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The good, the bad, the ugly: Notre Dame vs. Miami

Oct 7, 2012, 11:55 PM EDT

Cierre Wood, George Atkinson III

It’s a good day to be Irish. With Notre Dame creeping its way up the national polls and the defense among the best units in the country, there’s reason to believe in South Bend. With Stanford’s defense looking a little bit less dominant after giving up 617 yards and 48 points to Arizona, the Irish open as seven point favorites against the Cardinal.

Let’s close the book on Notre Dame’s impressive 41-3 victory over Miami, and run through the good, the bad, and the ugly.

THE GOOD

The offensive line play. It was a coming out party for Harry Hiestand’s guys. Against a defense that has struggled to stop anybody on the ground, Notre Dame absolutely broke the Hurricanes backs by running the ball at will in the second half.

Critics of Brian Kelly had to be smiling ear to ear when they saw the Irish game plan in the second half. After throwing the ball twice on Notre Dame’s six play, 81-yard scoring drive to open the half, the Irish didn’t attempt a forward pass for the rest of the game. (A quick pitch from Tommy Rees to George Atkinson counted as a pass that went for 21 yards.)

Notre Dame ran 19 times for 197 yards in the third quarter. They ran it 12 times for 73 more yards in the fourth and final quarter. With an extra week to prepare, the offensive line came to play and dominated the line of scrimmage as most fans hoped.

Cierre Wood. I’ve been wondering when Wood would take control of the running game and it looks like Saturday night might have been the start. The senior runner started the season off on the wrong foot, suspended two games for a violation of team rules, then struggled to get into a rhythm as he fought for reps with Theo Riddick and George Atkinson.

Wood seized control of the ground game on Saturday night, running 18 times of 118 yards and two touchdowns. With Theo Riddick held relatively in check and sitting out after a minor elbow injury, the ground game excelled with the team’s leading returning rusher.

George Atkinson. There’s nothing you can really say about Atkinson’s 55-yard touchdown burst other than WOW. That’s elite speed burning past a Miami secondary that you’d expect to have pretty good speed themselves.

It’s taken some time to figure out how to use Atkinson properly, but getting him to the edge of the defense is a good start. As Everett Golson gets more comfortable running the football and keeping the backside of opposing defenses honest, it can only help the Irish speedster as the season progresses. Next evolutionary step? Get him the ball on some wheel routes against a linebacker in coverage.

Cam McDaniel. I’m all for finding a way to get this kid more touches. Running behind the reserve offensive line, McDaniel looked smooth, explosive, and had great natural instincts. He’s Notre Dame’s version of Danny Woodhead.

Everett Golson. After watching the first three plays of the game after being late for a meeting, Golson steeped on the field and took charge of the Irish offense. He put up nice numbers passing and added an element to the offense when he kept the ball on the zone read. Golson’s 55 yards rushing helped open up the offense and will help against Stanford.

Kelly praised the work Golson did against the Hurricanes, particularly his ability to see pressure coming.

“He did some things in the second half that he had not done all year,” Kelly said. “He recognized pressure, did not run out of the pocket, stayed in there, delivered some balls on time.  If that continues to show itself, he’s going to be very, very difficult to defend because he’s got that confidence level and a strong arm that he can deliver the ball.”

Golson only threw two balls in the second half, dropping one off to Cierre Wood and then making a great read on a vertical throw to Davaris Daniels. But he also finally found and targeted Tyler Eifert in one-on-one coverage and made good decisions with the football, mandatory job requirements for a quarterback that’s playing with the Irish defense.

The Irish defense. There were no particularly dominating performances by Bob Diaco’s unit. But as we’re beginning to realize, this defense is greater than the sum of its parts. Even with Stephon Tuitt kept in check and Prince Shembo kept away from Stephen Morris, led by Manti Te’o’s ten tackles, the defense played wonderfully.

The 7.8 points a game they are giving up is now second only to Alabama. In five games, Notre Dame has only allowed three touchdowns, a remarkable number, especially considering the youth in the secondary.

