Initial Impressions – UConn at Notre Dame

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Notre Dame dropped another heartbreaker this weekend with a double overtime loss at the hands of UConn. Despite Michael Floyd's overtime touchdown catch, the Irish ended up losing 33-30 in the second overtime. (Photo - Warren Wimmer / Icon SMI )

Another tough loss for a Notre Dame team that had BCS aspirations just a few weeks ago.  The loss drops the Irish to 6-5 and more than likely seals the fate for head coach Charlie.  Here are some notes and thoughts on the game.

  • However you feel about Charlie Weis, I think it’s pretty obvious how the players feel about him after seeing them take the field arm-in-arm with their embattled head coach. Weis’s reaction also tells you all you need to know about how Weis sees his future at Notre Dame.
  • It’s tough to go into the x’s and o’s of this game too much because the overlying theme of the game is the future of Weis. With the Irish at 6-5 now, there honestly isn’t any way to justify bringing back Weis for a 6th year. For those of us who were rooting for Weis, it’s tough since he put in more work and cared about the program more than his two predecessors, but a change needs to be made.
  • And now onto the game…
  • This game reminded of the 2008 Pitt game in a lot of ways. The most obvious being that Notre Dame was in complete control of the game until a stupid personal foul penalty on 3rd down that extended a drive. Last year it was Harrison Smith, this year it was Sergio Brown drawing the costly penalty.
  • How’s this for a ridiculous stat. Notre Dame is 2-4 with a healthy Michael Floyd this year and 4-1 without him. All of the creative ways that Notre Dame was getting Tate the ball went away when Floyd came back.
  • I stopped trying to figure out what Jon Tenuta was doing with his game plans a couple weeks ago, but this one really confused me. It was clear that UConn was scared to let Zach Frazer pass the ball after the INT in the end zone yet, they were still able to just run right at the Notre Dame defense in the fourth quarter and overtime.
  • Another year in the weight room is going to help a couple of the young DL – Ethan Johnson and Kapron Lewis-Moore especially. Both had their moments, but got over-powered at times. Hopefully by next year the DL will have a larger rotation so that the line doesn’t wear out by the end of the game.
  • Darius Fleming showed some more flashes of being a great pass rusher again this weekend. He is another player who should really benefit from another full off-season.
  • Golden Tate had 95 yards receiving in the first quarter and then just 28 the rest of the game? Against Navy he barely got the ball in the first half and then blew up in the second half. Can’t figure out why it’s been so difficult to keep getting him the ball. UConn has an OK defense, but not the kind of defense that should be able to take a player of Tate’s caliber out of the game.
  • It was nice to see some consistent punting from Ben Turk. His performance this year was very concerning up until this weekend. Turk averaged 47.0 yards on 5 punts with a long of 50 and a net average of 47. In the four previous games Turk punted, he hadn’t averaged more than 40 yards in any one game.
  • Speaking of special teamers, hats off to David Ruffer. While filling in for the injured Nick Tausch the last two weeks, Ruffer hit on all 4 of his field goals including a 36 yarder in the second overtime. Ruffer and Tausch have combined this year to connect on 19 of 23 field goals – that’s a nice improvement from last year and should give us some hope for next year.
  • Armando Allen set a career long with a 26 yard run. Who thought we’d be saying that after three years? If Allen can get passed that last tackle that always trips him up, he could become an elite back. His 64 yards receiving were the second highest single game output for him as well.
  • Was this the last game for Jimmy Clausen and Golden Tate in Notre Dame Stadium? If it was, both went out with some nice looking stats. If you would have told me in September that Clausen would only have 23 TDs heading into the finale though, I would have said you were crazy.
  • Notre Dame held a 11:07 to 3:53 time of possession advantage in the third quarter but managed just 3 points and was outscored 7-3 by UConn thanks to a 96 yard kick return by Jordan Todman.
  • Notre Dame scored 14 points on its first three drives of the game and then just 6 over its final 9 drives of the game before overtime.
  • Two costly fumbles by Michael Floyd and Armando Allen ended up playing a large roll in the Irish loss.
  • In many ways, this game was a microcosm of the season – and the Weis Era. Notre Dame started out really fast and looked like it was going to cruise to an easy victory and send the seniors off the right way. Then a stupid penalty changed the momentum.
  • Thank you to all of the seniors (and maybe some juniors) who played their last games in Notre Dame Stadium.
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171 Comments

    1. i read that too and was a little offended for them trying to insult my intelligence. they fail to mention who he is/has been losing to, his record against ranked opponents, his record against winning teams, etc. if he never lost to navy or syracuse and beat usc on occasion along with a better record against the big east, we might be considering him to stay. i really wish people could see thru articles like this.

  1. this is not an argument for charlie to stay, i think he deserves to go…with that being said, i just got done watching the press conference and its too bad weis didn’t work out. i know people love to hate on his weight, arrogance, lack of enthusiasm etc., but he really is looking out for the best interests of the kids.

    i know, i know, here we go with the grad rates again, but considering large state schools like florida hide their kids in 100 level classes for 4 years and still only graduate about 60%, it says a lot about what nd does. many coaches view kids as commodities and tools for them to use and disregard when they are done. urban meyer is a great example, he uses and abuses his players. you could probably lump the entire sec into that category.

    i heard malcom gladwell on npr recently compare football to dog-fighting, and though his argument is seriously flawed, the underlying premise does not miss the mark by much. it’s hard to feel sorry for nfl players b/c of the money, but college kids who are shoplifting and committing armed robbery? back in the day trading a free education for playing the sport was a fair bargain, but things have changed. we pay our coach millions of dollars a year but what about the people who actually play the game? these universities make millions, if not hundreds of millions off these kids and what do the 99% of them that don’t make the nfl have to show for it? if they were lucky enough to get a degree they have no practical experience in the field, tons of arthritis and possible dementia later in life. i am rambling now but i want a coach that can win the right way and doesn’t bitch because the kids have to actually go to class.

    go irish beat cardinals!!

  2. one of the problems with notre dame’s offense this year was that by the third or fourth game everybody defensed them the same way. they rushed three or four men and dropped seven or eight into coverage. able to get sufficent pressure with the three and four man rush took away the deep pass and the middle of the field. this was an open invitation to run the ball. but notre dame’s aversion to running the ball except as a change of pace played right into this defense scheme. while notre dame was able to move the ball by throwing to the outside and underneath passes, these passes become harder to complete as the field becomes compressed. with no real commitment to a running game and an inability to complete passes in the tighter spaces they had real trouble scoring in the red zone.

  3. All you need to know about the weak O and D-lines in the Weis years is look at the strength coach and program. ND linemen in the NFL draft are very poor at all the strength categories. Brady Quinn out bench pressed all our linemen. This lack of development is how 2 and 3 star Navy and Uconn players beat 4 and 5 star ND players

  4. Palk,

    One thing about Golden is he plays baseball and may stay because he could go pro in baseball. He was drafted by Arizona I think and could go pro in baseball. As for Jimmy, why leave your junior year if you are not a 1st rounder. You will not get a good contract unless you are a first rounder.

    1. Jack- you may disagree with me, but I would put money on Jimmy going in the 1st round if he came out this year. He’s currently ranked in the Top 10 for pro prospects and I believe the second QB behind Bradford (assuming Bradford fully heals and impresses at the combine.) I have to say that Jimmy will more than likely be a 1st rounder without question.

      I certainly see your point with Golden Tate and I sure hope he stays. We’ll have to see what he decides. It wouldn’t be the first time a great Irish receiver chose the MLB over the NFL. I still wish Samardzija would’ve gone for the NFL. Anyway…that boat has sailed, but Golden still has a chance and I would love to see him play in the NFL and make the splash that I know he can at that level.

      1. Palk,

        I understand your position on Jimmy going 1st round but I guess we can disagree. It depends what underclassmen come out in the draft, but I think ESPN has him behind McCoy, Locker (if he comes out), and Bradford. I know the type of injury Bradford has and it can heal and he can be a productive QB. I had the same surgery that Chad Pettington (sp) and that will end a career because you can’t throw the seam route to the tight end due to flexibility in the ligament. I believe Bradford’s injury will heal with surgery and time, but I could see Jimmy jumping him. Thanks for the different point of view.

  5. Everyone keeps talking about Clausen leaving his junior year for the NFL. The only problem I see is who is successful as a QB in the NFL leaving their Junior year in College. Let’s look at top QB’s in the NFL, Manning, Brady and Brees they all stayed for their senior year. Let’s look at Sanchez this year, poor decisions and throwing a ton of picks. I don’t think Jimmy physically is ready to be an NFL QB. He is listed at 6’3″ ad 220 lbs. He doesn’t look that big and who would draft him Oakland, KC or the Rams. He would get crushed because of horrible running games and bad O-lines with no receiving core. It would benefit him to stay at ND for another year. The administration needs to look for a coach that will use a similiar system. Don’t be a bunch of idiots like Michigan and change your entire offensive philosophy.

