IBG – Stop Denard Robinson Edition

Notre Dame has to bottle up Denard Robinson to have any hopes of ending Michigan's two game winning streak over them this weekend. (Photo / Icon SMI)

Her Loyal Sons hosted this week’s Irish Blog Gathering.  HLS has a special disdain for Michigan and I think you’ll see it come out in their questions.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that.  Head over there and check out all of the other responses when you’re done here.

1) Well that result really sucked. Please describe how you feel about the loss using lyrics from a pop diva (eg Brittany Spears, Rihanna, etc) song. Bonus points for video or pictures. (something good has to come out of last week)

Sorry, but I got nothing here.  Wish I could have thought of something good here but I just spent all day in airports and the brain isn’t working so well right about now.

2) While we all want to move on, last week’s game can teach us many things about the ‘11 Irish. After seeing what Week 1 brought us, do you find yourself more confident, less confident, or still confused as hell about our chances vs the Skunkbears? Why?

I am still confused because I really don’t know what Notre Dame team will show up this weekend.  Will we see the confident group that ended last year 4-0 or the squad that looked unfocused and undisciplined last week?  For as good as the defense looked at times too I am a little concerned that South Florida didn’t really do much to confuse the Irish defense and didn’t really provide the great preparation for Denard Robinson most thought they would.

I really don’t think anyone knows exactly what we have with this year’s team yet.  Notre Dame can obviously move the football between the 20’s, but what happens when they get inside the 20?  I like to think that last week is just going to be an aberration when we look back on the season, but there were too many red flags raised for me to be very confident this weekend.

3) Other than QB, which position group pleasantly surprised you this past week? Which disappointed? What player absolutely MUST see more time in Week 2? Again, no QBs.

Jonas Gray’s fumble aside, I would say I was most surprised with the effectiveness of the running game.  Cierre Wood is much improved over a year ago and looks like he is going to silence any critics he’s had over the years who have suggested he isn’t an every down back.  He ran hard, was elusive, and finished his runs.

The punting team is too easy to list as a disappointment so I will go with the safeties.  Zeke Motta and Jamoris Slaugher were both unimpressive last week and Harrison Smith’s back to back face mask penalties were just unacceptable for a 5th year senior captain.

I think Tyler Eifert needs to see more action in the passing game early this week.  He was not involved much at all in the first half last week and with Michigan likely keying on Floyd early, Eifert needs to be heavily involved in the passing game from the get go.

4) Tommy Rees will lead the Irish Offense this week. Do you agree with Coach’s call? Either way, what part of Crist’s game will the Irish O miss the most, if any?

I agree with Kelly’s call to go with Rees.  As much as I’d love for #10 to lead the Irish to a win this weekend, you just can’t ignore the production Rees had in the second half last week.  He gets the offense, plays within himself, and makes quick decisions.  His decision making is the biggest difference between the two quarterbacks in my opinion.  Crist was often too hesitant and that is what cost him in terms of bad throws and drops.

The biggest part of Crist’s game we’ll miss is his downfield arm.  Rees’s arm strength improved since last year, but Crist can really stretch a defense was the cannon he has.  Remember his throw to Kyle Rudolph last year to give Notre Dame a short lived lead in Notre Dame Stadium?  Yeah, Rees isn’t making that throw unless he pulls the trigger much sooner.

5) What’s the key to beating the Wolverines this week? Just 1 thing. Not 2. 1. I have to agree with Her Loyal Sons and say stopping Denard Robinson.  Robinson is really Michigan’s only chance against Notre Dame’s defense and if we are being honest, he does give them a very good chance.  If you don’t think he does, just look at the tape from last year’s game and you’ll be reminded of just how bad he can make a defense look.  If Notre Dame contains Robinson and doesn’t have to go in comeback mode, they will be able to run the ball and wear down the Michigan defense.

6) Make your Over-Under Picks:

  • Over-under on Floyd’s receiving total for this coming weekend: 154 – UNDER – I think Floyd could go off on Michigan’s secondary even if they double team him, but I see Notre Dame running the ball a lot more this week.
  • Over-under on Robinson’s rushing total: 100 OVER – I don’t think we’ll see him run wild like last year, but he is still going to get his yards on the ground.
  • Over-under on ND Number of Turnovers: 2 UNDER – This might be wishful thinking but I think (maybe hope) the Irish clean things up.
  • Over-under on Number of Times Kelly is caught Purple Monstering Out: 2 PUSH, You can’t cut being purple cold turkey.
  • Over-under on ND Total Yards: 425 OVER – Notre Dame will move the ball again this week.  Hopefully this week they’ll actually put it in the end zone this time.

7) Michigan: Just Another Opponent, Enemy, or Rival? Explain. 1 Bonus point for each use of the word ’suck’. Pretty sure I made my feelings about this question clear in an old column I wrote back in 2006.

8 ) It’s Michigan week. Name 1 thing in the world that sucks as much as Michigan, if you can.

The sequel to Boondock Saints.  Has anyone seen it?  I watched, or tried to watch it, on Netflix a few weeks back and it might have been the worst movie I have ever seen.  I LOVED the first one and used to watch it all the time back in college when I was working on projects, but the sequel was beyond awful. 

9) RichRod is back, announcing for CBS. Can’t wait to see how that goes. Bet he’s horrible.

Well he can’t be any worse at announcing as he was at coaching Michigan… can he? What’s really sad about that is he was still somehow 2-1 against Notre Dame. Sigh.

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222 Comments

  1. We need to be 4-2 when USC gets here and 5-2 when they leave! By then, we should have a very good idea whether we have the potential to finish a strong 10-2. I’ll bet even Skip and Lou enjoyed this win for ND!

    Go……………………………………………………….Irish!

  2. can kelly teach someone to catch a punt, can kelly find a punter? can kelly teach someone to play man to man defense, can kelly stop all the penalties? they still seem so poorly coached to me. and less than motivated! and do not let this bum swarbrick do a kevin white and lower the denominator by going to a conference. what a loser move that would be !

  3. Shazamrock and everyone,
    Yes a lot of football to be played. This team shows potential, but with the talent and coaching, they won’t live up to expectations unless they finish 9-3 or 10-2. I hate to set wins for the mark. But here it is. This team cannot reach an elite level without a killer attitude. I don’t mean a mouthy swagger or porr sportsmanship type of thing. I am talking about taking care of the little details and knocking a team out. I was very happy that ND won and big. However, the offense really sputtered in the second half. Two more touchdowns could have been scored. They should have punched the ball in after Blanton’s interception.
    Also, Blanton pulled off a great play when the defensive coaches seemed confused on both that drive and the drive previous. Plays came in very late on defense. Diaco seems not to be able to adjust during a game and I saw that confusion in 2nd halfs last year. Kudos to Blanton who just played great.
    I also would like to see more consistent running. Our line is big. Let them line up closer togather and punch holes up the guy more.
    Rees need to feel more comfortable under center. He seems to like the shotgun too much. That’s not ooptimal for run plays and play action.
    The offense needs to take another leap in confidence while keeping the bar for excellence set high. Be confident but not self satisfied.

    Notre Dame has a promising group of underclassmen and yes Lynch might have made more of a difference against Michigan. But they all still need to prove themselves, each play, each game, and over each season. This game does not change my overall concerns but it does give me hope. And let’s face it, ND might be one of five or six teams not on probation by next year.

    Go Irish!!

    1. C-Dog,

      Great observations!
      This team is at a cross roads.
      They certainly have enough talent, but as you say, little details will make a big difference.

      Speaking of cross-roads, remember a couple of years ago when the push was on for ND to join the Big East?
      With Pitt and Syracuse now bolting for the ACC, I ‘m so glade that we didn’t get suckered into that mess.

      It is looking more and more like the “Super Conferences” are going to become a reality. (at the cost of tradition, rivalry, and history, in favor of the almighty TV dollars)

      I like the fact that ND isn’t bound by a conference. Isn’t told what to do, or pressured into making changes that goes agianst their Identity.
      But do we risk falling behind?

      C-Dog, I know we share many of the same views and values about ND and college football.
      So it pains me to say that I’m afraid the golden age of college is gone, and I don’t think it’s comming back.

      1. Shazamrock,
        I do hope the ND athletic department look at all these changes and realize that staying independent is better. Consider the next 5 to 10 year stretch for teams such as USC, Miami, Penn St., LSU, Alabama, Oklahoma. These are brand names in college football. Miami and Pann State haven’t exactly electrified a national audience since joining conferences. But they all potentially lose the ability to command a national stage when they exist in 16 member football conferences. In those conferences you need to be a perenial winner at least within your division to even get recognized. Ratings for late games will drop once teams are out of divisional races. The winner take all mentality will prevail.
        So I see these mega confereances not working for football. For basketball, yes, but not football. And once one or two high profile brand names in college football go independent, it will all break apart again. Patience.

    2. Yep, couldn’t agree more with you C-Dog on your observations. Definitely would like to see them put teams away with more of a “killer” attitude when they are in a position to “shut the door.” The time for a conference (as much as I hate THAT) affiliation may need to happen, especially if super conferences dictate future BCS/College Football playoff system unless (as an independent) ND is highly ranked and/or has a perfect record or at minimum, 1 defeat to qualify in that future scenario. Yeah, I’m glad we didn’t go into the The Diminishing “big” East for football.

      Go Irish

  4. Love #19 & #9.
    Tommy Rees now has about 7 full games under his belt. Time to start cutting back on the turnovers Tommy.
    MSU spent a lot of time covering Floyd with a safty over the top. Look for TJ Jones to step up. He had a whole lot of single coverage on Saturday.
    After ND finished of the Spartans, I was able to catch most of the Navy vs South Carolina game. South Carolina, with Lattimore at running back, absolutly gutted the Navy defense up the middle. The kid ran hard up the middle. Mostly off the outside gap of his ofensive tackles for 240 yards!
    Just something to keep in mind.
    I hope we have a good week of practice. I want a win. But I also want to make sure Mark May can’t sit there and gloat!
    This kid who was playing Linebacker for us, Niklas, he has good speed but was out of position on a few plays and looked lost at times
    Better work at getting it figured out because I would expect Pitt to try to pick on him quite a bit next week.
    I was hoping we could finish the month of September at 3-1. The team I thought we would have the most trouble with, is the Team we beat by 18 for our first win. Go figure.

    1. Shazamarock,

      Troy Niklas only played because Shembo was unavailable. They can also use Filer at that position. I am more concerned about Reese. He doesn’t protect the football. He is forcing the ball into coverage a lot and against a good secondary will be picked. Also, this offense needs a QB that can run. We don’t have that threat and that is killing the offense. I don’t think going back to Dayne is the answer and I think we are stuck this year with Reese. Hopefully he develops, but if not look for the underclassman to pass him next year.

      1. Dayne’s career is over due to one bad half where everyone let him down. Rees now has 7 full games under his belt and averages 1 turnover per half. Mind boggling, he has a charmed life, Dayne is not the answer (he should transfer to a pro set) be he must scratch his head a lot.

      2. Lot of football left to be played.
        Hopfully everyone stays healthy.
        But if Tommy Rees should go down, having a senior at QB, who has good experience and is hungry to prove / redeem himself, might be a pretty nice thing to have.I wouldn’t write him off just yet.

        Interesting stat: Looking the fourth quarter of the last 3 games, ND has given up a total of 38 points (28 of those in the 4th quarter of the michigan game)
        PITT, over the 3 fourth quarters that they have played in, have given up a total of 41 points,(spread out over Buffalo(6), Maine(14), & Iowa (21)
        Anyone see a trend here?

        I would like to see an up tempo set by ND.
        If we can do that, I think there is a good chance that Pitt may run out of gas by the time the fourth quarter rolls around.

    2. And NAVY gave the Gamecocks a challenging game. NAVY could have won that game against them. ND hopefully (Especially Coach Diaco)will be ready for their scheme-more so than last year. BEAT PITT, GOOOOOOOOO IRISHHHHHHHHH

    1. thanks calendar cop!

      sorry for the miscalculation on my dates. Can you give nudge if you see me yelling trick-or-treat on October 24?
      Thanks again!

  5. Obviously Aaron Lynch is talent and really helps our d line the thing i really like is he plays with attitude and doesnt take sh#t from anyone. The fight is coming back to the irish give it time and the attitude will spread, no more nice players on the field.Change is happening maybe a little slower the some fans want but we will be back and for longer then one season. GO IRISH!!!

  6. I AM EXCITED!!!!

    To the posters above me that are worried about pass defense and open recievers yesterday…get over it! I was at the game and the defense, with mulitple freshman and sophomores on the field at the same time, looked pretty damn good! The pressure that Lynch was putting on the quarterback was ridiculous. The kid is a STUD. Tuitt, Williams, Niklas, Nix, all played well. The defensive line now has enough players to rotate in and out for certain situations as well as for getting a fresh player in. The depth is finally there. Unlike our miserable experience with Chucky who didn’t think it to be important.

    Once Gary Gray gets his head straight, the secondary will be really good too.

    For all of you that watched on tv yesterday, you missed the biggest blown call of the game. And you wouldn’t know it because NBC didn’t mention it on the coverage. On the punt that Goodman fumbled, MSU did not get the snap off on time. There was zero on the clock, for probably a second, and no flag was thrown. That would have bailed out Goodman (but he still needs to catch the ball). If you watch the game again on tape, listen for the crowd they start yelling because time expired on the play clock. People were going crazy!!!

    The kick return and the interception return sent the crowd into a frenzy. But the play that made me go nuts is when Lynch buried Cousins and caused that fumble…
    From my very small seat, I felt ND completely dominated that game. Of course they gave up some yards and receivers may have been open, but that’s to be expected. MSU isn’t Youngstown State or Florida Atlantic, they have talent!
    LET’S GO IRISH….Purdue is in for a long day next week!!!

  7. Running 3 times after blantons interception was absolutely the right call. We made them use all three of their time outs and the field goal put us up by 3 scores with only about 3 minutes left. No need to try and do something crazy just to get another TD —–dont ever forget tulsa coach kelly!!

  8. C-Dog,

    What about it, being at the stadium and seeing Atkinson’s break-a-way speed. Any flash backs??

