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Five things we learned: Notre Dame vs. Navy

Oct 23, 2010, 4:59 PM EDT


With the Notre Dame offense unable to play their top three receiving threats and with running back Armando Allen well below 100 percent, it’s not a complete surprise that the Irish offense struggled against Navy’s bend, but not break, defense.

What is a surprise is the complete collapse of the Irish defense, which was absolutely decimated by the Navy option attack, captained by quarterback Ricky Dobbs and driven by fullback Alexander Teich. Last year, fullback Vince Murray had a career day against defensive coordinator Jon Tenuta’s scheme. This year, against Bob Diaco’s 3-4 front, Teich (who lost his job last year to Murray when he was injured but regained it when Murray went down earlier this season) set a Navy record for a fullback with 210 yards on the ground, destroying the interior of the Irish defense and opening up things for Ricky Dobbs around the edge, where he scored three touchdowns and completed both official passing attempts for gigantic plays.

“You get what you deserve,” head coach Brian Kelly said immediately after the game. “Navy was the better team today. We had no answer for them.”

After 43 years of this match-up going solely in Notre Dame’s direction, Navy has now won three of the last four games against the Irish, turning this “rivalry,” not into a hotly contested game, but a seesaw leaning in Navy’s direction thanks to a precision option attack and a flawless game plan.

Here’s what we learned this afternoon.

1. If you can’t stop the fullback, you can’t beat Navy.

I mentioned it in the Navy preview, but had the wrong fullback listed. With Vince Murray out, Alexander Teich rammed the football down the Irish’s throat, completing obliterating any hope that the Irish had of beating the Midshipmen. If the Irish had to play “assignment correct football” to win, it was impossible after the dive play worked with such incredible success.

With Navy able to turn the dive play into a major weapon, they nullified any speed advantage the Irish defenders may have had, causing the Irish to read… then react, a dilemma that Ricky Dobbs was able to exploit to perfection for much of the game.

Watching tape earlier in the year, the Irish should have been able to notice Maryland using heavy A-gap blitzes into the teeth of Navy’s line to success, but the Irish steered clear of sending blitzers and deferred to a conservative game plan. But when Bob Diaco did dial up a blitz, Niumatalolo had the perfect play designed — a screen pass for a touchdown in the first quarter, and a deep throw that beat Gary Gray for Dobbs’ second completion.

Schematically the the game was lost on the dive play, with the middle of Notre Dame’s defense unable to stop the first piece of the triple option.

2. There isn’t a quarterback controversy… yet.

Earlier in the week, Brian Kelly told everyone that’d listen that the Irish needed a very good game out of quarterback Dayne Crist if the Irish were going to win.

“The quarterback has to put the ball on guys,” Kelly said. “He’s got to be on his game. If he’s on his game, you know, we’ll be fine. But if he’s not efficient throwing the football, obviously we’ll have to struggle at times.”

The Irish offense was stuck in neutral because there continue to be growing pains for the Irish on the offensive side of the ball when Crist hits a cold patch. Crist’s two interceptions were both critical mistakes, the first an absolute back-breaker at the end of the first half, throwing into a heavy zone from deep in his own territory with under two minutes to go. The second interception Crist looked off an easy completion on a drag route to TJ Jones and instead threw to a well-covered Duval Kamara, with Navy cornerback Kwesi Mitchell stepping in front for an easy pick.

It’s clear that Dayne Crist is the most talented quarterback on the Irish roster. What’s also clear is that Crist is struggling to make the right decisions, something you just can’t do in a QB-friendly spread offense.

Credit Kelly for bringing in freshman Tommy Rees, and credit Rees for leading the Irish down the field for an impressive touchdown drive, albeit against a vanilla scheme. Rees took the underneath throw because it was available and a high-percentage play. While Rees didn’t take the shots down the field that Crist does, he still managed to complete six of his seven throws for an average of 11.3 yards per throw. Crist checked away from the shorter attempts, choosing downfield receivers, and averaged less than six yards per throw, made even worse with two interceptions.

It’s only Crist’s eight start at quarterback, but he’s got to start showing better touch on short patterns and better recognition of what defenses are trying to do.

3. Different year, same result for the Irish secondary.

Even with the Irish cornerbacks playing some of their best football coming into the game, Notre Dame was victimized all three times Navy dropped back to pass. The Irish knew they needed to avoid giving up the big play when Navy decided to put the ball in the air, and instead they gave up three big ones on all three attempts.

Credit a great play call on Dobbs’ first attempt, and credit Teich for a wonderful one-handed catch on a screen pass where he weaved through Irish defenders before rumbling to the end zone. But the Irish secondary looked terrible on the next two throws Dobbs made, with safety Harrison Smith panicking and taking a 15 yard interference penalty when he was in good enough position to simply turn and look for the football on a reverse pass. On a 2nd and 12, the Irish defense should have been prepared for something a bit off balance, and Smith’s played too much football to make the same mistakes repeatedly.

