Washington Scouting Report

Our weekly opponent scouting report is brought to you this week by Ruth Robbins of RealDawg.com.

Will Sarkisian Finally Bring a Victory in South Bend?

Jake Locker has been flourishing for the Huskies in Steve Sarkisian's pro-style offense.

Washington (2-2, 4th place in the Pac-10) has been through the ringer and then some in the past few years. A once proud football program hit rock bottom, finishing 0-12 in 2008 for the first time in school history. Former Stanford and Notre Dame coach, Tyrone Willingham was dismissed at the end of the 2008 and season and replaced by rising star, Steve Sarkisian, who had been working under Pete Carroll and the USC system for the past 7 years (with one brief NFL stint).

Sarkisian immediately set out to change the culture of UW football, restore the winning attitude of the past, and hired one of the best defensive coordinators in college football – Nick Holt, also of USC. Washington has now begun to show serious signs of returning to a competitive and formidable program, beginning their season with a squeaker against LSU, then defeating the USC Trojans in a win that restored the Huskies to the AP Top 25 during week three.

The Huskies are coming off a tough road loss against Pac-10 leader, Stanford, and are hoping to put a W in the win-loss column for this lopsided series (ND leads 7-0).

Washington’s offense (2nd in the country in third-down conversions) is led by nationally recognized quarterback, Jake Locker, who’s been re-learning under the Sarkisian offensive system. Locker is known for his Tebow-like mobility but is also developing into a very astute pro-style quarterback, currently leading the conference for the four weeks straight in yardage (1002). Locker, who’s a junior, has an arsenal of capable receivers to go to – including true freshman James Johnson (3th in the conference in receiving yards), who has had stellar games right out of the gate. Locker also will look to Jermaine Kearse, Devin Aguilar (back after missing the Stanford game from injury), DeAndre Goodwin, and tight ends Kavario Middleton and Chris Izbicki.

The Husky running game is also showing signs of life this fall, with the coming-out of redshirt freshman, Chris Polk (7th in the conference in rushing), who originally verballed to USC before switching to and signing with Washington. Polk, nicknamed “Baby Bush” out of high school missed most of last season due to injury, but is back in full force this season both carrying the rock and also receiving. He is a downhill runner that, if he gets some real estate, he’s off to the races. Johri Fogerson is a very fluid runner and can also catch the ball. Fullback Paul Homer is in his second year starting for the Huskies and can move the changes.

The Husky offensive line is still, by most accounts, a work in progress. Anchored by center, Ryan Tolar, the line is thin in terms of depth, but experienced both at right and left tackle.

The Husky defense sent a message after the LSU and USC games – but delivered a terrible performance against Stanford last weekend. Sarkisian said it was due to poor tackling in all areas, and reminded pundits that there is still work to be done to strengthen a Husky team that is still suffering a lack of depth in the trenches.

The good news is that the Huskies have one of the most formidable linebacking corps in the conference. Senior Donald Butler (ILB)was Pac-10 player of the week after the Huskies held the USC Trojans to a 0-11 third down ratio. Butler is joined by Mason Foster (OLB), a junior, and Sarkisian said it will be a “game time decision” on whether or not junior EJ Savannah (OLB), who’s suffering from a foot problem, will be ready to play in South Bend. If Savannah doesn’t play, look for sophomore Cort Dennison to get involved in the rotation.

The Husky defensive secondary is young but has had some good moments in the first four games. Corner Quinton Richardson will be one to watch out for, in addition to true freshman Desmond Trufant, who ‘s also the younger brother of NFL standout, Marques Trufant, and corner Justin Glenn. At safety, keep your eye on Nate Williams and Victor Aiweya. The secondary is young – but they’ve had some picks in the first four games and are playing at a higher level than under Tyrone Willingham.

On special teams, the Huskies’ kicker, Eric Folk (9th in the conference in scoring, 29 points) has had a terrific season so far – especially after hitting the winning field goal against USC. Folk was Pac-10 player of the week during week three and has shown no signs of letting up.

On punts, JC transfer Will Mahan has also been very consistent in keeping teams out of good field position. KO and punt returners to keep an eye on are Jordan Polk, Johri Fogerson and Quinton Richardson.


