January 3, 2007 // Notre Dame Football

UHND Sugar Bowl Live Blog

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7:38- We’re going to try a live blog during the game. If you have any comments put them up in the chat or in the comments box below.

7:43- LSU has suspended four players for “missing curfew”. Their suspensions will last at least one quarter. Among the suspensions are speedster Trindon Holliday, starting strong safety Jessie Daniels, and backup linebackers Kelvin Sheppard and Perry Riley. Who knows how long they will actually be out of the game, but “at least one quarter” reminds me an awful lot of Michigan State last season. Maybe they will be back just in time for overtime.

7:50 – Terry Bradshaw might sneak in some acting tips, especially if Brady takes the role as George Gipp. And I thought Failure to Launch was a viagra commercial.

7:57 – That’s the first American Idol promotion of the night. We might run out of fingers and toes by the time the night ends.

8:02 – a round of applause during the National Anthem when a blonde LSU cheerleader comes on the screen. Could we possibly have another USC song girl moment tonight? One can only hope.

8:13 – Chants of “L-S-U” can be distinctly heard through the Tiger’s band. Are we really that outnumbered?

8:18- Terry Bradshaw just called JaMarcus Russell “Big Vick”. Did we mention that he can throw the ball out of the stadium FROM HIS KNEES!

8:20- If the Irish win this game I would guess that the credit should go to the coaching. Charlie Weis, with a month to work, can work miracles. Les Miles, with a month to work, can mess things up pretty bad. We shall see.

8:24- Charlie seemed relatively chipper in his pre-game comments stating that he wants the team to come out relaxed and have fun as opposed to being all business. I like.

8:27- Big XII Officials for tonights game. Hopefully they preform a bit better than the Big XII bowl teams.

8:31- Almost an hour later the game is upon us. “Outlined against the backround of a well-lit dome” doesn’t exactly have the same ring to it… but its time for Kick-Off. Go Irish!

8:35- 3rd and long, Shark makes a nice catch on an out route, but hits the depender with the ball after the play. Personal Foul. Wonderful. 6 plays and a net of 5 yards on the drive.

8:39- Marcus Freeman drops a should-be first down pass. Nicely done. ND Punts. 12:09 left in the 1st.

8:40- So about that punt… a fake that doesn’t work and LSU has the ball at the 34. One play later the Tigers are inside the 5 yard line.

8:41- Tigers Touchdown. LSU 7 ND 0, 11:16 left in the 1st.

8:50- Irish come up short on third down and Price punts it into the end zone. Quinn is over-throwing almost all of his passes so far. He needs to settle down for the Irish to have a shot.

8:56- Minter calls a safety blitz and -SURPRISE SURPRISE- it doesn’t work. LSU is driving.

8:59- Play-Action, LSU Touchdown pass to Bowe. Nedu makes a bad read- once again. LSU 14 ND 0 6:03 left in the 1st.

9:08- Irish call a time out. Finally the offense is putting together a drive (aided by a personal foul facemask penalty). Points are a must, and I’m not talking about a field goal.

9:12- Great catch by David Grimes in double coverage for an IRISH TOUCHDOWN! On the scoreboard and back in the game. LSU 14 ND 7 1:26 left in the 1st quarter.

9:15- Howie- Did you like Pop Warner?
Terry- Yeah, and you?
Howie- Couldn’t make weight
Terry- Because your head is too big

9:18- JaMarcus Russell might be able to throw lightning bolts like Zeus, but IT’S A FUMBLE! Irish Ball at the 20. End of the 1st Quarter and the Irish are threatening.

9:24- Fade to the end zone and the ball bounces off of Shark’s helmet. Gioia shanks the field goal attempt wide right and the fumble goes for naught. LSU ball and Minter begins to sweat.

9:28- Nedu almost has a pick six on an LSU quick out. The pass goes off of his hands and is incomplete. Irish hold LSU to a three-and-out and Minter takes a deep breath.

9:30- Just a thought. I would be shocked if Gioia is back on the field for anything other than an extra point. It was a 32 yard field goal that was missed and the kick wasn’t even close. Howie made a comment earlier about coaches taking on the personality of their predecessors. Bill Parcells and Bill Belichick believe that all kickers should die. We shall see.

9:37- Howie Long tells us that he would like to play the flute. Intruiging. Meanwhile Darius Walker is moving the ball down the field with some shifty running.