On 3rd and 6 on Navy’s first drive of the second half, the Irish also got beat one-on-one with Gary Gray tripping on himself, tugging his way back into position, then stumbling again as Dobbs lofted a pass high in the air for receiver Greg Jones to run under. Gray had no help over the top, but the Irish came up empty all three times Navy threw the ball — in situations where the Irish could have been expecting a pass.

4. The Irish might have lost the heart of their defense.

While Brian Kelly didn’t have a medical update yet, the Irish are likely bracing for the worst case scenario with nose tackle Ian Williams. Williams was seen on the sidelines with tears in his eyes and his leg in an aircast after an injury in the third quarter took him off the field.Early indications pointed to a knee injury, not a promising thing for a 315-pound defensive tackle.

Williams has been the heart of the defensive line and a true run-stuffer up the middle for the Irish, putting together a terrific senior season that had moved Williams up the draft boards of many NFL teams, and turned him into a team leader.

The loss to Navy likely weighs heavy on Williams, who had an added chip on his shoulder this week after Williams landed in the doghouse last year after the Navy game when he openly commenting that the Irish were “out-schemed” in the 23-21 defeat. According to Brian Hamilton of the Chicago Tribune, Williams was banned from defensive meetings by then coordinator Jon Tentua for insubordination. (A decision that likely didn’t help as the team folded down the stretch.)

5. The Irish will need tunnel vision for the rest of the season after this loss.

There’s nothing quite like a loss to Navy to turn people against a football team, and this one brings the collective back down to the low-water mark of the 2010 season. For the Irish to keep trending upwards, they’ll need to plug their ears, get back to work, and ignore just about everything that’ll be said about them for the next 48 hours.

The defense that had made great progress throughout the year didn’t turn into a bunch of bums this weekend. An offense that was shy its best three receivers and playing with its starting running back well-below 100 percent didn’t turn into an abomination. Take the name off the front of the jersey and the Irish just lost to a 5-2 team that had lost its two games by a total of 11 points and has a quarterback that was a preseason Heisman contender. The Irish turned the ball over twice, got stuffed inside the one-yard line in the red zone, and couldn’t get a defensive stop when they absolutely needed to get one. That’s a recipe for defeat, service academy or not.

Still, the Irish loss shows that Notre Dame has a long way to go within its transformation.

“I like where we’re going,” Kelly said. “I don’t like losing football games along the way.”

For the Irish to stop losing, they’ll need to shake off some remnants that still cling to this team. Those remnants include too many finesse offensive linemen, a group of safeties that don’t play either the pass or the run very well, and a linebacking corp devoid of play-makers.



  1. djeg07 - Oct 23, 2010 at 5:49 PM

    need to find a new team to cheer for.
    need to find a qb that can play consistent for more than 2 drives.
    need to find 26 5-star players.
    need to pray that the bcs will take teams with .500 or worse record.
    need to join a real conference!!!

    • danirish - Oct 24, 2010 at 10:21 AM

      Don’t let the door hit you on your rear on the way out! Later! GO IRISH!

    • rtguard - Oct 24, 2010 at 11:01 AM

      Go get the new team, then you dont have to worry about what we need.

      • djeg07 - Oct 24, 2010 at 12:23 PM

        hey i think boise state would whoop the shit out of your team. notre dame wont be contender for a long time…whats it been now 20 years?

  2. ndfanor - Oct 23, 2010 at 5:55 PM

    I’ve been a ND fan for a long time and I can only sum up todays game as “3 ful.” Pitiful, disgraceful, and shameful!!! Perhaps, Kelly should take his team to the naval academy for spring and fall camp so that his team can learn how a team plays with heart and intensity. It can also serve as a recruiting trip to hopefully pick up some talent. Yes, ND were without there 3 best receivers, but that is no excuse for the way the defense played, Christ throwing the ball, or some of the play calls. 4th and 1 and you don’t use or biggest running back, Hughes over your biggest line men. Whatever happened to having a fullback at ND. I miss Marc Edwards. I predicted ND would go 6-6 or 7-5 this season, but with Tulsa and Army still on the schedule it makes me wonder. I won’t ever stop routing for my team and I now it will take some time for Notre Dame to get things turned around and have winning seasons. Just very frustating seeing them play so bad. Hats off to the Midshipsmen. They earned and deserved this win today.

  3. vegasmark - Oct 23, 2010 at 5:55 PM

    Ugly, ugly, ugly day for the Irish…But like BK said, “I like where this team is going, I don’t like losing football games along the way.”

    • txbeej - Oct 24, 2010 at 12:03 AM

      And where is this team going?

  4. blueollie - Oct 23, 2010 at 6:10 PM

    ND doesn’t have the depth that an elite team has; there is too much drop off when the subs are in.