The Huskies have prided themselves on being run-stoppers but allowed Stanford to run riot on them last weekend in Palo Alto. Nick Holt and Steve Sarkisian immediately addressed the issue and attributed the poor performance to a “glaring deficiency in tackling”.

Against the pass, the Huskies are young in the secondary – but their linebackers are tough, athletic and fast.

In the trenches, the Huskies can either have a stellar game or a poor one, but the games against USC and LSU were no fluke. The Huskies controlled the line of scrimmage in both games and are quite capable of getting it done.

Bottom line

The Huskies are a work in progress, a team that’s always had talent but bad coaching and dysfunction. Sarkisian has instilled an “expect to win” mantra that has already made a difference in the overall mindset during games, bouncing back from adversity, and handling the pressure of expectations. The Pac-10 is a wide-open conference this year and it is still too early to predict who will walk away with the title and a Rose Bowl bid.


The Huskies could play the best game of their lives on Saturday and still lose to the Irish. Notre Dame has this power over Washington and holds a commanding series lead. It’s hard to win at Touchdown Jesus, and it’s hard for young players to get past the awe-struck factor of just being there. This will be a terrific test for the young Huskies and, because it’s an OOC game, a loss would not upset the balance of a young team competing for a conference championship.

Notre Dame 24 Washington 21

About the author: Ruth Robbins is the original founder and publisher of Realdawg.com. Getting her start as a Pac-10 Advisor, writing Northwest and Regional Profiles for PrepStar Magazine. During her tenure with Rivals.com, Robbins was also a beat writer for Fox Sports Internet.

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  1. I agree with you 100%. It is time to stop being so negative and giving the press head lines to put pressure on this team and the coach. It hurts the program, recruiting and the over all attitude in the stadium. What people fail to realize is that the glory years were probably not as great as you remember. This program is going in the right direction, get excited. How come ND beats two teams with late game plays and it was luck, but if any other team does it, it’s a great come back. Get behind the team and get excited and stop yelling at the grad to sit down. Let him go nuts it’s the only time he can feel like he is back in college. Most of us older people need that from time to time.

  2. I have to say bleednd82 has a valid point about you old shribs. It’s hard to be a fan at ND stadium when all the “old monies” are sitting on their fat asses drinking tea instead of supporting their football team by standing up and screaming their lungs out. It’s part of being a fan, it’s our responsibility. Look at PSU, USC, and as much as I dislike them, Florida. These teams have fans that go all out at games and do their best to disrupt the other teams rythm. I went to a freaking Purdue game last fall and their fans, as a whole, showed more emotion and encouragement than I’ve seen at a ND game for a long time. GO IRISH!

  3. ND 35 – UW 21.

    Go Suck a fun time Charlie haters and ND haters. You guys are all the same. Seriously I am a grad and a season tix holder and I cannot stand all the OLD people that “represent” the university. Its a joke and a shame (mayber if you were not so cranky I would have a differnt opinion). I saw 80k+ at PSU all in white cheer for them. ND cannot even get 30k to stand up for them. PATHETIC. Dont complain you sorry Losers. ND fans yell at other ND fans about standing up during the game and cheering. Seriously, me and my friends/family get yelled at by other “ND Fans” freguently to sit down. I cannot stand fake ND fans who complain about the “glory years”. WAKE UP!!!!!!! Shut your mouth’s.

  4. Here is the situation at hand. This program is showing progress, USC was a none factor from the mid 70’s until 2001. As I said earlier the AD is the key, not the coach. The AD sets the tone at this university. The AD is the CEO of ND football Brian Kelly is not the answer. Look at Colorado, I don’t want ND to be there. It is different here. You are never the underdog, you are always expected to be in the hunt for a NC. People from small schools have no idea what the pressure is to coach here. Urban Meyer back away because he listened to Bob Davie’s whining about how you can’t get the athelete to be able to compete for the NC. It will be interesting to see which way the AD goes. I think we have a good CEO who will make the right decisions, whether CW is right or wrong I think the AD will right the ship, but if we fire CW this year Jimmy leaves and we start at square one all over again for the fourth time in 20yrs. Not good.

  5. Every team left on ND’s schedule can beat the Irish this year. No way they can keep pulling off these last second wins against crappy teams, and they’ve shown they are unable to pull away big (WAC teams excepted). ND needs to win when they aren’t supposed to eg USC.