9:40- Quinn goes deep and throws into double coverage. Jonathan Zenon makes the interception and LSU has the ball at the ND 1. Again the Irish fail to capitalize on a promising drive. Wasn’t that a reoccuring theme in our last contest?

9:43- About that interception. The play is reviewed and ruled an incomplete pass. I’m not sure if it really was a pick or not (I never saw the ball touch the ground), but either way the Irish have a second life.

9:50- About that second life. Quinn makes a terrible throw on third down and Zenon gets his interception. Play-action next play for LSU and they are back in Irish territory. At this point Zeus could throw a play-action fake with nobody in the backfield and our safeties would still bite.

9:55- The Irish Defense forces Russell out of the pocket and he throws it away on third down. LSU kicker Colt David pulls a Gioia and misses wide right! Irish Ball at the 20.

9:59- Walker takes a counter play off-tackle and gets a great block by Grimes. And moves the ball to the LSU 30. ANOTHER big block by Grimes on the next play and Walker runs down to the 13.

10:02- Quinn to Samardzija… TOUCHDOWN IRISH! We have a tie ball game and the Irish have 14 unanswered points. Gioia hits the kick (thank God) and the Irish are rolling. ND 14 LSU 14.
10:04- Aerial coverage provided by Budweiser tonight. Good thing Bud was there to provide aerial coverage for a game played in a dome.

10:09- The Irish secondary gets used coming out of a time out for a long throw to Early Doucet. 2 plays later Zeus runs it in for a touchdown. LSU 21 ND 14 1:15 left in the half.

10:16- Weis calls for a running play to end the half, a call that I’m not sure I agree with. It would have been nice to see the offense go deep with 26 seconds left and one time out. Nevertheless, LSU leads by 7 at the half.

The Irish have been able to run the ball but have been mediocre at best in the passing game. Quinn is just 11/25 passing but does have 124 yards and 2 touchdowns. Still, some of his reads are very poor and the LSU secondary has had its chances at interceptions. Darius Walker is running very well so far with 120 yards on 17 carries. #3 is having his best game of the year by far. The offensive line has played a fairly solid game so far.
Zeus is having a big game against our secondary, but then again who hasn’t had a career day against that crew. Russell is 9/15 for 162 yards and 1 touchdown. He’s averaging 11.2 yards per completion. Most of the long throws have gone to Early Doucet, who already has over 100 yards recieving on just 5 catches. Nedu has looked lost at times, especially on the play action. Rick Minter is sweating a Nile River in the press box… quite the image for those of you with an HDTV.

Still, it’s a close game to this point and the Irish are very much in it. LSU gets the ball at the start of the half.

10:42- Nearly 30 minutes later and we are back to football. LSU recieves and the 3rd quarter is off. Trindon Holliday, who was suspended earlier in the game along with 3 others, is back in the game. I would imagine the other three players are eligible now as well.

10:44- FUMBLE! Wooden forces and recovers a fumble on a Doucet reception and the Irish have the ball at the LSU 32. LSU calls a time out to challenge the play believing that Wooden never had possesion of the ball before going out of bounds. It looks like Wooden may have had the ball pinned to his hip until he was out of bounds but this is a close one.

10:49- The call is reversed according to the ref in the booth. LSU gets the ball back at their own 32 yard line.

10:52- Fox sideline reporter Jeanie Zelasko just got leveled on a tackle made by Ambrose Wooden. Best tackle a Notre Dame player has made this year. Meanwhile Early Doucet got another 4 yards after the catch.

10:54- LSU runs a fake field goal on fourth down and the kicker jukes out Terrail Lambert. The Irish secondary strikes again.

11:00- Colt David hits a field goal from about 26 yards. LSU 24 ND 14. Les Miles’ challenge proves to be a big help as LSU makes it a two score game.

11:03- Coach Weis says that Brady Quinn will be the third best quarterback in the NFL in within 3 years (Peyton Manning, Tom Brady……). Meanwhile, John Carlson decided to join everyone else and makes his first catch of the night for a first down. Big drive for the Irish, points are key.

11:07- Irish are stopped on third down and are forced to punt the ball away. I’m starting to hope that we see more from David Grimes as this game wraps up. Shark is being double covered and Rhema is having a hard time beating the jam. Grimes and Carlson should get some more looks, they seem to be a better option at this point.

11:13- LSU makes it’s way down the field but is held to just a field goal. LSU 27 ND 14. The Irish defense made a nice stand when it was needed and kept this a 2 possesion game. The Irish offense needs to get a touchdown on this next drive. Anything less spells trouble.