    1. I agree. Admin better play it smart, unlike Michigan. We’ve been talking about potentially setting the program back with a new coach because players/recruits might leave, but if we bring in a coach with a completely different offensive philosophy, then we’d REALLY be setting the program several steps.

      As for Jimmy, I think he does need to stay, but you know he’s looking at, if not talking to, Sam Bradford and asking himself…what if that’s me next year? The Sam Bradford was the worse thing that could happen to both Sam Bradford and any player (specifically QB) who is considering coming out this year. Bradford went from Heisman winner to…well, we really don’t know until the April Draft, but I can’t imagine this season helped his chances at a high draft pick. In fact, I’d bet that if Jimmy came out, he’d be projected to go higher than Bradford because of what happened to Bradford and the numbers Jimmy is putting up.

      I sure hope JC doesn’t go because you might get a snowball effect with some other players. Specifically Golden Tate. If Jimmy stays, Golden could (potentially) have a better year next year, but highly unlikely with a healthy Michael Floyd. But if Jimmy leaves, Golden numbers are going to take a big hit…new QB, competing with Michael Floyd for touches and risk of injury is always on the table. It’s like poker for Golden, he just won the big pot and he’d like to get out way ahead. I’d be shocked if Golden didn’t win the Biletnikoff Award. His only competition, in my opinion, is Freddie Barnes, who plays for Bowling Green. Looking at the competition each had to face, Golden is the obvious choice. I would LOVE to see Golden get honored for everything he’s done for this team. He deserves it and I’d be ready to rock and roll if he and Jimmy came back for their Senior years.

  6. This is Notre Dame football, nothing to be taken lightly, but being an IU basketball fan, seeing a coach that honestly didn’t give a **** about academics (Who eventually got himself fired) just made me sick to my stomach. No matter what you think of Weis as a coach, it is still very impressive to me to hold up that stellar of an academic record.

    I really hope Clausen comes back, I can completely understand him wanting to go to the NFL, to leave the hotbed of insanity that is Notre Dame with sucker punched flying and Defensive lineman after you constantly. If we get a great coach, and keep the core intact (A half decent D-coordinator would help, Jesus, Tenuta…). A group like that with Bob Stoops or a great SEC coach like Meyer would make me very happy.

  7. “Sucker Punched” – no doubt Clausen now knows how all ND fans felt this season … after the Hawaii Bowl & pre season hype.
    So much has been made of this punch but he took more punishment during the first quarter of his first game. Guess it’s just symbolic.

  8. Just can’t stay away. Heard the local barfly who does the ESPN local radio broadcast. They really are barflies. Topic of Notre Dame not being able to compete with academic standards being so high. What’s the correlation between academics and playing football? Is it that only dump players are good at football? Or is it that to compete, you can’t have your players in the classroom? If it’s the second question, isn’t that saying that football players are not supposed to get a real education at a D-1 University? If any of that is what people believe, I have this question:

    what is supposed to happen to all the athletes who don’t go pro and don’t get an education? What about the one’s who go bankrupt when their prop career is over? Notre Dame IS the answer to that tragedy. A Notre Dame education afforded the athletes is the answer to the new slavery of the SEC. And to compete with the up and coming Asian economies, education will be required.

    To the many hateful bloggers, the Irish haters, the Jimmy Clausen haters, the Charlie Weis haters, to those who not only criticize but really spew the hate, I say this. Your lack of personal pride, intelligence and low bar for the sake of sports is anti American. Raise your own bar.

    ND can compete and with academics. If the economy does crash next year, Notre Dame and schools like it will be critical to sending educated folks into the workforce. That includes all the undrafted athletes.

    Go Irish!!

    1. Good comments, C-Dog. Like you, I cannot stay away).

      Notre Dame is a highly competitive place. And, by that I mean that on both sides of the SAT, kids are somewhere around 700. So, the kids that go to Notre Dame are valedictorians and other high school to-5%-ers. Getting into Notre Dame is a dream for so many kids.

      You cannot have a 96% graduation rate without the admissions office really controlling which recruits are coming into the football program. You can’t, because if the athletic department controlled this, the athletes wouldn’t be able to compete with their cohorts who are non-athletes. The result would be a lower graduation rate. I suspect that at other schools around the country admissions and athletics are closely intertwined and the result is that lower graduation rates take place.

      Having said all of this, I still believe that it’s a good thing for the athletic department and the admissions department to be separate. And, I definitely believe that it’s possible to win championships with high academic standards. We need the right guy.

      1. C-Dog great analysis. ND has talent to compete with any team in the nation currently. They needs direction and discipline on the field. They have already shown it in the classroom I don’t know why it doesn’t translate to the field. Your comment about the SEC is true. ND is above letting in hired guns like Miami to just win and fail out after football is over. ND holds itself to higher standards. The only thing I would like to see is them give a chance to a guy like Tony Rice who wouldn’t have made it in by todays standards but turned out to be a great student athelete.

      2. Agree with almost all points. ND, clearly, does not have the defensive talent to compete (and win) with any team in the country.

        No coach would have made this defense work with the players at their current level. The expectations for this defense were grossly exaggerated. Starting a freshman at linebacker was the BIG red flag. As good as Teo is, he would not have been starting for any top ten team.

      3. Championships can certainly be won with high academics standards. teo is 100% right…we need to find the right guy. Look at Duke (I realize basketball is not football)and Mike Kryzewski. Duke is a school with great academics and Duke basketball is ALWAYS at the top in both graduation rate and the polls. For Duke, Coach K is the right guy, we need to find our “Coach K”…someone who can lead a team to the top, as well as make sure they’re getting the education being offered to them.

      4. Wasn’t there a 60-minutes piece a few years ago that poked holes in Duke’s so-called basketball players curriculum?

        Your point is a good one. As stated before, I’d love a coach who truly looked at Notre Dame as his last stop, not a resume builder for NFL dreams. You win at Notre Dame, the World is your oyster.

        Finding the coach who can deal with success at Notre Dame may be a more difficult task.

  9. Hahaha. Thanks for correcting yourself JDH. I’m having way too much fun with Jimmy Clausen getting one punched. It’s too much for me to handle. Tough guy?? Really dude? I’m just pissed off the Irish suck. The Irish suck and I hate it along with scores of other fans and ND students. Thanks for keeping this fun….stud….really?

    1. Yeah no problem. Not sure why you are asking about the terms “tough guy” and “stud”. I’m merely accomodating your own projections of yourself.

      I’m pretty sure your issues go well beyond “just being pissed off the Irish suck”.

      See, we all have long conversations about why the Irish suck, how they got here, what needs to happen etc. We vent our frustration, sometimes disagree with eachother etc. and do so ad nauseum.

      But then someone comes along, who we’ve never seen on this board much/ever. And they start vomiting up incandescent ramblings and sound like they may be legally retarded, we take issue with these things.

      Being frustrated is one thing. Discussing ND football passionately is one thing. And then there is what you do, which is…..well whatever you want to call it I guess.

      1. I couldn’t have put it much better…”But then someone comes along, who we’ve never seen on this board much/ever. And they start vomiting up incandescent ramblings and sound like they may be legally retarded, we take issue with these things.”

        I enjoy coming on here and saying what I feel about Notre Dame football and displaying my opinion about certain topics, but I don’t (intentionally) attack and tear down the players like Bobby D is and I certainly don’t think Jimmy is a loser, nor should he, or any player get punched in the face.

      2. Bingo Palk. Steel on target my man. I will say that I have been hard on Harrison Smith in the past, but purely as a football player. I would never, ever advocate or think it was funny for any student- athlete to get hurt, no matter what team or sport.

        My frustration and ire lies overwhelmingly with the coaches and the leadership of ND, not the players. At the end of the day, they are young kids who work very hard at being exceptional student- athletes. I can tell you from firsthand experience that this is no easy task.

        And no matter how frustrated we are, most of us here wish them all the best in their endeavors…

      3. Exactly! I’m not saying I’ve never said anything bad about Harrison Smith or Sergio Brown, but I’ve said things objectively and attributed most of it to coaching. Our coaches must watch a different film than what we see because they never have the right players in the right positions. I will say that Harrison Smith has been better since coming back to LB. While I don’t know if it’s because there’s less attention on him there, but he seems to be doing better (not that putting Sergio Brown in his place in the secondary was the right move). I am always going to be critical because I want ND to win 56-0 everytime out, but I am not about to call these KIDS losers and get any satisfaction out of one of them being punched in the face. I’m not an ill-willed person and I can only hope that what happens in the off-season is the right decision for the future of Notre Dame football because I’m tired of living in the 20th century for great ND moments.