  6. Folks, we’ve all settled for mediocrity. Forget the 5 star recruits, it doesn’t mean squat when you play mediocre football. MSU and Purdue are subpar teams and ND barely beats them. That’s why they may never be a top 25 team this year again.

  7. Irish defense must fix the holes which resemble swiss cheese and then things can get going.
    I hope the offense is diverse –not only with passing all over the place,
    but a solid running game which was established last week at Purdue.
    The running game is there–and we MUST use it for the sake of the clock and wearing down the defense of the opponet.
    Common sense for sure!!!
    Cardiac city???
    I hope not.
    I am low on Clonazapaem -anti-anxiety meds—
    Seriously folks!
    # 74 Young MUST not commit stupid penalties and the Irish must take every opportunity and execute and see some special teams do their best!
    Irish fan since 1966 btw and now and forever.
    Nothing fickle about me.
    ( I have been disappointed and wonder about the mentality of Kevin White and the deceased Mr. Wadsworth-classic manipulator who enjoyed being the puppetier while Davie was his “boy” and puppet)
    Knee Jerk reactions of the administration have not helped the program in the past decade.
    However, I LOVE ND and am NOT fickle.
    Those people would be in columbus, Ohio where I live –( the Buckeye
    “faithful” )
    and other big state schools whose tradition is second and third tier when compared with the likes of ND!
    Steps at Washington Hall, the Irish Guard, the grotto, the lakes,
    Touchdown Jesus, First down Moses ( lol)
    and the stadium new with the old facade inside!!
    It doesn’t get much better than that!!!
    ND now -ND for good!
    Irish–make it your task to score and put away the Huskies asap.
    ND CAN DO THIS!!!!
    ND CAN DO THIS!!!!
    GO IRISH!!!

  8. I was happy with Notre Dame’s grit against Purdue. The rushing defense continued it’s improvement and Tenuta finally adjusted the blitzing. If the defensive back can follow suit we would be in good shape. Jimmy for Heisman.

    Go Irish! Beat huskies!

    -The Leprechaun

  9. Most of you “so called” ND fans are cry babies. Just keep winning guys and it will get these “fickle” ND fans to shut their mouths.

    1. Interesting comment. I wouldn’t call these fans fickle. Some remember the years before 1994. Ask yourself why a kid would get fired up about Notre Dame football if they started watching only after 1994?

      1. umm…other than everything it has to offer? i wouldn’t know where to begin exactly. every program goes thru cycles of up and down. what makes it harder today for notre dame to turn it around faster, which everyone here seems to want, is the parity in college football and the very big fact that we cannot recruit juco players which always speeds the process up. also, we don’t have the luxury of accepting anyone and everyone like the floridas, bamas, usc, etc.

        our turnaround is here finally and i am very confident we will never hear from the ncaa regarding rule violations or players punching other players.

        am i happy with the way we are winning? yes and no, but what i see is a team that is destined for success this year and the forseeable future.

        whether teams or fans want to admit it or not, but playing and beating notre dame is the one game EVERYONE circles regardless of how good our program is, was, or will be. do you think it is a coincidence this will be the third team in a row coming off a loss which i would put money on due to the fact that they are playing us the following week. so i know this will be another close one on that fact alone.

        i am not sure if any of that rant answered your question.

      2. Great comments about the Notre Dame mystique. Why would a kid get fired up about Notre Dame after 1994? While I am not a graduate of ND I believe that playing at Notre Dame has got to be one of the greatest highs there is…winning at ND would be icing on the cake. I am sure there are maybe a few not happy about their choice of playing football at Notre Dame during down times; HOWEVER, I doubt they would trade that diploma for anything in the world!

        Why am I this crazy about a school I have never attended…I have no idea, other than, it stands for something that’s good and worth protecting. I believe that is our common ground.

        Maybe we can’t agree on the right coach; but, I do know as long as CW is there the standards will be set high, on and off the field.

        Last thought: when you are able to sit down and watch Notre Dame football with your son who is just as crazy as you about the Irish…that’s pretty cool too! GO IRISH!

