Notre Dame @ Pitt – Shamrock Stickers

TJ Jones - Touchdown vs. Pitt
TJ Jones (7) crosses into the end zone for a touchdown as Pittsburgh Panthers defensive back K’waun Williams (2) defends in the second quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

The Irish fell to 7-3 on the season after their upset loss to Pittsburgh Saturday night.  Notre Dame looked sloppy in all phases of the game, poor quarterback play, bizarre coaching decisions, and lackluster defense.  All these mistakes compounded by horrendous refereeing was too much for the Irish to overcome as they fell 28-21, meaning their BCS hopes have been dashed.  The following players played well in a losing effort for the Irish:

T.J. Jones

Another week, another strong outing for Irish captain T.J. Jones.  Jones had six receptions for 149 yards and a touchdown versus the Panthers.  Jones was able to break away from the Pitt secondary with ease having multiple huge plays.  Jones also factored into the run game with three carries for 41 yards and a touchdown.  Jones will definitely be factored into all aspects of the offensive gameplan now as he clearly needs to get as many touches as possible.

Ben Koyack

Irish tight-end Ben Koyack played perhaps his best game of the season in a losing effort.  Koyack had four receptions for 76 yards playing in his home state.  Notre Dame’s number two tight-end stepped up as Troy Niklas really struggled to get going versus the Panthers.  Koyack made himself available in the middle of the field and also blocked well in the limited Irish run game.

Jaylon Smith

Freshman sensation Jaylon Smith had a big day for the Irish.  Smith had a team high 11 tackles versus the Panthers, one of which for a loss.  Smith was all over the field as usual running around and making plays.  Smith did a solid job of containing Pitt’s backs and stopping them from getting to the outside to make big plays.

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  1. One thing I do want to note about Saban. Look at his records at MSU and LSU they are not that dominant. Saban learned through experience and if BK can learn through his experience and tweak his coaching skills and adapt he should be fine. The question is will BK adapt? We will see as we will have two more years of him coaching the Irish. They can’t afford dumping another contract.

  2. No stickers this week , but it is time to fire some coaches like Chuck Martin, the db coach, and hire a special teams coach. And since our O L can’t generate a run game, fire that guy too,

  3. something is wrong with notre dame leader’s, the self righteous father malloy cans lou, we are left with the fool kevin white, who destroys our legacy, malloy spends his time playing basketball, malloy, jenkins, they all think that nd has to become an ivy league type school, in the process it loses its identity and becomes a parody of itself, swarbrick thinks its a businees, and hires a corporate type coach, the emphasis becomes gimmicks and marketing, where is father jenkins?, campaigning against abortion, they all seem so lost to me, with no understanding of their roots, their responsibilities and the consequences of their actions, have we have become a national joke? an insult to the words fighting irish?,they all seem so incompetent, it never was this way before. its so apparent to everyone but the idiots running the institution. give me the old time religion.

    1. The Lou situation was complicated and basically stemmed from the probation issues that were hitting the school.

    2. Well both Father Malloy and Jenkins have had their orientation questioned, among those on campus. It’s hard to see football in the same way when you are thinking about an all male chorus line from a Broadway musical.

      But Malloy did not can Lou. The AD, Wadsworth did. And interestingly, on Wadsworth’s watch was when the sanctions happened. Wadsworth is an AD ND would like to forget even more so than Kevin White.

      I don’t think the timeline of probation issues points to Lou so much as to Wadsworth. In fact Lou would have weathered that storm easily.

  4. A lot of folks have different feelings here. I am of the camp that Notre Dame can at least do what Stanford is successfully doing. That would put us close year in and year out which is all anyone can ask of a clean program. The Bama’s, FSU’s, Oregon’s Ohio St.’s all either create such low academic standards or just plain cheat to get what they get. But Stanford is competing and for all we know cleanly. Stanford if you notice has little drama too, unless it’s positive.

