Irish Stewed: Tying One for the Gipper and Choking on Applesauce

There was a time when the Notre Dame-Michigan State rivalry was the only thing that mattered to the entire country, let alone just to fans in South Bend and East Lansing. The date was November 16, 1966. ND hadn’t won a National Championship since 1953 and was ranked #1 in one poll and #2 in the other. Defending National Champion MSU entered the game ranked #2 in one poll and #1 in the other. The outcome, a 10-10 tie, would become instantly infamous in sporting circles, with the media blasting Irish Coach Ara Parseghian for running out the clock instead of trying to move his offense into field goal range. Even though ABC aired the “The Game of the Century” on tape delay, it drew better TV ratings than that year’s Super Bowl. (Random trivia note: the game was the first-ever live sports broadcast to Vietnam and Hawaii.)

ND’s detractors mocked Ara, saying he chose to, “Tie won for the Gipper.” But when the dust settled, history judged Ara and the Irish more kindly. Noting that a team minus its starting QB (Terry Hanratty was knocked out in the first quarter) and starting running back (Nick Eddy separated his shoulder getting off the train in East Lansing) still managed a tie on the road, pollsters kept the Irish at #1. Notre Dame would go on to win the 1966 National Championship, and in 1999 The Sportings News named the ‘66 Fighting Irish and the 1965-66 Spartans as the eleventh and thirteenth greatest teams of the 20th Century respectively.

The problem with the ND-MSU rivalry is that it’s wildly inconsistent, with one team dominating the series for decades at a time. Prior to the Game of the Century, Notre Dame had gone an abysmal 2-12 versus MSU since 1950. After the Game of the Century, Notre Dame lost to Michigan State only four times through 1997. Like many Irish opponents, however, MSU has been the beneficiary of Notre Dame’s inept HR department in the post-Holtz years, winning nine of the last 12 in the “Charlie Davieham Era,” including six straight in South Bend until that streak was snapped in 2009 thanks to MSU quarterback Kirk Cousins shoving his head up his ass in the closing 90 seconds.

While there have not been national title implications in really any of the games, for the last 20 years ND-MSU has taken a backseat to no other rivalry in terms of sheer balls-out, what-the-hell-is-going-to-happen-next drama.

First, there was the Immaculate Deflection in 1990:

Then there was Dillingham-to-Battle in 2002:

The 2005 overtime thriller in Charlie Weis’ first year taught me to always preset my DVR for a six-hour game, just to be safe:

In 2006 Notre Dame staged one of the greatest comebacks in the history of Irish football:

…which was nearly upstaged by possibly THE greatest on-air meltdown by a radio broadcaster.

And as referenced previously, 2009 was Kirk Cousins’ gift to the Irish Nation.

So, what’s going to happen in 2010? In typical ND-MSU fashion, there’s a story beyond the sidelines. I’d like to think both coaches takes this game personally. When John L. Smith was fired, Kelly was passed over for the MSU job in favor of Mark Dantonio. Ironically, Kelly replaced Dantonio at Cincinnati and did what Dantonio could not. With a roster made up largely of Dantonio’s recruits, Kelly posted a 34-6 record, won two straight Big East Conference titles and took the Bearcats to back-to-back BCS bowls. Kelly turned winning most of the time into winning all of the time, and he made competitors into champions. That’s got to annoy the piss out of Dantonio, don’t you think?

With the Big Ten expanding to 12 teams, Big Ten commissioner Jim Delaney has said that a 9-game conference schedule is all but inevitable. A consequence of this move would most likely be that at least one of Notre Dame’s three annual Big Ten rivals—Michigan, Purdue and Michigan State—will eventually be knocked off the Irish schedule. MSU would seem to be the logical pick here, with Purdue remaining on the schedule as ND’s lone in-state rival and Michigan not going anywhere either because we relish beating them (and hating them). I guess I’d be in favor of keeping Michigan, and putting Purdue and MSU on two-year rotations. But saying goodbye to Sparty for good? Saying goodbye to a series in which eight of the past 10 meetings have been decided by a touchdown or less, with three of the last five being decided by just three points? Hell no!

McSweeney is a longtime blogger and poster on UHND. His novel, EXOTIC MUSIC OF THE BELLY DANCER, a coming-of-age story about sex, drugs, rock n’ roll, and Notre Dame football, is available as an e-book on Amazon by clicking here.

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  1. I don’t think the sky is falling. I think we have an ND team that is not improving. That is what worries me. As I’ve said ad nauseum, I didn’t expect ND to beat Stanford. I also didn’t expect to get embarrassed and destroyed. I thought we would have seen very meaningful improvement by this point in the season. We haven’t. And the next 2 weeks are critical, IMHO, as to the outcome of 2010. It will mean stopping a material losing streak or adding to it.

  2. I beg to differ. They’re people out there who are willing to coach ND. They are the tough SOB’s who accept nothing but winning. Someone who’s not afraid to grab a player by the facemask and drag him off the field for committing a personal foul. Sound familiar?

  3. By the sounds of the people on this post why doesn’t ND join the Ivy league. Seriously, it was one loss. They were in the game until the fourth quarter. You guys need to get a clue and lay off this team. Rome wasn’t built in a night. This program was allowed to go to shit from 1996 till 2010. Forget the recruiting classes talent, this program was run like shit since Holtz left. Why don’t we fire BK, get another coach and another and another. No one will want to coach this team for the bullshit fan base that needs to get a clue. This last comment will pain me but I must say it, George Steinbrenner has more patience than some of you on this board and I hate the Yankees more than USC. If you don’t want to support the team don’t watch. Crist is a first year QB and will regress and make mistakes. Jimmy had horrible games his second year as a starter, need I remind everyone of the BC game. This is going to be a tough season period. Look at what changes with the program and review it at the end of the year.

    1. You sound like a fan who accepts mediocrity. Lest you forget, Weis played #1 USC in 2005 to the final play.

      This team cannot play Stanford till half-time.

      Big difference man.

      I am patient. I can accept losses. Just not fake FG losses to inferior teams like MSU. Or getting beat by 23 to the “Harvard of the West” at home.

      When are you going to wake up? Will YOU demand more?

      1. Im with you Patrick. Some people just accept mediocrity. It’s always “he’s too young” “not enough experience” “he hasn’t played very much” blah blah blah blah. Same old shit game after game, year after year, for 20 freakin years. ND DEMANDS academic excellence. The football program should expect the same.

    2. I basically agree this is a work in progress – those of you saying a year of 10-2 , 11-1 were living in La-La land.
      There is so mcuh to do here – Patience is not something usually in ND vocabulary but it has to be there – the material and structure for an immediate turn around just not there – it will take a couple of years anot a couple of games – everything needs work

    3. I’m certainly not ready to call for BK’s job and start throwing dirt on the team. I wasn’t expecting an 11-1 team this year.

      But I’m also not ready to continue making excuses for ugly losses. Break this game down and you’re gonna see our offensive and defensive line get man handled. We had ZERO push on the defensive line, ZERO presure on the QB. Not to mention giving up like 90% of 3rd downs to Standford.

      WE have some young players on the field…. I understand that. Our QB is a first year starter. He’s going to need time to develope. Floyd has had a fumbling problem since he’s been at ND. Our LB’s our young and our Secondary is young.

      BK will get this team on the right path but at the same time, I don’t feel that “we” should feel that we have to sugar coat the play of the team.

  4. My comment earlier isnt meant in a way to throw BK under the bus. It is an observation that he should learn from. Just like adjustments Weis needed to make and made way too late. BK needs to get back to his roots and stay consistant. If he benched Wood for fumbling in the start of the 2nd half against Michigan – then he also needs to sit Floyd on the bench too. He said after the fumble “I dont care if he is the best running back in the country – if you put the ball on the deck on my team you are not playing.” Same goes for Floyd.

    Also although a moot point right now how about the call and non call on the off sides against Stanford and the subsequent slamming of Crist to the ground? Did anybody else go ballistic over that one?

  5. The only thing I can say to their defense, and it ain’t much, is that they were obviously psychologically crushed by last weeks loss, and that rests squarely on BK’s shoulders.

    1. I don’t know if I would say they were crushed because of last week. I actually never thought I’d say this . . . but the “Harvard of the West” actually has tougher, better coached, better schemed, more talented athletes than the University of Notre Dame.

      Kinda makes me chuckle . . . because all I’ve heard for 15 year is ND can’t recruit the type of player to competitive.

      Seems as though Jim Harbaugh and Stanford have done it.

  6. Hey Steel Fan Rob – Real fans dont mail it in before the game is played like you do. I understand the frustration you feel but regardless of play -I remain a fan of ND football – frustrated fan for sure but a committed fan nonetheless – in season and out of season. Can you say the same?

    1. Chris, I’m sorry but you so called “fans” who say nothing is wrong and criticise everyone who criticise Notre Dame football is just a plain hypocrite. Weiss first two years were decent but other than that for almost 20 years we haven’t been just bad but pathetic. All these supposedly great athletes and great recruiting classes are not worth a pot to piss in if we have no coaching. And are you people actually watching these games. The Irish look like they don’t even belong on the same field with most of these teams. They can’t run, they can pass, a little. Can’t block. They can catch a little. They can’t tackle very good. They sure as hell can’t hit anyone. Can’t coach and are slower than DIRT! This is every game every year for almost 20 years! You people think that if you pray hard enough the irish will turn into Alabama or Florida. Keep dreaming. Without a coach who’s Tough as nails it doesn’t matter. And if we criticise the irish means we’re not committed like you Chris. Give me a break. Since we don’t accept mediocrity we’re not a fan uh? Get off your high horse and holy than thou mountain and face reality. ND is pathetic right now and have been for 20 years until we get a coach who’s tough as nails.

    2. “Leprechaun” Chris:

      Have you found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow yet? With “fans” like you, who needs ND haters? I’m sure you’re a joke among your friends who seriously watch college football, with all your Lou-Holtz-like bravado and predictions of wins before games. Notice that “Leprechaun” Chris wrote to insult me and my loyalty to ND football and didn’t once address his lame prediction abilities or over-inflated sense of self-worth. Like I said, “fans” like this, who accept and make excuses for mediocrity make me sick!

      And, yes, “Leprechaun”, I, too, will be once again watching and cheering for ol’. ol’ ND next Sat. But unlike you, I won’t have to take my head out of my ass to do so. It’s amazing how much better and clearer you can watch a football game when you don’t have your head up your own rectum!

  7. Uh . . . . can anyone tell me how the 2010 team is better than the 2009 team that got Weis fired?

    Lose to Michigan? Check.

    Beat Michigan State? Uh . . . sorry, we forgot to cover the fake FG.

    Make the game with Stanford somewhat competitive? Uh . . . sorry, Stanford has better atheletes, hence the reason the game was over at half-time.

    Oh Charlie Weis . . . please come back to us. At least when you were here, you kept the games close. At least when you were here, we could play Stanford till the 4th quarter. At least when you were here, we could count on offensive production.

    Please come back Charlie . . .

  8. Brian Kelly is quite simply not coaching the Irish like he coached while at Cinncinati. The more I watch this year, the more I think he is in love with the position than in love with the JOB of coaching ND football. He has NOT shown the same emotion on the sidelines that I saw while he was at Cinncinati. If there was a game where these guys needed to play like they are capable of playing, it was today. Instead we saw the first game where Crist regressed – Floyd continues to drop catchable balls – Walls drops a sure interception. This was a game that called for no mistakes. The Irish beat themselves in the first half and allowed Stanford time to sort things out and win big. I am simply at a loss to know what it takes for these players to get over the hump. The challanges are there – Irish teams of past would relish these game scenarios – the present team seems to run from the challange…. dont know – just dont know what it takes. You would think a real sports team would say enough already. Seemingly not ND.