    Go………………………………………………………Irish!

    1. JC,
      Oh man!! But from my vantage point what set that up was one of our guys blowing up two MSU guys in one block. I mean they went airborne. Atkinson was smart and ran fluidly just up inside that block and then it was bye bye baby!
      That block and then Atkinson’s run really made the difference because everyone was starting to think implosion up to that point. The “Yes We Can” attitude flowed through the stadium and the team at that point.

  9. Blanton was HUGE today. But overall msu still had a lot of guys running wide open it seemed. If they had anyone decent other than cunningham we might of been in trouble. -klm and/or E johnson better watch out, there starting spots might be in trouble before the season is thru

  10. fxm,

    Did we kick their mickey mouse butts? Blanton and Lynch were awesome.
    Nice to see grass stains on the Mich St. QB.

    Yeah, it was good even with all the errors!!! Mich. St. can kiss their #15 ranking good bye! Nice to see all the trick plays by them failed.

    How about that defensive no set wave back and forth scheme? Amazing.

    I hope by now everyone has recovered, hopefully, things will improve dramatically!

    1. What a relief. When Goodman put that ball on the turf…. I don’t mind giving them some yards while keeping it to 13 points. D was huge. Well, we got some work to do, looks like Navy isn’t going to be a pushover. Let’s thank Mr. Atkinson for giving us that return, it reminded me of the good old days.

  11. I wonder how many guys are going to jump back on the bandwagon? After last week probably 10 people only should be posting while everybody else “tucked tail” and ran.

    GO IRISH!!!

      1. Not a fair weather fan. ND has a lot to do before they can become an elite team. The difference between this years team and other years is they keep beating themselves. Once they stop wit the stupid turnovers they will destroy teams. I even think You should give up on fielding punts and try and just block them.

  12. Rally sons of Notre Dame! former roommate of an all american irish player.
    but too many penalties, dropped punts and that zone pass defense is a disaster. lets go man to man. my god. and not many bone crushing tackles.and why dont they huddle. it still so alien to me. but halleluh! winning can be a habit!

  13. Rally sons of Notre Dame! former roommate of an all american irish player.
    but too many penalties, dropped punts and that zone pass defense is a disaster. lets go man to man. my god. and not many bone crushing tackles.and why dont they huddle. it still so alien to me. but halleluh! winning can be a habit!

    1. It’s a win. Period. I agree that the defense needs to huddle up and I think the offense needs to run more often and I know we had too many turnovers but, still, it counts in the won-loss column. We finally beat that effing Dantonio. Finally.

      1. Glad for the win, but, still a lot of issues that occurred in this that left me feeling a litttle despondent. Letting MSU make some of those big pass plays to potentially stay in the game versus slamming the door on them, fumbles, INT’s, stupid penalties, some concern about how the run game looked in the 2nd half, especially not scoring a TD but settling for a FG after Blanton’s INT and run back.Still a work in progress these Golden Domers are, for sure.

        GO IRISH, BEAT PITT NEXT WEEK!

      2. Fair enough, but 31-13 against a team that was 11-1 during the regular season last year, is an accomplishment. MSU will compete for the Big 10 title again this year. It’s a decent program.

        And we stuck it to them. Could it have been over earlier? Of course. Could we have taken care of the ball better? Yes. But the defense showed up big-time this week and made some key plays. And we scored 31 points, a nice number against what appears to be a decent opponent. Today is much better than last Sunday.

        Go Irish.

  14. Did my mind playa trick on me? Did an irish kick returner bring one to the house? Did we actually seal a game away? Did we just pick one in the red zone? Surely I got an either bad or exceptionally good bottle of jack yesterday. Turnovers or not, if this is an alcohol induced hallucination keep pouring.

    GO IRISH!

  15. Bruce,

    We are going to use you for the ND misery index. However, if ND wins we will have to find something else for you to do like cheering for ND.

  16. I know, I was always real rational until I met this years team. I will get over it. Let’s have Tuitt and Lynch have some formal introductions to Mr. Cousins tomorrow.

  17. So enlighten me, what is the penalty for making disparaging remarks about Michigan State? Hmmm…………seems like a China policy. LOL! Where do we get all these thin skin diaper dandies.

    Like I said earlier our fashionable fans have sensitive issues. Boy, I was really of the reservation with poor poor Michigan State. Glad to see we have such new authoritative boundries.

    BY THE WAY, WE ARE GOING TO KICK MICHIGAN STATES MICKEY MOUSE BUTTS!!! HOW’S THAT FOR DISPARAGING AND NO POSITION! Go ahead tag team that one. LOL!!!!

    Go………………………………………………………..Irish!

      1. That’s what happens when you play a formidable defense that MSU didn’t see all last season until running into Saban’s crew. Wish ND’s defense was that caliber. Kick MSU.

  18. fxm,

    Agreed, ND and its fans are in no position to disparage any team right now. However, I wouldn’t call possible Big East champ USF or Michigan (esp. in the “Big House”) “Sponge Bob” teams. YSU and FAU are more worthy of such an epithet.

    1. They were 10-2 last year and have most of their offense back. We can not disparage anyone, we just lost to a couple of Songe Bob teams.

  19. I hope our running backs and receivers have been sleeping with footballs, gloves and VELCRO! And hopefully, the whole team has a Personally- Autographed-Red-Face-Screaming-Picture of BK for their mirror every morning.

    Recovery now seems eminent! GO……………………………..IRISH!

  20. Plum mad dog mean.

    That’s what I exspect from the Irish on Saturday.
    I hope they react like a wild dog that has been backed into a corner.

    The only way out, is to fight your way out.
    Snapping, snarrling, clawing, nasty mean.

    I hope they learn to do that agianst the Spartans, because that’s what it’s going to take, then carry that attitude for the rest of the season.

    1. I hope you’re right Shazamrock. I can’t stand how MSU has had ND’s number over the past years. Yeah, real mean & nasty would good. GGGOOOO IIIRRRIIISSSHHHHHHHHHHHH

      1. MSU has had our number because we start the season with real BCS contenders, while they open with 2 wins that are bought and paid for with the sacrificial lambs that they buy as srimages partners in preperation of their first “real” game of the season. (agianst ND)

        They always sit behind the ND-Michigan rivalry game, and are banking on an emotional letdown by us.

        But not this time!

        The wise thing to say is we need a win, any kind of win.

        But I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t hoping for an old fashion beat down.

        Let’s burst THEIR bubble.
        Rain on THEIR parade.
        Piss in THEIR Wheaties.

        They seem to have the most perfect little schedule… and I can’t wait for our guys to light the fuse and blow it all to hell!

      2. I totally agree. We need this because there are many from my generation that feel like I do, that that magic is gone and we need it back. One good friend and fellow alum told me this week, that he’s just so emotionally spent after 20 years of heartbreak that he’s not going to watch but will spend time with his family for the season and may, depending on what he hears, will fast forward through TIVO. Anyone who attended Notre Dame from the later 80’s or earlier understands this. The connection of the football team to the school and even our own families is so much stronger than being a sub-way alum. And thank God for the sub-way alums because maybe being a bit farther away from the campus experience, you can carry the torch better than those of us who feel the 20 year let down.

        Now having said all that, a fellow dorm mate and alum has an extra ticket and I am going. Despite my despair and feeling that the spiritual cupboard that should fuel the football program is empty, I am going to yell until I lose my voice.

        I have no ill will toward MSU. It’s an average or worse academic instituition with a massive drinking problem. The phrase, “Sparty On!” denotes drunken parties and college brothels, while couches burn in the streets. “Pulling a Plaxico”, denotes shooting yourself in the foot with your illegal hand gun at a gangsta club because you feel unprotected among your homies. Indeed other than the very honorable Kirk Cousins and the honorable Keith Nichols, there is nothing special one way or another about MSU. They are hard to like and hard to hate. Very average.

        But I hope Notre Dame finds itself. I wish Brian Kelly would take the team to a beat up empty lot, weed infested field and remind them what backyard football is and why they should play their hearts out for the privilege of being able to play a kids’ game in front of 80,000 fans.
        Lou would remind them that the honor of Mary is at stake. Even if Jenkins has defiled that honor, the football team must defend it.

        OH, yes, I will be rooting. “Here come the Irish….Here come the Irish!”

  21. Hey eliminate 10 turnovers and we are 2-0. Everybody freaking out and all the Irish need is to take care of the ball and all is well. We have over 1000 yrds offense in two games mostly with a QB nobody thought deserved to start. The defense is an imposing unit – they will turn it around. GO IRISH!

    1. I wouldn’t exactly say our D is an imposing unit, yet. Good, getting better, but not great. They are no where near top SEC defensive teams and to me, that conference year in & out, seems to produce some damn good defenses.

  22. if you cant feel it you are not irish, this guy has been here less than two years and lost seven games, the athletic director is clueless, he even has his own tv show, narcissus, what a joke!

    1. Bruce we feel the frustration. We feel the pain. We feel the close losses.

      We don’t buy into the idea of a new coach. Saban didn’t get rolling at Michigan State until 1999, his fifth full season. In fact, he was 6-6 in his second season. I doubt people think he is a crappy coach. Urban had a few losses at Bowling Green in his second season there, too.

      It’s not magic. The program has been neglected, from a coaching perspective, for a number of years and the players are getting used to BK’s system. Moreover, coaching is complex — and what works elsewhere is not always what works at ND. But a coach has to have time to figure it out.

      If you omit a few turnovers — not ten, but, say, five — we are 2-0 and this conversation isn’t even happening.

      We have to play a lot better for the rest of the season. But, we are making some progress. That said, it’s completely ridiculous to “give up” on the rest of the season. There are a lot of important games that we have to win between now and our New Year’s Day bowl game.

      1. Thanks for the logical reaction Teo. It’s easy to become too emotional in sports. I’m with you completely that this team is on the cusp of performing really well. Kelly will get us there but it will take time. Which is something that Irish sports fans don’t allow for.

  23. All Ball Bob was a decent fit after Lou but Dave Roberts would have been better fit offensively and as head coach with Davie handling the defensive duties. I dont know if anyone remembered the Vanderbilt game when Lou was in the box after surgery – it simply looked like ND football of old on the field. Dave Roberts called the offense – Davie called the defense. It was just Vanderbilt but the misdirection, the overall offensive play calling the defense – it was truly a sight to behold! it was like we traveled back to the late 80’s – the Irish were playing awesome! So based on that recent memory I had high expectations for Davie coming in as the stage was definitely set for him! He proceeded to waste no time however to totally screw things up by first dissing Lou – then the venerable one Joe Moore. It went down hill from there and it still languishing here…

    1. Amen Chris,

      I remember Lou’s neck brace and other health issues at the time that included his wife also.

      Somebody else was frothing at the mouth to become ND’s next coach.

      What’s the name of the National Power House Davie is now coaching?

  24. Bruce,

    Well, the coaching merry go round is getting thinner. Further, it’s way too early to even consider bailing on BK. There are many reasons why one must endure building a program.

    We will never turn back the clock, moving forward BK has all the tools to make a BIG difference here at ND. He already has. Yes, Holtz is one of our iconic coaches. But lets allow BK the full opportunity for a turn around.

    If anything, we also need a full turn around in the attitude of our fans by cheering together, and making a SERIOUS impact when opposing teams come to our house. This is the REAL MAGIC Lou was afforded and we must do the same for BK and the team. We certainly CAN bring back the same Holtz Excitement in our stadium. WITHOUT QUESTION, it is our fault THE SPIRIT OF ND FOOTBALL has be on vacation for a long time.

  25. Ok, while we’re on the subject of the demise of ND football, can someone refresh my memory/enlighten me on the coaching search to replace Holtz. I know Davies was an assistant at ND at the time, but how/why did Davies get the job? I’m serious. I feel like we could have had almost any coach in the country at that point and we ended up with an unproven asst coach. Seems like that was the start of a bad turn of events.

    My next question is, was this hire criticized by the press and or fan base at the time? Were people asking why ND did this? Was the football media critical of the hire? Obviously hindsight is 20/20, but I’m just curious. What was going on at ND at that point that drove this hire?

    I welcome all thoughts and perspectives.

    1. Davie was a very well regarded assistant when he was hired by Holtz. He’d worked for Jackie Sherrill at Pitt and had become one of the best defensive coaches in the country when he worked for Texas A&M in the early 1990s. He became Holtz defensive coordinator in 1993 or 1994 and was well regarded as a defensive coach.

      But, when he was hired, there was a sense that the university did little or nothing to find another football coach as Lou retired. I believe we only interviewed one or two other coaches because Davie was actually offered a head coaching job at Purdue.

      The hire was criticized more by the fan base than by the press, who seemed to think that Bob was a defensive guru.

      It’s really been all downhill since that hire. I mean, there was some glory with both Willingham and Weis but it was short and, well, bowl games proved that it was essetially undeserved.

      Who can forget the 41-9 massacre in the Fiesta of 2000? That was Davie’s doing. And then there was LSU in 2006, another fun experience.

      I want Kelly to transform the program into one where we’re blowing out inferior opponents like Michigan. I don’t want to win by a FG or TD. I want to win by 4 TDs.

      1. If memory serves, Davie had his best year when his team set a school record for fewest turnovers during a season.

        Just goes to show that if you don’t beat yourself, you can win a good many games!

        “Now that’s just good footbawww”

  26. I’m not ready to throw the towl in on this season. I’m just as surprised as anyone that we are sitting at 0-2 and hosting one of the better QB’s in the country.

    I’m also not ready to throw the towl in on Kelly. He’s coaching a kid who has only started 5 GAMES! He is going to screw up and he’s going to do it OFTEN! Just expect him to make 5 great reads and then throw a soft ball in double/triple coverage.

    What I know. Our offense is is vastly better at this point this season…. as opposed to this point last season. We are ranked 10th in the nation offensively. However, we have given up 10 balls in critical situations. Gray’s fumble came from a spectacular play of a Saftey. It wasn’t a mental error. He had the ball wrapped up. It was NOT… IT WAS NOT an act of some kind of curse. Nor was DR fumble recovery for a TD. The ball doesn’t have the ability to be governed by anything other than physics.