    I am not happy with where the program is at this point. I do not think for one minute that the administration should change coaches. The administration and the Athletic department should not do anything, other than figure out how to avoid jumbo trons, stupid loud speaker music, and artificial turf. Be Notre Dame, the Notre Dame of old and be proud of it. That is your identity and stick to it. It will breed a new kind of success.

    As far as BK is concerned, I have a feeling, which has not evidence to back it up. I feel that BK is going to be courted by the NFL, and other college teams both this year and next. This team may frustrate him to the point that he looks for a clean start as early as next year. And unless he gets into a BCS bowl in 2014, I think he himself looks for greener pastures.

    It would be far easier for BK to work players with extra practice time at places like USC, Florida, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Miami, Texas. These are all places that may be looking for coaches by season’s end. Some because they will fire their coach, some because another school may snatch up their coach. I identify these as schools that would be attractive to a coach who views it as a business. That’s BK.

    The progress beyond 8-5 seasons, just doesn’t seem to be happening. The foundation for stability seems to be held together with banding wire. Rees either has been threatened by bookies, or has some psychological problem with being the starting QB of a winning team. The CBs seem to unlearn. The general spirit of the team is , “Don’t piss off the Coach”, instead of “Let’s go smoke the other team”. It just feels bad and it’s at a point where you start to expect the next problem.

    Sorry to Duranko and all those who think if Der Fuhrer say run into a wall, you run into a wall. I’ve seen the success and was on campus for it during the Holtz era. Holtz assumed he had to earn it every year. He didn’t expect blind devotion. Notre Dame needs to earn it back. To get back to glory and stay there, this program needs to forget history. Because in the last 20 years, there is little history matching what came before. Until that happens, we’re looking at the greatest 8-5 program you’ll ever mortgage your house to go see.

  5. ND has always played a national schedule. It had to not belonging to a conference. ND always had tough admissions standards. It had to being a top academic institution. Yet these factors didn’t prevent ND from winning NCs and being elite year in and year out. So what’s changed? Some of it is demographic. The South has risen to control football in large measure because of the population growth of states like Florida in the last 30-40 years and that means a greater pool of young talent that has mostly stayed in the South. ESPN and cable TV have now made it that almost every team in on TV almost every week negating a huge recruiting advantage for ND. Southern state schools have also grown in size and invested in football in the last 30 or so years. They have caught up to the elite and big Mid-West state schools.

    At ND bad coaching hires have set the program back, beginning with Gerry Faust. Nice man, but terrible coach. All the hires after Lou have had their ups and (mostly) downs. The university also refuses to look at how it can make a way for certain types of marginal student-athletes to get in to the program. Somehow Lou got the administration to work with him. Would be nice to see a return to that soon.

    As for BK, he needs to grow on the job and do it quickly. He has been successful in the past. But ND isn’t Grand Valley or Cinci. This is the big leagues and he does not look like he’s fully in control. Last year was great but looks right now like an aberration. The key is to get the best recruits possible (always knowing we’ll never be able to get all the ones we need and want, like Bama can) and have continuity. That’s why BK’s not going anywhere. Let’s see what he does as he gets some more and better system players in. He needs to re-evaluate the D scheme, however. I’m not saying go for broke like the 85 Bears did, but some less bend and more breaking of the opposition’s O would be nice to see.

    Next year we need to see at least 10 wins barring any unforeseen circumstances. And no ugly upsets either. We need to see crushing victories over weaker teams to get some in-game reps for key back-ups and reserves. That will help with future development.

    Let’s go Irish!

