Notre Dame v. Northwestern ’14 – Key Matchups

Jaylon Smith - Notre Dame LB vs ASU
Notre Dame Fighting Irish linebacker Jaylon Smith (9) during the college football game against the Arizona State Sun Devils and Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo: Kevin French/Icon Sportswire)

The Irish will look to bounce back from a devastating loss to Arizona State this week when they host the struggling Northwestern Wildcats.  Notre Dame should be able to have a solid effort defensively as the Wildcats rank last nationally with just three 30 plus yards plays all season and rank second last nationally in yards per play.  As always the emphasis for Everett Golson and the Irish offense will be to eliminate turnovers from their game.  If the Irish play a clean game they should get back on track as they possess advantages in virtually every facet of the game.  The following are the critical matchups the Irish must control to be victorious:

Jaylon Smith versus Trevor Siemian:  Linebacker Jaylon Smith will have an opportunity for a big day when Trevor Siemian and the struggling Wildcats offense come to South Bend.  Siemian is a dual-threat quarterback with five passing touchdowns and four rushing touchdowns on the season but he has thrown eight interceptions and is sacked often.  Smith should be able to get pressure on Siemian and force him into bad throws as well as limit any success he has running the football.

Cody Riggs versus Kyle Prater:  Cody Riggs missed last week’s game versus Arizona State but will be back this week to attempt to shut down veteran wide receiver Kyle Prater.  Prater is a tall receiver at 6’5’’ so Riggs will be facing a large height disadvantage as usual.  Prater has a team-high 37 receptions for 372 yards for the Wildcats but Riggs has held more talented receivers in check this season so he shouldn’t struggle with the least explosive offense in the nation.

Irish running backs versus Chi Chi Ariguzo:  The Irish had little success running the ball versus Arizona State and even less success picking up the blitz so they’ll be looking to bounce back against Wildcats senior and leader of the defense Chi Chi Ariguzo.  Ariguzo has a team-high 80 tackles for Northwestern from his linebacker spot and embodies the identity of the Wildcats physical defense.  The Irish running backs could all see touches in this game and will need to establish the run to make things easier for Everett Golson in the passing game.

Ronnie Stanley versus Dean Lowry:  Left tackle Ronnie Stanley has usually been Notre Dame’s best offensive lineman but he struggled as did most of the Irish offense last week.  Stanley will need to bounce back this week when he faces versatile defensive lineman Dean Lowry.  Lowry is a bit undersized at 280 pounds but at 6’6’’ it’s no surprise he leads the Wildcats with six pass breakups, something the Irish will need to be aware of as the Sun Devils batted down and intercepted many of the Irish’s quick passes.  Lowry also has a team-high 3.5 sacks while playing defensive end and defensive tackle this season so Stanley and the rest of the offensive line must be aware of where he is lining up.


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  1. Jerry, that is one of the dumbest things I have ever heard. They will perform for him and have performed fine for him until now. The bad body language is due to all the turnovers. Wouldn’t you have bad body language if there was a fumble or intereception on half the drives the past 5 games?

  2. Watch the teams body language. Kelly has completely lost this team. They
    will not preform for him and he has to go.

  3. Also has anyone considering ND’s lack of talent noticed the work of several players in the NFL this week? Jonas Gray, Robert Hughes, theo Riddick, Michael Floyd and so on and so on?

    The ND coaches and athletic department need to run the business but need to remember that it is more than a business. It represents a lot more. Until that happens, the Irish will not ascend to the top again.

  4. Don’t look now folks but FSU has beaten a team currently ranked in the top 25. Kind of like…………..Marshalll!

  5. ND has relaxed its admissions standards. They are still recruiting exceptional athletes. There is blame to be shared throughout the whole program. I still contend the schemes on both sides of the ball are just to cerebral. The offensive line is never platooned that I have seen and always back peddling for constant passing attack. Which is more tiring then an aggressive run blocking. The team is young. They are faster, bigger, stronger, smarter and deeper compared to their opponents. Kelly is a good coach. Calls a lousy game. He doesn’t seem to be inspiring and the players don’t seem to have determination or confidence over the span of a game let alone a long season. The players are quality individuals. Maybe on game day that’s the problem. Just individuals and groups as opposed to a team. Coaches included. Platoon the Offensive line and get physical. Going to have to pound these next two games if you want the pass happy spread to work also.

