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The good, the bad, the ugly: Purdue

Sep 28, 2009, 7:00 AM EDT

With almost 24 hours to sit back and reflect on the stunning Irish victory, a few things are more evident than they were last night. The Irish were truly handicapped offensively by injuries last night. Give Charlie Weis credit for a very good scheme. Weis found a way to make Jimmy Clausen effective — using him solely in the shotgun. He created a package where he used Golden Tate as a Wildcat quarterback and a tailback. He ran the zone read with backup quarterback Dayne Crist, using the powerful sophomore as a reliable change-of-pace quarterback who was a run first, pass second signal-caller. He also gave defenses their first dose of a power running attack, where the bruising Robert Hughes played smash-mouth football being a bulldozing offensive line.

The Irish were far from perfect last night, but the end result was what mattered, a W against a very game Purdue squad.

Here’s a look at the good, the bad, and the ugly.


The Irish won in a completely unconventional way. The game-winning drive makes it two consecutive outings where the final minute went Notre Dame’s way. The second quarter power rushing display put on by Dayne Crist, Robert Hughes, Jonas Gray, and Theo Riddick was a thing of beauty, and showed the kind of depth that Weis has built in his five seasons of recruiting. The Irish had TD drives of 73 and 62 yards without ever completing a pass, a testament to the offensive line’s resurgence. While the defensive effort still leaves a lot to be desired, the Irish did hold Ralph Bolden to just 67 yards on 17 carries, under four yards a clip, even including the 26-yard scamper in the first quarter. That’s continuous improvement in stopping the run by Corwin Brown and Jon Tenuta’s boys.


Notre Dame failed to put away another opponent, and the usual suspects were a big reason why. Penalties dogged the Irish, with procedure, formation, and personal fouls all part of the miscues. Golden Tate cost himself a touchdown lining up out of position, Sam Young heard his name a few too many times on the PA, and Harrison Smith had a thick-headed personal foul penalty. Worse still, Notre Dame’s tackling took a huge step backward. As our friends at Hammer & Rails predicted, Keith Smith evoked memories of Kory Sheets and Desmond Tardy, gashing the Irish defense for 11 catches and 136 yards. Weis talked about the decision to play more Cover 2 defense in his post-game remarks, but the team failed to make the proper adjustments in the scheme. Too many short patterns went uncontested by corners, and the middle of the field was exploited multiple times by Purdue, as Irish linebackers gave up a ton of yards over the middle. (If Notre Dame wants to play Cover 2, expect to see linebackers Manti Te’o and Steve Filer on the field more often.) Finally, the blown coverage by the Irish on Purdue’s last touchdown was another broken play by the defense, a trend that can”t keep happening.


For Purdue fans, Danny Hope’s timeout with 36 seconds left doesn’t add up. After Robert Hughes was stuffed short on 2nd and Goal from the 4, Notre Dame was scrambling to get up to the line and spike the ball to stop the clock. Instead of wasting third down, Hope spared the Irish by stopping the clock himself, giving Notre Dame time to misfire on third down before Clausen blistered a throw into Kyle Rudolph’s chest on 4th down for the win. Between the timeout and 13 penalties, Purdue fans have to be seething.

  1. Irisheyes - Sep 28, 2009 at 4:25 PM

    I agree with everything. Sam Young needs to get his act together and play like the #1 OL that people tout him to be!

  2. Philip Ciufo - Sep 28, 2009 at 7:06 PM

    I know the D has it, but they haven’t shown it. So, I ask the Defense this question…Where is the CHAMPIONSHIP Heart? Skill and schemes don’t mean squat at a championship level without a championship heart and Soul. I know they have it in them!

