Notre Dame Football Stock Report: Week 2

Notre Dame-Georgia brought the first “talking to” game of the year and also Notre Dame’s first loss. The game was tense, things got a little heated in the Flammang household, and after the kids were put to bed, I was respectfully informed by the wife my behavior was substandard. Something tells me I wasn’t the only one this week. Saturday was a substandard kind of night.

Notre Dame lost by one possession (again), and Brian Kelly was left to explain why his team can’t seem to finish off close games, and he did so to no one’s satisfaction (again). We get mad about the things Kelly says in the postgame, “he’s making excuses” or “he’s being arrogant and rude”, but it really doesn’t matter. He’s explaining another loss. There’s nothing he can say we are going to like.

With that, lets take a look at where this team stands following week 2.


The Safety Play

Hello Nick Coleman and Devin Studstill. One of the most encouraging take aways from Saturday night was the play of these two in a big game where a lot of stress was put on them in the back end. Coleman was especially impressive, not only making the plays that were there to be made, but doing so in decisive fashion. He’s a player who struggled with confidence early in his career at corner and struggled with his tackling in the first game and in the preseason. He came up with two huge stops early, one on the 33 yard run by Nick Chubb, in which Coleman saved a touchdown, and another on 3rd and 2 where Coleman stopped former five star, and top 15 national recruit Mecole Hardman, for a two yard loss. Both plays occurred in the open field, and both saved either touchdowns, or huge gains.

Studstill was again a solid tackler and was over the top of a couple long pass plays and in perfect position to defend a better throw from the quarterback.

Both players were strong where they were previously considered to be weak and it’s great news moving forward this year.

Jay Hayes

Simply put, a stud in this game.

In the same way the offensive line got bullied around by Georgia, it was Jay Hayes who did the bullying for the Notre Dame defense, racking up seven tackles, several at the lineup scrimmage, and a key 3rd and 2 stop late in the 4th to give the offense one last chance to win it. This is what we thought we were going to see last season from Hayes, and it looks like he has finally made good on his potential.

Justin Yoon

He was bad last week, he was phenomenal this week. Not only did he make all of his kicks, but they were all dead center, perfect. This young man is a streaky shooter and when he has it going, man, he’s more than solid. He deserved one more chance to win this game, because it was going to be money. Another good sign as the season moves forward.



It’s a mixed bag at this point, but they do lean a little more positive than negative. Watkins looks great, and displays excellent coverage, but he gave up two fifty-fifty balls, both of which led to points for Georgia. Julian Love was solid again in coverage, but he gave up the fade for a touchdown. I realize the receiver made an incredible catch, but it’s a play there guy made that ours did not, and that’s two weeks in a row for Love where he’s in good position, but someone else make a better play. But, the play of the corners is not killing the team right now, and they aren’t a liability, so it’s something to monitor as the season progresses.


Offensive Line

Last week I declared I was ready to buy this group and now I’ve lost money, because holy smokes did they look bad. I don’t want to make a similar overreaction in the other direction this time, remember we saw the 2015 line get pretty beat up against Clemson’s front 7 as well (Prosise 15 for 50 that night), and that line turned out to be pretty good.

But, we need to call the performance Saturday what it was, and that’s dreadful. Notre Dame got some good individual play (see: Nelson, Quenton), but collectively, they laid an egg. It’d be one thing if it was similar to the performance of the defensive line, you win some, you lose some. And lets not dismiss Georgia’s defense, those guys can play. It was never going to be like last week. But, they couldn’t find traction at any point, the longest run by a running back was 7 yards, Wimbush was hit all night. It was a mess.

If the best part of the team is going to no show in a big game, you need a lot to go right for you to pull it out, and a lot did, but not enough in the end. Needless to say a major disappointment.

Brandon Wimbush

He wasn’t ready for this game. And I’ll give him credit, because he hung in there and took some shots, and he kept coming. But, his reads were slow, he locked onto receivers, he tried to take every run sideways, and he was inaccurate. Georgia is intimidating, and darn good, but Notre Dame needs better from it’s quarterback. I realize it’s his second start, but he’s a junior, he’s three years removed from high school.