  10. OK, Clausen punches guy back in the face (who knows maybe the guy ran away which would be consistent behavior of a “sucker-puncher”) breaks his hand and goes to the back of the class with Sam Bradford. Or worse ends up with the UCONN cornerback.

  11. If that’s your point, then Brady should be punched in the face and beat down by all the Browns fans because he is a “loser” based on your definition.

    My point is that Jimmy has done everything he can, but again we come back to the fact that our Defense can’t stop anybody. If our defense made just a couple stops Jimmy would be a “winner”. Jimmy’s numbers are just as good as any season Brady had with the Irish.

    NAME CMP ATT YDS CMP% YDS/A TD INT RAT
    Jimmy Clausen 266 395 3382 67.3 8.56 23 4 156.5
    Brady Quinn (Jr.) 292 450 3919 64.9 8.71 32 7 158.4
    Brady Quinn (Sr.) 289 467 3426 61.9 7.34 37 7 146.7

    Again, Jimmy is doing his part, but our defense is doing NOTHING to back him. I’m anxious to see what Bobby D has to say about the obvious.

      1. Sorry bro. I have a question for BobbyD. If Jimmy Clausen gets punched in the face and falls over in the forest, but no one is there to see it; did he actually get punched in the face and fall over?

        Ahhhhhh.

      2. Hmmm…now that’s a thinker, lol. The obvious answer is NO, but with logic being exhibited by one particular person here, I’m going to have to say YES, he did get punched.

        Thanks for laughs JDH.

    1. I realize those stats are hard to read (didn’t think it would be that difficult to read). My point that is that Jimmy is far more accurate than Brady ever was, with a better TD:INT ratio than Brady ever had. As well, if he played the entire Purdue game, he would have more yards (he’s only 537 yds from Brady’s highest mark) and potentially closer to 30 TDs. There is nothing wrong with Jimmy, just something wrong with you.

  12. Jesus dude you’re missing the point. Nobody punched Brady Quinn in the face bc he ended up taking his team to two BCS games in a row. Yes, good point that they lost both games, but it was clear from the beginning that the Irish were way outmatched by both of these teams. Yes, it appears as though Brady never really won anything of importance so point also well taken. That being said I’d rather lose to an awesome OSU team in the Fiesta Bowl then play in the Hawaii Bowl or whatever it is on Christmas Eve. I think everyone can agree there. Perhaps I should have substituted Brady with Tony Rice (boy he was great in the NFL wasn’t he????) the last QB to win a Nat’l Championship for the Irish. My original point being: losers get punched in the face.

    1. LMAO! HAHAHA! “Nobody punched Brady Quinn in the face bc he ended up taking his team to two BCS games in a row…….My original point being: losers get punched in the face.”

      This guy has some seriously interesting theories! I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m having a little trouble following Bobby D’s highly unique thought experiment.

      These are some surreal comments! HAHAHA!

      I think I want to get that quote made into a bumper sticker: (From Me to the World)

      “LOSERS DON’T GET PUNCED IN THE FACE!”

      Now those are words to live by! Philosophy at its best!

      -Rousseau, John Locke, Aristotle, Franklin, Montesquieu, Bobby D…..

    2. *losers suckerpunch people in the face

      *losers say a kid pouring their heart into a game for their team deserves to get suckerpunched in the face

      *losers ignore the fact that said kid has been one of (if not THE) biggest reason why his team has had a chance in every game

      *losers claim that past players could prevent unforeseeable events like suckerpunches. It’s not provable, so don’t even bother to suggest it.

      *losers laugh at their own jokes

      *losers pick on student athletes.

      *losers try to justify the unjust

      1. Good thing Bill is here because my brain was starting to hurt trying to comprehend the meaning of his meandering posts.

  13. Brady won. Jimmy doesnt win. Brady threw 4 td passes this weekend for one of the worst NFL teams ever. Brady had weapons. Jimmy has weapons. Brady won. Jimmy doesnt. Hold on you want it again. Brady won. Jimmy doesnt. Nothing more nothing less. Plain and simple. Its comes down to winning and losing.

    1. he threw 4td passes against the second worse team in the NFL.

      I like BQ, dont get me wrong, but what exactly did he “win” ?

    2. Are you seriously giving props to Brady for putting up numbers against the Lions?? You’re right…Brady won…Ohio St-34 ND-20; LSU-41 ND-14. He is so dominant it’s crazy. I’d like to see the winning percentage of the team’s he’s beat. I love Notre Dame football, but Brady is the same as Jimmy. Brady didn’t win until his Junior year and Jimmy would have some more W’s if our defense could stop somebody.

      Brady’s record as a Fresh 5-7.
      Brady’s record as a Soph 6-6.

      Again, before you blatantly prove that you’re a hypocrite, know what you are saying.

  14. Good one Evan. We’re here to talk about why the Irish suck. Not why my jokes suck, or why somehow my comments suggesting that Jimmy should be tough imply that I am touting myself as some kind of tough guy. Get creative and try and make some quality points of your own.

    Bottom line. Clausen is a loser. The facts are the facts. I would have like to seen Kyle Rudolph been a lot more involved. So the passing %’s to Tate and Floyd are inconsequential and David you make a good point about that, those #’s in fact are probably good. I stand corrected. BUT the best and most important point that I made was that Clausen’s 44.4 winning percentage is down right brutal.

    I know that I don’t stand alone in thinking this is a funny thing, so keep the hate coming. You’re keeping me entertained.

    1. for the record I never mentioned you being “some kind of tough guy”, just a “loser”.

      Quality points or lack there of dont really matter, because guess what, none of us have any control as to who the coach is, who the QB is and what recruits sign, and as of this year and hopefully next, Jimmy is the guy, but he needs some help. This is a “team” sport.

    2. So you think Brady Quinn was God when he was here? So I guess Jeff Samardzija, Maurice Stovall, Anthony Fasano, and John Carlson were chumps then. These guys made BQ look like the God you think he his. BQ has done nothing at the pro level, while Fasano and Carlson are starting, Stovall gets his PT and Samardzija would be on an NFL roster if he didn’t elect to play MLB.

      So before you bash Jimmy, think about how big of a hyprocrite you are for praising Brady for the same attributes.

      And Jimmy’s Defense SUCKS…you can score 40 points per game, but if you give up 40 if really doesn’t matter, does it?

    3. Ok we get it. You don’t like Jimmy Clausen. That’s fine. You have every right not to like him.

      However I’d be careful about throwing out the moniker of “loser” and applying it to others.

      I’d wager a fair amount that Jimmy Clausen has and will achieve more in his life than you stud.

      But don’t worry- we’ll tread lightly around you Bobby D! Internet tough guys are so scary!

    4. Yeah c’mon guys! BobbyD is here to guide us” “What we’re here to talk about is why the Irish suck”!

      Stay on topic or else!

      If anyone can make heads or tails of his posts, please advise.

    5. Have you been playing to much NCAA football on the PS3? Have you watched a ND game all year?

      Your the ONLY…ONLY person that I have read that is targeting JC for the losses this season.

      Your a goof man…really. Press the pause button on your video games and head out to any jr. high football program and ask the coaches how important special teams and defense are to winning football games.

      Jimmy has poured his heart and soul into this season!

    1. He sure is angry, probably because his mommy forgot to cut off the crusts of the PBJ sandwich that she made for him this morning….

    1. laughing at your own jokes? you have officially completed the “Am I a loser qualification test”

      Result: Yes (you scored 100%)

  15. JDH before you attempt to call me out in your very passive aggressive form think twice before using your little smiley face. My guess is that you never played football in your life. Your rhetoric is soft and you clearly don’t have a sense of humor. JRM are you really requesting an apology???? JDH pathetic you say??? I’ll tell you what’s pathetic and requires an apology, are you ready JRM and JDH…and the rest of you soft, don’t know a single thing about football, all I care about is graduation rates and individual stats, those of you that have this blind sense of loyalty to anyone who puts on the blue & gold, those of you who think that Charlie Weis is “good guy”, and those of you who think Jimmy Clausen is “tough” chew on this for a bit: (just a reminder I’m telling you what requires an apology and why Jimmy Clausen SUCKS and doesn’t need ANYONE coming to his defense)

    ND’s record with Jimmy Clausen in 3 years : 16-20
    Winning % in those 3 years : 44.4%
    Combined Winning % of teams Clausen has beat this year : 44.7 %
    Records of teams that have beaten the Irish and might surprise you:
    USC 7-3, Michigan 5-7, UConn 5-5
    % of Clausen’s passing yards to Tate and Floyd: 60%
    % of Clausen’s TD passes to Tate and Floyd: 83%
    Number of Hummer Stretch Limo’s taken to Clausen’s signing press conference: 1
    Number of time Clausen has embarrassed this team, your beloved University, and disrespected the honor and teachings of “Notre Dame Our Mother”: uncountable

    Now, take it all in boys. Take a good luck at the numbers, because the numbers sure don’t lie, and the numbers SUCK. They are an embarrassment. Tate and Floyd make Clausen look like a passing phenom on paper. Clausen only beats teams of his caliber. ANY memorable wins against top 25 teams??? Nope. So YES I think its hilarious that this loser of football games for the “most prestigious” football program in the country gets walloped in the face. And YES JDH I KNOW that this would never have happened to Brady Quinn bc a) He’s huge b) he won games c) Did I mention he’s huge and would have buried his fist back in the guys face. I bet Clausen took this punch like the loser that he is. So before you start demanding apologies and start defending guys who suck at doing their job, take a look and the numbers, and take a look at yourself.