    On offense: the coach will have to recruit players suited for his style of offense.

    • txbeej - Oct 24, 2010 at 12:08 AM

      Even if true, that’s rather beside the point isn’t it? If Notre Dame had lost to an elite team, then that loss might be explained by pointing to a lack of quality depth. But they lost to Navy. Navy, who struggled to beat national powers such as Georgia Southern, Wake Forest, and Southern Methodist.

  5. ndfootballfan - Oct 23, 2010 at 6:10 PM

    what an embarrassing loss today to Navy. I dvr’d the game and had to quit watching after the third quarter because I was so disgusted. We could have had a healthy Rudolph, Floyd and Riddick and our defense still would not have been able to stop Navy’s offense. I know many people say that ND fans need to have patience, but after watching games like ND played today, it makes one wonder what happened to this program and where it is heading. Three losses in four years to Navy is just unacceptable. I am going to the Tulsa game next week with my family, hopefully a different Notre Dame team shows up.

  6. Michel Chiasson - Oct 23, 2010 at 7:13 PM

    I am more disgusted with the Brian Kelly areas of responsibilities for now. The intensity level is one thing, but what BK controls are things like:
    1- 4th and 1 on first drive, at goal line, against a team that you know eats the clock(see last year) and against which you have to score on every drive. First he goes for it, then he calls a sneak. It fails. Midhsipmen turn around,score 7 which make a 14 pts swing on first drive – way to energize your team!!!
    2-Last 3 post game press conferences – “Our defense is getting really good”. Don’t say these things when you have been puvlerized by Purdue, Michigan and Michigan State and that all you have to show for is stopping BC, Pitt and WMU. Let the kids know that it is a long project, and that they haven’t reach homeplate yet.
    3-Let’s go back to the intensity. This was one of Weis’ problem. The teams would play for 2 of the 4 quarters, whichever they may be. If the team is not focused today, is not playing like this is their last game ever, that is the coach’s fault. Sorry.
    These things don’t win games but they are the foundation to win. And Brian Kelly failed to prepare his team properly today.

  7. chuckles10 - Oct 23, 2010 at 7:30 PM

    Not sure Maryland had the answer to Navy as they gave up 485 yds of offense and were fortunate Navy self destructed on 5 of 7 red zone trips. The answer is displined assignment football for an option attack. Five weeks of prep failed to produce that kind of effort.

    Please let us know when we can call this a “rivalry”. Maybe another trip or two behind the woodshed on national TV?

  8. kidmarc - Oct 23, 2010 at 7:55 PM

    1. I learned that I am 8 of 8 for predicting the outcomes of ND Football 2010, with respect to KA’s ‘gut feeling’ article of a 9-3 season.

    2. I would say if you can’t stop the hack/cut blocks’ mentality you can’t stop Navy.

    3. I doubt very seriously Kelly would opt for another QB considering the packages for the other QB’s are basic in comparison to the current starter.

    4. ND will need more than tunnel vision for the rest of the season. They need an understanding of an ideology that none of the coaches understand, but appear to be trying to achieve.


  9. fightinmad35 - Oct 23, 2010 at 8:00 PM

    I have never been more discouraged about ND football than today. Say what you want about Charlie Weis but his teams lost a lot of close games. Competitive games. Games that SHOULD have been won. I’ve seen ND twice this year lose games that weren’t even close. Absolute butt kickings. Today’s performance was embarrassing. The defensive coordinator got blistered and looked incompetent. The defensive line was absent. Even a steady player like Gary Gray gave up a pass play where he just simply quit running and watched the opposing player make a great catch. Bad football all day long. We are forced to call this a transition year because of the coaching change but…..this is looking worse than a CW team ever looked aside from the Jimmyfreshman season.. BK’s playcalling baffles me and has done so from the Michigan game where he went for it at the half instead of kicking. I’m not impressed thus far. Not at all. Hopefully we didn’t lose a great recruiting class with this horrible game today. The team needs an infusion of talent, speed, HEART…I am going to remove my emotion from ND games this year. It’s over.. 6-6 if we’re lucky… I’m starting to wonder if CW had been retained and Jimmy and Golden came back what the record would be… just a hypothetical…I was for CW’s firing but gosh it’s hard to watch ND football this year.. Dayne isn’t improving at all. You’re supposed to get better as the season progresses. He hasn’t improved ANY in my eyes.. Maybe it’s time to go to the freshman and see what he can do. I cracked open a beer after the game. Something I do about once a year.. I needed it..

  10. proteinbargirl - Oct 23, 2010 at 9:15 PM

    There is a mental battle going on that Kelly hasn’t been able to lick, yet. Surely, I thought the game day emotions of the ND-Navy match-up would swing back in ND’s favor this year and I really thought they’d beat Navy. (I never really had high hopes for Mich, Mich St. Standford and nor do I have them for Utah and USC.)

