Home / Notre Dame Football / Initial Impressions – Notre Dame 27, Tulsa 28

Initial Impressions – Notre Dame 27, Tulsa 28

Wow.  I don’t think anyone imagined 11 months ago when Brian Kelly was hired that we’d be discussing back to back losses to Navy and Tulsa, but after an ill-advised decision to throw the football in the final seconds, that is exactly where we’re at.  Here are some initial thoughts on the game.


  • Despite the interceptions, Tommy Rees played about as well as could have been expected.  Freshmen are going to make freshmen mistakes and that’s what his final interception was.  He could have had a huge boost to his confidence if the Irish pulled this one out, but now he’ll have two weeks to think about that last interception.  Still, 300+ yards and 4 touchdowns off the bench was solid.   The 4 touchdowns
  • Back to the final play.  With a solid field goal kicker and a true freshman quarterback, a play like that just shouldn’t happen.  If you are going to call a pass there, fine, explain to the QB during the timeout that he can only make the pass if the receiver is WIDE open.  If not, throw the ball away and play for the field goal.  Just a really, really bad call there.  Kelly is going to receive a lot of much deserved criticism for this call over the next two weeks and during the off-season if this game ultimately costs Notre Dame the chance to go to a bowl.
  • Very tough break for Dayne Crist.  Almost a year to the day from his ACL injury he suffers another major knee injury to his other knee.  He had a lot of ups and downs in his first season as the starter, but missing the final 3 games is going to hurt his development quite a bit.
  • Offensive line got little push in the running game.  There just wasn’t anywhere for Cierre Wood to go with the football most of the time.  Pass protection was solid though.
  • Very rough game for John Goodman.  Multiple drops early on and a muffed punt.  Roby Toma came in and played well in relief of Goodman and looks like he could be a promising wide receiver in this offense.  Toma ended up with 4 catches for 67 yards.
  • TJ Jones had a quiet game and is looking more like a freshman after his fast start.
  • Up and down game for Tyler Eifert.  He had a very critical drop on 3rd and 5 in the fourth quarter, but came up with a few nice grabs and blocked well.
  • The offense continues to be its own worst enemy.  They move well at times and then end drives with drops, missed receivers, penalties, etc.
  • Notre Dame converted just 3 out of 14 third downs throughout the game.  It’s tough to win any game with that low of a success rate on third down.


  • After a very rough start to the game, the defense settled in an kept Tulsa off the scoreboard until their last field goal.  Of the 28 points allowed today, 15 of them were given up by the offense and special teams.
  • Despite the overall solid performance by the defense, Notre Dame’s lack os speed on defense was again evident.  That isn’t something that will be fixed overnight either.  It’s going to take a couple recruiting cycles before the speed on defense is at a high level.
  • Notre Dame recorded 6 sacks with Darius Fleming and Ethan Johnson recording 2 of them.  Kerry Neal and Brian Smith each chipped in one as well.  Nice to see some production out of the outside linebackers.
  • Chuck Martin needs to have the defensive backs practice catching drills all week.  Notre Dame has it’s hands on a couple interceptions that fell to the ground today.
  • Ian Williams was missed in the middle of the defensive line.  Sean Cywar filled in admirably, but without Williams in the middle the Irish got very little push up the middle against the Tulsa running game.
  • Kona Schwenke recorded a fumble recovery in his first action, but didn’t record a tackle.  It doesn’t say a whole lot for the other reserve defensive end son the roster, however, that Schwenke was in the game as an undersized true freshman.
  • Robert Blanton got juked out of his cleats on the first Tulsa touchdown, but after that he responded with a nice game.  He blew up a screen pass and played well the rest of the game.

Special Teams

  • This might have been the worst game for the special teams all year – a blocked PAT returned for 2 points, a punt return touchdown allowed, and a muffed punt.  Yikes.  Add in Turk’s booming punt through the end zone when a pooch punt was needed and it equals a very poor showing.
  • Kick return blocking was weak again this week.  Bennett Jackson had a nice return, but overall there weren’t many lanes for Jackson.
  • Notre Dame came in to the game as the best punt coverage unit in the country and then gave up the 59 yard return to Damarius Johnson.