11:23- Jeanie has recovered and is talking to a tuba player. Meanwhile Notre Dame goes three and out and has to punt the ball away yet again. Yikes.

11:26- Maurice Crum just made a better tackle than when Jeanie went down earlier. Unfortunently he tackled Terrail Lambert and #20 is down for the count. The third quarter is winding down but not before Nedu gets burned once again for yet another LSU touchdown. LSU 34 ND 14. Rick Minter just called his real estate agent.

11:36- Rhema McKnight drops another pass -SHOCKING- and LSU picks off the deflection. Rhema would drop his first born son if the boy was handed to him. This game has gotten out of control. Its gotten ugly real quick.

11:42- Mike Richardson finds a ball in his grasp… not sure how it got there but he found it. Irish take control of the ball but still need a minor miracle to get back into this game. You have to give credit to Bo Pelini. This is the best scheme I have seen against our offense, including the SC game. The LSU defense is prepared at all times and I haven’t seen our offense shut down like this since Weis took control. Pelini would be the best commitment Weis could get this off-season. Rick Minter agrees.

11:46- The back judge had to leave the game with a hamstring injury. This would happen to most people if they had to chase the LSU recievers all game long. The Irish offense goes three and out once again and Geoff Price is back on the field. His foot has to be hurting by now.

11:54- Matador defense out of the Irish. Ole! Minter is trying on the spandex outfit and finding a cape.

11:58- This second half is about one thing- adjustments. LSU made them, Notre Dame didn’t. On offense the Irish have been stoned for the entire half (50 yards of total offense). Meanwhile, LSU just scored AGAIN. Jimbo Fisher and his offense are toying with Minter and the ND defense. LSU is running the ball every play and the Irish can’t do a thing. LSU 41 ND 14 7:16 still left in the game.

12:04- Down a gazillion points and the Irish are running. I had a feeling the Irish weren’t going to come out on top today, but this is much worse than any of us could have expected. If anything it gives me a shot at prizes in the UHND Open Forum pool. Geoff Price on to punt once again. He’ll be icing down that foot after the game.

12:10- The All-State Good Hands Play of the Game goes to Rhema McKnight.

12:12- The massacre has ended… finally. 4 and a half hours later and it’s time for the off-season. There’s a lot of work to do for next year, hopefully the staff gets busy (minus you know who).

Hope you all enjoyed this. Post-Bowl game coverage to come if you can handle it. It will be a long off-season, and next year will be trying, but the future is bright. Talent is on the way, just be patient.

Comments to this Article

  • Jay1t commented on January 3rd, 2007 at 10:17 pm

    Notre Dame is in big trouble.

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  • At Lunch commented on January 3rd, 2007 at 10:41 pm

    That fake punt was pure amatuer hour! Let me see now, give Charlie a month to prepare and …? Thank you Charlie for confirming what I have said all along, you are a fraud. When asked about the Giants, or any NFL job, he mentions that NFL teams are mostly on regional telecasts but ND is on national televison every week. Or, he mentions that at ND he will make enough money to be sitting on a beach drinking pina coladas. Yeah, ego and greed are the two qualities I would be looking for in a head coach. Remember the kids who have been lambasted here for having the audacity to choose other schools or Ron Zook for being a snake oil salesman when all he was doing was his job. A little perspective please. When or if Charlie beats a ranked team, tonight is another chance, I will be the first to anoint him as a genius but until then calls like that fake punt make him look like he is more suited to be an assistant coach under a real genius like Bill Belichek but I guess that was just Charlie being an agressive play caller.

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  • Cloudy commented on January 4th, 2007 at 1:18 am

    Well say goodbye to Minter! BYE Minter! My wife is more capable of a defensive coach than this Bo hunk and she hates football. ND players aren’t slow of foot, they’re slow of Minter! You’ve got three rushing and Russell is picking your defense apart with the pass. Why not send zero in on the pass rush? At least you wouldn’t exhaust the players. Good Riddance Minter. Go mess up someone esle’s program.

    What makes this worse is all the complaints about how slow or young, or untalented these players are and the truth is a total opposite. It is the coach who has no talent! ND could run with anybody except …

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  • Cloudy commented on January 4th, 2007 at 1:24 am

    I’ll add! WORST DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR EVER!

