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The good, the bad, the ugly: Notre Dame vs. Michigan State

Sep 19, 2011, 2:13 AM EDT

Kelly and Blanton

In a series of games that have seen close wins by both Michigan State and Notre Dame, the Irish finally were able to pull off an impressive victory — something that’s been few and far between these past 15 years. After dominating the Spartans in every phase of the game, it’s finally time to find the good, bad and ugly of a football game that still ultimately ends up in the good column.

With the Irish dominating the run game, relentlessly chasing Kirk Cousins in the pocket and creating a big play on special teams, Notre Dame found the winning recipe on Saturday, even while struggling to shrug off some of the mistakes that have plagued the team in these first three games.

As the season passes the quarter turn, let’s take a look at the good, bad, and ugly of Notre Dame’s 31-13 victory over the No. 15 Michigan State Spartans.

THE GOOD:

The Irish rush defense. After trying to play assignment perfect defense for the first two weeks of the season, the Irish went back to just trying to dominate a segment of the opposition, turning the Spartans one-dimensional with an aggressive attacking scheme at the line of scrimmage. The result was a Michigan State running game stuck in neutral and Cousins forced to chuck the ball 53 times, a recipe for disaster with an offensive line like the Spartans.

After looking at the game tape, Brian Kelly continues to see the impressive work he’s getting from newcomer Louis Nix, who has elevated his game with Sean Cwynar limited with a hand injury that forces him to cast resembling a club on his hand.

The play of Nix and defense ends Ethan Johnson and Kapron Lewis-Moore, gives the Irish a nearly 1,000 pound three-man front that has the ability to wreak havoc. Kelly talked about what stood out on film after watching the tape of the defense’s work.

“We got really good play at the nose. I think when you talk about Nix and getting Cwynar back, that position was really strong for us on Saturday,” Kelly said. “I think we always talk about it, but both of our defensive ends were able to take on some big tackles at Michigan State. Ethan and Kap played very well against the run. Troy Niklas who came in as a true freshman kept the ball inside of them.”

The Irish gave up some plays in the passing game, but after two straight games of reading and reacting, it seemed like Bob Diaco and the Irish coaching staff wanted to dictate terms to the offense, and the results were encouraging.

THE BAD:

The Irish punt teams might be historically bad. With a nice day punting, Ben Turk moved up to 104th in the country in punting average. His rugby punts in particular might be something to build off when getting Turk’s confidence back in order. Still, Turk’s punts have consistently put the Irish on the wrong side of the field far too often.

On the other side of the ball, the Irish are the 111th ranked punt return team, and that doesn’t take into account the damage Theo Riddick and John Goodman‘s muffed punts did with potentially game-changing turnovers. Notre Dame is averaging less than one yard a return (0.70 to be exact), and it’s been a comedy of errors just getting Irish returners to master simple concepts like catching the ball or calling for a fair catch.

The sure-handed Goodman is allowed to have brain farts like he did against Michigan — not fair-catching a punt he should have, calling for one when he had 20 yards of grass in front of him on another, and running backwards and laterally on a third, if he at least catches the ball. With a crucial fourth quarter punt going through his wickets on Saturday, he’s not proving that he can’t be trusted to do that. Kelly has already turned to freshman George Atkinson on kickoff returns. It’s only a matter of time before he gives Cam McDaniel his shot on punts.

Turk’s short punts have also been low, helping to push the Irish into the 112th ranked team in covering punt returns, with Notre Dame yielding an astronomical 27.5 yards a return. Mike Elston‘s troops were a top 25 unit last year, so this is bound to get better, but the combination of shoddy coverage and mediocre kicking points out two units in dire need of improvement.

THE UGLY:

With amateurism under attack in places like Auburn, Columbus, Eugene, Los Angeles and Miami, the NCAA has taken great pains to up enforcement and compliance as schools work to keep illicit money out of the pockets of student athletes. Yet at the same time, the presidents and athletic directors making sure scholarship athletes aren’t taking advantage of the system are hellbent on doing the exact same thing, throwing tradition and affiliations to the wind and blowing up conferences at the first glimpse of a new television contract.

On a Saturday filled with intriguing match-ups, there’s something terribly wrong with the leadership in collegiate athletics when the wheeling-and-dealing off the field is stealing headlines from the players on it. When a top-five match-up between Oklahoma and Florida State is page two news behind Syracuse and Pittsburgh leaving the Big East for the ACC and its television riches, there’s something very wrong with a system that’s buckling down on players’ indiscretions while the grownups are imploding the history of the game for a quick buck.

As Brian Kelly commented about his team’s long awaited first victory, he also needed to field questions about the Irish’s cherished independent status, now thrown back into flux as pieces begin to shift that could change collegiate athletics’ landscape forever. Those changes could potentially push Notre Dame into a conference in football, with four super-conferences possibly on the horizon.

Being tasked with winning football games, keeping track of 85 players, and running a clean program should be enough for college football coaches. They shouldn’t have to keep an eye on their bosses as they blow up the status quo in search of more money.

  1. papadec - Sep 19, 2011 at 2:58 AM

    RE: THE UGLY – you are absolutely right. The only positive twist I can see is conference champions from each of the 16 team super conferences playing for the BCS Championship, in a playoff format. I know that is based on some assumptions – like each super conference having 16 teams. But, I think that may be where we are heading. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a conference of “Independents” either.

    • tedlinko - Sep 19, 2011 at 3:44 AM

      @papadec,
      I agree with you regarding the superconferences and the playoff scenario. But a conference of independents? How would that work exactly? Isn’t the essence of being independent that you are NOT in a conference?

      • borromini - Sep 19, 2011 at 4:51 PM

        It would be more like an “alliance” of football Independents rather than your traditional conference structure with the following:

        1. The alliance would only apply to football. The teams would still belong to other conferences for the remaining Olympic sports.
        2. No revenue sharing…each team is free to negotiate their own media contracts.
        3. Such an alliance would only include schools that have powerful brands that transcend any regional limitations. Schools such as ND, Texas, USC, Miami, BYU, etc.

        Such an alliance would co-exist with the Super16 Conference format. I thought this was a real possibility until this morning’s news broke that Texas may again be seriously considering moving to the PAC 12. Such a move by the Longhorns would make the idea of this alliance less attractive/possible.

      • papadec - Sep 19, 2011 at 11:33 PM

        @ Tedlinko, Based on what we are seeing happen to the Big East, and other conferences, I expect to see a bunch of sixteen team conferences. There are four major independents now – Army, Navy, BYU & ND. I think eventually we will see other teams that will have no conference affiliation for football, (maybe a Boise St & TCU) that have been snubbed for a BCS Championship game). But, like the “ND model” have a conference affiliation for all other sports. They will continue to play traditional football rivals, as teams outside those other teams conference games – just like ND plays USC & Stanford in the PAC-?, three games in the not-so-Big East, UMich, MSU, & of course Army, Navy, & BYU. Just a thought, based on what is happening to the conferences.

