Initial Impressions – Navy at Notre Dame

Notre Dame lost to Navy for the 2nd time in 3 years after beating them 43 consecutive years from 1964 to 2006.

Here are my initial impressions from the aftermath of yesterday’s loss to Navy.  My apologies for posting these late, but I would have worn out the $#%?!@ keys last night if I would have posted them right after the game.

  • From 1964-2006 Notre Dame was 43-0 against Navy. From 2007-2009 Notre Dame is 1-2 against Navy. Sorry, but the only words to come to my mind when looking at that stats are unacceptable, embarrassing, and ridiculous.
  • Where was Golden Tate in the game plan in the first half? With the offense sputtering and turning the ball over Tate had 1 catch and 1 running attempt in the first 30 minutes. In the second half Tate was his normal unstoppable self. The question is why wasn’t he featured in the game plan with no one on Navy being close to as fast or athletic as him?
  • I try not to get on the play calling too much but come on Charlie, a toss to your 240 lb running back at the 2 yard line? Again, it’s pretty embarrassing when you can’t score from the 2 yard line with 4 attempts against a team whose defensive line your offensive line dewarfs.
  • Sticking on the play calling, why on earth were so many fades called for Michael Floyd? He was making his return from a broken collarbone that he suffered on a fade route against Michigan State. With all of the offense weapons at Notre Dame’s disposal, seeing the fade called for Floyd so soon after the injury was highly questionable.
  • Speaking of Michael Floyd though, it was great seeing him back and catching 10 passes for 141 yards and a touchdown.
  • I loved the Jon Tenuta hire when it was made, but it looks like it might have been the biggest swing and miss hire by Weis. Tentua’s defensive game plan, if it could be called a game plan, was horrible. No adjustments seemed to be made to the full back dive play that killed the Notre Dame defense all game.
  • Why weren’t more defensive linemen rotated into the game? Navy just worse down the defensive line throughout the game with substitutions few and far between.
  • Ian Williams did play a pretty damn good game though considering how much he was out on the field. He was one the only defensive lineman to get a consistent push in the middle. Still can’t figure out why Kapron Lewis-Moore moved inside this week though. He was over powered multiple times. Where was Ethan Johnson??
  • Considering Notre Dame plays Navy every year, it seemed as though entirely too many players who looked as though they didn’t know what their assignments were. Ricky Dobbs was hit by multiple defenders on numerous occasions with no one covering the pitch back. Teams with mobile quarterbacks and spread/option offenses have simply torched the Notre Dame defense.
  • Tough to get too upset with Nick Tausch’s missed 42 yarder since that is no gimme and he did hit a Notre Dame record 15 straight before that, but the missed 30 yarder was pretty bad. Hopefully the misses don’t mess with his confidence too much because he was looking to be the closest thing to a sure thing as Notre Dame’s had in a while at place kicker.
  • Can’t remember the last time I saw a team lose a game without having to punt.
    The offensive line did an OK job all day, but how did they let Navy’s undersized DL sack Clausen twice in the final minute to get Navy the safety? Duncan was just run by on the sack that proved to be the game winner. Those two sacks were the only two sacks Navy had all game.
  • Where did Theo Riddick go? Riddick looked like the best Notre Dame running back I’ve seen all year in the second quarter but then disappeared. Riddick was making Navy defenders miss and showed some great speed only to stand on the sidelines till the end of the game. Riddick looked great in the open field on the check down pass on Notre Dame’s final drive too.
  • Robert Hughes followed up his great game against Washington State with a clunker yesterday. He looked slow and indecisive when running the ball. He went away from being the 240 lb back that could run through people and Navy bottled him up. Another reason why I can’t understand why we didn’t see more of Riddick.
  • Remember when Notre Dame had one of the best tight ends in the country? I do. Unfortunately I don’t remember the last time he was actually featured in the game plan.
  • Red zone offense was atrocious. Notre Dame left 21 points on the field with the failed fourth down attempt, the Clausen fumble at the one, and the interception off Floyd’s back. Tack on 3 more points on the missed 30 yard field goal and that’s 24 points Notre Dame left on the field. They get those points and Charlie Weis’s seat isn’t a blazing inferno today.
  • Speaking of Charlie Weis’s job status, there’s really no way around the questions surrounding his future right now. With a roster full of NFL caliber players, losing to Navy for a second time in three years is really just unacceptable. The loss puts Weis’s record against yearly opponents at USC (0-5), Michigan (2-3), Michigan State (2-3), Purdue (4-1), Navy (3-2), Stanford (4-0) for a total of 15-14.
  • This is really beyond disappointing. It really is much worse than that. Fans can talk about Navy’s record and how good their defense is or whatever, but to anyone trying to justify this loss, ask yourself this question. What does it say about the state of the program when losses to Navy need to be justified?