Brian Kelly. It’s time to give the head coach his due. He’s created a football team that’s playing precisely how he wants it to play. The defense is remarkably stingy. The offense is playing to win the football game, doing it by ground or air. After turning the ball over far too much in 2011, Kelly has refocused his offense on doing the little things right and the result is a 5-0 start, doing so against one of the toughest schedules in the country.

THE BAD

Early deep ball struggles. If you’re looking for the formula against Notre Dame’s defense, Miami supplied it. Moving at a quick pace, Miami nearly caught the Irish flat-footed from the start, challenging the Irish vertically and nearly succeeding if Phillip Dorsett held onto the football. 

A week after Josh Nunes threw for 360 yards against Arizona, expect Stanford to challenge Notre Dame down the football field. You’ll likely see the same thing done at Oklahoma and especially with USC, who finally threw the ball down field against Utah, after working mostly horizontal for some befuddling reason to start the season.

THE UGLY

Other than the helmets? Not much to complain about. The Irish put a once-in-a-generation beating on Miami. They did their best to quiet any controversy at quarterback. They held an explosive offense to no touchdowns. And they’re the No. 7 team in the country.

Not too shabby.

  1. jmfinsd - Oct 8, 2012 at 12:16 AM

    Agree with all these observations, particularlly the TEAM defense. I was very impressed with the performace v. Miami. I want to point out one thing – the offense and particularly the OL. 2nd highest rushing yards total in school history shouldn’t be taken lightly. BUT here are Miami’s defensive rankings:

    Out of 120 FBS teams:
    Miami
    #118 – Total D
    #101 – Scoring D
    #116 – Rushing D
    #91 – Passing D
    #103 – Pass Eff. D
    #94 – 3rd down D
    #86 – Red Zone D
    #117 – First Downs allowed
    #102 – Sacks
    #116 – Time of Possession

    Great offensive work Saturday. But it has to be sustained. And I think it can be. Offense was impressive – Golson was impressive. Great throws, some obvious good reads, and he got involved in running game. He may not be the fastest running quarterback, but he is elusiveamd goves future defenses one more dimension to think about. I’m optimistic. GO IRISH! I believe.

    BTW – I was curious how other teams’ boards look, so I visited caneinsider after the game to see what they had to say. It was a disgrace. Despite the disagreements on this board, I don’t think we’ve gotten to the point of actually wishing anyone dead; Miami fans hate Lou.

  2. 1notredamefan - Oct 8, 2012 at 12:39 AM

    It’s just like poker… Ya get everyone on there heels and you can ride the drive…. we just can not let up i believe and have been for a long time that this was a process and we finally get to enjoy the fruition of BK’s Genius football mind!!!!

  3. andy44teg - Oct 8, 2012 at 1:10 AM

    Why Danny Woodhead?? Oh yeah…they’re both white RB’s….

  4. papadec - Oct 8, 2012 at 1:58 AM

    Regarding the “ugly” – the posts by loadofwash are getting very offensive. Keith, you need to do something there.

  5. jerseyshorendfan1 - Oct 8, 2012 at 2:27 AM

    Keith, I really didn’t think the helmets were all that bad. However, I may still be enjoying the afterglow of this win and that may be creating some bias. I will look at them again on Friday and get back to you. As it stands now, I really didn’t find them to be objectionable. I think they may be causing some 2013 and 2014 recruits to wonder, “What will my Shamrock Series uniforms look like?” That can only be a good thing. As always, nice job on the live blog…..I couldn’t fully enjoy it due to having a lot of company over (who were laughing, drinking my beer and, God forbid, talking during the game). I may put the tv and IPad in a dark closet next week to better enjoy the game. We will beat Stanford by two TDs.

  6. yaketyyacc - Oct 8, 2012 at 5:38 AM

    let us not forget that Stanford lost, just lost, to a very good Washington team. Is Notre Dame better then Stanford? Yes! However, if we do not raise our intensity level a couple of notches and improve our team speed on offense and defense, then Stanford like its brother Pac 12 member USC(you remember them) will immic USC, and leave Notre Dame Stadium, using the Notre Dame Football Team as the exit mat, with a victory.
    Yes Keith, give credit to Coach Kelly, he has EARNED it. And let us not forget Coach Diaco. AND let us not forget a team that has the other defensive coaches trying to figure out how to defense Notre Dame. Notre Dame Football team, you are making us so proud. Thanks to all of you.