  10. Cheer up Irish fans, this one won’t be as close as the past three.

    Washington did get a quality win against a tired USC minus the QB that beat Ohio St. However, the Dawgs score less than 24ppg while allowing an average of 28ppg which by all accounts is not a formula for a powerhouse team. Playing in South Bend does not strike fear into the hearts of opposing teams as it did in the past but UW is a young team traveling half way across a continent to play a pretty good team. (Hint, it’s gonna matter)

    C-Dog you hit it on the head, let the old rich people donate and have buildings named after them on campus but let the rowdy, foaming at the mouth, energetic fans have the seats in the stadium on Saturday.

    CW and his play calling are fine, in the end it comes down to the athletes on the field executing the play. UW is little more than USC north without all the great athletes, advantage ND since we have been devoting so much time to learning how to beat USC again. Locker is the real deal, but Jimmy is no slouch, advantage ND.

    Irish win 34-17 with no last minute heroics!

    Go Irish!!

  11. Ladies and Gentlemen the Irish ARE less than six minutes from being 1-3 or 4-0. That said, I hope the lessons of the past weeks will teach the staff on play calling to put the opponet away as early as possible.
    I, for one, have had high blood pressure way too much this past month!! LOL.
    The running game COULD have won the Michigan game. ( Why continue passing with over 3 minutes left and give the Maize and Blue the ball?) uggh
    The running game WAS shoving Purdue out to the farm fields near by.
    Then we shifted to the passing game. WHY??

    Charlie gets talent-that is true.
    That said–WHY has ND in 2 games stopped what was working for them?
    The running game can do the job. Pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass-??? Good–but so is the option.
    Call me old fashioned–but it works. ( and had we RUN the ball against Ann Arbor and continued to do so against Purdue , the Irish WOULD be 4-0)
    THis team IS capable of doing great things.
    I believe that.
    I hope that the defense has less holes in it than swiis cheese.
    The Irish CAN do it and get the job done–I really believe that—
    just wish the STUPID play calls would stop at crunch time.

  12. I am sick of hearing how the Irish are two plays away from being 1-3. As true as it may be, we are also only ONE play away from being 4-0. Maybe I look at life with a glass half full aspect, but why not? Enjoy our Fighting Irish and don’t scrutinize every wrong doing. It will allow for a much better SPECTATOR experience on glorious football Saturdays. GO ND!!

    1. But wouldn’t you like something inspirational about football again? Here’s the thing about Notre Dame that transcends football: Notre Dame has historically had something that provided inspiration. Not just Rockne, Leahy, Parseghian, Devine, and Holtz, or Gipper, the Four Horseman, the Heisman winners, Rudy, or Reggie Ho. But Digger and Austin Carr ending the UCLA streak, Bengel Bouts, Ruth Riley, and a whole host of other stories in and out of sports.
      Does anyone care about Texas, Florida, Oklahoma or USC? I sure don’t. In the end it’s one team nominally associated with a school that stands for NOTHING or another. Tebow getting a concusion, or USC’s Johnson having his accident while skipping school to weightlift for the real reason he’s at USC, I feel bad for them, but feel a lot worse for a Pat Tillman, or my neighbors who just had a house fire.
      Factory athletes like Tate Forcier? Why not just cheer for the old East Germans or Soviets. We’ve become them.

      No I crave an inspirational Notre Dame. Because only Notre Dame has a link to the past in sports in America. When it was inspirational. You don’t root for Notre Dame, just because. You root for Notre Dame because it is more than football. Or was. I don’t want to watch a machine. Madden Football on the Gamecube is good for that. I want the magic back.

      Go IRISH!!

