Initial Analysis: Notre Dame 29, Pitt 26

davaris daniels pitt
Notre Dame Fighting Irish wide receiver DaVaris Daniels (10) makes a catch against Pittsburgh Panthers defensive back Lafayette Pitts (23) during the first half at Notre Dame Stadium. (Photo: Mike DiNovo-US PRESSWIRE)

Wow.  Never expected to be writing about a Notre Dame victory this morning when the Irish entered yesterday’s fourth quarter down 14 points, but I never expected the game to be close after seeing what Notre Dame did to Oklahoma last week.  Just goes to show you how unpredictable college football can be.

I think I speak for most Notre Dame fans in saying that it feels great to be sitting at 9-0 for the first time in 19 years, but at the same time, it would be even nicer to see the Irish come out and dominate a weak opponent at home for a change.  For whatever reason, this team just plays better on the road and at this point in the season, that likely won’t change.  Good thing USC and a bowl game will be away from Notre Dame Stadium.

Let’s jump right into this week’s initial analysis though.


  • If there was any question as to who is the better quarterback on the Notre Dame roster – I know for me there wasn’t but for some there may have been – it was answered yesterday.  Yes, Everett Golson is going to make some mistakes and miss some reads.  He is a sophomore after all.  But, he is also the much better quarterback right now and his fourth quarter was a big step in the right direction in terms of his development.
  • Speaking of that fourth quarter, when Notre Dame had to abandon the run and let Golson air it out he responded.  Golson is also getting much more comfortable throwing the ball and that 4th quarter was a prime example of it. Yes, the interception in the end zone was really bad – especially since Tyler Eifert was wide open – but overall that was the best we’ve see Golson look as a passer.
  • Golson is also running the ball very well and protecting it better.  He still has some moments were he is a little cavalier with the ball – I think I had a heart attack when he reached the ball out on the two point conversion because I thought he had fumbled – but overall he has improved in this area from his three fumble performance against Stanford.
  • All that said, if there is one area that still needs a lot of work in Golson’s game, it’s red-zone offense.  Golson looked good at times in the red-zone, but it seems like he doesn’t see the field as well near the goal line as he is elsewhere on the field.  He is getting better in this department too, but still has a ways to go.
  • Big, big step forward for Davaris Daniels yesterday.  The sophomore is developing a good chemistry with Golson and I think we will see a lot more big plays between the two on busted plays like we did yesterday in the future.  Daniels ended up with a career high 86 yards on 7 catches yesterday.
  • Loved the bubble screen to TJ Jones.  That play was effective early on this season and then went away for the most part until yesterday.
  • Cierre Wood’s fumble in overtime could have been a crippling play and there wasn’t really anything in particular Pitt did to cause it.  Wood has to do a better job securing the football in that situation.  Expect to continue to see Riddick get the most carries after that play.
  • It was good seeing Golson find Eifert early and often, but would have liked to see him continue to go to #80 throughout the day.
  • Didn’t like the play calling inside the one on Notre Dame’s 2nd drive of the game.  Why not run the QB sneak there?  Golson has shown the ability to get into the endzone on sneaks.


  • Tackling was uncharacteristically poor from Notre Dame yesterday.  Tackling has been very, very sound with this team since the sloppy performance in the Purdue game, but it was far from sound yesterday.
  • Matthias Farley’s injured hand definitely seemed to effect him yesterday.  He’s been great all season long since stepping in for te injured Jamoris Slaughter, but he wasn’t quite the same player yesterday.  Hopefully he just needed a game to get used to playing with the cast.
  • Stephon Tuit picked up another 1.5 sacks yesterday giving him 10 for the season – just 3.5 behind Justin Tuck’s school record with three games remaining.
  • Huge game from Kapron Lewis-Moore yesterday as well with 15 sacks of his own.  The elder statesmen of the defense has really come on strong down the stretch here.
  • Liked what I saw out of Prince Shembo in coverage yesterday.  He has been a great pass rushing threat for Notre Dame since arriving on campus, but yesterday he looked good in coverage as well – especially in the endzone.
  • The third quarter was not a high point for the Irish defense with Pitt scoring 10 points, but they played lights out defense in the 4th quarter and in overtime.
  • Fairly quite day from Manti Te’o at least by his standards.  He had 7 tackles including one for a loss, but in general he wasn’t his normal dominating self yesterday.  It was bound to happen at some point though given the extremely high level of play we’ve seen from him the last few months.  Something tells me he might have a big play or two in him next week in Chestnut Hill too.
  • Kei’Varae Russell’s speed was on display yesterday when he chased down Ray Graham from behind to save a touchdown.
  • Still can’t believe this defense bottled up Denard Robinson and Landry Jones but somehow Tino Sunseri and Pitt were the first offense to score 20 points on the Irish this year.  Pitt actually scored more points (26) on Notre Dame than Michigan, Michigan State, Oklahoma, and Miami … combined (25).