  7. tampadomer - Oct 8, 2012 at 5:59 AM

    “don’t become infected with success” BK. I see everyone excited and talking BCS, but dang we need to take a deep breath as fans. We have A LOT of good football ahead of us and if things go our way, who knows what could happen. I know the 3rd year conspiracies are floating around too and I am all for being excited, but just live in the moment and enjoy our boys are 5-0.

    We gotta take it week by week knowing that every single team we play against hates us and is trying to ruin our year. Don’t overlook teams just ask FSU who played like garbage against NC State. I think Brian Kelly will do a good job with the players and keeping them humble. BUT what I do worry about is this>>>> ND stadium being brought to a silence because the opposing team is winning by a relatively small margin (10-17 points).

    Players feel excitement and the energy that fans bring to the stadium, and when faced with adversity and fans get down on the team, the players get down. So this bring me to my point. No matter what the score, if we are down or up, Take a staND and be loud because you never know what can happen in college football. I BELIEVE, GO IRISH, OUR TIME IS NOW, COLLEGE GAMEDAY, BEAT THE CARDINAL

    • tampadomer - Oct 8, 2012 at 6:02 AM

      Predictions – ND 20 – Stan – 13

      • andy44teg - Oct 8, 2012 at 10:22 AM

        I’m gonna go out on a limb and say ND 27 – Stanford 9…still no TD’s!..how ’bout them apples?

      • irish4006 - Oct 8, 2012 at 12:37 PM

        andy, you are still around? I thought you were taking a vacation from 2012 season and coming back in 2013 for the national championship? Even more surprising, you are predicting an 18 point win over Stanford. What happened to 8-4, 7-5 predictions because we were facing five, FIVE TEAMS, in top twenty five, TWENTY FIVE?

      • andy44teg - Oct 8, 2012 at 12:44 PM

        Irish4006

        If you recall I said I’d be very happy to admit that I was wrong, if and when I am wrong. Mathematically speaking I can still be right. I doubt I will be and hope I will be. I think it’s safe to say, though, that being 5-0 is a surprise to probably most of the people here.

      • irish4006 - Oct 8, 2012 at 12:54 PM

        It’s all good, man! As long as we are playing well, everyone is happy; some more surprised than the others.

        We are yet to play some very good teams, anything can happen. I still think Stanford game is winnable and OU and USC are toss-ups. It will all depend on how well we click on offense, those two are scary teams.

      • gtizzo - Oct 9, 2012 at 11:24 AM

        Good Prediction I don’t expect a lot of scoring and the defensive should carry they day.

    • tburke9601 - Oct 9, 2012 at 12:57 PM

      One quick note, the FSU loss was the old ND. At the end of a close football game, you must be able to control the ball, control the clock and pick up first downs! FSU couldn’t. The old ND couldn’t! The new ND? look at MSU and UM again to see the last drives of the game!

      My biggest concern is the fact that ND has not trailed yet in a game. We have no idea if we have the offense to get us back into a game if we need to. ’cause I can guarantee we will not be ahead in every game this year.

  8. notredave - Oct 8, 2012 at 6:15 AM

    The ugly? Notre Dame fans who can’t let the catholic vs convicts nonsense go. Most of these kids weren’t even born when that was going on . Grow the f@#k up already. It’s what Jesus would do. And yes…the helmets were ugly.

    • andy44teg - Oct 8, 2012 at 10:26 AM

      C’mon, notredave! That slogan is hillarious! I think you’re taking life a tad too serious! I’m sure Jesus had a sense of humor…he was great at everything else…why wouldn’t he be super funny, too?

      • 9irish - Oct 8, 2012 at 2:11 PM

        I still think it’s funny. Ever watch “30 for 30″? Miami MADE that image of themselves, so you get what you pay for.