    1. Amen man . . . call it like it is, instead of sugar-coating the ego of an over-inflated Big East coach (annointed as a savior) who produces results worse than the man who got fired.

  9. Everyone take a deep breath, we’re only 4 games in. I’m one of those folks who said Stanford wins this one (predicted 42-24 so a bit off), but I’m expecting BK to eventually turn this around. Won’t be this year but hopefully we’ll improve as the season progresses. Keep the faith, it won’t be like this forever.

    1. Jack, I totally agree. I’m tired of hearing all the doubt myself. The only time I have doubted ND is when Charlie acted so snobbish on the sideline last year. I have played football for almost half my life, been a ND fan since I was 3 yrs old. You have to remember Lou Holtz was run out of ND, but I believe that Brian Kelly is the man. It may not show it at this time but in the future, if everyone will just get off his butt, things will progress during the season. It’s not about the losing. It’s about the players playing and the coaches being able to implement their systems, and the players following thru on them. With all that being said, I believe that ND will rise again. It’s not about faith or praying, they will be back and I don’t care what the naysayers have to say about it. I truly believe it. And just think, this schedule looked like a pretty easy schedule but it turned into an ugly, ugly schedule. So let’s wish this team good luck for the rest of the year and for all those haters out there – stop hating and get off Brian Kelly’s back. Go Irish.

      1. What “system” are you talking about? Losing three in a row? Complete and absolute mental mistakes that shift momentum?

        Please, shed light on this “system” you speak of . . . because for four weeks all I’ve seen is an underachieving, immature, poor tackling, mistake-prone team that’s lost three straight.

  10. I disagree with all of these sky is falling posts. When was the last time ND lost to Standford? It was 1992 and they lost by two touchdowns. Standford has talent, they crushed UCLA who bitched slapped Texas today. Crist had a bad game and the offense looked horrible. The defense showed improvement and played well today considering all of the time they were on the field. You also neeed to remember that Crist is only playing his fourth game in a new system. I don’t even think Kelly has 85% of the offense in. I think BK will look at the tape and make adjustments but to say this team is horrible is just bullshit. They could have easily beat MSU and Michigan. Standford is no a role and a good disciplined football team. One thing my old man used to say to me is you are never as good as you are on your good days or as bad as you are on your bad ones. Remember this and I can bet we will see a better team come November, instead of lucky wins early and fading at the end. 7-5 is a definite possiblility but Holtz went 5-6 in his first year. Look at the positives in each game and make it threw this year.

    1. I agree with most of what you said however our defense didn’t play well at all. Teo was a beast… but Standford had a green light all the way down the field. They were like 90% on 3rd downs man.

  11. I had a terrific day on campus today and enjoyed every ounce of what Notre Dame has to offer in their pre-game events. Pictures with Holtz, Ara, Leahy and Touchdown Jesus. Stopped by the Grotto….said a quick prayer for my friends, family and for victory on the field today. Sat on a bench and took in the whole atmosphere…reminding myself of why I’m such a die hard ND fan. It’s not all about sports for me…it’s spiritual as well.

    However, by half time I found myself leaving the stadium upset that I had spent a large sum of money and invested so much energy into believing that I would see a clear difference between the teams of the past and the team that Kelly was going to field.

    I’m just not seeing improvement in any facet of the game. In fact…I’m seeing the team progressively get worse. Either Purdue is an absolute train wreck of a team or we played our best football that day.

    They tell us that we have been in the top 15 in terms of recruiting for the last 5 years! If that’s the case then we should be able to compete on pure athleticism. I’m not seeing it… I’m seeing a team that is getting their tales kicked with zero signs of improvement.

    I’m down right tired of loosing. This must be what it feels like to be a Lions fan. lol Granted I knew going into this game that it was a long shot to win. However I wasn’t expecting to watch our squad get man handled.

    I guess I’ll be able to enjoy some victories when we start playing the “easy” part of our schedule and have to swallow getting are asses handed to us by “good” teams.

    1. Purdue lost to Toledo today, enough said. We would have a hard time competing in the MAC or C-USA right now. How long before NBC says this is enough.

      Could you ever have envisioned a time when teams like Stanford, Boise St., TCU, Utah are so vastly superior to ND its like they are not even playing the same sport.


  12. Oh and I liked how Kelly said he didn’t care what people’s expectations were. Yeah, I understand where he’s coming from. But I’ll tell you what- maybe he SHOULD start worrying about them. Or looking at things from a different perspective. Because right now his formula is not working. If we were 3-1 I would be saying, ‘yeah, sounds about right, to be expected.’
    Like SFR and I said, next 2 weeks will provide some big answers….

  13. MY friends we have hit a new low. There have been many bad points over the last 15-20 years, but frankly this was one of the lowest. Stanford has way better players than we do. One series into the game you could tell it was over. We had zero and i mean zero chance of winning the game. At no point did it feel like we had a chance. My only hope is that BK is tearing it down to build it back up, but this looks real bad. Stanford, I repeat Stanford has markedly better personnel than Notre Dame does, what has happened!

    Additionally, I thought BK was awful today. The decision to throw and not run out the clock at the end of the half was unforgiveable. As bad as things were it was only 13-6 and the D was keeping us alive. Bonehead decision no mistake about it and you could tell it was very deflating to give up that useless field goal. Then later on the 3rd and 1 at midfield to throw it was awful and did anybody on the planet think there was anyway on gods green earth we could pick up a 4th and 1.

    The running game is abysmal! 3rd down defense is atrocious. I thought Harbaugh actually made a horrible decision running on 3rd and 13 at one point. Just let the kid throw it and pick up another easy first down.

    Sad to say but September is not over and i really could care less to watch another game. BC is just as bad as we are, maybe a win. Pitt is overrated, maybe a win. Then it is cupcake city. But Utah and USC will roll all over us. 7-5 at best but who cares. It just looks awful!!!

    I don’t even know what else to say. I’m somewhat in disbelief that we are this bad. If this guy can’t get it done, who can?? I know it is early and he could turn it around next year, but they don’t look any better than the last 10 years. Nothing has changed.

  14. SFR: I couldn’t have said it any better. Excuses excuses every week every year, year after year after year. I’ve been watching football for quite a while, like most of you, and the mark of a new coach in his first season is not so much wins and losses but how tough the team is. Do they go down fighting. The answer so far is a big NO. I want to believe in Kelly but it’s hard right now. I don’t even want to hear they’re getting a great recruiting class next year. Who cares! Harbough is tough as nails and his team reflects that. I guess we just keep trying every 4 or 5 years with a new coach. WOW!

  15. This was pathetic! Gutless coaching, gutless QB-ing, gutless Special Teams play (with the exception of the team MVP, the kicker, N. Ruffer), gutless, gutless, gutless! (Please, no one try to sell me on how well the D played. They didn’t! They gave up way too many 3rd and long conversions for anyone to try to sell me that Kool-Aid!)

    I never thought I’d miss Charlie Weis’ play-calling, but I’m getting there. Do coaches get stupid when they take the ND coaching job? Do football players get less athletic when they take ND scholarships? There is something wrong with this program. I don’t know what it is, but it’s getting old really fast (actually, it’s been going on for about 20 years, so it’s just plain old!).

    Give me Jim Harbaugh and Harbaugh-ball over BK and his style of O any time of the week or esp. on the weekend. Tough, rugged O and D. Old-school football. Has BK talked about “schematic advantages” yet? perhaps he should.

    With the exception of those who believe in leprechauns and pots of gold at the end of rainbows on this board, people like Chris and Irish68 (where are you now, you gurus and prophets of victory today?!),the rest of us sane and realistic fans knew we weren’t beating Stanford. ND hasn’t won this type of a game in about a decade or more. But to not just get beaten, but to get beaten up so badly is plain worrisome. Please, Chris or Irish68, explain this one to me.

    The real referendum on BK starts next week. Both BC and Pitt looked as pathetic as we did this weekend. Beat one or both and win out until SC and win the Tampax bowl or whatever and we can perhaps (?!) save what is shaping up to be a good recruiting class. Notice I don’t say save the season because it’s lost barring a major turn around. Lose both games and it’s time to panic. The season could get really bad really fast. An upset loss to one of the lesser opponents on the schedule and you’re looking at a losing season. (BTW: I’m not sure we can beat Pitt, BC, or Navy; Utah is practically a sure L on the schedule.) What’s worse, you’re looking at losing a bunch of future talent. And BK is going to need all the talent he can get to help him grow into this job. (And he better grow up real fast!)

    I’m seeing Bo Pellini turn around Nebraska in a few years. Same with Bobby Patrino at Ark. What about Saban and Meyer? Not to mention Harbaugh at Stanford (so much for ND’s perpetual excuse of academics hindering winning teams). Frankly, if BK fails, I don’t know what ND will do next other than go after someone like Saban or another proven winner at the biggest level of college ball. (Most of BK’s coaching success was in the minor leagues, including at Cinci.)

    I’m fed up with this bull-s _ _ t mediocrity!

    BTW, FXM: Don’t apologize. The real toxic haters on this board are the ones that make all kinds of excuses for the mediocrity that ND has experienced for almost a generation. These “fans” are always trying to play the moral high-ground card and saying to anyone who criticizes ND to go root for another team. In fact, it’s these people who need to go root for another team and take their tolerance for the mediocre with them. Good riddance, I say!

    1. I feel your frustration SFR. You can just tell that, just like Weis’s teams, this team does not expect to win. Yes there are killers out there like Teo and Rudolph. But as a whole they play not to lose- and this comes from years and years of mediocrity. And I agree that the next 2 weeks are CRITICAL and the line of demarcation. IMO, if they lose to BC, the season is a failure. I mean shit, did anyone really expect BK’s team to be 1-4? And Pitt is no team to sneeze at!

      The next 2 weeks will tell us most everything we need to know about this team and this season. It’s the fulcrum. I am not off the BK bandwagon- I like his style and how he interacts w/ players. You all already know how I feel about some of this inexplicable decisions. But I think he will win, eventually. The scary question now is…..WHEN?

  16. Tough game today – actually gave up the fewest yards all year – 3rd downs still a killer. Much more consistency needed from everyone – Crist has to really start looking like a starting QB for a major team – The next two weeks are REALLY the key – win both of those and a successful is likely there – two Ws will also do a lot mentally – A lot of it does lie with Crist like everyone else is saying – his accuracy, consistency, and decision has to really improve or it will be another long year and a fight for staring QB next year. NEXT TWO WEEKS – BOTH MUST WINS – I don’t really think this was a must win Stanford might be the best team the Irish will play all year Crist must be more consistent and his accuracy has to really improve – I still would like to have seen Clausen and Tate in thsi offense – The team should be showing improvement not sure it is

  17. Crist is getting worse as the year goes on. I’m not talking about when he was pressured. I’m talking about more HORRIBLE decisions. We are 4 games into the season and the whole “Well he’s basically a rookie qb” is getting stale. Kelly has not prepared this team like we thought he would. ND is a team with alot of talent that is losing. I did not expect them to beat Standford- not at all. But I certainly expected better execution the last 2 weeks.

