Initial Thoughts from the Air Force Game

Offense

  • Clausen’s passes looked much better today than it has all season. He had a zip on the ball that wasn’t there early in the season. I also thought he made some very good decisions out there and while he was far from perfect, he looked better than he did in any previous start.
  • If the ND wide receivers wouldn’t have dropped about 30 balls, Clausen probably would have had about a 60-65% completion percentage with close to 300 yards.
  • All things considered, I saw enough out of Clausen today to at least be optimistic about his immediate future.
  • Please give the ball to #5 more and work him into the passing game. Running backs can be used in the passing game on plays other than screens. A novel idea I know, but it can be done. Weis should dial up his buddy Andy Reid this spring and talk to him about how he uses Brian Westrbook in the passing game and then Allen exactly the same way next year.
  • Where has Golden Tate been? From where I was sitting, it looked like Tate didn’t have a single play called for him until the 4th down with roughly 30 seconds remaining. There wasn’t a single defender on the Air Force defense who could keep up with Tate’s speed and for some reason; he didn’t see any balls thrown his way till the game was over.
  • Why are James Aldridge and Asaph Schwapp in a two back set on 3rd and long?
  • Dropped passes. Yikes! Parris, Carlson, and Grimes all dropped passes at key moments. Outside of the Purdue and Boston College games, Parris has been very inconsistent catching the ball and that continued.
  • Every time I see Junior Jabbie in the game, I see a running back who runs tough and plays hard. I wish we would have seen more of him this year actually.
  • I really don’t know what the say about the offensive line anymore. There’s just no reason for this o-line to be manhandled by a defense front like Air Forces. There is something wrong here and I’m not going to profess that I know what it is, but something has to be done here because this offense won’t move the ball with any consistency until the line is fixed.
  • There really isn’t a whole lot of good that comes out of getting the ball in Schwapp’s hands and that was pretty clear again this weekend. I don’t care how much the guy can bench press, I’d rather he be able to block and hold onto the football.
  • Would have loved to see Luke Schmidt get some touches to see what he could do.
  • Clausen’s touchdown pass to Grimes really was a perfect pass. Great touch, perfect placement – it just doesn’t get any better than that.
  • Why didn’t we keep pounding the ball up the middle when it was working and why were we running draw plays on 3rd and short?
  • 58 yards rushing against Air Force. Awesome.
  • 6 sacks allowed against Air Force. Even more Awesome.
  • Don’t understand the use of the play action on 4th and long or on the final drive when we were down 17, but hey, it looks cool I guess.

Defense

  • Trevor Laws is simply awesome. 16 tackles in a game from a defensive lineman??? That just doesn’t happen very often. Laws now has 97 on the season.
  • Ian Williams played a bunch again and looked good again.
  • The outside backers looked lost trying to defend the option. If Kerry Neal isn’t start over John Ryan next weekend, I’ll be surprised.
  • Air Force really had their way with the defense. When they wanted to run to the edges they did. When they wanted to run it up the middle, they did. When they wanted to pass, they did.
  • There’s some talent on this defense, but right now they just aren’t playing as one unit and most of the emotion being shown is coming from the younger guys.
  • I think Corwin Brown is going to be a great defensive coordinator for Notre Dame, but his inexperience has shown these past two weeks in defending the option.
  • It looked like McNeil was seeing more action this week – he should continue to get more playing time since he will be a big contributor and possible starter next year.

Special Teams

  • Do we practice special teams? Kick coverage was really poor again. After cutting the lead to 14 in the 4th quarter, we gave up a huge return to Chad Hall and gave all of the momentum right back to Air Force.
  • Maust looked decent punting. He wasn’t spectacular, but he was pretty solid.
  • If Weis does not focus on special teams this spring and summer I’m going to be very, very disappointed.

Other

  • It was nice to see the student section showing their support…. Oh wait, there were a ton of empty seats in the student section. Nevermind.
  • Jimmy Clausen gets hit out of bounds and no one on the Notre Dame sideline gets in the face of the Air Force defender who did it. Again, there’s just something wrong with that. I’m certainly not advocating any sort of retaliation, but how about a little bit of a showing of support for your quarterback?
  • Campus was DEAD this weekend.
  • We bought 50 yard line tickets for face value from the ticket office two hours before kick-off. Granted we could have probably got worse seats for $10-15, but who the hell would have thought you’d ever be able to get 50 yard line seats in the lower bowl two hours before kickoff from the ticket office at this time two years ago?
  • It’s really getting tough to watch and it’s getting even tougher to stay remotely positive, but even despite the loss, a Saturday in South Bend sitting in Notre Dame Stadium still beats the hell out of doing almost anything else.

