Keys to Victory: Oklahoma ’12

davonte neal oklahoma
Notre Dame Fighting Irish wide receiver Davonte’ Neal (19) in game action. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish defeated the Michigan Wolverines by the score of 13-06, at Notre Dame Stadium, in South Bend, IN. (Photo: Robin Alam / IconSMI)

Notre Dame has its work cut out for it this weekend when they square off with #8 Oklahoma on the road.  The 5th ranked Irish head to Norman a double digit underdog despite a top 5 ranking and a goose egg in the loss column at the end of October.  The reason for that is the fact that Oklahoma is by far the toughest test the 2012 Fighting Irish have faced so far this year.

The Irish were uninspiring last week in a three point win over BYU.  A smilar performance this week and Notre Dame will be out of the national championship picture faster than you can say Boomer Sooner.  Despite what some in the media would lead you to believe though, the Irish have a chance to pull off the upset and head back to South Bend with their title dreams still intact.

Here’s what needs to happen for those dreams to become a reality.

Get Everett Golson on the Run

Take away Everett Golson’s fumbles against Stanford and that game would have never went to overtime because Notre Dame could have won comfortably.  That’s a terrible “what if” since Stanford had something to do with them, but all three fumbles were completely avoidable by Notre Dame’s sophomore quarterback.  On his first, he’s got to feel the pass rush and be extra careful with the ball in the end zone, on his second Golson made a poor exchange for an unforced error, and on his last, he should have stepped out of bounds without ever putting himself in position to fumble.

The point here isn’t to rehash the Stanford game or make the case that Notre Dame should have won that game easier.  Rather, it’s to point out that without those fumbles, the Irish offense was moving the ball on the Stanford defense – a defense that is arguably better than the one they’ll face this weekend – once Golson started taking off.

Notre Dame has to get Golson ont he run with some designed runs to keep the Oklahoma defense honest.  Last week we saw a new wrinkle of George Atkinson on the field at the same time as Cierre Wood with Atkinson being set in motion.  Throw in a mobile quarterback would can now handle off to Atkinson on the move, give it to Wood next to him, or take off on his own and there’s another dimenson to the offense.

Getting Golson on the run has also settled down the young quarterback in the passing department too.  His best games running the ball – Miami and Stanford – were also two of his best performances throwing the ball.  Bottom line – when Golson runs (and holds onto the football), good things happen for the Notre Dame offense.

Protect the Football

Now, the double edge sword with getting Golson on the move is the possibility of Golson turning it over.  I outlined above how all three of his fumbles against Stanford were avoidable had Golson just been a little more cautious and known the situation, but the problem is, he knew the situation and still turned the ball over.  I am sure Brian Kelly has made Golson watch each of those fumbles over and over again, but ball security has been an issue for Golson all season so its probably unrealistic to expect that a week off due to his concussion has suddenly corrected the issue.

As I said above though, Notre Dame is going to have to roll the dice and let Golson run in order to get this offense moving against the Oklahoma defense.   So, it will be up to Golson to hold onto the ball and make smarter decisions this week.  Decisions like sliding instead of taking big hits and ducking out of bounds instead of fighting for an extra two or three yards.  It sounds simple enough, but as a fan of an NFL team that employs Michael Vick as its starting quarterback, I can tell you seeing that put in practice with mobile quarterbacks is anything but a simple process.

Cut Out the Silly Penalties

This one goes without saying in a big game, but Notre Dame has had far too many procedure and personal foul penalties over the last few weeks – penalties they just can’t have this weekend.  Emotions will be running high so Notre Dame has to be careful to not get flagged for late hits and the like.  That is sometimes tough with an agressive defense like Notre Dame’s because they are always flying to the ball, but Oklahoma’s offense is jut too good to give them a free 15 yards at any time.

On the offensive side of the ball, Notre Dame has to stop shooting itself in the foot with false starts near the red-zone.  This has been an issue the last few weeks with the Irish playing at home in Notre Dame Stadium which makes me particularly nervous for what might happen here with them playing in front of a raucous crowd in Norman.