      1. C-Dog,
        I don’t know if you believe in “Divine Intervention” But I do. Many will ridicule you about it or think it’s corny, but I’ve experienced it. Even though it was only once, it was at ND, and has stayed with me ever since.
        It’s what makes ND special for me.
        It’s when a team, it’s coaches, players, even fans, are on a different plane or level. Beating teams that they have no business beating.
        Winning with little more than spirit, unity, and a firm belief in them selves.
        They made plays in big games that they never made in practice. A little known, or seldom used player, thrown into a pressure situation, who calmly steps in and executes with supreme precision. Where every tipped pass, or bounce of the ball goes ND’s way. It was like electricity in the air, One could feel it, sence it. When the lads had their backs agianst the wall, and things look their darkest, something whould happen to turn the tide.
        For me it was on a cold, dark, rainy, day. Both teams soaking wet, cold, covered in mud. They had beat and pounded on each other for more than three quarters. Guys on both sides cut, bruised, battered, hobbled, uniforms ripped and torn, but still refuseing to sit on the sidelines. Nether team able to break out or put their opponent away.
        Time running out. Game tied, and ND in their own end. 2nd and 10 from their 25.
        Timeout called.
        Then it happened.
        The soaking rain breifly stopped. The heavy over cast sky that had hung relentlessly over the stadium all day, broke open ever so slightly. A single ray of sunshine, the first and only of the day, found it’s way into ND staduim and the home teams bench.
        Huddled around their coach, their Gold helmets were suddenly illuminated. Reflected accross a sea of faithfull fans, it energised the crowd, a roar arose from the old stadium like never before. Suddenly the players broke from their sideline scrum. With fire in their eyes and a renewed energy that defied the laws of human
        capabilities, the hugh linemen, with their jersey numbers long since obscurred by the mud, blood, and sweat of the days’ battle, digging in along the line. The call, a simple sweep toss. But with the snap of the ball it was like watching in slow motion. Linemen firing out, gaurd pivioting and pulling, leading the assult. The toss from QB to running back. The nimble but powerfully gifted runner, carring for the 25th time that day, seeks his freedom from behing his linemen, Then the hole opens before him in perfect rythim. Without missing a beat, he plants his foot. All day the once emerald green field had been churned into a brown mud pit. Chunks of grass and sod spewn in all directions. But on this play the turf somehow held. The runner now surging past a wave of flailling arms, can now count to himself 2 defenders in his path. 2 final defenders trying to impede his search for glory. Another hard cut, and agian the compacted mud and grass somehow holds and now it’s one agianst one. The runner, filled with desire, pulling enery from all those within the storied landmark, finds more speed and power than he has ever had before. A grabbing and clawing battle ensues and stiff-arming, he find himself, now near his own teams sideline, twisting and turnning in a whirling display of power, speed and shear determination, as he breaks free. Mud blocking his vision in one eye he rights him self, ballancing to stay in bounds. Looking streight ahead, then suddenly and momentarilly, in one breif moment, all sound is blocked.
        Complete silence as all surrounding distractions are blurred out. A clear and unobsturcted path to the endzone lies before him.
        His heart quickens. A sudden and final surge of energy now carries him for the remaining yardage. And as he streaks past his bench, coaches and players jumping and waving wildly, the sound of the game now returns to him.
        The satisfaction of the acheivement as he crosses the goalline, that that he and his team have now fullfilled their destiny paints a gracious smile accross his face.
        And the band played.
        Was it Divine Intervention? Can anyone say that it wasn’t?

      2. Shazamrock,
        I’m totally with you. I felt it many times at the Grotto. Something tough comes up and you need that whisper that only faith can provide. Nothing to do with football. Everything to do with the Faith that has surrounded Notre Dame and the people of Notre Dame.
        To me, the play of the football team and those games where something happens, those magical moments, are mere extensions and a window into the Faith that abides at Notre Dame.
        So my ultimate issue is that since 1994, I haven’t really seen a lot of manifestation of that on the ball field. I get psyched listening to Holtz, or Aaron Taylor. Football is a way to teach life lessons that circle around and feed that Faith.

      3. ND 33 Washington 30 in OT.
        This game had it all. Rain, 3 come backs. 3 goal-line stands. Freshman kicker keeping his team in the game.
        Robert Hughes bulling his way on shear desire for a 2 point conversion. Jimmy Claussen throwing for over 400 yards, bad toe and all.
        ND fans who DIDN’T sit on their hands and who were more vocal than I’ve seen in a long time. This game had everything. On the winning TD,JC thew the ball up well before Rudolph had turned. Unbeievable play.
        Was it Divine Intervention? Can anyone say that it wasn’t?

    2. Beaver-

      I agree with you, and let’s put this in perspective. USC is one play away from being 2-2, with two wins over absolute cupcakes.

  13. Thanks for your comments! But I still stand by what I said about how it’s hard to win at Notre Dame, perhaps other foes have had luck there but Washington has NEVER beaten ND either there OR in Seattle. I would love to believe that Dawgs could overcome that this weekend, but it is a historic place that get into the heads of visitors that don’t go there on a regular basis. Good luck this weekend Domers! Should be a helluva game regardless 🙂

  14. Interesting that Sarkisian has been able to instill an expectation to win in his first year with an 0-12 football team. Seems that Charlie is still learning that skill.