    • terryb101 - Sep 19, 2011 at 12:46 PM

      how bout this idea,, take the top 4 teams in the polls the week after the season ends have #4 play at #1 ,,and have number #3 at #2,then the winners would play in the bcs championship bowl game, then the losers of the 2 games could play in other bcs bowl games..usually isnt more than 3 undefeated teams in any given year.so this will work out for undefeated(if there is 3 or more) team that doesnt get bsc champiuonship game.at least this way they have a shot

    • hyde - Sep 19, 2011 at 4:50 PM

      Somebody please help me out. Other than TV contracts and the BCS, why are athletic conferences needed? Please explain this to me.

      • terryb101 - Sep 21, 2011 at 1:50 PM

        because before tv and the bcs, teams were usually playing teams close to them.so they decided to come together and become a league and play each other evey year for bragging rights of the league.. to see who was the best,..this question is kinda like when my brother asked me why so many college teams uniforms looked like the pro teams..we were watching georgia at the time, and the falcons uniforms were close to the same. back when they had red helmets and not the crappy black ones they have now….and i was trying to explain that the college teams were playing long before the nfl was ever thought of..kinda like there were football conferences long before tv and the bcs

  2. mattnef - Sep 19, 2011 at 7:50 AM

    Whew! That was a big win. We finally get to see what they can do when not turning the ball over 5 times a game, but also makes you wonder if only the had turned the ball over just 2-3 times the first two games. Oh well.
    As for the conferences. The next step has to be the Big Ten coming in and taking another 3 schools (maybe Rutgers, WVU, and UConn) or 2 schools and another from the Big 12, thus collapsing the Big East and finally forcing the hand of the jewel they have always wanted … Notre Dame.

  3. ndfanwabashman - Sep 19, 2011 at 9:02 AM

    The ugly truly was the turnovers. Again with 3 turnovers? As Brian Kelly said, winning does not excuse these turnovers. I look forward to what a game looks like when they’re not turning the ball over.

    As far as conference re-alignment, I think we’re all jumping off the bridge a little early with this. The more likely scenario right now is that the Big East just replaces Syracuse and Pitt with two teams like Temple and Central Florida.

    Worse case scenario is that ND forms a conference for Olympic sports with the likes of Depaul, Providence, Marquette, Villanova, Georgetown, Xavier, St. John’s, Seton Hall and other non Division 1 football schools and remains independent in football.

  4. bernhtp - Sep 19, 2011 at 9:15 AM

    The ugly has been ugly for many years, though they are finally dispensing with the pretense of tradition, rivalries, etc. as finances become the only criteria for association.

    So, let’s back to the good. Most of the team played well with a particular bounce back from the secondary. However, I especially like what the frosh are doing.

    Lynch was wreaking havoc all over the backfield – tackles, sacks, rushed plays, knockdowns, and holding penalties. He will go from really good to amazing as he develops. I think we finally have another potential Ross Browner. It’s been a while.

    Atkinson’s return was obviously huge. It’s been way too many years since we’ve had one. He needs to learn how to hold onto the ball better, but he showed amazing speed.

    Kickers rarely get much respect, but Brindza is making a real difference on kickoffs. The balls are deeper and higher than last year(s) with better starting defensive field possession. On the one kickoff where there was a return, Brindza made the touchdown-saving tackle. Finally, if Turk continues his punt funk, they should look at giving Brindza a shot. His high school highlight video shows some of the most impressive punting I’ve ever seen. I imagine that it takes a while for coaches to trust a frosh on the end of that long snap, but we need to do something there.

    • oldestguard - Sep 19, 2011 at 12:47 PM

      Lynch is a wrecking crew and Nix is an unmovable object….and they have so much elig. left !

      Turk should be on notice, but he’s not getting any help from his snapper.

      Atkinson has that higher gear that gets me giddy.

      Cam or Devaris should get looks on punt returns.

      Tommy has what, 6-7 total starts under his belt….he’s still has alot to learn, but he is guiding this team to victories. If there was something better right now, Kelly would be going to it.

  5. joeschu - Sep 19, 2011 at 10:00 AM

    Ugly = QB still turning it over at an alarming rate.

    • johnnd1985 - Sep 19, 2011 at 11:48 AM

      Ugly = QB who can’t get the ball down the field and is still turning it over at an alarming rate.

    • 1notredamefan - Sep 19, 2011 at 9:53 PM

      GOOD= sophomore QB with a QB rating of 145.1!
      A Sophomore QB with 7 games under his belt and a rating like that is really incredible!! If you look at Clausen in his first year http://espn.go.com/college-football/statistics/player/_/stat/passing/sort/collegeQuarterbackRating/year/2007/count/81 with a ranking of 113 you might wonder what our true golden boy has in store for us? We so hurriedly want to throw Tommy under a bus with him throwing 5 INT’s but can we really completely hold a 6 game starter that accountable for freshman mistakes? Let’s look at Clausen’s 2nd year http://espn.go.com/college-football/statistics/player/_/stat/passing/sort/collegeQuarterbackRating/year/2008/count/41 17 INT’s, 25 TD’s. Rees is on stride to completely demolish his numbers (INT TOO) and I don’t remember everyone throwing Clausen to the dogs after his bone-headed plays? Give the kid his due and let’s see what we might have before calling him anything but very capable! I personally think a lot of us including myself became spoiled with Clausen’s throwing ability and think everyone else should just pick up where he left off? But in a real world this kind of thing takes time and experience, something us ND fans are unwilling to sacrifice! Just look at the numbers and do your own comparing I think you’ll rethink your stance and give the kid his shot…….

      He’s special just give him time!

  6. nudeman - Sep 19, 2011 at 12:02 PM

    Keith,
    Good post, but I have to take you to English class:

    First, “brain farts”? Really? In an age when all sorts of words that used to be (appropriately) taboo are now acceptable on the airwaves and in writing, you didn’t need this one. I’m not a Puritan by any means, but I loathe this aspect of our “modern” communication.

    Second, the word is “its” when it’s used as a possessive. No apostrophe. That’s to distinguish it from its cousin “it’s”, which is of course a contraction of “it is”. I know of no other word where the possessive form doesn’t include an apostrophe, so “its” is somewhat counterintuitive.

    I’ll probably get pounded here for this off-topic post, but hey – 16 years of Catholic school means I sweat the small stuff too.

    BTW, great game. Loved to see Aaron Lynch, Troy Niklas and George Atkinson finally unshackled. Next we need to see Tuitt, Ishaq and Cam. Any info on how they’re coming along?