  6. Wow!!! Reading all these msgs are classic some great points by some craziness from others any realists out there ??? I’m a big ND fan as anyone but the schedules year in and year out are as tough if not the toughest in the country the Davie years on solid season one mediocre the Willingham era one good one bad the Weiss era 2 good 1 really bad and. Couple mediocre Kelly has at least brought some consistency to the program for the first time since Lou Holtz the bye couldn’t come a better time from a player injury standpoint hopefully they can win on senior day against a tough BYU team and get that eighth win! Stanford is gonna be super tough but a great test hopefully go to a good bowl and get a W!!! Help take some of the pressure off but I dunno lol considering everything that has happened going all the way back to fall camp with Golson and the injuries if the boys can win 8-9 would be a solid season people! Look at the schedule the next couple years not gonna get any easier

  7. Funny how teams always seem to want it more than we do. Weak performance after weak performance we hear that same lame excuse brought up. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m sick and tired of hearing it. Does anybody really think that ND is the only team people get up to play? No body gets up to play Bama, I guess. Or perhaps they do, but, guess what, Saban and Co. kick their collective ass anyway. See, truly great teams can meet some other team’s A game and match it with their A+ game. ND did that for years. Navy, for instance, has always been a tough team with high character guys. But more often than not ND beat them and beat them good. Now all of a sudden, Navy might as well be Ohio St.

    Since you are from Alabama, how do you explain that Saban can overcome every happenstance? Answer: He’s a great coach. He’s learned to be one over the years. He wasn’t always great at MSU. But as he got better players and more experience, guess what, he became a great coach and circumstances don’t faze him. How many NCs have his teams won in the last 7 or 8 years? That’s what we expect of BK. Get the players and get the experience and get the NCs. If you can’t, don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out. Any coach who settles for 8-4, 9-3, or even 10-2 isn’t the man for the ND job. As fans we shouldn’t want a coach who settles for runner-up.

    We are (or at least were?) ND!

    1. There is no one in the country over the last four years that can compete with Alabama. What they are doing is unprecedented. They can get athletes that Notre Dame will never get because of academic requirements so you are comparing apples to oranges in my opinion.

      I was thinking why can’t we do what Stanford is doing and the only difference I see is that Kelly likes the spread and can’t recruit the right type of athlete at Notre Dame to play the spread effectively.

      1. Jeff how come Ara in the 70’s could beat Alabama and Lou in the 80’s and early 90’s could beat top five teams. If ND is limiting itself due to academic restrictions than maybe the standards should be reviewed. Also, I don’t want ND to model themselves after Standford. This is ND and it needs to adjust and come up with its own plans. The problem over the past twenty years is ND’s administration has been chasing the latest coaching fad rather than blazing its own path. Its sad when someone would accept ND being like Standford. ND needs to rethink its position on players and giving a shot to a kid that may be on the border of getting in, they took a chance on Rice and Zorich and how did that turn out?

      2. That was such a different time. Recruiting is so much more difficult then. Back then the best players wanted to play for Notre Dame. It is not that easy now. Now they want the warm weather of the SEC, they don’t want the academic responsibilities and they want the money that they get paid while attending those school. I hope and pray that Notre Dame doesn’t pay players. We know that Alabama paid players they admitted as much. I really don’t know why nothing has been done about it.

      3. So Jeff you are claiming that SEC schools pay players? Big difference between a booster providing benefits and a school paying a player.

        This is sacrilege but let’s call it like it is. Under Lou ND was put on probation after after an extra benefits scandal. Those who know ND history remember the name Kim Dunbar all too well.

        Father Malloy was deeply troubled and thus set in motion that ideals would never be compromised again. Keep hoping for relaxed admission standards and you’ll be waiting a long time.

        ND values and ideals will always come before W’s.

      4. Ron Burgundy,
        When I was at ND, the guys on the team would come back from the Alabama game talking about how the Bama players. The Bama players would whether boosters bought our guys Beamers or Mercedes. I know that our guys weren’t paid when I was there. That was under Lou.

        I think you need to look at the Kim Dunbar situation and the timeline a little more closely. and make sure you have the facts correct.

