IBG – Just Win Baby Edition

7491115080009 Notre Dame v Navy
The last time Notre Dame beat Navy, senior running back Jonas Gray was just a freshman. If the Irish are to snap the Midshipmen's streak, the senior back will need to see plenty of action. (Photo / IconSMI)

This week’s edition of the Irish Blog Gathering is hosted by One Foot Down and asks us to ponder if we should be satisfied with any win over Navy.  After back to back losses, we say just win baby.

1.) Coach Kelly refused to fall on the proverbial sword after USC. He felt that some of the players that needed to play with poise just didn’t. Do you agree or disagree? Did coaching play a role in our egg-laying against USC?

I didn’t really have too strong of feelings for this either way – it didn’t really bother me but I didn’t necessarily like it either.  Kelly knows his players best and if he thinks he can motivate them this way, hey, more power too him.  He also didn’t totally call them out and blame the loss solely on them.  Kelly has been pretty good with taking blame when it’s been warranted so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt here.

As for coaching’s role in the loss to USC.  You bet.  The defensive game plan was way too conservative and on offense I thought Kelly abandoned the run way too quickly.  Even late in the game when Rees tossed the interception on 3rd and 1 with the Irish down 14 still, I thought Kelly should have called a run, got the first down, and then worried about the points.   Jonas Gray was running really well and needed to get his number called a lot more when the game was still close.

2.) In their post-game interviews, Coach Kelly, Jonas Gray, Harrison Smith, and Tyler Eifert all called the atmosphere for USC “electric.” Coincidence?

I don’t think so.  The word “electric” is always used by coaches and players to describe game time atmospheres and I heard many fans use the same word throughout the day.  I will say the atmosphere walking into the stadium was unique to anything I’ve experienced at Notre Dame Stadium, but once USC jumped out to the 17-0 lead it really took the air out of the place and every time it was about to erupt again Notre Dame did something to take the crowd out of it.

Overall, I loved the night game experience and hope Notre Dame plans one a year from here out.  There is so much to do on a Notre Dame weekend that it allows for people to take everything in but still have time to tailgate without having to get up at the crack of dawn.

Speaking of the atmosphere, I loved the pumped in music in concept, but Notre Dame needs to mix it up a bit more because if I hear Crazy Train one more time I might go insane.

3.) Is your faith in this coaching staff shaken after Saturday night’s debacle?

Not really.  At the end of the day, for how bad the outcome seemed, Notre Dame was really only one bad snap away the game going down to the wire and I can’t blame the coaches for a senior botching a snap at the goal line.   Notre Dame lost to a top 25 team that is loaded with talent and even with all of the mistakes that were made, they were about to tie the game at the end of the 3rd quarter.

Considering Notre Dame fell behind 17-0, it’s actually a good sign that the staff was able to keep them focused and able to rally back.  In years past that wasn’t always the case.

Now, a loss to Navy this weekend would more than shake my confidence in the staff.

4.) Should we be satisfied with a mere win over Navy, or does it have to be somewhat convincing?

Satisfied?  Yes.  Happy about it? Not really.  This is a bad Navy team playing without their starting quarterback. Even with both starting defensive ends out, there is no reason for Notre Dame to lose this game – especially with all of the motivation they have from last year’s embarrassing performance.

Given Navy’s recent success over the Irish, any win should be enough to keep the wolves at bay for another week, but in all honesty, there is no reason for this game to be close.   Navy’s defense is not strong and should not be able to keep up with Notre Dame’s offense unless the Irish turn into a turnover machine again this week.

Defensively, if the Irish play disciplined, solid football they will be fine.  Two freshmen at defensive end definitely worries me with Navy’s blocking schemes and tricky offense, but that’s why there are 9 other players on defense to step up.

At the end of the day though, it’s just like Al Davis always said, “just win baby”.  Notre Dame HAS to win this weekend.  I’m not sure recruiting could survive another loss to Navy this year and I don’t even want to think about what the forums will look like should Navy win a 4th game in 5 years.  Wow.  There’s a line I never imagined I would ever write when I started working with Kyle on UHND 12 years ago.

5.) Will the Irish shut down the vaunted Navy triple option, or are we in for a shootout?

Navy will rip off some yards and they will score some points, but if the Irish offense does it’s job, the Navy offense will be forced to pass more than they would like since they don’t like to pass at all.  With a backup quarterback in, the freshmen on the defensive line can’t really be an excuse for the Irish defense to get gashed the way it did last year.

Air Force moved the ball easily at times on Notre Dame before the Irish forced a few turnovers and put up a pile of points of their own so some adjustments will need to be made by Bob Diaco and staff.  Diaco adjusted very well to the option last year against Army after seeing his defense get worked by Navy so hopefully we see another improvement like that this weekend.

6) Take us out with a quotation, clip, or photo to summarize your post-USC/pre-Navy state of fandom.

I’ll go with a great Ricky Bobby quote – “I just wanna go fast” because really, I just wanna have fun watching Notre Dame football games again.  The games this year have been beyond frustrating because the talent is there but Notre Dame just keeps shooting itself in the foot time and time again.  If they can just eliminate the mistakes they can turn this season around and still manage to get into a solid bowl game where they can end their season on a high note again this year.

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    1. JDH-We almost forgot, 40 lbs. per man?! The 100% consensus from we the SandRats,is to go with the Navy game plan and just overpower and hammer them. We eally like that Gray=MONSTER! Thanks for that site-we are going there now. Probably a bad idea at this hour but I’ll take it!
      That guy Cousinnap makes a good point about progress; I agreed with that statement.I think everybody feels bad for Crist but I’m not one to second guess the coach. He knows something.
      Thanks again for the lift. Thank that cousinnap too.

      1. According to my calculations SW. Our offensive linemen all go over the 300lb. mark. That should create some big holes for our fast movers. I think Wake will have a tough time dealing with ND’s size and athleticism. However, never underestimate ND’s ability to give up turnovers and take themselves out of the game. I believe it will come down to that, as usual.