  18. All the very noble efforts by our defense, that is getting pushed around like rag dolls, is practically meaningless. BECAUSE CRIST SUCKS. How does he get more inconsistent as the game goes on? Guy is all over the map. With all the weapons we have on offense, we are still an incredibly average team. And yes, I am just venting.

  19. Boy, I’d love to have to come on this board Sat. night or Sun. morning and applaud Chris, Irish68, and others for making the right call on the Stanford game. I’ve always said that I have no problems with ND proving me wrong and winning games that I didn’t think they should or would. That would be awesome to eat some crow!

    Now, if ND loses, however, I’d like for Chris and Irish68 and the other eternal optimists to come onto the board and not give us any spin about what IF this or that. I’d appreciate some candid soul-searching if we don’t beat Stanford and not the excuses, hypotheticals, justifications, blame-game (i.e., the officials), etc., that seem to always exude from those who seem to love NF football so much that they’re blind to reality.

    But, like I said, I’d love for Chris et al. to be right and say to the rest of us Sat. night, “see, I told you so, ye of little faith!” It would be great to start talking about how we’ve turned the corner as a program and are on the road to greatness.

    1. I am with you, it took Harbaugh three years to get that ship righted, we have better athletes so we can do it in less but not immediately and I think that is all we are saying. WE will compete but probably end up if saying if Teo wrapped on Luck or if Floyd only held onto that ball, etc. I don’t think we are being toxic negative haters, just realistic. This Stanford team is better than either of the Michigan teams, if we play mistake free, yeah, we win but it is more likely that Stanford will be mistake free and that is the difference.

  20. How is there absolutely no content on the Stanford game and it’s now Saturday morning? No disrespect intended, but that is pretty JV.

  21. stanford – not as good as the hype. don’t be scared of the 68 they put up on wake, duke put up 48 on wake the week before.

    even though they are over-hyped, they are a better team than us. there is no doubt about that.

    however, we are ‘potentially’ a better team than them. just like crist is potentially a better qb than luck. and kelly is potentially a better coach than harbaugh. win or lose, we will be a little closer to realizing the potential.

    prediction – 42-32 irish…unless we turn the ball over more than 1x again, then flip the score

  22. Chris,

    I applaud your optimism, but we need to live in the reality. Can the Irish win this game, yes, but they will have to play mistake free football. This is something they have not been able to do all year. They have fumbled and thrown interceptions in the endzone a couple of times to kill drives and games. I want to believe you but I don’t see the product on the field. Do I see improvement, yes! Do I see a team no where near turning the corner, unfortunatley, Yes! I like watching the games because they compete and never give up, but I don’t see a top 25 team when I watch the Irish.

    1. Jack – Appreciate your comments but mine however are reality. There is a stagnant culture at ND from prior non coaches who happened to be given the job. Kelly IS a college coach. He is a motivator and connects with players at this level. There is NO reason based on his winning percentage and fire as a coach to believe that will change now.

      This is an entirely new and fresh attitude that BK is trying to install at ND compared to the philosophy of the prior 3 coaches we have had. This simply does not happen overnight. Based on the previous 15 years I truly do see this changing around. It is happening right now. It just isnt happening fast enough for most fans but you cant get all the monkeys off this programs back that have accumulated over the years – bowl losses, losses against ranked teams 3 games! They have to be removed one at a time. You also cant expect an entirely different mentality going into this season from one Spring and Fall practice session. That, is unrealistic.

      You are correct when you say I dont see a top 25 team. We arent going to see a top 25 team right now after the past history of this team. Takes time for players to truly buy in. If the Irish were getting dominated I would think differently but there is now fight in them Irish and I like it! GO IRISH!

      1. Chris,

        I agree with your analysis that BK is the right guy. I also believe this team has the talent but needs some kind of spark or something just needs to click. Like I said earlier I see a lot of similiarities between the 86 team and this team. I think the new offensive philosophy and defensive philosophy will take time to implement. Plus I am sick of hearing how bad our defense is from ESPN. They have made strides and will get better week to week.

      2. Jack –

        I just caught the ESPN breakdown on the ND game – this is exactly the fodder Kelly needs to further motivate the team onward to a victory today! I believe the first monkey comes off the backs of the Irish today.

        ESPN is looking for another love affair with a another team now that USC was spanked down by the NCAA. Seems they found one in Stanford – according to the analysts at ESPN they are untouchable and unbeatable – sounds like what folks said about the Titantic.

        These are the games ND need to win – it starts today! Nobody just gives respect especially to the Irish. Not much has changed over the years – hatred toward the Irish remains the acceptable bias of the talking heads. We just need to start shutting them up. GO IRISH!

  23. can ND get a cornerback that could cover anyone? Anybody could go out and cover the receivers 20 yards away! I had high hopes for this season but i guess we’ll see after BK gets some recruiting done! Maybe they need to recruit someone else for defensive coordinator!

  24. Irish are averaging 30 points w/ basically a freshman QB with an entirely new offense and Crist is improving significantly with each game. Defense is playing more sound with obvious room for improvement but they are hitting harder, plugging running holes and wrapping up. Secondary got hit w/ injuries but the D has kept it close even after being on the field for considerably more time than the opposing teams D. They got a bit gassed during Michigan but a week later they had more stamina at the end. The D had the right call on the fake FG bit two guys fell down after getting crossed by MSU receivers….Hey a few more catches by Floyd and we are undefeated. Man it just aint as dark as everyone is painting it. I definitely see a different team – you guys are still living in the Puddin Pants era…its over man just got to dispell your own phobias and hang tough during this transition. GO IRISH!

  25. I don’t expect too much, I am not asking to beat Alabama, I want to beat the Naval Academy, BC, and Stanford… ALWAYS. Oh, and I don’t want to be Denard-ed anymore.

  26. Gee by the sounds of you guys maybe we better call Stanford and tell them they better not come. Seems like most have already mailed it in! I say bring em on – that is why we play the game! GO IRISH! A win and 2 close, very close losses – you guys are sour grapes. You cant install a new mentality in one year. You install building blocks one step at a time. I have absolutely no worries at this point in time that the program will not get turned around here. We have had 3 lack luster coaches since Lou and some are already writing BK off – give me a break! GO IRISH!

  27. Irish68,

    I’ve been hearing this for years. Frankly, it’s gotten to the point that I’ll believe it when I see it. All things must pass? Right, tell that to Cubs fans. They’re still waiting for their baseball team’s mediocrity to pass. It’s 102 years and counting for the Cubs’ return to glory, Irish. Will ND be waiting that long? If it does, then ND football will be every bit as irrelevant as the Cubs are to MLB (nostalgic talk of Wrigley Field notwithstanding). I’d hate for Irish football to become the lovable losers.

  28. Guys, all things must pass. When Saturday afternoon is over and the sons of ND have beaten down the Cardinal then I will look back and say the corner has been turned. Years of football mediocrity have ended and a new era has begun. KEEP THE FAITH!

  29. I saw a hapless Pitt team get hammered at home by Miami last night. What are the odds that same Pitt team beats ND on the road? The Pitt game will tell me a lot about where we are as a program and how far we have to go. Pitt looked totally outclassed by Miami last night. If that same Panthers team comes to South Bend and beats ND it will tell me that this team is pathetic, and that ND is not even close to being a good (much less great) team. I sure hope to be proven wrong, but I just don’t see us beating Stanford. Pitt on the other hand looks beatable. If we lose to the Panthers, then I think this season is lost.

    1. Agree. I can’t see us beating Stanford either but maybe I’m wrong. But we should be able to beat Pitt. I also agree with FXM. If you look at each individual defensive player you say he’s pretty good, but as a team they’re not good. This drives me up a wall just like many of you.

  30. Our defense is going to have to play lights out. And turnovers and penalties must be at an absolute minimum. There is no doubt Stanford MAY be the best team in the PAC 10. I believe!

    GO IRISH!!!

    1. Well, I am glad we are playing Stanford instead of Oregon, that being said, our defensive performance perplexes me, I look at each player, consider how he was rated, etc. and ask myself “do I feel as though he sucks.” To a man, I say, no I don’t think he sucks, but the group sucks. Much less than the sum of the parts.

  31. As O’Malley over at said. “fool me once, fool me twice, …. Stanford 44 – ND 38.” We will torch them, but they will pound us. We will pass for 400 and they will run for 300. Turnovers the difference, again. But we will go on to take care of everyone else until USC.

  32. Frank,

    We are starving for content. Shazamrock is writing movie scripts and people are using Nancy Reagan references. We need help.

  33. -Brian Kelly’s Heros-
    (Taken from the Clint Eastwood Movie, Kelly’s Heros-1970)

    “This is the offensive co-ordinator Bellamy, for Coach Kelly!”

    Bellamy: “Coach Kelly, We can’t use the bridge play
    We can’t ford the defense.”
    So what do we do?”

    Jack Swarbuck,(listening in on a head set) ND AD:”I got the game on Booker… (Go team go. Go!”)

    Kelly :”You’ve got the offensive game plan. Over.”

    Bellemy :”That’s a four-quarter operation.
    Can you hold on for four quarters? Over.”

    The AD:(No, no! Move! On, on! Move!)

    Kelly: “We’re not gonna get flagged for delay of game.
    This is a five minute plan. You can catch up.”

    Bellemy: “Kelly, we’re all in this together.
    You can’t go it alone agianst Stanford, Over!”

    Kelly: “We’re not gonna wait, either.
    If you can’t keep up, that’s your problem.”

    Kelly: “We’re pulling our gaurds and tackles,
    and we’re pushing forward! Over!”

    The AD: (Attack! Attack! Attack!
    That’s the Notre Dame fighting spirit I was talking about!
    Listen to that guy!)

    Some ND special teamer: “This the Grave Diggers kick return Unit.
    We got a stake in this, too.”

    The AD: (Did you ever hear enthusiasm like that
    in all your life?
    They’ve even got the damn Grave Diggers!
    What the hell am I doing here?)

    The ND AD: (get me my medals, I’m gonna decorate each and everyone one of these men, who ever they are!)

    Odd-ball: “To a NewYorker like you, a hero is some type of sandwich!”

    Go Irish!

  34. I will say the same thing I said after the Pitt /Utah game – namely Pitt is over rated! The nice thing this year is that the Irish are not over rated..

    Simply put the Irish need to take a Nancy Reagan attitude and just say No regarding not losing for the rest of the season at ND stadium! The Irish will turn this around and the naysayers out there who think different are wrong because they know nothing about ND football. It is a bad idea to write the Irish off at this point, now and within the next 2 yrs. Ya all will be eating your words.

    It is clear there is a new Sheriff in town – just got to get the message across that all deputies must display their shields. Stanford is the first tree in their path and the Irish must chop down. It will be a season changer. What thou the odds be great or small……GO IRISH!

    1. Chris,

      I’m not so sure about the Nancy Reagan referance.
      How about Ray Lewis…
      “We must protect this house!”

  35. Only a few more days until my annual Notre Dame Home Game Trip!!! Can’t wait for a full day of being on the greatest campus in the country. GO IRISH!!!

    1. IC,

      I think you are in for a great and memorable day.
      I just have a feeling that ND is going to beat Stanford at their own game. Upset Saturday comes to South Bend!
      The offense, Defense, & Special Teams will all be clicking.
      There is a lot of bent up frustration on the team and they are going to unleash it on the Cardinal come Saturday.
      It will be the first of many Brian Kelly “Signature Wins”
      Go Irish, keep yor foot on the gas and don’t let up!