    Weis is fat, Clausen is a bitch, and the Irish suck. Program is at an all-time low! Get pissed! Those of you who are alums do something about it! You’re alma mata is being made a mockery of in so many ways. Demand changes, demand that the administration lax their academic requirements of players, do SOMETHING! Bc lord knows its not the coach, players, or school.

    1. Bobby D

      I did’nt realize that ND field’s only 3 guys on offense, or 2 legit one’s in your case.

      So is Jimmy also responsible for the defense sucking, and the play calling, and for kevin white offer to charlie and did jimmy shove sergio brown into that guy against uconn ? Im curious

    2. I like the stat of passing yards and TDs to his number 1 and 2 receiver. Guess what, they are his number one and 2 receiver. 70% of the pass progressions will have him look at one guy first and then shift to the other.

      Learn to play football

    3. Ok, so now is your hypothesis that Jimmy Clausen deserved to get punched because ND football is in turmoil, that ‘Weis is fat’, ‘Clausen is a bitch’ etc.?

      As far as me loving and defending Weis, you clearly have not read my posts.

      Actually I did play football and was also a Divsion 1, scholarship athlete in college.

      You seem to be an illiterate child who has a difficult time making your points without rampant misspellings, grammar mistakes, and changing hypothesis to fit your momentary string of consciousness ramblings.

      As you can probably already tell from all of these responses, no one likes you here or cares to read your intellectually-challenged verbal diarrea. You are an oxygen thief.

      Go play with your toys and leave the adults to talk.

    4. Bobby D,

      I’m sure your having a blast getting people to respond to your thoughts and you obviously have large amounts of time to spend crunching numbers about how sub-par Jimmy is. However, you must be aware that while being a ND quarterback is a big deal, its still a game, and Jimmy is still a college student first, quarterback second.

      As soon as you decided to publicly defend a fan that sucker punched a college kid while having breakfast with his family you instantly lost all credibility amongst the adults that routinely express their thoughts on the state of the Irish football program.

      Its not often that someone pours this kind of hate and lack of moral intelligence on a ND website, because after all, this is a site dedicated to the football team of a Catholic University, that just happens to be an Ivy League school as well.

      With that said, I will take a 5-5 ND team year in and year out if it means we are avoiding college kids who are “burying fists in fans faces.” ND kids aren’t out robbing convenience stores, and selling drugs. They are the future leaders of our country, they are held to higher standards in every category. TD passes will not help a ND Alum become the next president of the United States, nor will help a ND Alum defend his/her client in a courtroom.

      If your looking for a college football program that has “Street Cred,” than you may be better representing the Miami Hurricanes or some SEC school. Those kids have a tendency to present themselves in a manner that you may enjoy a bit more and probably have nearly the same intellectual prowess.

      Oh, by the way, consider the time you spent crunching those numbers that you believe prove that Jimmy is not very good to be a COMPLETE WASTE OF TIME. Those numbers prove absolutely nothing. Of course Jimmy is going to target the best two receivers on the team. Peyton, Brady, Montana and every quarterback playing on any level of football is going to target their go-to-guys. Why would a quarterback not want to throw the football to the guy who has the best chance of expanding the play?

      Seriously kid, it’s time for you to either start posting your thoughts on Howards Sterns website, or Facebook, because “we” know exactly what kind of person defends a someone who “sucker punches,” anyone, especially someone who defends a guy that “sucker punches” college kids in front of their families. You don’t belong on here kid, take it to a Miami Blog where you will enjoy a better reception of your thoughts!

  16. Well, apparently Jimmy Clausen got absolutely hosed in the face. Completey and utterly disrespected with his underachieving family present. HAHA!!! I bet he took it like the little school girl that he is. Imagine the things Brady Quinn would do to a fan if they tried to punch him in the face????? Good….except I would put $$$ on the fact that he’s gone. Here’s the story:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=4684326

    1. Um, so you’re somehow ‘glad’ that a 21 year-old kid, who plays his ass off every game, got assaulted by a random loser? And he somehow deserved it because….the team isn’t winning…and in your mind Brady Quinn would have done something differently? And you know this how? The article gives very sketchy details.

      Your commentary is brilliant.

    2. Your comments are sad and disturbing. I can’t believe someone could be happy for that! Football is a game and yes we want to win (desperately), but we need to show some class and honor the teachings of Notre Dame our Mother instead of hatred for a guy who has done all he can for his school while playing with a lot of pain. An apology is in order

    3. Really, how could any fan punch a college quarterback in the face merely for hanging out at a restaurant, enjoying time with his family and trying to cope with a miserable season?

      It’s too bad the fan hasn’t been arrested. Guys like that are disgusting (and, likely, drunk). What’s really unfortunate is that people like that ruin a college experience for someone like Jimmy Clausen. Sure, he’s been running for his life back there at quarterback. Sure, he hasn’t won nearly as often as he should have won. But, he’s obtained a first-rate education and has surrounded himself, likely, with a bunch of good people.

      And, now he gets sucker-bunched by some idiot wandering into some restaurant in South Bend. Awful.

      1. When alcohol and ego collide, things do not end well.

        The ‘fan’ was taking out his aggression on the wrong target. If Tenuta had been in the restaurant, then I would understand! (I kid, I kid!) :)

    4. First and foremost it is an absolute disgrace to all Irish fan for someone to harass, and assult JC. He has done nothing wrong, but enjoy time with his family and teammates. It’s becoming a joke and if your an Irish fan and like the fact he was assulted you should check your integrity and loyalty at the door.

    5. Bobby,

      Wtf? No seriously, what kind of fantasyland do you live in.

      For starters, JC was sucker punched. To put it more clearly, the guy assaulted him from behind, or the side to which JC wasn’t looking. Anyone can land a sucker punch on someone who’s not expecting it.

      Next, you make the assertion that somehow BQ would have stopped the guy. Which is ridiculous. If JC had any chance of stopping the guy, it wouldn’t have been a sucker punch. But hey, let’s keep BQ up on that pedestal, that’s really helping.

      Finally, I’m glad you would have stood up and fought the guy and gotten arrested (or detained) with him, but that’s not what JC should have done. He should have turned the other cheek, and stayed above the fray for the good of his reputation, his team’s reputation, and the school’s reputation. If he fights back, it’s not a story about a jerk suckerpunching a player. It’s a story about a player in a fight. Probably even a story about a player beating up a fan.

    1. You’re absolutely right Bill. Unacceptable and just stupid. Talk about losing perspective. I know we don’t have the whole story, but I wish charges were filed against the fan. (if in fact the fan was the one at fault)

  17. Also CW should try a different Mentality this week. Possibly trying to pound the rock. simplify the game aka tenn. titans and carolina panthers and miami dolphins. Sometimes coaches get a little to technical in play calling….

  18. KM you know that a guy with my name like’s to run the ball.. I hope Jonas gray gets 10 carries this week to give him an extra special look…
    Why not.

  19. I like Charlie and up until Navy I thought he should be given an opportunity to come back if we ended with 9 wins (even if 1 was a bowl win). But when any false move by the team gives you that, oh no, here we go again feeling (you know that deflating feeling of creeping dread) even against Connecticut at home, it is time for a coaching change.

    Charlie can’t stop the death spiral and we can’t go on like this in November. For everyone’s health let us move on.

    One HC with prior success at the college level please, and make mine a defensive guru who is not afraid of running the ball 25-30 times a game (even down by a score or two in the 2nd half). Next year we will need a running game to be successful with a hobble Crist with his true freshman entourage.

    By the way, please do all you can to retain Rob Ianello (recruiting and wide receivers coach).

    1. We’ve had Bob Davie before. I don’t care if we run it 30 times or 10 times per game. We have to control the line of scrimmage. And, under Weis and Willingham, we haven’t done that at all.

  20. I would love Gruden.

    Atleast I think so. I am just basing it on his NFL career but he is young and sound like he knows what he is talking about on monday night football

  21. I been around coaching changes that were lateral movements and around coaching changes that were backward movements… Neither would be beneficial to the program.

