Initial Impressions – Notre Dame 24, Purdue 21

Jimmy Clausen led the Irish offense on a game winning, 4th quarter drive for the second time in as many weeks Saturday in Notre Dame's 24-21 victory over Purdue.

Jimmy Clausen came off the bench to lead Notre Dame to its second fourth quarter comeback in as many weeks Saturday night with a 24-21 victory over the Boilermakers.  The Irish didn’t have the services of Armando Allen and had Clausen for a little less than half the game, but were able to make a clutch drive at the end to improve to 3-1 on the season.

Here are some notes and my initial impressions from Notre Dame’s latest heart stopping finish.

  • A win is a win.  I would have liked to see Notre Dame score a couple touchdowns in the third quarter to put the game away, but anytime you win on the road without the best wide receiver in college football and your starting running back and have a starting quarterback playing with a bad plant foot, you can’t complain too much.
  • Very gutty performance from Clausen.  He was obviously hurting and Weis didn’t plan on playing him in the second half, but he came in and lead the game winning drive for the second week in a row.  His stats weren’t as pretty as they were the past few weeks, but were still pretty good considering he only played two quarters.
  • I would have liked to see Charlie Weis let Dayne Crist throw the ball more.  Once Purdue realized that Crist was only going to pass if forced to, they loaded the box and shut down what was a really impressive running game in the first half.  If Crist is needed again next week, Weis is going to have to open up the offense a little more.
  • I also would have liked to see Kyle Rudolph be more involved in the game plan.  I can’t for the life of me figure out why he isn’t getting targeted more this season.  He’s a huge target and as he showed on his game winning touchdown, he is very tough for anyone to cover one on one.
  • That said, I thought the game plan to use the wildcat and Golden Tate in the backfield with Crist was pretty smart from Weis.  Tate’s a playmaker and he showed he can make some plays out of the backfield.
  • Crist looked pretty good considering this was his first playing time, but it’s clear that Weis isn’t comfortable letting him run the full playbook.  It would have been nice to see Crist connect with Golden Tate on the long bomb in the 4th quarter  for what it would have done to his confidence.
  • Defense missed a couple opportunities for big plays again.  Robert Blanton and Kyle McCarthy both had chances for pick sixes that they couldn’t come up with.  McCarthy’s was at the goal line when he did an excellent job of recognizing the route and jumping up.  He was just a shade late though and what could have been a pick six turned into a touchdown for Purdue.
  • Purdue ran the ball for just 74 yards on 26 attempts.  That’s a 2.8 yards per rush average.  That number is skewed a little by the 18 yards Purdue lost on sacks but that’s just 92 yards on 24.  Purdue was running the ball pretty well over the first three games so this is at least a little encouraging.
  • I didn’t understand why Weis went for it on 4th and 10 in the 4th quarter.  He was playing very conservatively up to that point and hardly let Crist throw before that.
  • The defense played better, but still not great.  A couple players that caught me while watching the game where Kapron Lewis-Moore, Darius Fleming, Manti Te’o, Gary Gray, and Ian Williams.
  • Fleming especially had a big game.  Three tackles for loss and a sack.
  • I’ll have to rewatch the game to see just how often the Irish blitzed, but it seemed like a very conservative game plan from the defense in terms of the volume of blitzes.  Sure enough, reducing the number of blitzes also seemed to make the blitzes Tenuta did send more effective.
  • I LOVED seeing Tenuta send a blitz on Purdue’s first play on their final drive.  I hate the prevent defense and liked seeing Notre Dame send pressure in that situation so Purdue’s receivers couldn’t get too far into their routes.
  • Tough game for Toryan Smith.  He collected only two tackles and was targeted on several passing plays by Purdue.  His lack of coverage skills are going to be noticed by opposing offenses.
  • Tackling in general wasn’t strong again this week.  After four weeks in a row of poor tackling, it might be safe to assume that it’s going to be an issue throughout the season.
  • Robby Parris picked a great time to make his first catch of the game with his 15 yarder on 3rd and 14 on the final drive of the game.  I wouldn’t mind seeing a little more of him.
  • Robert Hughes ran very hard and looked pretty fast.  This was easily his best game since the 2007 Stanford game.  Overall Notre Dame ran the ball pretty well.  Without the sack yardage, Notre Dame gained 188 yards on 39 attempts.
  • Also a tough game for Duval Kamara who dropped two passes and got flagged for two illegal formation penalties.
  • Nice returns from Theo Riddick once again.  Would have like to see him break his long return to the outside and not get tackled by the kicker, but I think it might only be a matter of time before he breaks one for a TD.  Riddick busted a 24 yard run and threw the critical block on Golden Tate’s touchdown run.  Very impressed with Riddick so far.
  • Nice to see Darrin Walls come up with his first pick of the season.  I know some might have liked him to just bat the ball away, but I’m glad he secured the ball and didn’t give Purdue any chances to come up with some sort of crazy catch off of a deflection.
  • Eric Maust struggled again this week.  Weis said they would make decisions by the bye week as to what they were doing with redshirts, so I think we’ll know soon enough if Ben Turk is going to get a look at punter this year.  Maust did have his best punt on his last attempt though.
  • Nick Tausch is getting better each week on kickoffs.  When was the last time Notre Dame had a kickoff reach the endzone at the start of a critical defensive drive?
  • Did Danny Hope really call time out with 36 seconds left?  I don’t know what shocked me more, the timeout or Notre Dame calling for a spike.  A spike with 36 seconds left???  Even if Notre Dame used the entire play clock in that situation they would have gotten the play off with 25 seconds left and had plenty of time to run the play and still get a 4th down play off.  I’m going to hope that they were going to run a fake spike play there and Weis just didn’t want to admit to it for future games.
  • Great game from the offensive line, but Sam Young had a couple critical mistakes in the 4th quarter again.  He let a Purdue blitzer get to Clausen untouched while double teaming a different pass rusher on 2nd and 7 and then committed a holding penalty on the next play that was declined.
  • I loved seeing Trevor Robinson get in the face of the Purdue defender that taunted Clausen after he was stopped on 3rd down in the first quarter.  That’s the kind of attitude the offensive line has been largely missing over the last few years.