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  • Scott commented on January 4th, 2007 at 8:10 am

    I am certainly not here to defend Minter, and I am hoping that a new DC comes in next year. But, this game was not lost by the defense. As the old saying goes, playing a prevent defense only prevents you from winning, and that cost us the late first half TD to LSU. In the second half the defense may have gotten gassed, but the 30 yards of total offense manufactured by 5 3 and outs by the offense is what cost ND this game.

    I really don’t know where the offensive line went at halftime, but it was a different group that came out. In the first half they were doing things they hadn’t done well all year, pulling guards and tackles, seal blocking down the line and picking up blitzes all of which gave Darius and Brady great opportunities to exploit the line backers and secondary.

    But, when they came out in the second half it was like they were playing with cement in their shoes. LSU’s d-line was blowing right by them. The defense did not get a chance to get a drink of Gator-Ade before the offense put them right back on the field.

    For as much as the defense gave up, the disparity of offensive plays run in the second half, in my opinion, lies with the disappearance of the offensive line.

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  • Nebraska commented on January 4th, 2007 at 9:16 am

    Fellas, it is not as bad as it looked. Like USC and Michigan, LSU just happened to be one of the few teams in college football that Notre Dame had absolutely no hope of matching up against, that being a team with a QB, WRs, DLs, and DBs who will play a long time in the NFL. Teams like that will easily exploit Notre Dame’s flaws, but there are only like 4 or 5 teams like that in college football. As a matter of fact, I’d say that they are Florida, Ohio State, Michigan, USC, and LSU. Oklahoma, Wake Forest, Boise State, and Louisville (the other BCS teams) wouldn’t have done that to ND. As a matter of fact, I bet ND could have beaten at least 2 and possibly all 4 of those teams. And some of the better non – BCS teams like Auburn, Cal, and Wisconsin would not have been able to. (On the other hand, Texas with a healthy Colt McCoy would have.) Notre Dame had real flaws this season that made them look bad against certain elite teams, but they also had real merits that would have allowed them to beat virtually anyone else. Look at how they destroyed Penn State, who beat a good Tennessee team!

    And you know what? Next year does not look as bad as many think. You will have a vastly improved offensive line and a 4 year starter in Darius Walker to center the offense – the team actually – around. Walker will break all sorts of school records next year and lead ND to a respectable 8 or 9 wins, and may even be a Heisman candidate because of it. The young tailbacks will also get carries to give Walker some rest and the offense some big play potential, and with defenses keying on the run, that will open stuff up for the young but talented WR corps led by Grimes. And 8 or 9 wins in the regular season will lead ND to the Gator Bowl against a beatable but still very respectable ACC opponent: my prediction is the Miami Hurricanes. And after Walker goes off to the NFL as a 3rd round type pick (very experienced and skilled but lacking in top end ability), Weis’ young recruits will position the team for a 3 year run at BCS victories and perhaps even a national title. And if Weis keeps up the good recruiting (which Willingham could not do), then watch out! The bottom line, Irish fans, is that Weis’ 19 – 5 start with two major bowl appearances is still the best two year stretch since the slide began during the Ron Powlus years of the Holtz era (not that it was all the fault of Powlus), and even if the Irish drop to 9 – 4 next year, 28 – 9 will still be the best 3 year stretch.

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  • are you serious commented on January 4th, 2007 at 10:21 am

    fake punt on the first series? Next year Charlie will be on the back of a shirt with Willingham, Faust, and Davies!

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  • NDFan23 commented on January 4th, 2007 at 10:45 am

    After having watched the game and reviewing the ins & outs, I am still baffled that Notre Dame went away from the run in the 2nd half. Perhaps the worst 2nd half adjustments I have even witnessed, Darius Walker has 120+ yards in the 1st half, and then is sent to pasture in the 2nd half. Some might argue that the defense of LSU was stout & had adjusted to Notre Dame’s schemes, I disagree. It appeared to me that Charle Weis had abandoned the run because of his impatience and inexperience in winning big games this year. He became too tight & predictable, and thus, Brady seemed to follow suit.

    Had Notre Dame continued with Walker consistently in the 2nd half, I believe they would have held close to LSU, similar to when they played USC & Michigan last year, and kept those games within reach due to slowing down the pace and controlling the clock. This does prove however, that Notre Dame’s administration focused entirely too much on short-term performance, and didn’t realize maybe Charlie isn’t as good as billed, especially when he had no college football experience as a player or coach prior.