  3. robertg - Sep 28, 2009 at 8:24 PM

    1. notre dame has played only 2 games this season which were honestly officiated-the nevada game and the purdue game.
    2. yes, notre dame players got penalized, but this ref crew for the purdue game must have come from the big east conference and wisely decided not to take the payoffs for dishonest reffing(which are on the table for refs from any conference, along with assurances from the conferences and the ncaa that you will never be punished) used the same penalty and non penalty calling standards for the penalties called against purdue and notre dame.
    4. with all of those key injuries and notre dame players really not knowing what to expect from the refs and facing a fine purdue team on the road, the same purdue team that had, 2 weeks ago, faced and come within a hair of beating at oregon the same oregon team that just blew out former no.6 cal, we are extremely impressed with the performance of notre dame’s 2009 team at the purdue game. civil litigations in the courts, we encounter dishonest and incompetent judges all of the time.
    6. however, over the years, we have become experts in forcing the crooked and dishonest judges to disqualy themselves in our cases and driving them off the bench. the cases of 2 crooked california state court judges, since both state and federal judges are immune from being sued in the civil courts, we simply brough the evidence to the fbi and the us attorney’s office and those 2 judges ended up doing time in federal prisons.
    8. just imagine yourselves playing in football games or any other athletic or court contest in which the big 10 refs have been so dishonest that they have altered the outcome of one game(michigan) and been unable(but not for lack of trying to do the same thing)in the michigan state game.
    9. imagine further, as is true of charlie and his staff and every notre dame student athlete,as well as jack swarbrick and notre dame university, you are subject to a rule called the sportsmanship conduct rule at the conference( notre dame is not a member of any conference) and at the ncaa level which prohibits you from saying or writing anything about the crooked refs, except for sending film of the dishonest reffing to the conference officials who just ignore the film and essentally tell you to screw off.
    10. we know that charlie and his staff and notre dame’s student athletes already know how they can play much better and avoid penalties provided that they can play games officiated by honest refs and tech reviewers and know what rules are going to be applied.
    11. the only area in which we, as notre dame fans, can be of any real assistance is to put pressure well before each game on the officials at the conferences supplying the ref crews.
    12. for the next 2 games,washington and usc(we all remember notre dame’win over usc in 2005 which was hijacked by a crooked pac 10 ref crew and, if anyone does not remember, the full game film is available to review, along with the complete box score listing the names of the crooked pac 10 refs at that game) the refs will be supplied by the pac 10 conference.
    13. the pac 10 conference website is available online. the pac 10 conference officials in charge of football reffing are dave cutaia and jim muldoon, each of whom has a long history of covering for dishonest pac 10 refs and tech reviewers.
    14. in fact, cutaia was the head ref at the infamous oklahoma/oregon game of 9/14/2006 at which cutaia and his ref crew stole a clear win from the sooners for oregon.
    15. the dishonest reffing and tech reviewing was so grotesque that a public war followed between oklahoma and the big 12 conference and the then pac 10 commissioner, tom hansen, and the pac 10 conference official then in charge of football reffing, jim muldoon.
    16. hansen and muldoon were forced to admit in public that the crooked reffing and tech reviewing had indeed altered the outcome of that game.
    17. hansen and muldoon both issued written apologies to oklahoma and to the big 12 conference.
    18.hansen and muldoon both also promised in writing to take immediate disciplinary action against every ref and tech reviewer involved in the game.
    19. coach stoops understandably wanted the game result altered to a win by default by the sooners.