    • oldestguard - Sep 19, 2011 at 1:04 PM

      Is your handle related to your name or something other than a “naked guy” ? Just curious, especially after this last post of yours.

      Something makes me think you relish the thumbs down totals you tend to stockpile.

      Don’t take this the wrong way – i enjoy “variety” on these boards.

      • nudeman - Sep 19, 2011 at 1:22 PM

        oldestguard
        I speak my mind, and don’t intentionally seek out “thumbs down”. The only way NOT to get thumbs down is to incessantly post “YEAH!!! GO IRISH. IRISH ARE #1″. In other words, be a total apologist. I’m not that.

        I am nearly 60, at which point I will have been a diehard Irish fan for an even 50 years, since “The Era of Ara” began. It crushes me when they lose. Keith recently semi-chastised me for “leading the pessimist charge” here, and I don’t agree at all. If you look at all my posts (not that anyone is going to take on THAT hideous task) you’ll see I’ve been right down the middle, but fair. I’ve been all over Rees for turnovers, but just posted something saying how well he played. Several regular posters are harsher than me. Several.

        As for “nudeman”, I just tried to come up with a ridiculous name. I actually do own – and wear – clothes.

        P.S. One area where I’ve gone overboard in criticism is of Weis. Without revealing too much, I have inside sources at ND that have told me what an abject jerk the guy was; an insufferable ego who thought he knew everything and needed no one. And in while he might be a great offensive mind (and I’m not so sure about that), he was a lousy coach. Paid no attention to D, or conditioning his players and was regularly outcoached by inferior opponents. I actually got to the point where I was cheering AGAINST them in his 5th year so he’d get canned.

    • domer77blowsgoats - Sep 19, 2011 at 1:20 PM

      Really? This is your contribution to the board? Did you learn the term “Really?” from the nuns teaching at Our Lady of The Worthless Mircale – talk about the use of modern communication….

      BTW (another loathed “modern” communication term BTW) Tuitt and Ishaq both had some substantial minutes, more so for Tuitt and made contributions albeit in Lynch’s shadow (as opposed to “Lynchs”, the objective form of finally beating the shiot at of those thugs from MSU!!!!)

      • nudeman - Sep 19, 2011 at 1:25 PM

        domer77blowsgoats,
        Thanks man, Great post.
        Go blow a goat.
        punk

      • domer77blowsgoats - Sep 19, 2011 at 1:43 PM

        Well stated of a 60 year old….

        Apparently you have so much time to do nothing else but post 17 comments on this board – how about you spend some of that time checking your facts or actually figuring out who #7 was on the d-line making plays (maybe your inside sources can help solve this enigma, they apparently knew stuff about Weis that no one else in the world did, arrogant, fat, lazy, poor coach…shcoking relevations heard only here first brought to you by Nudeman) before adding more senseless dribble…

    • 1notredamefan - Sep 19, 2011 at 9:07 PM

      Plz answer me 1 question? Are you the USC fan who’s also a closet ND fan from last year? You remind me of him very much so with your criticizing of most aspects of ND football and your subtle way of outsmarting people? Just curious…….

  7. nudeman - Sep 19, 2011 at 1:10 PM

    I will suspend my weekly comment about “Why is Crist getting the short stick? Rees can’t take care of the ball”.

    On the fumble, he was positively smoked and NO ONE would have held on to the ball. The INT was a very bad decision, throwing across his body, late over the middle. Probably no better way to guarantee an INT than that.

    Aside from that, the kid played very well and they unquestionably do move the ball with him in there. I still maintain they’d be 2-1 with Crist, as Rees’ mistakes against UM lost the game. But it’s fair to disagree with me there, and of course we’ll never really know.

    NOW … the next 2 weeks, here’s what I want to see:

    – NO INTERCEPTIONS
    – Aaron Lynch stays in the lineup and hot
    – McDaniel return some punts
    – More of Atkinson, Niklas
    – The debut of Tuitt and Ishaq
    – Continued solid running game

    • dickasman - Sep 19, 2011 at 1:21 PM

      Ben Turd averaged 32 ypp if you negate the focking 10 yard bounces he was getting. Boot Turd to the curb.

      Atkinson, Toma, Bennett Jackson, Daniels at punt return. The coaching staff should know by now who has the focking cahones to be a punt return man. You can’t teach Punt Return in practice or judge how good a guy is going to be at returning punts by how he does in practice because you gotta have a knack, big balls and heart.

      Sick of Rees UNDERTHROWN balls. Every focking catch Jones and Flyod make, they have to WAIT for the god dam ball or go back to to ball, jesus christ. This is why I say Rees is a back up QB at best. You will be blown out by a BCS team in a heartbeat with Rees at QB. I guaranfuckingtee it my friends. Rees is a poor man’s Matt Lovecchio.

      Let’s see Golson/Hendrix in games see WTF they can do, hey?

      Otherwise, Im happy.

      • nudeman - Sep 19, 2011 at 1:35 PM

        The Ultimate indictment: “A poor man’s LoVecchio”

        OUCH!!!!!

        Even I, who has been critical of Rees, think that one goes too far.

        LoVecchio was just focking awful.
        Right up there with Arnaz Battle, Rusty Lisch and of course the double Heisman winner Ron Powlus.

      • nudeman - Sep 19, 2011 at 2:02 PM

        Barring injuries, you’re not going to see Golson or Hendrix, much as we’re all curious about them.

        They are #3 and #4 on the depth chart. Golson will be kept out this year at all costs to protect his yr of eligibility
        Hendrix just must not be good enough if he can’t even beat out Rees or Crist.

        I predict he transfers after this year.

      • andy44teg - Sep 19, 2011 at 2:43 PM

        nudeman:
        I personally thought Arnaz Battle was a pretty darn good qb. Who knows how good he could’ve been if he didn’t break his wrist against Nebraska and was moved out to WR later on in his career. As for Rees; he’s only 19 freakin’ years old, 6th major college football start, and DOES NOT get rattled. I don’t know how many 19 year old kids can get absolutely smoked from the blind side, throw an INT, and you don’t even see it bother him! The kid is a gamer. He’ll cut down on the INT’s and he’ll learn to get rid of the ball quicker to avoid those blind side sacks the more reps he gets.
        GO IRISH! BEAT PITT!

      • dbldmr - Sep 19, 2011 at 3:03 PM

        You must be a clever guy to be able to come up with such a brilliant bon mot as Ben “Turd.” It wasn’t even funny the first time you wrote it…and this isn’t the first time. I’m sure he’s staying up at night worrying whether his performance meets your high standards. Of course he’s working on a degree at Notre Dame while you demonstrate your tenuous grasp of spelling, grammar, and capitalization. Oh…using “focking” doesn’t make you clever or edgy either.