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24 Comments

  1. Notre Dame has been a meat grinder for several coaches. Ara retired looking like an old man compared to ten years earlier. I was a kid but all the adults said coaching Notre Dame ate him up. Holtz also looked aged beyond his 11 year tenure. Holtz has referred to the NBC contract as having hurt Notre Dame. Notre Dame gets something like 9 million a year from NBC. If Notre Dame maintained competitiveness, ten to twenty times that money would come in from athletic boosters. There are more big time fans out there than the DeBartolos, ( and probably with cleaner reputations ). What NBC has done is created two types of nightmares. The first is the need to over saturate coverage of the athletes. This was especially true of Ron Pawlus. There were airbrushed back lit pictures of him with heart breaking Rudy like stories of how his mother fixed a hang nail for him when he was ten. Even as a fan and an alum, it made me sick. Now NBC doesn’t seem to cover much. which brings the second problem with NBC. While ESPN is pimping the Big Ten and Pac Ten, NBC covers Notre Dame almost exclusively only when the game is on. ESPN’s coverage is negative probably because they want the advertising revenue that NBC gets and want another team in their college football bordello. NBC has made Notre Dame the odd man out. That may have had an effect on the type of recruit we get, as well as have affected the interest of college coaches.

    Can Notre Dame get an already proven coach, epsecially one that will win clean? Does anyone want a cheater like Pete Carroll? How about ex-Cocaines coaches, Butch Davis or Dennis Erikson. Gary Barnett looked great to everyone back in the late 90’s after success at Northwestern, ( Ara’s prior job to ND ). Look what he turned out to be. It’s tough with both the real and perceptual constraints.

    I say give Weis another year. I’d set his goal as needing to win at least 8 games AND the bowl game. I’d like to see 10 wins and a bowl win.

  2. I agree with you folks who said that Charlie Weis is not a good coach. To me, it is obvious that he gained his reputation on the coattails of Bill Belecheck, Bill Parcells, etc. For example, what coach would say that ” they didn’t realize THE SPEED OF THE GAME” (against GT) or “we’ll keep TRYING SOMETHING until it works” (regarding practices). If he was a good coach, as he has claimed, he would know the “speed of the game” and know what to do to improve week to week. ND football is not OJT. This team has NOT improved one iota since GT – it is pitiful and embarassing. You can’t tell me that GT, Purdue, Mich St, Boston College, Navy, or AF have better talent than ND – it’s the coaching! CW hasn’t called a good offensive game all year – and truth be known, most of the successful plays the previous two years were probably check-offs by Brady Quinn. Because of his ego, he has botched more play calls in three years than Ara or Lou did in their careers. He has no strategy, only ego. And as a result, has been out-coached in most (if not all) games. Does he have a signature win in three years? I’ll say it again – ND football is not OJT! In my opinion, Charlie and his entire staff should be fired at the end of the season. More importantly, AD Kevin White is the real problem. Remember, he not only hired CW (a Gerry Faust clone in the sense that he’s in over his head), but also Ty Willingham and botched the George Leary hiring. He should be fired along with CW – he’s the real reason ND football has been in a nosedive.

  3. I like Jason D’s suggestion about the line pushing cars. Even with the Mob quad, campus doesn’t have much road and South Bend doesn’t have too many good bars. Maybe they could push the coal form the coal piles behind campus.

  4. Chris R makes some good points, but we just went to back-to-back BCS bowls. That’s pretty impressive and we should not forget this. At the same time, I’ve been a die-hard fan since I started watching college football as like a five year-old. I’ve not seen this program experience these kind of challenges. It’s tough to see them struggle against Navy or Air Force.

    But, the flip side is that we have to be optimistic. We have a coach who goes to small towns from Pennsylvania to Montana to California to Louisiana, looking for the best talent that can succeed at ND. And, we’re landing some good recruits. Next year, we’ll be much better.