  1. Let’s not manufacture a quaterback question – I will agre that in the Navy blowout that the entire second half shoul have bee Crist and Hendrix maybe a quarter each if things went well – Hendrix should get more time. I don’t go along with Crist – he just never really looks comfortable in that system – he may transfer next year – look for Hendrix to move ahead of Rees. This is a work in progress and BK is figuring it out – I will agree that the defense still needs a lot of work – especially in the second and third levels – but recruits look like that is being addressed – Let’s not forget here where we started from and and how far there is to go.

    Compare where the team is to two years ago and I think you can see real progress

    1. JDH-We interpret that to mean ‘The best chance for victory is with Tommy Rees, not D Crist.’He’s the guy we trust in the ‘Green Zone’. Everyone agreed with you after some genius speculations from a few people who might just come from SEC country!

      Hendrix gets the future nod? We hear that Everett Golson is something else to watch-really gifted guy? This should really be interesting to play out. The SEC Ruckers love this guy.

      Your feedback has the unit buzzing-amazing how many people just became ND fans this season!? So I guess the rack time chatter won’t end until 0100 hrs or so. It’s already getting going right now. Thought I’d get some good shuteye tonight, but not, but it keeps everyone’s spirits and attitudes up.

      Thanks again for the intel and opinions-you opened up Pandora’s Box here! A couple of the guys are going on about that stupid Jumbotron again! Jesus! No sleep for sure! Will try to get a read in later when we get back in the wire after our stroll tomorrow. Go Irish. Hooah!

      P.S. How is WF able to dael with a tiny stadium? Is that correct-31,000 seats?

      1. SW-
        What Division/unit are you serving under? (if
        PERSEC AND OPSEC will not be compromised)?

        Regarding the WF stadium, I guess that it correct. Looks like a 31,300 capacity. I’m sure it’s fit their needs just fine for many years. If their program keeps on getting better, I guess they’ll be adding seats. But that’s a big “if”.

      2. JDH-Roger that;security not compromised. 82nd ABN Div. SA duty. Sometimes the MRE’s compromise us, if you know what I mean?!…Thank God for the Medics. You sound like you have been here too? Or donned the diggies at one time or another?

        Last night I heard all about that jumbotron idea. Couldn’t take any more let me, tell you. I guess it wouldn’t be a a bad idea if it doesn’t interfere with TD Jesus. That was the biggest/most frequent observation. Then on to who the qb should/will be. Then inexpicably ‘someone’ brought up the Alabama vs. LSU game and it was off to the races. The stroll today was verrrrry long for sure. I think we will get both games-ND for sure and hopefully someone at the FOB will have a DVR ready.The newest MOS will be ‘Football Digicord.’ The biggest threat will be someone leaking the score out before we watch that second game come Sunday morning during mess call. Between this post and those games attitudes are really actually lifting here. It’s a healthy distraction from the tedium. Can’t do many things since we might offend someone…everyday someone tries to offend us. I wander, but we look forward to the game(s).
        The latest ND new fan is from the deep south. His comment really got us rolling since he is not of the Irish Catholic persuasion “Anybody that plays for the ‘Man’ (can’t use J word)deserves my support and I don’t know where Notre dame is but it’s got to be a good place and all.” ‘A fan is born!’ That’s why all this football clamor is in fact important in many unseen ways. (morale) Fortunately no one is wondering why Ireland is attacking Wake Island! Things are improving.
        Hope all finds you folks well and safe. It’s near rack time; again. Go Irish! Hooah!

        END Message. OUT.

    1. FXM-To whom did we lose Perkins, and if you know, why? We heard he was leaning towards the Irish early. Thank you.

      1. I don’t think we lost him. He’s looking around. He wants to feel OK taking tickets and stadium visits. That’s what they do now. The whole recruiting process is about getting wined and dined for the parents, dined and your behind kissed for the athlete, oh an tickets to football games.

      2. C-Dog, Thanks for the update. We have some dining young Perkins might enjoy! I do hope he stays with the Irish though. Oh well, off to chow. Thanks, we love the reads.

  2. Irisheye62,

    I like your point on Crist, personally and not yearning to insight a riot!
    I also liked Dayne’s niffty footwork running the ball against Navy. Not to mention spot on passes walking the team down the field and scoring.

    Now that we know there is certainly bias at QB! I saw no reason not to have put Crist in the second half against USC since we are being OVERLY GENEROUS with turn over allowances. And if that would have not worked out then on to Hendrix!

    Aleast make an effort to win the game by making changes for obvious reasons rather than waiving to the ship as it sinks!! He certainly wasn’t bashful pulling Crist after the 1st half playing USF. I wonder if he would have applied the same standard to our starting QB on turnovers, how much time would he have spent on the pine this year?? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm?

  3. Sad Warrior:
    Don’t you feel sorry for Mark May’s wife? He always thinks he is right–on everything. Raising the eyebrows with those plastic rims. He is not a happy man but filled with arrogance. Just watch and listen to him–Freud would have a hey day about him. As for him not respecting Navy and the tradition of the Navy /Notre Dame Game, Mark May is not concerned with those who protect this country; Mark May IS his OWN country. as for Flutie–he cannot appreciate mystique because the fact is BC Jesuits don’t know what mystique is.

    As for Kelly—the run game should be brought back FAR MORE. I do question his calls as of late quite a bit. Running is working for Notre Dame and I DO think we can beat Stanford–if we have the discipline not to have late hits and stupid mistakes shoot us in the foot.
    The defense of ND against USC had more holes that Swiss Cheese. I don’t care about rankings-I just want –like all REAL Irish fans–solid common sense play calling and the discipline to follow through on them.
    I’m still amazed at Crist taking the ball down to the goal and then being taken out for a play then put back in only to have his rhythm ruined and another fumble.

    Anybody check out next years schedule?
    Navy , the numerically incorrect Big 10 opponents and the Ghetto Cocaines of Coral Gables and Oklahoma. This program has a chance to step up and prove itself and the time to prepare is NOW–on and off the field.
    Congrats Irish on being #1 in Graduation. Most guys can’t have subject /verb agreement much less graduate. ( I like SEC football but I’m sick of hearing sentences with double negatives and ending with “you know” )
    Enough said. Go Irish—

    1. irisheye62,

      Great stuff mocking Mark May!