    • nudeman - Oct 8, 2012 at 11:03 AM

      Got to agree there
      For whatever reason the Catholics vs Convicts thing has always struck me as a tad sanctimonious on ND fans’ part
      Let it go

    • runners00 - Oct 8, 2012 at 12:15 PM

      I agree, Dave, the slogan is terrible for a lot of reasons.

      It’s elitist and arrogant and represents a side of Notre Dame that should remain in the past (keep in mind that this is an institution that was not allowed to join the Big Ten back in the day because of the conference’s focus on white, upper-class Anglicans — conflicting w/ ND’s diverse student background and fan following).

      That said, Miami is a team that, very recently, was charged with essentially hiring prostitutes to satisfy the needs of recruits and players. It had a booster who took high-end recruits to wild yacht parties and the like. Miami hasn’t changed much since the Miami of the 1980s — other than this group of kids just got smoked by Notre Dame.

      But we should still put the elitist slogan to bed. . . .

      • ndfaithful - Oct 8, 2012 at 6:34 PM

        I don’t think it was ‘elitist’ or ‘arrogant’ at all. I think it was non politically correct kids coming up with a really funny t-shirt. I don’t think anybody is considering using it for the University mission statement, but it makes for a great college t-shirt.

    • joeymagarac - Oct 8, 2012 at 3:00 PM

      It’s the media that isn’t letting the “Catholics vs. Convicts” theme go. I don’t know any ND fans who care about it at all. It only seemed to come up in news articles – or Alex Flanagan’s presentation during the game – and the reporters all admitted that it was an old theme and that none of the players had been alive when it was an issue.

      • notredave - Oct 8, 2012 at 3:21 PM

        You need to check out some social media sites/sports sites if you think that there aren’t fans that aren’t keeping it alive. And what’s with all the thumbs down fellas? Don’t you all remember me saying I was sensitive to that stuff?

    • ndfaithful - Oct 8, 2012 at 6:29 PM

      LOL,

      I need to add your comments to my all time dumbest list with Jimbasil and C4evr.

      You actually used: “Grow the f@#k up already. It’s what Jesus would do.” perfect. I can hear Jesus saying it right now – NOT. “Hey, Peter, grow the…”

      Besides, Catholics vs. Convicts is classic and funny. Totally different from anything you’ve said. You sound like Michael Irvin talking to himself in a room full of cocaine and hookers.

      • c4evr - Oct 8, 2012 at 7:52 PM

        Now that I know how you choose your ‘stupid comments’ list, I am honored to be on it. You clearly talk out of both sides of your mouth. On one hand, you are all about the here and now and won’t listen to facts or history… and then you want to hang on to some sophomoric t-shirt slogan that, quite frankly was funny for all of 15 seconds and then just became this anthem that made those who needed it feel superior to those who actually fielded a superior team (as much as I loathe Jimmy J, it’s nonetheless true). But i forget, ndfaithful, sophomoric is actually a step forward for you – my apologies.

      • ndfaithful - Oct 8, 2012 at 7:59 PM

        Don’t worry C4 – you’re still at the top of the list. and climbing.
        Although – I was glad to see your recent post that were dead wrong about BK. It’s something I’ve been pointing out all season. Give it time, as you grow up, you’ll start to see this thread differently too.

      • ndfaithful - Oct 8, 2012 at 8:16 PM

        Hey C4Sht, ?
        What facts am I missing anyway? Are there facts about Jesus throwing around the F-bomb that I missed. If so, you’re right and I missed it. Other than that, what facts and history have I overlooked?

        Start typing – I have my pen ready to add your comments to my list. :)

  9. mmcss690 - Oct 8, 2012 at 7:21 AM

    Taking a moment to reflect, I all too well remember reading these articles last year, where the bad and the ugly were the bulk of Keith’s Review. How awesome it is to read about success! I barely sat down the entire game, pacing the floor during commercials, and trying not to guzzle my cold beverages!
    Call me different but I loved the uniforms including the helmets! It was awesome to watch Cam run all over the Canes. He needs to see more touches. I for one believe he would prove to be tougher to stop than most people think…he can take the hits and come back for more!
    GO IRISH!