This loss is going to sting for a while and the bye week couldn’t come at a better time.  Notre Dame needs to take these next two weeks to get healthy and regroup.  Getting to a bowl game is going to take a win against either Utah or USC now and after the last two weeks, neither look too likely at this point.  The coaches are going to need to spend some extra time working the phones to keep this recruiting class together as well because it’s going to be open season on commits by opposing coaches after this.


  1. Outplayed. Out-coached. Outclassed.

    Keep making excuses.

  2. Ted:

    Thanks for the helpful link to past recruiting. Over all, I think we agree that coaching up talent is more important than simple recruiting stats. Some of us (I plead guilty) perhaps get too caught up in that from time to time.


    Glad you brought up B. Smith’s play this past weekend. If you’re going to bash someone when they play poorly, then it’s only fair to praise them when they play well. My question to you, power, do we have a ILB controversy in S. Bend now that Calabrese is apparently healthy. Who do you start? At least this gives BK some options along the front 7. My guess is both Smith and Calabrese will play a lot given the Army option attack.

    • Kelly said today that Calabrese will play a lot. He did not say who would be the starter.I think it makes for a good rotation.Callabrese may not be as fast but he can read pretty well and he can finish.I thought Smith really did play well and he has a lot of talent, lets hope Kelly got a lot of his bad habits out.

      • Power run the ball

        I love the lunch pail mentality of Calabrese.. But when u watch the navy game he got caught in the wash to often and was one of the many reason that the Fullback rushed 4- 206 yrds virtually untouched. Brian Smith is a Senior and Calabrese is a Soph. Smith at the outside position lost his assignment way to often but playing the inside lb position he seemed to make play after play… For me it is no question i start the senior Brian Smith at the inside LB position and if he misses multiple assignment throughout the game I will have the soph to replace him…. C

  3. Power run the ball

    I am suprise that there hasn’t been comments on how well Brian Smith played at the Inside LB position… I know we can’t get out of our heads the many blown assignment which led to big plays, but I thought he looked good on the inside; especially against a run heavy team… . He did run inside a block on the shovel pass but was able to run down the Running Back… Calobrese would have never got there and against a faster runner Smith was beat but against Utah he really showed up. Maybe the Jolt the defense needed along with Shembo to help Teo out….

    He might be playing with a little bit of a chip on his shoulder since his playing time has decreased this season like CAV mentioned above..

    • Calabrese would have never got there? They are roughly the same speed. But my guess is Calabrese would bave run over the blocker on the way there. I do agree that smith played a good game this week though. He plays well in space on the outside at times, but makes a lot of mistakes keeping the play contained.

  4. OK I’ve heard about beat Army or USC or both. Good.
    Say —we end up 6-6 –not assuming ANYTHING!
    If we do, I ‘ve heard—-play the MAC Champ in Michigan in the dome there.
    Hey,it’s more practice and extension and all.
    Recruting power?
    I don’t know.
    But -as some have said, it is playing for next season.
    So—not assuming anything but a win on prime time in NYC would be great.
    And btw, maybe–hopefully the USC factor is turning the tide not to maroon and gold but to blue, green and gold. Maybe?
    Anyone? MAC CHAMP??
    Better than nothing. (* yes-we have to win FIRST) RSVP

  5. Pretswood and Lynch just committed to FSU. I still think we can get these guys back (assuming BK wants them back) by finishing the season strong and winning a bowl game. Plus I think FSU might struggle at the end.

    Here’s another interesting possibility. Several projections have a 7-5 ND team playing FSU in the Citrus Bowl. Makes you wonder what could happen here if ND pulls an upset there.

    But, like I say, one thing at a time. Beat Army. Then worry about USC. Then worry about a bowl game and recruiting.

    • Tell Lynch and his mother to come back to South Bend and clean up the mess they made by throwing grampa’s ashes all over the campus. I couldn’t believe the kid actually says they did that, then turns tail and runs to FSU. See ya later nut-case!!

