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Shaw talks challenges of going to South Bend

Oct 11, 2012, 2:11 AM EDT

David Shaw

Even though David Shaw hasn’t lost to Notre Dame in three years, that doesn’t mean he’s taken the game against the Irish lightly. In fact, Shaw — just like Brian Kelly — settled in to his media obligations a few minutes late. He was studying Manti Te’o.

Shaw talked about what his Cardinal face in No. 7 Notre Dame, especially the Irish’s defensive leader.

“I’ve seen a certain No. 5 run around and make plays from sideline to sideline,” Shaw told Sirius XM’s Mad Dog Radio. “Sometimes that five looks like an “S” on his chest.”

During his teleconference, Shaw expanded on what made Te’o one of college football’s best players.

“He’s got as good of instincts as anybody I’ve seen on this level,” Shaw said. “He reads the quarterback so well. He’ll get a jump on a pass and he’ll get a jump on the run play.

““His acceleration from Point A to Point B has to be the best in college football. Once he sees it and diagnoses it, it doesn’t matter, sideline-to-sideline, he can get after you.”

With ESPN’s College GameDay in town and the Cardinal playing in front of a sellout crowd in Notre Dame Stadium, Shaw talked about the preparation needed to go into South Bend and come out with a victory.

“We go into it with a mentality of toughness,” Shaw said. “You’re going to have to be tough, you’re going to have to withstand a lot. The fans, the players, emotional swings, you’re not going to get a call here or there. It comes down to playing your technique, playing very smart, making plays when you need to make plays. Don’t turn the ball over.

“It’s all those simple training camp things. When you boil down to it, if you can do all those things you worked on in training camp you’ll have a chance to win. It’s when you think you have to do something special, something outside of the offense or defense, go on your own and make a play, outside of the structure of what we’re doing, that never works.”

Getting back to the basics is needed for the Cardinal after a disappointing defensive performance last week against Arizona. With the Irish not necessarily the same animal as the Wildcats offensively, though they do share roots in the spread offense, Shaw talked about the challenges of stopping the Irish offense, a week after they ran for 376 yards.

“I think the difference is these guys can rotate backs that can hurt you,” Shaw said. “They have three backs that if you give them a crease, they can take it the distance: Riddick, Atkinson and Wood. These are really good running backs.

“We’ve got to be in our gaps. We need to be where we need to be and we can’t miss tackles. You miss a tackle on these guys and you’re lining up for a PAT.”

Shaw was equally complimentary about the defense, especially the play of defensive tackle Louis Nix anchoring the middle.

“They’ve got very good defensive line play right now,” Shaw said. “I think Louis Nix is special. I think he’s got a chance to be one of those really high round draft pick guys as he continues to grow and develop.

“When you have a great player on the defensive line and a great player at linebacker, you can make a lot of things happen. They do a good job of playing smart. You don’t see them give up a lot of big plays. They keep the ball in front of them.  Their safeties don’t miss tackles. They’ll play deep and they’ll come up and hit you and they don’t miss tackles. They play very smart, sound football.”

  1. dickasman - Oct 11, 2012 at 2:21 AM

    I expect nothing less then a firm 4 horsemanpounding! These guys are Michigan state on steroids with a brain. I expect us to handle them, no problemo.

  2. 818irish - Oct 11, 2012 at 2:29 AM

    I see this game as a bigger test than either Oklahoma or USC.

    With that said, ND will turn yet another corner and get the win.

    Golson will be the “X Factor” that the Stanford defense will not be able to account for.

    ND defense will force Nunes off his spot which is the key to beating the Stanford offense.

    Go Irish!

    • seadomer - Oct 11, 2012 at 12:02 PM

      Why is red tree a bigger test than Ok and SC??

      Isn’t Golson’s X factor and ND defense going to be key in beating Ok and SC too???