Special Teams

  • Kyle Brindza’s missed 43 yard field goal was not nearly as disappointing as his missed extra point.  Luckily Golson was able to convert the next two point conversion to make it back up, but that could have been the play that cost Notre Dame it’s perfect season had that two point attempt failed.
  • Still nothing to report on the punt return game… unfortunately.

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  1. Are u guys serious about Mayock? He’s fantastic, best color man I’ve heard in a while, and light years from Hayden. He reminds me of Steve Stone, another great color guy, used to predict the pitches, just like Mayock does. You’re nuts, he’s great.

    1. What???? Seriously, we have a chance at a national championship??? I’m sure the coaches and players have no idea or clue that possibility exists. Since they don’t allow television, computers or newspapers within 100 miles of campus I’m sure they have no idea.

      Please write to Coach Kelly and alert them to this wonderful news. While you are at it, please notify them that water is wet.

  2. JDH and Shaz-We just got back and watched the game; albeit nearly two days later. If people do not believe in the luck of the Irish they do/will now. We couldn’t believe it was the same team until the end of the fourth qtr. Lots of shouting and yelling! We were tempted to fly ahead to the end, it was that frustrating. That is not to denegrate Pitt (great game plan and strategy). They played with fire too.

    As for TR. I guess we now can rewrite the axiom ‘only as good as your last game’ to ‘only as good as your last play. I give him ultra credit for his loyalty and devotion to the team concept. Units need the TR’s of this world. That is surely the sign of an unselfish team man. I’ll take him any time. EG is the trigger man but needs a cooler head at times and Coach Kelly wisely sees this fact. He will grow and morph into just that-cooler head.

    On to BC and some hot showers and chow now! Take care and keep the surge of faith and energy. Stay safe.

    Go Irish and a concerted HOOAH!

    1. Sad Warrior,

      I take serious notice of your comments.

      “Hot showers and chow”
      “Keep the faith & stay safe”

      Some of the simplest of things in life that most people take for granted.

      Makes me take a moment to reflect and be thankful to those who serve.

      Many thanks to you all!

      1. Shaz-a concerted thank you from all of us. There is not one here among us that would choose to be in any other place due to the perilous circumstances and dire consequences should we fail. This is our role, our duty. Sure, we’d all give a years leave to attend one game live (I have been asked to tell you that the chosen game would be the NC game) and loudly root on the Celtic Lions! Someday.

        Take care and keep the belief. Stay safe my friend. We are grateful for your kind words and wishes.

        Go Irish! hooah! RLTW-ATW!

  3. too many mistakes, jersey foulup, fg, ep, interceptions, arm tackling, no special teams effort, kelly just cant seem to get it all together

    1. Spot on bj, he’s terrible. Why don’t you start the website. My guess is he will be unemployed for all of 10 seconds.

      He just can’t seem to get it all together. I mean c’mon they are only 17-2 in their last 19 regular season games.

    2. bj-
      Why are you ignoring the glaring positives? Yeah the Pitt game was a hot mess and we got lucky. But we also fought like lions in the 4th and in OT to get the win. Kelly has taken a program that has sucked for 15+ years to being undefeated and going to a BCS game, and with some incredible luck to a title game.