  6. What are you guys hearing in regard to recruit Cam McDaniel, TX? Sounds like a great prospect at RB, WR or DB.

  7. Power run the ball

    I agree with all four points and strongly agree with the Weis favorite comments…
    I do hope the Junior Jonas does gets more of an opportunity…

    Weis blamed Jonas for the Michigan loss when he and Claussen fumbled the exchange. Not totally Jonas fault and then never got an opportunity after that… Kelly was giving Jonas a chance but then unfortunately Jonas got hurt and now he seems committed to developing Cierre which I am happy about, but I just wish he would platoon Jonas in so he can develop both…

    Jonas with the least opportunity has had the biggest results and that is a player who hasn’t gotten a chance to fully learn the speed and sharpen his skills at the college elite level….

    • jonas has always had a chasse, but i thought he was around 200, not 230. he looked huge! why not a dual threat kelly?

      btw, jonas’ scamper that came up short of the goal line had me thinking. other than wood in the western mich game, when was the last time a rb had a 25+ yard run for a td? this needs to change.

  8. Utah was a much needed win for this program. I don’t care if Utah is over-ranked, they were still ranked. ND defended the home turf, the seniors walked out of the stadium with a win, and the defense did not allow a touchdown. A game like this can be a turning point.

    However, the thing that is going to improve this program the most is the number of players who are getting playing time. Depth creates competition and competition raises the play of everyone. Take the QB position for example. Crist seemed like he was regressing as the year went on and the reason might have been a lack of competiton. He knew he was the guy and wasn’t going to be pushed by Rees or Montana. Now Rees is doing a great job, which means Crist is going to have to raise his game to get back on the field next year. Hendricks and Massa are going to have to elevate their game to get on the field as well. Wood is going to have to raise his game as Jonas gets healthier. This team needs to have the players push each other. That was an element that was missing with Weis. It seemed he had his favorites that played no matter how bad they did.

    We need to get this win against Army and then prepare for the real bowl game this year at USC. I hope ND gets into a bowl, but it will not have the same vibe as the USC game will. A 3 game winning streak going into the bowl season will have a huge impact on the recruiting as well.

    We took one from Utah, let’s take care of Army and then start the domination over USC.

  9. Power run the ball

    Brian Smith at the inside LB position was a huge difference for the defense making the defense appear much faster…. Who knows if they never move him how things would have worked this season….. I would have like to seen more of Jonas and More Pistol and More under center run but atleast we did get a little taste this week..

    I would also like to see flemming opposite of Shembo on pass downs to provide a more potent rush…

    It was great for the ND players to appreciate a nice home win against a decent team especially it being senior day… One of the reason why I really enjoy college football..

    positive on Kelly– it was smart coaching to be aggressive on special teams due to starting Reese a frosh at qb.. I also felt for Coach Kelly he called a more conservative game which.. Which egual more run plays…Yipee.

    • “I also felt for Coach Kelly he called a more conservative game which.. Which egual more run plays”

      x2. It appeared Kelly learned some lessons and ate some humble pie from the Tulsa debacle, which is what we had hoped. He significantly tightened up the offense and ran as much as he passed. As has been talked about alot on this board- you don’t have to run an aggressive spread ALL the time and pass, no matter what.

      That was critical…

  10. Power run the ball

    who’s better Michigan State or Utah?

    I say Michigan State and we should of won the game a couple of times over. So we shouldn’t be suprised that we beat a Utah team. Utah’s biggest win was a 3 point ot win against Pitt. a team we beat….

    Purdue W 23-12 1-0
    Michigan L28-24 1-1 could have- crist inj. huge but still gave game away
    Michigan State L34-31 OT 1-2 huge mistake at end but still plenty of plays
    Stanford L37-14 1-3 we got beat
    Boston College W31-13 2-3
    Pittsburgh W23-17 3-3
    Western Michigan W44-20 4-3
    Navy* L35-17 4-4 an embarassment but it happens
    Tulsa L28-27 4-5 unacceptable especially after Navy
    #14 Utah W28-3 5-5 okay about time
    Army* 7:00 PM should be over quickly
    USC 8:00 PM ET I can’t wait…

    My Point is 8 win season 4 an average coach
    With Coach Kelly I expected a 9 win season because of his resume..