      Now, if we could only get Lou Holtz to shut up about ND football and stop jinxing us we’d be OK.

      Look, I don’t like BC. What their football team did to the visitors’ locker room at S. Bend several years ago was reprehensible! Having said that, I don’t hold all Jesuits responsible nor would I gratuitously insult the history of the Society of Jesus. There are too many Jesuit saints and martyrs for that, irisheye62. As a good Catholic, instead you should be saying– “Sts. Ignatius of Loyola and Francis Xavier, pray for us!”

      I’m also no fan of the self-styled “U”. I thoroughly enjoyed ND’s smack-down of the Hurricanes at the Sun Bowl. I’d only wish ND had scored more often and not let up a few cheap scores late.

      Having said that, irish,Miami has cleaned up its act quite a bit. It’s more demanding than it was when Jimmy Johnson or Denis Erickson trolled their sidelines. Do some research and you’ll see that the academic standards at Miami have gone up since the early 2000s. Is it any coincidence that they’ve been largely as irrelevant as ND since that time? Coincidence? I don’t think so! Miami fans are now finding out how difficult it is to win the right way, the way ND has done it from day one!

      1. Hey Rob, it is good to see you back. I have suffered the indignity of having to leave Pittsburgh for Dallas, I was glad to see them take down the evil empire this week, and I liked Ben’s impression of Tommy
        Rees – dink, dink, dink.

      2. fxm,

        Loved the win over the Patsies, Bilicheat, and the Brady bunch!

        However, like the Irish, what is it with Red Zone efficiency (or inefficiency, if you will)? That game should’ve been over by halftime! The Stillers need to put up TDs and not FGs against the Ratbirds and in any eventual rematch against the NE cheaters.

        I’d only wish the TR was a fraction of the QB Big Ben is. We’d be 7-0! I’m sure that Big Ben can run the Spread O better than TR and he’s not even a running QB. But then again neither is TR!

    2. Irisheyes62-I never thought about Mark ‘The Oneonta Oaf’s’ poor wife! I do pity her though. Being married to God’s messenger on earth must be a terrible burden…How does she bear up? I can’t type what I would really like to say; if i did it would be a trip to the confessional for sure! Your shots on the Oaf and Flutie sing magical! Thanks for the humor.

  4. Some observations on the weekend. We had great joy here, finally.

    People can say what they want but Navy is a solid ballclub. Just ask South Carolina. It was a doiminating performance By the Irish, period.

    The haters and spoiled brats were busy trashing their own team, the coach, and then Navy. That is a terrible and inexcusable act.

    And last but not least-who the hell let Doug Flutie call this game? His comments of “Let’s move on…it was a glorified scrimmage..etc” prove he is not just small in stature but small in character as well. Throw in the constant remarks about the USC game and Matt Barkley and you should get the point. That little troll is almost as obnoxious as the ‘Oneonta Oaf’ Mark May. Both show a contemptuous attitude to Notre Dame and deserve to be shunned. Their performances are insulting to Notre Dame and Navy. I guess Flutie and May can’t fathom that those men from Navy will be here soon enough serving their country in a greater cause; a cause beyond the capabilities of of both of them. I find both to be bigots as well. I welcome and applaud my Navy Brothers, all of which would be fine additions to the Army, and we would welcome them, I might add.

    This game gave many of us here in the ‘Sandpit’ great happiness and the realization that Notre Dame can beat Stanford and SHOULD! USC had that game with Stanford won. The ‘Tree’ guys had fear in their eyes. The Irish play physical and rock them hard early and watch out Cardinal-they will wish they were in St Louis!

    Things look good and it is important to remember ‘See what you have; not what you want to have.’ Go Irish! Hooah!

    1. Great post in regards to Flutie, May and respecting those who wear the uniform to go do much more important things than playing football.

      Stay safe…

      1. Thanks JDH-watching those ND games and reading these comments really does help us out, more than you know. This forum is a blessed distraction! It lets us know that while it’s crazy here there are other crazy things going on too-like Lane Kiffin!

      2. That’s always good to hear SW-so glad that you can watch and ND game or two over there. I’ve had the honor of working for numerous mil/vet orgs over the years in my “spare time”. It’s my labor of love. And some of my dearest friends have done many trips downrange. They (and you) ARE my inspiration and when the going gets tough, I look to them and tell myself, “Drive on. Finish ugly if you have to. But finish.”

        I’ve got a Tough Mudder team put together that’s running next spring. 4/6 are military and we’re running it for Wounded Warrior. I must get in better shape! :)

      3. JDH-Whether you know it or not your comment just made our day as we prepare to get some shuteye. Here we have no alternative to anything but finishing.
        Thanks for helping ut with the WW Project. It is a great act. We salute you and the Project!

      4. :) I say a very humble thank you to you and yours SW! You all represent the best of all of us and the best this nation has to offer. I KNOW that is the case.

        Stay safe and GO IRISH!

      5. JDH-Another day,another scout over here, but we are anticipating the Wake Forest game already and hearing about the scouting reports on them. From what we’ve seen they could be dangerous; depending upon which WF team shows up. I guess the same could be said of the Irish.
        We do have one question though-why are so many people so down on Tommy Rees? He is young and will get better. Most here seem to like the Hendrix guy as the ‘Savior.’ Any thoughts without incting riots and mayhem?!
        Off to the gym. Go Irish! Hooah!