      1. i hope you are right shaz…but beating stanford will not be a signature win.

        considering what has happened to USC, i don’t think there is a signature win left on the schedule.

        this could be a turning point though

      2. ted,

        Stanford is ranked. Beating them will be something the Irish haven’t done in quite some time.(Beat a ranked team)
        Charlie Weis would have probably considered this a signature win. I would guess that Brian Kelly would just consider this a good win.
        How ever you want to look at it I think it’s high time we piss in someone else’s wheaties, rain on their parade,& burst their bubble for a change!

      3. We don’t need a “signature” win, we need a win, period. Unfortunately, it’s not going to come this weekend. 42-24 Stanford.

  36. C-Dog,

    There is a correlation between Holtz’s first year and this year with Kelly. I think the first years of both Willingham and Weis were joke. They won a lot of games out of the gate but had not planned for the future. The one thing I see from Kelly is recruting to fill needs and not just recruiting 5 star players. Weis loaded us at Wideout but neglected both lines. I see where Kelly is recruiting for needs. Also, I see our players handling assignments and being in the right place at the right time. The only problem is that they are giving up big plays which is usually a blown assignment. If this defense can play 4qts and not blow assignments this team should win.

    1. Jack,
      Good points. The team is a bit thin in some key areas. Everyone got torqued on the QB situation. But consider Nate Montana is a walk on. Tommy Rees is a true freshman. Even Cryst is young. Holtz had senior leadership in several key spots, including QB.

      Kelly seems to be maxing out what he has.

      The two areas I feel good about are:

      1. Conditioning is superior again. This hasn’t happened since 1987-1994.

      2. O-Line and D-Line play tough and have great technique. After Davie, the defense became mediocre in those areas.

      Davie had some really good defenses, but never any good offenses. Willingham killed everything. Weis truly learned on the job.

      I am impatient for the Irish to get back quickly, just as they did under Ara. It’s a different age and so, it’ll take longer. Let’s see. But please let us win in the Coliseum

  37. C-Dog,

    Thanks for the insider info. I agree we are young at MLB and our OLB’s are learning a new philosophy. I think this team is moving in the right direction and I have to learn patience which is not one of my strong points.

  38. I talked with a local who seems to get tapped into the program pretty well. Amazing what the folks in and around ND get access to for information. You take it with a grain of salt, but I can tell you Weis was on the hot seat long before last year.

    So what’s the scuttle butt on the present regime and the direction of the program? I hear they are VERY enthusiastic about Kelly. The losses may happen this year, but in all aspects, the belief in Kelly is solid. There’s an acceptance that this defense for all intensive purposes and at key positions is young and inexperienced. There’s strong confidence that the offense is getting better by the day. The belief is that a National Championship run is likely in 2013.

    Not sure how that sits with folks, but it bears watching. Other than always wanting to beat the likes of USC, BC, MSU, and Mich, ( Miami when we play them again ), I just want to see this progression toward the day when ND is like it was before Holtz left.

  39. really wish this site would put together an analysis on that michigan state game so we could stop talking on a post that is Pre-loss

  40. I have had time to reflect on the game Saturday night. I have realized one thing before my final comment. I will not write about the game immediately after a tough loss and I have sucked down 8 Labatts pounders. Now, last year we won several early games close that could have went either way. We were usually up in these games and surrendered the lead. I have not seen that trend this year. Also, we had not run game and mostly were throwing fades to Tate and Floyd. I also saw a defense that was fatigued and could not stop anyone at all in the 2nd half. What the defense has shown me this year is one bad quarter. It has been the 2nd or 3rd quarter which we have surrender a large amount of points and not the 4th. Also, this defense doesn’t make stupid bone head plays and personal fouls as we have seen in the past. I think as the above person has stated let the season play out before judgement. If we cut down on big plays and mistakes the season will turn around. I apologize for my tirades on Saturday night as I was so enraged by the loss that I could not help myself.

    1. I thought your posts were fine. And they were alot more intelligent than mine would have been after all that beer. 🙂

      My posts were directed at that oxygen thief, Patrick. Never at you….

      1. Seems that ol Pat McGroin (Patrick) has offended Frank with all his “f” bombs and degrading sexual orentation talk.
        Here it is the Wednesday before ND’s first game agianst a ranked opponent and we have nothing on the Stanford match up.
        We put two teams in the top 25.
        Maybe this week we can take one out!
        Keep Fightin Irish!

  41. Chill dudes! This team is moving in the right direction – we will definitely be fine! 3 games do not make a season. It takes time to totally buy in and execute the fundamentals that practice teaches. Defense is improving especially in stamina. Offensive mistakes and 3 turnovers lost the game against Michigan State not no time clock winding down. Those things go both ways. GO IRISH and fans keep the faith. It WILL turn around in games most are now likely writing off as losses. Oh Ye of little faith.

  42. I am not crazy about the fact that Diaco wants a 300 lb. NT when the NFL wants them 330. Obviously you don’t want him to be obese. DE is not nearly as big a problem for us as OLB.

  43. cautiously optimistic about this weekend.

    did anyone notice we have 5 DE’s in the current recruiting class? i know in the 3-4 we essentially have 4 DE/OLB on the field at any given time, but i still thought the number was high. maybe kelly is selling a colts style defense where, when our offense is scoring bundles of points, the DE’s will be able to tee off on opposing qb’s…just a thought. it would be nice to see at least one dtackle in the mix though.

    btw, i remember hearing that nix came in overweight, but haven’t heard about him since. any news? it could be beneficial to run a 350lb dude to plug up the middle every other series…

    1. ted,

      Our most recent commit, Stephon Tuitt, is listed as a 5-star DE,(6’6″ 290) but will most likley grow into a Nose tackle by his jr/sr year.
      Out of the four remaining DE’s it would be nice to find one or two who could really get after the QB.(Something that has been sorely missing)

      Nix, who hasn’t played this year will probably red shirt this year and benefit from an additional year of conditioning as long as the injury bug stays away.

      Last year’s National Champion Alabama, found juco transfer Mount Cody (a 350lb dude) as one who could plug the middle, and he was effective in that roll. On the downside, at that weight, his endurance was poor and he saw limited minutes. But that was in the run oriented SEC.
      I had thought the same about a big man in the middle for ND, but it seems the ND coaching staff is committed to building speed and quickness up front as noted by FXM.

  44. I think we will have an additional loss each time we turn it over 3 + times and our opponent doesn’t. That said, I think we can realistically be 8 – 3 going into USC, if we can remove our foot from the cross hairs.

      1. that would indicate losses to Stanford, Pitt, BC, and Utah, and if you feel that way, you might as well throw in Navy for good measure.

  45. Shaz, I believe the rules allow ONLY the holder to receive the ball on his knee. Indeed, the holder can even lift his knee off the ground in the case of a high snap and put it back down on the ground for the hold. Of course, once the holder has stood up, for instance, in the case of a fake, he can then not go back down on his knee again.

  46. I, like the rest of the ND nation, am ready to put the Mich.St game behind and move on to Stanford, but there is one thing that bothers me about the fake field goal play.(besides the fact that the play clock ran out. Delay of game. Something, by the way, that the refs called twice on Dayne Crist) I saw this same play a couple of years ago, by Florida I think.
    When the snap goes to the holder, he has one knee on the ground. By rule, shouldn’t the ball be ruled down at that spot if no kick is forth coming?
    I would think that to make this play legal the snap would need to go directly to the kicker who is standing. Otherwise it is nothing more than the old fumblerooski which is deemed an illegal play.
    Can anyone clarify this?

  47. Shaz,

    Good call! Therein, again, lies the importance of a strong finish to this season. We need our current and future commitments to remain excited about playing for BK and ND. I can guarantee you that if we go under .500 this season it’ll be used against us on the recruiting trail. At this point, to be honest with you, I’m looking forward to next season and seeing our current and future players develop into a title contender. I’ll continue to watch ND this season but will be doing so more analytically than passionately. What trends can we detect early on in the BK regime? That kind of stuff.

    1. SFR,

      I know your loyalty towards ND. You say “analytically” now, but once game time comes and the lads are moving the ball, scoring points, and making plays, you are going to be whoopping it up, as well you should.
      We just went toe to toe with three Big Ten schools in a row. Outside of a last minute TD, and a fake field goal, we should be 3-0.
      Stanford, in that same time, has been fatting up on cupcakes. (Sacramento St, a woefully weak UCLA team, and visiting Wake Forest team that rarely travels west of the Mississippi, let a lone California.)
      I think Stanford is ripe for the picking.
      They normally don’t travel well. They are reading the Heisman hype about their QB Andrew Luck. They are 3-0 and ranked 17th. And they are looking ahead, past this weeks game at Oregon and USC.
      ND is going to run the ball with excellent effectiveness.
      No drops, no fumbles, no bad penilties, no sacks. The offense is going to put up points. The defense is going to pressure Luck into mistakes, and turn overs. They will bring him back down to earth. ND will be more Physical on both sides of the ball. ND will be the hungrier team come game day.
      The preseason is over. ND is going to take the first step on the road back to prominence come this Saturday.
      And You’re gonna love it!

  48. Speaking of Texas, Florida, Alabama, ect..
    Check out the current recruiting rankings:

    Scout has ND listed at number 4, behind only Texas, Ohio St., & Alabama.

    Rivals has ND listed at number 6, behind texas, Bama, LSU, Oklahoma, &, Ohio St.

    ESPN has nd listed at number 9, behind Texas,Bama,Oklahoma,Ohio St,LSU,FSU,
    Florida, & Georgia

    In recent years ND has missed out on a true Defensive nose tackle. We now have one in Louis Nix. This years class is bolstered by two of the top defensive ends in the country, as well as some much needed help in the secondary.
    According to the recent recruiting standings, if they hold true to their commitments, we are right up there with the best programs in the country.
    With a coaching staff better suited toward player development, it shouldn’t be long before we are playing championship football agian and regarded among the elite.

    1. *correction / with the recent commitment of DE Stephon Tuitt
      ND has moved ahead of Georgia to number 8 in ESPN’s recruiting rankings.

    2. Then if we are in the top 10 every year in recruiting and we have these athletes to play some defense why do we give up 30 points a game?

      To me that’s coaching and I understand that it’s BK’s first year but to me BK was not the right guy for this job. We need a defensive minded coach and he is not that at all. Charlie Weis all over again! That’s scary!

      Look at all the elite teams they all have one thing in common, great D! We will never get there unless we start playing Defense and that comes with good coaching on that side of the ball. I’m just sick of losing these shootouts!!

  49. Jud,

    When did we have a DOMINANT (not just solid) defense before Weis? Alabama, UF, Texas do have great Ds. They prove that when they play each other. But their Os put up 40-50 points against the FIUs and other Sun Belt Conference-type schools. But I think in the end you and I are in fact arguing the same thing: Solid D, good O wins a lot of games.


    Parse the numbers a bit more. How many of those 17 number 1 rated Os also had top 5 -top 10 Ds to go with them? What are the records of the top Ds vs. top Os in the SB in your link above? But I think you and I are also saying the same thing Jud is: in the college game you need a great D to win titles.

    My sole point, to reiterate, is that for ND to get back to the top it needs to become dominant on D. (Call me the master of stating the obvious, albeit this might not be so obvious to some, apparently!) We have a very solid O. We’ve been good on O for many years (beginning with Weis). What we’ve consistently lacked was a dominant D. In fact, any kind of a D (I don’t care whether 3-4 or 4-3) would’ve given us 10+ win seasons consistently.


  50. You need a team not a good offense or defense, but a good team. The offense and defense are learning a new system, let’s see what bk can do to prepare them this week.

