Furious Comeback Falls Short: Notre Dame – Arizona State Highlights

Notre Dame fell behind 34-3 to Arizona State before storming back to pull within just three points at 34-31 in the 4th quarter, but a flurry of late scores by the Sun Devils burned Notre Dame’s playoff hopes in flames in the desert. Here’s the highlights of Notre Dame’s second loss of the season to a top 10 ranked opponent on the road.

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26 Comments

  1. Man oh man I hate to say this but these guys do not belong on the national stage right now.
    1) If there was a game plan for ASU it was so poorly executed it was painful. What did they do for the week in practice? They looked so unprepared it was astonishing. I’ve called on these guys to focus on execution several times now. There should be no question what each player is supposed to do at each down. This far into the season and I still get the impression they’re looking over their shoulders and asking, ‘This is it, right? This is my assignment right? isn’t it’

    2) I agree with everyone who is calling for the running game. Three solid running backs are in the backfield and they are not getting the ball nearly enough. Add to that the potential that Golson could add if they took the shackles off him a bit (I’ll have more to say about Golson below). Want to open up your passing game? Make the defense fear your running game.

    3) I hate to say this as well but it’s time to sit Mr. Golson down and let him think about what it means to hold on to the football. He runs around with the ball like it’s a loaf of bread. Tuck it under your arm and hold on to the thing. Let’s see what Malik Zaire can do for us. They’re not going anywhere near the playoffs so let’s give him a chance to learn on the job.

    Notwithstanding these frustrating comments, Go Irish!!!

    1. You’ve called on them to focus on execution?? How exactly have you done this? Via texts, Facebook, Twitter?? Are you at practice?
      This is indeed one of my favorite lines of the week. Bravo sir!

      1. Via this blog.

        I suppose you might have something there. Coaches have enough trouble without reading our blog entries.

  2. A big part of the problem was defense. I think losing Schmidt last week cost our defense big. Not saying there are playmakers on defense, but Schmidt was a very important part of coordinating the defense. There just wasn’t enough time before a solid team like ASU to retool. EG turning the ball over in the beginning was huge too (I really don’t blame him for the interception throw towards the end that seemed to turn the tide, since it was in the receivers hands and bounced out).

    I do agree with SFR, there was no real comeback. Sure, I was getting excited when they closed to within 3, and ND was playing on all cylinders for a while there, but they lost. The loss against FSU was a more impressive run for ND because they really did almost win that game. The only good I take from ASU and a significant difference between the BK regine and the Willingham-Weis regime is the teams under BK will fight to the last quarter. If ND had fallen behind 34-3 under the two W’s the team would have quit and the score would have been 55-3 or 55-6. So there is most definitely a different attitude. But they need to execute.

    Re: BK calling out EG. Well EG is a big boy now. And yes, those early turnovers were costly. If EG wants to play in the NFL, he needs to man up (and in his defense, he probably agrees with BK 100%) and I think BK knows EG is not a quitter. He will work that much harder.

    Don’t forget Weis always “took” responsibility for losses, but where did that get us. 3/5 mediocre years with no signs of improvement on the horizon.

    I do agree with others, they do need to run more. I love deep passes too, but you need to be balanced.

  3. I agree 100% with you Rick. “Despite” all the turnovers and including the botched field goal hold etc we could still have won this game at 34-31 if we could have gotten one more defensive stop and then marched down the field for a score we still would have won the impossible comeback game. Golson to me always seems to be thinking about what he “shouldn’t do” to piss off Kelly and get yelled at. He does not seem to just rely on his natural instincts to RUN with the ball when nothing presents itself re open targets. Instead he holds onto the ball and tries to “improvise” in the backfield and then gets sacked, pressured into a bad throw or tripped up and fumbles. We never call for QB Draw like Miss St or Mississippi do for their running QB’s when EG runs it always seems almost as an after thought due to no one being open This kid put up almost 500yds passing despite SEVEN sacks and countless times having to scramble to avoid even more sacks and still had us down THREE with 7 minutes remaining. I will take him over TR anyday. Hope we can get up big early vs. N’western to maybe allow MZ a quarter or more of playtime to see what he brings to the table. If we finish 10-2 beating L’ville and USC convincingly it will have been a good year. Lots of experience for Freshmen, Russell/Williams back and maybe Daniels etc for 15′ The one glaring NEED after Kelly’s FIVE yrs is a Special Teams coach who can get more then a fair catch from punts and get us past the 25 yd line on kickoff returns. Why do we constantly catch the ball in end zone and run it out only to be tackled short of the 25??? We will never break it for 7 it would seem so why not just take a knee and start at the 25 and no risk of a fumble or an injury? Seems common sense.