    I hope we have the right people involved with this decision making.

    I bet a failed young nfl coach would be an interesting option..eg. Kiffin, wandsted, carrol, saban, all seemed to work out pretty well.

    No names to recommend.

  22. I been around coaching changes that were lateral movements and around coaching changes that were backward movements… Neither would be beneficial to the program.

    I hope we have the right people involved with this decision making.

    I bet a failed young nfl coach would be an interesting option..eg. Kiffin, wandsted, carrol, saban, all seemed to work out pretty well.

    No names to recommend.

  23. We need a defensive coach—

    I respect CW commitment to the program and If we can’t find the right Head Coach we still should stay with weis. If charlie doesn’t mind us shopping that is..

    Really I only want cw around to recruit and talk to the media. I prefer someone else running the offense and my pop warner coach running the defense..

  24. Kansas City Chiefs:
    FootballCoachScoop has BREAKING NEWS as our source has confirmed that Charlie Weis was offered the Kansas City Chiefs Offensive Coordinator
    position under Head Coach Todd Haley.

    1. Tuberville was unbeaten at Auburn in 2004 and Auburn plays in the SEC. His overall record there was 80-something and 40. He’s a real coach.

      I’ve said all along that the guy that I want is someone from the Big10, ACC or SEC, someone who understands the pressure of college football Saturdays. I like Ferentz, if he is interested in the job, but Tuberville might be fine, too. I just want someone who can win at this level and has proven that he can win at this level.

      Tuberville might be a nice fit. The only thing that worries me about Tuberville is that he walked away from Auburn after his first real rough season. Why did he do that? The Auburn folks were pretty shocked. ND can be a really tough place to play.

  25. Hey folks- Clausen and Tate are leaving…not just because of the impending coaching change. The NFL is changing the way rookies can be compensated beginning in 2011…they would be crazy to stay if they figure to be top 10 draft choices. Who’s Crist’s backup if he is not ready to play in Sept 2010…thanks, Charlie, you’ve screwed us again!

    1. You’re ridiculous for a number of reasons. First Weis didn’t “screw us.” Kevin White screwed us for signing a long-term deal.

      Secondly, there will be backup quarterbacks. Our own recruiting class has two great QBs (Hendrix and Rees).

      Third, Clausen isn’t a top ten draft selection. I know everyone thinks that he is, but I don’t see it.

      With the right coach, Clausen stays. Tate I am not so sure about (but as I have mentioned in other places, I think he is a dynamic player who, at times, surrenders).

  26. Season’s done. Charlie’s done. What happens against Stanford is meaningless. Let’s shift our focus to next year. What are the chances Jimmy Clausen and Golden stay for their senior year? I like to think they are high seeing as though all the “skilled” players who play any kind of significant role in the offense will be returning. There are a whole bunch of QBs in the draft this year and Clausen will be a fool to enter now and not wait for what may be a watered down QB class next season. Then again he has proven to be quite the fool over his career beginning with his Letter of Intent Press Conference extravaganza. I don’t care what Mel “The Hair” Kiper Jr. says about his draft status…the guy doesn’t win and I think any NFL GM has taken note. Brady killed it his last two years and look at the debacle that was his draft day. Golden should probably head out if he’s smart and is thinking about the $$$$$$, but then again if he doesn’t win the Bilitnikoff (spelling ?) award I think he’s going to feel he has something to prove.

    Thoughts?

    1. I think they both go. This will likely be the last draft that doesnt have a cap for rookie compensation and all the agents will be calling them to let them know that. Clausen has launched his draft status and should be a first rounder (more than likely to the Raiders who love the deep ball). Tate wont come back without Clausen because his numbers will suffer.

  27. I think I have the perfect solution for Notre Dame. The players like coach Weis, he’s a good recruiter, and an excellent offensive mind. He seems to love Notre Dame, and if he still has to be paid keep him on in a reduced capacity, ie offensive coordinator or quarterback coach! You’re welcome Mr. Swarbrick, some free tickets would be appreciated! Go Irish!

    1. I love his idea, in theory. It would be great to ‘keep’ Weis as an offensive coordinaator and head recruiter.

      In the real world it will never happen. A head coach is not going to accept being demoted. He must accept being fired as he has no choice…

  28. Charlie never had a grasp of coaching and teaching the fundamentals on both sides of the ball – that was the problem. He caught on late in the scheme of things but the bus had passed the stop. Bring in a guy at the college level. It will be a total 180 next year. New energy can erase the remaining monkeys on this programs back. ND remains the epitome of college football no matter how much these teams have been kicked around the past 15 years. A positive direction for Irish football will only make for a better storyline here folks for fans and distractors alike! It can definitely happen – and it is more likely to happen at Notre Dame than any other school in the nation. Let not your hearts be troubled – just dont screw it up this time ND administration. The odds are definitely on our side this time around. All will be well and better than most expect I suspect. GO IRISH – finish strong! You’re playing for next year already. Charlie it was nice getting to know ya but its time to move on.

  29. First off thank you for taking the time to read my two cents worth on the subject of Charlie Weis. You must be a real junkie to read yet another unqualified outcry. I am not going to dazzle you with facts that would make you believe that I am the biggest Irish fan walking the earth, because I am not. I am not even so sure what the measuring stick really is to grade oneself as the number one fan. Everyone has a scorecard in their mind on what it takes. In my heart I just know that I Love everything about Notre Dame.

    The last few weeks have been filled with news headlines arguing for and against “ Charlie’s fate” or the “ next Irish coach”. I have seen numerous types of percentages comparisons and board room style graphs providing amble proof that a change is the only answer. Watching the game this past weekend and listening to the commentary provided high drama with every 3rd down play of the game no matter who had the ball starting off with, “ could this be the play that will provide the faith of Charlie Weis”……I had eaten that line seven times in the second half alone by Pat Haden and his side kick.

    As like many board room meetings three things you can’t put a percentage to is passion , the “it” factor and Integrity. Passion is something that Charlie has for the university and his players. It is evident at his practices, his camps and in the tears that fell from his cheeks Saturday as he walked arm and arm with his team. Chuck is more than just wins and losses on the football field. Many will argue that this should be the number one factor in deciding anyone’s fate. I along with many others disagree. We are not other schools.

    Think back to a few years ago when Notre dame found itself backed up on its own end zone on an opening drive against Washington after a week earlier promising a dying boy named Montana a to throw a pass to the right on the first play of the game. You do not throw out of your end zone in that situation. Statically it was the wrong call. He did it because he gave his word to a little boy who also loved Notre dame football. That one still gets to me. The “it” factor.

    What about the character of the athletes our group of coaches go after. How many times just this year alone has an sec school had players arrested? How does that reflect on their school? I grew up and live outside of Atlanta, and the pride I take in being Irish regardless of the win /loss column because we play with integrity, character and TRUE unselfish pride.
    These kids that come to Notre Dame are good kids, they come first for the education first. They have one of the highest graduation rates in the nation at 96%. They sure didn’t come for the weather or the booming night scene in South Bend. There is something refreshing about watching these athletes with good heads on their shoulders run out of that stadium with gold helmets representing everything that is right with the university. Sure I would rather win.

    Notre Dame is special, not just the football program but the whole body. We win and lose with style, dignity and respect for all competition. If we should ever sacrifice our moral foundations to achieve a victory then we have lost the biggest game of them all. I am the first to agree that stagnate coaching is not tolerable. Coaching that has leveled off or peaked is not tolerable. Coaching that doesn’t continuing improving is unacceptable. But Chuck falls neither into these categories, nor does his coaching staff. These men want to win, they have calculated and sacrificed every step of the way in their adult lives to have the honor to be a part of ND. How could anyone really thinks for one second that these men do not have their best effort put forth into these young men they coach or what the university stands for?

    I recall a navy game in Charlie’s first year, it was a home game and I listen to his pep rally speech the night before and the admiration that he had for the Navy kids. I watched with pride after the game the next day when the entire Irish team stood behind the Navy team with their hands over their hearts as the their band played their school’s song before going to the ND student section. Integrity.

    I could never or would never want to change anyone’s opinion about letting Chuck go. But With the investment that we have all made emotionally, the university financially, I would like to see this thing through. By God all mighty if we decide the guys deserves a long contract extension, then we should stick with our decisions. We are not a university mandated by Mark Mays, or any other ND hater. I am still disappointed about letting Ty go before his contract was up, but I was glad that he was fired. If that makes me contradictive so be it. He did not love the university….he didn’t get it.