    Overall, the game was a disgrace to Irish fans and the players lacked passion & energy in the 2nd half. I am not sure if they had decided they were overmatched or there was no hope since Brady couldn’t convert a 3rd down to save his life, but it was apparent that we had given up into the 3rd quarter.

    I don’t see Charlie’s teams winning any big games until his game plans change up and his defensive coordinator becomes inspired to be more agressive or is replaced. It was awful.

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  • Lunch commented on January 4th, 2007 at 11:30 am

    I think the fake punt on the first series sent a message to his team that they were overmatched although, as you say, Walker was having a great game and could have kept it closer but then Charlie’s reputation as a QB groomer and master playcaller might suffer.

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  • Irish in Canada commented on January 4th, 2007 at 2:34 pm

    Time and time again, whenever Notre Dame plays a QB that can throw the ball, and WR that can run they get destroyed. The LSU WR and Russell had a field day with ND’s secondary. I can’t comprehend why this consistently happens to Notre Dame. Something has got to change, whether it is the system or the secondary coach staff and its philosophy. I would welcome any feedback, but I will offer this disclaimer first and that is do not point out Calvin Johnson’s second half against ND this year, GT completely under-utilized him in that respect.

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  • Frank commented on January 4th, 2007 at 3:45 pm

    Under Charlie, the Irish have played three excellent games against good or decent teams. They are SC and Michigan last year and PSU this year. Their performance in the rest of their games has ranged from average to terrible. The real problem is that the team has seemed to regress both on offense and on defense since last year’s Fiesta Bowl. They even hung around that game longer than this year’s three debacles. Charlie needs to can the ego trip and be the head coach of the whole team and not just a glorified offensive coordinator with an oversized mouth. Defense counts and it’s been further neglected into a worse than Ty joke under Minter and Charlie. Charlie spoke at a dinner that I attended last year and said the SC loss was his biggest disappointment. I couldn’t believe that statement given the performance against OSU. Losses in hard fought, but close games are tough, but at least you can hold your head up. I was proud of ND last year in the SC game. I was not proud of them this year in any game other than PSU which I attended. Charlie can sure talk the talk. I haven’t seen him yet walk the walk to back it up.

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  • Disappointed Irishman commented on January 4th, 2007 at 4:07 pm

    Just a few comments about the Irish Offensive performance:

    1. The Shark on a slant…predictable!
    -Someone needed to tell Jeff that WRs must move TOWARDS the ball to either catch it or you get a penalty as the defender goes through you.

    2. Walker up the middle against one of the best D-lines is very poor decision making.
    -The running outside in 1st half was successful, and seemed to tire the LSU D-line.

    3. McKnight is like the New Year’s Eve Ball/Apple, everyone know it will drop and it is like clockwork.

    4. O-line does best to resemble Swiss cheese again!

    5. Where was Carlson on the crossing route? Middle seemed open at times. Send Rhema and Shark deep, pull Safety to them and throw to Carlson in middle.

    I am not a football scholar and my armchair coaching cannot be mistaken ever for genius. So I may be overlooking something (that is why I am not a coach).

    On the Defensive side, I noticed that when I reached for my drink during an LSU drive, Nedo, Lambert and Richardson all jumped in my direction (Zibbi thought it was a running play). They will bite on a fart! Can we at least get better DB coaching to remove that tendency? My preference is to get better (much better) players, though.

    Looking forward to a cleaner house next year. Do not get me wrong, I love the Irish…that is why it pains me to see them under perform.

    Being from Pittsburgh, I have seen my fair share of poor Defensive Backs (ie. Steelers), and swear that either Lambert or Richardson is really Willie Williams (ex-Steeler DB that sucked!) in disguise.

    Lastly, a message for Darrin Walls:
    Please do NOT listen to these guys for advice on man-to-man coverage. Go read a book about pee-wee league, you’ll get better information.