    I don’t care that we returned a bunch of starters. The starters that returned only played 4-5 games of good football last year against teams that may not have been all that good to begin with.

    The defense has played great for 7 quaters this year. They’ve made some mistakes no doubt. But there coachable mistakes.

    While every other BCS team has been playing North Central Institue of Girls Becoming Woman Communtiy College ND has played two solid teams. Not GREAT, but solid. SFU is going to win a bunch a games this year. And playing in the Big House isn’t easy for any team…especially for a heated rival such as ND.

    This team is going to be ok… They are going to get better. Reese is going to mature (his arm may not) but he will. He will learn from his mistakes. C. Wood will continue to eat defenses alive… Now all Kelly has to do is keep feeding him & Gray the ball to eat up clock and allow Reese to connect ball after ball to Floyd. Hell, kick field goals all stinking night and eat up 8 minutes off the clock every drive.

    There’s no such thing as curse!
    And I’m one who thinks Kelly needs to scream a bit more on the sidelines. Someone has to show these kids what reckless raw emotion is and what furry looks like.

    We have a very difficult season ahead of us in terms of talent and coaching from opposing teams. These guys are going to stop making costly turnovers and mental errors. And then will start seeing lopsided wins.

    Go Irish!

    1. I agree – teams that get out of the box having turnover issues generally continue having theses problems. They are kind of like hamstring injuries…they hang around. Hope that isnt the case w/ ND but part of it is mental and that doesnt go away over night. I am not liking the fact the Irish are 5 point favorites over Michigan State – not liking that a bit.

      1. I can’t imagine that anyone in South Bend will be swayed by the spread. However, I agree, nothing yields turnovers more than think about “not” turning the ball over (see Jonas Gray). I would prefer to be an under-dog just for the sake of beating someone “we are supposed to lose to.” Although, bookies notwithstanding I think most expect us to lose this game. Let’s win this game and forgive the USF loss, then beat Stanford and forgive the Michigan loss. I know, but we can always dream. What is great about loving an enigmatic team is you can still somehow rationalize that they are going to end up 9-3.

  27. I believe the crowds at the stadium are “quiet” is because of the play on the field. This didn’t happen overnight. This has been going on for 15-20 years. The product on the field is atrocious. I’ve been a loyal fan for over 45 years and I’m just as disgusted as everyone else. I watch every game intently just like most of you.

    When we start winning on a consistent basis I gaurantee the crowds will get louder and louder. We are just waiting for bad things to happen every game and a lot of times the team responds accordingly. When we fumbeled on the 1 yard line on the first drive in the first game I said oh my god here we go again.

    As mentioned before night games help but the play on the field is what matters. Give us something to cheer about.

    Why are the Boston Red Sox fans always fired up but not the Baltimore Orioles? How come the Detroit Lion fans are not fired up? You have to win

    Everyone talks about the SEC crowds. How about Vanderbilt? SEC team. Oh wait they stink on the football field.

    Winning cures all ills. Hopefully, the Irish are not that far off. I have Hope!

    1. I agree, Ron, with what you’re saying, but, Vanderbilt is the exception regarding SEC fan involvement/intensity & for team play in comparison to the rest of the league’s teams. I grew up (unfortunately) in Tennessee and Alabama. I was in awe of fan intensity OUT OF THE STADIUM for Tenn, Bama, & Auburn. I was a ND fan (my grandfather played for Rockne)and when ND played Bama in the 73 Sugar & 75 Orange Bowls, my god it was great ND won, but, their fans support their teams up to this day. I agree, if play on the field would improve and be consistent, ND stadium would be a different place. Remember when Nebraska came to South Bend in 2000 and how many ND ticket holders sold their tickets. DEPLORABLE

  28. My father, an ancient ND Fan, once said that ND sold her soul to NBC. he really believed that NBC marketed the games to upper crust old timers. What with all the mutual fund and retirement portfolio commercials, the golf announcer like Hammond. Simply put, he said NBC had packaged ND as a “civilized” upper crust program.

    I think his theory has merit. ND will always be a “dinosaur.” We are one of the few that keep the traditions of amatuerism, going to class and high standards. But, living in SEC land, i can tell you the ND game day atmosphere is like the PGA compared to death valley in baton rouge, neyland in Tenn and that monstrosity in tuscaloosa.

    You wanna amp up the crowd? You don’t need jumbotrons and early 90s rap (sorry wisconsin). Have more night games. Less of the fogies, more of the students. If NBC wants to move the games to VERSUs starting next year, fine. but tell them they will have to agree to night games.

    1. Oh, and it’s not just home games. ND fans seemed conditioned to sit on their hands. I was at the Sugar bowl against LSU. granted, it was practically a home game for the Bayou Bastards, but the ND fans in attendance were simply overmatched in zeal by the toothless tornado of LSU fans.

      1. Delta,

        Youtube the 1988 came against Miami. Look at the crowd, watch the fight, that is what we need. I was asked by my family not to watch the game Saturday night because I become so pissed. I walk around in a bad mood and yell at the TV to much. My 19 month was yelling at the tv with me. I see no passion in ND fans, not like the SEC fans and the asshole Penn State fans. I see passion on this site and then I watch the game and I see nothing from the stands.

      2. I agree, fully, with your comments.

        There is no passion in ND fans at the stadium. And I don’t know why. Even the South Florida game seemed comparatively quiet to the other 80,000-plus seat games I see on other networks (it’s not exactly fair to compare the much larger Michigan crowd).

        Get up. I am too old to go — and live too far away and am raising three kids under 5 right now — but even I am up for the entire second half, walking around my little “cave” (i.e. basement with a big-screen), jumping and yelling at TDs, seething at INTs., etc.

        It’s crazy. The fans inside the stadium just seem so quiet and reserved. Now, some of this is because the students at Notre Dame are simply fewer in number than at Auburn or Louisiana State. But not all of it.

        Get loud.

      3. I agrre jack. That 88 Cathloics v Convicts game was incredible. The 2005 Bush Push game was pretty loud too.

        I also agree with those that say the crowd reacts to the caliber of play on the field. But, I also think the players react to the crowd. It’s a circle. One feeds off the other. If an ND kick returner ever pulls a Rocket like return again (seems a big “if” of late) I would be screaming and yelling tothe point the neighbors may call the cops. Unfortunately though, I would expect most in the crowd would give a polite golf clap and sit back down, if they ever got up. Then, NBC would take us right into a Lincoln Financial commercial.

        These recruits that we bring to the game, they want the full on college experience. They visit other schools and they have jumbotrons and huge student sections and 80,000 that rarely sit and never shut up. ND counters that with the tradition of the stadium. We don’t need jumbotrons, fireworks and blaring music. But, we do need these guys to see a fired up crowd. A bunch of retirees that ask people to sit down in the stadium just doesnt get us there.

        Schedule more night games with 8 pm starts. The crowd make up will be vastly different. Increase the student section. Make it loud. Rock’s house was once a place of awe and fear for opposing teams. It could be again.

      4. You find that a lot at many of the SEC venues. I wish ND stadium could be more that way. As much as I “hate” the SEC, from an objective point of view, their fans & teams (for the most part) have great intensity.

      5. Okay i just reread my post above, where I say, “And I don’t know why.”

        We all know why.

        We don’t win. And when we do win, it’s eeking out a victory.

        Fans will get louder when we win more often. And they’re going to get a lot louder when we’re winning a lot more often and by a larger margin.

    2. The 1988 game against the “Cocaines”, the Convicts was my senior year. The students and the fans believed we could WILL the team to a win by our cheering and noise, and by being on our feet. There was belief in the the players, the coaches, the Head Coach, and the power of the whole Notre Dame community.

      That extra belief was earned. But it did exist. The crowd now seems to be waiting for the team to do it all for them. Yes, they’ll cheer and at times be loud, but they are spectators. We felt like we were participants.

      People talk about the play on the field, but I say it’s a lack of aura. I feel like recent teams have a voice in the back of their heads saying, “Gee I wonder WHEN, we’ll do something to dissapoint the fans.” It almost seems worse at ND stadium. Everyone has to be just sick seeing the players go over to the students after a loss singing the alma mater. It just seems like a self defeating atmosphere.

      Well hopefully this week they can knock the heads off the Spartans. And instead of looking over their shoulders, they should think about unleashing all the fury off pent up mediocrity and bury their opponent in a 60 minute clinic.

  29. They need to modernize the stadium asap….sound system, megatron tvs….I know Knute wouldn’t have wanted it but Knute is not around it is 2011!

    1. No, I disagree with that. I think people need to learn that ND is either loved or hated. You are viewed by the country as a dinosuar. They think ND is a joke, and they are right. This needs to be conveyed to the players and administration. If they accept this than the fan base and alumni must demand it change.

    2. I have heard a lot of people talk about how Rockne wouldnt have wanted this or that in the stadium.He was one of the most innovative coaches of all time,if he thought it would give him an advantage he would have done it. H aving said that i dont believe a big screen will help the crowd i believe more night games would definitely help. Something about night games energizes the crowd.

    1. JC –

      You are welcome! What is stranger yet is I share the raw emotions of most the fans on this site. We love Notre Dame simply put. That is whi I guess I love to see BK going ballistic during the South Florida game. It gave me some connection as a fan to know that BK was just as pissed as the rest of us watching! I’d have to sayit was comforting. I hate the fact we are 0-2 but stranger things have happened during the course of a season and yes I will be attending the game this weekend even though I swore I would give the ticket away after last week. I am an ND fan – there is no other option. GO IRISH!

  30. I would recommend every coach that wants to WIN – read / reread ‘When Pride Still Mattered : A Life Of Vince Lombardi’ by David Maraniss. I am struck at how the most successful leaders that always find ways to WIN, have a gift in leading an entire culture of change (like Vince & Holtz), and at the same time, also learn how to adapt to the new environments.

    Lombardi had the ingredients, yet, knew that he had to embrace a different approach from the West Point coaching days to the pro ranks.

    In the early years of Packer transformation, (quoting the book) Bart Starr once approached Lombardi to say, “You’re asking me to be the leader of this team, and I’m challenged by that and I want to be the best leader I can be. But I can’t be if you’re chewing my butt out in front of the team you want me to lead” Lombardi never critized him in front of the team again.

    I would like to see the ND coaching staff know WHEN to exert their dominance, and know when to develop the leaders on the field and back off at the right time. The team shows tremendous brilliance; yet, it is clear that they are ‘tight’, waiting for some doom, vs. believing in themselves.

  31. Tough to figure it out. My friend is a staunch believer the program is under a curse of sorts due to the way the administration treated Lou before he left. He is adamant this is the reason. I dont know but ND certainly is not the ame institution it was back in the 70’s. It has become a research facility by design. It has not been a place where kids are given a chance such as a Rudy type for decades. The football program is tolerated in my opinion and thrown a couple bones here and there for sake of tradition – but Tradition is used and treated only as a corporate buzz word. It is the corporate cow that the research facility sucks from and thats about it anymore.

    I love the lore of the stadium but there is really no energy there such as you see in many other stadiums around the country. It could be the energy the team experiences elsewhere may have an adverse impact somewhat on their play especially when they find themselves down. The game last week was a very impressive sight! I thought wouldnt that be great if that was the case every week at ND? I really think updating the stadium a bit is needed at this point. The status quo certainly isnt instilling any fear into opposing teams visiting. I see BK moving in that direction soon.

    All in all – frustrating all the same. Supposed to have this awesome D but they cave when it counts, cant get one good hit on the opposing teams star like in years past. Supposed to have one of the best O lines in the country yet they cant get 3rd and 1-2 yds. Supposed to be better physically – mentally and conditioned yet still can not play a football game with intensity for 60 minutes. They still after all these years cause fans to experience panic attacks when they go up early in the game. It is like the kiss of death. Who thought even without all the progress they have seemingly made in the off season that 30 seconds would invoke that haunted scream…”Too much time left on the clock!”?

    Tough to figure out,

    1. Chris,

      Than the University needs to be sent a message. The football program is why you are who you are. In 30 yrs on one heard of the University until they beat Michigan in Football. Also, they got their name because they played like a bunch of Fighting Irishman. They need to embrace this, instead they want to be like Yale and Harvard. I hate Yale and Harvard, a bunch of pinky drinking stuck up snobs. If that is what this University wants to become, but that is not it’s roots. What made the University great in the 80’s were players like Zorich and Rice who couldn’t get in by todays standards. Wake up ND and get the fight back.

      1. Jack -ND is simply bigger than that now. They are not the university we cut our teeth on but we hang onto that image for dear life and for good reason! The days of offering a quality education rooted primarily in the science of philosophies are long long gone. The underpriveledged are no longer welcomed or solicited. Only the best qualified and the best funded need apply.

        But not unlike the rebirth of the Church that we see across the world, there is hope! Even for ND. The university is Our Ladys university and She will not stand by without eventually elevating its status again like a lamp on the hill. It will all be done contrary to the elite of the Holy Cross brothers who resemble nothing like those brothers of the past. In the end She wins – dont bet against Her.

        In the meantime we hope and continue to root for the Irish who ultimately represent faith and hope in the downtrodden – the spit upon and the hated Irish who represent In Personna Christi, Catholics of all walks of life!

        Like C-Dog there IS a connection of glory past – in hope for the hated Irish for who they really were and are. Why do you think they called them the Fighting Irish if not for their faith? If you fail to believe that, you fail to truly understand the history of ND Football, It was an extension of what ND stood for! No more perhaps currently but only for the time being. Keep the Faith and GO IRISH!

    2. Chris,

      You make a lot of valid points. Especially about the defense.

      Defense wins games. Defense wins championships.
      People can toss aside everything that happened in the Michigan game.
      When your team has the lead. Is forcing their opponent to start from their own 20 yardline, and there is only 30 seconds left on the clock in the fourth quarter, you should win every time.

      But here are a couple of other things to ponder.

      College football players have considerably little time to prepare for the start of the season.
      There are no scrimages with another schools or preseason games in which to prepare or work out the kinks.