      Does that count for anything?

  4. One of the things that I really like about Everett Golson is his passion for the game. The kid (like most gifted freshmen) has a great deal of energy and enthusiasm.

    But that can be a double edge sword with a young freshmen who wears his emotions on his sleeve. Especially at home.

    When Kelly put Tommy Rees in after EG comitted a turn over, he told Golson to “stay ready because he was going to be needed to win this game”.

    That’s not a head coach who is frustrated with his QB’s play. That’s a coach who understands his player. Understands that he needed to give his young signal caller some time to clear his head, calm down, and refocus.

    Hard to argue with the results. When Golson returned he made good decisions and played hard, smart, mistake free football in a real pressure situation.

    There will come a time when EG will commit a turn over, come off the field, collect himself, and go right back in and do well.

    It’s games like these, and good coaching management that will help get him there.

    1. I agree Shaz. I was not mad that he had Golson rest and calm down after he was missing reads and progressions. Tommy Rees has been awesome this year and I don’t know why everyone has forgotten that. Not pretty, but he has iced games for us. Granted, he didn’t do that against PITT. I was unhappy that he started the second half though. EG is just too dynamic to leave out for long.

    2. Did I miss a turnover in the 1st half? I thought EG’s only turnover was the INT at the end of the 4th. TR had an INT in the 3rd and then Wood had the fumble in OT.

  5. Max Redfield had decommitted from U$C. Word is after he visited ND he was big on ND. Oregon may be a factor also though so who knows? As long as he isn’t going to U$C I guess it’s good news either way.

    GO IRISH!!!!

  6. I supported BK putting in Rees to run the offense as time was winding down in the 2nd quarter. I thought he was doing it because of his “closer” role. What I didn’t anticipate was Rees starting the first couple of series in the 2nd half. I couldn’t believe it. At times BK baffles me.

    At any rate, I think Notre Dame is going to continue to make us hold our breathe at times this season. Such a shame that Bama pulled out the win against LSU. We are definitely going to need help even if we are fortunate enough to win the next 3. But, as much as I love this team, I can’t say that they are the most deserving for a shot at a title after watching them play against BYU and Pitt. Would love to see it happen, but it is what it is…. we aren’t winning convincing enough and other teams are.

    I think the biggest issue in college football is the entire ranking system. We have been saying it for years….but if we waited a few weeks to rank the teams, it would go a long way to get a more decisive top 5 / top 10.

    Anyway…. a win is a win…. Go Irish!

    1. As much as I want to see ND get a shot at the title, I agree. If Oregon and Bama go undefeated, there is no way ND gets to the NC game. And they shouldn’t. I don’t think the BYU game matters- we played without our starting QB. But going into 3 OTs vs. PITT and getting very lucky really hurt our argument. Oregon has a decent chance to lose one against Stanford or Oregon State (granted they’d have to have a crappy game like we did against PITT). Alabama only has Texas A&M left. There’s a chance they could drop that game after a very hard-fought and emotional win at LSU. Fingers crossed. To have any shot, ND must DESTROY BC and Wake. Then win convincingly by at least 2 TDs at USC. It could all happen.

      1. JDH,

        Got some numbers you might be interested in.

        The current SOS (Strenght of Schedule)

        The key word here is “current” as the SOS is sure to change after next weeks games.

        Current SOS rankings where #1 is most difficult.

        Notre Dame = 23rd.
        Oregon = 25th.
        Kansas St. = 29th
        Alabama = 33rd.
        (courtesy of NBC sports)

        Seems a little backwards when compared to the BCS rankings doesn’t it?

      2. I understand that and I have no doubt ND’s schedule is more difficult. But it’s likely not going to be enough to get them into the title game- that’s all I’m saying. We need Bama or Oregon to lose.

  7. ND Southy,

    What’s more that had already happened to us earlier in the season against Purdue on a punt. ND was flagged then but Purdue declined the penalty.

    Just one more problem with BK’s STs. Like I’ve said if BK can’t see he needs professional help with his STs he’s an ass!