      6. Well you know how opinions are SW, especially when the passion of sports gets involved! I don’t know- I think it’s because Tommy just isn’t as good as ND fans woul like. He certainly lacks some arm strength and can really get “caught looking”. And of course, there are the turnovers. But I think we’re in a situation of: “Deal with what you have, not with what you wish you had.” Tommy usually gets the job done, even if it’s not pretty. Dayne has shown time and time again he can’t handle the spotlight. For those who want Crist to start, I ask the same question: “What does he have to do to show you he freaks out at inopportune times?” Granted, I know I know. Tommy gives alot of TOs. But, in my gut and based on results, I want Tommy in my foxhole. As far as Hendrix, I just want to see him get some snaps. Like the whole damn 4th qtr. against Navy. Why in God’s name isn’t he getting some grooming time on the field in a blowout? And as someone else mentioned, why not have a goal line package for him? ND is not exactly stellar in the red zone. See what he can do…Just my .02

      7. Oh and in regards to Wake Forest, here is my ND motto:

        “Notre Dame Football. Providing lesser programs with signature wins since 1998”

        So yeah, ND better show up and they better not turn the ball over. Or I guarantee WF will smack the shit out of them. WF will be most likely be pumped as hell to play ND at their house. As you said, we’ll see who shows up…

      8. JDH,

        I understand your passion and wanting Rees in your foxhole, but I don’t want a QB that can’t take care of the football. Against lessor teams with lessor talent ND can overcome his dumb mistakes, lack of arm strengthe and inability to run. In BK’s offense the QB can’t be a game manager, he has to be the best player on the field. You are refering to two situations where Crist had three turnovers in the redzone, but I can point to a ton of turnovers Rees has had in the Redzone. I don’t think either one is the QB for the future. Crist is a prostyle QB and Rees is a 3 star recruit. It is either Hendrix or Golson. They provide the best option to win in the future. I need to see Hendrix play more to give a good analysis on whether he is the future. Potential don’t mean shit, show me results.

      9. @Jack:
        I hear ya man. I hear ya. Again, I am just saying “Deal with what you have, not what you wish you had.” I completely understand your argument. It’s a valid one. Rees and Crist both make me nervous. I give the “intangibles” nod to Rees- that’s it.

        You and I are in agreement about Hendrix. I want to see him (and Golson) get in the mix asap.

    2. Absolutely SAD WARRIOR, thank you for your service. I have the UTMOST respect for all who wear the uniform (biggest mistake I made was not going into the Navy-I wanted to get into intellience work-after graduating high school, I digress, I went to college instead). I agree with your observation on both Flutie and Mr. may’s attitude toward ND-let’s face it, Flutie is a BC alum & has no ability to contain his bias. May is just a blowhard idiot.

      Thank you, sir
      Go Irish

  5. Here is what I’d like to see. Solid performances by the players on both sides. The defense just needs to go play. There are no more weird offenses. It’s all either pro style or spread. So take care of a good Wake Forest team. Then keep it together for MAryland and Boston College. Both teams will come to play, but some good smash mouth football should put things to rest early in each game.

    The coaches do need to game plan as no team can be taken for granted. But I would spend a little extra time during the Maryland and BC weeks prepping and scouting for Stanford. That’s the game. Take care of the expected wins by playing mistake free ball and the talent level should showcase itself. Then beat a Stanford team and you make a case that the early 2 losses and the issues culminating in beating yourselves in the USC game are overcome.

    ND hasn’t upset anyone since Willingham’s 1st year. Beating Stanford would be a legitimate upset. Given the indications on potential on both sides of the ball – something that hasn’t existed since 1997 – ND can start to believe. I say start. Until there is a 10 game or more win streak and a win or two against top 10 competition, this team cannot afford to even look at press reports about it.

    The ND program needs to establish greatness by having done it, not by hoping they might do it.

    Go Irish!

    1. C-DOG,
      I like what you’ve said. You are quite right, I believe, in your assessment of the “winning” culture needing to be established by…….winning.

      Go Notre Dame

  6. I was amazed yet not suprised that Hendrix got 0 playing time. Brilliant 4th qtr. Leave your starting qb in for 1/2 of the qtr. and risk him getting hurt when you’re up by 7 touchdowns.

    And then put in Crist because you feel bad for him I guess?

    And where did Navy’s points come from- you guessed it. 2 turnovers from Reese, the first a carbon copy of last week. Weird.

    On the positive side of the ledger, fantastic job by the defense to almost completely destroy Navy’s option. It was a total domination on both sides of the ball. A great job of the team moving beyond the USC whooping and the emotional scandal caused by Kelly at the end of the week.

    Yes, there are some on the board not being too happy with the win because it was “just Navy”, but c’mon guys. What do you want? We’d be foaming at the mouth if it were a “close win” and suicidal if it was a loss. We DESTROYED a program that has, like it or not, beaten us the last 3/4 years. And again, the team delivered that ass-whooping after a very difficult week, both on the field and off. Give some credit.

    I personally thought Reese played a very solid game, minus the 2nd backward pass in 2 weeks. If you take that out of the picture, one INT in comparison to his other stats and the dominating win, that bad throw is not that big of a deal. But indeed, his ability to turn the ball over is still a major cause for concern.

    The Irish do have a chance against Stanford, but the D will have to play the game of their lives and a turnover or two by Stanford would be huge.

    1. Let’s be honest, this year’s Navy team is no where talented to where the last 3-4 previous year’s teams they had were (read Ricky Dobbs which is one of the reasons they had their success against ND). I am one of those not exactly “wetting my pants” with a win over an over matched Navy. Maybe I’m being picky & pessimisstic, but, BK’s decision to not play QB backups for extended playing time and thereby risking TR’s health after being up 42-7 is indicative in my opinion of some coaching judgement NOT being exercised. Wake Forest is going to be tougher than what I think people are believing them to be. If ND hammers the Demon Deacons on Saturday, I might feel a bit better about this team. Of note, BK has the same record as Holtz at the same juncture of their coaching periods. We’ll see how this plays out for BK and his coaching “legacy.”.

      GO IRISH.

  7. At least we didnt LOSE. Im satisfied with this win and especially that we more than handled them which i cant say for the last few years. Yeah, Hendrix should have got alot of PT Saturday but at least we made this win look good. A loss would have been devastating and barely squeeking by almost just as bad. I read somewhere that BK has the same record through the same number of games as Holtz did at this point in his career. Im not saying BK is going to be Holtz or that by beating Navy we are a championship caliber team by any means, but there is a bright side to look at.