  51. Bill and Jud,

    There are always exceptions to the rule. How many titles did the greatest passer in NFL history prior to Payton Manning , Dan Marino, win? 0. He played on some of the worst D’s in Fins history. How many titles did Bob Griese win with the Fins? 2. But he played with the “No Name” defense of the 70s. Look at all the great dynasty teams and you’ll see that whether or not their O was good or not, they all had solid Ds. In fact, almost all the legendary teams have nicknames associated with their Ds (not their Os): No Name, Steel Curtain, Doomsday, etc. Ben Roethlisberger won a Super Bowl with the worst stats of any winning QB because of his D. Oh, and by the Bill, I hate doing this, but for the sake of honesty, the Colts won their lone SB in the Manning era because their D had a legendary turn around and run in the POs that year, and the Saints won the SB thanks to their D (just ask Payton Manning himself about that). Obviously, one needs a good O to win games (oh, wait, I forgot about the 2001 Ravens who had no O at all!), but titles are won consistently with a great D. ND has had some great Os of late. How many great Ds have we had? How many titles have we won in that time? Case closed!

    1. SFR: I’m afraid you’re missing the point. We all know you love the steelers. Having a solid defense will keep you in most games. Like in baseball a solid pitching staff and good defense will win a lot of games. Same thing with basketball, you have to play defense to be in the hunt. BUT, you still have to score to win games. Before Weiss got there we had a solid defense and no offense. Same result. All the great teams Alabama,Florida,Texas all have great defenses but they also put up 35-40 points a game. Comparing the NFL to college is not good. In the NFL you win on the field and in college it’s basically up to a vote. But that’s another issue. Solid defense, descent offense wins a lot of games.

      1. the question is where did the #1 offenses defenses rank – I’ll bet it wasn’t in the lower fifty – balance needed I don’t care what the offense is if you are giving up 450+ yards a game you won’t win the national title – defense has to be there

  52. FXM,

    YES! There’s another Stiller fan on the board here (I forget his screen name) who was arguing that the Irish D should play like the Stillers D. I wish! Did you see what the Steelers did to Chris Johnson and the vaunted Titans’ running game on Sun.? And they did it without “Big Snack” Hampton in the middle! There’s no way the Irish can do that. Our front 3 is a joke. Also, Manti Teo disappears for entire stretches of the game, then makes an impact play and you’d think judging from the broadcasters he was the second-coming of Jack Lambert or something. No doubt Teo would be a better player with more front line help, but this kid still misses a lot of tackles (need I give an example?). BK better realize that defense wins titles in the big leagues (D-I college football and the NFL). Just ask Steelers’s fans about that.

    1. God I hate doing this, but for honesty sake I will.

      Who Won last year?

      New Orleans.

      Who’d they Play?


      Not exactly what I’d consider a murderer’s row of Defensive teams.

      I’m just a little tired of this misconception that if you play D, you’ll automagically win championships. That’s just as poor a philosophy as only focusing on the offense.

      1. Jud,

        The Steelers have won consistently — way more than ND has — at times with little or no offense BECAUSE of great D! How many titles have the Irish won in the last 10 years? How many SBs have the Steelers won in that same time span? Case closed. I’d take a national title by winning every game 3-0 than be .500 team with an O that puts up 40 points a game. Can you have both? Of course. But football is won and lost in the trenches, and that’s where ND has been weak for a long time.

  53. I believe in Notre Dame…. When Lou Holtz started he wasnt undefeated here. Brian Kelley is the guy that will bring us back to the promise land. This team has made alot of mental physical mistakes. We will bouce back. This is not like the Charlie Regime where he sits back and looks like Rodney Dangerfield… Im tired of hearing and reading BS… About this team we just need to support this team. No more predictions please. Lets just let these guys play.. We are Notre Dame and we will rise again have faith people!!!! Go Irish!!!!

  54. There is no forgetting. You never forget a loss that should have been a win. This team has talent and has played
    well enough to be 3-0. But instead, you find yourself 1-2.
    Perhaps in the bigger picture, this was needed. (2 close losses) Sometimes it takes some adversity to build character, to build team work, to
    build the attitude needed to succeed on a regular basis. To create focus and attention to detail. Create An air of urgency. To light a fire nder their ass.
    Some teams, when they find themselves cornered, with their backs against the wall, do or die, they crumble and wilt under the pressure.
    But I don’t think that will happen with this team. They are a bit older. A bit more experienced. A bit more battle tested.
    Kelly and his staff will keep them improving. And at some point they will turn the corner. Take a step forward. Will it be this week?
    Could be. Stanford started with cupcake Sacramento St. Won their first road game(bus ride) against PAC-10 RIVAL UCLA. They beat a Wake Forest
    Team that played poorly on the road. Now Stanford travels. Not Cross town to UCLA, but half way across the nation to South Bend.
    They have games at Oregon and USC coming up after ND. Could they be looking ahead? Happends all the time in college football.
    ND must be prepared to out hustle, out work, out hit, out catch, out run, out sack, out cover, out coach, and out last Stanford.
    They MUST refuse to lose. Win by any means necessary. Beat a ranked team. Beat a team that your not supposed to beat.
    Believe that you belong among the best.

    1. Shazamrock, you bet!

      They need not just to believe, but also to visualize. After all the practice, learning, conditioning, the final mental excercise is to visualize realistically making plays. That prepares your mind to react that much quicker causing your body to react quicker. The best of the elite athletes all do this.

    2. while being 3-0 would be great, losing these games places emphasis on what they are doing wrong. when you eek out games where you didn’t execute, you start to believe that what you did was good enough…but it’s not. any game where you are more talented than the other team and win by 7 or less is a loss. we found that out last season. when you win by such small margins it brings luck into play, where a last second penalty could change the outcome.

      we are getting better but the ‘corner’ will not be turned until we start blowing out teams like purdue and mich st., let alone just winning them.

      go irish! beat cardinals!

    3. They simply need to be ready to not get gashed for 250 yards on the ground. I don’t know what the problem is but being from Pittsburgh and watching the Steelers it all starts with the front three, I think our front three are not generating the push that lets the linebackers fill. That is a must for that D to work.

  55. We do all the stupid things that great teams or even good teams don’t do, block in the back on a punt out of the end-zone try to knock down a 230 pound running back by crashing into him instead wrapping up on a 3rd and 11 for a 12 yard gain, dropped passes by a supposed all american, etc., etc., this is CWs legacy and unfortunately will take time to reverse. I hope too many recruits don’t start heading for the exits before we turn this around. Better start getting those yardage numbers to equate to points or this weekend is going to be humiliating.

  56. Friends:

    Things are what they are. We’re not 3-0. We’re 1-2. We’re leaving way too many plays in all 3 phases of the game on the field and not turning them into points. Plain and simple. What ND is is a .500 team. That’s what we’ve been for a while. Will things get better? Let’s hope so. But in order for that to happen we need 2 things: 1) BK needs to step up his game now and into next season and 2) we need more and better players (and have them developed for all 3-4 years there at ND). And that’s why how we play and finish this season is important. Right now BK and his staff are on the cusp of a potential top-5 recruiting class. We need to get more athletes and keep the ones we have already verbally committed to ND. An 8-4 campaign and bowl win will go a long way to solidifying this class and the one that follows. Frankly, it’s sad that it’s come down to this so early in the season, but I’m more concerned right now about what will happen on national signing day in Feb. since that will go a long way to hopefully turning things around in the next season or two for ND football.

    1. I agree but it is getting old celebrating our recruiting classes. CW brought in talent but no wins thus far. The class with Clausen was in the Top 2 or 3 but they are under .500 on the field. BK had no top recruits at Cincy yet went to 2 BCS bowls and went undefeated. How many top recruits does Boise St., Utah or TCU have?
      Its time to start winning on the field.

      1. Poz,

        That’s why I also said that the talent has to be developed over 3-4 years at ND. BD, TW, and CW were horrible at developing talent. As they’re winning, BSU, Utah, and TCU are getting more and more talent. Also, the USC’s, Texas’s, and OSU’s continue to get the top talent.The formula is recruit + develop = winning games.

    2. I agree we need players. Not to be sarcastic; moreover, I don’t want to be disrespectful. Boise St. has ranked 79th in the nation in recruited the last 7 years average; however, they develop the talent and I believe BK will do the same.

  57. Wow – a lot of chatter over this one…

    I think the bottom line is we all know our strengths and weaknesses by now. But the biggest thing is the pressure mounting on everyone as the game goes on and how it compresses on the coaches and the team and results in mistakes, errors and bad judgement. How many times can we lose in the last minute of the game in the past 5 years and not find a way to win?? Not talking about Cousins over throwing a wide open receiver in the endzone like last year, I mean really make a play to win the game. As Coach Kelly said, they need to BELIEVE they can win. It’s a whole new way of thinking that he is trying to bring to the program and it’s not going to happen overnight. These kids are fragile in the head because they have been on the short-end of the stick too many times under Weis and it’s happened twice again this year.

    One big win (like this week could erase all of it.

  58. Bottom line is ND can’t let games against teams like MSU or Michigan come down to the wire. Neither team will be ranked by the end of the year. ND needs to take care of these teams. ND’s schedule now looks a bit more daunting. Pitt, Stanford, and Utah now will be favored. USC probably will be favored although I have hope that team starts really showing it’s cracks and the Irish have hammered the iron into steel by that point.

    Even BC and Navy now look like concerns.

    Shouldn’t be that way and BK will prove his coaching leardership by appealing to the psychology of winning. He needs to get this team over the hump. How does he do that?

    Offense – every drive counts. Every play counts. Every player maintaining concentration for the duration of the game counts. No missed blocks, no dropped balls, no throws into the dirt. When you make that the target, you can get close. When you worry about other things, you’ll fail.

    Defense – Get healthy. They need faster safeties. Motta played his heart out and stayed in the game mentally but was simply overmatched. Get the corners to the next level. Walls and Gray are almost there. Faster safeties will allow them to go after the ball a bit more. Teach the safeties to time hits to make the receivers think about bailing out on the route the next time. Platoon your linemen more. They looked gassed on a few series. Teo and Calabrese need better outside help. And that comes down to the big one on defense – TRUST. If the defense can fill a few gaps, guys can trust each other and fly to the ball, knowing that they’ve got teammates backing them up. That will take practice and game experience. Probably not something you can play with in games until after the Pitt game.

    Now finally, BK has to get these guys thinking in terms of the next 5 minutes and really next 15 seconds. Focus on getting each small task done right and good things will happen.

    Let’s hope they can dig deep for Stanford.

  59. First things first, i am big believer in BK and truly think he will get things on the right track. However, i am disappointed that he is yet to put his stamp on this team. ND looks the same this year as it has throughout the past 5. Great offense, great passing game, below average running game, slow lackluster defense, and an absolute inability to close a game out and win a big game. Beat a below average Purdue team and lose to frankly two average teams in Mich and MSU. BK has talked about belief and I hear him. I had aboslutely no faith the D would stop Mich at the end of the game last week and and felt we had no better than a 20% chance of winning late in the game on Saturday. I’ll give the D credit in OT and hey it was a great fake that nobody saw coming, but other teams always make one more play than ND does to win the game.

    The schedule doesn’t get any easier anytime soon and I frankly am having a hard time finding 7 or 8 wins out of this team. Can we really be headed for another 6-6 season? Nobody expected a national championship or BCS game this year, but I really thought 9 wins was realistic. Can’t see that now.