    I have family members who are huge Navy fans and for them (besides the Army game) this is THE game. Forty plus years of losing does that to a team and hats off for Navy bringing an intensity, confidence, and hunger to today’s game. ND not only failed to bring their top physical game to the Meadowlands there was a mental battle they lost for whatever reason fairly early. And the mental part is almost as important as the physical part. If you can’t get that together no amount of talent on the field is going to change that.

    I’m not giving up on Crist, yet. He’s working a new system and I wouldn’t underestimate how losing a few WRs and TE messes with an offensive’s chemistry. That being said Kelly needs to work on Crist’s mental game ASAP because I think it’s at the heart of his inconsistency. Maybe he’s over thinking, too much. Maybe he simply doesn’t trust his instincts. Maybe he’ll benefit from some competition from Rees. He shown flashes of brilliance that tells me has the skill set. I don’t know if you can coach resiliency and a short term memory, but Crist has got to find a way to get it.

    • danirish - Oct 24, 2010 at 11:40 AM

      Your assessment of Crist is right on – I think playing Rees was a good move. Look up Crist to Goodman on – he has the gun!

  11. jerseyshorendfan1 - Oct 23, 2010 at 9:54 PM

    I was at the game today……just got home and still can’t believe what I saw. Our D just forgot to show up. I saw Teo make a few good plays but the rest of the team wasn’t even there. Harrison Smith….WTF? Gray? And the offense? Crist? What’s with this kid? He is regressing big time, not learning, honing in on one receiver only and not looking anywhere else. He was telegraphing his throws and didn’t see wide open receivers at least 10 times at a minimum. It was a gorgeous day and I did have a great tailgate, plenty of cold beer, complete with a CD containing the Fight Song and speeches by Holtz and Rockne that give you chills. All was in place for a phenomenal day of Irish Football. Until we started playing, that is. As I got to my seat behind the Navy bench, 11th row at about the 15 yard line, Navy was already on the move and Teich makes a one-handed grab right in front of us and rumbles in for their first score. Impressive. You just knew he was going to get in….that he wanted it that bad. I didn’t like it but I had to applaud the effort. It was a spectacular play. It was then that I knew we were in trouble. It was then that I knew Holtz and Rockne were distant memories, merely voices of a bygone era pouring out of my cars speakers. It was at that moment that I knew we had become irrelevant. I shudder to think that we’re scheduling Miami and Oklahoma in 2012. Is somebody drinking a major dose of the koolaid to think that we’ll be competing at that level in a mere 2 years? I am just too disappointed and depressed for words and I want to write to Brian Kelly and ask him for my money back. I have been a loyal fan for a long time but its at the point where 3 out of 4 losses to Navy in the last 4 years is too much to take. If I were a 4 or 5 star recruit committed to Kelly, I would reopen my recruitment now. To top everything off, I get back to my car and find the battery had gone tits up on me. Lucky for me I was parked next to a great carload of Navy fans who gave me a jump and then offered me beers afterward. They are a class act through and through. We are just sad, clinging on to some faded glory of years gone by. We truly suck and I don’t really see it getting any better. How’s that for negativity Keith?

  12. 1notredamefan - Oct 23, 2010 at 10:25 PM

    Then leave and don’t come BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!! We don’t need none of you sour-puss losers, get over it and grow a pair! we’ll have our day and when we do, don’t celebrate pout in your glory days and come up with another reason to cry!! YOU ALL ARE A BUNCH OF CRYBABY BIT##**!!

    • ndirishusn - Oct 24, 2010 at 12:43 PM

      You’re a butt head. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. ND has SUCKED for the past 16 years. Blind faith kills.

  13. 1notredamefan - Oct 23, 2010 at 10:35 PM

    Yes it sucks we lost, yes I’m upset and wish we would have whooped them just as well as they whooped us.. But come on people you all act like your owed a win because your a fan! Get the hell over it, get over yourself, and most importantly get over the inferiority complex. Everyone else wants to win just as well as we do, so when they do why not give them a little credit instead of blaming everyone other than yourself! Might be that the reason everyone hates us so much is the reasons your all pointing to above! Nobody owes us shit we have to earn it and when we do we will be better for it!!

    • tlndma - Oct 23, 2010 at 11:03 PM

      “When all is lost, there is the within, and it stands fast”- Marcus Aurelius

      • danirish - Oct 24, 2010 at 11:41 AM

        “You knew Marcus Aurelius! Hahahaha!” Maximus – Gladiator


  14. mpclinton22 - Oct 23, 2010 at 11:00 PM

    Yes, it was an extremely ugly football game. Yes, we clearly didn’t play even close to our ability. But is the sky falling? No. I’m newly a Notre Dame fan as I’m now a student and was never a fan before, but one thing that has bothered me most is what I read other so called fans saying online. You call yourself fans, yet when we lose you immediately assume our season is over and that we’re never going to be good again. Have some faith that this team will eventually get to where it should be again. Honestly I think part of the problem is that Notre Dame fans look for an immediate fix. We aren’t good this year? Ok fire the head coach and look for a new one who will immediately return us to our glory. That’s not how it works. A coach needs to get settled, let his different schemes take hold, and eventually we will be good again. Notre Dame is not a dead program. We have a name still, how else would we have a top 10 recruiting class this year? Give BK some time. Yes, this game was ugly, but there are still 4 games left in this season. The world is not over because we lost to Navy.