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216 comments

  1. poz 10 years ago

    Jeff,
    I appreciate your optimism, I too wanted a terrfic season and that CW would figure it out and bring stability to the program. But 18 year old kids are very resilient and they will jump on board with the new coach. I find it hard to believe that if Gruden is named coach all 18 commitments wil not stay, heck they might get even more to show up. Gruden is dynamimc, he was the HC of a Super Bowl winning team etc. If it isn’t Gruden then Brian Kelly or whomever will create optimism about the future and on we go.

    Remember, Brady Quinn was real upset that Ty was let go. Now he is best friends with CW. Young men just need somebody to lead them. Honestly, I think the firing should happen today. Get on with it, rip the band aid off and end the speculation. The unknown is our greatest risk with recruiting. Every kid in the country is being told by other coaches, “Why would you want to go there, the coach probably will not last another year.”

    End the speculation! Place an interim tag on Corwin and get the feelers out now. Heck, you could begin negotiations with Gruden right now and find out if he is interested. Remember, UF hired Urban before his New Years Day bowl game.

    I love the Irish, but I don’t want to watch another year of this. At least with a new coach we don’t have to hear after every loss about the future of the program. 5 years is a long time to prove yourself. There is no evidence this will get better.

    I know the schedule looks easier on paper next year, but that is what we thought this year. Other than Nevada and WSU, we handled nobody. Every game came down to the last minute. You can’t win all those games forever.

    The CW era is over. I thank him for recruiting his a$$ off and the passion he brought to the job. I wish his staff the best of luck in landing on their feet, but ND is bigger than one man. This is a program on the brink, we are at a crossroads. The big tough decisions need to be made.

    Go IRISH!!!

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  2. Jeff 10 years ago

    Sure, I’m not the happiest guy in the world with Weis either. But did Weis cause Clausen to fumble at the 2-yard line? Did Weis cause Michael Floyd to have the ball bounce off his back and get picked? Did Weis cause the two missed field goals after ND’s kicker had made 14 straight? And, for the record, Navy did NOT play better in the second half. It’s laughable to say Weis and ND made no adjusements.

    But let’s say ND does fire Weis. What then?

    If Clausen and Tate stay they’ll be seniors, as will Allen. Michael Floyd and Kyle Rudolph will be juniors; Riddick is developing nicely; Te’o is becoming a monster; ND now finally has a decent kicker, in spite of what happened in the Navy game; the defense is also improving steadily. There is still a LOT to be happy about, in spite of the disappointments of this season.

    Weis is also getting the recruits!

    Sure, the defense still has a long way to go.

    But did any of you believe that 2009 was going to be the year with this group?

    Even before this year, how many of you were looking at 2010 as THE YEAR for this group to recognize their potential?

    GIVE WEIS ONE MORE YEAR.

    ND has a cake schedule next year. If Weis can’t win 10 games with this group next year then send him packing. But it would be damn stupid to cut him loose now.

    It would make more sense to let Weis stay to keep recruits coming in, fire Tenuta and give Weis one more shot to put together a great BCS season.

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    1. teo 10 years ago

      Jeff

      I think you make some good points. Amazingly, Weis is getting great recruits. And, if we can him at year’s end, a lot of those good recruits are outta here.

      BUT, Weis needs to get the ship going in the right direction. I mean, we lost to Navy, for crying out loud. And, other than BC, we haven’t really beaten anyone even remotely close to a decent squad. Sorry, Michigan State (and Washington State) fans.