  8. A good win, but they did only what they should do. They need to make games like that against opponents who are overmatched, a routine. I did like the mutual respect shown after the game. Whip your opponent on the field if that is what you are supposed to do by playing your best and then shake hands. No smack talk like the future unemployed punks from USC.

    I did also like that USC lost their Super Bowl, although they did fight better that ND did last week. I hope the players did learn their lesson and that Kelly is instilling some leadership, or rather cultivating it.

    I am not hopeful that ND can beat Stanford. Even if the players come ready to play, I don’t think the coaches can make game time adjustments. If Diaco doesn’t come in with a plan to handle Stanford or if Stanford adjusts to his plan, then he’s hosed. And frankly the offense is the same way. If Notre Dame hangs with Stanford in the first half then they may claim some moral victory, although not in my book. I’d like to see more hope, but seeing how USC and Stanford played chess all night, our coaches aren’t there.

    1. C-Dog,

      Interesting that you mention USC losing their “Super Bowl” to Stanford last weekend.

      In post game comments Kiffin spent a good part of his post game interview claimimg that the refs “lied” to him about using his final time out.
      (as well as complaining about penilties)

      With the title of this particular post being “Just Win Baby” I couldn’t help but think that Al Davis is sitting somewhere today and having a good laugh!

      Ain’t karma a bitch!

      1. Now I see today where the PAC-12 has fined Kiffin for his whiney remarks about the refs.
        The PAC-12 also suspended USC saftey TJ McDonald for head-hunting ways. Said it was his fourth occurance so far this season.
        Throw in the bush league remarks made by a few of the USC players after the ND game, and before their Stanford game, and it is so good to see that the USC administration is hard at work cleaning up their image!

  9. I think we have recently learned, obviously, we are not as good as we hoped and USC is a lot better than many realized. I don’t see us going to triple overtime with Stanford and putting over 45 points on them.

    1. Agreed, and as stated earlier, we are not close to Stanford. Not saying they can’t be beat, but, it will take a good execution of a game plan. However, that’s 4 games down the road. Wake Forest (and the rest of the ACC portion of the schedule) may cause more issues than realized. I’m done criticizing the QB issue. Unless TR gets hurt, he will play the minutes and suitable backups will watch, even if the game is out of hand in ND’s favor. Hendrix should have been playing minutes when it was 42-7.

      Go Notre Dame!

  10. If Kelly is such a jerk an should be fired, who is the next coach. Further more 2 yrs ago everyone was singing Kelly’s praises, now he is an asshole who can’t manage a team. Get real people everyone on this board botched about Weis’s players had no fundamentals, now you are yelling at Kelly for pointing out they regressed. Also, players should not be aloud to tweet, they usually say something stupid. Teo is a leader and should have walked into Kelly’s office and state his case. Let’s face it they played like shit against SC. This team needs a kick in the ass. They had a lousy week at practice because they read their own press and did look like a Weis team against SC. If i am a coach I am ripping that team dor their perfmance. Teo especially looked horrible in that game, missing tackles and being out of position. Kelly is the coach, get over it. This is what all of you screamed for 2 years ago. Buyers remorse?

    1. Jack,

      I like how you group everyone in your diatribes. I was for Urban, go back and read my blogs. I also took a pile of…….you know what from this very site because of that position.

      Further, It was BK’s BIG PUBLIC media mouth that open up the problem not the players! Give credit where credit is do!

      Moreover, the bye week was treated as a vacation. Interestingly enough, it was certaintly a highly critical pivotal 2 weeks for ND! Obviously squandered: “Let the kids be kids”. Oh gee, it’s only USC coming to town?

      Look, the QB turn over problem is now a serious problem and effecting the overall performance of the WHOLE team. Not to mention, we now know who his favorite players are! “Loose lips sink ships!”

      I like BK’s statement on the field: “It’s a family and we keep it in the family!” How conveniently CYA for a Head Coach who drew first blood with his EGREGIOUS FAVORITISM. Absolutely amazing, never in the history of ND football has a Head Coach utilized PUBLIC CLASS WARFARE against his own team.
      Key word here: PUBLIC!

      So, you bet I would fire him for his exclusive childish PUBLIC attack on the team now well known nationally!

      Furthermore, I have no remorse for the pip-squeak, I wanted Urban Meyer. Jack, I share your flustration just not your one size fits all assessment.

      1. JC. You can want and want Urban as much as you like. But the fact is he has absolutely no interest in coming to ND. Face with all the extra BS that goes with coaching at ND compared to a Florida or tOSU, the job would literally kill him.

    2. @Jack-
      I certainly don’t think Kelly should be fired and I have never had that position. I think he should pull his head out of his ass and act like the HC of ND. Yes, you are correct about Teo. He should not have tweeted that- not acceptable that he did that. But Kelly’s comments were worse. HOPEFULLY, Kelly is learning lessons. HOPEFULLY.

      Because I get pissed of at Kelly does not mean I want him fired.

      1. JC,

        I disagree with your analysis on the fact that Urban Meyer would be a better coach. The man lasted 5yrs at Florida and left because he couldn’t handle the pressure. If you are coach shopping go for Sabin. Better coach

      2. Jack,

        No worries, we all have our favorite picks. Now that you metioned it. Hahahahahahah!

        I feel compelled, if and when we need a new HC I would still promote Urban and Skip because of their highly successful mentor who we all know! They have actual coaching experience at ND whereas CW did not at the time.

        Sabin is a great coach not sure he is a good fit for ND but, you may be right! Would you call him today? LOL!

      3. I absolutely agree with you. Like him or not, Sabin, in my opinion, is the best college coach out there right now and I’m not an Alabama lover AT ALL.