    I guess this win now coach needs some time at this level because as I beat a dead horse ND lost 3 out of the 5 games strickly because of coaching….

    I not saying Kelly should go…..
    I am just saying I am disappointed with the opportunity spoiled this season for a big step in a winning direction which would have given us an edge in the recruiting world. …
    Instead I think Coach Kelly got a much needed taste of humble pie.

  11. i disagree about what MUST happen to wind up the season, just like i disagree with people who think we MUST win 9 games or kelly should go.

    sure, a w against army and a good showing against usc would be nice, but we simply have too many intangibles going against us, some may call them excuses…hey, even mack brown doesn’t have as many ‘excuses’ as we do, and he is 4-6, with many losses in blow-out fashion.

    i fully expect to beat army and play usc tough, maybe even come out with a win. anything is possible with a decent d and tommy making good decisions. but if not, kelly will develop the players and we will win a lot of games next year, and the year after.

    as i said, there will be plenty of room aboard the kelly bandwagon…including future recruits when we start putting up 40 points regularly and holding teams to under 20. why not get excited to see nix in better shape and a force in the middle? and shembo coming off the edge for some pressure?

    i really think another offseason conditioning will help the o-line, an area that has been troublesome for the past decade. teo with another year of experience, wood, gray, tommy or dayne, floyd, rudolf with another year in the system, learning the plays and reads…im just saying, even with de-commits we will keep a top 15 recruiting class.

    • Ted,

      What MUST happen is what you yourself just admitted to. ND needs to beat Army and play well against USC. Period. That MUST happen. A lot of the “optimists” here were making very bold predictions at the beginning of the season, practically predicting wins every week and saying that anyone who disagreed with them was disloyal to ND. Then after the losses started piling on then came the inevitable excuses and backtracking and saying that anyone who wanted ND to be more competitive was being negative. How convenient is that! That’s wanting to have it both ways, Ted.

      Having said that, you make some solid observations about the future of the program. I really like your assessment of the personnel for next season. Now, Ted, imagine if we can land Lynch and Williams for the front 7 of the future! Why settle for a top 15 class when we can get a top 10 class realistically. (Heck, sign Lynch, Prestwood, Williams, and Huggins to go along with the current recruits and ND will have perhaps a top 5 class!)

      • sfr,

        i was yelled at by the optimists for saying 9 wins would be a GREAT season considering the circumstances. i actually think you have it backwards, it is the former optimists turned naysayers who came in with rediculous expectations of an 11-1 season who are now freaking out because we have lost 5 games.

        no, winning any of the remaining games is not a MUST. enlighten me, why is it a MUST? it is probably a MUST for the same reason that beating navy and tulsa was a MUST, but guess what, it wasn’t.

        i would have loved to see lynch on the d-line, looked like a beast, prestwood is probably a good player too. but we still have a good class.

        how many top ten recruiting classes does the #1 team in the country have in the last 10 years? you guessed it, NONE! kelly will coach them up, give him some time.

      • Ted,

        I guess we’ve been reading different posts. The ones I read had ND winning just about every game and to be “realistic” and say otherwise was tantamount to heresy. How dare anyone believe ND can’t win this game or that!

        I’m with you in having thought a 9 win season was realistic, although I figured more on 8-4. (I gave my season breakdown in a previous post, so I won’t bore you repeating it here).

        Winning or at least being competitive (read your own post) is a MUST for recruiting (again, read your own post). It seems that every time ND lays an egg we lose top recruits. That’s just a fact if you’ve been following recruiting at all of late, Ted. So, as others here have pointed out, winning and playing well is a MUST for recruiting if nothing else.

        Your take on recruiting is very short-sighted, Ted. Just because the CURRENT #1 team doesn’t have a top 10 class recently (prove it, BTW) doesn’t prove that recruiting isn’t key to winning in the college game. It is. How many national championships have UF, Alabama, Texas, USC, LSU,and Ohio State won in this decade? Now, how many top 10 recruiting classes have they landed in the same amount of time? That’s a far more nuanced and longer time-frame analysis than what you just brought to the table, Ted. No disrespect intended.