  4. TIME FOR KELLY TO ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY. HIS GAME PLAN AGAINST A BLITZING AGGRESSIVE DEFENSE SUCKED. YOU CAN’T BLOCK 7 GUYS WITH 5 LINEMEN AND SOMETIMES A RUNNING BACK. THE FIRST SERIES THE IRISH WENT RIGHT DOWN THE FIELD. AS HE HAS DONE ALL SEASON HIS PLAY CALLING IN THE RED ZONE WAS TERRIBLE. A TOUCHDOWN WOULD HAVE TAKEN THE CROWD OUT OF THE GAME. YOU CAN’T BEAT GOOD TEAMS KICKING FIELD GOALS. SOME ONE RAISED ANOTHER GOOD POINT, GOLSON IS NOT COMFORTABLE SITTING IN THE POCKET AND GOING THROUGH HIS READS. HE HESITATES TO RUN WHEN HE SEES AN OPENING, AND KELLY MUST BE TELLING HIM TO DO THIS. IN 2012 HE MADE BIG PLAYS RUNNING ALL THE TIME. THE INTERCEPTIONS WERE ALL DUE TO PRESSURE AND TIPPED BALLS. GOLSON WAS UNDER DURESS ALL NIGHT. IT REMINDED ME OF THE DAYS WHEN JIMMY CLAUSEN WAS CHASED ALL OVER THE FIELD BY U.S.C. A GOOD SCHEME WOULD HAVE HELPED GOLSON ALOT. CAN’T BLAME HIM FOR ALL THIS. KELLY NEEDS TO HOLD HIMSELF ACCOUNTABLE. LOOK IN THE MIRROR, COACH.

  5. While the lost versus ASU hurts…….a lot, not to many fans thought we were a playoff team starting this year out regardless of what they might say in hindsight now. Golsons turnovers have buried this team and how they are 7-2 with EG3 turning the ball over 17 times in the past 5 games are just as bad if not worse than what we saw from Tommy Rees last year but he gives us the absolute best opportunity to win every Saturday. He has to clean that mess up with these sloppy turnvers especially the fumbles and he will be the first to tell you.

    If we have any hope of finishing 10-2 he has to play like the heisman caliber QB that he is. 10 wins might get us in the Fiesta Bowl and that would be a very successful season in my opinion.

  6. Lou Holtz made a point I have agreed for the entire Kelly era. HE DOES NOT RUN THE BALL ENOUGH. He has 3 very good rb’s and with first and goals he constantly calls pass plays. When you have a guy like Folston for the break away threat and a NEVER FUMBLE 3-5 yds grinder like McDaniel why does he call pass plays on FIRST down every time we get inside the opponents 10 yd line? Golson is a very good QB a guy like Mariota is a Great QB because he doesn’t turn the ball over. If we establish a running game with two carries on every series and put in some running plays with “variation” eg slants and sweeps instead of running only BETWEEN the tackles then that alone will reduce the pass interceptions because we are not throwing 80% of the time from scrambles and broken plays. No top 5 running back looking at ND and Kelly’s season would be planning on coming to ND. I would not be surprised to see Bryant transfer after this season. If he doesn’t the only reason will be cause’ Cam is graduating and if Folson gets hurt then he is the lone RB in 15′. Kelly is the play caller and must accept responsiblity for putting Golson in positions to be “blind sided, sacked, and at 6′ trying to throw from a pocket over 6’5 def lineman. Man up BK and accept your share of the blame.

    1. D-train–

      Thank You –RUN THE BALL!!!
      IF we would have run the ball against Tallahassee Thugs in the last 2: 48 –we would have had a win. We threw and threw and went for it all and almost had it. Conservative play calling then could have been it–
      Against ASU–if we would have changed the tempo with an option game–run –3 yards and a pile of dust when they were up 17-3 things could have been different.
      Tempo, control, protection of QB –different game–in FSU and ASU.
      Guaranteed.
      Every play doesn’t need to be a hyper caffeine moment –do or die.
      Slow running game not flashy but it wins.
      RUN THE DAMN BALL.
      Live by the pass–you die by the pass!
      thanks D-Train

  7. I think BK is a good coach but I cringe every time I see him tearing into a player or worse yet, another coach. I wish he would try to keep that more private and behind closed doors. It gives the other team a boost to see it. EG is a great quarterback but maybe the OL should take some of the blame for the turnovers. Must be hard to focus on his job when there are guys coming at him and getting through. Disappointed MZ hasn’t had more than a few seconds of playing time. I hope that changes next week.

  8. Kelly HAS TO BE considering giving Zaire a shot at some meaningful playing time, right? This incessant fumbling cannot continue. This turnover-fest has been going on since the Purdue game! I can live with an INT here and there, but the fumbling is just beyond belief. BK basically ended Carlisle’s season last year for fumbling ONCE. Golson fumbles three times every single game, but apparently we can live with that.

