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The good, the bad, the ugly: Washington

Oct 5, 2009, 7:30 AM EDT

Upon further review, the Irish still won the football game against the Huskies on a rain-soaked Saturday in South Bend. While Husky fans might want a review of a few plays around the goal-line, and Irish fans want an explanation for the bizarre roughing the snapper penalty that gave UW four free plays at the one-yard line, Steve Sarkisian probably said it best in his post-game comments:

“Great college football game.”

Notre Dame sits at 4-1 heading into a much needed bye week before a certain team from Los Angeles comes to town. As Charlie Weis said in his comments Sunday, the Irish are a team with “plenty of flaws,” but one thing you can’t question is their heart. There was plenty of good, plenty of bad, and plenty of ugly Saturday. Let’s get to it.


Jimmy Clausen, Golden Tate, Manti Te’o and Nick Tausch. Let’s start with Tausch. When’s the last time the Irish have had a weapon as a field goal kicker? This kid is a marksman, and certainly has guts. On a sloppy track, Tausch drilled every kick the offense left him. Ideally, he’ll get a little better on the kickoffs, but 5 for 5 is a nice day at the office. The coaching staff told us we’d be seeing a lot of Te’o, and they weren’t kidding. Manti’s 10 tackles led the linebacking crew, and were second to only tackling machine Kyle McCarthy. He made some mistakes, but his speed off the edge and running things down was noticeable immediately.  Tate’s historic day was the best of any receiver in college football this season, and the 244 receiving yards are the most yards ever put up against a Washington Husky defense. Tate put the offense on his back, and made play after play running wild in the Husky secondary. Clausen’s great day put him atop the NCAA ratings for quarterbacking efficiency. His mobility in the pocket has turned into one of his assets and his final drive in regulation was almost too efficient. Great individual efforts by these players, and I might also add the excellent job that Sam Young did on Daniel Te’o-Nesheim, keeping him out of the backfield, and limiting hit to only two tackles.


The Irish defense on 98 percent of the field. Outside of the one-yard-lines, the Irish defense looked inept tackling Jake Locker and running back Chris Polk. Too often Polk moved the pile or ran out of the arm tackles of Irish defenders, moving the chains and pushing around many defenders who whiffed early and often, I feel bad classifying the Irish defense after their efforts on the goal-line, but for a fourth consecutive game, the squad looked porous.


The sloppy track at Notre Dame Stadium. Plenty of college football stadiums play on natural grass surfaces. But why is it that Notre Dame’s field always seems to be in the worst condition of all of them? I’m sure Notre Dame hires capable people to maintain the field, but on the wet surfaces, chunks of turf seemed to be popping up every play. When your home field is the best defender against your team’s quarterback, it’s time to figure out what the problem is with the turf. 