  5. I agree with some of what has been said above. My opinion is the offensive line woes are the biggest root of our problems. If they play better, our defense is on the field less, quarterbacks have more time to throw, running backs have more room to run, etc. etc.

    Every offensive lineman should have to spend the entire offseason pushing cars all around campus. In my playing days, that was how we got better. They could push students in cars all around campus. Maybe even do a public service thing – if you are out at a bar and you have too much to drink, call an ND lineman to come push your car safely back to your house.

    But seriously, the O Line needs to get tougher, stronger, faster, and above all…MEANER! I totally agree with Frankie V above – a number of times Jimmy has been hit late and no one on the O line got in the guys face. Where is the fire? I don’t advocate retaliation or fighting of any sort, but if someone hits your quarterback late or up around the head and you don’t get in the guys face something is wrong. Would a guy like Jeff Faine have allowed that to happen to any of his QB’s? I hope these guys really do the work to not only get better, but also to prepare mentally to do the things a top notch offensive line needs to do.

    GO IRISH!!

  6. Chris,
    Not sure who you are responding to, but “Crack and Kool Aid”? It is starting to sound like the talk Bob Gilleran got upset about, and more like some of the trailer trash you hear on the CBS posts.

    That aside, griping about a specific coach or player is useless at this point. The fact is the program is in a collective funk. One that it sounds like even the student body is distancing itself from if at least just starting to. Faust’s last year was my freshman year and even though everyone wanted him gone, there was still respect and support for the players. No booing.

    This program is beyond…. well beyond the point of criticizing one coach or player. There is a collective malaise that spanns at least 11 years, possibly back to the beginning of the NBC contract. It’s gotten critical with return to excellence not certain for the next five to ten years.

    I’d like to see Weis succeed, just as I wanted Willingham to succeed. But I think his task is now beyond just coaching and is in need of monumental leadership. He’ll need to show the vision of the forest while paying attention to the detail of every tree. He’ll need to lead the way while being humble enough to enlist the help of others, be they veteran coaches, or players. He’ll need to rally the support of the student body next year to create some positive energy. If he can do all that, they can get the program on solid footing. If not, then there will be a new coach after next year and potentially another wait while the program rebuilds.
    Can you all wait that long?

  7. Crack and Kool Aid all around for you folks if you think in a mere 4 months this program is back on track. ND has shown nothing in terms of improvement this year. What can Brown do for you? Nothing.

  8. Notre Dame football is in a bad way. At this point, it goes beyond any individual player or coach. That is not to say that changes need to be made at some point, but it’s a collective thing and it has taken on a life of it’s own. It’s almost like a cancer that has spread to the bloodstream and is no longer curable by a surgeon removing a tumor. It’s radiation and chemo time for the program and that means pain beyond the cancerous areas. Like our troops fighting Al Qaeda cells in Afganistan, innocents will get hurt at some point. Intense analogies, but somewhat appropriate for everyone here that is an intense Irish fan.

    So what does the program do? Getting this player or that player may or may not help. Firing Charlie or keeping Charlie may or may not help. All we as fans can do is keep cheering the team on and hoping. One thing is certain. This team will need a dose of positive psychology that includes swift kicks in the butt and substantial efforts to boost confidence ONCE they have actually achieved something. “Play like a Champion” needs to mean a true commitment to excellence, not just an advertisement for NBC’s version of Disneyworld Sports. This team will need to commit to one another down to the last man to that excellence. It starts with the head coach.

  9. One more note: IF there is any change that needs to be made from the coaching and administration, it comes from that idiot AD (and Weis manager) Kevin White. He is an arrogant guy who makes poor decisions year after year after year. Take dumping Bob Davie. He was a decent coach who graduated all his kids. Sure, he could have hit the recruiting trail harder toward the end, but he landed some decent kids over the years. White didn’t like that he got blown out against Michigan or USC. Now, we can’t compete with Air Force — after White signed Weis to a ten year deal. He’s an idiot.

    The only way we get better is we keep Charlie and we expect him to work like crazy. The blue-chip recruits are coming. If we can get some Offensive Line and defensive secondary coaching help, we can start to improve. But, Charlie will turn the program around.

