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Live blog: Notre Dame vs. Florida State

Dec 29, 2011, 4:30 PM EDT

Michigan v Notre Dame Getty Images

We’ve had a month to get over the fact that the Irish won’t be playing in a BCS bowl game this season. But when the Champs Sports Bowl selected Notre Dame over a Big East team, they set up one of the most intriguing pairings of bowl season, with the Irish battling Florida State in a match-up high on intrigue and history.

No, this game probably won’t live up to the Game of the Century, but it’s our last time to watch guys like Michael Floyd, Harrison Smith and Darius Fleming take the field for the Irish. It’s also our last chance to watch Notre Dame play an actual football game until they set sail for Dublin next September.

So how about it? Once more, with feeling. As we have every game, we’ll be live-blogging as the Irish take on Florida State in Orlando at the Champs Sports Bowl. As usual, keep it clean, try to stay somewhat positive and get ready for some rapid fire live-blogging with me and a few thousand of your closest friends.

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  1. ihatemistate - Dec 29, 2011 at 9:43 PM

    Yup..downright embarrassing. Go on UND.com and email the athletic director. Kelly’s an idiot. I wish just once a player would lose it and scream at him when he makes a bonehead play call. That would be too funny.

  2. irishfan7 - Dec 29, 2011 at 9:51 PM

    Just a few observations/opinions:

    1) Coincidence that Greene was covered by Gray for the majority of his big catches?
    2) Why did we quit blitzing? It was the only thing that was working on D. We quit blitzing the 2nd half and they started scoring.
    3) I hope to NEVER see Tommy Rees under center again. He does not belong at this level… I don’t care what his record is.

    • ihatemistate - Dec 29, 2011 at 9:55 PM

      I noticed the Gray thing too, and the fact that we didn’t blitz them in the 2nd half. Not sorry to see Gray go. I am so disappointed in Kelly. I really thought we had a good coach for a change.

      • irishfan7 - Dec 29, 2011 at 10:09 PM

        Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve noticed a change in Cierre as the season progressed. Beginning of the season he ran with authority – hit the line with a burst. Later in the season, including tonight, he’s much more timid… Almost seems to be afraid of contact.

  3. brendanunderscoreg - Dec 29, 2011 at 9:57 PM

    Reading these comments makes me wish even more that Keith would publish the more ridiculous comments sent to him during the live blog. You guys are kind of crazy.

    • ihatemistate - Dec 29, 2011 at 10:03 PM

      Crazy?? At this point I think any of us could have called a better game than Kelly did tonight.

      • brendanunderscoreg - Dec 29, 2011 at 10:27 PM

        Thank you for writing that.

    • 9irish - Dec 29, 2011 at 10:32 PM

      I don’t get that. This is a bunch of people venting. What do you want, “Oh, golly gee, well, we’ll get em next year!”

      • brendanunderscoreg - Dec 29, 2011 at 10:38 PM

        No, I’d prefer you guys to go all in and hang an effigy of Kelly. And Rees. And Hendrix. And Te’o. And Floyd. And Goodman. And Diaco. And Swarbrick. And Fr. Jenkins. And the training staff.

        See where I’m going with this?

    • c4evr - Dec 29, 2011 at 10:54 PM

      Perhaps you would rather we all get our signs and tents and peacefully begin ‘Occupy South Bend’… real change only happens when you start calling for people’s heads. Of course, for those of you who agree with brendan_g, you have obviously already made the leap to accepting mediocrity. Perhaps we should take the encouraging approach (unlike Kelly, I might add), hoping and wishing our way back to prominence. I simply don’t like the fact that he is still making the same coaching mistakes he made in game one of season one under his watch. If you think he’s deserving of kid glove treatment on this board, show me your proof of where he’s made strides – ND still loses to elite teams and struggles way more than they should against teams they should easily beat. What’s more, he lacks the courage to take the blame that a head coach should. He routinely threw players under the bus in post game comments, and made a foolish distinction between his recruits and Weis’ recruits in the media. He is clearly in over his head and he will be out of a job this time next year. Defend him all you want, but, in the end, it’s really irrelevant what you, me, and the others say here – BK, himself, will be the architect of his own undoing.

      • brendanunderscoreg - Dec 29, 2011 at 11:20 PM

        Are you Rob from the live blog?

      • brendanunderscoreg - Dec 29, 2011 at 11:25 PM

        If we yell more ridiculous things maybe our players will run faster and tackle better?

      • mdcudahy - Dec 30, 2011 at 5:01 AM

        Thanks c4evr! Your mention of the way Kelly handles the excuses and blame (he has all the excuses, and everyone else gets all the blame) is my biggest bone of contention with the coach (play calling is a close second). I believe he’ll continue to make the same poor choices and continue to fail to inspire exceptional play, based on his attitude and refusal to accept any of the responsibility. An analogy would be an alcoholic…until they stand up and take responsibility and admit they have a problem…there can be no change. Madness is doing the same things in the same ways, and expecting different results!

      • irish4006 - Dec 30, 2011 at 5:02 PM

        c4evr, you don’t win without a qb. As much as I like Dayne Crist, he didn’t deliver as promised. I don’t know what would have happened if he stayed healthy and improved to become the quarterback we all hoped to see.