      So, yes, the recruits are coming. That is about the only reason to keep Weis, as far as I can tell. Sure, we’re throwing the ball and it’s exciting to watch Clausen, but we need wins. Period. The schedule lined up really well for us this year and at 6-3, I can see us finishing 7-5 (or even 6-6). And, if that happens, I don’t think you’d argue for keeping Weis. Maybe I am wrong.

      The bottom line is that our game-time coaching hasn’t been good this year. We haven’t done enough.

      I don’t like the idea of canning Charlie mid season. But I do think the five-year plan is okay. And, if at the five-year point, we’re still not winning games, I think it’s okay to make a coaching change.

      I think most of the people on this board believed we would win ten games this year. Yes. We have better players than ten of the teams on our schedule. And, why we aren’t winning the games is something I cannot understand.

      Would another coach do better? It depends on the coach. if it’s Gerry Faust, I would say, “No.” If it’s Brian Kelley, I would say, “Yes.” If I had any confidence in the administration, I would say that a coaching change is necessary if we’re 7-5 or 6-6. I don’t have much confidence, given our recent hirings, though, and since Weis is bringing in recruits, it may be that we have to wait a bit longer.

      We’ll see how Pitt and Connecticut and Stanford shake out. I think we have better players than all three teams, but I could be wrong.

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  3. IrishFan 10 years ago

    Did anyone else notice that it’s the same 5-6 guys commenting on this page? 194 comments let’s settle down a little everyone…oops ,everyone, i mean those five or six people

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    1. Tom 10 years ago

      Why? Does this bother you?

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    2. Shazamrock 10 years ago

      Who elected you hall monitor?
      You are allowed to have your say, your views and your opinions same as everyong else. Even jackhole Angry Eagle got to have his say.
      No one here is stopping you.
      What’s wrong with a 194 comments? Would you prefer ZERO?
      I wouldn’t call someone out just because I my self, have nothing of intrest in which to post.

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    3. JRM 10 years ago

      Irishfan: What is with your hostility? You either need new glasses or need a math remedial class.

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    4. JDH 10 years ago

      Settle yourself down and bugger off. We couldn’t give 2 shits if you think we should “settle down”. And what in God’s name does “5-6 guys commenting” have to do with anything? If you’re not getting enough diversity of opinion then leave.

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      1. IrishFan 10 years ago

        How did you guys even know I was talking about you??? I could care less what the hell you say. Get a life and stop hitting refresh to see if there is any new comments. I just thought it was funny that 5 or 6 people can make over 200 comments. Now when your done reading this…hit refresh

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      2. JDH 10 years ago

        How did we know you weren’t? Either address people specifically or don’t be suprised when that happens. You used used the term “the same 5 or 6 guys”. Frankly, we don’t really care which guys/gals precisely whom you were speaking of. There are “regulars” here, if you will. And when we don’t know you, you need to tread lightly. Don’t like it? Then piss off.

        If you have intelligent and/or humorous comments that pertain to ND football, then we welcome you to stay with us. Up to you sweetheart.

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    5. Shazamrock 10 years ago

      JDH,

      Do I sence a little “C-Dog”
      in you these days?
      Is he rubbing off on you? (No pun intended)

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      1. JDH 10 years ago

        Haha- maybe Shazam! I am a little bit surly these days.

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  4. JRM 10 years ago

    I did. Read carefuly. Thanks for caring

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  5. ted 10 years ago

    anyone see that quinn is making a start on monday night? i have yet to see him play a pro game and am interested. i wish him the best, but the browns are a complete train-wreck right now…

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    1. Shazamrock 10 years ago

      ted,
      He won the starting job in training camp to open the season. He played a few games. It wasn’t pretty.He then got pulled in favor of Derek Anderson. Nether has been very productive. It’s his turn to try agian, but he doesn’t have much of a supporting crew. I think the QB who makes the fewest mistakes will win the job. I think he would do well with a change of scenery.

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  6. DublinOHIrish 10 years ago

    JRM – Good research! That stat sheet makes physically ill. Beyond the numbers, I have to add a couple of comments to that analysis:

    1) Charlie Weis owes a great deal to Brady Quinn, Jeff Samardzija and Tom Zbikowski for overachieving and taking him to 2 BCS games. With Quinn, he was a hardworker, very intelligent to pick up Weis’ playbook and athletic enough to make it happen.