    If a ND recruiter is sitting in the living room with concern parents about the next four years of their son’s, what holds more weight in their decision. Wins and Loss or examples giving above. Jack Swarbrick, is a smart man. I believe that he is not listening to outsiders and he is going to make the right decision and my opinion is to bring Charlie Back and never bring up letting him go again, unit his contract is up. I love a Irish team that can score at any moment, even Lou’s teams was not as dangerous as Charlie’s. We just have to learn how to cover a tight end and tackle.

    Expect to win, work hard to win, everything you do you do to win, have passion about what you’re doing and the wins will come.

    I love Notre Dame and I always will, even with a team that losses to Navy. All those ready to part with Charlie need to look deep within and realize that Charlie is ND, he is a part of that place and we need to get behind the coach just like when he stood behind his players and school. Go Charlie and Go Irish!

    1. B Ross
      Great way to put it. I agree 100%. I hate to lose, however Coach Weis has proven himself to me as someone who has been getting better at coaching every year. He made a commitment to Notre Dame, the players and their familys. The adminstration has not supported the program for quite some time. I still remember the late great Moose Krause who would support the program. If Notre Dame wants to return then it all starts at the top then works it way down. Try supporting your teams and players and coaches then watch the program excell. I believe it would be better if only the world would hear from the President on down that we support and stand behind our word and contracts. Gooo Irish

      1. While CW’s teams have not performed up to “unrealistic” expectations, I would not lose faith if he continued as coach. I hate comparisons, but I think the ND faithful would have run Joe Pa out of town with 15 out of 20 seasons with 3 or more loses.

        I would love to see the Irish back on top but I also want a man of integrity as coach who is not just going to use ND as a resume builder…does such a person/coach exist?

        CW has brought so many things to this program that we craved for years ago…a wide-open offense with multiple play makers.

    2. Wow…excellent post…ND is not like other schools, we will NOT win at any cost- we put integrity first.

      I work in the semi-conductor industry- and I had a friend make a big mistake- cost the company close to 2 million in potential revenue- we all thought he was going to get fired…well the manufacturing manager in front of the factory said “…fire you, why would we do that…we just invested 2 million in your education…!

    3. B Ross,

      Excellant post, you are a true notre damer. your love for the school is real and alot more of us should follow in your steps. Your points reminded me that we have the right guy. Win and loss’s are great to brag about. The way you play the game is lengdary.

      Thats for the refreshing post. Go Irish!

    4. Excellant post, with passion.
      you are a true notre damer. Your love for the school jumps off the screen. I forgotten about those things in the past and I appreicate the reminder. It is refreshing to read this kind of true ND support, Go irish!
      win and losses are great to brag about, but the way you play the game is lengdary.
      Go CW, Go Irish

    5. ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

      What??????

      Plenty of teams and coaches play with pride / integrity etc. etc. etc. Nobody ever hears about them because they are not Notre Dame. If that is what you want for the program then we should just go to the IVY league or play intramurals. The football coach at ND gets paid an inordinate amount of money to win games and make the program relevant. What separates ND from Harvard, MIT, Columbia, etc. is its football program. No other school has its own TV network covering it.

      Frankly, it is hypocritical for ND to accept the TV money or the BCS money if it is only about graduation rates, and playing with integrity.

      I appreciate that ND graduates players and stays out of the crime blotter but ND does not have the largest fan base in the country because of our study hall. Not many movies being made about the walk on turned star for the Yale debate team.

      1. Whether you are an alumnus or believer in Notre Dame and its rich tradition on and off the field, WE all want success. Some differ on how to get there. We all had high expectations for CW: he delivered in all categories, except for one.

      2. I agree. I have an idea and I think “poz” will agree with me. Let’s create a new “The Shirt” for next season. It will read…”WE’RE #1″ with a big picture of a BOOK on it. Because that’s the only thing our football team is good at right now.

    6. BRoss,
      Most of us give credit to Charlie for all the things you mention. His ‘off the field’ success is very evident and yes, he has a big heart. Agreed. So admire him for this.

      But are these reasons why you would actually keep a coach whose program is a trainwreck? C’mon! There are alot great philanthropists out there, people who dedicate their lives to the service of others. So should they get consideration to run ND football? Give me a break man.

      Like I’ve said so many times before: Charlie is a great recruiter. He has a big heart and loves ND. HOWEVER, HE’S NOT THE ONLY GREAT RECRUITER, THE ONLY COACH W/ A BIG HEART, THE ONLY COACH WHO LOVES ND.

      I understand what you’re saying. But the idea of keeping someone because of ‘warm fuzzies’, generated by off-the-field good works, is just insane.

    7. Testify brother! I agree…”pass to the right” sums it up. And for those who don’t know what that means then I personally question your fanship. Throughout all of the turmoil that surrounds college athletics, Notre Dame has always been above it. I expect the same now. Nobody knows the problems that Notre Dame faces more than Charlie Weis and I think we owe it to him to let him try to fix it. The right people are NOW in place and the right student/athletes are now showing up on the recruiting boards. Lest we forget how dismal the offensive performance was under the former two head coaches. Go Irish!! Yep, I said it, Go Irish!!

  30. Every Game this year has the same OL” line {stupid penalties} PLay calling is better in Little league, One running back same play all the time. No discipline, god help us bring in a real coach who will call it like it is… However whoe would want the job??? W Mulgrew Woodbridge, Va.

  31. Charlie knows he’s gone and I sense some relief from him. He’s tired of his kid getting teased and he’s ready to go back to the NFL to be an offensive genius once again. He is best to be behind the scenes, not a front man for a college team.

    I still hope he goes to Cleveland with Brady, it would make a good story. It was nice seeing Brady look like a quarterback again. Too bad his defense blew it on a hail mary pass.

    I think ND is going to land a pretty good coach because of the talent and schedule next year. I also think that Jimmy and Golden will consider coming back if ND can land a big name coach.

    Hopefully we will make a game of it with Standford and then it will be off to the new coaching hire.

  32. Wanted to stay away, but this is a good discussion. I said it last year,
    repeated it early this year. All the talk about what the skill players do or don’t do is the exciting part. But that boring thing called offensive line play and defensive line play dictate everything else.

    And that is Weis’ downfall. It bores him obviously. He never talks about the fundamentals of blocking and tackling. And the one thing that has been true all 5 of his years, weak defensive line and weak offensive line. They get worse every year. Early on the offensive line looked better and Vertucci has improved them. But the wear and tear of the season has brought these guys back to 2008 standards. The senior linemen will be lucky to be drafted and not cut once in camp. 2005 was the defense’s best year. It’s gotten worse since and no coordinator has solved the issue.

    Both lines exhibit similar issues. Slow feet. Poor body control. Poor use of hands and arms. Lack of vision. And it’s coaching because Manti Teo is even starting to exhibit it. I saw him get too far in on a run because he didn’t cut sideways in time. Coaching.

    And yes I also saw Andrew Nuss get flipped. Highschool freshmen often have that happen when they get tired and stand up straight. Usually that’s corrected earlier in a career. The boring stuff is usually what makes or breaks you.

    1. Good points. Football games are won in the trencheds. The OL and DL control the game.

      Any good football team is brilliant on the basics…ie blocking and tackling – which we are awful at.

      I hate to bring up Holtz, but watch video of his teams from the late 80’s early 90’s and watch the offensive and defensive line play – they dominated. When you win the line of scrimmage, things will fall in place for you. But I think you’re right C-Dog – that stuff is not sexy enough for Weis and doesn’t merrit enough attention in his mind.

    2. Again, very good points CDog (no surprise). Football is absolutely won at the line of scrimmage. The team that moves the opponent most wins the games. All the so-called skill players in the world won’t change the outcome if our opponent gets to our quarterback — or if our defensive line cannot get to their quarterback (or it cannot stop the run).

      It’s so basic. That is why I switched from a Weis defender to a Weis critic. The Navy game changed it for me. So many missed tackles! I mean, why we could not stop anything on the ground against Navy — and again against UConn — is difficult to understand after 11 games this year.

      It’s nice for Clausen to play for us. I am happy he is our quarterback. I like Golden Tate and I like Michael Floyed.

      But, we’re never going to return to the national stage on a regular basis unless we start moving people in the trenches.

      As I have said elsewhere, Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz would be a good coach. His teams win. They do well. And, his lines are always solid.

  33. is there still anyone on CW’s bandwagon? This is humiliating. We could lose to Akron & North Eastern Wester Michigan if given the opportunity. After going 25-1 in my last 2 years at ND, this is sickening!

    1. I was saying one more year before this game, but charlie is down and I don’t see him getting back up, you could see it in his face, he loves ND but I bet it would be a relief if he was fired at this point. If Swarbick says the decision will be made one week after the season is over, then I assume ND has someone picked out already. Charlie will go back to the NFL and life will go on.

    2. Try this on for size … Central Michigan versus Notre Dame in the Pizza-Pizza bowl. Think I’ll dig a hole and come out when that one is over.