  10. Well, I for one agree with one thing Frankie V states in his article, who the hell gave Asop Schwapp or whatever the hell his name is, a scholarship?? Criminetly, this guy has to be the absolute WORST fullback I have EVER seen. I mean how many mistakes do you have to make before we bring in Luke Schmidt and at least SEE what the kid can do. I gotta believe he can make better plays than Adolf. I guess it kinda goes along with why even attempt a game winning field goal inside the 30 with seconds remaining? I mean, why even give the kicker an opportunity to win the game? Hell, at least give him a chance Charlie, how do you know he can’t make it? And, if he can’t why the hell does he have a scholarship???

    Charlie and his play calling completely and absolutely baffle me. I really don’t think he has a clue about how emotion and college football go hand in hand. And when you use a trick play and when you don’t. He always seems to turn momentum against us.

    See, in the NFL we don’t run the option, and in the NFL we don’t play on emotion, and in the NFL we don’t run trick plays (unless the other guys do it) CHARLIE, THIS AIN’T THE FREAKIN NFL, DUDE.

    OH WELL, there is always next year! (my GOD, it sounds like the CUBS!)

  11. I have beeb a ND fan for over 40 years and this has got to be the toughest team to watch. I am beginning to question Weiss and his coaching staff on their play calling and decisions. The crazy thing is he is still getting verbal commitment from blue chip players, maybe not much longer. I would say Weiss has next season to get this thing on track. They just look terrible. And a 10 year contract, I would not give a 10 year contract to ANYONE!

  12. Coaching makes all the diference in the world. ND does not have a good, solid coaching staff and that’s sad. The best coach’s are all at other schools and would not even think of coming to ND. It shouldn’t be that way. After the debacle last year against LSU, you would think CW would realize what kind of defense ND has got to have to win a national title. You have to be FAST. CW’s play calling is horrible. In my opinion, it’s been bad for two years. I mean, it just doesn’t make sense most of the time. It’s as if CW has lost whatever offensive knowledge he had at New England. CW truly looks like an idiot. There are many other OC in college ball who make CW look really bad. CW had one nothing at this point to convince me he’s been worth the money. ND deserves what they get for rushing to sign CW up for the next 10 years or whatever it is and pay him all that money. How are they going to get out of that if need be? ND thought they were going to lose some great coach. Wow! What a joke. CW is not getting it. Compared to other top programs, CW’s staff is at the bottom. There is no way you can come back next year and think things are going to be different and have the same coach’s. That will not happen I promise you. At this rate, CW is putting ND on the same level as Rice, Vanderbilt, Baylor, etc. Do you guys realize ND couldn’t beat most Div. II teams this year. Something major has got to be done and it has to begin with CW. Otherwise, it will take many, many years, if ever, to get out of the pit ND is in now.

  13. I would just like to say a couple of things about the team that I have watched this year. Our kids do not want to win. It is more than obvious to me and should be to any Notre Dame fan. There is no heart out there at all except from a couple of players that really stand out to me who I will mention in a minute. There is no way that Air Force or Navy has better athletes than Notre Dame. There is no way that we should be so physically dominated on the O and D lines like we did. We outweighed their lineman by a bunch and they still got after us. This is called having heart and playing your guts out. Our guys are not doing that. If anyone thinks that Tom Zbikowski is playing hard this year, then they have not been watching the games closely. I have seen him miss more tackles than any of our db’s this year and this guy is supposed to have our “senior leadership” role. Same goes for John Sullivan. He is supposed to be the leader of our O line and what have we seen this year from him…about 5 snaps from shotgun over the qb’s head. Has anyone else noticed that we have not been running shotgun anymore?

    I really feel like these kids are not listening to our coaches anymore. Our coaching cannot be this bad. Sure, Charlie has done some things this year to make us scratch our heads. But, honestly, when you really think about it, our PLAYERS have not improved one bit. We need to stop blaming this on coaching. Our kids are getting physically beaten by smaller, less athletic players. That is not coaching. Charlie said all week that they spent time on protecting the qb from the weak side corner blitz. They practiced it over and over. Guess what, during the game, Air Force’s corners were running free and killing Jimmy. Our players did not execute what was taught to them all week. You cannot blame the coaches for this year’s overall perfomance.