    20. when stoops was informed that there were no mechanisms availabe at the conference or ncaa levels to correct the dishoest game outcome, stopps anounced that oklahoma would not schedule any more games in which pac 10 refs or tech reviewers would be involved, in any way.
    21. coach stoops and oklahoma have stuck with that scheduling policy ever since.
    22. after all, the only visible discipline imposed by hansen and muldoon was to promote muldoon within the pac 10 conference and to replace muldoon with dave cutaia as the pac 10 conference official in charge of football reffing and tech reviewing.
    23. anyone who follows notre dame football will remember the 2007 notre dame stanford game played at stanford. the refs were from the big east. the tech reviewers, as is customary, were supplied by the pac 10 conference and dave cutaia.
    24. for anyone who does not remember that game and the td that cutaia’s pac 10 tech reviewers robbed from notre dame’s david grimes in their unsuccessful eforts to rob notre dame of that win, you can find a number of film clips of that play, frrom every angle available to the pac 10 tech reviewers, who had access only to to espn tv feed, at under football and under great plays of the charlie weis era, with some excellent commentary on the pac 10 tech reviewers by jack nolan of
    25. when approached by various media outlets about the dishonest conduct of his pac 10 tech review crew in overturning the td calleed by the big east ref crew on the field, cutaia gave the media his standard screw you response, hung up the telephone, and simply ignored all written and other requests for explanations.
    26.obviously, cutaia had hansen and muldoon covering his backside, something that he bwill not have when we taker his depositioin and all of his material possessions.
    27. looking back at notre dame’season, it certainly would be logical to ask why hansen and muldoon and cutaia would even bother to steal a win over stanford from notre dame during a season which appeared to be a disaster on paper.
    28. the obvious answer lies in coaching stability and recruiting at notre dame. it was during the 2007 season that charlie and his staff put together and held together the no. 1 recruiting class in the us for the 2008 recruiting cycle in the face of a disaterous season on paper and in the face of vicious attacks by eric hansen and his hansenite allies and notre dame’s enemies who pay them off.
    29. the hansenites at the sbt and elsewhere were guranteeing in writing that they would get charlie fired and notre dame’s competitors on the recruiting trail were hammering away at every notre dame verbal commit, with very little success, but not for lack of trying.
    30. hansen and muldoon and cutaia got paid very well for that attempted scam, but missed out on much larger bonuses. we are subpoenaing all of their financial records.
    31. however, a door of opportunity opened when hansen heard our footsteps coming in the civil courts and resigned before the 2009 season.
    32. based on his background and his conduct so far as the new pac 10 conference commissioner, larry scott is an honest man who has zero interest in having anything to do with crooked college sports enterprises.
    33. obviously, scott cannot get rid of muldoon and cutaia and the crooked pac 10 refs before the notre dame/washington(pac 10 refs,big east tech reviewers notre dame/usc(pac 10 ref,big east tech reviewers), and the notre dame/stanford(big east refs and pac 10 tech reviewers) games.
    34. however, if scott gets enough letters from us and from anyone else who is a shareholder in any of the companies which are listed at the pac 10 conference website, scott can and will contact the mountain west or wac conferences and swap ref and tech review crews before each game.
    35. naturally, it would certainly help to get as many letters as possible as soon as possible to each member of the boards of directorsprovides the pac 10 conference with sponsorship funds.
    36. while there are mailng addresses at the pac 10 conference website and at the websites of every corporate sponsor, nothing works beter than mail overnighted to the homes of the key people.
    37. all such information can be obtained from for prices which are quite reasonable considering what is at stake for notre dame and for every other school that plays by the rules.
    GO IRISH!!

