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Filling the void

Sep 13, 2009, 5:50 PM EDT

I’m still trying to figure out what exactly happened, but the results are in. Notre Dame lost to Michigan. The underdog won again, and this time Irish fans are the ones feeling the shock. I’ll be the first to admit that I was way off on this one, and I really felt Notre Dame would win comfortably.

I’ve been scanning the message boards and blogosphere for reactions, and they’ve been pretty predictable. A lot of shock, anger, and disgust. Specifically, the ire is pointed at head coach Charlie Weis for his decision to throw the ball twice on the last offensive drive of the game.

Here’s what Weis said about the decision:

“We ran it first of all and then we ran again. But what they decided to
do after that first run was load up the box and not let us do that. We
saw that on the second run. They had a change of mentality, and they
weren’t just going to sit back there and let us run the ball. So we
went to a quick, three-step drop — the same pass we had been hitting
all day. But then we threw an incomplete pass, and now it’s
third-and-long. So then you have two choices — you run the ball just
to make them use their timeouts or you try and win the game. When it
got to the third-down call, we threw the ball over to the right-hand
side over to Shaquelle Evans
and we were just a little off on it. He was open, and we had an
opportunity to pick up that first down and try to run it out from

Maybe I’m in the minority, but I have absolutely no issue with this decision. I’d much rather play for the win, especially with the way that the Irish were moving the ball. What I am surprised at is the decision to throw a crucial pass to a true freshman playing in his second game. Shaq Evans might turn out to be a very good one, but you’ve got to wonder what the thought process was being that throw.

The fact that Floyd was off the field with that horrifying cut was a terrible break for the Irish, and I wonder if Jimmy Clausen had lost some faith in Golden Tate after seeing him drop a sure touchdown pass.

This one is going to sting for a while, but I just think that people are getting ahead of themselves calling Charlie Weis’ game management “disgraceful” or “horrible.”  

  1. Steve - Sep 13, 2009 at 7:25 PM

    Hey Keith,
    First off, I love the blog; keep up the great work. Secondly, you’re 100% right on the playcalling at the end of the game. We’ve all sat and yelled at the tv when a team when into its stall only to punt and watch the other team – without the precious time outs – move down the field and win. In college football the timeouts aren’t that important anyway with the clock stopping at every first down. Back in 2006 Charlie did the same thing against Georgia Tech in the opening game except that Brady Quinn picked up the first down and then kneeled to run out the clock. At the time everyone loved that Charlie tried to win it with his offense. Same thing here. Finally, the person who is unjustly getting a pass in all of this is Eric Maust. He has to be better than a 28 yard punt when there is no one near blocking the ball.

  2. mike considine - Sep 13, 2009 at 7:55 PM

    am I the only one to say that the game was lost not on the last series but at the beginning of the game because of charlie’s play calling .The 1st series that the irish had the ball ,he had 5 wide-out w/empty backfield w/jimmy doing a quarter back sneak.Well w/an empty backfield you loose the option to run so with a short field the other teams will blitz,which they did.the other point is poor play calling ….. How many times a game charlie calls for the homerun{bomb play/long pass}8,10,12 times and neglect the play action pass and settle for a 6-10 yard slant play across the middle

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