Smack Oklahoma in the Mouth Early

Notre Dame has to set the tone in order to keep this one within arms reach reach early.  Oklahoma has the kind of fire power to jump out in front of any defense – even one as stout as Notre Dame’s – if you let them.  To combat that, Notre Dame has to come out early and set the tone that this will be a knock down, drag out fight – not a track meet.  Notre Dame’s offense isn’t evolved enough right now to hang in a track meet with Oklahoma, but if they can come out and slow the game down and hit Oklahoma in the mouth early to let them know this is going to be a heavyweight fight, the Irish will be in this one throughout.

The best case scenario for the Irish actually would be to start the game with the ball and have a slow, methodical drive down the field featuring a heavy dose of Theo Riddick and Cierre Wood that ends in some points.  Any points will do actually as long as Notre Dame comes out and establishes the run, controls the clock, and settles down the crowd a little.  If Notre Dame comes out and proceeds to produce a three and out and give Oklahoma the ball with good field position or lets the Sooner offense march down the field should they start with the ball, it’ll set a tone that will be tough to overcome.

Find the X-Factor

Almost every time Notre Dame has played in a big game where it’s been the underdog and has either won or been in the game over the last 20 years or so they have found an x-factor.  Against Miami in ’88 Pat Terrell returned that interception for a touchdown.  Against the Hurricanes in ’90 Rocket Ismail took a kickoff to the house.  In ’05 Tommy Zbikowski returned that punt for a touchdown. When Nebraska came to town in 2000 Joey Getherall took a punt back for six and Julius Jones did the same on a kickoff.

Facing its toughest opponent, on the road, with an offense that has been inconsistent, Notre Dame is going to need a play like that in order to come out with the win.  It doesn’t need to be a kick return or a pick six though.  Notre Dame has some youngsters on its roster that have seen the field but not been a factor yet that could provide that x-factor tomorrow.

I am talking about Chris Brown and Davonte Neal.  Brown got behind both the Purdue and Michigan State defenses in weeks 2 and 3 but Golson missed him both times.  We haven’t seen him since, but if there was ever a time for Notre Dame to revisit getting Brown on the field to take a shot, it would be this weekend.  Same goes for Neal.  We’ve seen him show just a few glimpses on punt returns, but outside of the first few weeks we haven’t seen him on offense.  If Kelly and Chuck Martin have a trick play or two designed for Neal, now would be the time to unveil it.

Special Teams Perfection

Notre Dame’s special teams have been spotty to say the least this year.  Both the kick and punt return units have been nonfactors and punting has been inconsistent all season long.  Place kicking had been the most stable unit of the special teams prior to last week, but then Kyle Brindza missed field goals from 28 and 40 yards to finish just 1 for 3 on the game.   Two weeks ago Notre Dame left points on the board at the end of the first half too when a botch snap on a field goal at the end of the first half resulted in no points for the Irish and set up Stanford for a field goal of their own – a six point swing right before the half.

If Notre Dame is to improve to 8-0 on the season, they can’t leave points on the field this week as they have in recent weeks.  Brindza needs to be spot on on field goals, Turk needs to help Notre Dame win the field position game and let the Irish defense do its thing, and there isn’t a better time for George Atkinson III or Davonte Neal to rip off a big return.

People keep talking about the OU offense vs. the ND defense and even the OU defense vs. the ND offense, but special teams could very well be the difference this week.


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  1. Your comments as always prove how truly mature you are JC. Congratulations you can act like a schoolyard bully, a true necessary commodities in today’s society.
    And yes I do remember you making that comment, seems like desperate pitch at conformity so that you can say I told you so, never admitting you where wrong also mature.
    To answer your rebuttal, The Irish had a lot of bad habits that needed to be broken from years of obscurity. And to break bad habits you can not be a players coach. He was purposeful in his tactics. He was a players coach at Cincinnati, it’s not like that is a new concept to him.
    And the name is and will ever be reminder to you and everyone about your maturity level, names are just that, names. And they do nothing but show the maturity level of the two parties.

