Shamrock Stickers: Oklahoma ’13

George Atkinson - Oklahoma
Notre Dame Fighting Irish running back George Atkinson III (4) crosses the goal line for a touchdown in the third quarter against the Oklahoma Sooners at Notre Dame Stadium. Oklahoma won 35-21. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Notre Dame didn’t rise to the occasion versus Oklahoma and as a result fell to the Sooners 35-21.  With the loss the Irish fall to 3-2 on the season ahead of their showdown versus Arizona State.  The Irish turned the ball over three times in the first half, which resulted in 21 Oklahoma points.  The Irish started slow yet again going down 14-0 in the first minute and took costly penalties throughout the mistake filled game.  Despite a better effort in the second half it was too little too late.  The following players were the bright spots for the Irish in an otherwise bad game:

George Atkinson III:

Junior running back George Atkinson III played likely his best game as a member of the Irish, rushing for 148 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries.  Atkinson III showed off his breakaway speed on an 80 yard touchdown run and showed good vision in following his blockers and finding holes throughout the game.  Atkinson III also ran hard and earned yards after contact, which has been a problem for him in the past.

T.J. Jones:

Irish captain T.J. Jones managed to have a solid game despite the terrible play of quarterback Tommy Rees.  Jones caught four passes for 42 yards and a touchdown.  Jones was the only Irish receiver to experience any success versus the Sooners even though it was limited.  The Georgia native continued to be a key contributor on third down but it wasn’t enough to boost the Irish passing attack.

Carlo Calabrese:

Fifth-year senior Carlo Calabrese played another solid game at linebacker for the Irish.  Calabrese continued to be the leader of the Irish defense against the run and did his part to slow down runs up the middle, but the Irish struggled on outside runs.  Calabrese led the Irish in tackles with 10 and was physical as always, which has been a problem for the Irish defense this season.

Stephon Tuitt:

All-American Stephon Tuitt is starting to contribute more regularly as the season goes on.  Tuitt totalled five tackles, one for a loss, and two quarterback hurries versus the Sooners.  Tuitt was stout against the run and was one of the only members of the Irish defense able to pressure Sooner quarterback Blake Bell.

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  1. Hey Jeff,

    Did the Train-Wreck 666 win your vote too? We are only entitled to Mad Max’s opinion. Anyone who wishes a player’s leg broken and agrees that it is acceptable, certainly is way beyond the pale in my book.

    Hey Doomko-Train, (better handle for you)

    I don’t see you dragging your azz-hat pandora’s box presentation all over duranko’s post internet tough guy! Tell him how you really feel…come-on chicken little…I dare you…grown a pair YOU 7′ – 1st narcissistic wonder of the world! Hahaha!

    1. JC, You know theres always that guy that is the starting QB for his popwarner peewee football team that everybody knows shouldnt be but his dad is the Head coach. I get this feeling that DickTrain sees a similar relationship between BK and TR. I just think TR is the better option. Just my opinion

      1. Hey Jeff,

        Your entitled to your opinion it is America. No one agrees on everything. I like Zaire, so what? This gasbag’s attention to detail is already early sometimers!

        Not to mention, it is pure evil to wish RT a broken leg to prove he is really mentally-ill. Further, we definitely don’t want to see his sorry AZZ on the 50 yard line either!


    1. I think its a little late for BK to implement the Oregon offense although in the future thats what i would want to see. BK feels that TR gives this team the best chance to win games and I trust that decision. If AH was even close to TR I think he would already be in there. We dont get to see what goes on Monday-Friday on the practice field. If we did than I think it would be clear as to why TR is the best and only option right now.

      1. Total BULLSHIT Jeff and we have been listening to people trot out this line for 4 years. Here is what we all can see. Rees is crap for 4 yrs and Hendrix has never been given a chance PERIOD. Nothing to do with his lack of ability on the practice field. Dumb decision by Kelly pure and simple.Before all the Kelly devotees jump on this comment ask yourself this question. If Kelly is the GURU of football coaches some of you claim how come in 4 yrs Rees is still crap and Hendrix/Crist never improved enough to get on the field under the great coaching of BK and keep in mind HE IS ALSO IN CHARGE OF SPECIAL TEAMS THIS YEAR SO HOW IS THE PUNT RETURN GAME LOOKING AFTER FOUR YEARS OF BOTTOM 3 TEAM IN THE 125 Division One list??? So much for the Vince Lombardi/Bear Bryant/Ara Parseighan of football coaching.

      2. They are actually ranked 67 in punt returns this year so marked improvement. And in the Top 10 in kickoff returns.

        Not sure what it all means as K St leads the country and they are 2-2.

      3. Ron Burgundy,

        It means he’s not getting enough blood to his head. This is what happens when your on a bitter rampage!

      4. Fans are passionate about their team… fine.

        People get frustrated, lose their tempers, fly off the handle, and say stupid shit all the time… fine.

        But you MF remark is completley uncalled for, unwanted, and steps way over the line.

        You gotta know that.

  2. If there isnt changes on the coaching staff this team is in bad shape.
    They could have a great running game next year and of course any change
    at QB will be better but we need different coaches or it will be the same
    garbage. ASU will wax them. With our slow linebackers and no rush we will
    get picked apart.

    1. Even with TR at QB this team still finishes 9-3 or 8-4. And that would be pretty respectable considering what happened with Golson and the loss of Spond and Springman as well as a Brutal schedule. Lack of depth on the DL, LB, and QB positions have caused problems but even so weve been right there in every game. The coaching staff is not the problem.

      1. Yeah you’re right. No other team whatsoever loses any players at all. Are you kidding me? We do lack depth and overall athletic ability. Where’s any leadership? None on the field and certainly none on the sidelines.

        The coaching staff bears the majority of responsibility for this. This is going to get real ugly this year. Sorry!!

  3. The QB being too one dimensional going to continue to kill us this year. I’m not a huge Tommy fan, but the reality is he’s a pretty good backup quarterback and not a good starting quarterback. The amount of heat he is taking is because we want quality QB play from a second string QB.

    The whole time I watched the game all I could think was it would be VERY different game if Golson hadn’t screwed up. Kelly can only work with what he has – which at the moment isn’t very much. Fingers crossed Golson can get back for next year.