      • dickasman - Sep 19, 2011 at 3:10 PM

        dbldbr,

        Hi Mrs. Turd? How are you? Your son still like totally SUCKS at punting and stuff! Does your son Ben touch the sign “play like a turdball today” sign every saturday???

        You should be so proud.

      • tedlinko - Sep 19, 2011 at 5:46 PM

        Otherwise, you’re a moron.

        Beyond the fact that you are apparently watching a different team than the rest of us (which is your right), the profanity really is unnecessary on this board.

      • dickasman - Sep 19, 2011 at 7:00 PM

        Tedlinko,

        I’d really love to meet your classy a$$ in person so we can discuss Notre Dame football and for you to call me a moron in person to my face and see what happens then. Look both ways before you go to work tomorrow. I know where you work u focking homo

      • nudeman - Sep 19, 2011 at 7:10 PM

        Uh … dickasman?

        You might want to dial it back a bit.
        Nothing terribly clever about threatening physical harm.

        Just sayin’ …

    • nudeman - Sep 19, 2011 at 2:53 PM

      Battle was “just OK”, in my opinion.

      A leftover from either the Davie or Holtz era. A running QB mostly, in an era when most other top schools had started throwing way more. I was never a fan of ND’s offense in those years. Throw it 10 times/game, but only if we have to.

      Rees is growing on me, but you’re right – he’s young and will probably have moments where he will drive us crazy with young guy mistakes. But he is developing; getting a little better each week. Absolutely HAS to take better care of the ball though for them to have a chance at 9 or 10 wins.

      • dickasman - Sep 19, 2011 at 3:03 PM

        Clausen won as many heisman as Powlus…hell he won one before he even stepped on the filed. Battle was OK…played to best of his ability. Its not his fault he wasn’t born a Tony Sushi. Tell me, do you guys not agree that every one of those god dam balls poor man’s Trent Dilfer throws, the ND WR has to chase it down? You see Floyd runs deep, then he has to stomp the brakes to get the underthrown ball. Does Rees EVER hit anyone in stride? Im talking about balls thrown deeper than 10 yards. Yeah dilfer got a SB ring but its because of Ravens D. Does notre dame have Raven’s D?

        As far as “preserving” goes, that’s an indictment on $hitty notre dame recruiting right there. Its not like we’ve got Jesus Christ playing the QB at ND. C’mon.

        Well, I hope Rees sprains an ankle or something so I can get a glimpse of another QB. Fock Crist…Fock Rees.

      • bernhtp - Sep 19, 2011 at 3:45 PM

        Re: “Does Rees EVER hit anyone in stride? Im talking about balls thrown deeper than 10 yards.”

        Look at the long pass to TJ that hit him in stride for the TD.

        Watch the game before posting next time.

      • tedlinko - Sep 19, 2011 at 5:53 PM

        Agreed Nudeman,
        We had a bit of back and forth last week, and we may still disagree on whether or not BK should have pulled Crist when he did. But fundamentally we’re in agreement on the current assessment of Rees. He’s young (only 6 starts) and he’s made some critical mistakes, but he is learning. Only one of the two turnovers this week was really his fault (the fumble was on the Left Tackle who flat out missed the assignment). Agreed he does have to take better care of the ball than he did in his first 7 quarters. Hopefully, the last 3 quarters this week were a start on that.

    • bostonjan - Sep 19, 2011 at 8:22 PM

      “Keith,
      Good post, but I have to take you to English class…..”

      nudeman – time for you to take yourself to English class:

      “….Several regular posters are harsher than me…..”

      I am 60+ years of age and a product of Catholic education – being blessed to be part of the ND student body during the beginning of the Ara Era…….

      The proper grammer would be: “Several regular posters are harsher than I.”

      The point is – save the nitpicking for yourself; it’s just annoying to others. I personally don’t care if Keith or anyone else uses proper grammar on this site. Enjoy the message/insights; don’t beat up the messenger.

      If you have been accussed of leading the charge for pessimism; I would be proud to be accused of leading the charge for optimism. Hopefully you “youngsters” will learn sooner than later that optimism is more productive than pessimism.

      I do like your vision for the next two weeks (at least) of Irish football with one minor adjustment:

      – Flawless execution (instead of “no interceptions”) -> keep thinking in the positive.
      ;-)

      • nudeman - Sep 19, 2011 at 8:37 PM

        Bostonjan

        “Grammer”??? What is that? Do you mean “grammar”?

        And you are incorrect about the use of “I” vs “me”. Sorry, you just are. Look it up.
        For example, would you say “He is better than I”? Or would you say “He is better than me”?.

        With that, I’m done correcting English, spelling and punctuation errors. You’re all on your own. Go nuts. Or go nutts. Or goe nuts.

  8. bernhtp - Sep 19, 2011 at 1:45 PM

    Rees does pretty well when he has time in the pocket. He’s pretty accurate, has a quick release and generally makes good decisions quickly. He still has problems with the occasional mental lapse that often is very costly, but appears to be improving. However, Tommy does far less well when the pocket collapses and he needs to scramble. The really good college QBs are often most dangerous when they are flushed from the pocket and throw on the run. That was true of Montana. Unfortunately, the combination of Tommy’s subpar foot speed and lack of compensating arm strength result in dismal outcomes in these situations. Thankfully, we only got to see that a few times on Saturday. O-line play is critical for his performance.

    • dickasman - Sep 19, 2011 at 3:06 PM

      He’s got arm strength of my neighbor’s 5 year old kid. Winner of the pass kick punt contest throws better than him.

      • nudeman - Sep 19, 2011 at 3:41 PM

        I’m not wildly in love with Rees. Doesn’t have the strongest arm, correct. And he drives me crazy with turnovers.

        But you’re being over the top hard on him.

        Looking at it positively, you can’t blame him for the fumble on Sunday, so there was just the one INT (which was a terrible decision). I’d like to think that’s because he’s getting better. I HOPE he’s getting better.

      • dickasman - Sep 19, 2011 at 3:44 PM

        Nudeman, you’re right…I am just being overly emotionally dramatic for the internet but you stated correctly what I was saying. Would you mind being my permanent internet translator?

    • dickasman - Sep 19, 2011 at 3:53 PM

      Bern, I beg to differ. On Samsung 50inch Plasma, Dish Network HD I was watcching on NBC, that ball to TJ was underthrown. Slightly underthrown than the normal but underthrown nonetheless. TJ has to reach for that focker.

      You need to get a better TV set and get rid of those rabbit ears.

  9. nudeman - Sep 19, 2011 at 1:52 PM

    DomerBlowsGoats

    Dude, you’re coming on awfully hard and personal here.
    Fight with the wife this a.m.? Or was it your boyfriend?