  6. Damian..I agree with you. I’m just saying they may have to take a chance with a few lower GPA guys to get the push to the top. Last time they did with Holtz they won a Nat. Championship. No I do not want to see them be an SEC, FSU or Miami type of school. I see articles on how the Tallahassee police dept. is in on the corruption at FSU. It’s a shame the toothless NCAA does nothing. As i said, ND will never challenge again with the deck stacked against it. Just my opinion. To be honest, the same goes for schools like BC and Stanford. I see more and more of college football being dominated by just a handful of schools from the South. Let’s face it. It’s different rules down there.

  7. The program is in total disaster from the players suspended this year to the joke they call a machine tht we’ve seen on the field over the past month. Who do you blame? Well there is only one man responsible for this mess and that is Kelly. He and his crack staff have done the recruiting and it doesn’t look very good. Two big games left and they can salvage the season with wins but don’t expect much from them especially after the NW fiasco!

  8. So is it really time to throw in the towel on BK? If I remember correctly just two yrs ago he led us to the championship game. When was the last time that happened? To put that in perspective, the movie Rain Man came out the same yr. Which is who some of you sound like!
    This year we are very young but also without some key starters. I am disappointed also but lets not overreact.

  9. The essence of leadership is to get results by inspiring trust-Peter Drucker.
    He damaged himself and all of us when he talked to the eagles. After that his quarterback cheated. Five players left in scandal. He failed to lead by example. Swarbrick rewarded him with bigger contract. What did the team learn? It’s not about trust or belief; it’s about the money. I was in the hospital a few weeks ago. One of the nurses grew up in south bend. When I asked her how things were there now, she said the town missed Lou. I said he was half priest,half coach. It’s about faith, trust and belief. And then execution. Kelly needs to go to the grotto, confess the sin of pride and hire some assistant coaches the quality of barry Alvarez or urban Meyer. And try to renew our belief in him. God protect notre dame our mother.

    1. Were you in the hospital with a strained hand and fingers? A result of posting too many youtube videos? Was the nurse hot?

  10. I was a BK believer. But losing to a mediocre Northwestern team? There is just no excuse. The FSU loss? ND almost pulled off a huge upset. I can live with that. The loss to ASU? ASU has a great football team. But Northwestern? What was that.

    My faith in BK has been shaken. Not completely broken yet. There are still undeniable improvements since the Willingham-Weis era, whatever that’s worth. But there are no excuses to losing to Northwestern. None. Talent wise it should have been an easy victory, if not a blowout.

    Where does ND go from here? First of all, BK is not going to be fired this year. I would not personally be in favor of that. Next year will be judgment day for BK. All the pieces will be in place, including depth at key positions. For the remainder of the year Zaire needs some playing time. Benching EG has the potential to motivate him to do a better job protecting the football. It has before in 2012. He needs to know for a fact that if he does not protect the football he could lose his job.

    While my faith in BK is shaken, I still say if he is fired where would we go. Urban Meyer, Nick Saban, other top coaches? Forget it. They all made it abundantly clear ND is not their destination. At the same time, I do not support ND abandoning it’s emphasis on academics and discipline. College is a place of learning, not an NFL development league. I’ve always been proud of ND’s stance on academics and if they turned their back on that in favor of being a football factory, I would cease being a fan. I already follow an NFL team.

    ND desperately needs BK to succeed. They will not be able to recover otherwise. Righting the ship starts this week. They need to knock off Louisville and USC, and win their bowl game. BK will get one more year, but that’s it at least from the fans and future recruits.

    I still can’t believe it. Northwestern. Frankly they haven’t been the same since the FSU loss. Like they stop believing in themselves.

    I suppose it could be worse. I am also a NY Giants fan. You wanna talk about a team that does anything it can to lose games.

    1. Notre dame is known cause of its football team, not academics, give me the nfl factory then instead if your higher learning facility.

      1. Amen…Zippy Why can’t they have both a winning football team and the academics. So get a few borderline academic players and try to get them through the system…everybody else does.. Get off your high horse ND and quit looking down on everybody..the world is basically calling you irrelevant..if that’s what the admin be it but man up and come out and say it..then join the Ivy League or Patriot League maybe they can beat Fordham or Colgate

      2. I actually think it’s possible to both be an academic institution and have a good football team. My point is that I don’t want to see the school sacrifice academics just to win games. I don’t necessarily object to recruiting players with a bit of a lower GPA, they did do some of that during the Holtz years if I remember correctly. But the reason they were there was to learn first. That is what ND must not sacrifice.