  3. c4evr - Oct 11, 2012 at 3:28 AM

    The Cardinal defense won’t be as porous as the ‘Canes, so I hope we establish the running gam early this week (can we get Cam some more meaningful minutes). And it would be nice to get Eifert some touches. On D, of course (Super)Manti will be roaming the field. From where I sit, it’s looking like ND 31 Stanford 16 – I think the Irish finally surrender a touchdown this week.

    • irishbornraised - Oct 11, 2012 at 3:36 AM

      I’d love to see Cam getting minutes, hopefully in the same way he did last week…

    • mayo1010 - Oct 11, 2012 at 9:52 AM

      c4evr: haven’t heard much lately from you regarding your repeated bashing of BK and your insistence that ND would NEVER be an elite team under BK? What gives? Could it be your were WRONG? You insisted that you were only telling the truth and that BK was way over his head! Boy how could one person be so wrong! LMAO!

      • nudeman - Oct 11, 2012 at 10:46 AM

        You must have missed the big news. C4 posted the other day that he now loves BK

        I doubt it has much staying power though. In fact I foresee something like this:
        – 1st series 2nd half of close game (vs. Stanford)
        – 2nd and 7; BK calls the read option. It gains 3 yards
        – C4 explodes, throws shit at the tv, calls SB police in attempt to have BK arrested for bad play calling

        In other words, C4 is still who we THOUGHT he was

      • c4evr - Oct 11, 2012 at 12:36 PM

        No throwing things or calling the police. We here in TN aren’t so subtle… we just put up for sale signs in the front yard of coach’s home ( or call for a moving van to pull up outside if it was a particularly egregious loss). But, while living in SEC country and trying not to adopt the base fanaticism here, I still hold fast to my kinder, gentler approach to BK. That train has left the station and even if they lose half their remaining games, my little voice of dissension won’t amount to much in the end. So why bother with the high blood pressure – interesting how the emergence of this philosophy coincides with my 20th wedding anniversary. There’s an old Zen saying that sums it up: You can’t stop birds from flying overhead, but you can keep them from making a nest in your hair.

        Go Irish! And bring on the Kelly green jerseys!

      • c4evr - Oct 11, 2012 at 12:46 PM


        Still not convinced he’ll be an elite coach, but he’ll make that case over time. I hope I am wrong… I’ve got no axe to grind. His off the field demeanor and character were always my biggest complaints. It just didn’t seem the ND way of handling things. But then George Gipp was a drunkard who rarely went to class and is now considered a legend, so it really doesn’t matter in the end. I’ve simply sifted out my feelings about the man as opposed to the coach, and truth is he’s a good coach…. Great? Well time will tell and I’ll be happy to eat crow when he proves me wrong.

      • mayo1010 - Oct 11, 2012 at 12:52 PM

        I don’t know if your kidding or not regarding C4 changing his tune on BK but he’s not getting off that easy…check out just a couple of his posts regarding BK. Belittling anybody that didn’t see it his way. Pretty pathetic in my mind. Really, check these C4evr posts out from about a month ago.

        “c4evr – Sep 9, 2012 at 5:37 PM
        At least we agree on one thing, this is a pointless conversation. And for the record, my point was never penalties or turnovers or team discipline. I am simply pointing out that Kelly does not have what it takes to be an elite coach. He recruits well, his coaching is questionable at best, but he can not, and will never, inspire his players. That’s the bottom line. You can spout all the statistics and useless game rhetoric all you want, but BK will never be an elite coach in D1 football. He’s in way over his head. People like you represent the saddest component of the fans who pin their hopes on this being the man to restore Notre Dame to past glory. At least, judging by the number of people that agree with you, you won’t be alone in your suffering.”