    Lastly, I would like to talk about a couple of guys on our team that really stand out to me as being what is left of the heart and soul of this team. I would like to talk first about Armando Allen. This kid plays his heart out every play. Have you ever seen someone of his size run so hard to a hole and take the hits he does? He gets right back up and does it again with no fear. That is what we need on this team and he is one of the guys that is going to be a star. This kid should be our featured back for the next three years. You can tell he is a gamebreaker and needs to get the ball more.

    The next player I would like to talk about who does not get the credit he deserves and that is David Bruton. I am from Miamisburg, Ohio and my sister went to school with David. When we heard he was getting a scholarship to play at Notre Dame, we were really excited for him. We have watched him dominate on special teams for two years. This guy had more solo tackles on special teams than anybody for his first two years. Now, in his third year, he earned the starting free safety position. Guess what…David still plays full time on kickoff, punt return, punt team, on top of his free safety spot. If you have been watching all year, this kid is an allstar. He is still making a bunch of solo tackles on special teams. He is probably close to leading the team in tackles on defense. He has a couple of interceptions this year. This kid plays harder and has more heart than anyone on this team. Why he is not a captain is beyond me. These are the kind of players that we need on this team and until we get these kind of players who will put it on the line 100% of the time, we are going to be mediocre at best. I look forward to seeing what next years team brings to the table. Charlie needs to get these players back to “playing nasty” which was his first year’s motto.

  14. Okay, i am venting here, but Air Force just scored more points against us than Michigan. This is just so bad. I know, we’re not EVER supposed to criticize ND (because doing so is akin to saying Mary wasn’t a virgin or something). But, it’s embarrassing. I’m not blaming Charlie — only — but he has to get his kids back to a sense of basics. Block. Tackle. That’s really all we’re looking for. You can have all the five-star recruits you want, but if you can’t block and you can’t tackle, you can’t beat Navy, you can’t beat Air Force and you can’t beat Duke (let alone Michigan, USC and many others).

    Clausen looked better than he has all year — it’s just unfortunate that he was throwing to a bunch of guys that were more interested in playing video games than real games.

    I just want to make this point, too. We CANNOT FIRE CHARLIE WEIS. Simple. He’s gone to two BCS bowls in three years. He brought a lot of fire back to the program and there is no way we should dump him (And, we cannot make him offensive coordinator, either). He’s a good recruiter and has done a great job — aside from some circumstances this year. But, a lot happened between last year and this year. The athletes out there this year just aren’t as talented as those in the last couple of years. We’ve had quarterback problems and injuries and we’re pretty young, too.

    I agree we aren’t getting better. But, coaching changes don’t necessarily make you better. Ask Nebraska. Blocking and tackling make you better. Hopefully, we take what happened this year and we learn from it and make sure it NEVER happens again. And, that means, if you’re the coach, you make sure our Offensive Line is never this ineffective. If you’re the players, you make sure you catch passes thrown on the money to you — or you block or you tackle if your job is to block or tackle. And, if you’re the students: you show up and support your university when the players are out there — whether they’re playing Air Force and Navy or Michigan and Southern Cal.

    I don’t mean to lecture, but we’d be a lot worse off without Charlie.

  15. I became a Notre Dame fan in 1941 (I was five) as I grew up an Irish-Catholic kid in New York City. I have rooted for the Irish through thick and thin ever since but this year has been heartbreaking. It isn’t just the losing it’s the apparent lack of elan among the players. To me it seems that the problem is that they are not well-coached and, as element of the poor coaching, the players have become lackadaisical. Next year will be better, not because CW will get a little smarter or a lot less egotistical, but because except for three games the schedule is incredibly easy. Terry Brennan could win 8 games next year. Three questions? Why is everyone saying how good the new defensive coordinator is; what am I missing? In what homeless shelter did CW find the offensive line coach? Finally is there no one in South Bend willing to buy CW’s kid a grandstand ticket? Watching on TV I see more sideline pictures of that kid talking to his father than I do the QB.
    At least now Patriot fans know for certain that Tom Brady was and is a self-made man!