    Relax. No need to attack personally. I haven’t done so with you.
    I have specific stories about Weis I could post here, but won’t.
    End of story

    • domer77blowsgoats - Sep 19, 2011 at 2:06 PM

      Ah the refreshing maturity of a 60 year old…

      Hard and personal? Not interested but thanks…

      Weis is old news, no one cares about Weis – find out who #7 is yet?

      I only post in 2 distinct circumstances:

      1. Domer77 contributes to the board, which, by definition and according to my contractual obligation, I must respond with something trolly….

      2. When I have to spend my lunch hour reading ridiculous comments about the use of “its” vs. “it’s” in the best written and most insightful ND football blog out there – especially in light of ND delivering an absolute pounding (don’t get excited) of a team that has dominated us in the past 15 years.

  10. nudeman - Sep 19, 2011 at 2:11 PM

    Then why are you wasting even MORE time responding? You don’t “HAVE to spend your lunch hour” in any particular way, do you? Go back and read your copy of Newt’s Contract With America. Free country.

    Seriously, go back to work. The nation will breathe easier, unless you’ve actually got a position of responsibility (highly unlikely) or are carring the nuclear codes.

    • domer77 - Sep 20, 2011 at 11:04 AM

      Nudeman a.k.a. Robert Weiner

      I am thrilled to see that you have finally mastered “Hooked on Phonics” at such an early age. The only dribble from your (you’re) endless blogging that bores me (myself, I) more is reading about your Catholic upbringing. Sounds like you spent way too much time learning life’s lessons from “Fadder” (that was for all you Upper West Side guys) O’Malley. Talk about a “position of responsibility…….”

      “Would you like another Snickers bar my son?”

      “Yes Fadder, may I have another.”

      As to your special sources relating to the Charlie Weiss era, you must really be wired to some high level folk. To share with you, and you only, their (there) deep, dark (see above) secrets is truly impressive.

      You are indeed the master of stating the obvious. Keep up the good work. I look forward (or in your case backward…wink…) to your next insightful blog.

      BTW…Where did that “Newt” comment come from…talk about random… Makes you sound old, crotchety, leftist and did I mention it before, BORING.

      Nice photo Weiner….send it to O’Malley.

  11. Keith Arnold - Sep 19, 2011 at 2:22 PM

    Gentlemen,

    Behave yourselves. There are plenty of places to have annoyingly critical conversations about Notre Dame football. This won’t be one of them.

    Nudeman — Went 2 for 3 on the its/it’s. As a 16 year vet of Catholic schools I’ll try to do better, too. Good to see that’s the big thing you took out of this column, that and brain farts.

  12. nudeman - Sep 19, 2011 at 2:32 PM

    Keith,
    It was all light hearted here, though I will say I have a 10 year old daughter and don’t understand why she has to hear phrases like “brain farts” on tv.

    I love the columns and normally post more useful stuff.

    Now, as a 16 year Cath School vet, I feel so ashamed. So dirty. So … oh, whatever.
    Sr. Johnelle would be so unapproving
    Sorry.

  13. smurphdoggy29 - Sep 19, 2011 at 3:44 PM

    Keith,
    Doing a good job, how are you feeling after doing all the double timing on the various live stuff ?

    I stated in an earlier post that now the Spring Board has been primed and now the squad has to take advantage of this opportunity, just a few leaks to shore up still, yet I have noticed an oddity. Perhaps some of you have too.

    Reporters at the press conferences, both immediately after the game and on Sunday, seemingly are probing in a pretty stealthy manner trying to find an avenue to examine why Crist hasn’t gotten back on the field yet. Please note I am saying they are probing Coach Kelly to find a way to broach the subject.

    I post this query because the vibe I have gotten from the lines of questioning I am hearing in regards to Rees’s play seem to be attempts to lead Kelly into an area of questioning that could open him up for some direct lines regarding Crist.

    I see some contributors hammering on Rees and calling for QB’s three and four on the Depth Chart, and I see some people bemoaning the fact Rees doesn’t have the firepower to rocket deep passes. I have to concur to some extent that I Rees seemingly cannot throw that really deep out/post/fly ball and it has appeared that the receivers at certain points have had to adjust downward to receive the ball. In addition Coach Kelly did make production the key word in the formula. Rees has been productive, but no more than Crist was (quickly), and has had some poor mistakes in judgment. Rees has been the better manager which I believe is the tipping point.

    Yet, in conclusion, I still wonder in light of the two and a half games body of work why Crist hasn’t been given the same encore performance to perhaps demonstrate that he has developed and progressed since being removed from the South Florida contest. What possibly could be the explanation ?

    • nudeman - Sep 19, 2011 at 4:04 PM

      smurph,
      Great post. I’ve never understood the quick hook for Crist. He paid his dues, played well last year, won the Spring and Summer QB battle, then BAM! He gets ONE HALF of football before getting the hook?

      The only hypothesis I see is that Kelly, deep in his gut, had some misgivings about Crist. Some have suggested “leadership”. It certainly wasn’t physical skills – he’s bigger, stronger and has a better arm than Rees. Also, Kelly RECRUITED Rees; he INHERITED Dayne.

      Kelly panicked, and I think it cost them the UM game, and maybe the USF game too. I’d be fine if they went back to Crist, but barring an injury I don’t see it happening. Rees is “his guy”.

      I’d love for Keith to shed some light on this if possible.

      • tedlinko - Sep 19, 2011 at 6:10 PM

        @nudeman,
        One quibble. Yes, Kelly inherited Crist, but in a sense, he also inherited Rees. Tommy was recruited by the Weis regime and had committed before he was fired. So while Kelly did sign him, it isn’t like Tommy was someone he’d gone out looking for. And in fact, he really isn’t the ideal guy for Kelly’s system.

        It’s a real stretch to suggest that pulling Crist cost the Irish the USF game. Could Crist have gotten hot in the 2nd half and brought the Irish back? I suppose it’s possible, but there was little evidence at the time to suggest that, and in fact Rees was more productive. As for Rees being responsible for the Michigan loss, he certainly was a major contributor, but it wasn’t all on him. Lots of other players made critical mistakes as well. And there isn’t any guarantee that Crist would have been productive in those situations.

        Bottom line. We’ll never know for sure. But at the time, I thought the change was warranted, and after the way the team played in the 2nd half of USF, I thought the MI start was warranted as well.

    • oldestguard - Sep 19, 2011 at 4:54 PM

      I think he will get that chance.

      Hopefully our fortunes become such that there will be some breathing room in these games soon I don’t think Kelly has had any chance at all to start throwing different guys / packages out there when the game is still very much on the line.

      I’m not sure what exactly to expect, but hope to see Crist get at least another decent shot at it.

      Rolling up a big lead over Pitt, will let us see what coach does.