  8. Whoa, what a over reaction to losing a football game a team that wanted it a lot more then we did. Yes there were questionable coaching decisions(55 yard field goal attempt), no Tarean Folston featured in the running game,but this is the best coaching staff we have had in a long time, and they deserve our support. Could it be better? Yes. Will it get better? Yes. If you need to be upset with someone, start with Everett Golson, but remember, he is still a kid learning how to adjust to life in a bubble under constant scrutiny. Every year unexpected occurrences happen to every football team,and sometimes you can overcome them, and sometimes they overcome you, but, 4 years ago we would have been tickled to death at the prospect of going 9-3. It will to happen this year, because Stanford is much better then we are, but at least now the possibility exists.

  9. kelly has coached for many years and so has chip martin, but not on a national level, i just think he is over his head. no i give swarbrick credit for something that goes right and hell when he needs to adjust his thinking,
    i just think he made a mistake here. and needs to retool. if he is stuck with kelly for a while go talk to kelly about hiring some bcs calibre assistants/help. a greater leader is not afraid of smart guys that can help him look good. yale football is like ohio high school football.

    1. His team played in the National Championship game last year. And yes we lost badly but we had one of the top 5 teams nationally with this coaching staff.

  10. Tommy throwing INT at the worst possible moments. So what else is new! Same old Tommy Rees.
    3 more games of Tommy and he’s gone for good. Thank God.
    Question is if people would BOO him on senior day ?

    I blame losing this game and the ENTIRE SEASON on Kelly.
    It’s not a secret that Tommy is limited, so we should install game controlled running game at start of season.
    Why on earth are we passing so much ? Going empty sets with tommy airing the ball?
    Are you kidding me Kelly !
    Kelly must think Tommy is the second coming of Manning or Brady.

    Pitts defense is not that good.
    Lou’s team would pound this pathetic Pitts team into submission.

    That’s all from a very frustrated fan.

    One more frustrating point, when the hell is the admin going to make up the mind to upgrade the stadium just to catch up with the beautiful stadiums of Alabama, Oregon, and even Texas A&M (approved).
    Tradition is becoming more n more Outdated !

  11. I think so many of you are dead wrong. I have questions about what we are doing on defense especially in the Navy game but I don’t think the problem is coaching. In fact, I think getting to the national championship game last year had a great deal to do with good coaching and an undermanned team overachieving.

    I do think it is execution, or in other words, players making plays. Players play the game and they either make the coach look good or bad. Tommy Rees is not that good but it was obvious early that he was struggling and would be all night. TJ Jones fumbling, the defense not recovering a critical fumble, Farley’s missed tackle, Bennett just getting torched over and over again, linebackers who can’t seem to tackle anyone. That all comes down to execution and that is on the kids in my opinion.

    We are much better off now than we were during the Weis years, Willingham years, Davie years.

    1. All the commentators who saw the Navy game, all of whom played major college ball and in the pros, said the D scheme for Navy was wrong. All of us who have played football, either running the option in HS or college or having to defend it, saw the scheme was just off. You basically attack the option by stunting your tackles to take away the dive (ND did it a few times and it always worked!), have your D end or OLB force a quick pitch, the have you safety run the alley to the ball carrier. It takes discipline on D and sometime you’ll get gashed on the inside or outside. But a team like ND should never struggle that much to control a glorified HS offensive scheme. So, sorry, not only do I disagree with you, but more importantly the experts who saw the Navy game and have played this sport also disagree with you.

      But there’s no doubt that these players are not executing properly. Tackling and coverage are especially horrendous on this team. But if you want to give coaching credit for last year, then you have to give them some of the blame this year. Can’t have it both ways. This team is unsound in its fundamentals and let’s not even talk about the lack of in-game awareness. Three Irish defenders had a chance to pick up the fumble against Pitt and not a single one did. That’s inexcusable and not even the best excuse makers on this site have even attempted one for that play.

      So, sorry, Jeff, with all due respect I see things a bit differently than you do.

      Go Irish!

      1. If you read my comments more closely you will see that I agree with you and everyone else that the way Navy was defended was wrong. So we actually agree on that.

        Scheme issues like the defensive game plan v Navy are coaching issues, but the fact that there are some very good tacklers on the team, and some who are not so good leads me to believed fundamentals are being taught but executed only by some. Not picking up a fumble in my opinion should not have to be coached.