  15. jerseyshorendfan1 - Oct 23, 2010 at 11:25 PM

    @mpclinton22………I hear what you’re saying but like the famous Danny Glover line in all those Lethal Weapon movies (which you’re too young to know about), “Riggs, I’m getting too old for this shit.” ND Football has been on a painful downward spiral since 1992 or so. Their last NC was 1988. I’ve seen coaches come and go, I’ve given them time to develop “their guys” and “their system” but nothing has seemed to work. Weis was ND family and he couldn’t get it done and I still don’t know why that was exactly. It’s not like he doesn’t know the game….seems pretty good at what he’s doing for KC. I also think Kelly is a good fit at ND and I like the way he’s running things, but it just hasn’t started to click yet. What I have seen over the last 18 years or so doesn’t leave me too optimistic that it will start to click this year, or the next, or the next after that. Look, I love this team, will not abandon them and am just blowing off some steam maybe but this is the lowest I’ve felt in the entire time I’ve followed this team, some 32 years devoutly (since I was an undergrad). If this team’s ultimate mediocrity has me thinking like this, imagine what recruits are thinking. It is a sad state of affairs. If we are eventually going to start thinking about a conference, how about the Ivy or the Patriot League? We would dominate, except that I think Navy is in the Patriot League.

    • ndirishusn - Oct 24, 2010 at 12:47 PM

      Navy is an Independent.

      • jerseyshorendfan1 - Oct 24, 2010 at 12:53 PM

        You’re right but I believe they are Patriot League in all other sports, like ND is in the Big East for everything else.

  16. c4evr - Oct 24, 2010 at 12:24 AM

    Looks like BK is CW V2. Their ND careers are stride for stride. Make that TW’s ND career they are stride for stride with… sheesh.

    Been a fan since ’72, but am about to abandon ship. 3 things I missed about today’s game:

    Clausen (never thought I’d say that), Holtz (never be another one like him), Zbikowski’s/Zorich’s/Stonebreaker’s (take your pick) spirit on ‘D’.

    BK saying this team is going in the right direction just reminds of the Black Knight in Monty Python’s Holy Grail stating it’s only a flesh wound.

    • terryb101 - Oct 24, 2010 at 11:14 AM

      bk is still working with the poor players cw brought in,,give him a couple of years to get his type of players in, then judge him,, with that said,, this d is horrible,, they cant tackle, they cant cover, and the officals usually get to the recvr before the d backs do, thats how slow they are, and number 22 is still a pathetic player.. that was a nightmare come true on the td before half with only one player between the ball carrier and the goal line and its number 22..

      • c4evr - Oct 24, 2010 at 11:34 AM

        I’m glad you mentioned #22. To me that sums up the entire ND issue. If you watch closely, Smith was partially blocked whereas he did a little spin move to get out of it. Problem is, when he came out of the spin, he wasn’t ready or looking for any contact. You can see it in his reaction – he was standing straight up and on his heels before trying to recover. That split second playing ‘catch up’ allowed the runner to make the turn. I’d like to say that was the exception and not the norm for everyone not named Teo, but it’s not the case. Same for the O – everybody looks a step behind – make that 3 steps behind if they are playing an SEC team – and a little lost. When your RB’s are running into the backs of their own lineman as the hole is closing, assuming a hole was ever opened, then there are real problems. The ironic thing about Smith is that he’s from Knoxville and was recruited by SEC teams.
        My theory, there’s way more pressure to win on these kids today than 30 yrs ago when there was no NBC contract. Sure, 20 yrs ago they had the contract, but it was still so new that nobody felt the pressure – besides they WERE WINNING ALMOST ALL THE TIME. Nowadays, after years of a steady drop off, the pressure is probably unbearable at times. How else can you explain it when kids who couldn’t compete at ND transfer to teams that then come to South Bend and beat the Irish (i.e. Fraser with UConn, kicker and tight end at Stanford).

      • kidmarc - Oct 25, 2010 at 11:13 AM

        Will you guys stop with the Weis blame game. If “still working with the poor players cw brought in…” has any merit, then no one should expect anything from this team for another 3 years. Weis proved that recruiting could be turned around for ND. Kelly will get his chance soon. In the meantime, Kelly has to take his lumps just like the rest, which includes getting schooled. [4x so far]

        Besides, isn’t that his specialty… to do more with less?