        I don’t want ND to be another FSU, Miami or one of the many SEC teams.

        But I do think it’s possible to be both. It’s harder, yes, but well worth the rewards.

  11. You can’t do exotic blitzes if the guy calling it has no idea what your trying to do. I would like to see a leader emerge on defense and fast

  12. Yes , where was the attack style on NW QB , who was sacked seven times by Michigan ? Drive after drive down the field the Wildcats they went not a stop in sight and to all a good night. Go Irish beat USC.

  13. I think there is a potential ALL American on the team other then Smith. He’s a sophomore , plays on offense , fast , sure hands , ball security. He was not at top of totem pole at his position before season started. He’s the go to guy now in the offense. It’s Will Fuller. ND hasn’t had a Rocket or Tim Brown type in ages. How about Fuller on kick off and punt returns Coach ? How come this McGlinchy (spelling) kid is not playing ? I read a few chapters of Resurrection–it helps the pain.

  14. Things were so much better in August when you defensive wizards were all so excited about the aggressive blitzing scheme of BVG. Good riddance to bend but don’t break style of Diaco.

  15. This school can go 0 and 12 every year and I would still root for them, it’s not about the names on the back of the jersey’s or the coaches as the names will always change every few years. It’s about the tradition and pride of playing for the school and trying to do the best they can each and every week, I would like to be a contender every year for the N/C but I no that will never be unless you can build a program and have a coach that, #1 makes defense their first concern and #2 commit to a running game and #3 make special teams a priority until then they will not contend.

    I just hope this week the senior’s can walk away with a victory in their last home game. Go Irish!!

  16. I don’t know what to think at this point.

    They have some terrific talent. Jaylen Smith has incredible talent. Nyles Morgan looks like he has incredible talent.

    At the beginning of this year I thought they were a bit young, but might be able to put together a nice year. Now I don’t know what to think.

    I do realize that the academic suspensions and injuries have really, really hurt this year, but I just don’t see things moving in the right direction.

    Next year? Who knows… Defense will be one year more mature, but Ev will still be Ev, and I just don’t see anything that will make a SIGNIFICANT difference between this year and next.

    Am I missing anything?

  17. Let’s look at 5 years of Kelly

    2010 8-5

    2011 8-5

    2012 12-1

    2013 8-5

    2014 7-6 with a bowl loss

    This is what this University has become mediocre football program on the field with a great academic program. This is what the administration wants they want to be the Harvard of the Midwest with a football team. Kelly will be fired after next year when he doesn’t win and what coach wants to come to ND. I surely wouldn’t want to coach at ND,every year kids are getting suspended, the ones that are panning out are leaving for the NFL and you really can’t build any depth. Every year they try and make the hardest schedule to show the voters and every year they have a meltdown. Get used to it because this is the norm.

      1. One thing I noticed in football this year is the fact that almost every program has hit rock bottom at one time during the season. We will see if this team can right the ship. Pressure can make diamonds or it can squeeze the life out of you. We’ll see what their made of in the last two games

      2. They’ve hit rock bottom for 25 years.. Is it really a stunning upset when ND loses to NW anymore…or some other school they should have trounced? In the Holtz era and before yes it would be. Now it happens every year. Either get the players to win or just come out and say we just want to be known for academics and end this fiasco. Then again I think the school is forgetting that football originally made the school famous not academics. What do you think pays for all the nice new buildings? I can’t believe the alumni and big donors can’t pressure the administration to field a championship caliber team. I guess as long as they have people filling the stands and school coffers why should they change? As long as they continue to take a were holier than thou attitude nothing will change. Take Jesus off the wall. I think he believed in helping yourself. Not praying for him to help you every game. It is really Frustration Jesus time. Lastly what top tier coach would want to come here when the admin starts off his recruiting with one hand tied behind his back?
        Obviously not many..if any!!

      3. “I can’t believe the alumni and big donors can’t pressure the administration to field a championship caliber team.”
        -If you were one of these donors, what would you do to “pressure” the administration?

        “Take Jesus off the wall. I think he believed in helping yourself. Not praying for him to help you every game.”

        Wait, what? Jesus isn’t “on the wall” because of football. What an odd statement.