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  1. Playing Crist is the absolute right call…he is our starter in less then 2 years, he needs the experience and he is a very talented QB (some say he has more gifts than JC- only time will tell). Crist will be a nightmare for other teams to scheme for because he can throw, he is smart…and boy can he run- he is over 220 and will lower his head! Also, he thew the ball well…however DK drop’d the ball….

  2. A person who “claims” to be a fan for 40 yrs but jumps at the word boo, never was a fan. Although there were some good points brought up about our lack of offense in the 2nd half this entire year. We dominate and look great in the first half and then we check out or something until we need to play again. We need to put points on the board in the 2nd half too, this year we just haven’t done it…Nevada- 7 pts; Mich- 14 pts; MSU- 17 pts.; Purdue- 7 pts. The only exception is the MSU game, but all the others we had a lead, we were moving the ball, and then we just play conservative football. I’m not a fan of beating a team by 50 pts when there’s no need, but other than Nevada, we needed to come out with some fire in the 2nd half of each of the other games and we flat out didn’t show up until we needed to. This shows me that we have the talent to play with better teams, but someone has to address our lack of 2nd half production. What’s funny though…the one time Ol’ Charlie should’ve been conservative was when we had a 3 pt lead on Michigan and we throw a 40 yd bomb down the sideline??? I will, for the life of me, NEVER understand the sequence of events that led to our loss. This is NOT 1988, but even in 1888 there were 2 halves of football and the Irish need to play hard in both of them and we could see a 10 or 11 win team very easily.

  3. Charlie did right by playing Crist. 5 less yards on the pass to Golden Tate and everyone would be on the Dayne bandwagon instead of questioning his play. A lot of highlights on Theo’s block on the Golden touchdown run, but he doesn’t make the end zone without Dayne’s block. His size speed, speed and athleticism are very similar to another number 10 at Notre Dame. Joe Tiller was right in his assesment of the situation as well. 14 points in the 1st half with him at the helm can not be overlooked. The normal offense was not working – we needed to switch to the run.

  4. I think it was a good win. Purdue got ND in a ESPN televised home night game.
    The home town fans were pretty whipped up by kick off time. ND’s top running back and wide reciever were both out. Claussen was limited in what he could do and only practiced a day and a half last week. They held one of the top rushing attacks in the country to 74 yards.
    If you can beat Purdue in West Lafyaette, in a televised night game, without your major play maker’s, in a last minute drive, with a come from behind win, that’s a big time statement!. If you can do that on the road, and hurt, just think what can be done when the team is 100%.

  5. Why is Crist even in the game when you have Evan Sharpley on the side lines? I have not seen Crist play until Saturday night and he may some day be a fine QB for the Irish but right now we need to win games. Put him in when the game is out of reach to gain some experience but not in this situation. Sharpley can run the same offense as Clausen so Weis would not have to have two different game plans.

  6. The thing though is that it was not a good win. if we can only beat purdue by 3 points, how can we compete with usc and others. i agree, this isnt 1988 teams are stronger than they once were, but Purdue and MSU are not those teams that fit into that category. I think if ND can come out and handly beat UDUb that would be a huge statement win for the players and the nation.

  7. I agree, if you are no longer an nd fan because of the coach or because they have been down for a couple years(decade(s)), then you were never a fan to begin with.
    this was a good w.
    i liked how our d actually looked decent when not blitzing EVERY down.
    our running game was solid.
    with a healthy jimmy and some play action, we would have won this game 41-14.
    but jc got injured and you have to roll with the punches. look to usc and ok for what happens when your starting q gets injured.
    i dont like to hate on college kids, but kamara’s confidence is done. unless there is another way to get him involved, he is not going to be productive as a receiver. at least he is getting a good education!
    i’m making an assumption that parris is not the fastest guy on the field, but he should be our slot, possession guy and one of the frosh needs to step up to play wide out
    i like what i see and hopt jc is healthy next week

  8. Man, some of you guys/gals need to suck it up and stop bitching about CW. We are 3-1 right now … a win is a win, so roll with it. Gosh, some of you here complain worse than a bunch of girls on their periods. (No offense.)

    Just being honest.

    God bless,

  9. all i know after a win like this is that a holtz team or rockne team would be sick after a win like this. i want a coach who gets angry after a win like this, not happy. ND plays down to worse teams levels and therefore almost lose to MSU and purdue. they have to talented of a team for squeaking out mediocre wins like this. USC will embarrass them if they ever play like this again. STOP CELEBRATING AND ASK WHY IS ND ONLY BEATING MSU AND PURDUE BY 3 POINTS EACH!
    GO IRISH!!!!