  10. mtflsmitty - Oct 8, 2012 at 8:33 AM

    Re LOW…This guy is so obviously just trying to get a rise out of people here. Just don’t comment on his remarks, don’t give his thumbs down, and don’t hide behind Keith’s skirt. Simply ignore him completely and it won’t be any fun for him anymore.

  11. dbldmr - Oct 8, 2012 at 8:36 AM

    I’m breathlessly awaiting loadofwash’s take. I was at Soldier Field on Saturday and encountered his Miami counterpart who wandered into the area between sections 105 and 104 and delivered loadofwash’s most devastating line, “You suck”. Perhaps load’s mom let him out of the basement for a couple of hours.

  12. irish9314 - Oct 8, 2012 at 8:43 AM

    I know this was stated in the article but I LOVED pounding the ball time and time again in the second half. True smash mouth football. They knew what was coming, but we didn’t care and kept running the ball until they could stop it, which ended up being that they couldn’t. I also LOVE woods comment after the game…

    “They were all upbeat and jumping and all that stuff in the beginning,” Wood said of Miami, which held the Irish to 28 rushing yards in the first quarter.

    And then?

    “But when you smack a team so many times in the mouth, eventually they’re going to want to stop playing, and that’s what happened today.”

    GO IRISH!

    • irishfan0866 - Oct 8, 2012 at 11:01 AM

      I couldn’t agree more. As I sat in the stands with my son, it became very clear that Miami “gave up” with regards to trying to stop our awesome running attack. I was sitting comfortably in the Miami section in 348 as we just pounded them into submission. The view of GA turning the corner and leaving the “supposedly fast” Miami secondary in his dust was incredible. The crowd in our section put down the “U” hands and slowly exited Soldier Field. It was a site to see. Last thing….walking out of the stadium after that game with all the ND faithful cheering and chanting, WE ARE ND and HERE COME THE IRISH in the tunnels of Chicago brought back memories of years gone by leaving Notre Dame stadium with that same type of enthusiasm coming from fans….keep it up this weekend as our defense led by #5 quiets the Cardinal offense and the IRISH keep rolling…GO IRISH……….

  13. joeschu - Oct 8, 2012 at 9:24 AM

    I want to add to KA’s praise for Coach Kelly, and I hope Nudeman joins me in this because we drew very similar conclusions last year.

    Over the last 2 years, I’d spend many Sundays and Mondays lamenting the (mis)handling of the QB situation, stupid penalties and mental errors. I’d get worked up mid-week when I’d hear a WTF quote like, “Get used to it,” or “Not my guys.” While I wasn’t calling for Kelly’s head because I knew it would kill the program to make another change or talk of hot seats, I wasn’t bought in.

    Stupid and wrong. I can’t begin to tell you how happy I am to be proven wrong by this year’s team. They’re heady, smart, resilient, and reaping the rewards that come with that. They still don’t block anyone on punt returns, but maybe they’ll even figure that one out someday too.

    Coach Kelly spoke of a process and educating young men on how to stop losing so they could start winning. Now he’s hammering the “play to win” mentality into a group of guys with incredible leadership from a once-in-a-generation senior linebacker. “The little things” matter again in this program. I’m thrilled.

    I’m not ready to scream for 6 year extensions or go naming children after him (I have a 9 yr old son named Ty, I learned that lesson). However, I’m completely ready to give up my “not bought in on BK” stance.

    • andy44teg - Oct 8, 2012 at 10:20 AM

      joeschu

      I literally laughed out loud for a good 10 seconds reading your 9 yr old son’s name is Ty comment. Good stuff. Any dogs or cats named Charlie that you had to put down simply b/c you couldn’t stand saying that name anymore??

      • joeschu - Oct 8, 2012 at 11:52 AM

        He’s a good kid and a hard worker, so he’s good.

        I’m the type of guy where “decided schematic advantage” made me throw up in my mouth (how un-Lou can you get), so there were no pets put down.

      • c4evr - Oct 8, 2012 at 5:15 PM

        CW may not have done much to serve the ND community, but he is responsible for T’eo… for that he can be exonerated, if only partially.