        “c4evr – Sep 10, 2012 at 3:26 PM
        ndfai(l)thful and mayo(naise)1010,

        Thanks for opening my eyes and setting me free of this abyss. I realize I am a one trick pony, but when the problem stems from the very well from which everything springs. I guess it only needs stating once. Funny thing about truth, it doesn’t need any validation – it just is. I can now shed my pathetic and sad spot here in front of my computer and leave it to brighter lights such as yourselves, for you both lead much richer and more textured lives than I. Enjoy the clinging to the ‘hope and change’ mantra that flows through the truly misdirected Kelly supporters. My ranting, I’m certain, has no effect other than to elicit responses from you, more enlightened souls, but I call it the way I see it. And the way I see it – it doesn’t matter who’s under center, it doesn’t matter who’s running the ball, it doesn’t matter who’s catching the ball, Notre Dame will never be an elite team under Kelly. You don’t even have to compare to any past ND coach, just look at what Mora is doing this year with Neuheisel’s players at UCLA. Yeah, wait… how could you see it, when you continue to view things through your myopic, narrow lenses. Have fun with your rocket ascent to mediocrity under the anointed one.”

        His self proclaimed Guru, Coach Jim Mora is 2-2 since these prophetic (i mean ignorant) comments. Come on dude….just say you were/are really really really wrong. A real man admits when he is wrong! Ball is in your court.

      • c4evr - Oct 11, 2012 at 1:20 PM

        Now, see that’s just my point, and thank you Mayo for helping make it. I was holding BK under the microscope with which you now hold my comments. Do I now think he’ll be an elite coach? No… Don’t think he has the character for a sustainable run. Heck, even Dan Devine won a NC, yet he’s never mentioned with the greats. Will he throw players under the bus again? Not likely now that they are winning. But you don’t see his gunslinger approach anymore either, no more freshman heaves into the endzone when a field goal wins. I do think he’s learned and been humbled. Make no mistake, ND is where they are primarily because of Diaco and T’eo, the offensive guru has yet to produce the goods in a consistent manner. But it’s more than coaching, frankly Kelly lost me with his non-accountability in the Sullivan accident. It was inexcusable.. That colored many of comments for a very long time. But this is college football, big business these days and winning covers a multitude of sins. While I know history is written by the winners, we all know that there’s more to the story than what’s recorded on Wikipedia. Adversity reveals a person’s true character, and, in my opinion, BK was found lacking.

      • tburke9601 - Oct 11, 2012 at 2:23 PM

        c4evr: “You can’t stop birds from flying overhead, but you can keep them from making a nest in your hair.” it would be better if it went like “You can’t stop birds from flying overhead, but you can keep them from crapping on your head.

        Never been worried about a nest, but always duck and cover. Seen way to many people get crapped on before!

      • nudeman - Oct 11, 2012 at 2:48 PM

        Re: Declan Sullivan, I don’t remember anything Kelly did or said that made me gasp in disbelief.

        Keep in mind he most likely was told by the AD and legal counsel what he could and couldn’t say. Those are the times we live in.

        Also, when Matt James died (a young man who I don’t think BK ever ever met), he went to the funeral, said all the right things and was a great representative for ND in every way. Maybe you can be more specific, but I don’t understand where your heartburn about this stuff comes from.

        He’s also definitely toned it down on the sidelines as well.

      • c4evr - Oct 11, 2012 at 3:40 PM

        Sorry for not getting back sooner, the iPad died mid-rant…

        Mayo – here’s the Mea Culpa that you apparently missed:

        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.


        Regarding Sullivan’s accidental death, it was more what Kelly didn’t say. There was no, “with gail force winds, there is no reason that kid should be up there.” Ultimately, it was his call and he dropped the ball. A deeper – and more thoughtful – issue was addressed by a student at the time. I won’t re- point that Kelly was under so much pressure to produce on the field that even common sense judgment calls were blurred… that to me is a character issue:

      • c4evr - Oct 11, 2012 at 3:45 PM

        “I won’t re- point that Kelly was under”.

        Accidentally deleted part of a sentence – should read, ” I won’t re-post here because it is lengthy, but it illuminates my point that Kelly was under…”

      • nudeman - Oct 11, 2012 at 4:12 PM


        OF COURSE he didn’t say that.