  11. Nice win, nice execution! Oh wait we played Navy. Never mind. Thought for sure we would start to see what Hendrix can do with multiple snaps, and cannot figure out why the hell he didn’t get in the second half other than Kelly is an idiot. I didn’t catch college game day but went on line last night and wow, did they rip Kelly and rightfully so. The more I looked into the circumstances it confirms Kelly is a jerk, why the team is what they are and Kelly probably killed recruiting by his remarks and actions. If this does not raise a flag I will be shocked. Moving forward, yeah after watching the Stanford game, they will be very tough to handle and frankly the ACC teams may give ND trouble. Did you see the size of the Stanford offensive line? Impressive.


  13. I watched the Stanford SC game last night. ND can best Stanford if they play a good game. As I watched that game it further backed my belief that the QB play is reason that why ND is 5-3. ND’s QBs lose games where Luck didn’t play well but was solid when it matters.

  14. Some need to realize that Michael Floyd is the reason why Tommy Rees is the QB. I firmly believe that next season, once Floyd is off the team, that Andrew Hendrix will win the QB job in Fall Practice

    1. Unfortunately I can’t agree with you. Golson will be our starter next year. the only reason that Hendrix is playintg at all this year is to get some experience at backup.

      1. Absolutely spot-on right. Golson will be the starter next year. After all it’s “his guy”. How else do you explain Hendrix not getting any playing time when it was a complete blowout in the fourth quarter? Hendrix will be a back up or transfer.

  15. Rees is not the answer, he locks in on receivers and is a turnover machine. Hot and cold and no consistency. If he is the QB against Stanford ND loses. I don’t know who will be the answer but the QB is where is holding this team back.

  16. Well, it was nice to see a win today. However, let’s face it. This was a team ND should beat. Navy was both outmanned & outmatched, so I’m not sure how much this victory means since it was not a close match on the field between the 2 teams (of note, it was nice to see Dayne Crist to lead a march down the field and a TD resulted from it w/o a major incident-I still think he should be behind Hendrix). I was glad to see the defense contain Navy’s rushing compared to what happened against Air Farce. ND’s running game looked better, but, again, it was against an outmanned Navy D. I guess I should feel happier, but, I don’t. Maybe not playing Hendrix really bugs the hell out of me, especially when we were up. I don’t get why he is not getting more opportunity especially with the score up big as it was today, to not get some playing time. When you get an opportunity to play your backups, you should do it. I’m watching Stanford play USC right now. We are no where near Stanford.

    Well, hopefully prepare for next week as we head to play our ACC portion of the schedule.

    Go Irish.

  17. Michigan defeats ND with a new coach.
    Southern Cal defeants ND with a new coach.
    A poor excuse is no excuse at all.
    The NFL is littered with ND players.
    Maximize your strengths.
    Be aggressive.
    Have fun playing big games.

  18. 49-7 and Hendrix does not get put in, then turnover Tommy throws another INT deep in Irish territory and Navy ends up getting a score off it. How is Hendrix going to be ready if he doesn’t get any playing time if god forbid, Rees gets injured. There is no excuse for not getting him in there, PERIOD. NNNOOOOOOO I SEE CRIST GETTING READY AS I WRITE THIS, NOOOOOOOOO

    1. Yup,
      I want to see Hendrix get some stats. He went to my high school so I’m rootin’ for him even more.

      Not to beat a dead horse, but when/if Kelly “apologized” to his team, he sure as hell better have been CRYING his eyes out, asking for forgiveness.

  19. As a testament to how short Rees passing game is, this is the second time in 2 weeks that he has an incompletion ruled a fumble.

  20. Thank you JDH,

    I knew something was wrong with this TALENTED team! I went to ESPN as recommended by JDH and there it was on the MAIN HEADER BOARD! Report: Brian Kelly apologies to players. Well, I know who I would fire immediately! These players do not need this BUSH LEAGUE COACHING TEAM. Do you really thing a BK apology is going to rectify the problem with a class act like Teo? These kids will not get over a coaching betrayal!
    Nor would I expect them too, there is ABSOLUTELY no excuse for pitting one class over another period!

    Well, public Class-Warfare by Brian Kelly. Hey MAN-UP Kelly! Pack your bags and leave because it’s not going to get any better from here on out KNOWING how you really feel. What a vainglorious mistake to make with your team!

    1. He may be done. Too bad Navy does not have their starting QB as it would be a good measure of how bad the damage is.

      1. No matter how you slice it or interpret it, what he said was inexcusable. A coach NEVER EVER, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES WHATSOEVER, puts players into different “classes”. These guys vs. these guys over here. Leadership 101 Kelly- apparently you were sick that day you collosal bag of douche!!! Just wow.

        I wonder what potential recruits are thinking.

        It’s not one step forward, two steps back. It’s one step forward, 5 steps back. Unbelievable.

      2. here is my take on the kelly comment(please dont burn me at the stake). i think kelly was trying to say how the kids he recruited havnt had the bad fundamentals to get rid of as the older players have.i also think he was trying to say watch and see my players in the coming years who have been taught to play tough sound football. what he said is wrong but i dont believe it is what he meant, just poor choice of words. thats my take. the d played well today and i hope this means better things will come, however my optimism iis fading

  21. Did anyone just see College Gameday and how Herby and Co. just ripped BK? Apparently the problems may be much deeper than just Xs and Os. Kelly being divisive regarding players vs. coaches and talking about Weis’s guys vs. his guys. Teo tweeting about how he’s only playing “for his bros”. This is looking like a very divided team. NOT a good sign. Leadership is non-existent at this program, if what they are saying is true….

    …and please don’t shoot the messenger or just write off an entire panel of ESPN analysts. We’re not talking about Mark May here. I am going to do some more research on what they are talking about…

      1. Well, we don’t know about all of the alleged tweets, specifically Teo, but he clearly threw the “Weiss-men” under the bus. Not smart.

  22. I’m for change at Quarterback period and I don’t care who. A TWO TURN OVER average at Quarterback is certainly getting beyond comprehension. What leadership? Coach or Player? No kidding BK, we don’t have anyone capable of leading this team to 10 wins in a row! Furthermore, how the hell would we know? Hmmm……continuously tolerating TURN OVERS? Hmmm……..4-3? Any correlation here? Or are we just going to continuously capitulate on TURN OVERS?