    • notredamegrad - Sep 19, 2011 at 5:12 PM

      I’m on board with all of you regarding Crist, smurphdoggy29, nudeman, and oldestguard. Once Kelly made the decision to start Rees against UM, there wasn’t any taking back that quick hook after the first half of the USF game. It’s funny to see people complaining about Rees’s weaker arm, his total immobility, his under thrown passes, the way he looks when he gets out of the pocket, his turnover rate (fumbles and INTs), etc., and then see Crist standing on the sidelines – these are all areas where Crist showed much better work throughout his playing time than Rees has.

      Crist and Rees are basically at the point where they have played the same amount of time as each other – both are at about 8 games’ playing time (Crist: a few drives against Washington, Purdue, 1/2 UM, MSU, Stan., BC, Pitt, WMU, Navy, opening drive against Tulsa, 1/2 USF) (Rees: a bit of UM, almost all of Tulsa, Utah, Army, USC, Miami, 1/2 USF, UM, MSU). Everybody needs to stop with this “oh, Rees has only started playing – he’s just a beginner making beginner’s mistakes” talk.

      Eric Hansen at the SB Tribune commented about Kelly’s reluctance to put Crist in at this point. He attributes it to concern about maintaining coherence and leadership on an offense just starting to make things click. I get this, but wish it didn’t have the consequences it does for Crist and the QB position and also reflect poorly on one instance of Kelly’s decision making and consistency, which I believe it does. I would be very surprised to see the season end without Crist’s taking a number of meaningful snaps (esp. when Kelly’s been very clear that Hendrix and Golson just aren’t ready to handle the offense).

      • nudeman - Sep 19, 2011 at 6:55 PM

        notredamegrad
        Re: Crist getting meaningful snaps, only 1 of 2 ways that happens:
        1) Rees gets hurt; or
        2) Rees totally implodes and has 2 -3 bad games in a row.

        Letting Crist see the field again just invites a QB controversy which coaches loathe. I feel bad for the guy and think he’s gotten shafted. Those who talk of how badly the offense played against USF with Crist in there, remember this: 1) If Jonas Gray doesn’t fumble, we’re not having this conversation; and 2) He threw 2 few INTs than Rees did during his half.

        As far as Golson goes. not gonna’ happen this year, again barring an injury. Because of his size he’s probably not an NFL prospect, and that means he won’t be bolting after his junior season; and Kelly protects his year of eligibility this year, he’ll have him for 4 more years after this one. So don’t expect to see Kelly throw that away over a “pkg” of a couple cute trick plays.

      • 1notredamefan - Sep 19, 2011 at 10:14 PM

        Ok I’ll take this argument…. let’s say they both have the same playing time……look at Crist http://espn.go.com/college-football/statistics/player/_/stat/passing/sort/collegeQuarterbackRating/year/2010/count/41 #60 now let’s look at 5 int Rees http://espn.go.com/college-football/statistics/player/_/stat/passing/sort/collegeQuarterbackRating/count/41 , now even tho its only based on 2 and a half games I’ll take this argument ALL season long!

      • nudeman - Sep 19, 2011 at 10:32 PM

        notredamegrad
        That’s a great post.

        I agree on Rees. Stop the “he’s young” BS. Notre Dame is a “Win NOW” program.

        I still maintain Crist is the better QB, but will cheer for the kid.

      • nudeman - Sep 19, 2011 at 10:46 PM

        1notredamefan
        This is a ridiculous argument
        129 vs 145? Come on

        That’s like saying one guy is WAY better because he drove in 128 runs vs 117 for the other guy. BOTH are outstanding. It’s my opinion that Rees, though he’s developing nicely and has a great future, has cost them at least one and maybe 2 games this year. Dayne takes much better care of the ball. PERIOD.

        I’ll take that any day over a great QB rating.

      • 1notredamefan - Sep 19, 2011 at 10:52 PM

        So who cost us the USF game? Jonas? Or the guy who couldn’t bring us out of the hole after a fumble?

      • 1notredamefan - Sep 19, 2011 at 10:58 PM

        and Rees has 5 wins in 6 starts what’s Crist’s record…..4 wins 10 starts, the numbers clearly speak for themselves is my point!

      • notredamegrad - Sep 20, 2011 at 10:25 AM

        1notredamefan, I’m not going to go through the whole Crist-v.-Rees debate here again – we’ve been through that a thousand times. I do have to respond to your citing wins and losses based on starts as “speaking for themselves.”

        You know as well as I do that QB play is never the sole factor determining whether any one game is won or lost. It is idiotic and illogical to cite that as your deciding factor when comparing QBs. You could challenge almost any attribution of a W or L to a QB: did Crist “lose” to UM last year, or was it a collapsing defense that allowed Robinson another last minute TD after Crist brought them back from a huge deficit? Did Rees “lose” against UM this year with his three totally game-changing turnovers, or was it Gray’s fault or everybody else’s? Did Crist “lose” to Tulsa when he only played one possession, or did Rees do it when he threw the INT in the end zone to end the game? Did Rees “win” against USC, or did the team pull that one out for him after he again turned the ball over in the red zone three times? Did Crist “lose” to USF when he had so little help from his receivers and endured the embarrassing turnovers of Gray and Riddick?

        Obviously I could go on and on. The point is this: don’t cite such a ridiculous statistic to try to “argue” that Rees is a superior QB.

      • 1notredamefan - Sep 20, 2011 at 9:11 PM

        I won’t give the ultimate thumb down because you are right and I can’t reasonably argue with your facts! What I have said all along and the USF game further embellished my point is that the team somehow, someway plays rejuvenated football with Rees at the helm! I personally can’t completely understand it myself but I’m very well pleased with the results of a Rees led team compared to a Crist led team! The ultimate goal of BK is to win games, numbers are numbers no matter the details and most fans along with alumni want to see wins regardless who’s getting the shitty end of the stick?

  14. dickasman - Sep 19, 2011 at 3:51 PM

    Smurphdoggy,

    THANK YOU, AMENNNN!!! NOOOOOEEEEEELLLLLLLEEE NOOOOOOEEELLLLLL NOOOOEEEELLLLL NOOOEEELLLLL Born is the King of IsraelLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. herringbonesports - Sep 19, 2011 at 4:26 PM

    Is anyone else expecting to see Golson in a package very very soon? If you haven’t checked out some of his highlights and think he’s just some athletic scrambler you are going to be very surprised. He has an absolute CANNON for an arm.

    I’ve tried to talk myself into Rees becoming a poor man’s Kellen Moore (Who’s about to shatter the NCAA All-Time Wins Number) but I looked over the stats. Moore has 10 interceptions for his career in almost 800 more pass attempts than Tommy. That easily trumps many domers claims of “competition level” .
    If he doesn’t clean it up pretty soon I think a 3-3 or 4-2 ND team makes a move that shouldn’t surprise anyone.