The good news is he’s likely to improve over time and he’s coming up against some defenses a little more forgiving than Georgia before the next big one against USC. He’s not a lost cause by any means, but he was poor last weekend.

Personnel usage

I’ll get more into this later in the week, but Dexter Williams, CJ Sanders, Chase Claypool et al are very easy to defend when they are standing on the sideline. It doesn’t take any kind of creativity to not utilize your offensive weapons. For example, I’m sure Notre Dame would have loved it if Georgia utilized one back all night. Would have been a big help.

You recruited them. Coach them. Put them in the game.

One last thing regarding all the Georgia fans

On the one hand, I understand if someone offers you $3,000 for two tickets and a parking pass, you would take that deal. Makes a lot of sense.

I also don’t like when half the stadium is red and people are barking.

Something needs to get figured out, because that sucked.

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  1. Obviously, Brian Kelly was a good coach at three different stops. He probably has to do things at ND that he didn’t have to at the other places. One thing I think we should all consider, and this is what killed Gerry Faust, I think you should make an honest assessment of team speed. Other than our two (or three running backs, and a few of the db’s, I think we continue to lose this battle by wide enough margins that we can’t overwhelm really good teams any more. We have to win on organization and smarts. We will continue to beat the weaker ACC teams, the service academies for the most part (except Navy), and some ofvtge weaker sisters in the Big Ten. But the SEC is maybe a bridge too far niw, unlike in Ara’s and Lou Holtz’s day. They are just too fast–we can’t compete. Once we realize that, we can stop being so disappointed all the time. I just don’t think it’s realistic that we can expect kids, except very unusual ones, to shoulder the academic load and compete like future NFL players. I think we held the ‘dogs to a one-point win; they might have been lucky, escaping that way, But SO WERE WE, that it wasn’t a two-touchdown blowout!!

  2. Here’s how you know BK is a Bull shi++er:
    He was asked in the PC today what Wimbush could have done differently in response to the Georgia pressure.
    Answer: “We could sit down and I could have a 30-minute conversation with you…..etc etc etc…..”

    This is a perfect illustration of Kelly’s BS. There are only two answers to questions: 1) It’s too complicated for you (as a football mortal) to even begin to understand
    or, when totally cornered:
    2) You’re an idiot for asking that.

    He’s a career ladder-climber BSer.

  3. So many issues

    None bigger than the o line.

    It’s coaching o-line coach. No more zone blocking.

    The reason Alabama osu and Stanford win consistently
    Is no secrete. They play smash mouth football. So tired of watching
    Our linemen catch their guy and them dance with them.

    Kelly is a good coach. When he came here he had a
    Great staff. They went to the national champ game.

    Osu stole/ plucked 5 coaches of his 7. D coordinator
    Took head job at u conn.

    Kelly continue’d replacing coaches. Each time
    he had a decent find- they were poached the
    next season. Until…

    Kelly’s mistake was Vangorder. Maybe he was tired
    Of replace all his quality personal. So he chose a
    D coordinator that no one would want.

    As for the reporter- toughen up. Do your job,
    And next time ask a question. Its not hard…
    She said 30 words without asking a question.
    She had the last question of the day. A long
    Day at that- for Kelly (disappointing as hell)

    She stated two plus sentence “obviously” she
    More interested in hearing herself then asking
    an actual question.

    I do agree the “sea of red” was disgusting!

    It’s ironic that there was probably close to 80k
    Fans just in Michiana that would have loved to
    Go to the game. More importantly, those people
    wouldn’t have sold their tickets for all the
    Money in the world. Of course those people
    Can’t afford to go to the game at regular
    Season ticket prices.
    Maybe ND could do what the cubs did with their
    $60k Rings. Their yours until you try to sell them.
    Then they belong to the cubs for $1.

    1. “They went to the national champ game.”

      ND got carried into the NC game on the backs of an inspired & fortunate defensive effort, led by a huge season from Manti Teo.

      Brian Kelly got a TRUCKLOAD of media glory and (an even bigger) swelled head from what was a completely unique season of team defense…which he in fact had very little interest in.

      Kelly is a coaching fraud.

      1. Carried into? 1st that offense put up at least 20
        Points a game in all but 2 games- 3 with
        the Nat. Champ Game included.