        For BK: To quote Bruce Willis’ character in ‘Die Hard’, “Welcome to the party, pal!!!”


      • terryb101 - Oct 25, 2010 at 11:44 AM

        tv contract has nothing to do with it.. every conference has a tv contract,,yes nd probably should join a conference but they wont ..the big problem is , they (defense) cant get off the block, they are usually out of position during a play, they are slow, and more importantly they cant tackle,of course tackling has become a lost art. most players just go for the knock down, usually with horrendous results..if i were the d coach i would spend a week(or however long it takes) just teaching these guys how to tackle. dont worry about planning for the next game, it really doesnt matter,cause if you cant tackle then you end up losing anyway..

      • terryb101 - Oct 25, 2010 at 11:55 AM

        to c4evr -,,i did say to give bk a couple of years to get his type of players in the system, cw got the type players he wanted,,and yes it will take time.after he gets his players then you (we. us) can judge the results..nobody is (at least im not) blaming cw for the results of this year..

      • kidmarc - Oct 25, 2010 at 1:40 PM

        “..nobody is (at least im not) blaming cw for the results of this year..”

        It isn’t about the results of this year. It is about your comment “…poor players cw brought in..”. You are blaming Weis for the current crop of players BK has to work with; as though he left the cupboard bare. Ask yourself this, when BK supposedly turned around Cincinnati’s program, with whose players was this accomplished, his or someone else’s?


      • terryb101 - Oct 26, 2010 at 8:51 AM

        kidmarc …just look at the defense. didnt cw get them in there? do you think they are good players ?? they are slow, they cant read their keys,they cant get off their blocks,.and they dang sure cant tackle,,did bk turn cincinnati around in his first 8 games ?? or did it take a couple of years ?? no ..your right the cupboard is full of heisman trophy winners…

      • kidmarc - Oct 26, 2010 at 12:03 PM

        “kidmarc …just look at the defense. didnt cw get them in there?…”

        First, they are CW’s recruits. Defensively, they were recruited for the 3-4, converted to a 4-3 (DC decision); read problems stem from scheme complexity which was commented that it was bound to happen for this very reason by a Top 10 and NC coach, who thusly suffered the same problem; off-their-blocks is a combination of speed, read, and football intelligence/knowledge Unless you are scoring at least a “B” in all 3 areas these days, you have problems. As far as tackling goes, correcting a problem there can be easily done, but not by 99.99% of the coaches in the shortest period of time because they lack the knowledge… and that includes BK. 😀

        Currently, the D has little to no schemes. [vanilla]

        On to BK… No he did not turn around Cincinnati. It is on record at UC that the turn around started with BK’s predecessor, who was recruited by another university after 3 years at UC, which means 3 years of recruiting. 😉 BK was only there for 3 years, which means he used his predecessor’s recruits those years. The only record of BK’s recruitment and development thereof is at Green Valley State.

        BTW, BK met his predecessor this year on the field and lost. 😀 He is also 0-2 against another coach he played against when coaching at UC and ND.


      • c4evr - Oct 27, 2010 at 5:19 PM

        To Terryb101. I am not saying CW’s recruits are the reason for poor on field results this either. It could be the switch from 3-4 to 4-3, it could be the switch from Pro style to the spread, it could be global warming. The only point I want to make is that BK and LH stepped into eerily similar circumstances. They both inherited quality players from a less than stellar run under woefully unprepared coaches (GF from high school and CW from the pats). But that’s where the similarities end. Sure Holtz was 5-6 his first year, but he was in every game and lost to for top 10 teams (including eventual champ Penn State). If you leave out Alabama that year, he lost by a TOTAL OF 7 POINTS. Ty Willingham rode the energy of his arrival to an 8-0 start until his team started getting exposed culminating in a humiliating bowl loss to Oregon State. Maybe it’s time to start examining the merits of Independence and the isolation it fosters. Would a conference affiliation significantly alter the recruiting landscape? For all the top 10 classes of Freshmen that come in, there really seems to be a long lag time in development. I see Brey falling in that smae category – and he was mentored by Coach K at Duke. Maybe the argument shouldn’t be whose the better coach, BK or LH… maybe it should be whether ND is playing in 1990 while everyone else is in 2010.

  17. jerseyshorendfan1 - Oct 24, 2010 at 12:51 AM

    Just watched the full post-game press conference. Kelly says,”You get what you deserve.” He was talking about O line’s inability to punch it in from the 1 foot line when we outman Navy’s D line by 70 lbs. per player on average. That was truly pitiful.

    On a brighter note, the team we beat to take the NC in 1988, WVU ranked #20 now knows the shame of losing to lowly Syracuse.