    I also agree on Crist. He didn’t fumble the first ball, he didn’t drop 4 passes in the first half. That said I think it’s clear Kelly is way past moving Crist back into a starting role.

    I’m one of the millions who’s started a new Irish Blog. Check me out if you get a chance

    Herring Bone Sports

    • nudeman - Sep 19, 2011 at 7:07 PM

      Golson won’t play, barring injury. Kelly wants to protect his year of eligibility and isn’t going to throw that away over a few trick plays.

  16. 808raiderinparadise - Sep 19, 2011 at 7:14 PM

    TURNOVERS = NO CHANCE OF MORE WINS. they need to fix this.

  17. jerseyshorendfan1 - Sep 19, 2011 at 9:57 PM

    Keith…..good article and I would concur that serious journalists probably would’ve used “mental miscues” over “brain farts” but it didn’t really offend me as I’ve heard the term before. It’s just another example of the coarsening of our society. We are ultimately doomed but I digress. What bothers me is that I just read 54 comments expecting to pick up on some insights to the game that I may have missed and instead, I had to wade through so much, well, drivel. (And the word is drivel BTW. Look it up). The level of discourse has really deteriorated lately on this board. We’re all fans here so let’s stop the personal attacks, threats, etc. and talk some ball. On that subject, I think BK has to ride Rees as far as he will take us and Crist has to be ready to jump in if needed. I’m not the biggest Rees fan, but he had a few throws with some zip on them and Kelly says he immediately knew he had made a mistake on the INT, so he’s learning. I was really impressed with our run defense and the freshman pass rush was deadly when applied to a more pro-style drop back passer. Those guys are only going to get better and the future is bright fellas. We are going to eat Pitt’s lunch. What happened to the ND fans I used to know? Where’s the spirit? Where’s the guts, huh? This could be the greatest season of our lives, but you’re gonna let it be the worst. “Ooh, we’re afraid to go with you Art. We might get in trouble.” Well just kiss my a## from now on! Not me! I’m not gonna take this! Pitt? He’s a dead man! Purdue, Dead! Air Force…….

    • 1notredamefan - Sep 19, 2011 at 10:19 PM

      Rite on Art!! I believe!!!!! GO IRISH!!!!!

    • nudeman - Sep 19, 2011 at 10:39 PM

      Thank you. I feel vindicated on the “brain f**rts” post.
      Sorry, but that’s just a disgusting term and not at all appropriate for a national blog writer.

    • herringbonesports - Sep 19, 2011 at 11:28 PM

      Jersey Shore, huh? I love that place and not the one from TV. I used to live in Hoboken.

      You seem like the kind of guy who might enjoy some of the stuff on my site. I just started a new, fresh looking blog that covers Notre Dame Football and Saturday Night Live (and anything else I have time for but 75% ND, 25% everything else)

      I’d love for you to take a look as you seem like someone dying to get some more analysis and breakdown.

      Here’s the main ND page on my site I encourage all ND fans to take a look. I’m trying to get a new/fresh face for the Irish blogosphere.

      http://herringbonesports.com/?cat=12

      Go Irish!

      • nudeman - Sep 20, 2011 at 11:11 AM

        Just checked the site. Outstanding. Solid writing too. It’s now on the nudeman’s “Favorites” list.
        Well done.
        I made the suggestion that you could try to dig into the reason Dayne was tossed overboard so hastily. Many of us here still seem to be scratching our heads over this and there’s been no realy investigative reporting on it. Not suggesting this is some sort of vast conspiracy; just a shocking change that none of us saw coming so quickly.

        Just a suggestion.

  18. 1notredamefan - Sep 19, 2011 at 9:57 PM

    A first for everything: 60 year old man using the word ‘Focking’!

    • nudeman - Sep 19, 2011 at 10:48 PM

      Been to the old sod; what can I say.
      Same farm been in the family for 150 years. Seriously

      Focking awesome

      • 1notredamefan - Sep 19, 2011 at 11:01 PM

        OK OK I’ll give ya that 1…. just hit me odd

  19. nudeman - Sep 19, 2011 at 10:51 PM

    Keith,
    If you read all posts, then please understand there is a lot of curiousity here about what went in to the jettisoning of Dayne and the anointing of Rees.

    Can you write an article about what you know about this? To many of us it seemed awfully hasty and there’s the feeling that there’s still something left unspoken here.

    • 1notredamefan - Sep 19, 2011 at 11:06 PM

      Curious to the blind faith in Crist myself? Before the season started most posters said this was Dayne’s yr to lead? Well after 2 quarters of falling on his face after a fumble BK decided (imho) some guys just don’t fit the bill.

      If the “D” steps up on the last drive at UM we are drooling on Rees nuts.

      • notredamegrad - Sep 20, 2011 at 10:44 AM

        1notredamefan, it’s not fair to call it “blind faith.” It’s rooted in (1) Crist playing some really outstanding football last year (not consistently, but Rees isn’t consistent in his strongest play either), (2) the tendency of QBs to really step it up in their second year and the confidence that Crist would do the same if given the chance (remember, he’s only played 2/3 of a year at this point and the same amount of game time as Rees), (3) Crist’s obvious physical abilities in excess of Rees’s, ex., arm strength, mobility, ball protection, etc., (4) Coach Kelly’s CHOOSING him as the starting QB and proclaiming his full confidence in Crist to play championship football for ND.

        It is also unfair to describe Crist’s play against USF as his “falling on his face.” From Keith’s breakdown of Crist’s mere 15 attempts in that half, he only really made 4-6 poor decisions – the rest was ineptitude on the part of the rest of the team. He led the team on two drives that looked as good as any Rees has led them on this year then stalled a bit when his confidence was shaken, not unlike how Rees played after his own fumble and INT against MSU. When Rees came back after the half, he relaxed back into it and played well again. Many fans just think that Dayne would have done the same in the second half against USF and wish he would have been given the chance.

        I’m confident in Rees and know he can play well; I just don’t think his net strengths are greater than Dayne’s even based on Dayne’s play a full year ago, and Dayne is strong in some key areas where Rees is less capable (mobility – including rushing TDs, ability to play outside the pocket, not throwing INTs, not fumbling when sacked, not underthrowing the deep ball, etc.). Yes, Rees’s completion rate is higher, but he’s not forced to throw as often because of the running game and he throws more high percentage passes, he’s protected by a much stronger O line and so throws under less pressure, his receivers have an added year of experience they didn’t have with Crist, and he STILL throws more interceptions and has put up fewer points per game than Crist.

        If Kelly sticks by Rees for every snap this season, that’s fine; I just wish we could see how Dayne, who his coaches say plays smarter, faster, and more accurate football now, would play the season.