    • bblack55 - Oct 8, 2012 at 10:35 AM

      I’ve been on the Kelly bandwagon from day one and never wavered (not even Tulsa, though that was tough). The improvements in this team after Kelly’s arrival were swift and effective. Two of my biggest complaints about the previous regime were attitude and conditioning, which Kelly addressed right up front. Team speed was another issue and we can see where that’s going. The current situation is not a dramatic turnaround, as I read somewhere. Take away two ill-timed turnovers and two stupid penalties (FSU and UM) and the 2011 team is 10-2 – both turnovers and penalties seem to be corrected, presumable with some help by the coaching staff.
      I’m not ready to anoint the Irish as NCs yet -10-2 (my pre-season prediction) will still be very respectable – but running the table is certainly doable. What’s more exciting is looking down the road. One of Kelly’s strengths seems to be recognizing these kid’s potential and then developing it. Golson is one example, but the defensive secondary is classic – only one experienced guy behind the LBs and yet we have a defense that’s somewhere around #20 in pass defense (just guessing here). By January these guys will have a full season behind them and be the veterans. We have depth across the board we haven’t seen since the 80s. Next year we take a hit at OL and LB, but look at the 2013 class. We have a BCS-caliber QB sitting on the bench, of whom Kelly has already said “I wouldn’t be afraid to start him”. And another one coming in.
      No, Kelly was absolutely the best choice ND could have made, both as a coach and as a representative of Notre Dame. It’s good to be Irish.

      • irish4006 - Oct 8, 2012 at 12:50 PM

        bblack, couldn’t agree more. To me the ongoing progress is the biggest thing. We are truly building, from ground up, a good team. I don’t jump on BCS or bust, NC 2012 kind of bandwagons… I want to see a team that is a permanent fixture in the top 10 and competes year in and year out. As Madden once said (or, was it Frand Caliendo?), “if you are the undefeated team after the playoffs, you are the super bowl champions”; if we keep winning, we will see where we land by the end of the year. The goal should be, always, winning games, everything else is just noise.

        In the next few years, if ND becomes the team that can not only reach the BCS/NC games, but convincingly win them; won’t that be something?

    • nudeman - Oct 8, 2012 at 11:10 AM

      joe schu
      Agree completely
      I have always been on his bandwagon but last year with the QB mess and the horribly undisciplined play gave me pause. Several times here I asked “Was it an anomaly or is he just not what we thought?”
      Appears it was an anomaly

      They play tough, hard physical football
      We really haven’t seen this since Lou

      Last point: They are 5-0 because they have been playing well in all three phases (O, D, ST), not turning it over and playing for 60 minutes.
      Ty’s first season was a fluke with special teams winning games
      Charlie’s first season turned out to be a mirage as we would lear in ensuing years they were one of the most poorly conditioned teams in the NCAA

      I really think BK has done it from ground up and this is for real

      • joeschu - Oct 8, 2012 at 11:59 AM

        There was so much “fools gold” in this program:

        Lou was “past his time” and Davie was the hot young prospect
        O’Leary was the perfect guy
        Willingham had awoken the echoes
        Weis was bringing NFL swagger

        All this “chasing the dream” led to ignoring the real problem: culture. Coach Kelly said he was building the basis of a winning culture and that it was a process. I’m not going to go all revisionist and say it has been perfect, nor should anyone be booking hotels for the title game just yet. However, I agree that we’re building something that seems to be on a solid foundation, not just propping up a season or two on quicksand.

        Now if we could just block on a PR… although we do need SOMETHING to complain about around here ;-)

    • c4evr - Oct 8, 2012 at 5:27 PM

      Open letter to the board,

      No one has been a bigger detractor than myself when it comes to Kelly. I’ve posted links to videos of Holtz and Kelly to show greatness and a wannabe. I’ve hammered at BK for his thoughtless post game comments, his unaccountability, his QB fiasco. If I’d known what he wore in the office, I’d have knocked his wardrobe as well. But I’m here now to state that I was myopic (something I often called BK supporters), impatient, and flat out wrong. Even if the lose a few going down the stretch, Kelly is the right guy and is a good coach (who is also smart enough to surround himself with good coaches). Here’s to the ongoing resurgence of the Fighting Irish.