      ND is one of only six other schools that start their season by scheduling at least 2 automatic BCS qualifing teams. (Only USC has squeaked by their first two opponents to remain as the only undefeated team in this group)

      Is ND shooting it’s self in the foot on this?
      If out of 120 major football playing schools,our team is one of only six to schedule “Real” games to open the season, maybe it’s time to reconsider our approach to earily season scheduling.

      Vegas odds makers have ND (0-2) as a 3.5 point favorite over #15 MSU (2-0).

      I think ND could play in a parking lot if they played inspired football and generated their own fan intensity. They have to win consistantly, and always at home.

      1. There is a reason the SEC has won the last 5 national championships. Them boys KNOW HOW to play defense. I agree with you 100% Shazamrock, defense wins championships. Our D is no where NEAR any top SEC team. I wish it were, or at least, reach the levels Holtz’s D’s achieved, especially thru the 88-93 yrs.

      2. Storespook,

        Holtz had a big big offensive influence also on the SEC! Urban Meyer was trained under Holtz for 5-6 years. Didn’t Urban’s favorite QB look simular to Tony Rice?

      3. Look at how giddy we are over Tuitt and Lynch. Those guys are a yawn to Alabama, they get those guys every year. Those two are rare in that they are Bama worthy and can actually perform in school.

      4. ND has always scheduled tough aside from the White years.

        We are back into the mix now. Next year will be brutal UNLESS the Irish surprize – again. Most guys even on this blog who have once more become hopeless again much like they did last year and the year before that and then some, still they keep hanging. Why you might ask and I too?

        Lots of good stuff going on this year in the face of this 0-2 season along with the throw back confidence issues also going on here currently. Where I ask you are these bloggers going to be if the Irish just get pissed off and listen and have faith in their coaches again and run the table? We will be laughing last but we will also be laughing at ourselves as we took on the same opinions in years past many times over I am sure! We are fans. Let us always have hope and remain fans! GO IRISH!

  32. Yes, Jack you are dead right there is a missing component coupled with many more since Holtz left. For me personally, its how Holtz was treated by Davie and a certain Vice-President of Football Operations before he left. You can rest assured the 1988 ND group here COMPLETELY has rage and hatred for losing.

    However, as I sat in the stands at the Florida game I witnessed a sick event. I was almost the only one cheering in section 15. (Imagine that! A Holtz old timer cheering?) NOT SUPRISINGLY, THE YOUNGER GROUP OF FANS WERE TOO BUSY TO CHEER BECAUSE THEIR SOCIAL NETWORK ADDICTION WAS FORCING THEM TO SUCK THEIR IPHONES!!!!

    Further, not yearning to be guilty of one my patented rants, our fashionable fans are the PROBLEM not the Holtz crowd. So there you have it my friend. Glad to see you are recoving from your disappointment.

  33. Gentleman,

    As I was running last night I was thinking of ND in the late 80’s and ND since Holtz left. There is one missing component to the program, coachs, fans and the culture in general, HATRED FOR THE OTHER TEAM AND WINNING FOR THE PRIDE OF ND. Under Holtz the fan base, players and coachs absolutely hated Miami. They also had pride in winning to protect ND’s great name. I don’t see that anymore from the fan base or the University. It is almost like everyone feels they are above it, well it is what drives and make a great football team. This teams needs to understand that MSU is the enemy and has embarrassed them on their own field. They have no respect for ND and never will. It is time for the fan base to get loud, its time to get in the face of the team and let them know that the stadium they play in is not a funeral home but a college stadium. If someone tells you to sit down, tell them to go home, you cheer for your team. Students your not loud enough, get louder.

    1. It’s absolutely true, Jack. There is no sense of rage toward an opponent. Seriously.

      A friend of mine tells me a story about a time he was at the Cotton Bowl. He is an Alabama fan and he was driving back to his Dallas hotel (as a young man) after the 1973 Cotton Bowl.

      He was all decked out in his Alabama garb when he happened upon two Notre Dame students who looked lost (and drunk). My friend stopped and picked up these kids and asked them where they were staying and gave them a ride.

      “You southerners are so nice!!” The ND kids said.

      My friend’s response was something like, “well, if I was walking around here by myself and looking lost in this neighborhood and I’d just gone to a football game you were at, I’d want y’all to stop and give me a ride to my hotel. We’re all college students.”

      As my friend tells the story, the Notre Dame kids responded: “If we saw you on the side of the road, we might stop and offer you a beer from our cooler. We might even ask you where you were staying. But, a ride? Forget it. We just smoked you on the field.”

      As the ND kids were leaving, one of them said if you’re ever in South Bend and there is a Notre Dame game you want to attend, “I’ll show you where the ticket office is.”

      Back then, my hunch is that students were much more loyal to the school. The players felt connected, too. Sometimes that meant they were rude but mostly it meant that they were proud to be associated with ND.

      It’s sort of like the film Remember the Titans (and I am paraphrasing). “Don’t ever let them forget what it’s like to play the Titans!” Our fans aren’t that committed.

      That said, the fans don’t play defense.

  34. I am a big Rees fan for a guy in his fifth start I think he is for sure our guy this year and next year. But I hope Kelly starts to sprinkle in Hendrix or Golson (think it would be Hendrix more) but his offense is designed for a mobile QB for it to work properly. It has been working up until the Red Zone, so add a package for Hendrix to run a few plays and get that pass/run option!!!!

  35. Bruce,

    If for some reason we go 0-3 with or without a curse, point well taken. You won’t be alone at that juncture. It gets real ugly around here when we are struggling. A valid concern. However, a few years back I was promoting Urban Meyer and unfortunately a truck load of manure fell on me from this site. Not to worry I have broad shoulders. (The perfection loyalists ate me a new lunch!) So be careful of what you wish for. Timing is of the essence! Yet when the appropriate perceived time comes, if it comes, as others have stated here. We need National Title credentials on the next go around without fail who ever it is. Cost is certainly not an issue. And my vote will in all likely hood will not change since I’m only a 99.9% Loyalist with faults.

    Go……………………………………………………..Irish!

  36. How and why do both Motta and Harrison let the receiver catch that ball in the middle of the field on the fifty yard line at the end of the game? No excuse for that! Either knock the ball down, intercept the pass, or take the f’n 15 yard pass interference call.

    Dumbest smart kids in America!

  37. How I loathe Musburger. can’t stand that guy.
    After the game was over he says “Brady Hoke has his signature win”
    What signature win?
    ND was 0-1 and out of the top 25 when this game was played. Michigan was 1-0 having won their first “scrimage” by default after 3 quarters in week one.
    Having listened to this pud over the years, I can guarantee you that if ND had won he would have used the words “Fortunate, or “Luck of the Irish”
    He loves to say “luck of the Irish” when we win on prime time.
    Maybe he will get hit by a Guinness truck and rid us of his stupidity.
    That’s what I would call the real Luck of the Irish!

    1. FYI, speaking of Catholic haters. Musberger once got caught explaining that he didn’t really like the Catholic school, Notre Dame. He’s a Northwestern grad.

  38. Did anyone else note the link to an article on 5 ways ND football is cursed? Just read it. I’ve been thinking about this for a while. I don’t know if I believe in athletics curses or not. Having said that, can I posit the event that in my opinion prompted the putative curse of Irish football?

    Think back to Nov. 7, 1992. ND was in the process of pounding BC. Lou Holtz calls for a fake punt that goes for a TD. ND ends up winning 54-7. I thought to myself at the time, I hope this “rubbing it in” doesn’t come back to haunt us at some point. Well, we all know what happened against BC the very next season, the last time ND actually had a chance to win a NC. Since then, not only has BC been a thorn in ND’s side and crushed our hopes over and over but it seems that since 1993 the Irish have in fact been cursed. I can’t help but think back to my spontaneous, gut-feeling reaction that Nov. 1992 afternoon.

    Just a thought to prompt some “mystical” discussion.

    1. Yeah, it’s a good question. I remember seeing that back then. We were just so much better then. We didn’t strive to stay in the game. We wanted every single opponent to remember what it was like to be throttled by Notre Dame.

      Curse? I doubt that is the case. Sure, we have had some really unfortunate situations and a fake punt leading by a bundle late in the game was hardly wise. But, you know, we make our own bed. The answers lie in getting a defensive line that moves people around.

    2. When we stopped the Michigan running back on the one yard line (3rd and goal), he fumbled the ball, and Denard picked it up and walked in the endzone…that’s when I realized ND is cursed. Then there was the fumble by Tommy that confirmed the theory. 1st and goal and the ball slips out of his hand. How often does that happen?

    3. I told my brother, if I came up with a fictional team and gave them all of the bizarre scenarios that this team experiences you would say that is silly. From George O’Leary, to CW looking legendary,getting a huge contract extension and collapsing, the Bush push, Sparty OT loss, Tate Forcier, getting Denarded,losing to Tulsa, having Lou Hotlz’s son come to town with a program that has existed for 14 years and winning, giving up 28 points in a quarter, etc. So I don’t know why we have been damned to wander around in the desert for 40 years but I guess we have to buckle down and try to have some faith.

      1. fxm,

        Add to your list the nightmare defeats to BC and MSU over the years, and the humiliating losses to the likes of Syracuse. Not to mention even Lou Holtz teams blowing huge leads at home to Heath Schuler’s Tennesse squad and losing on a late FG to PSU thwarting possible championship seasons. All of this happening in the early 90s when things started going bad.

        Another possible cause for the ND curse could be the unceremonious way legendary OL coach Joe Moore was fired. I’m coining the phrase “the ND curse of Joe Moore” (not that coach Moore ever said he putting a hex on the Irish). Perhaps not as catchy as the “Curse of the Bambino” or the “Curse of the Billy Goat.” But ….

      2. I personally think the program’s “high water mark” was the FSU defeat in 1993. The BC upset began the downtrend. And I believe the Syracuse loss under Weiss was the low water mark. But these last 2 weeks have been a close second…losing to USF at home…a team with a 14-year history.

  39. Well, one thing is for sure, we are over due for a win. Winning heals, therefore I still have high expetations for each and every game, no-matter-what!

    Go………………………………………………………….Irish!

  40. Shaz, teo, C-Dog, JDH, fxm, and all Other Loyal Sons (and Daughters?) of Notre Dame:

    I think we’re all bitterly disappointed. We have different reasons for our disappointments with ND football and opinions why things are what they are. And what they are is pretty bad right now. No one is being disloyal for acknowledging that. However, we should never give up on ND. Don’t stop watching the games and give the networks an excuse to take us off the air. Take 3 or 4 hours off on a Sat. afternoon or night and root for the Irish. Like someone said, when (if?) they turn things around, you can proudly state that you never stopped rooting for them in spite of all the negativity.

    As for TR, he’s definitely a “gamer.” But he’s just that, and no more. The future of ND football (assuming we keep BK and his spread O) is on the bench in the form of either Golston or Hendrix (or both). Like Crist, TR can make a lot of great plays one moment and then break down and throw a sloppy INT or put the ball on the carpet. (In this both Crist and Rees remind me of Tony Romo, another “gamer” who can look great for 3 quarters and then just do the stupidest things.) With Golston or Hendrix at the helm the ND spread O would be more complete because of the threat of the QB keeping the ball. Opposing D’s wouldn’t be able to crash down the line or run-blitz into gaps like Michigan did on Sat. night because the QB could keep the ball and go around the end or pick a hole and hit it. For now, though, TR is our guy so let’s hope he continues to mature as a man and QB and cuts down on the mental and physical errors.

    Not being a ND alumnus, I can’t comment on the state of the administration. I’d also prefer to keep politics out of this. I think one can be a loyal Catholic or Christian and also be a Democrat or Republican or Independent. (After all, the Rooneys are committed Catholics and supported this president.)

    Now, what C-Dog says about anti-Catholicism is spot on! I’ve raised that point here before. I move in Evangelical circles and can tell you that anti-Catholic bigotry is a foundational belief among most esp. conservative Protestants (ironically, the same people many conservative Catholics consider political allies; if you only knew what they say about you and your beliefs behind your backs!) People hate ND for many reasons, including their history of success (same reason so many hate the Yankees, for instance). But people also hate ND football because of anti-Catholicism. No doubt. Recall that Protestant bigots like Fielding Yoast at Michigan prevented ND from joining their conference back in the day because it was a Catholic school. In the South, ND players and coaches are regularly insulted; e.g., at GT ND players used to be pounded with codfish as they entered the stadium in Atlanta. Shameful! I just recently heard a nationally syndicated call-in sports radio show and one caller openly insulted ND and Catholics. The caller referred to himself as an “Orangeman”. The host probably thought he was saying he was a Syracuse fan. But the context made it clear that his “Orange” sympathies referred to Protestant royalists in N. Ireland, the same people who until recently killed Catholic women and children (of course, we sadly know of “Catholics” who did the same to Protestants there).

    I still have hope that ND can win 8 games this season (1 more than last season) and win a bowl game to finish 9-4. That should allow us to keep our recruiting class together. At some point I have to believe that talented players + good coaching will turn this thing around.

    GO IRISH!

    1. I agree Rob, 9-4 remains realistic if they get the turnovers down to less than 3 a game. I just don’t like the lack of discipline or the decision process, Ben Turk is the best punter in practice so he starts per BK but is awful in the game, Dayne is the best QB in practice but he doe not start after one bad half, pass defense is the strength of the team toward the end of last year so lets take Chuck Martin off of the whole defensive backfield and focus him on safeties and let kerry cooks take the cornerbacks (seems like something CW would have done) No cohesion back there. TR gets a lot of love for 300 yds 3 turnovers and 3 tds. I don’t think Dayne is the guy for this offense (he should have split when CW was canned)but there is no way he he has all of these turnovers. Hendrix must have issues since he is in year 2 and can’t seem to distinguish himself.

      1. fxm,

        Good points, one and all. There are too many mental breakdowns on this team. This is a carry-over from the previous 3 coaching regimes. It’s a total frustration watching ND waste timeouts because the play-clock is running down. The TOs in the red zone are killers! Both DC and TR make too many bad throws, but for whatever reason TR seems to rally the troops better. As for Hendrix, next year is his year to challenge for the 1 spot. I believe that either he or Golston is the right QB for this system (not my favorite, mind you).