  18. txbeej - Oct 24, 2010 at 1:01 AM

    I don’t know the context of Kelly’s comment about liking where the team is going, but that’s really an unfortunate statement to make right now. There are no positives to take away from this game, and I suspect most Notre Dame fans would find few in this season so far.

  19. spankyomonkey - Oct 24, 2010 at 10:02 AM

    I can’t believe we lost
    Really can’t
    I guess Navy was that good
    Sure think it was because we sucked
    Hate it that we get beat by bad team

    So maybe next game
    Usually play someone bad
    Can i get a whoop whoop
    Keep up the good work

  20. danirish - Oct 24, 2010 at 10:28 AM

    BLAH! BLAH! FIRE KELLY! BLAH! No wonder the world thinks some ND fans are babies!
    It was a horrid game! Horrid! But I’ve read people posting about getting a new team, getting rid of the coach etc!
    My 2 cents:
    1. Is the Crist experiment over? Inconsistency iks killing the offense and its from him. His mechanics suck. This is his year but I would’nt be surprised if a qb comp is big between him and Hendrix next year.
    2. Diaco – what the heck was that? Did we learn nothing from that read and react crap when Navy won a few years ago? ATTACK the option not wait! His seat should be a little hot!
    3. Everywhere Kelly has been he has hadf 1,000 yard rushers, receivers and passers – why aren’t these dang kids ebing sold? It is the first year but come on guys, play the game! We know that ND has smart players but the look on the coaches faces says it all. Kelly has been very good at containing his frustration on ly once has he exploded (the famous WHY! on the sidelines) Maybe these kids just can’t be coached.
    4. Will hold judgement for 3 years – give Kelly a chance to bring his payers in.
    5. The only thing I see wrong is that the players, yes I’m balming them, aren’t buying what Kelly is selling – Kelly has proven himself its time for the kids to step up.
    6. I didn’t expect much from this team anyway so I’m not that disappointed – would like to see Rees more, nothing personal Crist…


    • c4evr - Oct 24, 2010 at 10:47 AM

      You are absolutely right… we shouldn’t put the blame on the head coach, we should blame his assistants and the kids. That’s much less baby-ish.

      • danirish - Oct 24, 2010 at 11:45 AM

        Don’t confuse criticism with crying – I read earlier you “Been a fan since ’72, but am about to abandon ship…” Later!
        I’m sure Kelly didn’t say “Hey Diaco, you’ve out a few good games out there, we can’t have that! Ignore the fullback, they’ll never use him!”
        And I’m sure that Kelly doesn’t say before every game “Hey Crist, throw 6 in a row but always underthrow Floyd on the deep route. But then bounce a few to receivers feet or overthrow in coverage late down the middle!” Yea, I should abandon my team and demand Kelly’s resignation.

        HELL NO! GO IRISH!

      • ndirishusn - Oct 24, 2010 at 1:02 PM

        Hey danirish, I knew our defense was going to suck the second I heard Kelly was brining his D coordinator with him. Cincy’s d got blown up several times against crap talent. Kelly bragging about being dead last in time of possession, yeah that is something to be proud of. How’s that workin out for us now! If Kelly doesn’t get a new d coord in the off season then his ass should be out the door at the end of next season. I assure everyone here and now that this team will NOT win more than six this year…and next year! Kelly is in over his head. As for talent on the field, everyone needs to have a reality check. The concensus was that Weis was a great recruiter and a poor developer. So why is it that now everyone is groaning about no talent on the field? And a new scheme has nothing to do with it as far a defense is concerned since most of them were recruited for the 3-4 system. The main problem I see is that this team, like all teams in recent memory has no balls, no heart, and no concept of how to win consistently.

  21. ndfootballfan - Oct 24, 2010 at 11:59 AM

    I don’t know how anyone who calls themself a “true” fan could have watched this game and been ok with the outcome. Some posters seem to complain that we get too upset when Notre Dame loses to an inferior opponent (Navy). I don’t see how anyone can just get over this loss and say everything will be fine in a few years. Some of you are starting to sound like Cub fans. There is nothing wrong with being upset with this loss and having high expectations for a football program, especially at Notre Dame. Do you think the fans at Texas are okay with them losing 3 games this year? No way. As for Crist, he has definitely not gotten better as the season has progressed. The only ball I’ve seen him throw and actually lead his reciever was to Rudolph

    • ndfootballfan - Oct 24, 2010 at 1:04 PM

      against Michigan. I don’t know if he has a weak arm or is just afraid to overthrow his recievers.

