Notre Dame @ Pitt – Shamrock Stickers

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

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

T.J. Jones

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

Ben Koyack

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

Jaylon Smith

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

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49 comments

  1. Jack 6 years ago

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

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  2. Sean 6 years ago

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

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  3. ejs 6 years ago

    The Shamrock Stickers article should have been limited to two words: “None Issued.”

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  4. bruce johnson 6 years ago

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

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    1. Ron Burgundy 6 years ago

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

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    2. C-Dog 6 years ago

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

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

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

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  5. C-Dog 6 years ago

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

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

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

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

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

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

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  6. SteelFanRob 6 years ago

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

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

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

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

    Let’s go Irish!

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