    1. Ah, now your diagnostician offering a differential diagnosis of excuse for intentional failure.

      Amazing, your a bottomless treasure chest of bloviating disillusionment.

      Here come the Irish!

  2. Frank should be sainted. He predicted the keys to victory even counting in the fact of the missed field goal. No turnovers, one penalty, brown with big catch, Golson running to keep drives alive and we scored early, stayed in the game and held on when critical. ND is for real. I predicted an ND appearance in a BCS game in year 3 for Kelly but after the last two seasons I wondered if it was ever possible let alone year 3. I don’t want to jinx them since we have lost to Tulsa, Syracuse and the likes of them during the past two seasons, but ND looks like a team on a mission.

    BTW Bennett Jackson is a stud cornerback. He is so much better than anything we have had for several years. Russell is developing nicely and I think we can shut down our next three foes and get them ready for an under-achieving USC team.


  3. Aren’t the worst fights always between brothers?! Aren’t the worse wars civil wars?!

    In spite of our different backgrounds, histories, opinions, etc., recall that we’re all brothers from the same Mother, Our Blessed Lady!

    Let’s glorify her name and that of the fruit of her womb, Jesus!

    Hail, Mary!

    Pray for us sinners!

    Fight on, ND!!!

  4. It really does hurt to be wrong doesn’t it. It tell you why you can’t see it. People that are not leaders don’t understand what a leader is doing when they make unpopular decisions for the benefit of the whole program. People that are not leaders don’t understand that a leader will call out their top performers to empower ownership. People that are not leaders don’t understand that a leader will not only transform those around him but will also transform oneself to achieve success. People that are not leaders do not understand that leaders don’t just turn others into better players they transform those around them into leaders. It’s often hard to understand but instead of spending night and day on this website maybe do something of value and then you may understand. For things to change first you must change.

    1. So tell us old wise leader how many companies have you owned….superior to all others, of course! Please, don’t tell us what your student loan balance is for such a waste of taxpayers’ money.

      Go ahead, overwhelm us with your superior resume.

      Further, tell us which jet is your’s at South Bend’s Airport runway on game day! That’s slot# what?

      Now the real vainglorious drivel is uncovered here. Hahahaha!

      Blood pressure up a couple of ticks, tiger? Yeah, we are all suffering from a severe case of leadership acatalepsia in your world. Hahahahaha! Bush League!

      You sure your not a Baptist Preacher?

      Here come the Irish!

      1. Honestly, JC beside the schoolyard banter. You seem like a good guy, you do have good analysis, you do have good football knowledge. I know our opinions differ in our opinion of who should be head coach. I really just want to she’d to light that there is a proper way to act in society, there will always be differing opinions, but its how we react to those opinions that separate us from animals. We have a choice and can either be proactive to our surrounding or be reactive. That’s what separates all people, and makes us either successful or not.
        Regardless of who I am or what I have done, I am secure in knowing that I will die with a clear conscience when it is all over.
        So I will be the first to say that I am sorry that my opinion offends you.

      2. Your opinion does not offend me your entitled to it. You knew who you were calling out.

        For your information, there is more to coaching than just being a good coach. You seem to have a severe problem with that. Without question, you are vindictive by nature as demostrated in your initial diatribe.

        Your looking in the wrong place if you think your going to tread on morality issues with HC’s on this site.

        Hmmm…..”that separate us from animals,” But your sorry? Hahahahahaha!

        Here come the Irish!

  5. Still hung over from the win last night! These guys walked into Norman and left proud!! BK has built one hell of defense… Held them to .6 yards per rushing attempt!!! WOW! Keep building that D Kelly!