  22. jerseyshorendfan1 - Oct 24, 2010 at 12:45 PM

    Most of the posts I’ve read here and elsewhere make the point that we weren’t very well prepared to take on Navy. I think that we had like 5 weeks to prepare for the triple option and we were using Hendrix on the scout team to play the part of Dobbs, the Navy QB. It struck me that Kelly said that Hendrix was doing really well on the scout team and that the ball was just “flying out of his hand.” Does this mean we were over-prepared for a Navy passing attack and didn’t prepare for a fullback to run 200 + yds? Well, if we prepared for a Navy passing attack (which they beat us with on key plays in the last 2 losses) then why did they complete all of their attempts except for the PI call? Something in the preparation for this game broke down somewhere along the line. I just hope BK can figure it out and that this loss doesn’t signal the end to this season like last year’s loss did. Losing a close game to the Middies really stinks, but this complete domination by a clearly inferior team is disturbing to say the least. Oh well, if they take a dive on the remainder of the season I can always go back to thinking that BK stands for Burger King, AA for Alcoholics Anonymous and MMF for mean mother……….well, you get the idea. I wonder if Kelly tried to rally the team by saying you have a choice, some 4-4 teams will be 4-8 and others will be 8-4 at the end of the year. Which do you want to be? I think 6-6 is the most realistic bet at this point and I’m sure, after seeing our secondary up close and personal yesterday, that Utah puts up 50+ against us.

  23. guid456 - Oct 24, 2010 at 1:32 PM

    Mighty, Tough, God – Like, (self -proclaimed) The Fighting Irish got destroyed by a undersized service academy. I wonder if NBC is looking for an out on their television contract yet? The fighting Irish what a joke. The only Irish they could beat might be U2, then again maybe not, at least Bono and the boys live up to their hype.

  24. gdomer2419 - Oct 24, 2010 at 1:40 PM

    If I am coaching this game, I would run the ball until it was stopped. Clearly, they could not stop it when we did. Our size up front would have eventually worn them down, you can mix in play action when you run the ball effectively. Maybe I am wrong, but to me it’s that simple. To beat Navy, you have to control the clock like they do and keep them off the field. We could have done that easily. This team has no fight, especially when their backs are against the wall. I am 42 years old. I have been a huge ND fan since I could stand on two feet. This was the first time I have left the house to find something better to do. It was demoralizing. I don’t want to hear that this is the same Navy team that beat the crap out of Mizzou last year. No way we should lose to Navy 3 out of 4 years, much less get spanked. I am not giving up on Kelly, although there are those already out there that probably want him fired. If we start winning, I won’t complain, but his style of play is not ND football. ND football is smashmouth, physical football. That’s what I want to see and haven’t seen it for a long,long time. I would love to see a full house backfield again. That was when ND was truly relevant.

    • kidmarc - Oct 25, 2010 at 3:11 PM

      Well… don’t hold your breath. You won’t see smashmouth football from a spread offense, and you generally won’t see it from a prevent defense either.


  25. irishinkc - Oct 24, 2010 at 11:20 PM

    ND still has a long way to go… sadly so. A couple notes on the Navy squad though:


    Huge heart
    Loves the underdog role “hard work only gives you a chance…”
    Plays with major chip on their shoulder
    Beats ND at what brought us to prominence – doing more with less! No star recruits just handled a star laden roster, again.
    Team full of future Marine officers


    Cut block tactic levels the playing field, and actually tilts competition to their favor. ND was on their heals the whole game in the interior. Even downfield, Navy was cut blocking. NCAA needs to ban the practice.

    • chuckles10 - Oct 25, 2010 at 3:23 PM

      Check out video of ND O-line cut blocking.

      Also, didn’t ND drop the Pitt game last year because of a key illegal chop block? If you want to ban legal cut blocks, talk to the NCAA, but drop the attitude that Navy is an outlaw program.

      • kidmarc - Oct 26, 2010 at 9:53 AM

        Good article/post by Mike, “Must Be Nice”. However, I disagree with him on a few things:

        The cut vs. chop block

        The cut/chop/hack block terminology is regional or preferential terminology having a history several decades old that stems out of the cross-body block. The cross-body block was the conventional term used at the time because of its application and intent. The more aggressive styles/variations (attacking the legs… possible knee) received the current terms.

        Double teaming using the technique as the second block is the reason for it being illegal because it is being used to inflict damage. Naming it an illegal chop block is a misnomer; It is the application, not the block itself that is illegal. Reverse the order, and it is no longer illegal, but you could still call it a “chop block” — we pioneered it. 😉 [Note: *we* is not referring to ND.]

        “Navy doesn’t cut block because their players are smaller. They go after smaller players because they cut block…”

        Spin doctoring there. Smaller players resort to “cut blocking” because it is a great equalizer. If you have a disadvantage (size in this case), you find a way to remove it. Taking a defender off of his/her feet is a great way, if not the best way, to do it.

        “Only now do we hear complaining out of South Bend. I think we all know why.”

        The complaining started a few years back when the blocking, intentional or not, hit the leg from the side or the knee from any direction, as in LB Brian Smith. It just got louder over the years.

        Nonetheless, Navy did a fine job. If you can’t stop the “cut blocks” (defend against/negate them), then you can’t stop Navy.


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