    2. SteeFanRob,
      I do not want politics to be part of it. In fat I think it is almost impossible to be a true Catholic and support either political party in America. Therefore consider my points outside of current political thinking. But do consider them in light of why one shold support Notre Dame versus any other team in college football.
      My grandfather was among the Notre Dame students who beat the living snot out of the Ku Klux Klan as they attempted to March through South Bend in the early 1920’s. One Todd Tucker, a dorm mate of mine wrote about that affair. I have been called Macrel Snapper by the owner employer, I have been threatened with termination for having gone to Notre Dame by a Methodist Purdue graduate, I have had to defend myself against Lutherans in my childhood neighborhood. I worked one place where a co-worker made a comment that the area was clean because no blacks, hispanics, greeks, ot catholics lived where our jobsite was.

      We who attended Notre Dame and all who follow Notre Dame football included the magic of Notre Dame with our aspirations of overcoming that bigotry.

      But realize that the administration itself is hostile to Catholic beliefs.

      Father Jenkins has supported vulgar plays such as the Vegina Monologues. The Knoghts of Columbus was kicked off campus, while gay and lesbian organizations have recently been heartily embraced. google the Sycamore society to find out more.

      USC was once a Methodist school but now is secular. See the result in how much cheating USC has done in the past decade.

      Notre Dame cannot go that way and I cannot support a secular Notre Dame. Nor can I support a Notre Dame that looks Catholic on paper or as a marketing concept but perhaps stops being true to it’s history. If we become a country club, we become the evil we used to struggle against on behalf of those who couldn’t.

      When I say, “Go Irish!” it’s about the idea and the connection to not just the football past, but the past in which ND students carried the torch for the down trodden.

      At notre Dame it’s more than X’s and O’s.

      1. C-Dog,

        Points well stated and well-taken.

        I’m a bit surprised that you were accosted by a Methodist, however. Methodists (at least United Methodists, who are the vast majority of Methodists) are usually pretty ecumenical. In fact, both Wesley brothers (ex-Anglican founders of the Methodism) had many pro-Catholic views, including on the efficacy of sacraments to impart God’s grace. The Methodists I’ve met who know their own denominational history (same goes for learned Lutherans) are aware of the “Catholicity” of their own faith traditions.

        I agree with you, C-Dog, that ND stands (or should stand) for more than just football. There’s always a fine-line, however, between intellectual freedom (which a research university absolutely needs to thrive) and religious values (which should matter at a Christian school). I’ll leave it up to better souls than me to figure out exactly where to draw that line.

      2. SteelFanRob,
        Yes, Yes, I agree about the typical Methodist views and in no way want to point the finger at any denomination. My point is only that no other denomination has been persecuted or discriminated like the Catholic denomination.
        I then make the connection that Notre Dame has stood up against this. But also Notre Dame maintained the high ground by maintaining it’s own Catholicity. And the massive fan-dom for the football team was built based on connecting football success to that overal mission of the University.

        I say now that I fear we see what I call a very good football team not pulling out those inspiring wins. And I fear that this last loss to Michigan may be an example of the loss of purpose permeating the University and therefore the football team. I hear all the arguments made about what the coaches did or didn’t do right and I hear the arguments about what the playeers did or didn’t do right. But I cannot in my own head understand how ND lost that game. For the most part the team played great yet wierd breakdowns occured and that is what I am thinking about.

      3. “No other denomination has been persecuted or discriminated like the Catholic Denomination”

        Perhaps this is the single most thing that has molded our past. The fact that in order to survive, and to thrive, we were forced to pull together, believe in each other and our values, and support one another.

        Perhaps we all need to take some time to understand our past, who we really are and where we come from, in order to guide our future?

  41. A young team can sometimes be exspected to lack “killer instinct”
    A veteran team (like this one) should never.
    We have lost so many games in the fourh quarter. In overtime. In the final minutes. Games that we were leading in, had control over, or taken momentum away, only to find a way to lose.
    You would think, at some point, the players, or at least a few with heart, pride, and determination would say “I have had it” I’ve had enough”.
    They are a door knob.. where every team takes a turn.
    A door mat, where our opponents wipe their cleats on the way to bigger and better things.
    Always a bride’s maid.
    Charlie Brown in a gold helmet.
    I just don’t see anyone playing pissed off.
    Had Michigan down by 14. Put them away, don’t wait for them to roll over and go away.
    I lived in the upper midwest most of my life and have always been a ND fan. But the last 12 years or so I lived in the South… SEC country. Stopped off at the pub yesterday for a beer. Sunday College football review was on ESPN. One of the guys at the bar asked me who I rooted for in college football. I felt my heart sink as I said ND. The guy yells “Hey bartender… get this poor fellow a beer… on second thought, better make it a shot, he could sure use one!”
    I think that just about sums it up!

      1. No green beer for this mick.

        A half and half(half Harp, half Guiness) does just fine.

        Speaking of beer… do you know why God created booze?

        A: To keep the Irish from ruling the world!

  42. @Teo. You said that So. Fla.’s offense was better than our defense. The numbers and the fact that our defense gave up a single TD to their offense does not support that statement. The fact that So. Fla. put up 37 against Ball St. is really irrelevant.

    I agree that Gray played awful. I agree that it’s a team game. It is a good defense. If they eliminate the mistakes, it will be great. Bad defenses get toasted for entire games. The defensive line played really well and did pressure Robinson. Like I said previously, his passes were mostly ugly, wounded ducks. Good secondary play would have stopped those. Unfortunately, we did not have good secondary play at key times.

    All that being said, stopping a Rees led offense is not complicated. Even a bad Michigan defense figured it out. Crowd the line, blitz him and make him throw over you. When Michigan played soft or in zone, the played to Rees’ strength, short passes to receivers on the move. They went into a prevent on our last possession and almost, and should have, prevented their win. This is why I would rather have Crist at QB. I agree that Rees throws the short balls over the middle better than Crist; however, Crist throws every other ball better. More importantly, Crist throws the short ball over the middle much better than Rees throws every other throw, especially deep routes. At this point, give Crist the MSU and Purdue games. If he doesn’t cut it, bring in the more ready of Hendrix or Golson.

    1. We had like thirty first downs and five hundred yards. If Rees is so easy to stop, why didn’t Michigan do it?

      We are now 10th in the FBS in total offense, but we’re just 52nd in total defense We’ve given up 353 yards per game. The worst play all season was the 60-yard play to Gallon. We gave up 28 points in the fourth quarter.

      I’m tired of being everyone’s whipping boy. Kelly better turn this thing around. Right now.

    2. I don’t care what anyone says, you have to be able to run the ball well and play great defense, complimented by a passing game that needs only to be good, to be champion caliber team. Some of the best ND teams, especially in Lou and Ara’s time, did just that. Our current running game is pretty good,but, it could be better, which would then open up for better passing, big play opportunities instead of inflated passing stats that aren’t leading up to victories or tiring out opposing defenses.

      1. The offense can’t bury an opponent. While they can run, they have a difficult time in 3d and short. Rees makes too many mistakes at key times. Two INT’s in the 1st half killed the opportunity to bury Michigan and let them “hang around”. Finally, Rees’ inability to extend the field eliminates the deep threat. This brings the defense closer to the line. This leads to your inflated passing stats from short throws and fewer completions of those. It leads to more difficulty in running the ball. It also keeps the defense on the field for more minutes. We need a QB that at least provides a threat of throwing long. Given all of that, the defense giving up those big plays on such weak throws is not excusable. I wonder if they even work on jump ball situations in practice. It doesn’t look like it.

      2. No — it doesn’t look like they work on the jump ball situations. And, to your point, the two INTs killed the opportunity to bury Michigan. No doubt.

        There are so many things that we did wrong — including the interceptions.

        Kelly has to generate the kind of focus on the task at hand and some sort of disgust for the opponent. Roger Clemens (cheater to be sure) tossing the broken bat toward Piazza comes to mind. He was so focused and so committed to getting Piazza out that nothing was going to get in the way — including the broken bat.

        Kemba Walker, who was nearly trapped with the clock winding down, hitting the jumper against Pitt last year in the Big East tourney comes to mind, too.

        It’s focus — complete focus. We don’t have enough guys like that right now. And so we make mistakes that cost games.

  43. To everyone,
    I’ve been a fan since I was a kid and as a 3rd generation Domer, whose father was there for Leahy and who grandfather was there for Rockne. I enjoyed the Holtz years including the 1988 team. It was inspiring.
    I don’t want to blame anyone on the football team or staff. Frankly those kids played their hearts out. Why didn’t a player do this or do that? I don’t know. I just know that ND teams prior to 1995 played with inspiration. Some say there is no luck in football. I say there is but you make it.

    The Irish haven’t made our luck. Consider the past 3 Michigan games. Consider the USC game or 2005. Consider the stain of losing a great kid like Declan Sullivan. This didn’t happen to Notre Dame in the past.

    People don’t realize how Irish and Catholics used to be discriminated. I still deal with insults by managers and executives for being Catholic. It is said that Catholic hate is the last accepted prejudice in America. There are many minorities on the team who could rally to respond as the Irish have done in the past. That chip was our ace in the whole and gave us the edge. That was the luck of the Irish.

    But the campus is now a palace. The administration seems soft, almost limp wristed, and not so Catholic anymore. Honoring a pro abortion president, and activiely supporting causes that go against the Church have watered down Notre Dame greatly. And the campus culture just might be too soft.

    For those who say it is just about football, I say you don’t know Notre Dame. Notre Dame is different specifically because the football program and the rest of the university are intertwined.

    We’ve been through 4 coaches in 15 years. Each had deficiencies. None tapped into the inspiration of Notre Dame. Possibly because it left after 1994. It’s not the coaches or players. Notre Dame has lost something outside the football program, but the football program won’t recover until the rest of Notre Dame gets that something back.

    1. President Carter spoke at Notre Dame and the year he spoke the Irish won a title. Eleven years later, the Irish won a title. And Carter was pro-choice.

      The on-campus appearances of politicians have nothing to do with whether the football team gets out there and plays well.

      We’re losing for a lot of reasons. As mentioned above, we had to make one stop against Michigan and we couldn’t do it. We had the ball inside the five with a 24-14 lead and couldn’t score.

      I mean, there are so many opportunities for improvement. Simple stuff, like hold onto the football and don’t tackle by using a face mask, goes a long way.

      1. What happened in the secondary on the second to last play. Couldn’t see the breakdown in coverage on replay. Did the corner get sucked in in a zonedrop?

      2. TEO-
        Carter was and is an anti-semite. He would rather sing kumbm ba yah with the
        Taliban and would not have the balls to strike Iran or any organization who would wield terror against the US and its allies. He would just as soon see Israel go away
        ( read “palestine” not apartheid)-he is a man who does not get it.
        WHAT NOTRE DAME DOES NOT GET is why they had him here in the first place-national championship or not. I know Presidents receive the hand extended from Notre Dame—but Notre Dame should first extend its hand to the values it was founded on-not that of popular culture. ( THERE IS a connection of success in all measures-and prices to be paid-even in business-if you don’t believe me ask the tycoon who swindled millions from celebs -reaping and sowing -and ND would be wise not to reap in a field of contempt for its foundation!)

      3. @Teo:
        Carter did not support infanticide. Carter did not receive an HONORARY DEGREE FROM NOTRE DAME. I would have zero issues with the President SPEAKING at Notre Dame. Receiving a degree is basically batsh*t crazy. It doesn’t matter whether one is prochoice or prolife- it is a free nation. It is the fact that ND, as THE Catholic University, is bestowing an honor on someone whose philosophy on abortion is polar opposite to the school and the church.

        Whether this has anything to do with the football team losing, well, that’s another argument. But it is VERY easy to use that Obama degree debacle to support the opinion that ND has changed and has lost its way.

    2. Some people have a hard time understanding the spiritual component you speak of. I am not one of those as I do believe there is a spiritual component to this process, includong ND football.

  44. It’s comical to see the people on here blame the type of offense we are running. This offense with these terrible qb’s put up 500+ yards in both games. Now I understand it’s the offense that is making stupid turnovers and penalties but the production on the field speaks for itself. The problem is stupid turnovers and an underachieving defense. Cut back on the 9 turnovers and we put up 40 in each of these games. The offense will be fine…

  45. The coach is the CEO, his company is failing. He was good at a small company and can’t manage a large one, he is not the first. How many other teams in the opening top 25 committed 9 turnovers and 20 penalties in their first two games. It is entirely the coach. Stop whining about not being able to be what we once were, look at Stanford they don’t have our recruits or facilities.

    1. You’re right, Stanford does not have what ND has, but they are in a conference and have something to play for each and every year that is not taken away with a loss in September.

      There has a lot of talk about ND’s relevance and it is gone because college football is about power conferences now.

      Really, what is ND’s motivation the rest of the year? If they don’t get into a BCS, they have limited bowl options.

      1. I’m not saying you’re getting anything. I’m just saying they have a lot more to play for during the season then ND does.

  46. Well Teo, they did not lower their admission standards for me. Brandon, no not a Wisconsin ot Oklahoma fan now. I live in NY and perhaps “Go Army”. We don’t expect much out of them so it is what it is. Finally, Irishfan who claims ND really beat themselves and not the opponent. Well guess you are not a numbers guy as in score or record? And to all of you who say you need credentials to be ND fan. Huh. I have been on that campus as a kid who met Parsigan, Seymour, Lynch, Hanratty, Fanning, Theisman, Clements, Devine, those are some of the guys I eand then there was my cousin we remember as a kid. Then we followed my cousin to the NFL. Met Vemiel, Jarworsky, CarMichael and many more. If I have typos here Mr. Teo, this is a blog, not a Corporate Business Review. As I said my father(god rest his soul) and I are graduates and that is all you nee to know.

    Moving forward, something is seriously wrong in ND football land and my guess is the program has been spiralling down since Holtz and Father Hesburgh left. What I mean by that is we have had mediocre coaches at best since then. Yeah the admission standard bar was set a bit high but didn’t Holtz ger a little relief on that end? Let’s face, college football is a farm league to the NFL and it’s all about revenue, bottom line. If it wasn’t about the money, wouldn’t ND have joined a conference a long time ago?