    1. Would you rather be 2-2 or 3-1? The expectation to win at ND isn’t something that Charlie needs to instill. Think about it…
      Charlie to players: “Boys, people expect us to win here at Notre Dame, so no screwing around!”
      Players in unison: “Really, nobody ever told us that, we thought this place was all about a Catholic education and NBC???”
      Charlie: “No, seriously, it isn’t a joke, there are people out there who think we ought to win every game, they are nuts! I just wanted to instill in you guys that the expectation to win is very real”
      Players: “#@#! that, I’m transferring to Duke”

      1. weis’ first year, when he went on the road to michigan when they were ranked #5 i think. he won that game and i dont care if they ended up imploding after that. he has a “signature” win. just because it wasnt usc, people seem to forget that.

  15. It’s not play calling that’s Weis’ problem. It’s game calling. Play by play Weis has good ones and puts out good drives. What he doesn’t do is feel the flow of the game and deliver that knockout punch or sense a momentum swing. He’s reduced the game to mechanics, which comes from the Bellichek/Patriots book. In college it’s at least 50% mindset and psychology. Momentum and flow are key. But so are adjustments and the Irish aren’t adjusting quickly enough during a game. So while the stats are good, look at the swing the offensive production. Too much hot and cold.

    And yes, the defense is supsect. Until the average points against approaches 20 per game, this team is as fragile as any.

    And yes, it is a misconception anymore that ND stadium is a rough place to play. It was a lot louder in the 80s and early 90s. Too PC these days and becoming the Michigan like tea party fans. Too many old rich people.


    1. C-Dog you hit it on the head, let the old rich people donate and have buildings named after them on campus but let the rowdy, foaming at the mouth, energetic fans have the seats in the stadium on Saturday.

    2. C-Dog,

      You nailed it on the head. There are many offensive “geniuses” out there that can call offensive plays, but we need a HEAD COACH to manage the team and the game. Yes – the defense is the problem thus far, but who ultimately is responsible?? Until I see us put 50 on the board against anyone, how can I put him in the category of offensive mastermind?? At this point, anyone sticking up for Charlie WEIS (is how you spell it, folks) doesn’t truly care about ND football and want more than mediocrity.

  16. Its time for the defense to step up and hold the lead in the 4th quarter decisively. As Rick Pitino might say, Michael Stonebreaker and Chris Zorich are not walking through that door. Jim Flanigan and Justin Tuck are not walking through that door. Go Irish!

  17. Charlie isn’t the tastiest tuna in the can agreed. But he seems to be changing oh so slowly. Will it be in time? This season’s strength or lack thereof is helping hide his slow transformation to being a more flexible thinker. At least we stopped blitzing every down. I don’t understand how he doesn’t have some dude foaming at the mouth standing by him telling him “Kill Kill Kill”. That would be good start.

  18. Brandon –

    Not true – poor play calling cost us the Michigan game and almost cost us the Michigan State game. The failure to get Crist started w/ high percentage passes to enable him to have a balanced attack is what kept the Purdue game close.
    Weis even stated he would have called the sames plays that led to the demise against Michigan. His repeated failure to keep the opposing teams off balance by keeping his foot on the gas is the problem not to mention the fact the teams we won against all have losing records – much like last year. We are struggling against suppoedly wekaer teams on paper and lost against a young Michigan team that truly has lessor talent than ND. It all comes down to coaching – if highlighting what is the most glaring problem is “blaming Charlie” then so be it. It is what it is. Sorry if it isn’t pc enough for you.

  19. Brandon,

    I’m with you brother. Charlie is getting the job done on the offensive side of things except for one thing…his playcalling changes dramatically when we get any kind of lead. He decides to run the ball way more than he passes. Its usually run, run, pass, punt almost every time with a lead. What I don’t get is why we ever change our offensive approach. The only time you should do that is in the 4th quarter if you are blowing out a team. During the Michigan State game, we came out with 5 wide no huddle and scored two touchdowns like it was nothing. Why stop??? Every time you look up to see scores in ND Stadium you see Florida, Texas, even Ohio State who is conservative at best on offense racking up their scores on teams. We should be doing the exact same thing. We have the potential to be winning games by 50 with the high powered offense we have. We aren’t getting recognition by beating a team like Purdue, Mich State, etc. by a small margin.