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  • Garvo commented on January 4th, 2007 at 8:51 pm

    There are some very good points that have been stated to this point. However to those who think Weis is over rated just look at what he has done with what has to work with. In 2 years he has taken this team and won with them. Something neither Davie or willingham could do. Also to get them into back to back BCS games even though the Irish have lost them shows that Weis has made this team perform way above their level for the last 2 years. Yes it would be nice to win the big games but it won’t happen until Weis has better talent all through the team. The last time I checked it takes an entire team not just a handful to win the games. All of you who are bitching about the play calling and how BQ

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  • Larry Kennedy commented on January 4th, 2007 at 9:01 pm

    I have been watching ND footaball since 1950AD and I don:t think I can remember a year when ND had as good talent as they had this year andcould not win at least 1 big game and look respectable in the rest of them. Not being wise but ND should hire a defensive coodinator.Larry Kennedy

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  • Garvo commented on January 4th, 2007 at 9:26 pm

    To finish what I want say. All of you who are bitching about the play calling and in general everthing get over it. None of you can honestly say that ND a good chance to beat LSU. Weis knew that his team was over matched. Remember “LETS BE REALISTIC” are his exact words. He has to reduild this team from the ground up and it isn’t going to happen over night. The OSU coach walked into a program that were all ready to go from the start and so did the LSU coach. Weis has to rebuild again from the ground up and he is all ready doing it with the current recruiting class. None of you have offered any real solution with the exception of Nebraska who just happens to be looking forward. What’s more disappointing about this whole thing is are the fans. I love the Irish just as much anyoneone but I’m also realistic about the situation. Davie and Willingham left really nothing to work with. The exception being of a about 5 players to work with. BQ being the best the rest average at best. I also believe that next year you will see the diff. on both sides of the ball. The talent is coming but until then all of you will have to wait just a little longer. I also beleive that there won’t be a DC change just because everyone is crying wolf. Minter hasn’t for the past 2 years any real talent to work with. Mabey at best 3 individuals Landri being one of them but again it takes the entire Defense to play and win not just a few. I just don’t see Minter going as of yet. But who knows the Irish fans have been known to run people out of town when things don’t go their way “instantly” not to include willinghan who did that on his owne.But that’s a diff. story.

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  • Frank commented on January 5th, 2007 at 12:57 am

    You make some valid points. The problem with Charlie is his results don’t match his rhetoric. He may want to dial down the mouth running until he has the talent to back it up. Also, I remember Holtz coming in back in 1986 also with a big talent deficit. He lost more games than Charlie. But with rare exceptions, they weren’t blow out losses. You are right. Obviously they aren’t currently on the level of LSU or USC, but are they really that putrid, especially on offense? If so, how did they hang with SC last year who had Leinart, Bush and Jarret all on the same team? Despite how bad they were in the Fiestsa Bowl and the talent level of OSU, they were even in that game until the last three minutes. You can’t say that about the three big games they had this year. The sad reality is that despite all the explanations and excuses, this team was much worse than last year’s team. That is my real beef with Charlie. No progress, not even status quo, but regression with essentially the same team that he had last year.

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  • Frank commented on January 5th, 2007 at 12:59 am

    You make some valid points. The problem with Charlie is his results don’t match his rhetoric. He may want to dial down the mouth running until he has the talent to back it up. Also, I remember Holtz coming in back in 1986 also with a big talent deficit. He lost more games than Charlie. But with rare exceptions, they weren’t blow out losses. You are right. Obviously they aren’t currently on the level of LSU or USC, but are they really that putrid, especially on offense? If so, how did they hang with SC last year who had Leinart, Bush and Jarret all on the same team? Despite how bad they were in the Fiesta Bowl and the talent level of OSU, they were even in that game until the last three minutes. You can’t say that about the three big games they had this year. The sad reality is that despite all the explanations and excuses, this team was much worse than last year’s team. That is my real beef with Charlie. No progress, not even status quo, but many steps backward with essentially the same team that he had last year.

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  • BigDaddy from Tokyo commented on January 5th, 2007 at 1:01 am

    Given its stringent academic entry requirements, ND will never again be able to attract the type of top-notch athlete (see Dwayne Jarrett) it takes to put together an elite program. Perhaps a move to a private university league, similar to the Ivy League, is in order. It could be comprised of other like-minded institutions like Stanford, Tulane, Duke, Rice, Vanderbilt, and Northwestern as well as the service academies—Army, Navy & Air Force. This would also fit well into ND’s national fan base.

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  • Mike Pesavento commented on January 5th, 2007 at 6:35 am

    Despite overall improved recruiting the last two years, Weis has not been able to land a dominating, physical, DT who can collapse the pocket and disrupt opponents backfields. In fact, it looks like ND will be much weakewr at this position in the next several years than it ever was under Ty (not that I am a Ty fan). Current recruits like Barksdale and Austin are not seriously considering the Irish. Landri, the best ND tackle, has played well most of the season despite being somewhat undersized, but has exhausted his eligibility this year. Next year, without Landri, look for other teams to run the ball right between the tackels on a consistent basis.