    Ahh, this is all wasted words. I’m only responding to the above mentioned guys who questioned my fan loyality. Ey, still my school but I’m just taking a break from the disappointment, disgust and frustration. I’m not even sure Urban Meyer could turn this program around. Damn I hate to say this, but I feel ND’s 1st possession drive with Gray’s fumble has set the tone for the season. It will be very tough for Kelly to keep the focus, attention and commitment of the players now and only hope it doesn’t kill recruiting. Finally to you dillusional guys mentioned above – kiss my Irish butt. Teo – perahps yuo wnat 2 chec me speling n grammmer too mkae u fele impotnat n rightuos….cause that makes you a legitmate fan!

    1. I have no problem with people who did not go to Notre Dame serving as fans. We are very much a part of the revenue stream.

      I have a problem with people claiming to be alumni that are abandoning their school after a loss.

      1. teo,

        To be fair to mhagg, I don’t think he’s making this decision after one loss. I agree with you that we shouldn’t abandon ND now or ever. But if we’re honest, we’ve been experiencing these type of soul-destroying losses for almost 2 decades. That’s not just one game.

  47. I apologize about my post last night, but I have had enough. After much thought, I know what the problem is. ND doesn’t have a spread QB. They need the run threat to make the offense work. Bk’s offense ran great when Collarise ran it. This team will be 0-3 after this weekend. I have no confidence in the players, the coaching staff or the administration. I think as fans we are in for a long time of irrelevance. I just don’t see any fight in the players and the fan base needs to have a reality check. I got one this weekend and I don’t like it, but it is what it is.

    1. I have said this before, ND’s QB running this type of offense reminds me of the 2006 Florida Gators when Chris Leak (a good athlete, good passer but was not the spread type QB) was mismatched in that offense. The only difference here is Leak had great talent surrounding him to work with, hence, their championship season versus Rees as a mismatched QB in ND’s current offensive, but, with a lot of less talent surrounding him. However, the problems for ND football extend beyond that, as many here have posted (and I agree with). Again, I believe a reasonable time length to judge a program is the end of 3 years. I’ll wait to make my final opinion on Kelly after the 2012 season (with or without a bowl). Anything can be possible and after the Tulsa game last year, many thought bad omens would follow (and it didn’t). I do admit, being a fan for 38 yrs, it’s not real fun watching ND football (especially after Holtz, Devine, & Ara) and many people around me have no problem in re-iterating that for me. Go Irish.

  48. Kelly didnt turn the ball over – Kelly didnt fumble on the 7 – Kelly didnt let them go 70 yds in 30 seconds. The kids must execute and they didnt. Rees is definitely a gamer though. No doubting that. He will make mistakes as all young QB’s do without execption but when he needed the drive with a minute to go he got the job done in seemingly spectacular fashion!

    The things I saw that cemented the outcome. Robinson needed 1 or 2 good smack down hits and that didnt happen the entire game. ND played not to lose instead of moving the ball aggressively after Blantons pick late in the 4th and the all too predictable run in 3rd and short situations that continued for 60 minutes lost the game not to mention the utter collapse in the last 30 seconds. Gut wrenching to watch but with all due respect Robinson was frapping amazing in that game which killed me to admit.

      1. it is an easyout because it is true. brian kelly is way overrated. he never won a big game at cincinnati or in the mac. now he talks about the schedule is tough coming out of the gate. pretty sure he knew that coming in. this team has a boatload of talent. if they don’t explain why all the so-called recruiting experts say they do. kelly’s staff is pathetic and he never should have gotten the job in the first place.

      2. Not blaming Kelly but at the end of the day he is in charge. If Saban is great and Stoops is great and Meyer is great, then those who lose must take some heat.

  49. i will watch every game i can, regardless of outcome, its tough to lose but i am true ND fan. go irish. i guess i like ‘hope’…

  50. Few of you called me a bandwagon fan yesterday. 50+ years a fan. I think I have payed my dues. As I said I was not going to watch them and didn’t and sounds to me they beat themselve again by reading this blog. Oh well, probably 3 more loses ahead starting this weekend. I’m not sure I even feel bad for the athletes anymore. I watched other games yesterday and teams just go out and play football. ND struggles to do that. Michigan 2-0, Ohio State 2-0 with 1st year head coaches. Look what Spurrier has done with Carolina and South Florida program only 14 years young???? I’m not sure Urban Meyer or anyone on the planet can turn this program around. I cannot keep saying every year – there’s next year. As I said done with this program. Kelly should have stayed at Cinncy because he is going to have a stoke on the sideline.

    1. I feel the same way as you…I will not watch or record another game this year for the simple fact that i need to keep my sanity. I’ll watch the highlights and check the stats but i will not put myself through that for 3.5 hours a week anymore. They are literally taking years off my young life

  51. For more than two decades, Notre Dame has neglected its greatest teaching instrument-its football team. At one time the team’s success made Notre Dame unique. You learned that on any give day you could rise to the challenge and beat anything, no matter what the odds. Everyone learned Rudy’s lesson: you never ever give up. You learned about teamwork and that people who work together will win, whether it be against complex football defenses, or the problems of modern society. The team’s striving for incredible excellence permeated everything at Notre Dame. Every graduate believed that in his life he could take all those lessons and apply them to his career, politics, to public service, to his family life and his faith.

    But two decades of neglect have put all that the University stands for in jeopardy. Who could not watch dumbfounded as the University let one athletic director hire one loser after another. The first an assistant coach- you never ever hire an assistant coach for the toughest coaching job in the nation. He then tried to hire the rambling Irish wreck, who was not even much of a coach, and didn’t even vet him properly. It was a huge embarrassment for the University. To save face he hires another, whose uniqueness as a black head coach makes him initially immune from criticism; but ultimately he is not a great coach. Finally, he tries to buy a big time professional coach, whose waddling across the field is an embarrassment to all great athletes. Even more embarrassing watching him yell at Brady Quinn on national TV. In the end the players gave up on him. The result was the worst football season in a forty years year. Someone was a completely poor judge of men.

    We get a new athletic director who says maybe Notre Dame might win a national championship one day. Hardly a commitment to excellence, when at one time the team fought for the national title every year. Then he hires a new head coach from a second rate football school in ten whole days, hardly an auspicious beginning.

    If you want to be the best, you take time, you prepare, you find the best coach in America. Even then the odds are long.

    It becomes quickly apparent this year there is something wrong. The defensive coordinator the new coach brings allows the opposition 58 points in two games. They are 8-6 under Swarbrick and Kelly. They lose more games in a season than Ara lost in five years. And he humiliates his players by yelling at them on national tv, what a lack of patience and dignity under pressure. Imagine, John Wooten, having ever having done such a thing. If they had been coached and trained properly, there would have been no need to yell. He is clearly over his head.

    Even worse the new athletic director says the new coach is like a great corporate ceo. I am reminded of the JFK quote: “My father always told me that all businessmen were sons of bitches, but I never believed it till now.” The team’s integrity has been sold: a new plush stadium, a TV contract, Notre Dame sports productions, mass marketing of tee shirts, autographs; even a commercial where the sacred fighting Irish leprechaun is used as a prop. Shades of the gecko. Notre Dame football has become a business, not an instrument for learning, self sacrifice, excellence or teamwork.

    Imagine how the players must feel. Every game is a coaching debacle. When I was there you never ever criticized the team. That was gospel. I do not do that now. But, many of the best players in the nation believe Notre Dame has lost its will. And go somewhere else. Jimmy Clausen left early and I heard him say on national TV; he never lost a game until he came to Notre Dame and they went 3-9. And he was a great quarterback.

    Something is terribly wrong. Not just football, but the University’s acceptance of this bumbling toward pathos. Vince Lombardi said it this way: “Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit.” This failure, this acceptance of failure, this benign neglect affects all the University does and the way it presents itself to the nation.

    Father Hesburgh once said: “ My belief is and always has been that the University ought to do everything, academics, athletics, you name it in a first rate manner.”

    But, the athletic director, the University’s President, the Board of Trustees and the Fathers have accepted something less.

    Something has to change, now. What set Notre Dame apart and above, Duke, Yale or Harvard or Stanford, was its belief in itself. At one time the University’s team was an inspiration for poor and middle class kids all across the country, and no other school had such a faithful feeder system or a subway alumni. No other school had such a rich legacy. No other school had Notre dame’s true grit, or its indomitable spirit.

    America’s greatest President Franklin Roosevelt knew the value of spirit:

    “It is not enough to clothe and feed the body of the nation, and instruct and inform its mind. For there is the spirit and of the three, the greatest is the spirit. Without the body and mind, as all men know, the nation could not live. But, if the spirit of America were killed … the America we know would have perished.”

    Our spirit, our legacy is at risk.

    I have been hard. Dale Carnegie teaches us that genuine appreciation and seeing things from the other fellow’s point of view are the keys to personal success. All the efforts of every member of the Notre dame family are appreciated and we can see that many of these people did their best and often above their best. But, another coach said it this way: “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.”

    Its time to regain our legacy of winning and make sure that the spirit of Notre Dame never perishes. We need an athletic director and a coach that know how to win. God protect us all.

    1. Very well said and i agree with most points. After just over a season i dont think its time to bail on coach Kelly yet. Although he hasnt yet at ND, he has won with less talent and had a good track record at other schools. Lets give him a chance. No one else wants to coach at ND. Here in Chicago, otherwise known as Detroit south, i can tell you theres plenty of athletes in the Catholic League (which used to be the best and most talent rich in the country) who DONT want to go to Notre Dame. Thats a shame. From Mount Carmel, to St Rita, Brother Rice and Marist theres plenty of student athletes who despise ND and i dont think you saw that a generation ago. ND hasnt really recruited well here anyway. Lastly, although its may not be PC to yell anymore, i like it. At least Coach Kelly is showing some passion unlike Love Smith down the street here or Willingham used to do simply standing emotionless on the sidelines. I think Coach Kelly does care about ND and wants to win and cant understand either why its not happening. Even though we’re down 0-2 i think our D is improved from the Weis era where we used to get torched. I dont like losing to Tulsa, USF or a depleted Michigan team but i do think we are developing a D-line like we havent had in years and i like the talent we have at LB. Our secondary though has always failed us and given up the big play.

    2. kelly was hired from a second rate program that went to 2 consecutive BCS bowl games with far less talent!!!! your spoiled ball players are used to being fed from silver spoons… they have no fight in them!!!

    3. Excellent post Bruce. You have articulated very eloquently what I’ve been saying for 10 + years. The Notre Dame (as an institution) we are seeing is not the one I grew up watching and wanting to attend. Part of the change is simply because society naturally changes, but that’s a smaller part of it. The tradition at ND is talked about a great deal, but in reality it is just paid lip service. Kelly said last year that he was astounded by the fact that the majority of his new players could not pass even a basic test about ND football traditions. Why would every player not be inundated with those traditions? It would be like becoming an Army Ranger but knowing nothing about Pointe Du Hoc, Invasion of Panama, Battle of Monte Cassino etc. (I’m not comparing ND football players to Rangers, but illustrating how tradition means so much.) For 5 years I have been explaining to all other ND fans, and non-fans, that we are what we are because of many years of mismanagement, horrible decision-making born out of arrogance, hubris and plain stupidity. That continues. Even if ND would have won last night, this would still be the case. We just wouldn’t be talking about it today. We’d wait until we lost to MSU, Maryland, a service academy etc. I don’t put the blame squarely on Kelly’s shoulders. He bears a share of it as HC to be sure, but this is a breakdown of an institution. It is time to accept that the ND we grew up loving is gone. It is no more. That doesn’t mean they can’t have good football teams, but the last 2 weeks have set ND back another 2 years. Why on earth would top players want to play there? It’s totally beyond me. For the first time ever, I agree that ND should join a conference. They don’t even have what it takes to be a decent conference contender, let alone do what it takes to go to BCS bowls as an independent. The culture of losing is FIRMLY embedded at ND. The only way to handle situations that are this emergent is to have leadership that is brutal and inflexible. Very clear goals and missions must be laid out and ANYONE who falls short is gone. Meeting excellence is your life’s work. No one at this program comes close to that. And make no mistake, ND football is at DEFCON 5. It is dying on the vine and IS IN DANGER OF BECOMING IRRELEVANT, as our haters love to say. That past is the past. My heart is heavy because reality cannot be denied. I have no hope at all that ND can be like it once was. Winning a conference championship is their best hope over the next 5+ years. I do not believe they will beat MSU or Pitt or USC or Stanford. A 7-6 season will happen.

    4. BRAVO!
      WELL STATED!
      BEAUTIFUL!

      I have to wonder if the arrogance on the part of Notre Dame has caught up with us? I took my niece to a College Fair. 99% of the Colleges were gathering these 11th and 12th graders to thier booth with enthusiasm. Pamphlets, folders, tee-shirts and all the gadgets.
      As for Notre Dame? The two young ladies just sat there!
      They looked out while others passed them by. We came to the booth and I introduced my niece and all they could say was “oh.” I introduced myself as an alum-and they said “really?” -AND THEN THEY CONTINUTED TALKING between themselves.

      This is unacceptable and arrogant and haughty. If this is Notre Dame, the pride ( arrogance) will be followed by a fall. This fall is both on and off the field.
      I’m sick at heart.
      I’m sad.
      This is NOT Notre Dame.

      Perhaps we need to look at our Log Cabin Roots and remember our mission of Notre Dame du Lac. I have heard too many seminars presented at Notre Dame with foul language, taking the name of God in vain and folks laughing while doing so. HOWEVER, when someone ( Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox or even Jewish) has presented a conservative point of view in faith, they receive scoffing and mocking. I see very little fruits of the Spirit from Notre Dame these days. ( For those of you haven’t the foggiest idea-it’s from the BIBLE-Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, gentleness, self-control)
      Individuals have this without question.
      Collectively I SEE A UNIVERSITY who is more interested in pedigrees from
      the Ivy League and business rather than nurture. I believe in Notre Dame. But does Notre Dame believe in itself? A University which could have the combination of Julliard, NYU, U. of Chicago with a Catholic Idenity and mandatory Mass Attendance and really living grace WILL have an affect on the Administration. The same Administration which hired the late Wadsworth, who made Bob Davie his “boy” which lead to so many mediocre coaches and “could have” and would have.
      IS THE UNIVERSITY BLIND?
      CAN THEY HEAR?
      ARE THEY SO ARROGANT THAT THEY ARE CLUELESS?
      WE ARE ND CAN CAN CAN
      still mean something–if we wake up the echoes with some humility, listening to the words of Christ and have life abundantly.
      I wonder what Bishop Sheen would say about ND today?