        You’re right about giving BK time to coach up the recruits. Agreed. But I’d rather face the challenge of coaching up a 5-star recruit than trying to coach up a 2 or 3-star one (although they’re always exceptions to every rule, but they’re just that — exceptions).

        Yes, Ted, we still have a good class. But why settle for good? That seems to be part of the endemic issue with ND football of late. Settling for good instead of seeking the great. There was a time when ND strove for greatness in all aspects of football, Ted, including in recruiting. Can we get back to that?

      • i’m not going to get into a pissing match over who said what on which posts, i don’t have the time.

        my oregon comment was an aside. nonetheless, below is a link to espn recruiting breakdowns, including class ranks, since 2006. no oregon in sight, and if they haven’t had a top 10 class since 2006, im guessing they have never had one since we started ranking recruiting classes.


        recruiting is important. my oregon comment was meant to provide perspective that losing some recruits in this class will not kill us, or prevent us from winning next year. i thought kelly pulled in a great class in a transition year, and he has a solid class for a rebuilding year. when we win a bunch of games next year the class will be even better, and so on. these things don’t happen overnight.

  12. Poz,

    Agreed! Army will play us at least as tough as Navy. But they’re less talented than Navy. Army’s Super Bowl, however, will come at the end of the season when they play rivals Navy. Not that they’ll be looking ahead or anything. We better not be as well!

    If we do what we should do, Poz, that is beat Army, then we get excited about USC. Wouldn’t it be great to upend them and the cocky Lane Kiffen? I know it’s unrealistic to believe we’ll beat the Trojans but we can hope, can’t we?

    Either way, win a bowl game and finish 7-6 at worst is OK. (Wow! How low are our expectations after 15 years of mediocrity!) It will help somewhat with recruiting. Beat USC and finish 8-5 would solidify this class, Poz. I believe we can recommit some of the guys who’ve pulled their verbals plus add a few key pieces here and there to this class. If we can get Lynch and Prestwood back in the fold and add Ishaq Williams and Savon Huggins, ND will have a very good (top 10) class. Then it’s up to BK and his staff to take that talent and mold and develop it.

    What do you say, Poz?

    • I agree with your assessment, it is refreshing to see some reasonable comments on here about where we are as a program.

      Go Irish!

      • Poz,

        Thanks. I’ve always enjoyed your contributions, even if we haven’t always agreed.

        I guess “reasonable” is in the eye of the beholder. For some here to be reasonable means always agreeing with them and never being realistic about the state of ND football. To say ND football is mediocre is heresy. (Of course, others have blasted me for being too generous when I say ND is mediocre. They’d use more colorful language to describe the current state of the Irish.)

        I’m saddened that we’ve lost C-Dog. I wish he’d return. His analysis was always witty, even if I didn’t see eye-to-eye with him. I hope some here haven’t driven joey d from this board. There was some very harsh words directed against him by some. Even those who playfully questioned his masculinity (I’m sure joey has kissed a girl!) didn’t help the matter.

        Keep the faith, Poz. Yes. Go Irish!

  13. Poz,

    I agree with you. Beating USC would be great, but it’s more realistic (a word some people here apparently don’t like) to be competitive. But first we need to bet by Army. Do you expect an easy game from the Black Knights, Poz? I sure don’t. I think they’ll play tough, like Navy did, with tons of heart. I just hope ND learned something from the Navy game (and I don’t mean just about defending the option). I hope they remember how bad it felt after losing to Navy and how great it felt beating Utah.

    Poz, I’ve been saying for a while now that the end of the season is all about keeping/getting recruits on board and momentum going into the off-season. You’re right on about all that! But even we ‘realists’ can get a little excited about the hopes of some ND Holiday football. Can’t we? Don’t be a Grinch, now.

