was, and into double coverage. I like the change in pace with running backs, but we’re not using the right guys at the right time. Our running plays all look identical. Why can’t we throw in a shovel pass? Or a bubble screen (my personal favorite play). Running that quick screen on third and 8 in the fourth quarter… why? It didn’t work earlier. I’m done with the coaches for now.

    5. Receivers: We need a third option. I’m assuming Grimes was still having back problems, but someone needs to step up in his absence. I remember last year when George West was on “lookout” for breakout player of the year. Now he doesn’t even return kickoffs. Kamara has really disappointed so far this year.

    6. Jimmy: Gave me far too many scares
    this week. The crazy play to Tate could definitely have been a pick. A bunch of his passes were scarily close to being picked. Also, he’s a terrible, terrible scrambler. Who teaches him to turn his back and run out of the pocket? A 5-6 yard loss turns into a 13 yard loss when he does this. Also, he seems to throw the ball away A LOT. I don’t know if it’s him, if it’s our receivers, or if it’s the scheming, but something isn’t right there. I’m glad he gets rid of it, but he throws the ball away far more than I see any other QB from any other team. When he missed Floyd in overtime for the TD, that’s bound to happen. He’s not going to be perfect, and he’ll miss receivers sometimes. After all, the kid is only a sophomore, he’s gonna be REALLY GOOD.

    7. Offensive Line: Ugh. Giving up a sack on a three man rush? That’s just bad. They’re also REALLY REALLY bad at running downfield on screen passes. I mean REALLY bad. They either block the wrong guys, or don’t get downfield. They had one of their better games this year run blocking, particularly in the first half, but it’d be terrific for them to put together a complete game. I could go on for days with this unit.

    8. Special Teams: Nice game for Walker; it’s a shame it ended the way it did for him. I knew we couldn’t win a kicking competition in overtime, and we sure didn’t. One thing that has really bothered me is our kick return team. What on earth is going on? If I had to guess, I’d say we start the wedge WAY too far upfield from the returners. When was the last time we took a kickoff back? Where are those allen rossum days??? I don’t think it’s who we have back deep, but the scheme for blocking it. I’m entirely disappointed that with all of these weapons we have, we just can’t produce.

    9. Crowd: I was at the 2005 USC game; unreal. The crowd was going CRAZY. Maybe it was everyone trying to get their money’s worth for the ticket, but I haven’t heard the stadium even close in terms of noise since then. When can we have a stadium that a QB has to call a timeout because he literally can’t make the call to his receivers? I don’t know what these people need to make noise at a game, but it needs to start happening for ND to actually be an intimidating place to play (penn state’s beaver stadium anyone?).

    Overall, this was the most disappointed I was with a loss in a LONG time. In spite of all of my critiques, I think these guys do a lot of really good things. I doubt no playing/coaching ability on this team. They’re a young team still, but we need to start ditching that excuse. These guys have enough experience at this point. In regard to the rest of the season, a loss to BC would be really discouraging. They need to win the next 3 heading into SC, and put together the best game of the season (which they are fully capable of). GO IRISH!!!!

    [Reply]

  • Jake W commented on November 2nd, 2008 at 8:43 am

    Wow, I might have gotten carried away there.

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  • Chris commented on November 2nd, 2008 at 8:57 am

    Poor play calling for the Irish. Once more they lose right on cue…too many running back substitutions which did not allow any back to get some momentum. When they did Weis and company bring someone else in or abandon it. Offensive line played the worst game of their season. “Played” may be too generous. A friggin 3 man rush and they fold almost each and every time! I have been griping each and every week about this offensive funk after getting the lead. We can not sit on any lead – dont the coaches get that by now? I am covinced this present coaching staff will not accomplish anything other than mediocrity. Yes talent is better but we are in for many more so – so seasons w/ this guy in charge and I am sick on waiting for Weis’ coaching curve at the college level to occur.