  18. Urban Meyer had his chances to come to Notre Dame and didn’t want to. Who can blame him when he would have to recruit with strict requirements and play under an idiot athletic director who overschedules evey year. Very disappointed these last 2 games. Kelly needs to do 3 things this off season but doubt he will. First, fire Booker and hire the best special teams coach in the country. 5 years and special teams are still horrible and never impact games but in a negative way. Second, o-line needs to be completely revamped. Many of the problems with the turnovers and lack of run game are the o- lines fault. Finally, give Zaire a real shot at starting next year. If he does these things then maybe there is hope next year.

    1. Pete,
      Maybe BK thought he’d accomplish your first and third needed changes when he did start Zaire this week, as the new holder. As for the OL, all I’ve read these last three years is that we got many of the best OL recruits of anyone. The good news is four of the OL starters are back. Or is that the bad news?
      You missed one needed change.
      Giving up an average of 42 points per game these last five games, it’s a wonder we won even two of them. A return to your despair is in order if we don’t do much better than that.

  19. This team is done. Put a fork into them.

    BK is probably done. Get the garbage bag ready.

    This whole program is at a tipping point. I say ND announces it’s finally joining a conference: the Ivy League. That’s where ND football is at. When you can’t beat a bad NW team, then perhaps it’s time to play Dartmouth.

    Oh where, oh where are our merry band of pie in the sky, could’ve, would’ve, should’ve, if this, the that, wait til next year, excuse makers. I really need something to laugh about. Please cheer me up with your lame apologetics for mediocrity.

    1. SFR,

      Don’t worry Duranko will write a pretty article to make you happy. I read it and it is his usual Unicorns and rainbows. This team is a mess and the coaching staff is looking for an exit strategy. BK finally took the blame for horrible game management and going for 2. If Brindza can’t make a dam field goal or extra point get someone who can. I hope you have another kicker. The sad thing about this game and ASU game is that ND has better athletes and is a better team than both. They are playing with their heads up the rear end. They need to stop feeling sorry for themselves and need a little motivation. Most young teams need a coach that can get them mentally prepared which BK is not.

    2. Jack:

      ” ND has better athletes and is a better team than both.”

      it is the coaching, the play calls–
      and yes running the ball would be nice —

      A real leader motivates and brings out potential—

      This is sad and Louisville is coming to town—

      7-5?? I hope not–
      9-3 –I hope so–

      Horrible management indeed

  20. Another thorough team loss. As for Northwestern, if they’re capable of beating Wisconsin, as they did, why not ND? ND was outplayed, outcoached, and before BK says it once more, out-executed. But, hey, we had a “great week of practice!” NW played with much more confidence, preparedness, and determination. Maybe the FSU loss gutted this ND team, although there were numerous signs weeks before that. The coaching staff as well as the team seem to have lost it. Most young teams get better as the season progresses, as has AZ.St.who started 9 Frosh. Every QB we play (except Hogan and Gardiner) is made to look like a Hesimann candidate. Four turnovers by NW and at least seven dropped passes, several of which were TD bound, reminds it could have been worse.

    Riddle me this ! Up by 11 late in the game, go for two? Why? No one watching the game with me understood that decision. Looocy, have BK ‘splain it to me! The extra point if converted wasn’t worth the risk of keeping them within a FG and 8 points if we fail. And we did, and they scored the needed 11 to tie. So many miscues, but that one, to quote buffalo irish above, did indeed, “come back and bite them in the ass.”
    Is there anyone on the staff who could’ve reminded BK that 12 points ahead (assuming ND could execute the PAT) is much better than 11, and a 12 or 13 point lead doesn’t really matter at that point in the final quarter. Did BK forget that forcing them to score two TDs the last half of the quarter to win by having a 12 point lead is better than keeping them within 11 if you fail? Not that that wasn’t HUGE, right? Who’s decision was that? Isn’t anyone doing the math? Or is the staff too afraid they’ll get yelled at by BK? Must have been Golson’s fault. He’s the QB !
    Another great idea. Let’s get Zaire ready all week . . .to be the holder. And never, never let him attempt a pass- ever. After all, we need him as the holder. Another plan that worked out so well.
    Both NW lines again dominated the LOS, like every team seems to do every week, despite NW O line being it’s weakest unit.Their previous 4 games, all losses, NW averaged 13 ppg., even with their outstanding RB, and $C transfer WR Prater.Are we at the point yet where we make changes, especially at the OL? What good is having depth at the OL when you only play five, and three seem to be underperforming each and every game?
    It looks like opponents’ offenses are understanding BVG’s schemes better than the guys who practice with him every week. Now with Sheldon Day out, and Cage, maybe we ought to bring in Ishaq. Ooops, my bad.
    Or some experienced safety coverage with Eilar Hardy might have helped. Mustn’t have gotten an essay done this week?
    BK needs to yell and scream more, because a team’s lack of composure never reflects a coach’s lack of composure. Not that BK is ever not in control of himself. So many for the coach to throw under the bus this week. Maybe he can blame it on Weis’ recruits like he did when $C whooped on his team three years ago.
    He’s not that cute when he pouts.