    Now, Poz, are you being negative by saying this season is a “bust”? You know, Poz, some people here don’t like that kind of straight talk. They want to hear only how great ND is (even at 5-5).

    • Do I think beating Army will be easy? H#$% NO!!! This is the Super Bowl for Army, heck it is bigger than the Super Bowl for Army. However, it is a must to beat them or the UTAH win was useless.

      This game is also huge for the coaching staff. Diaco needs to show progress and answers for the option.

  14. Let’s all just relax. We are 5-5 for crying out loud. We caught Utah at a great time and they obviously we very flat after an emotional let down after getting crushed by TCU. The true test is the next 2 weeks. Beating Army is a must and looking fast and athletic agains USC would be nice. Not sure if we can beat USC or not but at the very least we need to play as if we could win. A bowl win is a must as well. The season was a complete bust. We are playing for next year right now and to keep valuable recruits with us. Momentum into spring ball is critical over the next month or so.

  15. apparently my comment after the game is still awaiting moderation. i guess my explitives were not hidden well enough by * and $%.

    to all the ‘realists’, there will be plenty of room aboard the Kelly bandwagon next year.

  16. irisheye62,

    Good to hear the enthusiasm in your post!

    Agreed with your analysis. Excellent points.

    As for your unnamed relative, I see his point. But I’m not too intimidated by the projected bowl opponents. I wouldn’t like to face Utah in a rematch. They’d have too much incentive. But that’s a most unlikely scenario. One match that may have more likelihood is a game against Miami in the Citrus. That’s one match up I don’t like. Miami has 4 stud RBs and a deep WR corps which features L. Hankerson (a bigger version of M. Floyd) who just tied Michael Irvin’s TD receptions record for a season at Miami. They’re big and fast on both lines. Not a good match-up. I want to play “the U” in 2012, not in 2010. GT’s option game is also scary. I could foresee playing A 6-6 GT team somewhere. Of course, GT would be the third option team we’d play. We’d be somewhat familiar with that style by then. But GT would be far more talented than Navy or Army.

    This is all very premature, however. ND and its fans need to focus exclusively on Army. Beat Army and then make Holiday travel plans to Florida or NY (hopefully not Boise, Idaho).

  17. JDH,

    Before the game he was making fun of Lee Corso for picking ND to upset Utah. It was all about how ND couldn’t even beat Tulsa, Navy, etc. After the game, no eating crow from Herby. No, sir. Instead it was all about how over-rated Utah was. How they got exposed by TCU. Etc.

    Like I said, Herbstreit and May (not to mention Pat Forde at ESPN) revel in ND defeat. Other than our “dearly departed” “Anus Eagle” (no, I don’t hope he’s actually dead!) I’m sure no one here wants to see the Irish lose. Some people can’t seem to tell the difference between those who love ND enough to see it for what it is and want to see it return to glory, and those like Herbstreit, May, Forde, and others who are just haters who want the Irish to remain mediocre (but, I guess, never so bad they’d become truly irrelevant, since then they’d have nothing to write or gloat about!).

    • Herbie should have definetly admitted he was wrong and sucked it up like a man. I usually don’t have a problem with him, but he should have come clean on that one…

  18. JDH,

    You bet it’s time to celebrate. I love ND sticking it to Herbstreit and Mark May! It’s one thing for an ND fan to take an honest look at their team and believe it’s an underdog, like many here did (again, however, recall that long before “Big Daddy” I said ND had a great chance to win this game and win out). It’s another thing for these ND haters like Herbstreit and May to do so. If people can’t see the difference between the motives of joey d and Herbstreit, then they’re beyond rational discussion. joey d wants ND to win in spite of what his head may tell him; Mark May wants ND to lose no matter what. There’s a world of difference there.

    Let’s all enjoy this one and kiss our lasses! However, it’s only one game on the long road back to relevance and from there back to glory. Let’s worry about Army first and then worry about USC. Finish 7-5 and we’ll all be satisfied (I’m not going to say happy, because that would be to lower the standard of happiness).