    So long as BK doesn’t turn to the Stillers’ Mike Tomlin. for advice What a jackass! Fake FG and you run your kicker on 4th and less than 1 when your running game was grounding the Giants?! Only Les Miles is a bigger idiot when it comes to fakes!

  8. How about this for good luck. Wen Pitt missed the FG in OT we had 2 guys on the field wearing number 2. Should have been first down Pitt. Wow, what a oolossal blunder that would have been if the refs saw it.

  9. How quickly fans have forgotten Rees’ comeback vs purdue, Michigan Stanford & some other key throw. His weakness are known but He certainly has business being on the field. And ND might be in the midst of a mediocre season without a quality backup.

    1. Agree to disagree. I think anything Tommy has done this season EG could have done. When he is focused and motivated EG is far and away the better QB. All of his stumbles and miscues I believe can be attributed to coaching and the lack of confidence shown in him by BK. If Kelly keeps pulling him in favor of Rees, Kelly will end up burning himself becuase he keeps playing with fire.

      1. No way of knowing for sure if he would have overcome his issues in the Michigan game but if he continued playing the way he did the 1st quarter and a half, we lose that game. Purdue, he was having trouble all game long getting the calls in on time and I think it was the right call at that time in the season to put in an experienced QB who has run the 2 minute offense countless times and it’s actually one of his strengths. Against OU, we had a crucial 3rd down when TR got the wind knocked out of him and he made a great throw to TE. Stanford, no way of knowing how that would have gone because TR didn’t play a great game but he played well enough to get the win. Overall, I think we likely lose the scUM game and go into OT against Purdue without TR. We had no choice but to go with him against Stanford, BYU, and the 1 play in the OU game. And he did his part. I didn’t agree with him playing the final minutes of the 2nd quarter and half of the 3rd and he didn’t do anything like he had in previous games but overall, saying TR has no business on the field when he helped us win 4 games this season and had a small hand in the OU win is ludicrous.

      2. Rees is a great backup — and has been significant part of this 9-0 season. Not a bad contribution for a former 3 star recruit.

  10. I only have one thing to add to this. Can someone please explain to me why we play so bad at home?? I don’t understand it. Mediocre teams have no business hanging with us at home but it’s been happening all season. Anyway incredible/torturous win. GO IRISH 9-0.

    1. Easy Sal,

      BK continuously yanks EG at home in favor of TR, and that certainly changes team chemistry plus destroys EG’s confidence!

      BK was lucky EG did not let BK’s favoritism win out this time.

      Maybe we need to yank BK and put the next man in Diaco as HC! A little dose of his own BS might do him some good.

      XO, XO, XO BK, you know we love you! Hahahahaha.

      Here come the Irish!

  11. I’ve been saying all year that Rees has no business being on the field. Glad to have some support in that category finally.

  12. I cannot believe the number of people who actually thought this game was going to be a runaway just because Pitt was 4-4 and looked lousy in a few of their games. There is ONLY one game on their schedule that they take seriously and that is with ND. I mean really look at the recent history of this game. It is ALWAYS a battle, and I think now the last couple have gone into overtime (and not in our favor). I fully expected this kind of game, but kept praying there was some way they could pull it out. I admit I actually gave up on them when Wood fumbled and all they had to do was kick the FG. I could not believe it when he missed it, and then I knew we were going to win it after that. I don’t think the game with BC is going to be a runaway route either. BC has this knack of messin with the Irish, especially when they (Irish) are ranked. Granted, at least it is not a home game for ND, that seems to cause them the most problems. It seems totally ridiculous that they struggle at home. They have blown away opponents on the road this year, and I certainly would love to see it happen against BC, but I am just afraid two weeks in a row here. For some reason though, this team seems to have a certain “destiny” as they continually find a way to win. Go Irish, beat BC

  13. Home field disadvantage. I don’t know what it is, but we definitely play better away. I was at the game yesterday and the place was electric so I don’t know why they were so flat. Schedule 10 away games? (LOL).