    2) Can anyone honestly say, regardless of how smart he may be or how many rings he has, does Charlie Weis LOOK like a leader to you? What would you say about him if you saw him walking down the street? At least Davie and Willingham pass this test.

    3) Why did ND administration think after hiring Davie who was never a head coach, hiring Ty Willingham who was never a PROVEN head coach, we should hire a guy who has not only never been a head coach, NEVER coached collegiate football??

    4) I think it really says it all that after everything we’ve seen from Charlie in the past 4.5 years, his comments said it all. “My team knows that I coach the same way every week.” HUH?? WHAT?? Problem maybe??

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    1. Shazamrock 10 years ago

      Dublin,

      It seemed like Brady Quinn & Co played with an air of confedence that sometimes seems to be missing from this current team.

      I watch other coaches give media interviews. Meyer, Carroll, Tressell, Saban, ect.. Some of these guys wear a tie, others a nice polo shirt. Their posture is such that they sit up streight with their hands folded before them as they speak.
      Now think of CW giving a interview. He is useually slouched back in his chair, wearing a hoodie or sweatshirt
      and fiddling with a bottle water or some such thing, not always making eye contact and always smerking.

      The ND administration has been our own worst enemy when it comes to hiring football coaches. Unable to secure top quality coaches in advance of a firing they leave the door open for disaster. They were a day late and a dollar short in Urban Meyer.Or they are used to “up the annti” with coaches who have no real desire to coach here. Then they are left to scramble to fill the void, offten settling for a second or third choice.

      And lastly the “I coach the same way every week”. He had to know the struggles of his defence. Perhaps if he had done some “hands on work”. I know,he an offensive coach. But he is also a head coach.
      Spending some extra time with the defensive team, even if it was just to motivate or instill some extra confedence may have made a difference

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    2. palk21 10 years ago

      Yeah, I love Charlie’s comment, “My team knows I coach the same way every week.” He defined the word “insanity” in terms of college football–coaching the same way over and over and over expecting different results. Guess what?? It ain’t working, which causes “insanity” with all the beloved Notre Dame fans.

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  7. JDH 10 years ago

    No I didn’t see- what did he say?

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  8. DocBinge79 10 years ago

    Anybody bother to read what Golden Tate had to say about the situation yesterday? Then again, what does he know? He’s just one of the best palyers ever to wear a uniforn for our team as opposed to all you experts out there.

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    1. Bill Meehan 10 years ago

      any chance you could Link us to these comments?

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      1. Bill Meehan 10 years ago
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      2. DocBinge79 10 years ago

        Thanks for checking in to this, Bill. I enjoy reading your posts and don’t lump you with the majority of the bloggers here, especially since you see the big picture. We are on the cusp of the best recruiting year ever, the defense leadership seems to be odds with each other, and the players lost the games, not the coaches. The players recognize that (except for one that got his words twisted around).

        Anyway, here’s what one writer said that included Tate’s comments which show what kind of man he is:

        Junior receiver Golden Tate said he does not think about his coach’s future, but he has at least thought about it enough to be annoyed.

        “I don’t think about that. As far as I’m concerned, he’s doing a great job with us this year. He didn’t lose the game; the players lost the game. We had great scheme, we just didn’t capitalize when we needed to,” said Tate. “In some ways, I don’t even think it’s fair how they put him in the hot seat. He didn’t play the game, we had a bunch of key turnovers and we were in the red zone many times. At that point, we’ve got to make plays.”

        Tate added that he does not really worry about it, but did say that he would have his coach’s back.

        “My mentality is that I know Coach Weis will go to bat for me any day of the week under any circumstances. It’s to the point where I’ll do the same for him,” said Tate. “I don’t think you can blame him on the loss. I think we’ve all got to take accountability, the players, the coaches, everyone in this building.”

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    2. JDH 10 years ago

      Tate is indeed one of the best players to ever where the ND jersey. However, you are putting WAAAY too much into his comments. What’s his alternative? You think he is going to publicly criticize his head coach? Do you think any of our players would do that?

      This article is hardly the trump card you think it is.

      As a former D1 athlete, I can tell you most of my team HATED our head coach. He was incompetent in a variety of ways. Would we have ever said this publicly? Of course not!