  6. I think Oklahoma’s gameplan centered around big plays (plays over 20 yards). When the final whistle blew, OU had only 2 plays that gain more than 20 yards (one of those plays was in garbage time). Notre Dame’s gameplan centered around moving the chains. They were very effective doing so, especially in the 2nd half. I think it was great that ND ended up with more plays over 20 yards than OU (Wood’s TD run, Golson scramble out of the shadow of their own goalpost, and Chris Brown’s big reception).

    1. Good point spicey,

      OU was way over confident they could shred our secondary at will. Did not happen.

      Here come the Irish!

  7. B-Dumb,

    How long do you plan on whining your vindictive vile as the expert MR.POSITIVE. Ah of course, another sanctimonious Mr. “I told you so” dime a dozen preachers! Hey if you don’t like the conversation here pack up and leave TOWN CRYER.

    We all know your deeply in love with BK Cinderfella so get over yourself! Oh, I forgot, your part of the Rain Dancers Association. Choose Wisely, B-Dumb! We have not run the table yet! Check back at the end of the season for more fun.

    One Proud Naysayer especially when your around! How’s that for laying claim? Do you need a bibb? Hahahahaha!

    Here come the Irish!

    1. It hurts to be wrong doesn’t it. Check the back log. I never claimed they would go undefeated this year, I actually said that this would be a rebuilding year with Golson at the helm. I just said that Kelly was the right leader and he knew what he was doing. I bet you wish we had Stoops know. I for one am not delusional to think that we can be perfect in all aspects and run the table every year. And whine and cry when we are 8-0 but we don’t have the bet special teams in the country. So if being optimistic and right in the assessment of The program is dumb then I will take dumb any day. Thank you for the compliment. We can’t all be geniuses like you, go Stoops fire Kelly talk. Ouch!

      1. B-dumb, or Bleed Vendetta!

        Sorry your such an angry-eagle! Yes, ignore the fact that even BK admitted at the begining of the season, he was indeed on the wrong path to success as a leader.

        BK decided to change from a CEO coach to now a player’s coach! And I accepted his new transformation. Seems to be working well, imagine that!

        Check the record I gave him credit for getting on the correct path of being a Player’s coach!

        Sorry you don’t like the TRUTH vs agreeing with you 100%. Yeah, we are only entitled to your constipated bravado opinion. Ouch! Hahahahaha!

        If you like being a shameless lying liar about the 1st two years of skeletons in the closet for BK be my quest.

        I on the other hand, like the new team chemistry without the player name calling in the media! Stay blind and dumb!

        Here come the Irish!

  8. This win should put BK on the warm and fuzzy seat. This puts to rest the naysayers questioning if Kelly can coach at a big time level. Like every place he has been, the third year is the charm.

    Most of us knew it was coming. Some couldn’t see the endzone for the defensive trees. Wonder what guys like Tee Shepherd are thinking now?
    Big games for the Irish and more to come.

    1. Agreed! Tee although I believe wasn’t due to choice, academics. But I wonder if Lynch doesn’t feel like a bonehead. All for a girl. Pass up a title run on arguable the best defense in the nation. Not very smart.

  9. I bet all the naysayers are still wishing that we had hired the elite talent of Bob Stoops because he is by far a more talented coach. Anyone want to come out a lay claim to all that talk last year about how Kelly does not know what he is doing? Ohh Meyer, Stoops, blah blah. Like I said last year, he knows exactly what he is doing and is just playing the hand he was dealt. Any takers?

  10. DOMINATING. SMART. EMOTIONAL. That’s how they played. Golson showed who he is and will be. Amazing win Irish. I am almost (almost) speechless about this team. Teo continues to be a miracle.

    This should end any doubt within the peanut gallery. With class and style.

    GO IRISH!!!!

  11. ESPN ticker – NDs Dream season continues From irrelevant to under appreciated. A little fair and balanced from the network that brought us Lebron’s The Decision would be nice.

  12. Its hard to find anything to complain about after this performance but wtf i will anyways. Can somebody explain to me why Cierre Wood is getting limited touches this year?