    1. This isnt 1988, every team is competitive just ask most of the top 25 teams this weekend, did you see any of the upsets?

  10. All I know is that the holtz and Rockne teams would be embarrassed by this win. I want a coach who gets angry after a win like this. Not one who celebrates. Nd plays down to bad teams levels and need to blow out terrible teams like purdue.

    Go Irish

  11. If CW is such a horrible coach, who do you think can do better? How can someone who has been a fan of this team for 40yrs not like the team b/c of the guy coaching it. I don’t care who coaches ND, I am a fan and will always be a fan. If Jimmy Johnson coaced this team I would be disappointed at the pick, but I would still cheer for the Irish. Every team that plays ND brings their A game. Every player ever interviewed always talks about they grew up dreaming about playing in ND stadium. ND went on the road with three top playmakers out of the line up and won. Dayne Christ is a sophmore who has only taken practice snaps with the 2nd team. He is not going to set the world on fire in his first start. I think Pete Carroll started his back up last week and lost. Is he a bad coach who doesn’t prepare his players. USC has all five stars at every position, but yet they loose one game every year because of a lack of focus. Is that the coaches fault or the players on the field. I like this team. I see plenty of talent and a young defense who makes mistakes. I have seen improvement week to week in certain areas on the defensive side of the ball. We were getting gashed for runs up the middle which was a focus by the coaching staff and it has stopped. They are young on the line and you can see it. The light bulb will go off.

  12. Frank -I’d like to suggest an answer to why Kyle Rudolph is not getting the ball. It is because he is either 1. not going out for a pass at all or 2. delaying his route as he helps Young pass block. As you watch the game again, take a look at ND’s final third down play. Rudolph was not an option for Clausen because he had to help Young. Obviously, Rudolph was involved in the fourth down action. However, ND brought in Raggone to pass block on Young’s side. Unless something is done with Young, Rudolph will continue to see limited involvment on downs where the defense wants to get after Clausen. I still feel sorry for John Carlson!

    1. tmb – very good point. have to protect JCs blind side. We sure do need to have another wide out to step up…looks like I will have to between shaq, goodie, or walker…

  13. ND is a very ordinary team coached poorly. If Purdue had better coaching, ND would have lost…calling timeout when ND is was down to two plays goes as a lose your job call for Purdue coaching staff. ND lack of talent is showing up against even poor teams.

    1. Again, coach calls time and that is his call and the teams undoing.
      ND –poor??
      George read my former post.
      Maybe you have some issues which can’t be addressed here.
      Leave some comments relating to the game, the rivalry, the institutions –but not your
      Mark May imitations.
      Obviously, as Drew S stated-you have some growing up to do–and we are not Dr. Phil.
      ND did NOT put Purdue away and had the capability to do so. Running game DESTROYED Purdue in one quarter.
      Purdue quarterback is below average and quite frankly–almost horrible.
      ND did not put the opponet away–and has yet to do so in big games. Ordinary?
      hmmm–“IF purdue” well—
      “IF” is the biggest little word in sports and life–just ask Coaches as they look back in time at mistakes and gambles from Joe Pa-to Lou to Woody Hayes ( and his fist and temper which got him fired) so–
      if “If ‘s and buts were candy and nuts we would all be fat and jolly!”
      And ND would be 4 and 0 “if” Charlie would have RUN the clock out–
      so George–
      deal with it
      congratulate the winner ( unless it is Miami of Florida of course LOL)
      and move on

    2. Purdue timeout or not… It only took one play to win George! Sounds like your regurgitating what the announcer said, you may want to think for yourself next time. Great smack talk Irisheye62.

  14. Agreed to C-dogs comments. Last night’s game was another poor coaching performance by Charlie and Co. Minus the Nevada game(a real bad team) they are being outscored in the 2nd half. Why? no adjustments made at halftime. 2 plus minutes left in the first half of last night’s game, the line is pushing Purdue all over the field, they are averaging 6 yards a carry and what does he do? pass 3 plays and out. (same thing happened at Michigan, please don’t repeat the comments Charlie made, that was an excuse for him not knowing what to do) That is where the emotional turning point was for Purdue(an awful team, might be 2nd to last in one of the weakest conferences by year end, awful). Purdue went in and made adjustments and owned ND in the second half, ND did not as usual. No points for ND in the 3rd and had to desperately bring in an injured starter? again bad coaching, The great coaches have their talent loaded and ready, that is what separates the great from the mediocre, and Charlie is just 9 games above average. He is paid like a big time coach, but he is not. I’ll wait for some responses, there is allot more I could point out why he is an average college coach and why they will never win a national title with him as coach, NEVER. I have been a fan of ND football for 40 years, now???? not so much.

  15. All-
    At there is a clip “end of Game – Field view” its a great clip of the end of the game and how excited the boys were for this win. Also notice when JC threw the ball to KR it ZIPPPPPPPED…wow…that catch was harder then I originally thought…made my week! Love the Irish un-conditionally.

  16. Thoughts:

    Weis underestimates what young men can do if properly motivated and psychologically prepared. Crist looked not so good. That’s on the coach for better prep. Weis put little faith in a power running game. Hughes looked like he wanted to run over Purdue all by himself.

    Going for it on 4th and 10 with a backup QB who isn’t reading the line well or pickup up the blitz fast enough, was like a turnover. Why not pooch punt it? Again the psychological uplift to Purdue and the letdown for the Irish, changed the feel of the game. For young men that is important. These aren’t NFL players.