  14. fxm,

    This is the ready-made excuse the ready-made excuse makers always pull out of the hat when they want to justify ND playing poorly.

    Let’s say it’s true, then ND knows about it and still can’t step up. Bad on ND!

    Excuses will never cease!

  15. Can we cease this nonsense that teams somehow “get up” to play us more than any other major team, it is kind of silly. Unrelated to our situation, If it weren’t for a couple of miscues Oregon would have put over 80 on USC. Speed kills, let GA III play against them.

  16. On those goal line tries, a qb keeper bootleg would have Golson walking into the end zone. The corners were crashing down. I’m still concerned with Golson picking up open receivers. I’m wondering if his height is preventing him from getting a good view.

  17. kelly has been lucky, too many missed feield goals, extra points, penalties, offensive confusion, the team has made it happen, not the offensive coordinator or kelly, diaCO, WHO disappointd me those first two years did much better, but an awful lot of points to give up to even these western pennsylvania men, god protect us a bit more where is the motivator!!!

  18. I agree wholeheartedly it made no sense ti jer EG for Rees. I don’t think it was Kelly’s worst coaching job this year though. That obviously happened earlier in the week. Despite his interview responses to the contrary, he apparently missed the fact that his team was overlooking an “inferior” opponent. For the first 3 qtrs. Our top flight defense was just phoning it in. Thankfully they woke up in the 4th.

    How great did it feel to be the team with the unstoppable QB in the 4th and ot? So use to seeing shoelace pull that stuff on us.

    As long as bama and oregon (and probablt kstate) go undefeated I think we would get left out of NC. But I agree with the above post that if we win out we will be sitting pretty for next year. Probably be a preaseason top 2. And in this screwed up system where u start is almost as important as where u finish.

    Go Irish

  19. One of these days the Irish are going to loose a game because of something that should be almost automatic, an extra point or a short field goal. Why can’t the Irish ever recruit a decent kicker. Haven’t seen one at South Bend in over a decade. Had Brindza made the extra point that he missed and then missed the one on the tying touchdown the Irish would have found themselves in a very tough situation.

    1. Didn’t we have a Groza Award finalist on the roster the last 2 years? I guess if you are talking about recruiting one, then you are right. Our last great kicker was Nick Setta, at least the last one I remember. But, and for the life of me I can’t remember his name, our kicker of the last 3 seasons was darn good. He wasn’t as good last year as he was in 2010 but he was really good.

    1. WOW, Spicy-Spoiler Haha,

      If BC is in a frenzy for Diaco as their next head coach, coupled with many CW grads gone next year, is 2013 the year? Oh-my!

      Questionable, definately don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today! Again, the 1988 team arrived EARLY!

      What about it Scav, this year or next? I say this year, what you say? Hahahaha,

      ARRIVE OR NOT TO ARRIVE that is the question!!! Come-on do you believe? Chicken. hahaha!

      Here come the Irish!

      1. Correct,
        Which is why I wrote “EST”. Although granted I shouldn’t have negated the “7pm” as it’s Central.

  20. Notre Dame fell out of their comfort zone yesterday. There was a lot of stress as ND gave up big runs, committed turnovers and fell down by 14 points. The players stepped up and made timely plays. There are many unsung heroes on this team: Roby Toma, Bennett Jackson, Zeke Motta, Dan Fox, Kapron Lewis-Moore and many more. This edition of Notre Dame football has so many great players that play as a unified team.

    For next week, Notre Dame will refocus on stopping the run, not giving up big plays and forcing turnovers. For the offense, ND will have to dominate the line of scrimmage and let those talented receivers make plays.