    1. It seems pretty clear BK does not favor pot-heads. Pot-Heads always come-in second place, except their ego. Especially ones who let their team down by pissing on a Hiesman opportunity.

      Riddick is doing a fine job as the starting running back!

      Here come the Irish!

  13. Props to Tommy Rees coming off the bench cold and hitting Eifert for a first down to end the third quarter. Kept the drive going leading to a field goal. Huge play! Gotta give a lot of credit to TR he’s stepped up big time this year when called upon. EG is definately the right choice at QB but what a luxury to have a backup QB in TR.

  14. Well, unfortunately, I had to work a charity haunted house tonight and missed the whole game. However, dressed in black for my “fright” role, underneath I wore a green Irish jersey. One I’ve worn each game this year. 8 greens-8 wins. I’ve only seen highlights but the boys in Blue & Gold looked good. Hey Mark May, where’s that beatdown you so excitedly predicted. ND though has to remember, 1 game a week. Next one up, Pitt. They are in waters they haven’t sailed in a long time. A new storm is gathering for the blue n gold ND tsunami which will wash away a herd of panthers.

    Go Irishhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

  15. Duffy,

    I apologize for the comment on your mom and as someone who has recently lost his mother, my sincerest condolensces to you.

    I’m very sceptical about the Stillers this season. If you think I’m tough on my beloved Irish, and I concede I am because I want to see greatness from them, I’m equally tough on the Stillers. I think the Stillers are getting old, slow and hurt on D and also have redzone problems on O. I think they can beat RGIII and the Skins but nothing would surprise me about a team that has lost to the Titans and the Raiders!

    Hopefully we can burry the hatchet and talk seriously about the Irish. Tell me what you liked and didn’t like about tonight.

    Sorry again for my rudeness but I tend to get defensive when called out. Mea Cupla!

  16. I said I believed ND could win weeks ago. Look it up! However, they needed to play an almost perfect game. Did Duffy or anyone else predict ND would not commit TOs or penalties? If so, point out those posts for me. For a fact I know Duffy didn’t predict ND would go a whole game with only one penalty or without a TO. In fact, I don’t even know if I’ve ever heard anything from this person at all! It’s easy to sound like a genius after the fact.

  17. Now that I’m done degrading myself with the likes of pussy Duffy, let me make a few serious points.

    We need much better redzone production. 106th out of 119 teams is not good enough. This has been a problem for going on 3 seasons. Given our great D, if we score TDs more often than not, ND can cruise and play its backups. That’s key to getting them ingame experience.

    How big was Brindza tonight?! 3-4 with to long, clutch FGs. Plus his kickoffs were great and deep. Neutralized OU’s supposed STs edge.

    Like I said, I liked BK’s aggressive playcalling. If nothing lesle it shows that he has a lot of confidence in EG. That can only help EG’s confidence as time goes on

  18. Duffy,

    I can play the stupid name calling game all night with a moron like you!

    But since I get the sense that you’re some sad loser typing your stuff out from you’re mom’s basement while watching your child porn bewteen plays, who gets off on displaying his ignorance, I’ll leave you to molesting little children virtually!

    Have a great life, loser, assuming you can stay out of prison for child molestation.

      1. JDH,

        I guess I get upset whem my valid criticisms of ND football are mistaken for unfair complaining.

        Having said that I was very unkind to Duffy. I sincerely apologize to him and all of you for my rudeness. I truly hope Duffy becomes a regular and keeps us all honest in our analyses.

  19. BTW:
    Huffy Puffy note that I didn’t have a problem with BK being aggressive and passing deep in our end or on 3rd down late in the 4th instead of running and making OU burn their last TO. Note that I didn’t make a negative comment after those plays. Unlike you, I don’t play the result. While I may disagree with my friend fxm, who didn’t like those calls, I give him credit for having the cojones to make his opinion known in-game, instead of hiding inside his Huffy Duffy vagina and only speaking out after the game has been decided!

    So I’m still waiting Huffy Puffy p – – – y for you tell me what I said in game that was unreasonalble.