    1. It’s definitely a climb Poz. But they are making the climb. However you want to look at it, we are two plays from being undefeated. Two Floyd fumbles. Two defensive stops. Either or. It takes a while for any new system to start clicking as it should. And this schedule doesn’t help…for now. Purdue is a low level Big 10 and we handled them well. Mich and Sparty are midlevel Big 10 and I dont think anyone could say we don’t match up with them despite the two losses.

      Next week we get arguably the top Pac 10 team. No sunshine blown up the kilt here, we are probably gonna lose badly. Then we get a mid to top ACC team and a mid to top Big east team. If we are truly a mid level Big 10 caliber team we should be able to win both of those. That puts us at 3-3 going into some down time. Army, Western Mich, Navy and Tulsa should have us at 7-3. (Granted, its a sad day when an ND fan has tro sit and think about putting Navy in the predicted wins column, but they havent looked quite themselves and we are better). Right now i would say Utah is a loss, but who knows? We get better weekly and play decent competition and its a home. Maybe a loss but maybe a win. Right now I would say USC is a win. We take em both we are at 9-3. Lose one, we are at 8-4. Lose both we are at 7-5. Either way, its not a bad start for a new coach with a new system with a new QB, new defensive scheme and new starters all over the place.

      Even with that new team scent, we are arguably a mid level Big 10 team. Thats not a bad starting spot for climbing the ladder. Considering last year we equated to a mid or lower level Big East squad, I cant help but be optimistic.

  60. Michael Floyd holds onto the ball, ND wins.

    Crist doesn’t throw that pick in the redzone, ND wins.

    Crist doesn’t fumble after picking up the yardage for the 1st down, ND wins.

    KR runs a 3 yard route instead of a 2 yard route, ND wins.

    Teo takes the man down instead of going for a big hit, NS wins.

    Our Dbs dont get their feet tangled and the fake FG fails, ND wins.

    These mistakes are typical of young players in a new system. With coaching, conditioning and time to mature, all of these can be remedied. Right now, “the breaks are beating the boys.”

    1. Delta,

      How about the poor “blocking in the back” penilty on Lo Wood during the last punt. Clearly wood pulled up but the refs flagged him anyway.
      ND should have had the ball at their own 40 with 1:11 left on the clock. Pick up 30 yards and ND has a chance for a winning field goal. Instead Kelly plays for over time.
      And why didn’t the ref’s check replay on the fake field goal? It can be used to verify the clock. Am I’m wrong. Is this play not reviewable? I know they do it in basketball all the time.
      If we didn’t have bad luck, we wouldn’t have any luck at all!

      1. I hear ya Shaz. I know its cliche to say good teams get past bad luck but its definitely true. Yeah, the call on Wood was horrible. I honestly don’t know about the reviewability of the clock issue. Seems like it should be reviewable, not very different than reviewing the spot of the ball. I know BK has to say he doesnt spend time thinking about a bad call, we have to defend the play. But we as fans can definitely spend some time lamenting bad officiating.

        Still, this is a young team that will make mistakes and be devastated by bad calls and errors better teams would get over. More time in the system will cut down the mistakes. If we played error free, or with only half the errors we had, this game would have never gone to OT in the first place.

      2. ND needs to break that grip of officials applying a different set of rules on us because we’re ND. Kelly said himself that he doesn’t want a few bad calls to even matter.

        I look at the trees and a small part of the forest, and I’m very hopeful. Kelly is a winner. The defense tackles very well. The offensive line plays with agression, anger, and now can block. The skill players have done well with this new system, which isn’t all that different. Special teams play is vastly improved and now is pretty reliable.

        But I look the larger part of the forest and right now this looks like deja vu all over again. Since 2005 the type of outcome that burns the Irish has just happened in the last two weeks.

        Comparing Kelly’s task to Holtz’s, Kelly’s got a much more difficult situation. Holtz had amassed more talent relative to most of his opponents since in those days, the big boys could still load up and keep the better athletes out of the mid level teams. The culture doesn’t support that for now, nor does the 85 limit rule. So the so called mid level teams can stay on parity, making rising above much harder.

        Holtz also had to overcome the legacy of 5 bad years and one bad coach. Prior to Faust, ND had 16 years of prominance with mostly top 10 finishes and 3 National Championships*. Kelly is overcoming 16 years of sub par results and 14 years or pure mediocrity. 3 failed coaches since Lou. 21 years and counting since the last National Championship.

        The broadcasting was more neutral toward Notre Dame because there were greater opportunities by any of the networks to make money off of an ND broadcast. Now ND has to deal with the hate of the NBC contract. This while ESPN owns a virtual monopoly over all conferences save the SEC. This while the Big Ten network shamelessly promotes it’s teams 24 hours a day. Nd gets crucified for a broadcast that starts as close to kick off as NBC can get away with and shutsdown as quickly as NBC can move on to other shows. NBC may treat the good Father’s well, but the football program itself is treated like a trailer park mistress. Hoared out for the thrill ride and quickly hidden away for the programming NBC really cares about.

        So Kelly has a tough task. If he closes ranks and they come out fighting, the Irish can climb back. Let’s hope they do.

  61. According to ESPN this morning, the refs are trying to justify the exspired clock by claiming that there is a “LAG” time. What is “LAG TIME”?
    Won’t find anything on that in the NCAA rule book. It’s a made up term by refs who screwed up, and don’t have the integrity to say “yeah, we screwed up”.
    Seems that if you are ND you can’t leave the game in jepordy at the end.
    Turn overs will always kill you. Especially on the road. We wasted two great scoring oppertunities in the first half. Of course they came back to haunt us in the second half.
    While the defense didn’t play half bad, they lack the killer instinct of which champions are built. If your offense gets the team a lead in the fourth quarter, the defense MUST make plays. They have to get mad dog mean, and make sure it holds up.
    There is a lot of football left to be played. The year isn’t over.
    The oppertunity still exsists to improve, win games, and be a respectiable team.

  62. Review the tape of the game we got hammered by the officials. The last time I looked at the rules you get called for delay of game when the play clock strikes 0.00 and you still haven’t snapped the ball; furthermore, once the ball is in the air you can’t block down field. Too many bad calls. Crist looked amazing. Remember this is his third start and first on the road. ND will not win this week because no one is going to beat Standford this year; however, they are getting better every week. They do need to run more effectively; however, Kelley is playing the cards he has been dealt and could very easily be 3-0. Let’s get past this week and we will be 1-4 then we can rattle off some wins.


  63. This isn’t going to happen over night man… Keep the faith! I’m tired of losing too but we cant start turning on our coach. Holtz lost to MSU & UM in his first year too. This team is coming along…

    True the defense has much farther to come than the offense but their comin along

  64. Chris,
    I agree with you, at cincinnati he came in after dantonio at changed the culture but Kelley kept it going and made the players even better through the strength and conditioning program.Another year in the strength program you will see the players getting better and better, I can see a difference with a lot of the players now, another year in the offense and defense.All these things were added in the spring so its still new.Only so much practice time to put this stuff in(unless you play for Rich Rod) lol.Just give him time Rome wasn’t built in a day.

  65. These games are just very tough to watch and last night sent me into complete shock for about 15 min. Despite ND being 1-2, I think this team is starting to find its identity. The defense needs a lot of work and speed but pass coverage seems to have diminished. It’s been some tough losses the past few weeks and the road ahead doesn’t seem to get any easier. I just hope the Irish can get to a bowl game and come up with a win. A win vs. the Cardinal next week would be some sweet redemption!

  66. Heartbreaking losses will become the thing of the past.

    I’ve stopped reading the blogs and am tuning out the subway alumni who’d fret and moan of Knute Rockne himself were back patrolling the sidelines. Certain people are never satisfied. It goes with the territory. There were those calling for Lou’s head after his first season, too.

    BK can’t rotate his safeties, and there’s not much depth on the defense. That’s going to cause problems for anyone. Looking forward, Kelly’s bringing in top notch defensive lineman, something the previous regime failed to do. He’s also recruited elite talent to the offensive line. The battles in the trenches will start going the Irish way in a couple of years.

    Crist looked sharp yesterday. Riddick had a coming out party, too. There were several times during yesterday’s game looked when Crist looked like Tony Pike out there. This bodes well for the rest of the season.

    There are those who point at BK’s Bearcat defense last year and argue that he doesn’t know defenses. Cincy started ten new players last year including a linebacker who’d been a quarterback at Notre Dame. And, yeah, Cincy went 12-0. Who were most of of players? Dantonio’s, who didn’t come close to that record at Cincy.

    It’s time to take a few deep breaths, have a cold beer or two (or three), and watch the games knowing that we’re just seeing some growing pains.

  67. It is easy to see the frustration of ND fans on most blogs I have been viewing. Problem is they are blooging purely by emotions. I too am frustrated but there quite frankly are a lot of monkeys on this programs back. Until the players truly believe in comittment to one another, the coaching staff and the university things will continue as is. Comittment doesnt happen overnight but I believe BK is best suited to get this message across to his players and future recruits.

    This program is changing – its just changing too slow for most. You got to get in before you can get out and the players need to learn as Holtz most wisely put it, “When you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging.” Things will change and the most dire need is on the defensive side of the ball. They simply need more speed.

    Hold fast as we now learn the character of this team as Stanford comes to town. The turning point will come but it has to come from the team now – not BK. He is putting the building blocks in place now the Irish just need to start building. GO IRISH!

    1. You are right Chris, this is going to take some time. Again, this team has averaged 5 wins over the last 3 seasons.

      I would rather have this team take their lumps now and build that toughness that has been missing, then have fool’s gold with another hot start.

      This weekend, they have nothing to lose, nobody thinks they have a chance aginst Stanford. I hope BK just cuts them loose so there is still some fun left in it for the team.

    1. No Joel Williams caught a TD pass at the back of the end zone in the Michigan game which was ruled out today it would have been reviewed and we would have won that game.

  68. What I want to see is progression with the defense. We need our defense to give us 4 qts. If they play well for 4qts this team has enough offense to win. I think right now it hurts that we are not deep at saftey. Also I think as Teo matures so will the defense. The Irish had a chance to stop MSU in the fourth on a 3rd down play. Teo was there but tried to make a knock out hit rather than just tackling the back. I keep forgetting that we have two soph starting at MLB, plus again this is the fourth system since Weis came. Lets see if we see progress with the defense, if we do the 2nd half of the year could be better. I am glad Riddick played well.

  69. I did a little research on Lou’s first year. In his first 3 games, he lost to Mich, lost to Mich State, and beat Purdue. Then lost to Alabama and Pittsburgh. Started 1-4, before finishing out the season 4-2 which included a win at USC. 5 of the 6 losses were by 14 points. A lot was made about Lou changing the culture, which led to a NC 2 years later.

    What we all need to keep in mind is that Kelly inherited a program that has averaged 5 wins over the last 3 seasons. Add to that ZERO experience at QB and you have the makings of a uphill battle. The fact that this team is a couple of plays away from being 3-0 is amazing.

    I truly believe at some point in the season, something is going to click and this team will turn the corner and start to improve much like Lou’s first team did. Kelly talked about belief in the press conference last night and right now, I don’t think this team believes it can win because there have been too many tough losses over the past couple of years. However, something will happen and this team will start to believe and the momentum for a bright future will begin.

    I would understand all the stress if this team was getting blown out like teams of the past, but this team has been so close. They are closer to getting over the hump than we think even though we may not see it for a few weeks. If we can get thru the first 6 games at 3-3, we will have a chance at a 8 or 9 win season. Kelly said himself that his goal is to have this team playing better in November than it was in Septemeber. After the past 2 seasons, I would hope that becomes a reality.