  16. the difference in this game was one man…chad hall…the last five or six games he’s been running wild and causing havoc all over the field..on some of the plays on saturday i saw him being used as a decoy and notre dame had 3 guys covering him on that one side…since when is notre dame afraid of a 5’8 180 lb. hb/wr…as for clausen this is the first game that he’s actually given notre dame fans a reason to look forward to the future without wanting to shoot themselves…now all we need is a couple wr’s to step up and seperate themselves from the pack. kamara could be that guy, but has to watch his grades, and next year nd’s 5 star commit mike floyd could be that player also…but when it comes down to it if our offensive line can’t control air force and navy, it doesn’t matter who the wr and the qb are…hopefully this team can finish the season with 2 wins, forget this year, and bring back notre dame football to where it should be next year. Go ND

  17. People were not calling for Weis’s job the past two years. I think that is one of the problems with being the head coach at ND. Even last year in the UCLA there was 2 old men sitting behind me and complained the entire game how ND was NOT a top 10 team. They were #7 at the time I think. They started complaining about how Quinn is not a Heisman contender and Charlie stinks at calling plays because “it seemed like the D knew what he was calling”. When Quinn hit Shark for the game winning TD they were yelling and screaming and tried to high five me and my brothers. I said to them (while not giving them a high five) all you guys did was complain about us standing the entire game and then bad mouthed the team. You guys shouldnt even be condsidered fans. Now, Im only 25 and just graduated 2 years ago from ND and have a lot of energy and support fo the team but most ND fans still live in all those glory years for ND which is fine with me but dont really understand how much the game has evolved and now even though the name “Notre Dame” is storied and respected it is very difficult to recruit when standards are so high for academics and the weather for most is not desired here. I think that we need to support our team even when they are down. I agree that it is painful to watch but Ive tailgated every game at 8am till kick off and went into every game. It was a lil tuffer this Saturday but I still went. I cheered even though I knew we were going to lose. I think Charlie is a good coach when he has the players that fit in his system. This year he just doesnt have those players. He calls plays sometimes as if Quinn and company are still playing. I dont get why Schwapp is even playing. The cant block nor catch nor carry the ball. He stink. Our wr cannot catch the ball and Golden Tate has seemed to disappear. Our D just sucks besides Trevor Laws. That man is a beast. Zibby just seems to slow and seems to shy more this year away from contact. Dont know why either. I think next year will be kinda ruff as well. Not nearly as bad as this year. Im guessing 7 wins and people still screaming for Charlies job. Charlie had two great years and one horrible year in this year. I’m going to give him sometime to develope his players he recruited before I start complaining like most of the other so-called fans that sit in ND stadium. I think on this site there are a lot of great ND supporters out there and wish that was the case in the game as well. I think we will see better days and hope for a W next week Vs. Duke. I hope the students show up this time cause they havent been exactly intimidating at all this year. Go ND

  18. Went to my first game in over 10 years and the place still gives me chills every time I am there, even if this year has been so bad. Its really just dissapointing to see how bad this season has turned out.

    Clausen I thought had a productive game and I thought he played well. Not his fault for the sacks, our O-line and backs STILL cant pick up a blitz 10 games into the season. Now were having trouble catching the ball!!! Grimes, Parris, and even now Carlson!! Clausen could of been like 30-40 instead of 22-40 and possibly a couple more TDs. At least I saw some positive out of Clausen, Aldridge, and Allen today. I think they are showing they could be good football players in the future.

    Defensive wise, Frank is right about John Ryan should be benched and Neal starting. The defense didnt play well again this week and Brown needs to figure out how to defend the option because that was 2 very pathetic showings the last 2 weeks.

    I was sitting behind the bench at the game and it just doenst seem like their is any passion from this bench. Its hard to tell if the heart is there by most of the players. I mean you play for the face of college football, NOTRE DAME, realize what that means and take pride in wearing that blue and gold every saturday. GO IRISH BEAT DUKE PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!