    1. This turnover thing is what troubles me about Andrew Hendrix. I know he is young, but clearly he must really struggle to grasp the offense. Because you can’t say that I am not going to play him because I am concerned about mistakes or turnovers. Could he possibly do much worse?

  23. Just watched the World Series. Here is a team, the Cardinals, not the most talented team but they won with pride, passion and never give up attitude. Hope some of the Irish were watching!

  24. GRRRRRRRRRR! ND yr after yr has top ten talent and very sloppy play… i really feel bad for Dayne Crist. Got put into the game and did a nice job of leading the Irish down to the goaline… I hope ND does a nice job of finishing the season… At this point why not give Dayn another opportunity?

    1. I agree…. I know I’ll probably get jumped here but I still believe Crist is the better of the two! He comes in “cold” and throttles the team down the field. He has such a strong arm and can move in the pocket.

      He doesn’t make any more bad plays than Reese.

  25. I kind of agree with Aaron Taylor, after the fumbled snap near the goal line and returned for a TD, the Irish quit playing to win and played to get the game over with. A seasoned team would have hitched up their pants and tied their shoes and gone out and played like there was no tomorrow. You can not give up regardless of the odds against you. The Irish should take their cues from the Military Academies. They play like their lives depend on it and in the bigger picture they do.

    1. I think the players unfortunately feel like we do. When we get down real close to the end-zone I can’t help it, I cringe. I think the closer they get to the red zone the tighter they get. They have a Charlie Brown syndrome and it is the coaches job to exorcise it. But we have a black cloud over our heads this season and I am not sure if that occurs because of your mindset or what.

      1. I don’t understand why Kelly doesn’t create a goal line package for Hendrix. When we get inside the 10, Hendrix should come in the game and get it in the endzone. He can pass, hand-off, or is a threat to run.

      2. I agree, he is the only guy available who doesn’t have a red zone boogey-man sitting on his shoulder. I don’t why he didn’t continue to play before that “fateful play.”

      3. FXM,
        You have beautifully just described my own
        “Red Zone” anxiety syndrome about this team, hahaha.

        Go Irish

  26. I have a hard time blaming players too much. I am of the “buck stops here” mindset. How come USF with a new coach and Michigan with a new coach defeat us? All those bone head penalties and poor execution. We can’t play special teams. I am not calling for BK’s head, but I hold him accountable. I believe a coach should be judged ultimately by how he does with all of “his players.” But the idea that the upperclassmen are a bunch of cowardly undisciplined losers on this team is hard for me to fathom. What in the world does a conference have to do with winning? Is being in a conference going to stop us from putting the ball on the ground inside the five yard line and being taken to the house twice in one year?

  27. What we are finding here is a team on a journey to learn how to win. Kelly knows what he wants and he has not got the players there YET. The problem with a team that is learning how to win consistantly is that they will experience one step forward then two steps back until finally, they get over the hump. This team believed all the pre-season hype and then laid an egg against SF and Mich. They put together a nice 4 game winning streak and the hype started again. USC comes in and puts a smack down on them. Like Kelly said, this team is capable of little winning streaks, but they are not capable of pulling off 10-11 games streaks.

    They need to learn how to have the fire in the belly all the time, there is no time to relax. One of these players needs to step up and get into peoples faces like Tebow used to do. Keep in mind, only the freshman class is Kelly’s. Most of the kids on the team have never experienced winning at a high level in college.

    I believe that Kelly will get them over the hump, it’s just going to take time. Keep in mind that ND has averaged a 7-5 record since Holtz left. If Kelly can win 8-9 games this year, it is an improvement. We are not a NC contender anymore, but I believe Kelly will eventually bring us back there. The sad reality of it is that it may take ND joining a conference to make sure it can happen.

    1. this team reminds me of rutgers(i live in new jersey)ten to twelve years ago. the players are more interested in their gestures and celebrations than in the plays. they get unnecessary penalities, make mistakes at the worst times, it seems to me its more the players then it it is the coach. although some of kelly’s decisions drive me up the wall,i.e. the tulsa game.

  28. I think a pretty good gage of where this team is and how the coaching staff is reaching the players is how we perform in the 1st quarter on Saturday. We should absolutely explode out of the gate and play with a ton of emotion on both sides of the ball. The emotion will certainly subside as the game wears on, but I would expect a big lead early and then maintain a comfortable margin throughout. However, as we have seen, this team rarely lives up to expectations. Navy is a team that will play hard for 4 quarters and if we leave them hanging around it could get real tight.

    Go Irish!

  29. I agree, i’m a big Kelly fan and think he will get it done. I am a little disappointed in how this year has gone as it seems they are underachieving. However, this is a major rebuild and goes to the core of the program. He is rebuilding the ENTIRE program, from A to Z. This isn’t a matter of Urban Meyer taking over for Ron Zook. UF had loads of players and the program was still riding high from a decade of dominance with Spurrier.

  30. It is on Brian Kelly to provide Coaching and Leadership for this team and in that he is failing. Kelly has lost control of this team. They are not focused, very fundamentally unsound, seen confused, scared at times, and not even aware of team chemistry. Never before has a Notre Dame football team committed so many stupid penalties. Way to many off sides or procedure calls, taunting penalties, and stupid mistakes. This team is very undisciplined. This is all because they are NOT being coached well. While Kelly is talking about the helmets, or a jumbo tron or turf, he is not focusing on making this team better. He is concerned with his own image or ego more then this football team’s. I can clearly see they don’t believe in him. At Notre Dame Kelly is in way over his head. He needs to go back to a lower level school. Just look at fan reaction. Fans are begging for a good showing against Navy. Never has expectations for a Notre Dame football team been lower then they are not. Notre Dame will not fire Kelly for a least a couple more years, so underachieving, confused, mediocre play is all I can expect to see as long as Kelly is Coach. I’m not even confident of coming away from the Wake Forest game with a win. And Stanford, Forget About It.