        Kelly had to make a choice and he felt he could win more with the less gifted with the 2 options as long as he limits the mental mistakes. Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out this way. To a lot of us, mistakes or not, Dayne was the better option. It was more like, anyone but Rees. We have to, at some point, accept that coaches have to make a decision and stick with it. He picked Rees and tried to make a qb out of him.

        How Rees ended up with a qb scholarship at ND, is mind boggling; but Kelly felt that he was the best option available. You can blend all the coaching of the world and serve Rees in his Jamba Juice every morning, but he will still need to execute on the field. Many of us have been saying this for months now, regardless of his record (which is misleading since football is a team sport and many wins we had were despite of him not because of him) and how nice of a kid he is, he is not a good qb. The sad thing is, Kelly didn’t have a lot of options.

        Kelly, I believe, is still way better than the last 3 (4, counting O’leary) coaches we hired. I kind of liked Ty, but he wasn’t recruiting well and the program was not improving. Charlie was a joke, not head coaching material by any stretch of imagination. He also left the program with some pretty unfit (poorly conditioned, slow, unmotivated) players and, in some cases, no depth at all. Kelly is, at least, recruiting well.

        I will join you in calling for his head if the team doesn’t improve next year, regardless of who we have at qb. 2 years is not nearly enough to assess a coach’s performance.

    • irish4006 - Dec 30, 2011 at 4:29 PM

      And you are? The voice of reason? Finally, we found you! Please don’t leave us, ever.

      • irish4006 - Dec 30, 2011 at 4:31 PM

        yes, undonebrendarscoreabcd, my comment was directed to you.

  4. jonathanfesler - Dec 29, 2011 at 10:24 PM

    I hate that switching QB’s allways have, breaks the rhythm that a team should be trying to establish as the game goes on? That last drive with 1st down and putting it up for grabs in the end zone? Even had they been successful, Fla St would have had plenty of time to answer? Honestly I’m losing faith in Coach Kelly? Goes back to that Tulsa game when he said get used to it! I don’t know about all you? But I’m beginning to have my doubts about the coach’s ability to coach Notre Dame?

    • brendanunderscoreg - Dec 29, 2011 at 10:29 PM

      That was a nice kickoff return by GAIII? That was also a dominating 1st half by our D? See? I can do that, too?

  5. cpfirish - Dec 29, 2011 at 10:30 PM

    well another ND season down the drain. Before i say this i like tommy but dam he is not able to get it done!! How long is kelly gon tp play this game with him!! tommy is not the qb we need to turn the offense around!! i mean come on he is not improving!! or is the problem brian kelly?? this switching qb is joke!! not impressed with kelly. 16-10 in two seasons not goin to get it done!! i really think EG will be a good qb for us!! lets hope TR does. play a down next year!! lets go EG step up for us next year!!

  6. oldndgrad - Dec 29, 2011 at 11:17 PM

    Bk outcoached again and called a terrible game.I guessed almost every play. What happened to the blitz? With all that time we made that qb look like an All American.Turnover Tommy was a disaster. Hendrix had his chance to excel and blew it. Worst pass defense in div 1.
    Unless Golson turns out to be something special it’s going to be same old, same old, what with next years schedule.
    If that’s the case then maybe it’s time to join a conference or go to div2. At least Kelly will be successful there.
    I know everyone’s upset but there are many right on terrific posts.

    • mdcudahy - Dec 30, 2011 at 5:03 AM

      Calling the dogs off on defense was the beginning of the end…end of story.

  7. lpageb - Dec 29, 2011 at 11:33 PM

    There were some things I didn’t like about Kelly’s play calling. You don’t start trying to run out the clock in the in the third quarter, up by 11; Stay on the attack. I don’t care how well the D is playing. Tommy Rees is a calm, collected guy; he has won 12 games for the Irish, and I like him. That said, he should have never received another snap after throwing a redzone interception on his first drive. I’d rather see Hendrix thrown into the fire, come what may. At least he has potential. Rees plateaued a while ago.

    But, let’s not overreact about Kelly. The QB play has been bad all year, and you can’t put that all on him. Overall, this team is improving under him. We’re getting good recruits. The defense is much, much improved, and the offense really just needs a reliable leader at the QB position. People need to stop looking for a cure-all. The rebuilding process is still underway, and that’s just how it is. The last thing ND needs is another massive upheaval. That could be disastrous.

    • irishfb05 - Dec 30, 2011 at 5:27 AM

      I agree give him some time the team is improving. The play calling will sometimes make you scratch your head but I think he feels the pressure to do to much because he knows the glaring weakness he has at the most important position. All in all tho the team is getting better we finally have a defense and as long as the current recruits stay committed Kelly is addressing the secondary

  8. ihatemistate - Dec 30, 2011 at 9:33 AM

    Pick a QB and go with it. This switching QB’s does neither of them any good. I actually felt bad for both of them. You’re not getting the best out of either one doing that. What confidence Rees had is gone. You can tell by the way he walks off the field. Kelly’s play calling made things worse. I thought of Tulsa all night. And no, the team isn’t improving. ND is getting very hard to watch for 3 hours. It’s too bad, they do have some great players. If I was a really good high school athlete, unless you just are going for the education, I wouldn’t even consider ND.

  9. ihatemistate - Jan 2, 2012 at 6:14 PM

    One thing I’ll say for Charlie Weiss, he did completely turn Maurice Stovall around. He lost weight, worked out and turned into a sleek, fast receiver; this after being callee “Slovall” by his Tyrone W teammates! He now plays for the Detroit Lions!!

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