      The connection between on the field and off the field is obvious and in front of all of us.
      Wake up.
      I love Notre Dame.
      I just don’t LIKE the arrogance and just HOW this University –AS A WHOLE-is indeed marching on a path to a fall preceeded by Pride.

      1. i don’t know if the universty administration still wants to be a CATHOLIC university. that might account for the change.

        several years ago on a football saturday i asked a student how many religious teachers she had teach her. she thought for a while, then said i think i had one, and she was a junior.

  52. I am at a loss of words.

    Again, this was a game that we should have won by at least three touchdowns. Other than coaching, I don’t know what it is.

    Couple of general comments:

    1.) Notre Dame still does not get the idea that when they play any opponent — whether it’s the teachers college of Texas or it is Louisiana State – that opponent cannot wait to destroy Notre Dame. This is a huge part of why we’re losing. I’m sorry, but Robinson and the rest of his Michigan teammates circle Notre Dame on their schedule as soon as the schedule comes out the previous year. And every team is like this. Why is this important? When you have the ball and you’re up ten points and you’re in the fourth quarter, you go for the throat. You don’t bobble the kickoff (Riddick). You don’t deliver a horrifying 10-yard punt. Likewise, when you have the ball up 17-7 and you’re demonstrating the ability to drive, your offensive line has to remain focused to get a genuine blowout (i.e. 4 touchdown lead).

    2.) There is no luck in football. There are certain circumstances that don’t work out the way that you intend them to work out, but there is no luck in football. Take the 3rd and 2 when ND had the ball up three in the fourth quarter. The spot was horrifying but guess what? We had a third and 2 instead of a first down. We still had to move the ball. Instead, Michigan absolutely destroyed our weak offensive line on a very critical running play and Wood had nowhere to go. So, we had a bad spot but, we lied down instead of smoking a dreaded defensive front.

    3.) The modified defense with thirty seconds left at their twenty (was it a prevent?) was a bad decision. You put inferior teams away. They could not beat our guys in our normal defensive set. Why change that? I just thought — as soon as I saw it — that we were screwed. Thirty seconds and eighty yards.

    I can hardly handle it anymore. The program is a mess. I don’t think that Kelly can fix it immediately but yesterday — particularly yesterday in the fourth quarter — we took giant steps backwards. It’s the turnovers. It’s the penalties. It’s a defensive front seven that sucks the life out of the program.

    That said, Rees is clearly a much better quarterback than Crist. We had like 30 first downs last night. And sure the INT and fumble were tough to stomach but we clearly should have won that game.

    If I were Kelly I don’t know that I would even talk to the defensive guys all week. I would scream at them on the field and that’s it. They’re going to cost him his job. He better figure out how to motivate them.

    Having written all that, I won’t stop watching or cheering or whatever. In tough times you need to stand strong. This is one of those times. It’s probably my rock-bottom as a fan. Unlike others here, I don’t see this program as being anywhere near as good as a BCS team (even without the turnovers). We’re not tough. Our defense is porous. Our offense refuses to go for the throat. But I think we can make a decent run at a good bowl game. Yesterday we play much weaker opponent and we had them down 24-7 and we still could not put them away. Awful.

    A lot has to change between now and Michigan State in five days.

    1. Good post Teo. The people who are criticizing Rees are beyond me. A guy his age, in his circumstances, walks into the largest crowd ever and did what he needed to do to win. Yeah the fumble was bad. But he calmly commanded our offense all night that passed and ran all over UM. He will get through the turnovers. Coaching and defense suck.

      I have nothing else to say about the program. We all know that this is as bad as it gets.

      1. Why does everyone love this kid who has 5 tds, 4 picks and a fumble on the season? Why wouldn’t Dayne have carved them us this year as he did when he was in there last year? But the problem is a different matter, why is ND throwing the ball 40 times in a game where the running backs are averaging 6 yards per touch?

      2. I mean, Rees was able to deliver against Michigan. We had over 500 yards of offense. He has a good feel for the offense and the offense seems to respond to him.

        Honestly, Crist would have thrown an INT at the end of the game. We’ve seen it already.

    2. The numbers just don’t bear out the Rees is a “much better” or even a better QB than Crist. Before yesterday, Rees was throwing a pick every 20 passes. That consistency continued last night. One INT to give MU great field position, one INT in the red zone and an unforced fumble (he just dropped the ball) in the redzone. If he’s better than Crist, then it’s time to play Hendrix. If your QB turns the ball over 3 times, it’s really hard to bury the other team. The D played well, but had 3 or 4 huge blown plays that negated all of the good they did.

    1. Absolutely true. So you need to get a good coach who wants to rebuild a fledgling program.

      Kelly should have won this game but his defense blew it. Completely. Thoroughly. Unquestionably.

      That said, Kelly has lost a lot of very close games. The mental toughness that needs to be instilled in these 18-21 year old kids hasn’t made an appearance. But Kelly has won everywhere else. He will win here, too. Or he will be gone by the end of next year.

  53. Before I reflect on the game, can someone explain why the ball was place on the 7 yard line and not the 2 yard line after the pass inference on T.J. Jones in the endzone?

    1. I was confused at this, too, until I remembered that in college football, the penalty is to the spot of the foul, up to a maximum of 15 yards from the previous spot. Since ND was at the 22 yard line, the ball is moved 15 yards to the 7 yard line.

      1. Then if ND was on the 22 yard line, then the penalty would be half the distance and the ball should be on 11 yard line. The ball was placed on the wrong yard line from the ref. If a pass interference was committed in the endzone, then the ball is placed on the two yard line. It was giant mistake by the refs

      2. I cannot find a reference point where that is the case. I have seen multiple sources assert that in college the penalty is the spot of the foul up to fifteen yards.

        And the half-the-distance rule only applies inside the twenty. So it sounds like they placed the ball in the right spot.

        Besides, we lost the game because defensively we made numerous mistakes. We turned the ball over and there is plenty of blame to go around but in general, it seems to me that our defense failed. Big time.

  54. Brian Kelly is a disaster. The team is uncoached. Penalties for delay of game, personal fouls, they have given up 58 points in two games. its all reminiscent of Vince Lombardi’s quote. “Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit.” They find a new way to lose every week. No killer instinct. they had em dead, five times and let em up. Jack Swarbrick and Brian Kelly record, 2 seasons, 8-7. compare ara parseghian 10 years (1964-1974): 95-17-4 (.836), 1.7 losses per year average, another kevin white disaster. we need a new athletic director, one that takes more than ten days to find a coach for a team that had once competed every year for the national championship. If you want to be the best, you take time, you prepare, you find the best coach in America.

    1. Not that it matters, but White did not hire Kelly.

      That said, Kelly is off to a horrible start. Losing to Navy, Tulsa, South Florida, Michigan twice and the like — it’s awful. I can barely watch.

  55. This was the worst loss I have ever seen simply because ND should have won by three touchdowns. The only loss that even compares was BC in 93 but at least BC outplayed ND. This loss was nauseating. I would rather the team get outplayed and lose by 30 then to clearly be the better team for 55 minutes but have nothing to show for it other than an embarrassing loss.

    This season is lost for two reasons: Rees is a TO machine (the fumble where NOTHING touched him was the moment the game was lost for me) and the fact that Gary Gray is terrible. Evert team should just heave the ball to whoever is being covered by #4…huge gain every time. He has to be the worst DB in all of college football at this point.

    And I agree with Peter…screw independence…join a conference. That way, when they inevitably sh*t the bed in September, there is still some hope in the season other than a second tier bowl.

  56. I haven’t been this heartbroken over a game since USC ’05 this is beyond unexplainable. I’m 25 and I’ve been a diehard fan ever since I can remember. All I can say is that I’m done… at least for this year. I can’t watch anymore games this season maybe I’ll comeback if they make a BCS game this year. Rooting for ND is like being with a girl that keeps tearing your heart out over and over again yet you still go back to her. I don’t know what else to say except Good Luck the rest of the season. At least my Saturday’s will be wide open from here on out.

    1. BCS? I don’t want to play Alabama or LSU or any other BCS team. We would be lucky to score ten points — and we would be lucky to hold them to less than fifty.

  57. I certainly feel the emotions of many others who have posted here about last night’s game. I agree that “mental toughness” is a missing ingredient with this team as demonstrated by the numerous mistakes made again last night on both sides of the ball. It is frustrating to see how the last 15 years we have seen a program go from contenders to “everything below that.” I have a lot of thoughts as to what should be done regarding the program and the current team. I have no need to repeat what others have already posted so I won’t. Since neither am I a coach or player, the only thing I can do is watch or not watch the TV when ND plays. I can only hope there will be improvement. 7-5 or even worse, now may be realistic for this team regarding the 2011 season. Go Irish!

  58. These games are so hard to stomach anymore. Losing recently to uconn, tulsa, usf, navy, are that much more magnified when we continue to lose to our biggest rivals in such a bizarre manner. Turnovers, penalties, blowing leads, playing to each teams level, are all examples of mental toughness that frankly does not exist with this team. It is sad to see…hopefully one day it will all turn around. I will always support the team, but for now i need a break from the never ending heartache……………I think Notre Dame should seriously consider joining a conference and realize that the schedule as it is will no longer work in this day and age of college football. The big east would be perfect not the big 10. we are already there in most sports anyway. would make a nice change of pace…..

    1. I agree,it’s time that ND joined a conference so these kids have something to play for. If they were in the Big 10 or the Big East, they would still have a shot at a BCS bowl. ND’s commitment to independance is getting old.

      1. For the first time in my life I actually agree. Think of Va Tech last year which lost its first two but won the ACC and played in the Orange Bowl. I do not envy BK trying to motivate these guys now. At least last year he had the new card to play and hey lets turn this thing around. Now what do you say. Let’s get to the Champs Bowl, yipee! I know they are kids and by Monday will be over it, but this is a bad hangover. I can’t remember a worse loss. We go up by 3 with 30 seconds left and don’t even get to overtime.

    2. If we join a conference, I would favor the Big Ten. Academically, outside of OSU, we match up better in the Big Ten than in the Big East. Geographically we’re aligned with the Big Ten, too, and this matters for the less-revenue-generating sports.

      Plus, let’s face it: money-wise, the Big Ten Network is going to be much better than anything the Big East offers.

      That said, I would prefer to remain independent. The question, though, is whether we would improve without a conference affiliation.

      I don’t know the answer to that. Losing to Tulsa, UConn, Navy, South Florida, and etc. is nauseating. I’ll have a general post about last night’s game, but I would just say that conference or not, you cannot have four turnovers in a game against most division one opponents.

      We thoroughly dominated all phases until the very end, yet had nothing to show for it.

      1. Teo–
        please explain “academically,OUTSIDE of OSU, we match up better in the Big Ten than in the Big East.”
        OSU has a ton of students–and several programs -but academically they take anything that breathes for the most part. ( these days students who are not accepted can go to a branch and then get “accepted” to “main campus” if they “prove” themselves.) They are 47th at best according to US News and World Report–and Notre Dame is top twenty and climbing. ND and Northwestern,Michigan adn tow other schools who are much more progressive than most folks think and/ or realize are Indiana and Iowa-with Illinois a distant third.
        The difficult thing about OSU is survival in a sea of numbers and impersonal and cold recption within the Administrative Offices ( Gee is quite the character and wonderful) That said, Notre Dame has it ALL over the banks of the Olentangy at the North High Street Institution in Columbus, Ohio. I should know. I’m an ND grad, have attended several classes at OSU at the undergraduate level and grad level and overall ND is hands down. “Outside of OSU” you say?
        Sure they have the James Cancer Clinic and Medical Students have hands on experience in saving lives ( God Bless them for that) Other Grad Programs are good too-and ND is growing rapidly at the Graduate Level. But OSU does not have the standards of Notre Dame -and being here in Columbus, I KNOW they never will.

      2. Teo-after reading your comments again, I may have written all too swiftly. That said, If I have offended you, I apologize. Reading it a second time, I THINK you may have the respect for OSU that I have–which is not that great obviously. OSU has a great school of Dance ( #1 in Public schools in the nation) -which is no laughing matter. The dancers could teach the fb players quite a bit-just ask Vince Lombardi.

        As for the Big Ten-NO–we would be the red headed step child and our standards match up better with the Big East than the Big Ten.

        As for your final comment–I agree–we dominated in so many phases and have NOTHING to show for it –again. I’m sick to my stomach. This gives the arrogant s.o.b. Mark May something to peer out of his oh so full of himself ego and give a smirk about how “right” he was. One day he will get punched in the face’I just hope I’m around to see it.
        Furthermore, I hope I’m around for Notre Dame to match up to all the hype. I don’t know when–but this “next year” stuff is making me ill.

  59. This hurts so bad. Listening to this on am radio in the squad car i ran the entire gamut of emotions. Mistakenly i thought we had it with 30 seconds left and was pounding the steering wheel in elation. Seconds later i was ready to rip it off. From what i heard we basically gave this game to Michigan more than they won it from us. We did more than enough to lose the last two games and i feel we outplayed our opponents both times but beat ourselves. Part of me wants to think all these mistakes arent the coaches fault, but then again preperation is on the coach. Im not anywhere ready to dump Kelly yet however the cupboard was not bare when he came in and we have very skilled position players with enough talent to win. We arent and thats because we turn the ball over in horrible positions. I just dont know why.