        We can disagree on the coaching because from my perspective having lived through the Davie years, the Willingham years, and the Weiss years I truly see the program heading in the right direction especially when Coach Kelly has one of his recruits starting at quarterback.

      2. I see the issue, Jeff. Your measure of a ND coach is Bob Davie, Ty Willingham, and Chuck Weis. See, my measure of an Irish football coach is Ara, Dan Devine, Lou. There are a few old-timers on here that could probably tell us of Leahy. See, Jeff, those are the gold standard of ND football coaches. Of course BK would seem like the second coming of Rockne compared to Davie, Willingham, and Weis.

        On every team you have some guys who are better than others. So you work more on the fundamentals of the weaker athlete without ignoring your best players. Poor fundamentals isn’t limited to one or two players on this team, however. It’s systematic and that’s all about the coaching staff. And not playing to the whistle is most definitely a show of poor coaching sine it illustrates a lack of in-game awareness. That’s coaching. Players are to blame too, don’t get me wrong. But I don’t cherry pick on who’s to blame. It’s a both and for me instead of an either or issue.

        But I agree that the next 2 seasons BK will have more of his type of players in place. Then hopefully we can stop hearing excuses and talk about ND being great again. Frankly, I’m tired of hearing endless excuses. Don’t know about you.

      3. Does anyone remember the old 5-2 defense? In actuality it was 5-3-3. You could also run a 4-4-3. It’s always worked against the option when run as SFR says aggressively. You can attack both the ends and the middle with those numbers and with the studs that we’re supposed to have, you should be able to disrupt before they can play around with any chop or cut blocks.

      4. C-Dog,

        The 5-2 monster defense is actually a 3-4 hybrid. The difference is your d-ends stand up and the weakside d-end is responsible for the flat. I ran that defense in high school and it works excellent against the option. Every play the d-end’s responsibility is to crush the QB and force the pitch. You stop the option by taking the options away and the more hits you get on the QB the more he thinks about pitching the ball earlier and earlier. The CB is responsible for the pitch man and the saftey slids over to pick up the deap third of the field. On the strong side the outside LB takes the pitch man allowing the corner to take the deap third of the field.

  12. I think so many of you are dead wrong. I have questions about what we are doing on especially in the Navy game but I don’t think the problem is coaching. In fact, I think getting to the national championship game last year had a great deal to do with good coaching and an undermanned team overachieving.

    I do think it is execution, or in other words, players making plays. Players play the game and they either make the coach look good or bad. Tommy Rees is not that good but it was obvious early that he was struggling and would be all night. TJ Jones fumbling, the defense not recovering a critical fumble, Farley’s missed tackle, Bennett just getting torched over and over again, linebackers who can’t seem to tackle anyone. That all comes down to execution and that is on the kids in my opinion.

    We are much better off now than we were during the Weis years, Willingham years, Davie years.

    1. If it comes down to execution then IMO it’s ‘game day’ preparation not being up to snuff. There are some bright spots on both sides of the ball but real weaknesses at the linebacker and safety position. Aside from #9, a freshman, they are not doing the job.

      My BIG concern is for a player like Folston. Why is he not the featured back? He is lightyears ahead of anyone in the backfield and should get 12-15 touches per game. CAM is a good #2 and GAIII should be in the slot…He is not helping the running game.

      Finally, Tommy Rees? Two to three more games and the nightmare ends.

    2. Until the Irish recruit more depth at every position this will continue. Why did Pete Carroll win? Competition, competition, and more competition. Compete for every starting spot, every practice and every game. If you don’t perform someone else will.