  4. I have an observation. Why are all our linebackers between 250-260 pounds? BK said before the season he wants a big strong team. His he telling us if you’re in the 240 range your a weak link? Imagine how must faster we can be AND be just as strong if some of them lost about 10 pounds or so. Why is Niklaus 270? I know he’s a big strong kid but if he was around 255/260 he’s still just as strong and in the open field he could really get downfield.

    We are just so damn slow and plodding. I thought Shembo would be an all-american this year. He’s too fat if you ask me. Just a thought. Now all the experts can call me crazy!

    1. Maybe we need to put in more DBs (dime coverage) on obvious passing downs, which would add to the needed speed for key D’ plays, and provide more speed closing on their QB when we did blitz!

    2. Ron,
      He wants big Linebackers so when they play an SEC team in the National Championship game he doesn’t get mauled like last year. Remember the king of the spread Oregon has not faired well against the SEC.

  5. Rob, you big wussy! Hahaha!

    Shaz…I think your Kiel theory is correct. BK kept commenting “the kid is really coachable.” Once Kiel was gone, BK said Zaire would have to have equal reps with the 1st unit. Why? Panic mode? who knows? The 64 dollar question then becomes: After four years why isn’t Hendrix ready? So the bravado theory of BK’s next-man-in is now his paradox. I agree, neither Hendrix or Zaire are ready to play. However, I am not sure BK is blame free on Hendrix by any stretch of the imagination. Why? If Hendrix is a real #2 then BK should have him ready beyond clip board duties without fail! Factor in possible injury and how would this play out? Ugly, real ugly!

    1. JC,

      I know your not a big stats guy but if you look at Hendrix’s career ND numbers, while very limited, they’re not that bad, and they do show Kelly’s willingness to try changes.

      There is something else going on with AH, be it limited practice time due to his Med student acedemics, Confidence issues, limited playbook ability, or perhaps lack of leadership, but I doubt his playing time is because of Kelly’s ego.

      Andrew Hendrix Career Stats:

      SOPHOMORE SEASON (2011): Saw action in five games as a change-of-pace quarterback, before starting the second half of the Stanford game … passed for 249 yards and a TD on 37 attempts, while rushing for 162 yards and a TD on 25 attempts … ranked third on Irish in rushing yards … saw first action of career vs. Air Force in reserve duty … made presence known with 78-yard run in game … ended contest with 111 yards rushing on six carries … completed all four pass attempts vs. Air Force for 33 yards … started second half at Stanford and completed 11 passes for 192 yards and a TD … rushed 12 times for 20 yards and one TD against the Cardinal … completed three of eight passes for 24 yards and an interception vs. Florida State in Champs Sports Bowl … gained 26 yards on four carries against the Seminoles.

      JUNIOR SEASON (2012): Appeared in three games as a reserve quarterback … completed five of seven passes for 55 yards … ran for 41 yards on eight carries … completed four of five passes for 53 yards against Navy (Sept. 1) … rushed six times for 20 yards against the Midshipmen … played briefly against BYU (Oct. 20), rushing for 14 yards to gain a first down and then throwing a quick pass for two yards … also saw action against Wake Forest (Nov. 17) with a seven-yard rush and one pass attempt.

      Fair & balanced repoting.

      1. Agree totally with you Shaz. We keep hearing all the BK crap that AH has limited grasp of the playbook etc but the reality is the kid knows the playbook back to front after 4 yrs He is pre-med so Intelligence not an issue. Kelly knows if the kid plays 5 games straight as the QB no 2 plays here and there rubbish he would do a great job. More important all of a sudden the runners look great since no 8 man fronts, the deep receivers like Fuller, Brown, Daniels etc look great because the ball can reach them when they get more then 40yds downfield. Defences when dropping into deeper cover become more vulnerable to QB running with the ball like a Gardner/Robinson MU scenario. The “catch” is that then all are able to see that Kelly blew the decision to play AH 4 yrs ago and sentenced this program to 4 yrs of scratching around for 3pt wins vs teams that everyone else puts up 50 on. Cannot wait for Pitt game if Turnover still at QB. If Duke can hang 50 on them we should be capable of 70 but will probably get another 17-14 outcome. What a wasted 4 yrs for ND fans and a CAREER for a kid like Hendrix.

      2. Please explain the rationale if AH is so good that he wouldn’t play him. I honestly don’t get the argument. I’m sure he wants to win as badly as anybody and if he truly thought AH was better he would play him.

        I know I’m not the smartest guy in the world but I just do not understand this constant argument on here that AH is this magic bullet wasting away on the sideline.

      3. Hahaha RB,

        Desperate D-Train 666

        Doesn’t even know he’s trying to convert a die-hard BK loyalist?? Hahaha! Surely, he only read his own posts!

        Hmmm…Train-wreck 666 would be a better handle!


      4. Dck-Train, Ten years from now you should ask AH if he feels his career at ND was a waste. My money says he tells you it was the greatest four years of his life and he wouldnt trade it for anything.

      5. D-T65,

        Perhaps your right, and Kelly did blow it with Hendrix.

        But as head coach that is his choice to make, and overall, his choices have far exceed those of his predecessor’s like Davie, Willingham, and Weis.

      6. Interestingly enough, Shaz, the stats have not earned one full game start for AH in four years? Stats are indeed not relevant at this point for AH.

        I have fired enough numerical pencil pushers over the years, to know there is more to it than just columns of figures. A broad view of analysis applies here that only the coaches have privy to.

        Again, Johnny Heisman with his superior stats still lost to Bama. Winning ugly counts, like us last year! There are many intangible assets that are part of the big picture with the coaching staff intereacting with AH and vice versa. Leadership, salesmanship, motivational and interpersonal skills just to name a few. Most pre-med students and medical residents are introverts with poor persuasive skills. Definitely a handicap with bedside manner and other people skills. Maybe BK does not like AH? Maybe BK is upset Kiel left? Who knows? I suspect at this juncture, intangibles not stats are determining AH’s playing time for what it is worth. Like you say, the coaches know best!

        Yeah, fair & balance..turkey!