  19. what was said is totally true,, if we fire weis we would loose almost every player in this spectacular class. we have to do it after everyone has commited and bring in a new coach that knows how to work with the insane talent we have right here. For example, if armando allen was at florida, he probably would be on the heisman race right now, same with clausen, well thats a bit exaggerated but thay would be at least 20% better. I was reading a very interesting article and after reading it i studied the teams it talked about for the past 4 years and it said that there are 9 schools right now on the top 25 that for the past 3 or four years have recruited below notre dame´s level, South Carolina, Colorado, Boise state, Oklahoma state, Kansas, Hawaii, South florida, to name a few. other have recruited arguably at the same level and are in the top 40, such as michigan state, purdue, much other, heck even navy and airforce are considerably better than ND and their players dont even get offered by 1-A school, how can this be explained, simple: Bad coaching. Please dont tell me that grimes is not better than reggie campbell, the 5-7 175 pound back from navy, dont tell me that aldridge is not better thatn him, dont tell me that ar,ando allen is not better than him, dont tell me that tate and kamara or parris are not better than vhad hall, i mean the guy is 5-7 180 and wasnt recruited but u know some thing thsi guy has a heart and that is what ND is lacking.

  20. Everything said is true but let me give you some key pointshere,, we cant fire charlie wies just now because half of the recruiting class assembled will probably decommit. What we should do is offer wies staying but as the offensive coordinator,, he sucks for head coach, john latina has got to go, for christ´s sakes, his oline are a bunch of pussies. asaph shwapph really sucks,, i mean i dont care if he bech presses like 400 pounds, he doesnt know how to block for shit and he got manhandled a leats 6 times by guys half his size. Bottom line is, we have too much talent on the field right now to be wasting it with coach wies but he does deserve some almost all the credit for assembling it,,, if we could get a new coach and keep him as the offensive coordinator it would be heaven but, i dont think he would stay because he is too arrogant, part of the reason we loose every time.

  21. Well said, Matt. I was at the Navy game last week and had to do a double-take in my own head when I got excited (!) that we were staying even with Navy, score for score. You find yourself tuning in each week hoping to see any signs of competence or heart, but some away empty each week. We should have beat Navy – had every opportunity – but it seemed like Navy just wanted it more. That Navy blitzer jumping over Allen to sack Sharpley on 4th down at the end of regulation is the symbol of our season to me. (That, or scuffing our first offensive snap vs. Michigan where Sullivan sailed it over Allen’s head…)

    I think Latina has to go as O-line coach. He just doesn’t seem to be effective at instilling “nasty”-ness or smarts and the O-line has taken several steps backwards this season. Even if the guy is great, they need to get someone who can just beat to stuffing out of that unit in spring ball and find 5 players who’d rather die than miss an assignment.

  22. Getting (!?!) tough to watch!?! PAINFUL is a better word! If CB is such a good defensive coordinator, how can AF and Navy just punish that defense for about as many points as Michigan, USC, etc…..they are NOT getting ANY better. Where is the agreesion on defense – “painful” is defined in the last two weeks as watching ND corners and safeties backing off of teh option as it comes their way. On only ONE occasion, when Walls pressured teh pitch man against Navy did I see agression from the outside. I know my only experience is from high school where we ran the tirple option to a chamionship – the one thing that can kill the option is penetration into the backfield – not a lot of that gong on the last two weeks.

    Why is John Ryan on the field? He acts like he doesn’t want to get sweaty or get his uniform dirty. If there isn’t anything better on the sideline….whew!

    Zibby – where have you gone? Trying to avoid getting hurt before teh combine and the draft?

    Note to Brockington – celebrating a big hit loses it’s effect if it’s after an 8 yard gain on first and 10.

    Doesn’t the embarrassment of getting your a$$ handed to you by Navy and Air Force make you want to play hard for nothing else than self respect?

    I hope I never get excited when ND comes back to tie the score at 10 against Air Force, or when ND is going for 2 in the third overtime against Navy – ever, ever again. They shodl never have to ‘come back’ against Air Force and shodl never, ever be in OT against Navy.

    There…..I feel better now…..and at least tOSU lost.

  23. I hope within the program they can keep it together. It’s got to be tough to hang in and all the hype, while a distraction when things are going well, is a real burden when the chips are down. I hope the coaches and the kids can just boil it down to them and only them and pull together.

    Because right now, it looks like a collection of individuals out there, not a team. Psychologically these guys, including the coaches are in a deep funk. I’d give Charlie credit if he hired Holtz to come in during the off season and get the team motivated and believing. Otherwise, it might be years before this team consistently competes. Hopefully they can have an offseason like the one between the 1987 and 1988 teams. That offseason was exactly where the National Championship team earned it.

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