    Blow these teams out Charlie!!! Keep your foot on the pedal and don’t let up.

    1. That kind of rationale put TT on his back. Once again, let Florida, Texas, OSU, SoCal do their thing.

      I do agree that sometimes CW does some unconventional things, such as, last week when Crist came in and ran the ball down Purdue’s throat for a TD. Next series, JC comes in and it’s four and out before halftime.

      Love the talent CW is bringing to ND. Go Irish|!

    2. Chris,

      I couldn’t agree with you more, as you can see by my post above (palk21). Charlie just needs to get some distance so Michigan, Mich St., Purdue, etc can’t get back in the game with 1 score.


      I, nor Chris, is saying that with a 34-10 lead in the 4th quarter Jimmy, Golden, Armando, etc should be in the game. But when you’re up 17-7 at the half against Purdue, and the score is STILL 17-7 when the 4th quarter starts, changes need to be made. Becuase 1 score by Purdue, which happened, all of sudden we’re playing for the game again. Just 1 TD in the 3rd and 24-7 looks A LOT different going into the 4th quarter. That’s the point I, and I assume Chris, is trying to make about CW’s play calling.

  20. i love how everyone is criticizing charlie’s playcalling. we have averaged about 30 ppg. the defense is the problem. Only reason we only scored 24 vs purdue is because top wr is out. rb was out. clausen played less than half the game.

    Only thing you could possibly criticize thus far is the fact that he didnt let crist throw. Thats the ONLY thing.

    People may point to the michigan game where we passed on 2 straight downs, but guess what. He would have looked like a genius had shaq evans caught the ball that he was WIDE OPEN on.

    Stop blaming charlie and start blaming the young d line that gets no pressure on the qb and the corners who give a huge cushion to every piece of trash wr in the country. Yes the d did improve vs purdue and are a work in progress.

    1. Thanks for bringing that up. ND is averaging almost 32 points a game (stop talking about Charlies play calling)…everyone knows the defense is the probably. I’m tired of turning on NBC and listening to Paul Hammond talk about Tenuta and his amazing blitz schemes…Yes they are 3-1, but they are literally two plays away from 1-3. The D needs to establish themselves this week or it going to be a long year.

    2. Charlie’s problem is that he doesn’t know how to keep the pressure on. He gets WAY too conservative. We should be averaging 35-40 pts per game. Here’s what going to happen…

      Notre Dame will be up something like 24-7 or 21-10 at the half and win by less than 7 points because Charlie, in 5 years, hasn’t realized that ALL football games last 60 minutes. Outside of Michigan St this year, Notre Dame has had the lead after the first half in every game and should’ve come out firing, but we played conservative or we just didn’t adjust right, but something prevented us from pulling away. We’re keeping teams in the game by not sticking it to them in the 2nd half.

      We’ve scored 81 first half pts to only 45 second half pts. ‘Ol Charlie needs to learn to play aggressive and keep the gas on for all 60 minutes. Based on the last 5 years, I can only assume we’ll have a lead and let Washington back into it so we all have to sweat the final 5 minutes of the game, just like last week.

      My prediction…ND-31 WASH-28

  21. It’s hard to win in ND stadium…? Where have you been these past 10 years…? Give me a break! That advantage has been long gone since the re-dedication of the stadium expansion in 97.

    In order to the Irish to assert themselves – the defense needs to find an identity and fast! By far the defense (and Charlies play calling) has been the most depressing aspect of ND football this year. I totally expected the defense to be the surprize factor that finally got the Irish moving and excelling in the right direction. Injurues or not there is a lot of fire power on this offense providing Weis challenges and pushes his players to make plays instead of coddling them via conservative inexplicable play calling….the defense needs to find a nasty attitude pronto or expect an 8-4 season.

    1. The difference is Washington isn’t a team that plays in South Bend very often – so they have players that could very likely only see Notre Dame Stadium once in their lives. So as young guys that are often fans of the game, it would be hard not to get to South Bend and be awe-struck.

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