  1. robertg - Oct 6, 2009 at 8:27 PM

    1. we thank you for the fine analysis.however, we have a different way of looking at the washington game which seems to be shared by charlie and his staff, every student athlete who plays football for notre dame, and most other people in the worldwide notre dame nation.
    2. many of us have gone back several times to watch the tv feed which you and your crew were kind enough to post at nd central and keep posted forever, we hope.
    3. the washington/notre dame football game was one of the best college football games ever played by both teams and will always remain that way.
    4. yes, the field was in bad condition, but the conditions hurt jimmy and notre dame more than they hurt any washington players.
    5. notre dame has always played on real grass fields and always will. as you may know, this field is newly laid and, no matter how good a landscaper you are, it takes time for the new sod to bond with the soil underneath.
    6. artificial surfaces do not give at all and, statistically, there are many more serious injuries on artificial surfaces than there are on real grass.
    7.real grass fields are, quite often, the difference between slips and falls(jimmy) and what appears to be bad tackling and many torn acls and ruined knees.
    8. on the officiating, our experts graded out both the pac 10 ref crew and the big east ref crew at 100% based on the game films from many angles shot from many positions around the field, not just the tv feeds. some coincidence, someone at caught the hughes 2 point conversion at just the perfect angle. hughes kept plouging foward carrying many white jerseys with him. as long as hughes is moving foward, the rules prevented the refs from blowing the play dead. at some point hughes got turned around by the pile of washington players and went across the goal line backwards landing on his back.anyone can see that clearly on film, especialy as the refs untangle the pile with hughes on the bottom face up. hughes’ knee never did touch the ground on that play.
    10. that film is posted at under football under the washington game and under watch the end of the game and overtime from the field.
    11. if notre dame’s defense lacked any confidence and cohesion going into this game, they found that confidence in those 3 goal line stands for the rest of the season, including the usc game.
    12. we understand the bad and the ugly that you have written about and we are certain that charlie and his staff and every member of notre dame’s staff know about the things that need to be improved and how to do so much better than we do.
    13. the field condition is what it is for notre dame and for opposing teams for this season.
    14.what we watched during this game was both the notre dame and washington teams developing that confidence and chemistry which change players into teams which are much more talented and efficient than the sum of the individual players.
    15. on the notre dame side, it was the chemistry that we saw during those 3 great goal line stands that was the key missing ingedient for this notre dame team.
    16. that chemistry and confidence will be there for the usc and for future games this season and for future seasons.
    17. we saw that confidence of the notre dame defense boiling over from the goal line stands all over the rest of the field during wasshington’s drive in overtime which resulted in lost yardage, including a great sack and zero points.
    18. even though washington ended up on the losing end, washington has absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. washington actually has a very good shot at winning the pac 10 conference and we hope that they do.
    19. we also hope that notre dame wins out.
    20. in the meantime, we will put the economic pressure in the civil courts on delany and carollo and parry to get that bogus result in the michigan game reversed this season.
    21. our techies give out a crooked ref crew and tech review crew of the week award every week. during the week of the notre dame/michigan game, both the dishonset big 10 ref crew(one of whom has lived in ann arbor for many years) and the big 10 tech review crew at that game won that prize, with the big 10 ref crew at the michigan state game winning for that week.
    22. you have the film of that game. in addition to the completely bogus call back of the floyd td, take a closer look at the play on which jimmy was injured. jimmy put his knee down and, by the rules, the play was over long before the michigan state players ever hit jimmy and piled on him. but for the grass field, jimmy would be out for the season with a torn acl and a busted knee.
    23. the big 10 refs failed even to call a penalty.
    24.for last week, our prize for the dishonest ref crew of the week went to the sec ref crew at the georgia/lsu game.
    25. georgia had won the game with a td. with zero basis on the field or in the game film, the ref crew called a phony celebration penalty against a georgia player, thereby forcing georgia to kick off from close to the goal line and making it possible for lsu to score a phony td in less than 56 seconds(no, lsu did not run back the kickoff for a td. when lsu needed morte time to score, this sec ref crew put more time on the clock until lsu did score) and win on paper.
    26. since our informal group or trial attorneys is made up of fans and graduates of many schools, we got the game films from that game as well for our techies and sent the key segments to the sec commissioner and to the sec conference official in charge of football officiating, rogers redding.
    27. on monday 10/5/2009, the sec issued a press release stating that there was indeed no basis for the phony celebration penalty called.
    28.of course, the press release did not restore to georgia a win that was stolen from georgia and we are never going to accept a bone like that press release from the sec or from any other conference or participant in crooked college sports enterprises.
    29. for next season, we know that a new high tech officiating systems fully transparent to the public will be in place and that none of those who currently draw salaries from the ncaa or the conferences will be working at those organizations. in addition, we know that every key participant in crooked college sports enterprises will be stripped of their material possessions in the civil courts.
    30. for the 2009 season, we have certainly gotten the attention of some of the key con artists and refs and tech reviewers willing to go along with the dishonset officiating scams are getting harder to find(witness michigan state’s win over michigan with all big 10 ref and tech review crews). happened before and during the enron and mci worldcom civil rico litigations, many individuals,including refs and tech reviewers, both honest people and some who have participated in dishonest conduct, but who would like to keep some of their material possessions are comming foward with information and documents and game films.
    32. the chances of notre dame and other schools getting honestly officiated games for the remainder of the 2009 season are rapidly improving every single day.
    GO IRISH!!!