    1. You can’t tell me what to do, internet tough guy, hidding behind your sissy screen name.

      I’m waiting for you to make a serious point.

      Of course , you can’t and won’t and settle for sad name calling. Go ahead and prove to the rest of us what a sad loser without insight you are.

      If you don’t like what I say, speak up in game loser!

  20. I was busy WATCHING the game you weak puss ball rarely does a team play a perfect game especial with a freshman QB it just seems you always concentrate on what’s wrong this is a really good football team, that by the way beat OK by more than K State did. If you get too exceed during the game and your pussy starts to leak just keep it to yourself

  21. What did I tell you boys? What did I tell you??? BK has the boys dialed in….! Never bet against the Irish!!! Love it – all th media finally eating crow! They are already betting against the Irish for next week! They must have to protect their invincable superior knowledge which they possess not! Go IRISH – “What thou the odds be great or small… ole Notre Dame will win overall all!” Onward to Victory! Thank you Our Lady of Victory!

    1. Chris,

      What the heck is wrong with you?? You been bitching for five years! However, I like the new Chris transformation, hahahaha! Just make sure your future predictions are spot on too! Keep talking to your crystal ball buddy! I like this guy already!

      One more point, this is definately a turning point for EG. EG has ARRIVED!
      Serious offense coming our way now!

      Here come the Irish!

  22. Hey steel fan get off the bandwagon you whined about the o the whole game go on a steeler website. I don’t think you have any clue how good BK is

    1. Hey,

      Duffy, speak up during games and stop hiding like a coward after the games are decided to speak out!

      Go find some other team to root for if you’r so blind or stupid as to not see that everything I said during the game was true.

      I challenge you, Huffy Puffy, to point out just one thing I said in game that wasn’t true. Go ahead, apologist for mediocrity.

      I pointed out ND’s poor redzone play. Shortly thereafter ABC puts up a graphic that says ND in the redzone was prior to the last two drives was 106th in the nation.

      I pointed out ND burning TOs uselessly. Just as I type that out Herbstreit points out the same thing. Plus do you dare argue that ND doesn’t have time management issues? If so, you haven’t been seriously watching ND football, Hillary Duffy. Last time I checked TOs are precious. But perhaps a real football fan knows that!

      So go ahead, you Sat. night QB who is to much of a coward to spout your BS in game, waiting to make your sad points and personal attacks after the fact, go ahead and show me anything I said in-game that’s unreasonable or off-base?

      As for the Steelers, 6 Super Bowls Puff Duffy! But I guess you must be the fan of some loser NFL team.

    2. Rob is definitely a half glass is full kinda guy. He won’t stop complaining until ND brings home the crystal football.

      1. I don’t complain. I analyze. If you think this team is flawless and above valid criticism, that’s your opinion. I think it’s wrong but that’s OK since we’re all entitled to our opinions.

        Do you think being 106th out 0f 119 FBS teams in redzone efficiency is OK? I don’t!

        Do you think being almost dead last in punt return yardage is OK? I don’t!

        Do youthink burning TOs because we have a Chinese firedrill going on on O is OK? I don’t! TOs are like gold at the end of halves or games, you true football fans know that.

        Please read my comments carefully and point out one invalid or unfair criticism I’ve made about BK or his team.

        I won’t stop demandindg excellence from ND. The loyal sons of ND won’t. The haters will settle for perpetual mediocrity and hide behind sanctimonious BS.

        Like I’ve said, with excuse makers and settlers for less passing themselves off as ND fans who needs the ND haters!

        And, yes, I want a crystal football! Perhaps some here will be happy with perpetually getting runner-up trophies from second-tier bowl games like we got last year.

        GO IRISH!

  23. Love that we went back to Chris Brown after the first incompletion he was open on the first drive and BK remembered come the 4th Q, heck of a time to reel in ur first catch of the season. Cant say enough good things about every one, I think I even saw K. Russell make a tackle today and hes allergic to hitting.