      7. Jeff No doubt Hendrix time at ND is great when he becomes a Doctor but for an “elite” athlete” to sit for 4 yrs without a chance would be hard to take. When he looks at the last 3 games for Rees it must stick in his throat even more to not get a chance to show what he could do to Irish supporters. That is the point I am trying to make.

  6. ND looks bad…no awful on defense but things are looking a little better. If we don’t have the 3 Rees turnovers the game could have been very different. As I always have said as a soccer coach, a good offense is the best defense. Our offense is horrible without Golson and who could have seen that coming ( certainly not Gunner). For the life of me I don’t understand why we don’t see Hendricks in there. Lots to fix and with so many recruits flip flopping I’m afraid patience will run out for BK. I’m still convinced he’s the guy since we played for the NC last year.

    Let’s win out and then we will all be happy.

    1. re: QBs /Last night, I had a nightmare. In my nightmare, BK was talking to his assistants and confessed it’s too late to admit TR wasn’t the answer, for what would everybody think of him as a coach if Hendrix came in now and did better! In my nightmare, he said,
      “We stood our ground two seasons ago when we pulled Crist in a half and stuck with Tommy. It didn’t work out that well, but at least we didn’t have a QB controversy.”

      Then I awoke in a sweat!

      Fortunately, it was just a bad dream.

      So I got up and broke out the Jameson and I replayed the 2nd half of this year’s Purdue game and felt better. I still wasn’t drunk/tired enough to sleep, but I didn’t have anything else from TR to shake that horrendous nightmare from my consciousness.

      How do we know Malik and AH aren’t ready? AH’s only chance in actual extended game day action came against Stanford two seasons ago, coming in late and behind against an excellent D.

      TR has engineered some great drives in the past. But overall, how has TR done against solid top 60 D’s in his career ?

  7. They made me do it, JC! I drank the pickle juice with our “loyalists” and see what happened? No more pickle juice for me!!!

    1. BK – Purple Face? Robby are you being facetious? Hahaha!
      Can you say that with a straight face? Remember “Pickle Juice!”

  8. Is the agenda of open discussion/council with Lou H. + Ara P. (I recognize his advanced age issues in this equation) a realistic possibility? In intelligent business realms consul from former sources that enjoyed success is common practice. Is this acceptable for Notre Dame CFB? More to the point would it work?

  9. Too many key losses on both sides of the ball for anyone to expect ND would have a good season. You lose you QB, a terrific tight end and your best defensive player, not a recipe for success. Rees has no mobility and now can’t seem to complete a pass. It’s time for a change. I’m not a Hendrix fan but at least it gives the offense another dimension. Where is Zaire? Still suffering from mono? Put him in and let’s see what happens. The Golson thing worked out pretty well, why not give it a try. It’s painful watching Rees stubble and overthrowing recievers! 4 Running backs, and none of them are really producing. Atkinson got 80 of his 149 on one play, not much after that. What happened to the speed demon Amir C.? Let the two kids play some and see what they’ve got! ND is a mess right now and the schedule is too tough to be playing with a confused team. I can’t imagine what Stanford will do to us. Close your eyes it’s not going to be pretty. Go ND!

    1. Thanks JDH, however, this is one of those times you don’t want to be right. I formulated my opinion early preseason when BK said: “If your throwing interceptions you won’t be playing!” Well, we now know that is certainly BS too! Undoubtly, more great preseason smoke for the press. Just like his comments after Temple: “We didn’t want to show Michigan every thing?” Really? How did that non-disclosure work out for us? We have seen this before…REAL Pickle Juice!

    2. I am sick to death of hearing that Kelly sees the players everyday and is wiser then everyone else and has been coaching for 23 yrs etc etc This is the same WISE COACH who called the pass on 3rd down vs Tulsa from an inexperienced QB (How did that workout for you BK Oh yeah thats right Interception and game over) I hope Turnover breaks his leg on first play vs ASU and Hendrix is forced to play rest of year. If he turns out to be worse then Rees I will bare my ass on the 50yd line of ND stadium but I am 100% sure that would not be required and it would be worth it just to prove Kelly cannot evaluate QB’s PERIOD.

      1. OK D-Train 65, I’ve read enough:

        “I hope Turnover breaks his leg on first play vs ASU and Hendrix is forced to play rest of year.”

        Your malicious despitfulness is now legendary here. Anyone who WISHES one of our players A BROKEN LEG has no boundries as demonstrated in your worthless post. You are beyond comprehension and a disqusting, diabolical deviant. I am being kind.

        I can not speak for everyone here. However, as I view it, most of us real ND alums/fans are definitely not interested in your despicable and vile wish for Tommy Rees.

        Don’t let the door hit you on the way out and don’t come back under and another handle either. We certainly know a ‘real-obsessed- lunatic/moron’ when we see one!

      2. JC your comments are a reflection of the fact that I do not agree with you and your opinions so like water off a ducks back to me and I will continue to comment as I see fit. Duranko’s comments that you also seem to take “umbrage” at put him way in front of your “hackneyed” thoughts in my opinion as well so would be more concerned re his opinion then yours. I also put RBurgundy’s latest comments well in front of yours so go find a barbie and throw yourself ON IT and make me and Duranko happy. Cheers Clown.

      3. Desperate D-Train 666,

        Let us know where the nearest psycho-ward hospital is your area? I’ll be happy to write a 14-day involuntary commitment script just for you! You need a proper diagnosis paper tiger!


      4. We do not wish for hard-working, good, young men to get injured. C’mon! This isn’t a personal fight. Tommy Rees is a tough young man who simply lacks the skills necessary to lead a football team like ND. My call to bench him in the 2nd half of the OU game was based on his performance ONLY.

        These kids work their asses off day in, day out. They are not above criticism ( about their play, off the field behavior etc.) but let’s keep it on the level.

      5. Tommy Rees played a major roll
        (as a starter, in relief, and in support) in ND going undefeated during the 2012 regular season and helping ND
        earn a spot in the BCS National Championship game.

        A game, which by the way, has the largest payout of any College football bowl game at $18 million simollies per team.

        For helping rake in that kind of coin, all the players, past and present (Tommy Rees included) deserve our respect and graditude.

        Because… MONEY PLAYS!