    1. I’ve been an advocate of giving a back-up QB meaningful playing time for years. But as for shelving EG, be careful for what you wish!

      1. I think EG is just currently in some kind of slump or rut or whatever you want to call it. No, I wouldn’t suggest pulling the plug, but something needs to be done to get him through this. Let him cool off on the sidelines or something. We don’t know much about Zaire yet. I’d like to see him get some work at this point. He seems to be much more of a running threat than EG.

      2. This is true but Mr Golson has to realize someone may take his job if he doesn’t clean up his play. It’s called competition. Zaire deserves a chance to perform.

  9. Golson keeps making mistakes, yet loses no playing time. a little time on the bench would do him a world of good. Where is the accountability?

  10. THank you, Frank, for reminding us of the comeback that fell short.
    Among our posters, there’s way too much Good Friday and not enough Easter Sunday.
    Coach Kelly, especially, needs the reminder as well.
    It didn’t take long. With memories of him throwing “Weis’s guys” under the bus three years ago after $C blew his team out with numerous prized recruits on the sideline with him, Coach Kelly as quickly as he could threw his QB under the bus, blaming him first and foremost for the loss. We all noticed EG had five (nearly six) turnovers. I’ve also recognized how EG was the difference in several other games. I also noticed two interceptions were deflected passes that fortuitously bounced into the hands of waiting unblocked defenders, resulting from BK’s insistence that his 6’ QB must be a pocket passer, and one was bobbled into the hands of a DB. Everett’s two fumbles were forced by unblocked DL, which were commonplace all afternoon long. Beaucoup missed blocks and tackles, an inability to match the intensity or execution of the other team, and being thoroughly outcoached on both sides of the ball led to the defeat as well. BK ought to remember that each time he points a finger of blame, three more are pointing right back at him. His pouting and blaming is getting old. Say what you will about Hoke at Michigan, you won’t see him or many other coaches more successful than both Kelly and Hoke play the blame game. Did you hear Auburn’s coach after the game? Take a listen. Take note, grow up, and get back to work, Coach, before you lose this young team altogether due to your whiney pouting blame game.

      1. You can also pass on a roll out, like the numerous key passes he’s completed and the huge plays resulting from him doing that when he has. Maximize your QBs strengths; don’t cookie cut him into a Tommy Rees scheme. “EG fumbles on every designed run?” Yah, right!
        re: your focus on one phrase and dismissing the rest of the post’s intent: There’s a whole ocean out there, George, and you insist on drowning in a glass of water.

      2. No, my point was for every fumble, he makes five or more outstanding plays, many of them difference-makers as to if we win or if we lose. He’s often under duress from a line that doesn’t pass block very well. Add to that their inconsistent efforts to run block often turns ND into a very one-dimensional offense, as you must have noticed. Of course his fumbling is a liability, but the balance of great plays he provides doesn’t warrant, for me, him being benched. More Zaire- sure. No more EG, no way!

      3. If you remember back in 2012 everyone was complaining we didn’t see zone read runs from Everett. Kelly stated that he had poor ball security. I think the big difference between EG in 2012 and now is that EG was asked to manage the game and now he is being asked to win the game. He has horrible ball security and also is 6′ tall. He should watch some tape of Drew Brees and learn how to utilize throwing lanes, which I am sure has been reviewed with him. The QB coach in California even said EG’s footwork lacks at time. He needs to do a better job of consistently executing the fundamentals which at times he doesn’t and realize that he doesn’t have a great defense like 2012 and sometimes it’s better to live to fight another day.

    1. There was NO comeback!!!

      A comeback equals a win!!!

      Now we’re redefining terms to mean whatever we want to make us feel better.

      ND lost big. There was NO comeback in the final analysis.

      Stop sugarcoating things.

      1. I agree SFR, a 24 point loss is not describing a comeback. Not sure why this this phrase was used.

    2. You can’t be serious. Kelly doesn’t want a pocket passer, he wants a read option quarterback…like say, Russel Wilson, whoe seems to be doing just fine an inch shorter that Golson’s 6’1″. But, Golson can’t make the simple decesion to give or take. He’s incapale of reading the DE or OL. Kelly has tried all season. Golson has only kept the ball once. Even the talking heads called him out in a game.
      Hahahaha…and a pocket passer? get real. He can’t step up into the pocket. I can teach a ten year old how to feel and step into a pocket. Golson simply can’t do it. He flushes prematurely to the rear…usually left. Or, he tentatively runs forward. On the rare occasion that he gets it right he can be deadly. But, unfortunately, it’s just too rare. so, for every great play, he botches ten others, and frustrates teammates and coaches that are all too aware of his faults, and desperately want to win.

      Start Malik Zaire! There’s nothing to lose. Start a fire beneath Golson’s ass and see how well he responds to the smell on burnig flesh. Test the very talented and seemingly very intelligent and athletic Zaire.

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