  34. Frank-
    Good commentary in this article. I find it particularly interesting how you said this game, the Sergio Brown debacle, was a microcosm of this whole season. MY WORDS EXACTLY as I said them to my wife during the game! And in actuality, it was a microcosm of the last 2 years. Most of the time point leads don’t matter for ND. Lack of discipline, stupidty (lack of preparation), and lack of execution have erased leads quickly as momentum changes hands. The result is a wide variety of unranked teams coming from behind and beating ND, usually at ND Stadium.
    It is truly incredible to see how far this program and AD have fallen. The ND braintrust is at a crossroads. If they don’t make the right decisions over the next few months, ND football will be set back for another decade. I have followed the program loyally and faithfully for 30+ years. About 1/2 of those 30 years have been the post-Holtz train wreck, the culmination of which we are living now.

    Sweeping, radical changes must be made. Every coach except Powlus needs a pink slip after the Stanford game and a bowl bid should be turned down, like they did with Davie at the helm. The current program needs to quietly fade away into the night and not draw any more attention to itself (if that’s possible) until all the changes are in place.

    Did anyone see The Sports Reporters on Sunday? The entire panel mostly agreed that the status of ND football is a joke and there is simply no excuse for it, but that it’s a result of (the phrase I’ve used a 1000 times) “15 years of mismanagement and stupid decisions”. Mike Lupica (love or hate him) said the Kevin White contract decision in 2004 was arguably the worst decision in college football history. I agree with that statement 100%. And the blame does not fall on one man, although CW deserves alot of it for the current state of the program. It is simply amazing that a school with the tradition, recognition, and resources $$$ of Notre Dame is in this situation.

    It’s going to be fascinating to see if this school can wade through it’s spectacular arrogance and incompetence to actually do something right for a change….and usher in a new era….a phoenix from the ashes.

  35. speaking of pat haden, what was with the “thats was a helmet to helmet” and “should’ve been a penalty”…… thats was a shoulder, clearly. I hope he is on the same bus as CW. He is brutal.

    1. glad you mentioned that …. I listened to some of the Pitt game since I was on the road that night …. Don Criqui sucks !!! …. ship him out too.

    2. totally agree. It was a clear shoulder to the sternum and they kept replaying it but he already stuck his foot in his mouth and didn’t want to be man enough and retract it. Bring back Tony Roberts on the radio side and get someone less stupid than Haden.

  36. MontanaRed, that statement that only 3 plus a few of NDs players were recruited by elite schools is absolutely not true. In addition to your three I’ll just name a few more.. Armando Allen(Florida), Darius Fleming(OK, USC, MICH), Ethan Johnson(USC, Oregon, MICH), everyone wanted Trevor Robinson, Deion Walker, Shaq Evans.. I can go on and on. There is no excuse for lack of perceived talent on this team. All experts forecasted that at the very least most of these recruits (in the past 4 years) should have been able to be developed into very good players, by a good coach. Weis, Im sure is a great man and his players obviously respect him but there is something vitally wrong with the way they are being developed or prepared each week to fight. UCONN? NAVY? We should be outscoring these teams by at least 21 points, it’s an outright embarrassment. He has got to go and unfortunately that means Clausen and Tate will be gone too. The program, yet again, must head in a new direction.

      1. Points well taken but I still maintain we do have the depth of quality of personnel as premier programs.

        But let’s switch topics. Surprisingly, with all this disastrous mess, we have heard very little from media or alumni about the person most responsible for the situation in which we now find ourselves. No, not Charlie Weis, but our former illustious AD, Dr. Kevin White. This is the genius who illogically extended Bob Davie’s contract in 2001; hired George O’Leary without first vetting his resume; hired then fired Ty Willingham; hired Charlie Weis and then extended his contract after Charlie’s signature loss to USC several years back making this obscene buyout necessary.

        Yes, you are right, change is necessary. Let’s hope to God our current AD not only has better judgment than his predecessor but is a persuasive salesperson. It is going to take a hell of a pitch to get a first rate coach to take over this program.

  37. I’m sure other folks noticed (like Pat Haden did) that Andrew Nuss got knocked on his keister leading to a sack. Could the “O” line be worse next year ? …. ugh.

    by the way ….. when push comes to shove, I’m with Montana Red.

      1. Bingo. It was a ridiculous penalty. This, again, is Weis. It seems that he is reluctuant to discipline. I mean, look at a big-time coach and you’ll see a sense of anger out there, along with passion. You don’t just see someone trying to figure out the perfect offensive scheme.

        The penalty was awful.

  38. I am speechless after this weekend. wow….. why does ND have to be the place where schools get “the biggest win of the programs history” etc. Every team has something more to play for when they come to south bend, why can’t the boys that get to play there 6-7 times a year get up for a game and crush a team like uconn that you had to know was coming on the biggest national stage with the jasper howard story….. these games are so predictable. ND does need to join the Big 10, and get away from these feel good storys of little sally program coming and beating the “most storied program in college football” ….

    I’m tired of the feel good crap, I want a ND team to be dream crushers, and not a pussified defensive team…. This team needs a asshole for a coach, somebody with a gruden like demeanor that the team takes on as a personality. This defense will have a tough day saturday against the stanford running game, but this is the type of game the irish win, for whatever reason.

    I say back to Lou Holtz and the option game and a defensive coach with some attitude and swagger…

    Evan

  39. Why is it we have to read these same posts every four or so years. We’ve been through the same thing at the end of the Davie and Willingham regimes. I can predict with some degree of certainty what happens next. Another coach will be hired. Expectations will rise based upon inflated pronouncements of the new coach’s ability to recruit, install a new offensive/defensive systems, etc., etc. Next year will bring more of the same we saw this year. We will squeak by beating a few team we should trounce, and of course we will lose to Michigan, USC, and any others that have are first class football programs. We might even end up in the Weedeater-Poulen Bowl come next December, if we squeak by enough Navys, Connecticuts, Syracuses, etc. we will accept these results as improvement and be encouraged based upon our new coach’s insistence that we are now recruiting players who can help us and it is just a matter of time before we are truly competitive again. And so it goes….but nothing will really change because we will not be in competition with the USC’s, Florida’s, Texas and other premier programs for those athletes that really can make a difference to enable us to compete with nation’s best. This is reality folks. Take a look back at the vast majority of athletes currently on the ND team, especially the defense. Excluding Clausen, Floyd and Teo, few of the remaining athletes were recruited by the premier programs. Unfortunately, most of those great athletes who can help ND cannot get in for academic reasons. This is a fact. In the end, why don’t we just keep Weis, satisfy ourselves with wins over programs such as Nevada, and celebrate the highest player graduation rate among Div 1A schools? if we learned anything the past 12-15 years it should be about managing expectations.

    1. Is this really true? I mean, look at next year’s class? They have at least 18 recruits that are being sought by major programs from around the country. We’ve signed 18 of them.

      How many high school all Americans do the Irish have? I mean, it’s not just Clausen and Tate. There are others.

      1. According to rivals.com Notre Dame has had seven 5 star recruits over the past four years. (Jimmy Clausen, Michael Floyd, Kyle Rudolph, Sam Young, Dayne Crist, James Aldridge and Manti Te’o) Over that time period, Texas has also had seven. UConn and Navy have both had zero.

  40. At times on Saturday while watching the game, I was actually calling which way UCONN was going to run the ball, because they ran at Brian Smith time after time after time.

    Manti Te’o was chasing down the RBs from the other side of play. I kept asking myself where the other LBs were, and then I went back through my DVR, and analyzed that Brian Smith was getting taken out almost every play. They were running right at him, because they knew he either couldn’t shed the block, or would miss the tackle…..

    Some other items that overall just drive me crazy with this defense is simple fundamentals. Tackling….I mean, c’mon now. HIGH SCHOOL teams tackle better than this. Coverage……here’s a clue guys, when the WR looks up in the air for the ball….YOU SHOULD TOO! Finally, do they tell the blitzers that their job is to AVOID the pass block? I see our blitzers time after time after time ALLOWING the RB to pick them up. Not even an ounce of a RIP move or a SWIM move….I am glad that this season is almost over, because I am tired of screaming at the TV….

    1. the LBs dont get taken out of the play, they take themselves out of plays. If you watch the film closely, the other LBS are perfectly content taking on a blocker 1 on 1. You would think that they were the one doing the blocking

  41. Thanks Frank! This season has been like a bad
    sequel to last year, well maybe, just maybe
    Cal softened up Stanford for us, that would
    be a huge win.

    Go Irish, Beat Stanford!