    Q: Did Derek Landri play in the Sugar Bowl-I didn’t see his number out there, nor did I hear any talk from the hosts on this matter.

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  • Lunch commented on January 5th, 2007 at 10:09 am

    Frank, your comment about Charlie needing to be a head coach of the whole team and not just a glorified offensive coordinator couldn’t be more accurate. I think great defense beats/stops great offence but mediocre offence beats mediocre defense. Look at last years USC game, USC stronger on O and mediocre D and the game is close whereas this year USC was much stronger on D and the game was a blowout. OSU last year was more dominant on D, same result. This year, Michigan’s strength was their defense. The common thread is that ND had a potent offence but no D. Now, some people will say that ND didn’t have the players in place or the defensive coordinator is not up to the task but I think you hit the nail on the head. Will Charlie, all the while saying so, put enough emphasis on the defence and it is not just a matter of recruiting better players. You can correct me if I am wrong but I think that most of the great head coaches have come from the defensive side of the ball. It is for that reason, and his obvious ego, that I am skeptical of how far Charlie W. can take this program.

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  • Frank commented on January 5th, 2007 at 4:06 pm

    Don’t get me wrong. I’m glad they have Charlie and I don’t think he will belong on back of a T shirt with Faust, Davie, and Ty. He does need to adjust and pay more attention to the D side of the ball. I believe that Tom Pagna recently made this type of comment. Just a little bit less swagger would also be nice. On offense, I think he will have good success in the future. He is a great offensive mind and he proved it on Sunday in the past. I don’t think it was his play calling that was the problem on the O side of the ball this year. When you have an O line that doesn’t open holes and protect the QB, you can be the second coming of the inventor of the forward pass and you still won’t do very well. The play and effort of that group was just mystifying this year. Go Irish and hopefully the improvement will come this year.

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  • Garvo commented on January 5th, 2007 at 6:38 pm

    Big Daddy first of all ND doesn’t have the most stringent academic standardS that belongs to Stanford. Second don’t think for one moment that the kids that play today don’t have what it takes to make it at ND. This group comming in is just as smart as the last class and is more talented as well. Thirdly why should the standards be lowered? why shouldn’t the other schools raise their standards instead? The idea that ND should go to the Ivy league is absolutly dumbfounding. This only proves my point that it’s the fans that have set the expectations too high. Yes there problems but from what I see and hear the talent is coming.
    Everyone including myself thought that this would be even better year but in reality its hard to duplicate the 2005 year. Eveyone had ND at the top or near it even when we all knew that the Defense was still weak. I’ve also notice that throughout the season the “Shark” if you will seem to be just going through the motions and that includes McNight. BQ was by himself and the last time I checked it takes a complete team to win the games. It didn’t happen. I love the Irish just as much as the next guy but the biggest dissapointment are the fans. Next year is a telling year for Weis and I’m willing to bet you just might see better talent on both sides of the ball. There will be growing pains but there isn’t any need to panic. That’s just the nature of the beast if you will.
    One more point. Weis did not have the luxery of taking over a program that was loaded with talent. OSU,LSU,USC AND MU coaches were handed talented teams that didn’t need to be rebuilt from the ground up. Weis still has recruited better than willingham. Willingham lost more recruits than he gained and that’s because the kids knew they weren’t going to come to a winning program. That has changed with Weis

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  • Cloudy commented on January 5th, 2007 at 9:11 pm

    I would guess the adage “Defense wins games” or “wins pennents” proves out most of what we have seen with ND and is not just proverb, it is fact. Cold hard fact! I still say though the talent pool at ND may not compare yet with some of the schools OSU, USC the view I get is not the players it truly is coaching and as Frank asks, the schemes. Forget the recruiting from yester-year and what is coming next. The (defense) system is broken and the partial fix is ADIOS MINTER! LSU, though talented, are not that great, made Minter and his wacky schemes look like the dam that never got built. In fact the defense has gotten worse. Is someone lying to us? Did Minter ever show up for work? I know what I see and it sure wasn’t a game plan or intelligent adjusments. Oh it was awful, I feel bad for the players, all but Rhema M. Good luck going pro. Did any one say moxy! Not to Rhema.

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  • Cloudy commented on January 5th, 2007 at 9:13 pm

    MY BAD: That’s “pennants” not pennents!

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