        Coach Diaco has said that Kelly was hands on.
        If you recall Kelly took a lot of heat-
        For hiring a young inexperienced D coordinator
        Learn your history

        Do I need to remind you that Tommy Reese
        Directed 2 game winning drive in two different
        Games. With that offense.

        Kelly had his staff and went to the dance.
        Ever year since- ever coach worth a darn gets
        Poached. You could argue he so good. That
        Many programs take or steal his talented staff.

        I don’t know many. Wait I don’t know a single
        Coach- that coaches ever position- every player
        It doesn’t happen. Its ridiculous to blame him
        For every thing and all things.

        Just curious If your late for work or get pulled
        Over for speeding. Do you also blame Kelly
        For that.

        Might as well, everyone blames him-
        Regardless of the reality of the situation.

      2. Diaco said what was to be expected. The smart move.

        Reese was a warrior with limitations….who stoically put up with more shit from his coach than any kid should ever have to take.

        Kelly is a fraud.

      3. BTW…Alabama never scored less than 21 points in 2011. On the road. Against LSU.
        So showing up in January for the NC game and scoring 14? You’re gonna pull this “20 points” card as a defense of Kelly?
        For a shi+show he watched while getting ready for a job interview?


  4. Drue Tranquill is rising as well. Did anyone hear if he is injured or not? I thought I saw him hobble off the field with what looked like a possible hamstring injury after running down a stretch play.

    I agree with personnel choices being terrible. Coney over Martini…Williams over Jones (and split 50/50 with Adams)…Claypool and Boykin over Canteen and Smith at least until Stepherson gets back. We clearly aren’t taking any shots downfield with our receivers at this point so why not get your tall, big possession guys out there!? Our slot guy doesn’t have to be a little guy just because that is how the NFL uses them. I say play the bigs!!!

  5. the big play everyone is forgetting was the roughing the passer , it was 3rd and 16 Georgia deep in there own territory they came up short! we were up 6 and about to get great field position! the 15 yard penalty kept Georgias off. on the field and became a TOUCHDOWN drive!! MOMENTUM KILLER!!! and yes ND offensive line play was AWFUL ALL GAME AND THE TRUE DIFFERANCE!!!!

  6. Georgia’s front 7 won this game for them. If there is criticism to be assessed it is that this should have been anticipated before the game and a game plan prepared to address it. Instead, we floundered all game long and especially in the last couple possession. Anyone who was paying attention knew that we needed extra help on the edges.

  7. I think Our quarterback is a poor pastor Ian book is a better passer and you showed it in the spring game I think eventually he’ll sit in there a quarterback

  8. Guys, you are forgetting that we got beat on a once in a lifetime circus catch. There’s no way that
    can be called talent, or skill. It wasn’t. It was just dumb luck. Our defense shone. It will just get better and better. The offensive line got manhandled, pushed around, by bigger, stronger players. Georgia has huge and talented defensive linemen. They can run. The Georgia linebackers are very good. Wimpish
    looked like exactly what he is: brand new, unsure, inexperienced. He never did see the wide open man,
    and there were lots and lots of them. He’ll improve. The offensive line will finally get some meanness
    and hatred and anger and ferocity about them. They will drop that work-a-day, its just a job attitude, and get mean, and soon, too. They are smart kids. This is going to be a fine season. Lay off Kelly. What you need to think about is the smarmy, turds who sold out the stadium for a bit of sweaty, greasy Georgia money. What were you thinking? My God . . .

  9. Nothing to disagree with. I kept waiting for Williams of fresh leg but still waiting. Inexplicable, although I read Kelly said he didn’t because he’s not as good a pass blocker as #33. That may be true but he still could have used #2 on run plays. His blocking couldn’t have been any worse than the OL on a collective total game basis.

    Wimbush did not have a very good game but he had little help. I think he will be a good one, sooner than later.

  10. As disappointing as the OL was, part of the reason was the constant read-option plays. When you face a defensive front as fast as Georgia, giving them extra time while the quarterback decides to had off or keep isn’t going to cut it. You beat speed by running right up the gut. Hand the damn football off quickly and use the power you have on the line. Run north / south, not sideways. Geez, and they never changed!