    • What did Herbstreit say about the ND game (before and after)? I didn’t see it. I don’t even have to ask about Mark May obviously…

  19. If Joey wants to be negative he can, no big deal. I actually thought ND would lose big due to the injuries. However, I do think ND is headed in the right direction. Brian Kelly and Jim Harbaugh were the two guys who made sense. We got Kelly. Let him do his thing. We knew there would be bumps. But lets be honest, no start QB, RB, TE, WR, WR, NT, ILB and we still beat the #15 team????? Celebrate is Joey D and SteelFanRob. Grab the Irish lass around the waist and give her a kiss. Cmon Joey, take off the StarTrek ears and kiss the lass.

    • I don’t mean any disrespect, but when you tell SFR and joeyD to celebrate, who do you think isn’t celebrating.

      I think we all are celebrating. It was really a breath of fresh air!

  20. joey d,

    I love it how people always boast when a prediction is proved right but never man up and face the music when their predictions are wrong. (How many times have I heard on this board that ND would soundly beat somebody only to then hear nothing back from the predictors or excuses after the Irish lose?!) You’re getting bashed for not being right on this call. OK. You were going by logic. I was going by my gut when I said ND had a chance to not only win this game against Utah but the rest of its games and the bowl game. I’m glad we beat Utah but I won’t insult you for seeing it the other way. Besides I’m sure you’re happy about ND winning and having to eat crow now. I’d be. Keep posting joey d.

    • Right on target SFR. I was shocked by the win on Saturday and enjoyed every minute of myself being wrong. Does it make me a naysayer and negative to have thought we would lose 2 or 3 of our last games? I don’t think so. This ND team seems to be really unpredictable right now. Who knows what will happen over the next couple weeks?!

      BTW- I think it’s very cool that we have a Montana and a Collinsworth on our team.

      • Count me in the group that was ecstatically wrong. i went in just hoping we played with heart, character and kept it reasonable. I sat in shock when the heart was revealed to be huge, the character a killer and keeping it close became keeping a team that averages 40 a game off the board. Damn. GO IRISH!

    • Of course I’m happy about the win. I’m laughing my ass off though reading some of the stuff that is being written. This suddenly sounds like a Chicago Cubs board. One win, and the problems are solved. The team played great, but does anyone remember that Kelly went for it on 4th down in the first quarter and got stuffed. That led to a field goal. Luckily, Reese played extremely well and saved Kelly’s ass. The defense did well, but that Utah offense was terrible!!

  21. Irish Thunder:
    Please go easy on the mushrooms. Ships missing rocks??? What on earth are you talking about????

    • You can turn a small speed boat on a dime. However the bigger ships (aka ND) requires a slower turn-around process. Not overly complicated Lep. This program has been doing the basics wrong for over 15 years, it will take time to turn it around. If people thought that was happening in a few months, they were wishful thinkers. My point was let him turn this big ship (aka ND) slowly (get the right recruits, coaches, training, etc.) and each year we will see progress. My point was a small college might see a quick turn around due to teaching correct techniques. At ND you will not see that due to high level of competition, and grand stage of top level NCAA football. Hence, the ship reference. No mushrooms, just an occasional Guinness.

  22. The rumor is “Big Daddy” is actually Coach Kelly himself. Tis true, tis true.

    Actually I know Big Daddy, and the SOB was calling upset all week. I think guys like Joey D need to see the big picture (maybe kissing a girl for the 1st time would help as well). This year was about heading in the right direction. We wanted to see momentum like Holtz had in year one. Injuries, and the deaths of Matt James and Declan Sullivan knocked this season for a serious loop. However, if ND can beat Army and then go out to USC and give them a game, I think fans would feel Brian Kelly has this Battleship turning to open waters, we missing the rocks and now are full speed ahead. You do not turn a Battleship on a dime. Hopefully my ship analysis makes sense. I think the more we see of Kelly’s guys (Shembo, Collinsworth, B.Jackson) the better this team gets.

    • Thunder, you’re a little too preoccupied with my personal life!

      The big picture is this:
      Mediocre football for the majority of the season
      Football coaches that are making horrible football decisions, costing players victories (Mich. St and Tulsa)

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