    The defense is fairly mediocre. Poor tackling allowed for several first downs when the Purdue guy should have been stopped for a small or no gain. We’ll lose the next two games if that doesn’t improve. The scheme overall is not working to the desired effect.

    Manti Teo is a stud. They seem to be worried about something with him though. Almost like they feel they need to settle him down. Not sure. But I’d keep him on the field a bit more. He got one of the key sacks of the game. That’s your extra step, you need if the Tenuta D is going to work.

    Overall, you have to say the players gave it their best. Individually, mistakes aside, the kids played well. The game coaching left something to be desired on this one. I have to agree that while ND won, it was a weak win against a very average team. Given that MSU got creamed, and Michigan once again needed help from the refs to also pull out a sqeaker, against Indiana mind you, ND’s situation for being ranked high this year looks dim.
    The wins are great. I’ll enjoy them. But the improvement I thought I’d see just isn’t there. I’m not talking about the players, I’m talking about the coaches. If you want to coach for Notre Dame, you really have to believe in the intangibles. Weis is all mechanics. And that formula won’t get an Irish team to the top. Weis’s teams will win but they won’t often inspire. Sounds like an NFL formula not an ND formula.

  17. Looks like Duval K. is not going to step up in Floyd’s absence. He is an extremely average player with a terrible head on his shoulders. Hopefully he can figure out the drops or someone else is going to have to step up

    1. Where in the heck was John Goodman…? He is fast big and strong…maybe the rumor is true that he is in the Dog house with the receivers coach…*shrug*

  18. Ok- I support CW for the record…however I am starting to wonder about his ability to MOTIVATE!

    Looking back at video of high school of some of our starters, for instance Harrison Smith, they were absolute studs! I realize the competition is much greater in a Div 1 program however making a play is making a play. he (HS) is a 4.4 forty- he needs to step up…he got burned big time i the Micigan State game…ughhhh…so much talent…now I’m starting to wonder if CW can motivate his players…Lou was a great motivator…play with passion…play to win….Play Like A Champion Today!!!!!

  19. ESPN is an entertainment entity. Mark May and Lou Holtz are clearly there to rouse passion in their constituencies. It is a testament to the influence of ND that this rivalry is so clearly pre-scripted in order to generate interest and ratings.

    Stop waiting to Mark May to say something positive about ND. He is paid to do otherwise.

    The race theory here is silliness. The only color that matters here is green.

    1. You got it. ESPN is like cheerleaders. Actually you see the formula on FOX too. Some sports, some sleazy women and a bunch of overweight guys drinking suds, looking like they collect unemployment and have all the time in the world to yell about a sports team, leer at women and revel in their own satisfaction.
      ESPN panders to that. It is all scripted. The analysis is worthless.

      Just listen to last week’s build up to the big games last week. Miami, FSU, CAL, Arkansas’ QB. Everything they said, supposedly out of some inside knowledge was wrong. The weather channel has more accurate forecasts and they are always off the mark.

      It’s a waste of time to listen to the analysts anymore and the ratings will eventually reflect that.

  20. A few points.

    1. Since at least the early 80s (including the Holtz years) we rarely have blown out opponents. Our best teams found a way to win, and Clausen led this team to victory in that spirit.
    2. Coming into the game we hoped to find the emerging receiver to fill the shoes of Floyd. That certainly did not happen. Kumara must be in love.
    3. Purdue self destruction was certainly an aid.
    4. Would like to see Crist throw. His playbook is similar to the early games of Carlyle Holiday (without the speed). He has been around long enough to have a longer leash.
    5. Innovative game plan. You can quibble with individual playcalls but overall I thought pretty good.
    6. Purdue managed a LOT more pressure on the QB than we have seen this season. Young is spotty and the penalties….
    7. Running back play was quite good today. We will need to develop more ball control game as our defense is clearly going to be so so to poor this season.

    A win is a win. A much tougher Washington team coming than expected Pre-Season. Should be a fun one.

  21. I can’t say enough on how much Toryan Smith stinks. Just watching him play makes me wonder why this guy is starting. I noticed a few times when he is charging the line, he run right into the offensive lineman instead of running around….WHY??? He looks lost and confused out their. Pull this guy already. Harrison Smith is incapable of anything. The CB’s can’t jump higher then two feet. The ESPN announcers were definitely pulling for Purdue. I like the that one part were one of them yells “why dosen’t the clock stop!” when ND called the time out with less them a minute left in the fourth.

    1. ESPN pro Purdue? How about the ridiculous coverage and pro ND calls from NBC and their lackey commentators. Ratings are down because the ND program is in a state of disarray…even the faithful know that ND will never compete on the national level again.

      1. George,

        Can you give me an accurate ratings analysis? I’m not calling you out, but I would like to see your source, or sources, for ratings here.



      2. The ND faithful are FAITHFUL
        in all seasons==period!!!
        It is not the Lou Holtz days but disarray? That is a bit strong. ND CAN compete-and will compete again for the big trophy in time. Unlike USC, Ohio State and several schools whose players can only verbalize “you know” and
        ” we be kicking” and ” I am wid ya” ND has raised the bar in several places-including the expectaions OFF the field.
        Is it perfect? No.
        Is is eliminating trophies which could be there? I think so. Still–a higher calling is at ND –and when one sticks to their word-be it University or individual–the true word holds fast and wins the test of time.
        George, as far as your “ratings” are concerned–I would like to see your “data” and source -provided it does not come from Columbus, Tallahassee of the Scum of Miami–the team which deserves very little respect as an instituion.