  42. Frank, as always, a greeat analysis of the game. I agree on that third down penalty by Sergio Brown. It was the momentum changer. The score should have been 21-0 after the possession change. We are also lucky Kyle wasn’t called for a late smack two plays earlier. It wasn’t helmet to helmet as the announcers were claiming (those things on the shoulders are called shoulder pads . . . . ) but he launched at the guy after the ball had already sailed by him. Up until that point in the game, I seriously believed we were going to have to take up a collection to send our blogger Bill Meehan to more games assuming his presence was the cause of the team’s greatness. (Sorry Bill – you are just a mortal like the rest of us now and sorry your first trip was a loss.)

    Regarding the obvious play calling in the red zone, in theory our line should be able to clear a hole but in reality they can’t. Everyone bitches about the fade passes in the end zone, but they practice them enough and many times they do work and they are extremely difficult to defend. I like Michael Floyd and he will be great next year. I don’t believe he is totally back in the groove yet after the injury.

    Perhaps the head of the Big East officiating should ask his crew why they weren’t calling holding on all the other holds earlier in the game instead.

    Frank, I’ve been a supporter of CW all the way, but it is time for him to pack it up. He has brought excitement back to watching the games. He will have an OC job back in the NFL where he will do great. I hope he can take some time off and enjoy his family and relax a bit. I remember how hard everyone was on Sarah Devine and the abuse on Jr will be the same here. He does work extremely hard, but one can person can not do it all as a head coach.

  43. And Mark May had some interesting insight. I actually, for the first time in my life, agreed with what he said. He said that CW needs to go…there is no reason for a school as prestigous as Notre Dame, with the facilities, the recruits, and the money they have to put such a poor product on the football field as they have done this year. He went on to say that the expectations were so high, rightfully so, and to produce such a mediocre season is uncalled for and Charlie Weis should be fired.

    I hate to say it, but I could not agree with Mark May any more. He is 100% dead on balls accurate. If CW can’t get 8-9 wins this year, especially when we were expecting 10-11, than he needs to go, plain and simple.

    1. I often dislike Mr. May, but I will say that he is RIGHT on a regular basis. There is no question about it. He’s right. We don’t like to hear it, but when he said we would get smoked by Ohio State because our offensive line cannot hang with a good defensive front, he was right. The next year, when we “played” LSU and he predicted a blowout, he was right.

      The problem with Weis has been a focus on finesse. I love to see long passes and I love the north/south game. But, the trouble is that too often our lines have disappointed us under Weis. And, football, after all, is won at the line of scrimmage. The team that controls the line of scrimmage wins the game. All the Golden Tates in the world cannot stop that factor.

      1. Line of scrimmage – right on! I remember several weeks back Robert Hughes has a great day running smash mouth football right up the middle never to be seen again. I thought like the good ole days. I think Weis’s smorgasboard of play calling is predictable because it is always the same smorgasboard. I do not think he uses his offensive talent pool well. More Hughes, what happened to Aldridge, throw Riddick in. He could have fresh legs practically every play. Not to mention totally under used tight ends. His smorgasboard play calling is always the same few guys. I would of never thought Weis was so parochial.

  44. It’s pretty bad when you’re not surprised that you just lost to CONNECTICUT and it’s not basketball. I don’t like to say the game came down to one play, but…WHAT THE F*CK WAS SERGIO BROWN THINKING?!?! I’m actaully glad he’s leaving because he has done nothing good for this team. Again I hate to say it was just one play because there were some other plays, such as the 2 fumbles by Floyd and Allen, but Sergio’s play was like a turnover. Instead of getting the ball back, the drive stays alive and they score, which changed the momentum dramatically.

    I just get so frustrated watching Weis run this offense. He WAY too predictable. I know, as a die hard ND fan, I should expect certain plays, but when I’m calling the offense from my couch, what are the Defensive Coordinators that we face anticipating? They have to know what plays are coming, it’s too obvious. And when we should just line up and attack with the run, when they know the run is coming…we pitch wide to Hughes? we line in a bunch formation where it’s obviously going to be a screen/quick out to the back guy with the 2 closest to the line blocking/getting in the way? COME ON!! I’ve played and been around football long enough to know what plays can be run out of a bunch formation on 3rd and 2! And there’s not many, trust me. After this game, I’m glad the Weis era is going to be over. I look forward to having a coach with some fire and understands that football games are won on both sides of the ball, not JUST offense.

    1. UCONN rushing yards vs. Irish: 231. UCONN rushing yards vs. University of Rhode Island, when the Huskies kept the ball on the ground for much of the second half: 199. Ouch.

      1. We can’t stop anybody, it’s ridiculous. My High School could run for 200 yards against this defense. If it’s 3rd and less than 5 yards, it’s pretty much an automatic first down against our Defense. Which really begs the question…how in the hell did this Defense manage as many goal line stands as it did? This defense needs help. Look at the 2002 National Championship…Ohio State managed to contain the future all pros that were the 2002 Miami Hurricanes. Craig Krenzel was OSU’s QB and the Buckeyes won because of THEIR DEFENSE!

        As well, I know the NFL is not the NCAA but…look at the Ravens back in 2000 when they won the Super Bowl, and the Buccanneers in 2002 when they won the SB. Defense wins Championships! The QBs for those teams were Brad Johnson and Trent Dilfer, which proves that you don’t have to have an All Pro/All American under center.

        If Notre Dame can get back to this type of defense, which is what made them great in the late 80s, early 90s. I do hope that ND gets a defensive minded coach that understands what wins championships.

    2. I agree. I saw that play and was like here we go. I had to leave for a kids party was checking the score in the car and it was 14-10 at half-time. Stupid bone head plays that extend drives.

  45. I have been saying it all year, our Defense and Special Teams have been killing us.

    On a personal note; I attended my first Notre Dame game this past weekend. It was an amazing day to walk through and see that amazing campus. I wish we could have won!

  46. Your comments about Tate are my #1 complaint with CW. When even announcers, Mark May for example, who don’t like ND sing his praises, it’s evident he’s a special talent. I’m only left to wonder what might have been if he’d been used differently the last 3 years.

    It’s CW system and players are going to fit into it; he’s not going to change his system to take advantage of the talent he has nor offset apparent weaknesses, which, at the final gun is his downfall. I can only hope Tate stays one more year, because a flexible college coach will have him in heisman talks from day 1.

    1. He returned punts, ran out ofthe backfield, and was a wideout. What’s left? Maybe he could have played one of the corners, or played special teams!!!!!!!!!

  47. Glad I found your, and I love the Irish. Like you, I have always liked Weis simply because of his love for the school, the program, and players. The offense is better than it has been in years under Weis. Main problem for the Irish is their porous defense.

    New coach: 1st: Will Muschamp, defensive coordinator at Texas. Young, fiery, great with the players and a defensive mastermind. He can recruit and will bring an intensity to the program not seen since the days of Holtz. With Muschamp can come Mark Mangino as the OC. Mangino is about to lose his job as HC at KU because of whiny players he brought in. Fact is KU has never been better than under Mangino. Basically, he will keep in tact what Weis has done offensively.

    2nd: Check into Bob Stoops availability. I sense he may be wanting out at OU and would consider an ND offer. Like Muschamp, he will bring much needed defense and locker room intensity to the program like Muschamp will do.

  48. UConn was able to run right at (and over) the ND defense in the 4th quarter because ND’s d-line was worn down by UConn’s o-line. But that has been ND’s problem all year, their d-line can’t stop the run. By the way, the head of Big East officiating has already said that neither of the holding calls at the end of the 4th quarter should have been called. This game never should have gone into overtime.

    1. This has actually been a problem in the Weis era. The defensive line is worn down by a better offensive line.

      And the flip side is true, too: our offensive line is run down by a better defensive line.

      This begs the question: how can both of our lines be inferior to 4-5 teams? How does that happen?

      1. because they play linebackers at defensive end; defensive ends at tackle; and Harrison Smith and Brian Smith TOO MUCH!!!!!

        I bet Toryan Smith would have plugged some of those holes….Maybe Tenuta should stop blitzing TEO out of position on 80% of the plays!!

      2. could agree with you more man. Toryan got completely screwed this year. How is he on the bench and the worst player on the team continues to start(Harrison Smith).

  49. It’s like watching my nephews play NCAA ’10 on PlayStation. They call the same plays with the same players over and over, just like Tenuta. Or they feature the same player on offense during a possession, just like Charlie Faust.

    1. I hope everyone takes a good long look at the e-mails I sent right after the Michigan game in 2005 Yes Weis’s second game I said fire him now he is “smoke in Mirrors” I am now an MBA student and my passion for ND could not get any higher. Please look at this short list.

      1. Peterson
      2. Fitzgerald if he agrees to run an I formation w/ an emphasis on the running game.
      3. Edsel
      4. Harbaugh if he agrees in writing to pay back all his contract if he leaves for Michigan.

      Peace,

      John

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