    This team is not ready to play in any BCS bowl, but a strong finish to the season along with a win over USC, and any bowl win would create the momentum needed to get this back where it needs to be.

    1. Cav –
      You are correct – in Lous first year he beat Purdue and lost to both MI and MSU by a total of 7 points. Kelly won against Purdue and lost to MI and MSU by a total of 7 points. Speed on defense was missing for Lou at the time as is the case with Kelly. I belive Lou’s mantra stands correct – recruit speed – speed kills.

      The 1 st qtr was horrible for the Irish offensively I thought as many many calls were telegraphed big time. Crist needs to let the pursuit develop before dumping the ball off. He contines many times to look straight at the primary receiver and usually gets stuffed or batted down. Same thing happened in MI game.

      I am most concerned however when I look at Kelly on the sidelines. He displays almost none of the emotion he showed while at Cinncinati. I am wondering if he has fallen in love with the position instead of the job he is being asked to do.

      Bottomline the similarities between Lou’s first year and BK’s are striking to say the least.

  70. The play clock was at 0 at least on the tv screen, I rewinded 5 times just to make sure.I think Brian Kelly will have the team back, another year in the offseason conditioning program, another year in the offense.A lot of players should be back at least on offense.With an nfl lockout probable in the future you will see a lot more players come back to school(floyd,Rudolph).

    1. Thank you for noticing. At least someone else can see this team could very well be 3-0 at this point. I watched the tape of the Stanford game and they look like the N.C.’s this year; however, I did notice they were week defending the kick return then again they kicked off so many times they might have been tired.

  71. Everyone is expecting BK to do what Willingham, and Weis did in their first years. That is not realistic both of them had a similar system to the coach before him and a returning starting QB, and a defense that was somewhere in the middle of the country not dead last.

    It takes time to get a QB ready to handle a college program let alone Notre Dame, Crist is ready he just needs to have Mr Floyd to help lead this team. Floyd looks like he doesnt trust Crist like he trusted JC. once they get on the same page this offense will flurrish.

    I would like to see Teo pumping his defense more he can take the leadership role bc someone needs to.

    1. I would rather Kelly go like 5-7 in his first year, and build the team up his way (as we know he can and has been successful at) than for him to fluke his way to 9-10 wins this season, and just go down from there with absurd expectations.

      1. Drew,

        I agree 100%. Granted, going 7-5 or 8-4 and to a bowl game would be better, I don’t want to go 10-2 and get smoked by a Top 10 team in a high- profile bowl game and then do nothing of another 3 or 4 years.

  72. we analyze ND to much, no other school in the nation gets the pressure that we the fans put on our team, and perhaps thats what is contributing to this bad steak.

    1. How do you arrive at that conclusion? Do you really believe that any/all of the top teams in the nation are not endlessly analyzed, scrutinized, obsessed over constantly? If you don’t believe this, I have some Ohio State, Michigan, Alabama, LSU etc. etc. etc. fans to introduce you to.

      ND football is where it is because of 15 years of mismanagement by an administration full of arrogant men with antiquated brains.

      It appears, and we hope, that they may have actually learned from past mistakes by hiring Kelly. We’ll continue to believe….

      Anybody have some insight on the playclock controversy? ESPN etc. has not mentioned it at all. Obviously our coaches and the officials didn’t see it….

    2. I doubt that this is true. The coaches at Alabama get plenty of pressure. The same is true for Florida and USC and a handful of other programs.

      We differ though, in that our fans are fickle. We go from being in love with Brian Kelly to calling for his head after two very close losses.

      We should be 3-0. I’m not ready to dump Kelly. But, I want him to provide some insight to his players. He had to know a fake was at least somewhat likely, given the length of the kick and the quality of the kicker.

      1. yes we could easily be 3-0 and i think kelly is doin a fine job, alot of the time its just how things happen and we over analyze. all we do is bitch about our coach and he should do this and he should do that. Kelly is doing fine. if you really wanna look at the reason why we havent been able to win is our defense and weve had a bad defense for years now. weve have always had top 25 offenses(05-present) but yet weve had a horribly ranked defense every year. its our defense fellas.

      2. Agree. Our defense is a train wreck. And after watching Stanford put up 68 points last night I’m afraid to see what they’ll do against the Irish D.

      3. Teo,
        You doubt what is true? I’m asking because I’m not sure specifically what you’re referring to…

        And btw I am not calling for anyone’s head. My only beef with Kelly are the calls that I outlined. Last night’s decision to go for it on 4th down is absolutely batshit crazy and indefensible. But the team has shown improvement in some critical areas.

        So no one need put me in the fickle crowd..

      4. on kelly says he had a guy covering the reciever but the defender fell down.So kelly was thinking about it the player just has to make a play.

  73. Can Patrick take his pity party somewhere else? It’s like listening to a spoiled, petulant child who didn’t get his way. We’re all disappointed and frustrated with the loss sunshine. But some of us have the maturity, foresight and LOYALTY to look at the positives as well as the negatives.

    And as you so aptly put it, we will root for a 1-2 Irish team, bitch. No one cares about your pissing and moaning. Your services are no longer needed.

    Ok, on to adult issues:

    We all know that this Irish team has some serious weapons and have improved in material ways. The OT call was one of the boldest I’ve ever seen, so I give MSU their due. What concerns me most are some of the, IMO, indefensible decisions by Kelly. The flea flicker w/ Tommy Rees, the decision to go for it on 4th down last night w/ 6 minutes left etc. There is no way, NO WAY you can defend that! The risks so far outweigh any possible reward that it’s almost suicidal. Thoughts?

    1. I don’t think the OT call was bold. At all. This was a long kick, on grass. They saw something earlier in the game and decided a fake was a much better way than a kick.

      1. Teo,
        After my own “further review”, the boldness of the call was not as strong as I first thought. Because apparently their kicker is not that strong. However, I still say it was a gutsy call…

  74. Kelly did some things during the game that made me wonder. But the fact that we’re still losing to teams that aren’t top caliber bothers me. Michigan is not that good. MSU is not that good. Sure they’re decent, but Michigan will lose 4 or 5 games this year. MSU will lose 4 or 5 this year too. OSU, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Penn St. will be able to beat those teams. For ND that means we’re still diddling with the teams in the 25-50 ranking and not matching
    anyone in the top 10. I would have liked to have seen this team make the top 25, but it’s not going to happen this year. That means next year you have to prove yourself again, just to get a shot in year three. Will ND be setup for a National Title run in 2013?

  75. Wow! That really is not the class of Notre Dame being spoken. A Notre Dame alum and a Notre Dame fan does not act like this. I am sick about this game. But come on have some class. Notre Dame is more than just winning football games. Have some class. Drop the foul language. While we can criticize the team, coaches, and school, it needs to be done with class. Patrick, you sound like you need a dose of Catholic teaching. Or some kind of religious teaching. Instead of worrying about football, maybe you need to get your moral compass heading true north again.

    That is just sad to read someone using such poor language on this blog site.

  76. I am not saying we have Florida’s roster. What I am saying is give a borderline kid a chance, he may sunrise you. However the problem with this team is d-line depth. Cw didn’t recruit well at that position. This defense on the 3 scheme in 4 years, that is the problem. I am seeing 3 qts of good play from them but not a game. Hopefully, they put it together soon.

  77. The ending of this game was enough to finally make me turn myself in to the Betty Ford clinic. I do believe we have better talent than alot of the teams we have lost to both this year and years past. Im not so sure we need to hit up the Chicago Public School league or Cabrini Green housing projects and grab the first Gangster Disciple or 4 corner hustler that can run a 4 flat 40. Michael Floyd, Teo, Rudolph and what i have seen of Calabrese show we do have the individual talent without having to troll the Cook County lock up for skill position players. Im plenty happy to have a guy like Crist when you think about the days of Carlyle Holiday or Arnez Battle tossing the rock around and struggling to get 100 yards in the air for weeks on end. I hate seeing us lose to inferior teams but at least the guys we are fielding arent throwing up the Folks Nation after big plays and running the dope tip on Chicago Ave/Ridgeway. Its a small thing to hang our hats on but i believe we give BK a chance

  78. we expect perfection right away, its just foolish. o well lets wait for next year blah blah blah, i cant believe some of you expect a top 10 run this year. give our offense credit but once again suspect d, its the players not the coaching.

  79. Lowering admissions standards at one of the greatest university’s in the world to win a national championship? then we wouldn’t be notre dame. We don’t cut corners we will take the best students and win with them have some patience.

    1. Anyone who was expecting more than 7 wins or so with a new starter and staff and scheme was just asking for a letdown due to unrealistic expectations.

      Takes longer than a few weeks to rebuild a program.

  80. Again I hate to say this but until the Adminstration realizes that you need to give a kid a shot that has suspect grades our defense will continue to not have athelets. Under Holtz they took Prop 48 players, Holtz left because he was not allowed to recruit borderline kids. Urban Meyer didn’t take the job for that reason. I don’t want ND to become crimanal U, but we need to give some kids a chance that are not up to the standards but can play football. Tony Rice and Zorich turned out okay.

  81. Defense is not “significantly better”, but they have improved from recent years past. They are far more resilient than years past, but there needs to be drastic improvements to “return to glory”. I have faith in that Brian Kelly is still the right person for this job, but he needs to show me some more sound decisions during the game. Many costly mistakes in calls, coverages, and scheming.

    1. Watch last years film, we tackle better, our corners are challenging teams, we are getting penetration in the back field. If Weis was still coach and Jimmy and Golden were gone we would be 0-3 because of the defense. Once this offense starts clicking and the defense is fresh, you’ll see what I mean. But I agree with your play calling mistakes, if we kick a field goal at the end of the second in the Michigan game we could have kicked a field goal for he win. Going for it on 4th and 2 is a bad call and 2 yard routes when you need 3 are calls you want back but Kelly will make these adjustments.

      1. C,

        I’m not a BK hater after 2 tough losses. And I am definitely not giving up on this team…but, if you are counting on Bob Diaco and BK to give us a even close to championship caliber D, you are gonna be very disappointed. BK proved at every stop of his coaching career that his idea of a good defense is to have a fast, high scoring offense.

        ND defense may get a little better then what we see now. We will get better athletes just from winning and certain fundamentals can be corrected, ie tackling. But BK isnt prepared to build an SEC style defense. If this ship gets righted and we play for the BCS crown in a few years it will not be based on holding our oppents on points and yardage. It will be from pouring on the points. And that comes from a well oiled precision offense with everybody on the same page. That takes time. We have moments where it comes together, but it will take a couple years to get the system ingrained and the machine humming. But we will get there. Then, even a marginal defense will be enough.

        One step in that direction would be to teach our freaking Belitnekoff (sp?) finalist how to hold on to the damn football.

  82. Real class ND fans……..swearing on message boards about your team. We lost, we are 1-2 but this team, this program is making progress. The defense is significantly better. BK is not a big time of possession guy, he needs to realize he needs to keep his offense on the field longer to keep the defense fresh. That is besides the point, I can’t express my disappointment in you ND fans, crying like babies swearing about it. BK is going to right the ship, but give him some time and quit disrespecting my team, I expect this from Michigan fans NOT Notre Dame fans. So please go root for Michigan if you want to cry, you are either in or you’re out…..GO IRISH

  83. Bro…he’s been here for less than a year. People believe that success is immediate. It’s his first year idiot here in a much bigger program. There has been a culture of losing in ND since..according to you…1993. 5-6 months can’t cure that so fast. Obviously you have no idea what goes into coaching. Alot more than X’s and O’s.