        As for the announcers saying”why doesn’t the clock stop?” it should have –but it was merely 3 seconds.
        ND and Purdue have a friendly rivalty-don’t let your “data” and one person keep you from being grounded –whether you are a Purdue fan or not.
        The Boilers had a chance –and the coach called time—big mistake–but that is sports. For the record, Charlie’s calls helped Michigan out a few weeks ago.
        In conclusion, Purude is a fine instituion with many good programs there–REAL academics–rare in the Big 11.
        ESPN is anything BUT pro-Purdue or Notre Dame.
        Mark May sure loves his reflection though–and that is a blemish on THEIR part.
        Cheers and Good luck to you-and I do mean that.
        Send all of us here your data.

      3. Spoken like a true ND fan.
        Honest,upfront& classy.
        Markie May, what can you say?
        It’s always the same thing with that guy. Nobody cares what he has to say.
        When he was a lineman with the Pitt Panther’s and they played ND, the Irish squashed his dreams. They beat him like a drum. He cried for an hour after the game. He IS a ND hater, but at least he has a good reason.

  22. Save for the “taunting” penalty, this was a loss. Anyone notice that the flag didn’t fly on that penalty until after ND lineman shoved 92? No comment on pbp until after the announcement, which came after considerable consultation. (Overrule by head official?) Sure looked like it could have gone either way, and why they didn’t call both and offset was one of many gifts yesterday. Great football game in any case, though. Always great to see class programs like ND and Purdue play, and both put out great effort.

  23. Cliff is soooooooo accurate in his assessment above!!!Valpodoc absolutely correct.Look winning the game is very important but careful analysis,honest analysis is no less important.Purdue committed suicide with 13 penalties.Their Coach calling time out (thank heavens)they cannot and should not be viewed as ND positives!Kick coverage in the last to games borders on idiosy.You cover the on side kick ,on punts you find the returner and cover him!Maust is so lackadaisical on his punts, get the snap ball and get rid of it.It appears to me that there are some very serious problems with focus here!Tacklers waiting on ball carriers,arm tackleing,penalties by veteran players at crucual times,some players waiting on others, to do the hard work.Kamara,H Smith very good athletes but certainly not contributing to their capacity.I’ll take Hughes ‘ tenacity and Teo’s aggresiveness any time with their mistakes as these are mistakes made going full steam as opposed to tentativeness and a lack of focus.Two straight games of blown coverage .Mc Carthy(#28) making way to many tackels.Where the hell are the big fast LBers? Lastly,Mark May,is still caught up in the race nonsense, with some obscure guy named Willingham.Empty head May is the clown of college football commentators.

  24. Cliff is soooooooo accurate in his assessment above!!!Valpodoc absolutely correct.Look winning the game is very important but careful analysis,honest analysis is no less important.Purdue committed suicide with 13 penalties.Their Coach calling time out (thank heavens)they cannot and should not be viewed as ND positives!Kick coverage in the last to games borders on idiosy.You cover the on side kick ,on punts you find the returner and cover him!Maust is so lackadaisical on his punts, get the snap ball and get rid of it.It appears to me that there are some very serious problems with focus here!Tacklers waiting on ball carriers,arm tackleing,penalties by veteran players at crucual time,some players waiting on others, to do the hard work.Kamara,H Smith very good athletes but certainly not contributing to their capacity.I’ll take Hughes ‘ tenacity and Teo’s aggresiveness any time with their mistakes as these are mistakes made going full steam as opposed to tentativeness and a lack of focus.Two straight games of blown coverage .Mc Carthy(#28) making way to many tackels.Where the hell are the big fast LBers? Lastly,Mark May,is still caught up in the race nonesense with some obscure guy named Willingham.Empty head May is the clown of college football commentators.

  25. A few things to add to Frank’s excellent points:

    Darrin Walls is a bad corner. He got burnt on the interception that he made and the only reason it ended up being an interception was due to the fact it was a poorly, underthrown ball. It appears that the year off has done him no good. USC will eat him alive. Gary Gray is very impressive and should start to see more time, especially over Walls.

    Manti needs to play over Toryan Smith. ASAP. Regardless of slight position differences Toryan is clearly a liability and has yet to put together a good game. I’ll sacrifice one or two mistakes per game for a bundle of great plays as opposed to a guy who NEVER makes a play.

    Harrison Smith is not a good player. Kyle McCarthy seems to be playing FS, SS, Outside LB, Inside LB and all of the above. Smith hasn’t made a single play on a ball while its in the air, nor is he a disciplined run defender. I chalk up McCarthy’s lapse on Purdue’s last TD to the fact the he has been covering for his teammates inability to make plays the last 2 seasons.

    Outstanding performance by Golden Tate. Tate was the savior of the offense as far as I’m concerned. Big plays all day. Why can’t we have a balanced attack when Clausen plays QB? Its quite clear that the Irish can both run and pass at will. Keep it balanced. Keep the D honest, and the Irish will score 45 points a game.

    More Rudolph.

    Why can’t we put away these Big 10 teams when we can and should???

    GO IRISH. Washington can be beat. USC can be beat.

  26. First i am happy they won. Yes they are banged up, however, any other big time program would have guys to fill their shoes. I think ND does, the talent is there but the coaching still sucks. Even if there is a winning season record, I feel ND should still look for a new head coach – John Gruden!