    1. Amen Domer 90. Get in the most versatile “O” ever devised…the “I” Formation (with a real fullback who can power run, run-block, pass block, and catch the ball). Behind him – your best pure running back. Then let’s play some football that’s fun! I no longer advocate it as the primary “O” or the primary formation…but I really think it pays to have it in the playbook and use it when you need it. Nothing hits quicker than the “I” formation (when run correctly)…except maybe the flexbone…but that, unlike the “I”, is not easy to pass from on a sustained basis.

      1. Domer 90 , Bruce G , I agree. The read option used way to much. Quick hitting hand offs from line of scrimmage to a two man backfield might have worked against this Georgia speed. Just straight ahead old fashion running—especially in short yardage for a 1st down. This read option delay , 10 yards back with QB and running back – didn’t seem to “delay or fool” the Georgia D. Their speed off the edges shut down any option of Wimbush doing a keeper and going horizontal. Irish pass blocking the edges — why not put two running back in to protect Wimbush once in awhile—so he can see the field for xtra second. Perhaps time to hit a TIGHT END down the middle. Jamie Winston’s favorite target at Florida State was a tight end , not wide outs or flankers(old fashion terms). I forget the tight ends name , Dougherty maybe—but he was a two time 1st team All-American averageing 50 to 60 catches a season. And like Eiffert , his catches were everywhere on the field , down the middle , slants , side lines etc. Go Irish , beat the oyster , clam , mussell loving team in Boston. I like lobster though.

  11. Couldn’t agree with you more. Kelly has a phobia about using the middle of the field and especially his TE’s. Good defenses simply blitz from the edges and play press coverage as they know he will not have his TE’s go 8-12 yards in the middle and sit down. I like the thought of our 6-5 260 lb guys against 6 ft 205 pound safties. Do it until they stop blitzing. This has been Kelly’s MO since Eifert left. UGA always had a minimum 7 and usually 8 in the box. The O-line was simply outnumbered and the same old don’t use the middle of the field game plan did not put them in the position to be successful.

    1. Our “O” linemen looked like they couldn’t handle basic twists, stunts, left crosses, right crosses, and double crosses! OK, I understand that Georgia did run them exceptionally well…but still, it’s just football from the 50’s and 60’s guys!

  12. The offensive line was the most disappointing aspect of this game. Wimbush made some mistakes, but he wasn’t protected by his O-line effectively either. I’m not worried about Wimbush…yet. I think we’ll see what kind of QB he is in the way he responds to this. Does he fall apart like EG after the Florida State game 3 years ago? Or does he work to make himself better. He’ll get a couple very winnable games to get himself on track. I actually think he will but we’ll see. But none of that matters if the O-line doesn’t step up.

    I too an sick and tired of seeing what potentially could be elite players sitting on the bench. Esp. Williams. That is just inexcusable. Did he give a dirty look to BK before the game or something? Where the hell was he. Maybe he would have helped, maybe not. But that’s the problem, we don’t know because he wasn’t used. Inexcusable.

  13. I fully concur with Greg concerning personnel usage. I also don’t like it when the stadium is red and people are barking. That really did suck.

  14. To NOT take $3000, and instead sit thru another unentertaining game, in a stadium that has both now lost every ounce of tradition and history, yet somehow still reeks of “museum-of-football” death stink…….THAT would be an insane regret.

    1. David,
      I know this is going to sound like some alien language to you (and apparently to Greg F too) but some of us can’t be bought for any price, on this matter, and a whole lot of other things. There isn’t enough gold in the solar system pal…and that’s not because I don’t need the money – I do.

      Bruce G. Curme ’77 ’82

      1. You are why ND can keep upping its price for utterly BS entertainment product. Congratulations for your devout gullibility.

  15. Hey, we could have brought in Hawaii or UTEP and we would be 2-0. If you don’t risk you can’t attain. Here we are, the whole nation watching and no trick plays; end arounds, double passes, pass out of a fg try. We looked terrified on offense, no guts, no glory. We couldn’t wait to give the ball back. My Dad would say there is no difference between losing by one or fifty. It all goes down in the books as a loss.

    1. I think our first play was a double pass…and a wasted down, but my memory is bad nowadays.

      Bruce G. Curme ’77 ’82

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