      6. Amen to that, Ron. I usually appreciate what D-Train writes. I’m not quite sure why he would say this short of utter frustration, which I can sympathize with. But I don’t wish ill on TR. After all, like him or not, he’s a ND man. So I’m trying to give D-Train the benefit of the doubt that he doesn’t really mean what he said, that it was hyperbole born of frustration that we all share. D-Train is classy so that has to be it.

      7. I agree with you 100% SFR I wouldn’t care why the kid sits just as long as he sits. Zaire had Mono and missed 3 wks so not REALLY wishing the kid would break his leg and yes I certainly appreciate what he has done for the team and school but your 100% spot on that my frustration after 4 yrs of TR is beyond expression. As for JC/RB/Jeff etc I also acknowledge your OPPOSING pts of view when you put them forward. Have been having a few “health/physical problems last few weeks and it seems to have manifested itself to my attitude to life in general. I have played professional sport and two sports at the college level and coached elite atheletes for 45 yrs and been a secondary teacher for 35 so should be aware that at the end of it all it is just a game. Let my personal problems override my better judgement lately and need to get things “back in perspective”. Apologies to anyone who I may have been at ODDS with in my recent posts. Will sort things out and return in future with a more mature and realistic point of view. Appreciate your thoughts and opinions gentlemen and will be back when I am back to NORMAL. Cheers

  10. Shaz, JDH, JC, you have all made solid and valid arguments. However, the time has come for changes. We watched the first three minutes in stupified horror. Visions of Pearl Harbor and Kenya came to mind. Even the Sooner Dudes were shocked. They too felt a change would be made. To their pleasant surprise, it was not. Tommy Rees is not up to the task given him. He is a battler, but he can not feed the proverbial bulldog.It is time for Andrew Hendrix to take command. Folston needs to be the featured back. Two simple moves that could change the direction of the season.

    The Sooners are a good team, but they were MADE to look like a great team. This game should have been a 10-12 point win for the Irish. Now is the time to prepare for ASU. They laid a beating on USC- a team that is demoralized from top to bottom.

    Believe! Change! Execute are the mottoes for this week.

    We still believe. Go Irish! Hooah!

      1. Ron I was actually thinking the same thing. Warrior, I am FAR from politically correct as I think it’s the philosophy of idiots and sheep. However, we’re talking about a football game vs. 3000+ sailors and Marines dying and regarding Kenya, 60+ innocent men, women and children slaughtered by vermin.

        You’re better than that.

    1. Warrior,

      I have nothing against changes.

      If Hendrix gets the start next week I wouldn’t expect him to make very many play changes at the line.

      I would guess he he will run what’s called. And maybe that’s what needed.

      But I have to say guess here because I just haven’t seen him play enough to make any solid predictions.

      The coaches see him every day.
      In practice, in meetings, in film study, interacting with the other players.
      They have seen him in this system for 4 years now.

      I think if Kelly is going to make a change at QB its going to be with a view to the future and when Zaire is ready.
      And after missing almost a month with Mono, and a lost month worth of reps, and hitting, he clearly isn’t ready.

      So we wait, and hope.

      1. Shaz-We think you are spot on with the reference to not making so many play changes with audibles at the line. TR does that too often and that can effectually change the plan for the worst. Run the play that is called might be just the ticket. TR appears to over analyze the situation on almost every play.

        Another observation we made was that Coach Kelly seems to play things safe and close to the vest. That accounts for predictability and thwarts his plan of attack. The Sooner Dudes spotted that very quickly as if the play calling was being telegraphed.

        Using Hendrix might be the smart move at this junture. It seemed to us that TR, despite his besr efforts, was frustrated and his confidence was shot. Power running is the Irish strength and a running qb is a huge part of that equation. Taking calculated risks takes big courage. We are hoping Coach K has that big courage. We are still upbeat despite the ‘L’.

        Go Irish! Believe! Hooah!

      2. Warrior,

        Historiclly, Kelly has always been pretty quick with the hook when it comes to changing his QB’s.

        So I ask why, with a 4th year, in the system senior QB in Hendrix, does Kelly not start him, use him in releif, or at least give him the second half start against OU, but instead, only gives him a few spotty hand-offs and QB running plays in first half,during short yardage situations?

        Does Hendrix not know the playbook? Does he not have the confedence of his team- mates? Does he make too many mistakes in practice?

        I can’t say, I’m not there. But there’s obviously a reason.

        Perhaps Kelly invested more time in Gunner Kiel last year with the idea that Kiel would move up to the eventual #2 QB spot behing Golson this year?

        I could see that.

        I get the feeling that If Gunner had stayed, and with Golson then going out, he would have been our starter with Tommy coming on in relief when needed, much like last year.

        But Gunner decided to leave, then Golson got the boot, Hendrix doesn’t have it, and Zaire has been sick.

        So where does that leave us?

        2-2 with 8 games left and probably still a little too soon for a QB change.

        Since Zaire is the best fit for the system he should be next guy in, but he just isn’t ready yet and I don’t blame Kelly for not playing him until he is.

      3. Agree with Shaz 100%. When a team is struggling the back up QB is the most popular guy in town.

        BK and staff are the only ones who truly know what the guys are capable of.

  11. I wonder what would “Our Lady”‘s win-loss CFB record would currently be if a younger Lou Holtz were in command. It might be the same with two losses but I wonder none the less. I could would guess ND have won Saturday under coach Holtz.

  12. Everyone on this board, REESE IS NOT A 5TH YEAR SENIOR, he is a senior! He started his freshman year, remember. ND swung and missed recruiting a QB in the year BK took over. If they were able to accept JC transfers or any transfers they could have made up for it, but they can’t and that is thr reason why they have Hendrix or Reese. I say give Hendrix a shot and if that doesn’t pan out this team is in trouble.

    1. Jack,

      How many years have we been screaming for a change at QB with old purple face (2010). TR would have played last year too if not for his mishap. Come-on Jack, that’s left up to the adults in the room as duranko says!

      I agree with you 100% on the QB change…just not Hendrix. However, it’s definitely BK drinking the QB “Pickle Juice” As always!

      So yeah, we are indeed in trouble!

      1. JC,

        Your right and I don’t know why he is so in love with Tommy. The sad thing is this year could have been a 10-2 year with the right QB. I also think the lack of depth on the D-line with injuries is killing the Irish. The final nail in the coffin was the loss of Dany Spond.