  4. robertg - Sep 28, 2009 at 11:15 PM

    1. the shorterversionof the much longer post above with a very small potion of the detailed evidence that we have been collecting since the fall of 2006 and something that all real notre dame fans can do to minimize the bad and the ugly for the rest of the 2009 season.
    2. we agree that the bad and the ugly exist.
    3. however, unlike you, we know the portions of these problems that exist at the levels of charlie and his staff and among notre dame’s student athletes have been recognized and are being dealt with with energy and dedication which no notre dame fan could possibly imagine.
    4. what are the serious bads and uglies which the so- called sportsmansip conduct rules at the confrence and ncaa levels prevent charlie and his staff, the university of notre dame, and notre dame’s student athletes can do nothing about?
    5. those very serious bads and uglies are the crooked refs and tech reviewerssupplied by the conferences and protected by certain conference and ncaa officials in return for very big payoffs.
    6. delany and bill carollo of the big 10 conference and the big 10 refs and tech reviewers who took payoffs to make the completely dishonest penaltycalls and non calls which did successfully alter the outcome of the michigan game and came very close in the michigan state game, along with david parry, the big 10 plant at the ncaa level at college football officiating llc have already chosen to put all of their material possessions on the tables in the civil courts.
    7. we will take those material possessions from them in the civil courts and we have a very good shot at getting the paper result in the notre dame/michigan game reversed in the civil courts before the end of the 2009 season.after all, michigan had to go back to that same crooked big 10 ref and tech review well to avoid a loss to indiana last saturday.
    8. on the immediate horizon are games with washington and usc which, along with future games with washington state and stanford, will involve pac 10 ref crews and, in the case of stanford, only a pac 10 tech review crew.
    9. any real notre dame fan who wants to assist charlie and his staff and notre dame’s student athletes need only go to the pac 10 conference website.
    10. there, they will find that the pac 10 conference has an honest new commisioner, larry scott, who replaced long term crook, tom hansen, who retired when he heard our footsteps coming in the civil courts.
    11. left behind, unfortunately, in charge of pac 10 conference football reffing and officiating are 2 long term con artists, jim muldoon and dave cutaia.
    12. obviously, scott cannot clean out muldoon and cutaia and the crooked pac 10 refs and tech reviewers whom muldoon and cutaia have lined up for notre dame’s 2009 games before those games are played.
    13. what scott can do is to make arrangements with the mountain west and wac conferences to switch ref annd tech review crews for these upcoming games. this is what the feds actually did in chicago to convict al capone when they found out that capone had paid off the original jury assigned to his trial.
    14. reaching scott by overnight mail at the address provided at the pac 10 website is not likely to work since the same old crew of beaurocrats are still at the pac 10 conference offices who are likely to make certain that scott never sees any such mail.
    15. anyone who really wants to help can find scott’s home address at and overnight mail to him at his home suggesting the solution and setting forth the reasons why.
    16. forget about emails or text messages. only written materials with supporting information which we have set forth above are going to have any impact.
    17. also at the pac 10 conference website, you can click on a section called corporate sponsors, companies which provide financial support to the pac 10 conference.
    18. we all have shares in every one of these sponsors and certainly will not tolerate our corporate funds being spent on con operations, such as the current pac 10 conference football reffing and tech reviewing.
    19. notre dame’s dishonest opponents on the playing fields and on the recruiting trails would love nothing better than to be able to channel justifiable frustration at the bads and the uglies which some notre dame fans see on the field towards charlie and his staff and towards notre dame’s student athletes.
    20. obviously, when such misdirection occurs, some recruits and their families who would otherwise choose notre dame do make very incorrect conclusions about notre dame’s fans and choose other schools.
    21. you will find that, if the frustration is channeled towards to correct sources of the serious bads and uglies, the crooked refs and tech reviewers and those who protect them, notre dame recruits and their families will understand that notre dame is a close family which protects its own from the real enemies, rather than bashing notre dame’s coaches and student athletes.
    GO IRISH!!!

  5. Matt Marvin - Sep 29, 2009 at 9:24 AM

    Wow… I am a huge notre dame fan. In fact people that I live around tell me that I have an obsession. But you need to get your act together! I first off want to know where you get your information from on all those accusations above? Secondly, you need to learn to count because 3 comes after 2 not 4. You are the type of fan that gives the rest of us fans bad names. Did Notre Dame get screwed in the Michigan Game? Yes they did. But did Notre Dame also screw themselves? Yes they did. What about Jonas Gray fumbling the ball and turning it over. (which might I add was the turning point in the game.) Or how about the fact that the defense could not make a stop if their lives depended on it! That is the stuff that you need to be focusing on. We can’t change the bad refs, but what can be changed is the stupid little mistakes. So quit being a cry baby!