  2. Kevin Simpson - Oct 7, 2009 at 3:00 AM

    The Irish are clearly one of the best football teams in the nation. The USC game will be one to remember but I have a feeling we are going to surprise some people. How about Jimmy Clausen and Golen Tate? I believe one of these guys will win the Heisman. Next year will be tough because alot of guys will be leaving for the NFL. GO IRISH!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. IRISHLU - Oct 7, 2009 at 10:01 AM

    Robertg, off the officiating. Perhaps you shoukld go afficiate and see if you do any better. It will never be perfect because humans are not perfect.
    If ND could play Defense ND wouldn’t be in half those situations. Plain and simple, young or not they ARE NOT getting any better. Who gives a rip they stopped them twice on goal line stances. If we would have playedd defense the whole game, ND wouldn’t be in that position. Yes, we have gotten better on Offense and yes they have talent. SO WHY are we so undisiplined, sloppy and missing assignements ON BOth sides of the ball. COACHING…
    USC will beat ND, because our defense won’t know what hit them. We’ve played mediocre teams and have barely gotten by. I do and hope we win, but i don’t hold much luck..

  4. Joe - Oct 7, 2009 at 12:55 PM

    Tenuta needs to go!

  5. Jer Doe - Oct 7, 2009 at 5:18 PM

    Joe…it’s obvious you don’t know shit about defensive football! Did you play in the band?

  6. robertg - Oct 8, 2009 at 3:21 AM

    1. sorry, we are not getting off the officiating until the systemic problems are fixed for good.
    2. true, humans will never be perfect. however, with enough economic pressure outside of and in the civil courts, the acts of flagrant dishonesty, such as those which occurred at the 2005 notre dame/usc game, the 2006 notre dame michigan game,the 2006 oklahoma/oregon game, and the 2009 notre dame/michigan game, among many others, do decrease.
    3. the best recent example is the honest officiating by the pac 10 ref crew and the big east tech review crew at the 2009 notre dame/washington game.
    4. if you think that the honest officiating in that game happened by accident and not as a result of economic pressure that we brought to bear on the right individuals, then we know some people who have a bridge to sell you in brooklyn.
    5. we do not pretend to be qualified to be officials. we deal in economic violence in the civil courts and, over the past 30 years of going undefeated in jury trials, those individuals who receive our packages of game films, other evidence and judgments in other cases against ex big wheel con artists at their homes take notice.
    6. we got very angry when we saw that dishonest pac 10 crew steal the win over usc from notre dame in 2005.
    7. when we watched charlie weis’ press conference after the 2006 notre dame/michigan game and charlie mentioned the game films that he had sent to dave parry of the big 10, we did what we always do in the case of any other business scam.
    8. we hired experts with years of experience in breaking down film for the nfl, both to correct incorrect calls and non calls of penalties in real time while the games are being played and after games in order to provide data for those who hire and fire nfl officials.
    9. we purchased the best equipement that money could buy for our experts, as we do in preparation for every other case.
    10. we made certain the each expert knew the ncaa football officiating rules by heart.
    11. we arranged to purchase game films, not tv feeds, of every bcs division game played from the beginning of the 2005 season through the present day, with the exception of a small number of games for which no game film is available.
    12. while our experts broke down the game films and delivered the results to us, we started gathering information and documents on certain key officials who consistently showed up in the full box scores, such as big 10 ref dennis lipski and his protectors, dave parry, jim delany, and bill carollo of the big 10 and dave cutaia, jim muldoon, and tom hansen of the pac 10, along with their co conspirators in every other conference since we found no conference without dishonest and corrupt officiating and without some conference level officials covering for the dishonest officials.
    13. we know the economic scope of crooked college sports enterprises when you add in the funds from the sports bookies and we have the documents to prove the money flows, which were much easier to track than the enron financial records.
    14. since most of us, including myself, have business interests in a number of high tech businesses, we did not have to look too far to find much better and trasparent officiating systems.
    15. we have all watched the swimming races and other events in the olympics for many years.
    13.if you missed out on the quantum leap improvements in deciding who has won close races in swimming events and close contests in fencing and other sports, you have the ability to go back and watch now before you issue your next command which we will ignore.
    14. we went to our research techies and described the officiating problems to them.
    15. it did not taker them very long at all to come up with high tech devices, which can be set at certain levels by national agrrements transparent to the public, which can make or correct in real time virtually every call and non call decision that any official has to make in college football or basketball, just to start. think of sensors and tiny cameras embedded all over football fields and basketball courts constantly feeding data for evaluation by carefully written software and you will be close to what you will start seeing in the 2010 season whether you want to or not. you have no vote on these issues.
    16. since we have zero patience with committees, we will simply shove the new high tech solutions down the throats of the conferences and the ncaa and every school which objects with economic violence in the civil courts, just as we have done in so many other cases, including getting dishonest judges kicked off the bench or sent to federal prisons since judges are immune from civil lawsuits while they are on the bench.
    17. people who want to pretend that the dishonest officiating industry does not exist are either:1) people who have an economic interest in those scams or 2) people who simply do not care about the physical well beings of the student athletes who risk their lives on football fields every week of the season,or 3) people who could care less about whether those dedicated student athletes have the outcomes of games decided by their play on the fields or by dishonest officials, or 4) people who would be stupid enough the buy that bridge in brooklyn.
    GO IRISH!!!