  13. the problem has been the athletic directors, kevin white, jack swarbrick, kevin white almost singlehandily destroyed nd football, i will give swarbrick credit for one great season, 12-0, until the bcs game, but he is naive. he takes ten days to find kelly. a guy with no experience on the national level. it takes a great ad to know what to look for. experience, experience, experience, and a soul. nd can always attract great talent. look at stanford. a great academic institution. these guys got arrogant and arrogant always gets you killed. throwing the same rees interceptions time and again. in the old days the ol and the backs would grind a pittsburgh into the dust. no adjustments on defense leads to giving up thirty pts a game. they need an urban meyer with a soul. we have a guy with not enough national experience, with a chip on his shoulder, who cant inspire his team to victory. remember that one sentence from lou: “save jimmy johnson’s ass for me,” brought us a national championship. and faith, and trust, how do have faith and trust in a guy that goes shopping with the eagles, god protect us, go to the grotto and pray for divine intervention, that is all that can save us now from the ivy leagues. have you ever been to a yale football game. i have i didnt know whether to laugh or cry.

    1. bruce, I’m trying to understand your post.

      You are giving Swarbrick credit for the team going 12-0 in 2012?
      Then blame him for the BCS game?

      What do you consider acceptable experience?
      Kelly has been a head coach in college football for 22 years.
      23 years perhaps?

      Isn’t it “shopping” only if you actually buy something, and just “looking” when you don’t?

      What type of adjustments on defense were you looking for or believe ND should have done?… besides bringing in Chris Zorich and Luther Bradley.

      Who, exactly, is Urban Meyer with a soul? Elvis?

      Isn’t it a little foolish to go to the grotto and pray for Jimmy Johnson ass?
      I mean, if the guy was going bald one might want to pray for his hair, but his ass?

      I don’t get the comparision to yale. Yale has a fine history and tradition on the gridiron that goes beyond that of Notre Dame’s.
      Wouldn’t it be better to save us from something, like say, the SEC?

      What were you doing at a Yale game? I thought you went to Harvard?

  14. This guy is a hoax, a fraud. He came in with so much fanfare and promise and now we feel betrayed. He is no Rockne, no Frank, no Ara and no Lou.
    With veins popping, purple faced, swearing and cursing at his players on the sidelines in front of millions.This is not a Notre Dame coach. It’s all about him. Listen to his remarks. It’s all “I did this, I said this, I guess you’re saying that I didn’t cover the spread, and, I guess, I can’t wait to hop to the NFL”. We deserve better.

    I have been a fan for more than 60 years and have never felt like not watching the games. For the first time in years I have not traveled to South Bend to see a game.
    Don’t blame Reese. Don’t blame the kids. We have a lot of talent on this team. With so many other NCAA coaches, this team would be playing with passion, with desire, with confidence and with an identity and they would be winning decisively not merely eking out a sometimes lucky W.

  15. I can tell you this 9-3 is a pipe dream, more like 7-5. This team is depleted on defense and BK calls a horrible game. BYU will beat ND in a track meet and Stanford will pound the living hell out of ND.

    For those of you that think Golson is the next coming of JC think again. The defense will be a work in progress next year and the offense will be more of the same. If I got to hear one more time about consistency I am going to throw a shoe at BK’s head like that Iraqui did to George Bush. You are the dam coach, it’s your job to fix the problem and it’s the same problem from game 1 to game 9. I truely think that ND is done as a national power house, between and administration that has it’s head up it’s ass and a coach that doens’t adjust ND is doomed. Go watch that piece on Alabama and look at the money they pump into their facilities, ND can’t make up it’s mind to upgrade it’s stadium and don’t give me that crap about tradition, Boston upgraded Fenway and that is just as iconic as ND stadium and the Yankees built a replica of their old stadium. I blame this stint of sub par performaces on the adminstration that over the past 20 yrs have run Lou out of town, botched several hires (George O’leary), and begrudgling upgraded it’s facilities. Can someone close to the University explain without that football program you would be a small Catholic School in the midwest!