        The leadership needs to come from the coach. If I see another press conference with we need to find our identity on offense or defense I am going to scream. A true coach will figure out the identity and then will his players to that identity. The more this keeps going on the more I think that BK may need to take a step back and see what most people are seeing.

      2. Amen Jack,

        I know you’re one of the brightest guys on here and I share your pain.

        Fact are facts as our good friend duranko uses them to support his case when fashionable. I already know you know this:

        Temple 346 yards passing
        Mich 314
        Purdue 309
        Mich St 142
        OU 104

        5 inteceptions
        10 TDs

        All I can say is we are not heading in the right direction at the QB position!

        The fat lady is singing!!!
        More “Pickle Juice!”

  13. Please Shaz stop the what if’s and sugar coating. I don’t like losing anymore than you do. We lost and we cannot change it no matter how painful it is. Redistributing the blame does not change to a ‘W’ either.

  14. I think if we lose one more game, which would eliminate us from BCS contention, we start Zaire and let the kid get the experience. He will be no worse than Rees at this point, probably better, and he is our future. Golson may be coming back next year, but wouldn’t you want to see what Zaire can do for this team? Him and Golson are almost the exact same QB. Do what you did last year using Rees as a backup if Zaire isn’t ready. Sorry for Hendrix, but why would you start him at this point when he is not going to be the future of your program? Go with Zaire and see what the kid has. And open up the playbook for him too. Don’t limit him just because he is young.

  15. Sorry Shaz and no disrespect but you’re dead wrong.

    – The first INT: The left side of the line was unbalanced with 4 Sooners on 3 ND blockers…clearly a blitz coming. Tommy is a 5th year senior whose resposibilities include READING the defense and recognizing hot routes. He never even looked to the left but fixated on his primary receiver(s) to the right side. The ball should have been thrown immediately to Niklas, the hot receiver. Had nothing whatsoever to do with “coaching”.

    – The second INT: It was nowhere near a “perfect pass”. The pass hit TJ Jones (an excellent receiver who rarely drops a pass) high and to the left. TJ had to fully extend his left arm and stretch his whole body, while in double coverage, for any attempt at pulling it down. It deflected off his fingers, falling right into their hands.

    Watch those plays over in slow motion.

    1. Sorry, no disrespect, but you’re dead wrong on both INT’s.

      The reason there was 4 Sooners on 3 ND blockers is because the Tight End (Niklas)
      did not stay in to block as is rule #1 on that play.

      His FIRST responcibility is for protecting his QB’s blind side against the blitz on that play.

      And when your QB is a slow footed TR, rule #1 ALWAYS comes first. Portect his blind side!
      That’s coaching.

      Niklas is rarely considered a “Hot Reciever” at this point in his career, and for good reason.

      Hot reciever is normally left to a slot reciever, WR, or running back.

      I give Oklahoma credit, they knew exactly what they were doning on the very first play of the game.
      That’s Because they studied the film and saw a tightend’s bad tendency to give up on his blocking assignment (or just not read it) and release too quickly on the play… and boy did they jump on it.
      That too is coaching.

      Now I will agree that “perfict pass” is a fairly loose term, but when Jones can, and has fully extended his left arm, and stretched his whole body, while in tight coverage, to catch 2 TD passes in the end zone the last 2 weeks, then those throws are all of a sudden considered perfect.

      Hit him in the hands for a possible first down in your end of the field, after just being stunned for a pick 6, is not doing your team any favors, especially your QB who now gets labelled for a poor throw.

      1. Ok hold on:

        – I’ll give you the comment that Niklas SHOULD have stayed to block. That’s a legitimate point. But ultimately it’s the QB’s responsibility to pick up the “disguised” situation at the line. Maybe TR didn’t bear 100% responsibility there, but he’s a senior QB who has made those reads before. I have been vocal in the past this year on these boards about how Tommy has IMPROVED in this area, but not on Saturday.

        “Niklas is rarely considered a “Hot Reciever” at this point in his career, and for good reason. Hot reciever is normally left to a slot reciever, WR, or running back.”

        Doesn’t matter. On that play he is, by definition, the “hot route”. Go back and listen to Moyock’s commentary on the play. It’s crystal clear.

        “Now I will agree that “perfict pass” is a fairly loose term, but when Jones can, and has fully extended his left arm, and stretched his whole body, while in tight coverage, to catch 2 TD passes in the end zone the last 2 weeks, then those throws are all of a sudden considered perfect.”

        I don’t think “perfect pass” is a fairly loose term at all. It basically means that the pass is thrown into a tight space, away from pressure, in stride, “in the box” so to speak. Since you brought up TJ Jones fantastic TD catch last week against MSU, so what? Yeah it was a great catch and a relatively shitty throw.

        The throw we were talking about was nowhere near being “in the box”. Jones was running full steam from right to left and still had to jump and stretch just to get fingertips on the ball! How is that perfect?

        By your logic, since we have receivers who are clearly skilled, the QBs accuracy shouldn’t matter much. He can continue to throw as many shitty passes as necessary because, in the past, some of those passes that should have been more accurate were caught.

        Wait, what?

      2. BTW, I was incorrect in my assertion that the left side of the line was “4 on 3”. I don’t think that’s technically correct. It was disguised though and it immediately became 3 on 2 instead.

      3. In the box? (another loose term)

        Ok, lets try this another way.

        Joe Montana, Dwight Clark, The superbowl….”The Catch”

        I take it you are very familiar with these.

        “The catch” which helped make Montana famous, was a high risk, high throw in the back of the endzone where only his guy (Clark) could go up and get it.
        Because of that, it is considered the perfect pass.
        (Or atleast an expert like Mayock will atest to)

        Tommy Rees makes very similar throws, in the end zone, two weeks in a row, and his reciever makes two very similar catahes, two weeks in a row, but because the QB is TR it was great catches on a shitty throws two weeks in a row? Really?

        Why is that?

        If you’re saying Montana’s throw was unintentionally shitty and it was all the reciever, then that’s cool, but I’m stickin with Montana putting the ball where only his guy had a chance of getting it, (much like Rees did) which made it a great throw, and a great catch.
        I would venture that most who ever saw “The Catch would agree with that.