      • nudeman - Sep 20, 2011 at 11:20 AM

        I maintain that had Crist never been yanked the Irish would now be 3-0. He didn’t “fall on his face” against USF – that’s preposterous. And he wouldn’t have whiffed on that goal line throw that Rees did against Michigan. If you had to pick one play this season on which to have a “do-over”, that would be it. Crist wouldn’t have made that mistake.

    • herringbonesports - Sep 20, 2011 at 11:34 AM

      I appreciate the kind words and navigating through Saturday Night Live Preview Week which currently has the page in a different look than normal. Thursday it goes into “Game Day” mode.

      I’ll respond t your question on my site. I wish I could do investigative reporting from Seattle, but I’m not even sure if the closest observers to Brian Kelly are privy to his innermost thoughts and reasonings. He’s as political and secretive as they come in sports. It amazes me how many things he leads the media around. I don’t have a problem with it though- in 2011 one needs to err on the side of caution in game prep. I’d rather the Irish team/staff are on the same page with decisions on Saturday afternoon than the blogospheres on Tuesday morning.

      • nudeman - Sep 20, 2011 at 11:48 AM

        Understand. I look forward to what you have to say on this.

        There is one thing that Kelly said when he anointed Crist as the starter that was curious. After giving a glowing review of his maturity, leadership qualities, recovering from surgeries, etc. he said (paraphrasing) “more importantly he’s the kind of kid I want to coach; and I’m not sure I would have said that last year”. I think I’ve got accurate, or pretty damn close.

        So it makes me think there’s been some lingering uneasiness with Crist on Kelly’s part, and although he won the QB battle fair and square, Kelly was never really sold on him, perhaps for reasons going back over a year. I’d love to know more.

    • herringbonesports - Sep 20, 2011 at 11:34 AM

      I appreciate the kind words and navigating through Saturday Night Live Preview Week which currently has the page in a different look than normal. Thursday it goes into “Game Day” mode.

      I’ll respond to your question on my site. I wish I could do investigative reporting from Seattle, but I’m not even sure if the closest observers to Brian Kelly are privy to his innermost thoughts and reasonings. He’s as political and secretive as they come in sports. It amazes me how many things he leads the media around. I don’t have a problem with it though- in 2011 one needs to err on the side of caution in game prep. I’d rather the Irish team/staff are on the same page with decisions on Saturday afternoon than the blogospheres on Tuesday morning.

  20. jerseyshorendfan1 - Sep 20, 2011 at 1:24 AM

    Hey Herringbone….hope The suits at NBC don’t try to charge you for the promo. I did check out your site and liked the Man Cave QB and Rapid Reaction sections. You are now favorited on my I Pad.

    • herringbonesports - Sep 20, 2011 at 2:11 AM

      Thanks jerseyshorendfan1

      Good point about NBC. If I get some traction at some point I’m covering two of their biggest breadwinners- they should pay me. I doubt it though. They just happen to carry my favorite sports team and favorite TV show.

      I genuinely thank you for the look and add on the iPad. I didn’t even know that “favorite” was possible. I’m new to the website/blog game and don’t own an apple. I force friends to look at the site and tell me it looks the same on PC as Mac.

      Hope I can get some more stuff out that you and other ND fans like

      Go Irish!

  21. oldestguard - Sep 20, 2011 at 12:15 PM

    To the nudedude – you are stretching reality to the max with that last statement of ND being 3-0 if Crist was starting.

    There was NO indication in that 1st game that Crist would have turned that deficit around. Quite frankly he looked tentative and almost lost by the end of the half.

    I know these boards are for armchair speculation by the fans, but you’re out there pretty far on a narrow limb with that opinion.

    Do you honestly think Kelly is putting the 2nd or 3rd best QB out there ?

    If you’ve observed these players for a collective 8 to 10 hours, Kelly has studied them for 100’s of hours.

    You are looking through your TV at something far far away. Kelly is looking right through their eyes to their core.

    It’s a mere 12 game season, there is no time for indecisiveness or trial and error. He has to make gut decisions and go with them. When he made that decision to go with Rees, his body of data was a ” wee bit” more substantial than yours.

    Personally I would like to see Crist get another shot – at the right time, but I have to respect the choice that Kelly made and the circumstances surrounding it.

    • nudeman - Sep 20, 2011 at 12:33 PM

      oldestguard,

      Well, we’ve beat the hell out of this issue, haven’t we?

      Look, it’s just my opinion (that they would be 3-0 with Crist), but obviously we’ll never know. But don’t get too carried away with Rees’ performance. He’s undeniably had some good stretches. But he personally turned the ball over 5 times (4 INTs and a fumble/whiffed pass) in 3 halfs vs USF and UM. There’s nothing great or even any damn good about that. NOTHING. In fact it stinks.

      So it’s not exactly stretching the bounds of reason to be of the opinion that:

      1) Crist would have done a better job of securing the ball. He had no INTs against USF and the one killer play (Gray’s goal line fumble) was no more his fault than mine or yours.
      2) Crist could have led the final drive comeback against UM. He did it last year before Denard won it for them.
      3) If they don’t have 2 INTs in the 2nd half against USF, they win. Period.
      4) If the QB doesn’t personally have 3 turnovers against UM, they win. Period.

      I don’t dislike Rees. I think he has real potential. But you can’t overlook that HIS turnovers have absolutely played a HUGE role in their 2 losses.

      At this point, I’d grade his performance at C+ or B-.

      • notredamegrad - Sep 20, 2011 at 1:04 PM

        nudeman, Crist did throw an INT against USF, to an LB in the end zone – the pass was intended for Riddick (I think), who had lost his footing on the route after being held onto by a defender after the ball was thrown. That INT was one of the reasons Crist started to look tentative and play like he didn’t trust his receivers. However, that’s still one turnover compared to Rees’s 3 in that game.

      • nudeman - Sep 20, 2011 at 1:08 PM

        notredamegrad
        You are quite correct.
        Crist not only threw an INT but it was an awful throw; soft and late over the middle. Riddick got held and ran a lousy route, but still I blame Dayne for that one.

        I stand corrected.

        Still … I think he got yanked prematurely.

      • oldestguard - Sep 20, 2011 at 1:32 PM

        Nudeman,

        Noone is saying Rees is top tier.

        However, he did respond better than Crist did when adversity hit in the first game.

        B- is probably a decent grade for him.

        I hope they both have a higher grade inside of them.

  22. dickasman - Sep 20, 2011 at 4:28 PM

    Despite all of my bitching and moaning and complaining about the team, I am thoroughly happy that we focking finally won. Win, lose or draw, we are humans with mouths, eyes, fingers, opinions, bungholes, and penises. We can and will continue to argue until we win the big one, can’t we?

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