    I DO think its time to just put in a freshman QB and call it a season and once again, sadly, build for the future (which i hate to think of without Floyd, Teo etc). Theres alot of postions i think are now up for grabs and Kelly should find out who really wants to play. ND has managed to be involved in some of the most classic football games of the decade….but came out on the WRONG side almost every time. I still dont like Theo Riddick’s return game and if Jonas Gray fumbled again today (dont know if i heard it right during the game) he shouldnt find the field for a while. Its just sad to think of the waste of players that have passed through ND’s recent losing decades. Floyd will be at the top of the list. If that guy was on any other team……

  60. I WILL FOREVER LOVE MY IRISH. I’VE ALWAYS SAID IF IBWATCH MY TEAM WIN THEN I HAVE TO WATCH THEM LOSE ALSO. I’LL WATCH MORE OF IT IF I HAVETO TILL THIS PROGRAM IS A DECENT ABOVE AVERAGE CONTENDER. NEVER WILL I JUMP OFF THE BANDWAGON CAUSE THEY LOSE. LIKE I SAID IF IM GOING TO WATCH THEM WIN THEN I HAVE TO BE MAN ENOUGH TO WATCH THEM LOSE. YES THEY HAVE PROBLEMS BUT IN REALITY ND HAS BEATEN THEIRSELVES THESE LAST TWO GAMES. TURNOVERS ARE KILLIN US BUT AS SOON AS WE IRON THAT OUT WE WILL BE GOOD. ARE OFFENSE IS MAKING PROGRESS AND ONCE AGAIN WE BEAT OUTSELVES. YES I CAN BE MORE NAD BUT WHAT FOR?MY IRISH ARE GOING TO WIN AND WHEN THEY DO ILL HAVE THE PERSONAL SATISFACTION THAT I NEVER JUMPED OFF THE BOAT.

    GO IRISH!!!

  61. Things I know : special teams is atrocious. Tommy rees is NOT the answer. Apperantly the coach gets a bonus when we lose to michigan in spectacular fashion. …..Getting my hopes up each and every year is a F*CKING WASTE OF TIME!!!

  62. haha. It’s amazing where I have come to as a fan. I can predict ND’s results so easily now. Today, at about 2pm, my father in law asked me what I think would happen. I said, “ND will lose tonight. They have ALOT more talent, but it doesn’t matter. They are mentally and spiritaually weak. Basically, they are losers (on the field only).” Tonight, after the second ND turnover, I told my wife “We will lose.” She didn’t understand why I was saying that. At every point of the game thereafter, even up to the Riddick touchdown with 30 seconds left, I assured her (and my friends by text so it’s on records) “they will lose. UM will score with no time left. I guarantee it.” It’s simply because I don’t believe anymore. How can you? I do not believe ND will win because they don’t. All the talk that will invariably occur, on this site and a million others, about Xs and Os, blah blah blah blah, is all BS. None of that matters. The culture of losing is deeply imbedded and the program does not believe. An incredible thing to watch…

  63. it pretty hard to win when the quarterback is a turnover machine. so far in two games the mistakes of the quarterbacks have more than negated anything positive they have done.

    1. We don’t have the talent, the depth or the coaching necesary to beat the best teams or to come back from adversity. The only people living up to pre season hype are Floyd and Tao.Eifert is a pleasant surprise. We have no one to return punts .
      Secondary is terrible. If the Mich receivers had caught some of those erratic passes in the first half the game wouldn’t have been that close. The secondary is terrible the corners cant cover man on man. We have no QB.

      1. How come last year Chuck Martin oversaw the entire defensive backfield and BK changed to Chuck on the safeties and gave the DBs to Cooks. Seems dis-jointed back there now. Why screw with one of the few things that were working/

  64. I am officially done. They will never win. They are horrible. Jesus Christ could coach this team and they would still lose. Another season down the drain. Face it they choke. Expectations, bullshit this is a sub par program at best. They will never win again. I am sick of the bullshit. I am done. I hate losing and this team is nothing but a bunch of choking losers. They suck. I am done.

  65. Well, just saw the end of the game. Should we have stopped them with 30 seconds? Yes. But for all of you who think St. Tommy is the MAN. He isn’t. Another two INT game. One in the red zone and one to set up a Michigan TD. There’s a 21 point swing. Michigan couldn’t get a sniff of the end zone before the first pick. We gave up getting a TD on the second. And let us not forget that he dropped the ball in the red zone. Anyone who thinks he has poise is on drugs. He can’t throw the ball much further than 15 yards. Either play Crist or put in Hendrix or Golson, because Rees is NOT the answer. If it weren’t for the running of Wood and Gray, we’d have no offense. We don’t need a noodle armed QB even if the game really came to him. Maybe it does some time, but that’s not good enough. And get rid of Kelly too.

    1. Are you crazy? Seriously, what drug are you using. Find the problem and then solve for it.

      With a minute left in the game, Rees took them down the field to win.

      It was our weak, inferior, arrogant, and, well, pathetic defense that cost us this game. And I am talking about the “big” guys up front. They are not tough. They are not quick. They are not strong. They’re limp — and South Florida’s offense was better than our defense and so was Michigan’s offense.

      Rees? He has plenty of toughness. He’s the guy for the next three years. Get used to it.

      1. Rees is good for at least two picks a game. Also, loved the way that he just dropped the ball. He still can’t throw the ball more that 15 to 20 yards. As soon as Michigan figured that out, they had everyone within 5 to 10 yards of the line of scrimmage. They dared Rees to beat them over the top, and he couldn’t. On our last drive, Michigan went back to playing soft, and in that situation, Rees is very effective. Hit receivers on short passes and let them run. Then, Michigan totally blew a coverage. I know twelve year olds who could have completed that pass. MSU has a much better defense than Michigan, so I’m not expecting much from our offense. If I were MSU, I bring everyone up and dare us to throw over them. If it’s Rees, he hasn’t shown that he can. So, if you want Rees for this and the next two years, let Hendrix and Golson know. They can transfer. The problem with the defense wasn’t toughness, quickness or strength. Gary Gray got beat on what were wounded duck jump balls. They also stuffed Michigan at the goal line, and Michigan got a lucky bounce. For you to say that So. Fla.’s offense was better than our defense just proves that you know little or nothing about football.

      2. Thirty seconds — we had to make one stop and we couldn’t do it.

        To be sure, we played Michigan tough at the goal line but, again, we were at the goal line.

        As for your general comment about “juimp balls,” why is Gray always getting beat? I mean, why can’t he adjust? And why does Robinson get the kind of time he needs to make the play, anyway? It’s a team sport. The defensive line needs to pressure the quarterback and the defensive backs need to adjust. None of that happened in key moments this week.

        Every other team beats Michigan. Literally. Look at last season. And we can’t adjust on defense. It’s a bad defense with a few very talented kids. I see Alabama and LSU and I see Holtz. We aren’t anywhere near that tough.

        How’d South Florida do this week? 37 points? I think they’re pretty tough — clearly better than we are at this stage.

      3. Teo in all fareness it was D. Robinson’s ability too escape the pocket that allowed him the extra time.

        In the last 30 seconds of the game D.R. narrowly escaped a crashing pocket. He slipped out of it and hit a man 6-7 seconds after the snap. This is why he is so dangerous. A d-back has too cover space or a man for 4-9 seconds. Very diffiuclt for even the greatest of d-back.

  66. Oh, man. The magic is gone. For those of us old enough to have been there first hand or here it first hand from our elders who also were around first hand, this is sick.

    Maybe the limp wristed atmosphere and not so Catholic administration has created a place that feels football isn’t quite PC. I don’t know. I just know we lost to a mediocre Michigan team. I can’t even watch the MSU game next week.

    And anyone who dares call me a fairweather fan, realize I was around for the magic of 1988. I heard first hand about the history from family who were there for Rockne and Leahy.

    The magic is gone. I hope it comes back, but it’s not there. Rooting for ND isn’t rooting for a team that wins by formula. It’s rooting for a team that wins because of faith. They’ve lost it and the formula isn’t good enough. I feel bad for those kids but somehow the team just let a football game get away.

    Sorry but the magic is gone.

    1. C-DOG,

      You are far from a fair weather fan.
      I think you are a lot like me.. just skeptical.
      I no longer get too high before a game, or after a win, nor too low after a loss.
      Of course I want to see them win, but these days I find enjoyment more in individual player preformance than over all team play.
      I thought Rees did an outstanding job. He didn’t seem confused or overwhelmed by the Michigan defense. The O-Line opened holes in the running game, Floyd was unstopple,and Rddick, Gray, and Jones were much better this week. The offense really carved up the Michigan Defense.
      But sometimes it’s better to be lucky that good.
      We fumble inside the 5 yard line and the ball bounces away. They fumble inside the 5 and the ball bounces right to Denard Robinson who picks it up and walks into the endzone.
      Just about every deep ball he threw was under thrown. If our DB’s had been beaten by even a step, they would have been in perfect position for the interception. The one ball he threw into the endzone that was on target, did get picked off.
      This team needs to spend more time on Situational football.
      For example. Last year agianst Michigam State in over time. We got 3 points. Then pushed the the Spartans back on their possition.
      Good job by the defense.
      The Situation here is that you “LET” them attempt a 42 yard field goal to “tie”. But you do let them get a first down or TD in that situation.
      Against Tulsa late. Your team is clearly in field goal range.The very last thing you do is take a sac or commit a turnover. So Rees throws a pick.
      Against Michigan, with 30 seconds remaining. the first thing you don’t want is a big return. So our our kicker, kicks it out of the endzone.
      Job well done.
      Now You have to make sure that all the Michigan receivers are covered and none of them get behind you.
      (Basic prevent defense) Robinson running the ball from his own 20 yard line isn’t the main threat any more.
      We let him scramble around and find an uncovered receiver. Inexcusiable.

      So now we get to be the Charlie Browns of college football… again.
      It will be interesting to see how they handle this situation.

  67. Maybe “bash” was too strong of a word, and I’m sure that was not their intention. However I still don’t see what Crist has ever done on the field, during a game to warrant such a label as having maximum potential. He’s big and strong, but inaccurate and lacks decision making. Which are more important? And as far as speed, I’ve never really seen that either, especially after all his surgeries. He had a couple decent TD runs last year vs Pitt and BC (I believe), but neither were exactly what I’d call great feats of athleticism. And I’m sure Rees will have a couple decent runs himself this year. If I knew nothing about the two players or ND in general and only watched the past 14 games, I highly doubt I’d be thinking, “Wow, Rees gets better results, but Crist appears to have more potential.” Again, these perceptions of Crist having more potential and a higher ceiling are based mostly on his hype coming out of high school, as opposed to Rees’ lack thereof. If it’s simply a matter of arm strength = higher ceiling, then OK.

  68. Crist was not a leader last year nor this year. Yeah he is bigger, so what? Stronger arm that cannot hit a reciever! Faster, yeah maybe to the bench. Rees can run the offense and that is the tool you need but it doesn’t matter. 0-1 goodbye national championship. 0-2 after tonite, goodbye bcs. Join a conference like the rest of college football world. Your not elite as you still may think. My Dad and myself are alum. My cousin played for Devine. I waited 8 months for last saturday with all the hype – yeah going out for nice dinner tonite and could care less to see Michigan kill ND. In fact, my yard will be raked up on time this year with all my open saturdays away from watching ND football or whatever sport they think they are playing. Kelly, yeah I like the attitude but now they have put so much pressure on themselves, they will never rebound. Thanks coach. Well,good bye and good luck Irish football, I’m done with ya.

    1. Another bandwagon fan. After 1 game, you think ND can’t correct mistakes and go out and have a good season. USF didn’t at all beat ND. ND beat itself. USF can’t even really take credit for that win, maybe just the stripping of the ball on the 1st drive and the lone TD the offense scored. Everything else was given to them by the Irish. I expect to see a different team out there tonight. And no matter how bad the team is, I will always support ND and anything that is associated with ND. Lots of teams have had bad slumps over the years. ND is still one of the few schools that can claim 11 national titles and 7 Heisman winners. It may have been awhile since the last NC or Heisman but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen again.

    2. “Reciever” and “Your not elite as you still may think.”

      I doubt your credentials — or ND lowered its admission standards for legacy kids like you.

    3. Let me guess mhack, you are probably a Wisconsin or a Oklahoma fan now. You have to love bandwagon fans. He might as well said, “I jumped on the bandwagon for 8 months.”

  69. The HLS article says that Crist’s ceiling is a 10, which Im assuming is the max. I really dont know what he bases that opinion on, other than those 5 golden stars that some “expert” assigned to Crist back in HIGH SCHOOL. Im sick of people bashing Rees, who’s ceiling is apparently 8. You cannot say that A is better than B, but B is almost certain to produce a better result than A. Makes no sense. Other than that I like the write up.

    1. HLS isn’t bashing Rees. Their point is valid though. Crist physically just has more tools to work with. He’s bigger, faster, and has a much stronger arm. In that sense, he has a higher ceiling if he were ever able to put it all together – that is the point HLS is trying to make.

      1. This goes back to this whole debate over “who is better?”

        The team that wins is better. The quarterback who controls the offense and makes fewer mistakes is better.

        I admit that I admire Crist. He looks tough. He has a tremendous arm. He has the ability to scramble. He can go vertical much better than many other quarterbacks.

        Yet, whenever we need a big play and a lasting play — say, a touchdown — something happens that prevents Crist from executing. Sometimes it’s Crist underthrowing a pass over the middle in the end zone. Other times it’s Crist taking a sack at a bad moment. Still other times it’s Crist fumbling inside the 20.

        Regardless, Rees has an intangible. He may not have Crist’s arm. But he is less susceptible to big mistakes at key moments – and he has a very good arm. And for whatever reason, the offense responds to him better than Crist.

        So, I say that Crist is better.

        Just like I say that at this stage of the season, South Florida is better than we are.

      2. Crist has the ability to stretch a defense. He has made big plays at the end of games. His throw to Kyle Rudolph near the end of last years Michigan game was spectacular. The ball was in the air, on a rope, for over 50 yards. He hit Rudolph in stride with a perfect throw. Rees can’t make that throw, so a defense can bring its safeties closer to the line. When Michigan did this in the second half, Rees had trouble making the short throw where he excels. It also makes it harder to run. If we can’t stretch MSU’s defense, it could be a really long day.

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