        Tommy has thrown is share of bad balls, but then no QB is 100% perfect, college or pro.

        Yeah, Rees makes bad throws, and gets the full blame as clearly stated.

        He also makes some very good throws and get very little credit which is also clearly stated.

      4. BTW,

        ultimately it’s the QB’s responsibility to pick up the “disguised” situation at the line.

        And Andrew Hendrix is better suited to do just that.

        Wait, What?

      5. No “in the box” isn’t loose. Draw a line from each shoulder and then down the hip bones, making a rectangle or “box”. Note that I never said every single pass a QB ever throws needs to be in the box perfect. What I did say was that the pass you referenced was nowhere near “perfect” and was thrown so far beyond “perfect”, “outside the box” etc that it was uncatchable…in double coverage.

        You’re cherry picking examples of famous catches and saying, well I’m not sure what you are saying. I see no connection to the discussion at hand. You need to get a compass because your argument is all over the place and changing rapidly. Perhaps that’s why “the Catch” isn’t called “the throw”. It’s famous because of the importance of the play and what a PHENOMENAL CATCH it was. Never in my life have I heard about it being the “perfect throw”. So you seem to be disproving your own point. But again I have no idea why it was brought up in the first place.

        Please show me where I’ve ever said a QB is supposed to be perfect. I can show you where I’ve given Rees alot of credit in past games for his performance. (i.e. Purdue) And then I can also show you how I predicted his many near INTs would become actual INTs.

        As far as Hendrix, I don’t know if he’s better or not. And neither do you.

        But I will say this- if you are positing an opinion or theory, try sticking with the original premise and keep backing that up with evidence. As opposed to coming up with references from football history that bear no resemblance whatsoever to the situation at hand.

      6. Also, please read carefully and note that my only idea, based upon the evidence, is that Rees should have been benched for the second half. I never said he should be run out of town to never play again. Simply that a QB that had clearly imploded should sit and give someone else a try, you know per Kelly’s words.

      7. Shaz I should have added that, this certainly isn’t personal. I just strongly disagree with your argument and evidence for backing it up (i.e. the TJ Jones interception. As I noted above, your pointing out that Niklas should have stayed put (i.e. the first INT) is valid and I agreed with you regarding that.

      8. BK said it was a situation that the line should have picked it up. They had seen the pressure from OU all week on film and simply just missed it.

        Now you can debate whether or not that is coaching or is it a lack of execution on the left side of the line. I don’t know. But it is obvious that TR felt it was being picked up because he never even considered getting hit from the backside.

        Not speculation but a fact that BK addressed during press conf.

      9. I already conceded that point in detail Ron.

        But I also said that, per Moyock’s commentary, since it was missed Niklas immediately is the “hot route”. He has to be hit right off the bat for a short gain or worse case scenario, an incompletion.

        The other 2 picks are indefensible.

      10. Usually with you Shaz on your take on all things Irish but in this case I go 100% with JDH throw on second pick was “slightly behind the head of the receiver because I think TR was actually looking for Daniels who was 4 yds behind Jones and had run a route to close to TJ and hence caused the confusion of 4 guys in a 4yd “bubble” and good old Turnover tried to split the difference and throw between them. Irrespective of these two picks you can’t continue to ignore what Kelly obviously choose to do and that is that Rees SUCKS as a QB. Last 3 games should have been 40pt+ offensive returns and instead we get 10pts up at 3 qtr time vs teams that give up 55 to NIU and in Mich we see a team that struggled vs the likes of Akron and Conn. The has been a disaster and Kelly does not want to be seen to have made a mistake in not playing Hendrix in case he finishes up rest of season looking like a Brady Quinn type and all of a sudden the Maestro is seen as the guy who left a vg QB on the bench for 4 yrs and inflicted Turnover on the Irish fans in his place. Also I wouldn’t be jumping on the GAIII bandwagon too quickly in place of a Bryant/Folston if you deduct his 80yd run the guy puts up 70yds for the game on 15 carries not exactly the second coming of Adrian Peterson. If season continues for next 7 games as it has to date I still say we lost Mahone/Folston and/or Bryant. That leaves Kelly with a DOZEN stars walking out eg Kiel, Lynch, Vanderdoes, Darby, Neal, Greenwood, Shepherd, Anzalone, Heuerman, Shepherd etc. Stanford does not bring in top 20 classes much less then top 10 and they beat Oregon last 2 yrs We bring in top 5 classes and struggle to beat Purdue/MSU/Pitt/BYU etc etc.

  16. I’ve watched four and a half games and the three things which seems to stick out consistently in my mind is the lack of pressure on the QB, defending the outside and the utter inablility of our safeties to defend against the pass.

    That is coaching or the lack of it.

    I would like to see the Irish establish the run and use the pass to keep the opponent off balance.

    Overall our coaches seem to have very little imagination in our defensive schemes and our offensive play calling.

  17. TR had no blid side protection what so ever on the first INT. That one is on the coaching staff.

    ND’s for not putting a premium on TR’s protection, and Oklahoma’s for doing their home work and taking advantage of a weak formation.

    The second INT was a perfect pass that hit the reciever right in the hands.
    That one is on the reviever, not Rees.

    Take away those two INT’s and the 14 points that came with them and we are looking at a tie game, at home, late in the fourth quarter, instead of a lost monster effort on defense by Tuitt, Shembo, Calabrese, and Nix.

    Take away the third INT which was clearly on TR and perhaps ND gets a field goal which then might have become the margin of victory.

  18. Well, we are definitely following BK’s “yellow brick road,” and we will definitely find Dorthy in Kansas. I absolutely do not see BK’s bromance with TR ending anytime soon this year! Wishful thinking.

  19. Ron,

    I agree with most of what you said except, TR. I like Tommy but he is limited. I would take this offense and trend away from the passing and run the offense through Hendrix. You can run an Oregon style spread run game with AH at QB. You can also control the clock better running the ball and keep your defense off the field. TR is a good kid and plays with all he’s got, but he is to limited to run this offense. Put Hendrix in and see what he’s got. Your not giving up the season, Andrew is a senior and deserves a shot to see if he can make this work. I could see it they put Ziare in that the team could feel Kelly is tanking the season but not Hendrix.