  27. ND ran the ball well.

    Weis tried to lose the game with his conservative play calling again.

    Defense cant tackle to save their life

    Blitzing less seemed to help the defense.

  28. I agree with Scav, look at what’s going on around college football now. Anyone can lose at any time to practically anyone. This ND team was in a big spot on the road with it’s 3 top players either out or hobbled, and it still found a way to beat a team that gave Oregon a tough game, the same Oregon team that eviscerated #6 Cal on Saturday. Let’s give ND some credit! Go Irish!

  29. Your glass is definately half full. Duncan got beat all night. Young is playing poorly for a senior. Purdue was in our backfield all night. You saw few plays to the tight end because they had to stay in and block. Why after running to the outside and scoring 14 points, did we stop? Chuck is going to blow up Tate. Got to give it to the kid for making people miss, but you’d think he was our only playmaker. The Defense is just plain disorganized. Linebacker play is HORRIBLE to nonexistent. We make teams look good. Just watch the next 4-5 games will be painful. Charlie seems to be a master at doing less with more.

  30. Great job Frank.

    Some of my thoughts:
    + JC was inpressive, he is a winner
    – Sam young is a flipping senior…what in the heck is he doing?
    + Robert Hughes was awsome, I think he should be a co starter at TB (w AA)
    – Maust, needs to be more consistent
    + Burger had a coupld of Key Plays, well done (quality over quantity)
    – Kumara, two key drops two key penanties, focus PLEASE!
    + Teo big sack at the end, looks very focused out there
    – T. Smith, it has been said up top- he is a liability
    + Parris key route and Catch on the winning drive
    – H. Smith, having a tough year, the only time I have heard from him this year is in the negative, he needs to re focus
    + KR …wow…this guy is impressive
    – SB (#31) that guy kills me…he gets burned every game
    + Gary Gray – I think this guy is a legit Corner, he should be a starter
    – MISSED TACKLES – Basic foortball….
    + T. Riddick – Key block on the GT TD…and well done on the KR
    – KM had a beat on the ball on the last Purdue TD, he hesitated, and what is up with the busted coverage…?

    All in all we got the W with Key Injuries…

  31. I agree with you about Weiss needs to keep his playbook open with Crist in the game. This kid has speed and srambling ability in the event his receivers are covered.

    I also thing due to the injury and the continual inconsistant play of Kamara, it is time to start playing Walker, Goodman and Evans.
    I visited the spring game last year and Walker looked extremely good.In the Nevada game both Walker and Goodman performed very well in their limited time.
    As much as I like Toryan Smith as a person, it is time to start playing Manti.The sack on next to the last play of the game was due to a great extent to Manti’s speed in getting pass the pass protection and getting to the quarterback. Once he got a hold of Purdue’s quarterback, there was no arguing about Manti’s strength.

  32. Why does Charlie continue to waste timeouts? On 4th down in Purdue territory, he calls timeout and then they don’t convert it anyways. Why not just take the delay of game and let your punter try to pin them? I agree with other posters that spiking the ball with 36 second left would have been completely foolish. There was plenty of time to run two plays. I want to believe in this team, but if they can barely beat a bad Purdue team, how will they go on the road to beat Pitt or Stanford?

  33. Just finished watching the DVR of College Football Final and once again, Mark May has nothing good to say about ND. All he could talk about was that ND was two last second wins against the Big Ten from being 1-3. Lou said they were a last second loss from being 4-0.

    Why doesn’t he acknowledge that these were the games ND was losing last year and now they are winning? Why doesn’t he acknowledge that Jimmy Clausen was hurt and still led them to a 4th quarter win after being on the sidelines most of the game? If that was Matt Barkely coming off the bench with his sore shoulder leading USC to a win, we would be hearing him talk about the 2nd coming. Why doesn’t he give Charlie Weis credit for developing a game plan that was without 3 of his top 4 players on offense this year. Any team that loses 3 of the top 4 players on offense is not going to run on all cylinders, yet this team still found a way to win.

    I know we live in a world where you need to beat an inferior opponent by 30 to have it seem like a good win, but come on, all that matters is wins and loses. Look at Florida, they were up by 31 points after the 1st quarter, but still had Tebow in the game when he got his bell rung. Why was he still in the game after being sick all week?

    We need to look at this game for what it is, a game where ND lost the lead late in the 4th only to come back and win with a hurt quarterback and an offense that is still trying to figure out who will replace Floyd. No Floyd, no Allen, a hobbled Clausen, and they still found a way to win on the road.

    To me, that is encouraging.

    1. Scav, I agree with you…well written. I also was watching that Mark May diatribe, and I am convinced that if ND was perfect May would find fault or whatever. There were many positives in the win by the Irish.

      1. Mark May is a jerk…nothing good to say, if Holtz was 6’4 250 im convinced he would of pounded MM by nam…;)

      2. sorry –

        Mark May is a jerk…nothing good to say, if Holtz was 6′4 250 im convinced he would of pounded MM by now…;)

      3. I know that many fans of the Irish deeply appreciate Lou, and I do as well, but why in the heck can he not nail May for what come out of MM’s mouth constantly when ND is the subject. Lou does rarely does anything but grin.