  24. What about it guys! Meet your new ELITE SENIOR QB, so much for the game management BS BS’rs. EG and the Defense won the DAMN Game!!! Aggressive play calling by BK was fantastic! Jack it’s OK now we won!!! Damn, a 50 yard completion by EG! Well, one game at a time here we come! Any ESPN believers now? Hahahahaha! Good call Chris on the Defense!!!

    Here come the Irish!

  25. GREAT GREAT GAME!!!! The one that needed won!! On the road – nobody gave em a chance – the media tried to cover for their bad predictions and the Irish prevailed! Thats why they play the game Boys!!!!!! GO IRISH!!!!!!!

  26. Add one failed FG plus just one redzone trip turned into a TD instead of 3 and ND would be up by 2 TDs. Hidden points, people.

  27. Almost 3 full seasons and we still blow more TOs uselessly than any team in the FBS!

    I guess our high-powered O is so difficult even BK can’t figure it out!

  28. At least our redzone efficiency stats won’t go further down!

    I guess we need 60 yard runs to scored TDs. That’s what call a brilliant, no-fail O philosophy.

    1. I hope BK now decides that the D is built so he can turn his attention to the offense next year. Especially since Diaco is going to be the hottest commodity in the land.

  29. You gotta love when Rees comes in everybody in the world knows he is going to toss it to Eifert and they can’t stop it.

  30. fxm,

    Any kind of O and this team would be a serious NC contender.

    Right now, this D is championship caliber. This O is FCS level.

    Bottom line is ND needs a TD in the 3rd quarter. Do that and we’ll have a chance going into the 4th.

    Go Irish!

  31. No punt return game under BK ever. So why take the penalty and rekick? Take the 5 yard penalty added to the end of the run.

    Bad decision BK, just cost us almost 10 yards of field position!

    1. I felt the same, but if we can get through this one it might be helpful is SC has nothing to play for and we hopefully remain pissed about the quitter comments from last year. Being spoiler isn’t going to float their boat, they thought they had something special and will have 3 losses when we play.

  32. Our Lady, may the frustration of past years be behind us and may we seek only to add to the Tradition of Your university. Our Lady of Victory, pray for us! GO IRISH!

  33. Disappointed that Atkinson isn’t playing today. Was really hoping the offense would continue to evolve and we would see some reverse handoffs to him.

  34. Well boys, this is where the rubber meets the road. This game can go either way and my hope is that we win. If ND loses my hope is they play well despite the loss. Gonna be a tough row to hoe.

    I for one would love to see Cam get some touches. The kid is a tough as nails and has a heart as big the dome.

  35. ESPN reporting GA III will not make the trip due to the flu. Will Cam McDaniel get some touches? Not having GA III kind of scares me but his is the 3rd string RB.

  36. I don’t want to be negative, I like BK a lot. However, what do you guys think of this quote:

    “So I think it’s a modification of understanding at Notre Dame, the job is if you want to win a national championship, you start with defense and then let your offense revolve around the personnel that you have on hand and, moving forward, that you recruit.”

    I think we have a good chance to win, I just wish we were going in there with an offense that you can count on to score more that 21 points a game. We are 1 – 9 under BK when the opponent score more than 21 points! That win was when we let Air Force score a couple of late TDs on the back-ups.

    If seems to me that if offense is your forte after three years you would have one. I just feel like we ask so much of this D, eventually they can get worn down.

    1. It is interesting that the offense has underachieved so far this year. Kelly comes in as an offensive genius but so far hasnt been able to recruit any difference makers on the offensive side of the ball. 10 of the 11 starters on offense are Weis’ recruits and when TR starts at QB its 11 of 11. I believe 7 or 8 of the defensive starters are weis’ recruits as well. We will lose some talented skill position players on offense next year such as wood, riddick, eifert, toma, and several from the O-line. This offense could be worse next year. Fortunately the future of the defense looks bright.