    1. Wow Frnak the vitriol against Kelly seems to be bit over the top. I think he has come in and tried to get the players to prepare/practice/play in a certain manner and has seen starts and stops of what he wants.

      If the players are too “scared” to play for Kelly let them move on to other programs or stop playing football. I find it ironic that there has only been 1 scholarship athlete transfer since Kelly’s arrival. That to me indicates that he has not lost the team.

      Players are more willing to change positions then transfer to another school.

      We heard the same types of rants when Lou Holtz took over. He was too mean, he lost the players, he would never win and would soon be fired.

      As the Gerry Faust mentality players graduated and the Lou Holtz players were recruited, the difference in attitude and play was amazing.

      The freshmen who have played so far this year are measurably different in their athleticism then those left behind by Weis.

      The style of coaching by Brian Kelly is also measurably different than that of Charlie Weis.

      Even past players, with the exception of Joe Montana, are calling out current players not the coaching staff.

      It is time for the players to buckle up their chin straps and go play football. If they won’t then get them out of the way. If they can’t them teach them.

    2. That’s a pretty strong opinion you have there,FRANK. I don’t agree that BK has lost this team (at least not yet). Transfers out of the program have been minimal, I believe, since BK has taken over (Hell, Dayne hasn’t transferred and if anybody had a reason to, he would). I believe the coaching staff has made their fair share of mistakes and hopefully start to learn from them. I’ll go back to Aaron Taylor’s comments also about player leadership (or lack of). That needs to be more forthcoming and if the coaching staff isn’t facilitating this, then something’s definitely wrong. A college coach I think reasonably deserves a 3 year evaluation as to where a program is at before anything further happens about possible continuance or dismissal. I’ll have my own eval on BK after next season. He does appear to be bringing in higher skilled athletes compared to his 3 predecessors. He really has only brought in one class so fa of his recruits. Let’s face it, this guy has won where he has been in 20 years of coaching, climbing up the coaching ladder at different levels of competition. That says something about him and I don’t believe he is going to lose that ability by coming to ND to coach.

      Let’s see a Navy get sunk this Saturday.
      GO IRISH!

      1. If you gentlemen prefer to bury your heads in the sand, then so be it. Kelly has shown me more then enough evidence that he is a failure at Notre Dame. Take his past record and success into account all you want to, but Western Michigan and Cincinnati is not Notre Dame. He is in way over his head at Notre Dame. Okay, so he beats Navy today. Somehow he pulls out a victory at wake Forest. Then we go into Stanford and get waxed again. If these players had any respect for him, they would not be doing the stupid things they are doing. As I have stated earlier, Kelly is more concerned with his ego and image more then the teams. Kiss him good-bye and let’s move on.

  31. It’s not on Brian Kelly to execute the QB exchange near the goal line. It’s not on Brian Kelly to catch a simple swing pass. Even I, who has never played a down of football in my life knew enough to go after that ball in the event it was a backward pass.
    He is right, the players own some of what happened in that game and why should he coddle them. These are players who CHOOSE to play at ND and with that comes the intense scrutiny.

    1. I agree with this. It’s on BK that he abandoned the run, after the material yardage racked up by Gray and Wood. It’s on BK that he didn’t DEMAND Diaco make some/any changes from the first half to the second. If he did, it sure didn’t show on the field.
      It’s on the team for being shellshocked. It’s on Dayne Crist for not being able to take a snap under center, and upon fumbling, not IMMEDIATELY FALL ON THE BALL, as opposed to trying to pick the ball up. It’s on Wood for not making a pretty easy catch and then not doing 1000 mph after the ball. Upperclassmen making inexcusable mistakes aren’t BK’s fault. They need to pull their heads out of their Irish yahoos.

  32. Frank,

    Jonas Gray was running really well! Not sure why he did not get the call more. I’m still convinced BK dropped the ball on the USC game. As he said in his press conference: “It’s on ME to have the team prepared!” Well, it’s not hard to measure results and ultimately the USC game was taken lightly based on the outcome period. So to say: “they’re just not playing the way I want them too.”? Seems really shallow this time of the year.

    I am not really sure what to expect for the Navy game. It seems intensity and passion are still on vacation. All four press conferences this week were boring and run of the mill Q&A. It’s going to get real ugly around here if we don’t win big against Navy or even worse if we lose.

    Go Irish!

  33. As usual Frank you are on the money. All Irish fans probably on the verge of “losing their collective minds with this team”. I do not want to even talk about this years recurring “problems” as like most of us they are just so repetitive talking will not fix them. What will fix them is a NEW ATTITUDE to wit: Let’s quit playing NOT TO LOSE. Nobody was happy vs Pitt getting out of town with an away win. THis team and its talent with Quinn/Clausen at QB puts up 40-50 pts easy in that game. Last years final 5 games Defense does not give up 400+yds to a very avg Air Force team and this years team defense is better talent wise then 2010’s. Let’s play some “smash mouth football” vs Navy. No more soft zones and man coverages they don’t pass the ball Hello. Load the line and come on every play and hit every possible Navy ball carrier. Do not look for the ball just smash anyone who might be carrying it. After a qtr of that their players will not be looking for the handoff. Look what Miami did to Georgia Tech’s Triple Option which is way in front of Navy talent wise and speed wise. They just hit every guy in a Tech uniform they didn’t stand back and try to READ the QB they just smashed guys.
    No matter what the score is in the first qtr run the ball 2/3 times in the whole first half. Houston down 21-10 vs RICE (yes Rice) and they just rolled and by half were up 38-21 and in the 60’s in the third qtr.
    Start Rees and if he is in for a single turnover go straight to Hendrix and tell him he is the QB for rest of the year unless he gets hurt. End of discussion. Now we can keep plays alive long enough for a guy with an arm to throw DEEP
    Finally get Atkinson in off backfield every time Wood/Gray need a break and let him return punts. End of story Kill Navy and everybody from now to Stanford and then smash the Cardinal who will be out of LUCK after that game and we are FINALLY ON THE PAGE Brian. No more excuses TAKE NO PRISONERS gets some guts and make teams fear the Irish again.

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