    2. Mark May has an agenda. He and others like him are circling the wagons because Ty Willingham was let go in my opinion. One thing i always wonder is how new ND quarterbacks always seem to struggle like in the case of Crist or Clausen and Quinn’s first few seasons. Its probably alot to ask but you see Forcier, Barkley and Pryor at Ohio State seem to be able to step right in when they were freshmen and take over an offense with somewhat efficient passing. It always seems like our guys need a year or two before they hit their stride. I realize CW put the leash on Crist saturday but just an observation

    3. Mark May is so arrogant, conceited and so much more than full of himself that he cannot begin to possibly praise ANYTHING but the reflection in the mirror.
      Lou and Mark are “entertainment” and marketing. ( Mark May probably thinks the term marketing is named after his cocky self.)

  34. No Armando Allen, no Michael Floyd, Jimmy Clausen for one half on a bad foot, first time for Dayne Crist, on the road. I am good with that. Jonas Gray looked very good and Golden Tate was my MVP. Great to see him so involved after several tough weeks dropping key passes. Ya gotta give Charlie kudos for his use of the wildcat formation, those possession were critical steps towards the victory. Charlie can be brillant with play calling and he can throw a klunker out there. This team is making improvements each week, be happy guys. You all sound like my Jewish mother, did anything good happen today, Mom?

  35. Irish win AGAIN with all the blood pressure medicine in the free world being shipped via South Bend and West Lafayette.
    Going for it on 4 and 1 early was not a good call.
    Purdue calling time out with 36 seconds left was a GIFT and I for one am grateful.
    Too many close games because the Irish cannot put teams away.
    Defense is tentative but blitz came at right moments.
    I am concerned about Special teams when we will need them most
    LOVED the Running game. Stuffing it down the opponent throats with 3-4 yards and a pile of dust is smash mouth football! It may not be the “wildcat”
    or “west coast” but it works! It may not be “sexy” but it produces.
    Looking forward to Washington who actually has feet of clay courtesy of a Stanford Loss. Interesting Season.
    (I wonder if they will report on Clausen’s toe as much as they do other quarterback injuries.)
    Go Irish.

  36. I think Harrison Smith is a stiff. I cannot recall one big play he has made as a SS. On run plays, he is the last guy in the picture, on pass plays he is not deflecting or breaking up catches with big hits. For all the talk on how fast he is, I cannot see it. We would be better off moving Gray or Slaughter or another roaming players at the postion to shore up the pass def.

    Clausen was great, good poise and leadership on the last drive.

    What happened to Weis’ playcalling? I agree that Rudolph is way underutilized. And I don’t see many quick hitches/comebacks (these 10 yard gains have been easy money all year and we don’t go there). Weis used to call slants and crossing patterns that made our WRs great in 2005/2006. It seemed that Crist didn’t have many quick 3 drop passes called for him. He looked slow on his dropbacks which is expected with his lack of experience.

    Frank -great work as always.

    1. Harrison is actually the free safety, so the fact that you don’t see him up on runs is probably a good thing. Also, as a D back, if you’re not being “noticed” too much, that typically means you’re doing your job and not screwing up assignments. Whether or not he is doing these things is another topic. He busted his assignment on the last drive by MSU last week that resulted in the wide open receiver in the end zone, but other than that I can’t recall him letting anyone run open on him. He also does get quite a few STUPID penalties.

      I’ve been somewhat disappointed in Blanton this year. I was expecting a few picks out of him, and for him to be lock down. He gives WAY too much cushion. I’m not sure if that’s him or if it’s schematic, but if our secondary is so good, we need to start pressing more.

  37. I agree with almost all your points.
    For someone who is suppose to be an offensive genius, Weis sure makes some illogical decisions. In the Purdue game he would not allow Crist to pass the ball on first, second or third down but then decides to allow him to pass on 4th and ten, which results in Purdue getting the ball on the 40. I feel his play calling cost ND the Michigan game too. If he understands odds, he sure doesn’t know how to play them.

  38. Sorry about messing up that last post, but I would REALLY like to see Kamara benched and let Robbie Parris take his place. I think he has a LOT more potential and shows he is willing to actually come up with the football. All in all though a GREAT game, and they did what they had to do at the end. Clausen is really turning into great QB, in spite of Ron Paulus. Didn’t understand not taking a field goal on the first drive, those 3 points sure would have helped out as it turns out at the end. GO IRISH and let’s hope the defense can keep Jake Locker under wraps!

  39. Liked the fact that Golden Tate actually held on to the football when he got it, and didn’t drop it immediately. Would REALLY

  40. Good comments Frank — I agree with all of them. I’ll take the win with all of the injuries we had in this game. I’m pleasantly surprised Tenuta called off the dogs a bit and it helped.

    Two things that were glaringly apparent: Toryan Smith is a big liability in the middle — teams will exploit this more and more. Kumara needs to sit — his head is somewhere else.

  41. Oh and one more thing…Did anything else absolutely hate the call on the failed 4th and 1 in the first quarter? Talk about a bad playcall – Even Marty Schottenheimer from last week’s Chargers game thinks that’s a horrible call

    1. I did as well, but its tough to run out of the shotgun in that situation and I think it was clear that they weren’t going to put Clausen under center tonight.

      1. I like toriyan Smith, But we Need to get Manti on the field more he had a sack and two nice tackles, I wouldn;t imagine what he could do for the whole game….

    2. That call was so bad. Weis basically caused the same effect as a turn over. Deflate your team’s psychy and fire up the opponent. That’s the time you worry about your backup QB and play it safe.