      This article proves nothing.

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  9. JRM 10 years ago

    The Weis Fact Sheet
    posted by The Rock

    Regretfully, we’re assembling another fact sheet. Something we could have easily done a year ago, but we waited until the end was beyond doubt. Please email us with any factual errors.

    Under .500 over the last 3 seasons
    Against teams with winning records: Weis 8-19 (.296) Faust 12-23 (.343) Willingham 12-15 (.444) Davie 18-22 (.450)
    0 wins against teams finishing in the top 10 of any of the major polls.
    0 wins over a team with less than 4 losses
    1 (1-13) win against teams finishing in the Top 25
    Worst two year stretch in Notre Dame history (10-15)
    First coach to lose to Navy since 1963 (twice)
    First time in 73 years (the first year of polling) that an unranked Navy team defeated a ranked Notre Dame team
    Worst loss to a service academy in 44 years (blown out by Air Force)
    First coach in Notre Dame history to lose to an eight-loss team (Syracuse 2008)
    0-5 against USC
    Average margin of defeat against USC: 19.8 ppg
    The worst loss to any SC team (38 points largest margin of victory in the 79-game history of rivalry)
    Losing records to Boston College: 1-2, Michigan: 2-3 and Michigan State: 2-3
    Losses by 20 points or more: 8
    More shutout losses: 3 (Boston College, USC, Michigan) in four years than Notre Dame had from 1965-2001
    First 9-loss season in school history
    First 0-4 start ever
    First 0-5 start ever
    Has lost to more teams that finished outside the top 50 (MSU 2007, Purdue 2007, GT 2007, Navy 2007, Syracuse 2008) than Willingham, Davie and Faust… combined (5-4)
    Last overall offense in the country in 2007
    Last overall in yards per play in 2007
    Last overall in yards per game in 2007
    Lowest average yardage in the history of Notre Dame football in 2007
    Worst rushing team in ND history in 2007
    Lost to Navy, USC and Michigan in the same year… twice
    Set an NCAA record (58) for most sacks allowed in a season in 2007
    Notre Dame finished 90th in the country in the 2007 Sagarin ratings… below Richmond, North Dakota State, Delaware, Navy, Florida Atlantic, James Madison and Wofford.
    3-16 record since 2007 against teams that finished with a winning record
    Only coach in ND history to coach for five years and not score 50 points in a game (56 other teams topped 50 points during Weis’s tenure)
    Weis has given up 40+ points in a loss 6 times, 30+ in a loss 19 times
    Currently has the 84th ranked defense in the country
    Will miss the BCS three straight years
    No BCS wins in five years of coaching

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    1. IrishFan 10 years ago

      If you are going to copy and paste something make sure you give the source.

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  10. Senior 10 years ago

    Sorry folks, I just came out of my lost to Navy again induced comma.

    I expected to turn on the news or jump online to find out who was named as the new head coach. Just before the lights went out I had the usual suspects flashing through my mind like Brian Kelly and Jon Gruden. When I woke up it hit me, Bill Cowher is the perfect guy for the job. He is pure fire and energy, understands the concept of winning with defense and ball control, and he has also displayed the ability to win in hostile environments against really good teams. He is the polar opposite of CW, which is exactly the direction we need to go.

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  11. dallas 10 years ago
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    1. Bill Meehan 10 years ago

      I hate online petitions. They’re completely worthless in my opinion.

      I also hate petitions directed at an individual. It’s not cool to protest a person.

      I really hate petitions calling for that individual’s Job.

      But I really really despise online petitions where people use the comments to make personal attacks on someone because you don’t like them as a coach.

      If you’re going to to make a petition you should try going in a different direction. Like asking the AD or board of Directors to please review the current direction of the Football program.

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  12. Frank V. Sr 10 years ago

    I hope Charlie has Bellichecks number on speed dial. He will need it.

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    1. Shazamrock 10 years ago

      Screw CW. He had his chance. He had second chances. He was given more slack than his 2 predecessors, that’s for sure.
      I like the guy, but his time at ND produced nothing of significance.
      All I can say is if ND chooses to go with a new head coach, they had better not wiff this time.

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