  21. Well, this was a game that ND was able to conjure some luck in attaining a win. I’d send the Pitt Placekicker a box of cigars for that lovely miss in OT when I thought this game was going to be done (while having to listen to it on satellite radio in my car on a Pitt sportcast feed-that was interesting listening to especially the outcome and the Pitt announcers-hahaha). Pitt has played hard in South Bend and they showed that yesterday, they certainly seemed to want the game more than the boys in Blue & Gold did. Home games seem real hard for this team. I’M GLAD USC WILL BE ON THE ROAD. The D looked flat and I think that’s realistically going to happen at some point during a season. The OL still is too inconsistent in the manner they are to manage their role in the game. Bringing in the fair haired wonder boy (AKA TR) was a poor call and that INT leading to a Pitt TD confirmed that. Special teams are special alright, they are specially rotten, there is no other word to describe them. After last year, I thought more emphasis would be put on that part of the team. It doesn’t look like it, especially after yesterday. EG continiues to develop. He is playing like a first year starter, doing some great things, doing some OK things, and doing some dumb things. He needs to stay in versus being pulled by BK for TR. It’s time to stick with him no matter how the cards fall (unless he is injured) and his 4th quarter play I think shows what we will see from this gentleman in the years to come.A win is a win, 9-0 since 1993 is good from a record point of a view. However, like I said, that Pitt missed FG in OT was a godsend. It was nothing ND did to make it happen. I still think CW should be getting more touches as GA-3 too. Theo is getting way too many touches and actually using the stable of backs I think would be better than just Theo for the most part. We have to work on overall playing consistency and our home game play just freakin amazes me as to how poor we play in Knute’s house. I watched Ala-LSU and Ore-USC games. Ala and Ore are the 2 best teams right now. However, Ore is not near Ala on the D side. Good D’s can take out good O’s. I think BK is trying to follow that formula in the grand scheme at ND football development. I think ND is deserving it’s spot in the BCS poll (Ore will probably surpass them with their win)whereever it may end up. We are not a complete team yet to hang in with a Ala or Ore, we’re just not. I hate writing that, but from an objective point of view, we have some improvements to make before we reach that level. That includes consistent talent continually being brought in for recruiting. Overall, an ugly/lucky win, but, I do think this team showed it’s character to not quit. Something within the past years I think would have happened. Next game BC. Again, even though Wake beat them and record wise they’re not impressive, they play their Catholic big cousin tough.

    Snuff the Eagles, go Irishhhhhhhhhhhh

    1. Great analysis, Frank,

      If Mayock continues in the booth, he ought to have to wear the other teams’ colors and bring pom poms while he cheers for whatever team ND plays EVERY week. I can only imagine the dweeb’s cheers and one-sided analysis for his alma mater next week. He is so partisan against ND I have to listen to the radio. He was miserable that ND could come back and win. Not until ND fell behind by “14” did he continually report how much he loved this game.

      Mayock’s a closet ND hater- and I needed to rant about it. How annoying! Get an ND fan in the booth. Our games are stressful enough without that other team’s cheerleader in the booth.

      1. I was saying the same thing about Pay Hayden for years. Hayden=USC. Mayock=BC.


        Can we start a letter writing campaign or something to gives us Aaron Taylor and a nuetral play-by-play man in the NBC booth for ND games?

      2. Jack W.,

        Hammond was doing horse racing.

        He’s another clandestine hater. Against BYU, when ND was losing, he repeatedly said there was less time than there actually was. I guess time couldn’t go past fast enough for him to celebrate an ND loss.

        I was dreading having to hear about a new “Rudy” curse if ND had lost. NBC showed “Rudy” Sat. night after the game.

      3. NBC’s coverage is horrendous and has been for years. They all suck and most have been anti-ND. I don’t think Hammond is anti, just boring and annoying.

  22. Not surprised by the battle in SB. With ND coming back everyone will have them in their crosshairs and will play their best game of the year against the Irish. ND showed the hallmark of what it takes to be on top-coming back and making big plays when it had to. See Alabama vs. LSU.

  23. Amen Frank,

    Someone mentioned a few posts back, one loss would be disappointing! Well, to me, I say 13-0 and NO title would definately be the ultimate disappointment. Not probable? No top 4 team lost this weekend and it’s only going to get tougher. Especially, the 61 point Ducks, not sure even Bama can stop that madness. Yet, no team is invincibile, we found that out this weekend.

    Turnovers are back with a vengence, not good! I’m sure we need to spot 7 points each game early so it makes it even more difficult for EG to get it done.