      • nudeman - Oct 8, 2012 at 7:31 PM

        Wow.

        Other than the 5-0 record, what specifically is responsible for this shocking turn around in your assessment?

        And more importantly, if they lose to SU this wk and BK makes a couple play calls you don’t like, will you jump off the bandwagon?

      • nudeman - Oct 8, 2012 at 7:34 PM

        Anyone think satellite trucks are lined up outside c4ever’s house, trying to get a comment?

      • c4evr - Oct 8, 2012 at 8:03 PM

        No, I do not have inoperable cancer…
        No, I am not going through my 12 step personal inventory…

        I simply am a late comer to the reality party. The truth is that the program IS growing under BK. The other truth is that ND would be on life support if Swarbrick had to look for another coach. I still have yet to see evidence that he can inspire kids, but he can recruit and he can coach on the field. And in the inimitable words of Meatloaf… 2 outta 3 ain’t bad. But if he walks backwards with his thumb up his @#$, then I’ll probably pull a Romney and flip again. Until then, I’ve officially dropped the Kelly bashing.

      • ndfaithful - Oct 8, 2012 at 8:06 PM

        :)

        Little C4 is growing up. I’m so proud of what he’s becoming.

      • nudeman - Oct 8, 2012 at 8:10 PM

        ” Until then, I’ve officially dropped the Kelly bashing.”

        Excuse me, but this is not terribly convincing. You must be a Romney strategist

        You’re allowed to stand, not sit, on the bandwagon
        And don’t get too comfortable

      • dmac4real - Oct 8, 2012 at 9:00 PM

        “I still have yet to see evidence that he can inspire kids,”

        Watch on of the 5 icon videos from this year.

        Id be willing to bet this cat jumps off the BK bandwagon as soon as we get one loss.

      • c4evr - Oct 8, 2012 at 9:02 PM

        If you want to know the truth, Sinister23 came round and I figured if he was willing to budge, then I’d better take a look at the man in the mirror, stop seeing things in Black or White, realize that BK was not that Bad, and quit telling him to Beat It. It’s just my Human Nature to Wanna be Startin’ Somethin’, but this team is such a Thriller and, after all, We Are The World.

    • runners00 - Oct 9, 2012 at 9:45 AM

      Love this post. Ty must be a great kid and loyal ND follower.

  14. loadofwashmother - Oct 8, 2012 at 9:36 AM

    As anybody seen my son? Loadofwash , the restaurant called and said the other dishwasher didn’t show up and if he could show up earlier to work ! Thanks guys

  15. bogtrotter07 - Oct 8, 2012 at 9:53 AM

    Keith, I would certainly like to see additional credit given to the poor offensive linemen belegard with a preponderence of blame for the running game woes, by the majority of Irish fans, when it seems as if it was an offensive timing issue. These guys have as tough of job as anyone on the field, and “only get credit when thing go wrong.” Here is to the O-line, unsung heroes. Bogs.

    • oldestguard - Oct 8, 2012 at 11:10 AM

      Those O-line guys, just throw ‘em an extra piece of raw meat and they’ll be happy.

      In actuality, Kelly did award them the game ball – and rightly so.

      Having Eifert and Niklas throwing their weight in there too doesn’t hurt.

    • c4evr - Oct 8, 2012 at 4:45 PM

      You do know they were running against ND’s ’07 defense Saturday night, yes?

  16. alsatiannd - Oct 8, 2012 at 10:21 AM

    One thing still befuddles me about this team and it’s my perpetual vote for Ugly. How come the punt return team continues to not block a single guy? Neal fair catches it every time surrounded by 7 guys within 2 yards of him. At some point a game is going to come down to field position and the other team’s 45 yard punt/0 return and our 35 yard punt/15 yard return is going to be the difference in the game.

    It’s a mystery.

    • joeschu - Oct 8, 2012 at 12:00 PM

      It is clearly Goodman’s fault.