      1. Weis recruited a whole lot of talent, but this is the first year you’re seeing 4 and 5 star players being DEVELOPED at the college level. You can recruit all the talent you want, but if you can’t improve their skills beyond the high school level, you’ll never compete the way this ND team is. I’ll take a developed 3 star over an undeveloped 4 or 5 star player any day. That’s the difference between a successful college coach like BK and a …. not-so-successful (being nice) coach like Charlie Weis.

      2. Ah. And to say that Kelly hasn’t recruited difference makers on the offensive side of the ball is just completely false. See True Sophomore QB starting over 2 upperclassmen with real game experience. There are a few very exciting young WRs on the team also. But let’s focus on Oklahoma and not worry about next season.

  37. TO WIN N.D. NEEDS:
    1. Interceptions

    2. Rees & Golson to be sparkling clean in all facets of leadership throughout the full 4 quarters.

    3. Ability to correctly anticipate OU’S strategy’s & counter it.

    4. Production from Special Teams.

    5. Head Coach Brian Kelly to control his insane temper.

    1. your right about Kelly…the Notre Dame faithful are excited and have decided to forget that it wasn’t too long ago Kelly’s record for his first 2 seasons kinda sucked. Not to mention his bone-headed calls (stubborness), and propensity to “brow-beat” someone on the team after every play ! If we do get behind early and Oklahoma starts layin it to us , it will be Coach Kelly i will be keeping an eye on and “grading” after this game !!!
      P.S. Frank was disapointed to see you be a “follower” instead of a “leader” . To say the “Punting” has been inconsistent all year means A. you havn’t done your homework .
      B. Your simply a numbers guy and not really “football-savy”.
      or C. your just a “punk-hater” like alot of other “part-time” HACKS !!!

      1. You obviously don’t follow this guy. Frank is right-on about ND regularly, and he’s neither a “punk” nor a ND hater.

  38. OU is good but the Achilles tendon will be that undersized defensive line. Pounding the hell out of them repeatedly will take its toll and keep the OU offense off the field. Keeping Landry retreating will also be helpful. I believe he may be in for a carpet bombing from Teo and Co. The mind breaks and the will of the body is close behind.

    Shembo has the attitude! All this hype about the OU this and that is pundit jabber. Psyops crap if you are aware of its purpose and intent. Who the hell are they? Attila the Hun and Hun Gang? Just remeber Shembo’s words of simple wisdom “we’ll meet.”

    Go Irish! Hooah!

    1. Good point on OU d-line. They are not just undersized but also not much depth either. Irish need withstand the initial storm. OU will come out guns blazing. They will want the crowd in it early. If they can do that I think we win this game. In a close game I think the toughness these guys have shown all year once again carries them to a win.

      Or maybe we remove all doubt and smash these SOB’s so the walkons get a chance to take the field in Norman!

      GO IRISH

  39. Great Test in a tough place ND football anybody, anywhere, anytime, play hard boys and hopefully the boys can shock the world again. Haqve enjoyed this season so far the the boys have battled. Whatever happens ND has a TOUGHNESS that should be appreciated.

  40. Great article & truth about the Standford game. We just need to play within ourselves & limit the big play. Been too long since I’ve actually looked forward to watching the Irish play a top 10 team!

  41. Kudos Frank,

    On EG, I believe EG will have the kind of game we are looking for. BK said EG is definately excited to play against OU. I’ll bet EG arrives and plays like a senior in this game contrary to others. EG is a bright guy and will get it done.

    OU’s QB will spend all day being rushed on his throws or collecting grass with his helmet due to his blazing speed.

    Here come the Irish!

  42. Prince Shembo talking about Bell….”he’s 6-6 260, well I squat 600 so we’ll put our pads on and meet him in the hole” haha awesome! Hopefully the entire D comes out with that attitude. If so lookout


    1. Wow that is awesome!!!!!!! Great attitude! We are #5 and playing #8 with 1 loss and we are double digit underdogs. I think that has pissed them off and I hope we go out there and prove these haters wrong!!

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