    1. To quote the head coach this is not a 5yr plan but a 5 minute plan. Don’t talk the talk unless you are willing to walk the walk. It is easy to throw shots at the person before you when you coached against teams in the Big East. The Mountain West would dominate the Big East.

      1. I think what people have to realize is this is a program not just one season.As a highschool football coach if I know that if you don’t start a program you will only win once in awhile when the talent is exeptional.When u install a program u change the culture u change the way u pracitce and work out, that is how u become consistant every year even when the talent isn’t as good as other year.When the talent is there then it’s championships that follow.Have patience and watch a team get better week by week and year by year it will happen, just listening to him he gets it, and if you don’ think he is very good just think of how well cincinnati is doing now.GO IRISH!!

  84. I rather these players and coaches learn their lessons the hard way and not live on the talent from the previous coaching staff to blow the seasons following.

  85. Let’s see you homo’s spin this shit . . . tell me how BK is better than Weis? Tell me! Weis beat MSU. BK did not. BK has lost more games in 3 weeks than he did in 3 years at Cinncinatti. So who is the loser here? Face it . . . ND sucks. Have since 1993 and will continue to do so.

    1. Am I not allowed to watch because I am critical of the play calling. The adminstration is taking this team to death. We need more atheletes like Tony Rice (prop 48) and Zorich. Get your nose out of the air and give a kid a chance that wouldn’t get into this University normally.

      1. Just about every kid on the football squad fits your description of “a kid that wouldn’t get into this University normally.”

        ND’s standards are amazingly high. The kids who get in are kids in the very top of their high school classes, with test scores in the top 1-2%. The kids on the football team may have one of these aspects, but few have both. But, they can survive the academics of Notre Dame.

        The question is whether kids who struggle to get into Auburn or Texas Tech should get into Notre Dame (given that that they’d likely not survive the academic rigor of the school).

  86. I agree that he was well outcoached this game. I don’t know how he doesn’t run a safe point block. So many questionable calls by the coaching staff, and I hope they learn from them.

  87. I agree. Though, I don’t think Christ is the leader we need on offense. He could have fought for a few more yards on a few plays. I am also sick and tired of all of the PSU s***heads that say the Big Ten owns ND. Unfortunately, they’re right as of now.

    1. You don’t think Crist is the answer? Who would you have lead the offense then? “he could have fought for a few more yard on a few plays” A “few plays” and a “few yards” isn’t going to win this game…

  88. Seriously. Did anyone think that Michigan State was going to kick a 46-yard field goal to tie — in overtime? No way. No chance. No how.

    There are a lot of opportunities for Coach Kelly here. A lot. Talent doesn’t mean squat when you have guys believing that a college football team, playing on grass, is going to kick a 46-yard game tying field goal in overtime.

    It wasn’t a gutsy call. It was the only call. Pros miss 46-yarders on grass.

    I’m not done with Kelly — at all — but I think he’s learning and so are his coaches. We should have beaten Michigan and Michigan State.

    Saban lost a lot of close games his first year, too. . . . It takes time.

  89. This is too funny. I give up on these turds. I am sick and f$*(%*$*($( tired of playing down to opponents, retarded play calls, and a defense that couldn’t stop a leaky faucet.

    You guys can go f$*% yourself. I’m done with rooting for the Notre Dame Laming Irish.

      1. hey frank, can we edit patrick? this guy is amateur and not contributing anything intelligible….and partick, if you are truly done rooting for the irish then stop posting on an irish site!!! and go eat a hot bowl of dicks while your at it

      2. I would root for a winless Notre Dame team Patrick! Lol. I’m also rooting for Frank to revoke your ability to post anything on this board…

  90. Needless to say, time expired before the play started…should have been a delay of game. Special teams and defense needs to obviously improve. I’m sick of underperforming talented Irish teams. Good luck to Kelly in next week’s practice. Go Irish.

      1. we did not necessarily get ‘outcoached’ we simply didn’t execute. give me a break if you are questioning kelly on the fake field goal, dantoni has testicles the size of bowling balls…you can’t expect a fake on that play anymore than any other field goal. all the monday morning quarterbacks need to stfu.

        if crist had led floyd instead of underthrowing him when he was one-on-one with a linebacker, we win the game. if teo brings his feat and wraps up, mich st kicks a field goal and we win. i missed the first quarter, but it looked like we fumbled on the 11 yard line and threw a pic

        let’s keep in mind a couple things. first, crist is a freshman in playing time. he has trouble when his first option is not there, but he is getting better. throughout the game, when throwing to his first option he was crisp, confident, and accurate. give him more experience and he will be great.

        second, we haven’t had a good d-line for decades. when mich st was gutting our d in the second and third quarters, the mich st o-line was moving the line of scrimmage at least 5 yards, and getting to the second level with ease. you can only coach them up to an extent and the d-line is simply under-sized.

        third, i haven’t done my due diligence, but i will say that no coach has won the national championship in their first year at a new program. it just doesn’t happen. we shouldn’t gauge this year on wins and losses, but on player development. i posted a couple days ago that if we don’t blow out mich st., we will lose a lot of games this year. i also said mich was not very good. after giving up 37 points today, it looks like mich will lose 4 games this year, and we will lose 5 or 6.

        i am as pissed we lost as the next guy, but you need to see the forest through the trees. on the bright side, riddick looked great, and rudolf looks like he will be a guaranteed first rounder, complete stud. how many dudes 6-6 265 can outrun d-backs???

    1. Lots of good questions from the game. This series has been more of a question of who wants to lose more than who wants to win it lately. We should have put Sparty away in the 2nd quarter, but a fumble and and a forced pass for an interception kept them in the game. (As for Patrick’s ranting, please go on the ESPN website and join in with the other haters.)

      The game shouldn’t have gone to overtime and we shouldn’t have kicked a field goal as Floyd was wide open four yards ahead of Rudolph, but I guess Crist would rather throw one to his roommate versus a guy that had already dropped two earlier and fumbled.

      On the bright side for the future, Notre Dame will get better over the years with Kelly at the helm. The recruiting class for 2011 is stocked with players where we need them (defensive line) and we could use another safety and Davaris Daniels, assuming his grades come up, will be here as well.

      Unfortunately, the best Stanford team in decades will be here next week. I will be on the sidelines for that one and am looking forward to seeing an inspired Notre Dame team this year versus the previous CW teams.

  91. I agree that was a dumb call…but I’m not bailing on Kelly so soon. If this was Kelly’s third year, yeah…everyone would be calling for his head. There is a difference between having the moxy to go for it there, and being smart. I’m more pissed at Christ for not fighting for that first down on that scramble and/or that option play. He doesnt have the heart from what I see.

    1. Same shit was said with Weis. We had our chance to get Urban Meyer and the University screwed up. Wrong play call to have Chryst run he is 6’4′ and slow. Kelly to me is more the same hot air no substance.

      1. 3 games into it, Jack? Give me a break. Give him a break. He barely knows his kids yet.

        I don’t want Urban. He’s had 27 guys arrested in the last four years. Just who are these college athletes? 27? In 4 years? No thanks.

        We can and will win. But it won’t be with Urban Meyer.

  92. WTF call was that. He should have his head examined. I thought we were done with bone head calls after Weis left. This isn’t Cincy and if we lose this game it is all on Kelly’s shoulders. I don’t see where he has made this team any better. If this was Weis we would be calling for his head. The defense sucks you punt. I am so sick of idiots coaching at this University.

    1. It is not Kelley’s fault Floyd fumbled at the 5. If you review the tape the the play clock was at 0.00 when they snapped the ball for the fake field goal. You can’t block once the ball is in the air. ND got screwed Kelley is NOT the best but he is damn good and we now have the ability to get better each week. They will likely loose this week if they win Kelley will be coach of the week. Standford might win the title this year they are a jugernaut.

  93. I didn’t realize that it was legal to come back into bounds after you run out…I know they said that he was forced out…but I say bull. Walls barely touched him. Safeties are way to slow to help with anything in coverage or come up on the run.

  94. I’m watching this MSU game and I’m amazed by two things – 1) lack of tackling and 2) why is it with a 15 yard cushion ND does NOTHING to exploit it?

    Yeah BK is a step up like Burger King’s dollar menu is a step up from McDonalds.

      1. I don’t have a problem with Smith, but Motta is sucking wind, taking wrong pursuit angles and all he had to do was turn around and see the ball he had good position.

  95. So onto tomorrow’s game….

    Well who knows. But if I were Kelly, I’d have my guys rested and oiled. If the offensive line holds and Crist doesn’t get knocked out, we win this 31-17.

    The Irish defense if rested and primed for a revenge game after Michigan will pound this MSU team. It’s just up to the offense to get a little mad and also pound. I’d like to see more Hughes with an inside outside run game. Floyd needs a breakout game and this should be it.

    MSU has no freaks like Robinson, so the defense should match up well. Despite the loss last week, the defense looks relatively solid. If our linebackers keep playing with confidence, this game could show our front 7 as one of the best in the country. This is not a game in which our d-backs get exposed.

    On offense, it really is up to the offensive line. If it holds, we’ll pick them apart.

  96. I forgot how stupid most of the radio folks from Lansing to Ann Arbor to Detroit, really are. Valenti sounded like he was choking on a salami after quaffing down three or five 22 ounce brews. And Foster hates white people. Unfortunately that’s the mentality of South East Michigan which carries over into it’s rusted economy and why it may collapse into a massive hole of mediocrity.

  97. My oh my I have the strongest inclination that MSU will utilize two mabey even three powerbacks & pound the ND defense for 4 quarters. MSU ‘s ground attack will be enhanced futher by a returning star back this week for this game at home under the lights. He returns from an injury & it appears Coach Dantonio has him rested & up just for “Our Lady”.

  98. Dropping Michigan in favor of Michigan State would suck all day long. If history was the deciding factor, we’d still play Army every year.

  99. If we have to stop playing Michigan State or Michigan, I hope that we stop playing Michigan. We’ve played State since the 1890s. Alone, that historical rivalry justifies continuing to play State. Moreover, both teams have brought a lot of swagger, energy and enthusiasm to the game. It’s usually a great game to watch. While Michigan is fun, we don’t have the history we have with Michigan State. I like playing and beating the Wolverines but we have to continue to play Sparty.

    Let’s Go Irish!

  100. I never had a problem going for the tie to secure a national championship. If you are unblemished and your opponent is not you are in the driver seat. I always felt that Tom Osbourne was being to principled and not pragmatic when he went for 2 to beat Miami when a tie would’ve made them the undefeated national champ

  101. How do you figure MSU has beaten ND 9 of the last 12 times they’ve played? I can count four times that ND won in the past decade….2002,2004,2006, and 2009. Once again you are wrong on your facts/stats! Cousins sticking his head up his you know what??????? It’s called a quarterback being pressured into a quick decision! That’s what ND fans are dying for is some pressure on the QB! It’s called football 101 dumbo. And oh yea while you’re kissing some MSU ace right now you fail to mention the only reason MSU was in the game late a year ago was because the Big10 refs took a 100% TD away from Floyd early in the game. You still need to get a clue about what you are talking about brotha.

    1. When I qualified my 9 of the last 12 by saying the steak was snapped in 2009–well, that’s what I meant.

      Me speak English real good.

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