    Nothing wrong this week either with our lines, our LBs, our TE, our kicking game, our coverage by our DBs, our eternal not-so-special special teams blocking and coverage, another embarrassing lack of rushing effort, and the total confusion of our defenders, regularly out of position.
    But never mind all that. It’s all Golson’s fault this week too, right?

    This week, Pierce ought to give out shamrock stinkers instead of stickers.
    Save a few for the coaching staff. Everybody but BK, of course.

      1. ND did score 31, and still weren’t done. But when you give up 43 to NW, it shows you got other problems, too.

        And BTW, Flutie was even-handed and knowledgeable, unlike your boy, the not-so-subtle ND hater Mayock. I guess others heard that, too.I’d suggest for Louisville they put Mayock in the Louisville locker room, and give him some pom poms so he can secretly cheer for them when no one’s listening.

        Speaking of bylines,
        Start being classy, Burgundy.

      2. OK, Burgundy

        Mocking my thoughtful “classy” haiku-
        That really hurts!

        it’s time to adjust my pre-season haiku after averaging in the scores of the last five games:

        Scored thirty seven
        But we gave up 41
        Just won’t get it done

  21. Maybe they just need to recruit a few players of dubious character and have someone babysit them for 4 years to keep them out of jail. Unless the stars align again ND will just be another college team. Do kids now really care about Rockne or Ara? NBC gives them national coverage and they still haven’t done anything in 25 years

  22. well just watched FSU come back from behind and win again. Imagine that.. ND needs a killer instinct…They could have put this game away but get careless and coughed up the ball inside the 10… twice…. Winners when they have someone down step on their opponents throat and then bitch slap their opponents mother. ND lets them hang around to come back and bite them in the ass

    1. Several FSU players are already under investigation for bitch slappin opponents’ mothers. They’ll wrap up the investigation as soon as the season ends.

      1. you forgot hit and run but the Barney Fife cops in Tallahassee let them go. I’m just saying they don’t put teams away like other elite teams and it shows. ND is not elite. Maybe the youth is the problem so if things don’t change next year what will the excuse be???

  23. Pay a proven head coach at a big time program or nfl team what they want and go from there. Simple solution. I would have taken urban meyer.

  24. Accountability for this loss goes to many. The progression of regression continues. As a fan, this just plain sucks to watch this unfold in front of my eyes. There seems to be “quit” in the players eyes. I just shake my head at what’s occurring.

  25. Who’s going to be the first to make the argument that Northwestern is a strong, solid team?

    It appeared Kelly was out there trying to make some kind of BS statement instead of just getting out with the win.

    1. Agree George but it goes back to turnovers(2 inside the 10)bone headed coaching calls, bad clock management, a kicking game that has gone into the crapper. Hell the punts were crappy too. guys knocking into eachother so they miss the fumble on NW last drive etc etc

      1. Don’t forget the holder. How the hell does a team botch 4 holds in one season! The extra point that went the other way was the game, in my book anyway.

        I just don’t see why ND has to pass 41 times against one of the worst teams in the country.

        But hey, at least EG only threw one INT. Along with one fumble, you really can’t ask for more from that individual

      2. Oh the holder..Hunter Smith How bad is that you get benched as holder.. Send him back to Cardinal Gibbons in Raleigh

  26. At least BK has broken with tradition and gotten rid of grass. Imagine how much NW would have won by had the field still have been grass. What exactly is Notre Dame’s identity in present day collegiate football and what tradition can Notre Dame chain in the last 20 years?