  20. I disagree with the logic that the season is gone and they should abandon the record and start playing young guys to get ready for next year. That works in the NFL where guys are paid to do what you tell them. But in college where 99.9% of these guys will never play again, you owe it to them to have as successful a season as possible.

    Imagine calling in the seniors like TJ, Martin etc. and saying thank for all your efforts over these last 4-5 years but were gonna scrap this year and get ready for 2014. Those guys have done everything they were supposed to do and they deserve the chance to be successful and the coaches and fans should put 100% into this year. I know TR is polarizing but let’s face it, he is a Div 1AA QB. However, that being said he must be the best they have. The staff obviously has no faith in AH and it is impossible to know if MZ is ready. Dude had mone. I’ve heard of kids missing entire years because of it, let alone play football. He may be medically cleared but it will most likely take another month to get into football shape.

    The season (as far as a national championship was concerned) was lost the minute EG cheated (allegedly) on a final. BK and staff didn’t suddenly forget how to coach in the offseason. They are at a gun fight with a butter knife. I’ll give you that the D has been a disappointment but football is all about the QB at this point and we frankly just don’t have the right guy. It ain’t about the X’s and O’s but about the jimmy’s and the joe’s.

    If the coaches feel that TR gives the team the best chance to succeed than he’s the guy. They owe it to the entire team, seniors most of all to put everything they have into the 2013 season and have it be as successful as possible. Whether that is 10, 9, 8 or 7 wins I have no idea. But to say the hell with it, let’s get ready for next year in my opinion would be sad and a disservice.

    1. RB,

      I agree with what you say 100%

      But then I understand the differences between college and pro.

      I understand the differences between the college game that was played under Ara, Lou, and players like Coley O’Brien
      and the modern college game that is played today.

      I think one of the things that would have really helped this current team is if this past week had been one of ND’s bye weeks.

      A team trying to replace some very good players, and facing one of the more difficult early season schedules, they look tired and in need of a bye, and regrouping.

      Unfortunetly ND doesn’t get a bye until week 7, then again in week 12.

      It appears this years schedule was designed with a strong finish in mind.

      Looking at the team, the holes that needed to be filled, and the coaching to this point, that may have been a mistake.

    2. Ron! Now that’s a post with many salient thoughts! Why can’t we see more of that out of you? (no sarcasm here)
      Legitimate, well-thought out words and ideas.

      I agree with most everything you wrote EXCEPT:

      – You bench Tommy Rees not because you’re throwing in the towel for 2013, but because he is ineffective. He clearly is not giving your team the best chance to win. Now that may change in a week, a month etc. But any QB (outside of proven winners like a Manning) who throws 3 picks in one half MUST sit the rest of the game, especially a 5th year senior.

  21. In college football you can take an average team and make it a good or great team with a QB. I like TR as a person, but three int’s is horrible. Also, let’s not all get excited about how great Standford is, they had the luxury like most teams to play a couple cupckaes at the beginning of the year. Correct the QB problem and this is a different team. Put a playmaker at QB not a manager and 3rd downs run into first by using his feet. Field goals turn onto TDs because defense have to account for the QB

  22. I guess the comparison I made to the cubs was misunderstood. When theo Epstein took over the Mo Vaughn/Jose Canseco/ Brett Saberhagen Red Sox they were in a death spiral. Given time he drafted Varitek, Pedroia, Papelbon etc and signed David Ortiz etc. he had to build up the team. Kelly has indeed built up the team, but this year, with injuries etc, he got a bad hand and had to play the cards he was dealt. Look, as a civil servant living on the South Side of Chi-raq ND football might be the only thing I have to hang on to, so believe me I want them to win. But I also understand what they are working with this year and its not the ideal situation. To go back to my Cubs metaphor time will tell if Theo Epstein can build them back up and rebuild from the farm team etc. in year 3 Kelly won every regular season game. Sure I’m heated about what’s happening now but given what he has to work with I can’t really think he is taking a NC team into the gutter. Some of his players failed him be it academic or athletically, that’s all I’m saying. If we had Golson and Spond and Springmann don’t you think we would be undefeated right now? Or at least playing better than we are? Sure every team has set backs but ours are pretty significant

    1. I agree 100% Chi-town. We have one key stop in the second half & we’re within a score…not bad for digging a canyon to get out of. And any real program takes this long to change. Getting the right players, transfers (think of Manziel leaving Oregon) & other issues come up. Kelly’s a veteran & has more talent coming. Would love 9-3 and satisfied with 8-4 with this crew. Not like Kelly wanted to start Rees at the end of last year.

    2. @ Chi-town Copper
      I get your point and feel your pain. This season doesn’t go well with the worst Sox team I’ve seen since I’ve been following them (1958!) But enuf of the Sox.

      What also frustrates me is our predictability. Even when AH was used, he wasn’t going to pass; then TR returns and we know he’ll either hand off or run. Why not play-action with AH? Why not use our many younger faster DBs in a dime and blitz with faster defenders, or at least be able to cover the flat better with 6 DBs on passing downs, where they’ve been killing us EVERY week?

      Each week we face a team that adds new schemes and blitz packages against us. It ain’t cheating if we do the same!

    1. With AZ.St., a Lane Kiffin-less $C coming to town, with BYU and Stanford down the way, 8-4 might be better than we’ll get!

  23. Chi-town,

    The day we become the Cubs is the day ND hould stop playing football. To be perennial losers is unacceptable!

    The point is that Stanford doesn’t seem to need to rebuild just reload. That’s a school that is every bit as demanding as ND. How can they out-recruit and out-develop ND? Someone needs to research Stanford. They’re doing things the right way year in and year out for a while now.

    1. You’re absolutely 100% right. It’s the coaching. We all knew with TR at QB our offense would suck but what the hell happened to our defense. Coaching coaching coaching ain’t cuttin it!