    1. I agree with you completely about a 7-5 prediction. I am not saying that by overthinking the spectacular clown show from Saturday night. The Pitt performance and outcome is just 1 bulletpoint. Because, like we’ve been talking about all year, there is zero leadership on this team. None from the coaches; none from any player that I can see. Add to that the number of injuries and a starting quarterback who has 2 personalities. You never know which Tommy Rees will show up. It’s a coin toss every week.

      When you already have a margin of error that’s razor thin (given what I’ve said above), a loss to a team like Pitt can truly be a “season eraser”.

      My prediction is that BYU will be another nail biter, down to the wire type of game. And they’ll win by a touchdown. I may be wrong, but that is what I am predicting for the record.

      Stanford will be a blowout, barring any MAJOR injuries on their team before our matchup. We will lose by 20 points.

      I feel bad for alot of the guys on the team who are truly talented, but don’t have the coaching/leadership on their side. Can you imagine how Lou would have LOVED the anti-ND comments by Pitt last week? He would have used them RELENTLESSY to motivate his team.

      I will continue to hope for better days and support ND no matter what.

      But this year can’t end fast enough and Rees can’t graduate fast enough.

      1. Coaches can’t play the game but they do decide who plays and where. They do teach kick coverage. They do call the plays on both sides of the ball. They do decide to put the safety’s back in deep coverage. They do teach tackling and blocking technique. They do teach their QB how to avoid picks. They do scheme for each opponent. It’s not just about recruiting top atheletes. Coaching is a verb. At this point I would advise Kelly to evaluate himself and his entire staff. Something is wrong if you can’t coach kick coverage. Kelly should turn the offensive play calling totally over to Martin and move himself to D coordinator and personally over see special teams kick coverage. There is only so much he can do at this point but after the season is over he needs to make coaching changes starting with the defense. Also get the Coordinators on the field with the team. Finally, Rees needs a safety valve on every pass play with strict instructions that he is not to throw over five rads if his primary is covered. So just give him somebody to dump the ball rather than force a throw.

  16. True, but trying to toss a bone to our glass half full friends. Let’s at least hope it will happen. I’d love for nothing more than for RB and Co. to say to all of us, see I told you so. That would be sweet. Would love to see you proved wrong about 9-3. Wouldn’t you cousinnap? Please tell me you’re not like some others here who would rather be right about their opinions than see ND be great again. I know you’re one of this team’s loyalists so I know you agree with me that 9-3 isn’t realistic but we’d love to see it happen. Although, to be honest, I hate the idea of ND beating Stanford and allowing another SEC team into the NC game assuming FSU or Ohio St. lose at some point.

  17. ChrisJ,

    All true ND fans want to throw up! Not just because of this game but because of the whole season thus far. Yes, there have been a lot of injuries. We shouldn’t discount those. But even before the injuries started piling up it was obvious that this year’s team wasn’t last year’s. Where’s the leadership? Where’s the accountability? How can a team be so poorly coached and disciplined that after Shembo (who is healthy) finally shows up and makes a play, not one, not two, but three Irish defenders fail to pickup a live fumble and take it to the house?! That’s not as a result of being injured or tired. That’s just poor fundamentals and in-game play. Anyone who knows jac about football can see that!

    I’ve barfed so often this season that my friends think I have bulemia!

    Let’s see how this season ends. 9-3 and I’d say BK pulled off a late-season miracle. 8-4 seems realistic now (although unacceptable at the start of the season). 7-5 (meaning 3 straight defeats at the end of the season) and BK needs to be put on a hot seat. Let’s all get behind 9-3.

    Go Irish!

    1. To win out, (or win any more this season) ND coaches must show a willingness not to be so predictable. The “it’s all about execution”, or “we are who we are” shows either a stubborness, laziness, or unconsciousness from BK as to what it takes to defeat a competitive opponent. The past legends would devise variations to game planning and schemes, (e.g.) recognizing that “keep everything in front of you” on D, (remember Ara’s mirror D vs. Texas), or running the pistol on short yardage ( remember when Nebraska utilized Johnny Rodgers almost exclusively as a tailback rather than a wide out in their blowout win against Ara) ? Good coaches respect the other team also prepares for what you do. Variation is necessary in modern football, and BK refuses to be anything but predictable.
      Having time off can mean more than additional rest and recovery. Maybe that’s why, when in a big game, it always comes down to individual players bailing BK out rather than play calling and D schemes that impact the outcome.
      Go Irish, but also, go do some coaching, Irish coaches.