  6. Joe Schaefer ND'59 - Sep 29, 2009 at 12:37 PM

    Matt Marvin, you are correct. Notre Dame over many years has been victim of bad, if not intentionally bad, calls. Examples? SC in ’64, Missouri in the seventies. (Jerry Markbreit gave Mizzou a touchdown when the ball carrier left the ball spinning in the mud before he made his leap. After the game, Ara said “that man will never ref another game in this stadium” So, Markbreit went to the NFL!)There was the McDonald fumble that was ruled an incomplete pass. Jeff Weston had actually knocked the ball out his hand. Then there was the Rocket return against Colorado. Right now, this team can’t tackle, can’t rush, can’t stop anything up the middle, or over the middle. McCarthy gave Purdue a touchdown because he was head-hunting rather than trying for the intercept. It would be interesting to know whether the touchdown he was fooled on in the Purdue game was the same play that Michigan State almost scored on at the end of that game.

  7. Irish Dubage - Sep 29, 2009 at 1:33 PM

    Amen – I’m sick of Sam Young trying to take on the leadership role (going to Weis’ office, being the big talker of turnaround, etc.) and he can’t go one game without being whistled left and right for false starts, holding, etc. that lead to killed drives (2nd and 20s, etc.) and lost momentum. Stop talking and start showing results on the field.

  8. kinganthony - Sep 29, 2009 at 3:56 PM

    I love the fact that Notre Dame fans make so many excuses. The fact is that a 3rd tier team like Purdue took you to the wire, the week after losing to a rebuilding Michigan team and you have the weakest schedule in the FBS. The College Football Higher Ups tried to give you a Major Bowl spot and you blew it by losing to Michigan. Notre Dame isn’t even ranked and your over rated.

  9. greenman - Sep 29, 2009 at 10:04 PM

    Hi King:
    It’s – “you’re overrated”. Greenman

  10. Terry - Sep 29, 2009 at 10:48 PM

    Repeat after me:
    “it’s only a game”
    “it’s only a game”
    “it’s only a game”
    “it’s only a game”
    Repeat until you feel better
    “it’s only a game”
    “it’s only a game”

  11. David - Sep 30, 2009 at 2:15 AM

    Terry – though some may view it as unfortunate, it is NOT “only a game.” In addition to greatly affecting the lives of the young men on the field, as well as the coaches, administrators, and event organizers, NCAA football holds far-reaching implications for the universities (revenue, applications, prestige) and their communities (employment, economic impact). Sports are big business and the outcome of a game can swing millions of dollars from one pot to another. Again, some may view this as a travesty of amateurism, but to say “it’s only a game” implies blind naivete to reality.

  12. Irishblood - Sep 30, 2009 at 8:48 PM

    Nobody should care about the referees and their calling of the games. We should be worried about the games and the fact that our offense was hugely at a loss without Allen and Floyd. Did we almost lose to Purdue? Yes we did. Keywords…almost. We didn’t lose we won. The Irish are 3-1 and that’s nothing to get upset about. What’s done is done. We just need to keep on pushing forward.

  13. Southern Fitz - Oct 2, 2009 at 9:18 PM

    I think we should ask why isn’t ND ranked at 3-1 when Penn State is after beating Toledo, Akron and Syracuse and losing to the only real team they played and at home to boot? Give me a break. Same deal with Nebraska sitting at 3-1 and having beaten teams like Florida Atlantic, UL-Lafayette, etc. Ole Miss is 2-1 and ranked and also lost to the only real team they’ve played. Beating Nevada and a couple of solid Big 10 teams is way more respectable when you think about all the nonconference cupcakes most major programs play nowadays, including a ton of FCS teams. Our only loss was a last second heartbreaker on the road against a team which is our arch rival and now ranked, a game we should’ve won too no doubt. Granted, perhaps ND used to receive preferential treatment for many years, i.e. starting at #2 or 3 every year, even on rebuilding years etc, because we’re the most famed football program of all time and have the most championships. But now it’s the complete opposite and ND has to work twice as hard as anyone else to get respect and crack the rankings etc. Sad sad. Oh well, we’ve always played the best as underdogs over the years anyway. I say bring it on. There’s a lot of upsets to be had out there yet. USC’s goin’ down this year.

  14. John Paul Barry - Oct 3, 2009 at 6:58 AM

    It is the defence that remains the problem, not moving the ball.

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