    2. You are absolutely right about looking at the Stanford model. Academically there are great similarities between them and ND. They are doung something right in whom they recruit & select without major drop off in competitiveness. Are you telling me we can’t compare to that. I’ve read all the different postings. Coaching definitely is a contributing issue but so is overall athletic talent. Recruiting is going to take a hit and a 12-1 previous season pretty much is not going to have a big influence that it could have had things started different this season. The SEC is going to continue to be the powerhouse conference on a national level because they are allowed to have athlete-students which are allowable by the NCAA that are actually minor league football players. Unfortunately, these types of students outnumber the more highly academic proficient & gifted athlete that typically are pursued by ND. I’m not saying we become SEC but I am suggesting looking at some more exception to some less proficient academically student athlete. If we are to truly compete, we can’t insist our Bowie knives look clean & sharp when your opponent is bringing .44 to a gun fight. Coaching has a role but we are being beat by better athletic talent at the national level. As much as I hate the SEC for their piss poor academics, they most likely will produce again the next NC again. I won’t be surprised if its Alabama again. I do envy their talent. It’s going to be a very unsatisfactory year as a fan for ND football. I hope I am wrong but I am not optimistic.

      1. You’re right, we are definitely lacking in overall athletic talent but look at Oregon and Stanford and us as far as recruiting. We dominate them in the recruiting wars. Why oh why do we look so pathetic on the field? It’s the coaching!

      2. maybe the players notre dame gets aren’t that good. maybe getting an offer from notre dame makes the player get overrated just like a duke basketball player. if a player gets a scholarship offer from duke they automatically become a high school all-american.

    3. I lived in South Bend, and spent some time in the Bay Area. Part of the “Stanford model” is living in northern California versus South Bend, Indiana.
      With both schools, you graduate with a world class education and the prestige that goes with each.
      So if academics are equivalent, and the football programs have the same potential, where would you rather play at for four years? We still get those who are attracted to ND. There are obviously enough great athletes and students who are attracted to the Bay area. I know I was!

    4. The only difference between Stanford and Notre Dame as I see it is the QB position. Stanford has gotten excellent production from there QBs the last 4 yrs while ND has gotten below average production. Compare Luck and Logan with Rees and Golson and I dont have to say anything else. Kelly and staff have failed in recruiting and developing a top tier QB. When ND finds and develops a top tier QB they will become a BCS caliber team.

      1. Imagine what NDs offense would look like with one of these guys running the show. Murry, Mettenberger, McCarron, Boyd, Manziel, or Marriota. Take your pick Pro-style or Spread. All the pieces are in place except for QB. Every team in the top 25 has a better QB than ND. Obviously things would be better had Golson been available but im not even sure he is a top tier QB. I think the jury is still out on him.

      2. Jeff I couldn’t agree more! A playmaker at QB and ND doesn’t lose to Michigan. Look at Ohio State, mediocre at most offensive positions compared to ND, but they have playmaking QB’s. Ohio State’s defense is nothing to write home about. Anytime ND has been great they have a playmaker at QB.

      3. Hmmmm…Jeff, I knew Jack was smart now I have to put you in the same league. It must of been all that good fastpitch sofball! Definately no one is going to put a fast one on you! Not even BK or duranko, refreshing!

    5. A big reason they out recruit – where they are at California outside San Fran or South Bend – that has to play into the picture sorry. I grew up in SB and know what it is like there – tough to compete with the Golden Gate – also the rep over the last 10-20 years

    6. Simple answer they have a COACH. Shaw gets the best out of his talent. Kelly plays his same old formula on D soft and hope for a stop in red zone (not working this year) and puts Turnover out there even if we lost by 40 and he throws 5 picks don’t want to risk Hendrix he can;t get us into the right formations yet (after 4 yrs of sitting on bench) and still not up to it with Kelly’s complex playbook of run ball into 8 man fronts and then throw bubble screens and long down sideline and hope for Pass Int penalty. How is that working for you BK now that you have your ext aftter ONE good year (with unbelievable luck) and 3 mediocre yrs???

      1. Before we annoint Stanford as the second coming of Alabama lets keep things in perspective. They are basically 7 years in to their resurgence. Through the first 4 years of the Harbaugh turn around they won 29 games and were 1-1 bowls. BK has already won 31 games and still has half of season 4 to add to that total. Keep in mind that they also had a once in a generation QB for a lot of those wins.

        In years 5-6 they have turned it on to go 23-4 and are off to a good start in year 7. However, ND went 12-1 just one year ago and a lot of people on here would have you think he is a pop warner coach and should be on the hot seat.

        I just don’t think this is an apples to apples comparison yet as they are further along in their program. Also, if ND had this same recored over the last 7 years, would it be good enough?? They haven’t won a NC and only 1 conference title to show for it.

        Don’t get me wrong, they are good and have an impressive style of play but I don’t think it is the panacea that everybody makes it out to be.

        I also completely disagree with changing academic standards. At the end of the day, it is what makes ND different. They proved last year you can do it by going 12-0. They just happened to run into a buzz saw and one of the greatest coaches of this generation. I for one think it makes winning that much sweeter and will make it feel better when they get it done.

        I also think this constant rhetoric of ND having the only “student-athletes” in the country is ridiculous. Do you honestly think that ND has the only 85 players in the country who go to class? The SEC and BIG 10 schools are fine, get over yourselves. All kids can’t get into ND, not their fault. If you want to watch football played between like minded athletes then watch the IVY League. The academic side of the equation is what makes ND special, so to constantly compare other schools and say their kids aren’t scholars is really talking out of boths sides of your mouth. Either embrace the specialness of ND or cheer for Harvard.

        You stay classy…

      2. Freakin’ great post Ron! Anyone who advocates that ND lower its standards to better compete on the football landscape is not really an ND fan. Or at a minimum they have a fundamental misunderstanding of what ND is.

        We don’t lower our standards for expediency.

  24. It may be time to adopt the philosophy of the North Siders who follow the Cubs…it ain’t our year…but it may be coming. I want ND to win every game, but realistically, when we lose EG who was our #1, then lose our #2 to transfer, then lose our most dependable LB to concussions/retirement and give the reigns TR who doesn’t fit the offense at all, you really cant have high expectations. The teams we are beating we aren’t doing it by much. The teams we are losing to haven’t crushed us either. We aren’t great bottom line, but really, we weren’t expected to be. The only thing that’s really surprising here is that the D has played so bad. I really thought we could be Stanford with their academics and on the field winning. Not sure what is missing. If they took the personnel losses we did though they wouldn’t be that great either

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