  42. Few things:
    – Totally agree with wishing to see Crist throwing the ball more. I liked what I saw from what he had though. His numbers would have been even better if Kamara could catch. I don’t know why, but whenever Kamara seems to make plays…it’s negative ones. I’d really rather see Parris and Walker get Kamara’s playing time.
    – I didn’t mind the 4th and 10 call, but I HATED the call on the 3rd down before it. If you’re going to go for it on 4th down, why not go with a play that had the chance of getting some more yardage, not a run up the middle for no gain.
    – As you said, Riddick probably would have scored if he went to the outside on that kickoff.
    – Jonas GRay might have scored on that screen pass if he cut to the inside instead of the outside…but he still had a decent game and looked a little better in pass protection.

    And lastly, Harrison Smith and Sam Young are both good for at least one really dumb penalty per game. What in the world was Smith thinking on that catch interference?

    1. I’m going to assume that Smith didn’t see the fair catch called for. The announcers talked about how Valentin hardly ever fair catches it throughout the game so I have to think that the coaches told the gunners the same thing. Still doesn’t really justify it, but that would be my guess.

      1. Frank, I believe Smith’s view was temporarily blocked out. That hand in the air only has to be for a moment.

    2. Completely agree with the Kamara observation. There is no way he should be a costarter with Robby in the Washington game. Not only did he have the two dropped balls and stupid penalties, but his terrible blocking resulted in some negative plays and no gainers for Golden in the wildcat. Time to pull the plug on the Duval experiment.

  43. Totally agree on one of your points. When I heard them saying Weis was calling for a spike on 3rd down with two yards to go and 36 seconds left I blew up!!!!! I know Charlie is kinda dumb and has a huge ego but to pull a stunt like that with essentially a ton of time left when all you need is two yards, would’ve been the final straw for me. I’m happy we won and have a lot of talent and what looks to be another great recruiting class but I truly wish we had a different head coach.

      1. It was going to, you idiot, until the Purdue coach did an even dumber move. Wow I’m shocked at how low other ND fans expectations have dropped. Sad.

    1. We won and all with our starting RB A. Allen Jr out our starting star* WR M. Floyd our QB. J. Clausen hurt, hobbled, and limping but geeee Charlie should be fired because he got the W on the road and besides all these “issues” dont really matter….. Right?

      We won but I wish we had another coach? We are 3-1 be happy and keep winning.

      Go Irish

      1. You have to admit though that it looked like Weis was kind of psyched out in this one. Holtz or Parsighian would have had the back ups prepared. Purdue isn’t that good of a team that a vanilla offense couldn’t have run over them.

      2. Wow, you can’t be an ND fan. Won by three on the last play against a team that lost to a MAC opponent and that MAC opponent just lost to IDAHO. Do you want ND to be 6-6 or are you interested in ever being at the level of Florida or Texas? If you knew football you’d be very unpleased that Weis is the ND coach. Two bonehead plays away from being 1-3 and you are acting like this team is well coached. YIKES!

      3. I am interested in ND period!You can have the Florida and Texas programs! We are 3-1 because of a very good quarterback and good receivers.

      4. Hey, Ron,
        MMA83d has it right. Who cares about Texas or Florida. If you just like football, watch the scum that play in the NFL. But college football includes the word ‘college” in the phrase. It’s not about who is winning, it’s about what the university stands for. Florida and Texas stand for nothing.
        No one is acting like the team is well coached, that’s not even the point, so why do you bring it in? You might be unintelligent and so you can’t think straight. ND is ND. I root for their fencing team, the softball team, the tennis team, etc. Doesn’t matter as long as they play. I’d rather go play a back yard game of football or watch the local highschool team than waste my time on Florida, Texas, or any of the schools that have completely thrown in the towel on ethics in sports. Just don’t care. Don’t watch the NFL either anymore. Too dirty. I truly can’t figure out why anyone cares if a pro team wins or not.

        I root for the school, not just the team. The Lady on top of the Dome is why!

      5. That’s why ND and Weis have built up DEPTH! Hughes can fill in just fine and he did. Charlie thought he could just run the same play all 3rd quarter with Crist and it proved he couldn’t. Let’s be honest, Charlie thought it was over at 17-7 and didn’t think Jimmy needed to play. Jimmy should’ve played until it was at least 27-7. I pray every week we win but I realize when we have a terrible coach!

      6. Let’s be honest, most would have tried to give Jimmy a break. Weis did what most coaches would: save your QB for another day. I grant you, it did not work out perfectly…few things do.

      1. Urban Meyer has a QB with the Flu. Bad enough that he fly’s him to Kentucky on a private charter. Most responciable coaches would have kept the kid at home and in bed.
        You know… what’s in the student’s best intrest. But not Meyer.
        Florida is up 35 to 10 in the second half.
        Would seem to be a good time to rest his sick QB. But not Meyer. OK, play your sick QB in the second half while up by 25. Just let him hand it off right? Not Urban Meyer. Got to run up that score, so keep passing.
        Then Tebow gets knocked into Sunday morning.
        We all know Charlie Weis would have kept his QB at home. He might have taken some heat, especially if ND lost, but you can’t blame a guy for looking after his players and doing the right thing regardless of the heat he might take.
        That’s why I respect CW. You can’t call a guy a terrible coach when he’s willing to take the heat by making decisions that are in the best intrest of his players.
        Urban Meyer is a selfish jerk.
        I hope he stays at Florida. He is not ND material!

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