    2. Steel Fan–where have you been? I read the comments and I said to myself “this person is smart, has eloquence in the words and is spot on.” Then -I realize it was you!
      Yes Steel Fan -you are RIGHT as USUAL!

      This team has played NOT to lose. Turnovers, failure to convert on 3 and 1 more times than I’ve seen in a long time, pass, pass, incomplete pass –(that didn’t work with three previous plays–let’s get a freaking RUNNING game! huh?)

      When I hear that the BCS hopes were “dashed” I shook my head. LOVE THE IRISH–but
      we are NOT BCS worthy and have NOT been since the Oklahoma loss. At best this team is scrappy–and I’ve used that word way too much.
      Giving up too many things on both sides of the ball.
      The Defense gets it –the offense is off or vice versa.

      However, we go from “Riches to nearly Rags” a lot and it takes more than 3 years to recover. This is a pattern that is unacceptable for a school to be considered competitive. This is why we are not and HAVE NOT been BCS worthy for quite some time.
      BAYLOR deserves a lot more press time and then I’m happy for the success of
      Missouri. Cocky Johnny with Texas A and M, Auburn,Clemson and yes two teams we beat are ahead of us because they are NOW playing better –Arizona St. and Mich. St —
      LOVE MY IRISH but we are getting worse–

      I think it is best we not talk BCS until we LOOK like BCS material. Isn’t it better to play a team in a lesser bowl and win than get millions of dollars and lose and get blown out AGAIN?

      BCS hopes?? I gave up that hope a long time ago.
      This team needs a retreat.
      This bye came at a good time.
      This beloved Irish Program had better come to terms with redefining themselves for the rest of this year, recruiting and the look of next year.

      Irish Coaches–we need to see some things to turn around for some respectability.

      I’m betting on the Music City Bowl –and there is NO SHAME IN THAT DUE TO THE LEVEL OF PLAY THE 2013 SEASON HAS SHOWN.

      go Irish –REST
      THEN for the sake of the Seniors WIN AT HOME AGAINST BYU!!! ( that’s not a gimme game btw)
      Go Irish–beat Cougars!!!

      1. irisheye, I can say the samething to you brother. You need to be more active on here. Your brand of humor and wisdom are much needed. I’ve been too busy fighting off “SteelFanBob” and Ron Burgundy’s other stooges. They want to start a fight then have me finish it. I’d rather talk about football but also won’t let myself be bullied either.

  18. This is the first time I’ve really questioned Kelly’s decisions. Folston just had a huge game last week and everyone has been asking Kelly if a #1 back has finally emerged as EVERYONE else (besides Kelly obviously) has clearly seen that Folston is the best all around back we have.

    1. He didn’t start
    2. He got 4 touches I think

    Kelly must be the most stubborn SOB on the face of the planet. It’s like he WILL NOT feature him because he is a true freshmen. I just don’t get it and I’m really not happy with him right now.

    And then there is Diaco…I think it’s absolutely ridiculous that we play with so much cushion that a player can run a curl route, catch the ball, turn all the way around, and then is still able to take about two strides downfield before he is touched. You have to start taking some chances on defense instead of this keeping everyhing in front of you crap. I understand why we did it last year, because we had a red zone defense like no other so field goals were ok to give up. But guess what, this year we have NO red zone defense so we can’t just allow them to keep moving the ball downfield so easily.

    We just lost to PITT…anyone else want to throw up?

  19. I am not going to lie…that game made me sick to my stomach. It was an embarrassment to say the least. ND looked more like a high school team out on the gridiron, than a Division I school…oh well, there is always next year.

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