    Ultimately defense on the field way too much – and they did in the end fail to shut down McCoy who they know they needed to stop when the game started. The defensive line can still not get the stops when they need it! All in all – the offensive line lost this game. A loss against BC – maybe Navy …and certainly USC is up next. ..and to think last weeks issue was whether ND deserved to be ranked……pathetic!

    [Reply]

  • bleednd82 commented on November 2nd, 2008 at 12:32 pm

    Sorry guys for my posts. I was VERY drunk. I apologize. I do like the elderly just not at the football games. For many of us on this board ND football and sports in general is for pride and something we are passionate about. For a lot of people who attend games have zero clue of what passion means, atleast for the football team/game. Ugh I am just a depressed ND fan currently. Worst of all Mark Mays is probably dogging Lou and us hardcore. I cant stand that man. Pat Forde was right about us though. We just arent ready yet.

    [Reply]

  • svenghali commented on November 2nd, 2008 at 2:37 pm

    I’m so tired of hearing CW’s postgame Psychology for Losers 101 lectures. At this point what difference does it make if the team is “in the tank?” So far when they had confidence, they’ve taken quarters off and turned the ball over. Maybe if they stop thinking about how to avoid embarassing their opponent with a 14 point lead, they might learn how to put somebody away.

    [Reply]

  • Paul commented on November 2nd, 2008 at 7:53 pm

    It’s been more than 24 hours and my stomach still hurts…when will the pain go away? On a side note, if Lambert starts on Saturday I’m going to be F@#king choked.

    [Reply]

  • C-Dog commented on November 3rd, 2008 at 8:41 am

    A lot of good comments. bleednd82, no worries. I have relatives in that group, but they are getting too old to even go to the games. The problem is that ticket prices have sky rocketed and only the well established, aka older, folks can afford it. I have an aunt who wants to charge me $200 per ticket because that’s her cost per tik once you facter in ND’s seat fees and charges. But I agree that crowd was quite. Sounded more like a Michigan crowd than your standard, Irish chip on our shoulder crow.

    And Jake your amalysis was great. I looked at some things too.

    1. O-Line regressed and did not block well. Comapare that to blocking that went on in the Texas/Texeas Tech game, or the Florida game. I’m sorry, we’re supposed to have smarter linemen. So these guys can’t fit in a little blocking scheme study with baby physics or baby calc?

    2. Defense wore out. They were pushing Pitt in the 1st half, but not the second. Poor player management and of course, no sustained drives by the offense in the second half.

    3. Corner backs – Personally I thought they all played well, but they are short. Tall receivers will beat them in one on one coverage. The Pitt touchdown that was basically forced down our throats with three pass plays to the tall guy, was a bad coaching decision to leave our corner on an island. Pitt knoew if we didn;t adjust they’d get it. They just had to convince the QB that the defender couldn’t jump higher than the taller receiver. Defensively, our guy was hung out to dry by poor defensive play calling.

    4. finally I agree about all positive comments regarding Walker. He’s a very good kicker. Coaching can get his head cleared, but not when you hang him out to dry.

    5. Post finally. If weis doesn’t learn to run the ball in college football, ND will not beat any top 25 team, ever….

    [Reply]

  • C-Dog commented on November 3rd, 2008 at 8:44 am

    So we went down to see the women’s soccer team play. They are tough, could teach the boys something. One girl caused a score by doing a somersault throw in. She runs, flips over the ball, and as she comes back upright, wings the ball with amazing velocity. The ND women’s soccer team is worth watching.

    Oh and bleednd82, our fans were too politically correct there too.

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  • Mark W. commented on November 3rd, 2008 at 11:41 am

    So, how embarrassing is it that they somehow set the sprinklers timing to go off in overtime? The rest of the sporting nation was laughing at that one, believe you me. Must have impressed the recruits also. Such a well-managed overall program I’ll bet they were not thinking! I don’t care if the game went long. If it had been a normal length game there still would have been folks around or on the field. Is Charlie now in charge of the landscape crew at UND now too?

    [Reply]

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