      1. Yeah, except even that has been given over to gimmick versions of the traditional golden helmet. So many here have flamed anyone who dared defend the traditions developed prior to and carried thru 1993. But not too many of the dominant teams in the past 20 years have tried multiple gimmicks.

    1. T’eo was not a vocal leader. He was not one who was in faces on the sideline holding teammates accountable.

      Notre Dame has had quite leaders for quite some time.

      They have many lead by example kind of of guys, but when was the last time you saw any anger/fire coming out of the tunnel, on the field or on the sideline.

    1. I hope his gas goes as well. You know what they say, beans beans the musical fruit the more you eat the more you toot, the more you toot the better you feel so eat beans with every meal.

  27. The defense rest! Every aspect of team sucks but tonite totally on Kelly. Still in shook he yet again didnt pull Golson. Diaco laughing at Carrott Tops brother. Disgrace.

  28. Listening to post game show on watchnd. making excuses about the momentum being lost from the FSU loss and the navy game.. all i can say is this doesn’t happen at elite programs…team too young..blah blah

      1. Amen to that but sorry to be a little self centered but I have it worse..ND sucks Bills suck and Sabres suck. i need therapy

    1. No leadership is the problem.

      Which player(s) do you see leading this team? There is no one that I can see holding their teammates accountable, leading them on and off the field, rallying in support.

      There just doesn’t seem to be the big “IT” on this team.

      There hasn’t been that vocal leader at Notre Dame in a very long time in my opinion.

  29. So once again we allow a doormat team to look like a superteam and throw in some dumbass coaching and you get this result

    1. No Zippy I don’t.

      I finally am ready to throw in the towel on the Irish ever being elite again.

      I still take the Irish roster over the under educated and over arrested teams that dot the south east and atlantic coast.

      But I am ready to admit that they can no longer compete at a high level with the students that they can bring in to play football.

      1. you’re correct their going to have to take a chance on someone with questionable character if they want to beat an elite team again.. Bama finds ways to win ND talks about how they almost won

      2. Agreed BI.

        They took risks in the past and they won. If they continue to recruit as they do, there will not be another championship team in South Bend and it will be mediocre at best going forward.

        It may be time to look to schedule the cupcakes that the others do as well. Playing 12 teams that on any given day can be competitive is too much when you think about who the others are playing.

        Perhaps a few against the FCS are what is needed. It gives you extra bye weeks.

  30. You’re up 11 so you go for 2 to go up by 13….a touchdown and 2 field goals. And I think there was like 1:42 left when it was 2nd down for us so yea i still agree with you but we were trying to get a first down and end it. was already over even if we kneel they get it with like 15 seconds.

  31. Cam, a senior, fumbles the ball. Can’t really pin that on BK but I do blame him for the collective loser mindset of this team.

    1. Agree you can’t blame BK for the fumble. But how about the number of times the offense was predictable.

      Today’s offensive play calling reminded me a lot of Bob Davie, pass on 1st, up the middle run on 2nd and a prayer 8 to 13 yard pass on 3rd followed by a bad punt of FG attempt.

      As for having a young defense, who is responsible for recruiting and having players ready? I think that is BK and his coaches.

      Walk-on turned scholarship Joe Schmidt goes down and is replaced by FRESHMEN Nyles Morgan.

      I realize there were some defensive suspensions but poor LB recruiting in his first few years is proving costly.

      Smith, Morgan, Greer-sophomore-freshmen-freshmen

      Hmmm what is wrong with that picture?

    2. Joe,

      You are correct that you cannot blame BK for Cam’s fumble.

      But how many times this year have the Irish laid the ball on the turf both fumbles lost and own fumbles recovered by the Irish.

      It is a systemic failure.

      Systemic process failures can and should be blamed on the coach.

      If a professor has 1 student fail a test in a semester we would not blame the professor. But if the professor had the same student failing every test or several students failing every test given, then we would blame the professor.

      How is this any different?

      This football team has seen a continuous and predictable increase in errors and failures on the end of week test.

      When do you stop blaming the student and turn a critical eye to the professor?

  32. My first game in the stadium was in 1970 with Joe Theisman leading the Irish.

    Now 34 years later, I am finally done with the Irish.

    I will always take pride in the fact that it is the University that makes the football team and not the other way around. I would never take the FSU criminals over the players that take the field for Norte Dame.

    But it is time to admit, they are not an FBS school.

    There is no excuse for the way they have played for many of the games this year. Take away the U of M and FSU games and they have been outplayed by every team but Rice.