  7. Cap - Oct 8, 2009 at 10:36 AM

    Robert, I applaud your work. Have you guys considered tracking the names of the refs who make these egregious calls to see if there’s pattern? What about making those names public? Putting the spotlight on potential dishonesty may be enough to deter any ref in the future who may consider going on the take.

  8. qb - Oct 8, 2009 at 12:42 PM

    IRISHLU, some good points on D, but you’re downplaying the offense: “Yes we, have gotten better on Offense and yes they have talent” must be the understatement of the century, OK. We have the #1 rated Qb in div 1, i don’t give a rat’s u know what who we’ve played against. he has also regularly come back to score tds at the end of games. We had a top 5 receiver replaced by another top 5 receiver. we have one of the best tight ends in the country. that’s 4 1st round picks right there! We are even running the ball finally! We have a kicker that can kick the ball. Charlie may only be about offense and may do a bone head call on key decisions every other game, but he has the offense ticking, make no mistake

  9. Geonal - Oct 8, 2009 at 1:35 PM

    Robertg, Cap…Officiating is terrible throughout college football. Against Washington, do you truly believe we (Irish) made the two point conversion? My perspective the running backs knee was down prior to the ball breaking the plane of the goal line. Was this a freebie from the refs making up for the ridiculus roughing the snapper call? Who knows? But, it seems to me they sometimes right their wrongs.

  10. TXFitz - Oct 8, 2009 at 4:38 PM

    Hard to believe we can have the #1 qb in the country and still not be ranked in the top 25. Shame on you associated press.

  11. TX Fitz - Oct 8, 2009 at 4:41 PM

    Hard to believe we can have the best qb in the country and not be ranked in the top 25. Shame on you associated press and Notre Dame haters everywhere.

  12. Cap - Oct 8, 2009 at 5:26 PM

    Geonal, I agree that officiating is bad everywhere in CFB. I do not believe ND is singled out at all. If a few refs are somehow engaged in betting, they will leave a pattern even if they try not to. To the extent this illegal activity occurs, the big programs would be targeted because that’s where the big betting money lies. Because of its national lovers and haters, ND attracts a lot of bets and is therefore a candidate if this kind of illegal activity is occurring.

  13. angryisrishman - Oct 9, 2009 at 2:42 PM

    Defense wins championships and we are far from a good defense at this time. They will have to bring it against USC or it will be a long afternoon. The missed tackles and missed assignments will have to stop if they are going to have a chance next week.

  14. Bill - Oct 10, 2009 at 8:13 PM

    “Conferences say refs erred in UW’s defeat”
    Mistakes weremade…
    Yes, it’s happened too often to ND as well. We ALL need better officiating!
    Huskies got robbed of a TD and the two-point wasn’t.
    On the other hand, it was a great game and ND is sure a tough team!

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