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?