    Perhaps it is time to admit that the academic requirements are just too much for playing high level football at the FBS level.

  33. This loss is not on Brian Kelly. He’s not the one out there fumbling the ball or missing tackles. While I understand our defense is young and they will learn, the fumbles are inexcusable.

    1. It is not just the fumbles and interceptions. The play calling was poor and predictable.

      Let me see if I can spell out the game plan even when up 11 in the second half: pass on 1st down; run up the middle on 2nd down; high risk pass on 3rd down that sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t.

      Punt or attempt and miss a field goal.

      Give it back to Northwestern who had 3 plays of 30 or more yards in the first 9 games of the season and 3 more in the first 25 minutes against Notre Dame.

      The blame for this collapse goes to the coaches and the players in my opinion.

      I did not see anyone execute at all today.

    2. Im not sure but I may be the only person witnessing this but it showed very very clear today I’ve seen it happen a few times at the high school level but the kids have no respect whatsoever for Brian Kelly which is very understanding considering he completely tossed Everett under the bus the Arizona State post game conference a head coach can never do that at any level and prove successful I could not believe how he responded to that statement I have never heard BK man up and take initial credit for anything that ends badly if any of these kids that are very intelligent I might add seen that post game which by the way they played today I am sure they have I couldn’t imagine why they would have any respect for him this team is very disconnected with teammates and even more disconnected with the head coach I can not see them winning another game this year and even if they win out this game hurt recruiting more than if they were to win this game and then lose out

      1. You don’t like punctuation, do you? That was not a run-on sentence, it was an ultra-marathon sentence.

  34. What a pathetic joke!!!! Their go the recruits. This team will never compete with the elite with Brian Kelly as the coach. I didn’t like the hire from the beginning. He will not take us to where we want to go. I am at a complete loss for words after the last two weeks. Everett Golson obviously is a turnover machine but he has no repercussions for all of his mistakes. Brindza can’t kick a field goal to save his life. We will end this season no better than 8-4, but realistically they will be 7-5.

    1. 7-5 is my guess. I can’t see this team recovering to beat either U of L or USC.

      Way too many errors this late in the season by the entire team.

      TOs, missed XP and FGs, missed tackles, poor and very predictable play calling.

      To me it looked like the entire football program has quit following the debacle in the desert.

  35. I appreciate the honesty, JDH.

    I think ND is done as a D1 contender.

    The Ivy League is fast becoming ND’s speed.

    Now someone prove me wrong given recent history.

    1. The positives are that this team is young and absolutely full of talent. The bad and really scary thing is that many of them are truly DUMB. Dumb in these sense that they do not learn from their mistakes. Same mental errors over and over again. Same propensity to turn the ball over, unforced, over and over. The talent it completely negated by the sheer stupidity.

      Kelly won’t do this because of his stubbornness, but he should be in that locker room right now saying that EVERY SINGLE POSITION is up for grabs. Every single one. It doesn’t matter if we beat Louisville and/or USC. Still going to end up in the Whole Foods Fag Bowl. So it’s time send a clear message and see who rises to the top during the practice week. But that’s just a pipe dream.

      1. With the variety of bowl names/games that actually exist, which are so laughable, there is no reason to fabricate one

      2. JDH–

        It’s not the lack of talent–
        it’s the play calling–
        and the lack of running game-

        it isn’t the talent–

        Louisville is licking their chops—

        I hope we play to win—
        not play to lose–

        it is the play calling

    2. ND will never win a NC while I’m alive. Their administration sucks and it’s only a matter of time before they are irrelevant.

      1. Another 40 years. I figure Rom Emmanuel is right 80 would be about right. How long do you plan to be alive Burgundy?

      2. Jack–

        Burgundy is toxic.
        IGNORE the boy.
        He reacts a bit too much.

        We have the talent–play calls are questionable nearly every time.

  36. Regardless of whether we win or lose, this team has imploded. They have no business being in the conversation any more this year as far as serious bowl games. The turnovers and mistakes are beyond pale. I have to assume the FSU game was a fluke at this point. I will admit fully, my ridiculous assumption that ND was “back” at that point was wishful thinking and so myopic. Northwestern deserves this win IMHO.

  37. BEFORE ND’s final drive, I texted several friends and “guaranteed” that ND would turn the ball over and Northwestern would tie the game or win it with no time left.

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