    • c4evr - Oct 8, 2012 at 4:43 PM

      What alsat said X2

  17. getsome99 - Oct 8, 2012 at 11:36 AM

    I thought Nude finally turned a corner on his “QB mess” soapbox. Again, the problem at ND has never been QB. ND get’s the best ones every other year it seems. The problem has been discipline and defense. 2 areas that seem to be fixed under Kelly’s helm ad proving that it doesn’t matter who plays QB.

    • joeschu - Oct 8, 2012 at 12:05 PM

      I’m sorry, but dead wrong.

      The problem was most certainly QB. Coaching, maturity, and a talent upgrade has dramatically decreased the turnovers and turned that position from one of weakness to at least a neutral with a positive trend line.

      It matters, and it will matter more as the competition stiffens the rest of this month. Hopefully, the upgrade in performance at that position will show through as we go through some great teams and environments.

    • runners00 - Oct 8, 2012 at 12:20 PM

      last year, by this point in the season, Tommy Rees had a gajillion turnovers. Yes, who is quarterbacking matters. It’s not like we need the best QB in the land but we cannot have horribly-timed turnovers the way that we did last year.

    • nudeman - Oct 8, 2012 at 2:26 PM

      “… proving that it doesn’t matter who plays QB.”

      Seriously, does ANYBODY believe that?

      If that’s the case, why not play a walk-on at QB and save the scholarship for another DL?

    • c4evr - Oct 8, 2012 at 4:42 PM

      I hear what you’re saying getsome99, but I think you might want to go back and revisit Willingham’s ’02 team. Defense and discipline, unfortunately, can’t push the football over the goal line…

    • ndfaithful - Oct 8, 2012 at 6:51 PM

      “the problem at ND has never been QB”
      “…it doesn’t matter who plays QB.”

      Are you freakin’ mental? That’s rediculous.

  18. getsome99 - Oct 8, 2012 at 11:40 AM

    Suggested reading for Nudeman and his other aliases on this site: “Take Your Eye Off the Ball”, by Pat Kirwan. It will change the way you watch the game.

    • nudeman - Oct 8, 2012 at 2:27 PM

      Please fill me in … what are my other aliases?

  19. bearcatirishfan - Oct 8, 2012 at 11:54 AM

    Been on the Kelly bandwagon since he took over my bearcats and never flinched, ok Tulsa had me confused. I’ve consistently said that if he could do it there in OSU’s backyard then he could do it here. Welcome aboard, although I have to say the beer is colder and tastes just a little better in the dining car this year.

  20. don74 - Oct 8, 2012 at 12:04 PM

    Loved the unis and the helmets.

    Watched the game at a game watch and met Luke Neal, Davonte’s dad. Very nice man with a lot to say. As I am not a reporter our conversation will not be posted but I will say he is impressed with the all the coaches and the way his son is being integrated into the program.

    • Jennifer - Oct 8, 2012 at 1:38 PM

      That had to be fun. Always good to hear news like that from a Dad.

  21. psmyth1nd2011 - Oct 8, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    In case anyone was interested, the game is up on youtube

  22. c4evr - Oct 8, 2012 at 4:38 PM

    ‘Critics of Brian Kelly had to be smiling ear to ear when they saw the Irish game plan in the second half.’

    : D

  23. irishking - Oct 8, 2012 at 5:15 PM

    Tickled about the Irish and how they put it all together on Saturday night at Soldier Field. An amazing performance! Now for Stanford which will be passing the ball more than a bunch of hungry sailors passing the potatoes and gravy in mess hall.

  24. gtizzo - Oct 9, 2012 at 11:22 AM

    Your worried about the defense against Stanford because of early deep balls during the Miami game…please lets not be silly! Keep in mind Stanford beat Arizona not exactly a defensive power house, I would content Golson could throw from 360 yards against them also. Deep throws are not who Stanford is they are going to attempt to get it going running the ball.

  25. frankb51 - Oct 9, 2012 at 2:53 PM

    keith,

    why doesnt devonte neal do more on the offense rather than just fielding punts. would love to see him on the bubble screen, end around, something to exploit his speed.

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