    EG had a big game regardless of BK’s magical thinking.

    Here comes the Irish!

    1. JC,

      It is quite possible that there will be 4 undefeated teams at the end of the year and it is quite possible that ND could be left out of the NC game.

      However, for them to finish 13-0 would mean that they won a BCS bowl. With a program that has averaged 7 wins over the last 20 years, I would not look at this season as a disappointment at all.

      This team is undefeated, they beat Top 10 teams on the road, and they are a lock for a BCS game. The talk has been that 2013 was the year for ND to compete for the NC. How much better prepared are they because of this year.

      This team has already exceeded everyone’s expectations and there is no reason to be disappointed if this team runs the table, with or without a NC.

      With all that said, a NC would sure be sweet.

      Go Irish

      1. Let’s just get past BC!

        I’ll take 13-0 and finish #2 in the BCS.

        I think we’ll end up with a top 3 recruiting class if we do that and continue to build the D and get more talent on O.

      2. I just don’t want Bama to win another NC and get 2 ahead of us (by whatever NC criteria CBS used last year).

        I’m rooting for Oregon, assuming ND isn’t playing them for the NC.

      3. Scav,

        Well, for ND to have any chance whatsoever, BK must commit to EG for the whole game! That also includes the rest of the season! Barring any injures of course.

        I do like our chances right now! If this is not a team wake-up call to play better, I don’t know what will be.

        No cake walk either, BK is not the offensive wizard with TR in the game. TR and EG are the perfect paradox.

        Without EG we are simply done!

        Here come the Irish!

  24. I too expected the Irish to thump Pitt. Never expected that kind of game. I also saw no reason whatsoever for BK to pull Golson in favor of Rees. We wasted an entire quarter of offense with the Rees substitution and at that time Golson was 9-15 with 90 yards and had run for 2 first downs! Playing full games is part of the learning process and pulling these stunts is going to affect his confidence. Dropped balls by receivers and unimaginative play calling were not Golsons fault. Worst coaching move this year by BK in my opinion…

    Overall – the come from behind win showed a lot of poise from ND. Was not impressed in the least by the defense but in this case a win is a win! Diaco seems hesitant to blitz unless it is absolutely a blitz situation and I dont like that at all. Irish should have been able to put much more pressure on the QB which would have made the game not so close.

    Special teams play as in the past few years continues to be non existent! God forbid they put a heavy rush on for a blocked punt or consider that the return guy IS allowed to advance the ball once caught. Continued poor decisions on fair catches and decisions to let the ball go pput ND in bad field position too many times to count. The special teams play or lack there of, is the big difference between the teams coached under Lou verse BK. Lou correctly realized special teams can have significant influence on the intangibles of a game and need to be a focal part of the equasion. BK maintains this same mantra but nothing has materialized thus far and will hurt the Irish in the long run.

    Overall, especially after the BYU game I never thought the Irish would come out flat for the rest of the season but they simply looked flat once more. It is clear they seem to play better on the road then at home which truly befuddles me. While I think BK has the team focused, with everything they have been through the past several years, to me, it shouldnt take much to recapture the sense of urgency and drive and focus to get these guys up and playing their absolute best for each game. This game should have been a blow out but in the end they still salvaged a very gutsy win! GO IRISH!!

    1. Agree totally with Ghost on Rees coming in game. I don’t understand pulling him unless he was outright stinking up the place. Coaches learn too, so hopefully BK learned not to be so quick to pull his starter. Another way to look at it is that maybe it motivated Golson when he was pulled.

      I see winner written all over Golson and hopefully we have 3 more years of watching him play.

      We need a new special teams coach or to send him to some clinics to learn how special teams are supposed to play!

      I think this game could have been a blow out had we scored two TDs instead of two FGs. Pitts goal line stand was a turning point in that game and Rees interception was almost the nail in the coffin.

      1. from what little i remember of kelly at cincinnati he like to change quarterbacks there also. i remember him putting in the guy zack c.(can’t spell his last name)for tony pike.

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