        That is EXACTLY what I meant by being counseled by the legal staff. To have “he shouldn’t have been up there” is an immediate AND PUBLIC admission of culpability, and the skies around the Sullivan house would have darkened with every sleazy personal injury att’y coming into town.

        You can’t blame ND for trying to control the situation and mitigate its liability. Would you have handled it differently?

        This is my feeling: BK is a decent man and has raised a family of his own and nearly lost his wife to breast cancer. As a good human being he absolutely MUST HAVE had some sleepless nights over losing Declan Sullivan. And no doubt he felt some personal responsibility. But he was constrained as to what he could say for public consumption.

        If you don’t understand the gap between what can be said publicly and what can be said and done privately, then you are really naive.

      • c4evr - Oct 11, 2012 at 10:40 PM

        Even though I don’t think there was ever a question of culpability, sadly, I think you are correct… on both counts.

      • joeschu - Oct 12, 2012 at 9:19 AM

        Nude: One technicality – Coach Kelly definitely met Matt James. He was a Cincinnati (Moeller) kid. Doesn’t change the validity of your point, but hey, this is the Internet where we get to show off with useless facts/trivia.

  4. irishbornraised - Oct 11, 2012 at 3:33 AM

    A while back I got a tour of the Stanford campus from two star Bball players (Grandpa was a donor), Taj Finger and something Washington, they were good in bball that year and I think they went on to be in the NBA. Anyway, the highlight of the tour was one of them pointing to a building saying “And that there’s the library”, at which point the other countered “No, that’s the student center, THAT’S the library”. And on it went, these “student athletes” arguing over where the library was! I’m tired of hearing about them being the model for ND’s academic/athletic balance, these guys are no better than the rest.

    • mayo1010 - Oct 11, 2012 at 2:38 PM

      You really amaze me. Stubborn is the understatement of the year but you sir just lost your chance to be a man! Can’t say i’m surprised! Just go on rationalizing because it’s what u do best. LMFAO!

      • mayo1010 - Oct 11, 2012 at 3:18 PM

        I’ve come to realize C4 sensationalizes many accounts to try to make his point look better. Unsuccessfully! Like his constant statement that Kelly constantly throws his players under the bus–it happened 1 time (Post game USC presser) and it was over before it even started. He apologized to the team, they talked it out, and they moved on–unlike C4 who holds on to it like it’s common place.
        “Make no mistake, ND is where they are primarily because of Diaco and T’eo, the offensive guru has yet to produce the goods in a consistent manner. But it’s more than coaching, frankly Kelly lost me with his non-accountability in the Sullivan accident.”
        1) do you realize BK was never a offensive coordinator?
        2) do you realize BK was a defensive coordinator for years before he became a head coach?
        3) So BK has no credit for the success on the football field but you hold him accountable for a video taping accident?. WOW! You sure have a low expections for the Head Coach at ND.
        Do you realize how ridiculous you sound?
        Under your premise the worst coach in college football history Charlie Weis should still be coaching because he had nothing to do with the defense. News flash, the Head Coach is responsible for all 3 phases (offense, defense, and special teams).
        Be a man dude and admit you were/are wrong. I’d at least respect that. Damn you seem to be an old grumpy man refusing to admit any wrong doing? It really is becoming sad, i’m actually starting to fee sorry for u!

      • nudeman - Oct 11, 2012 at 3:38 PM

        Not to beat this thing mercilessly, but I don’t recall Charlie Weis going to Matt James’ services. Did he?
        Yes, he had been ousted as coach by then. But you’d think that the relationship he developed with Matt and the James family would transcend whatever his coaching status was.

        Was c4ever offended by THAT? I don’t remember reading so

        BTW, on Weis, did anyone see where he held practice last SUNDAY (after being shellacked by 40 by KSU) and told his seniors NOT TO ATTEND? So much for the love affair with Dayne Crist.

        Sort of makes the “my guys” thing look like mice nuts.

    • Jennifer - Oct 11, 2012 at 3:37 PM

      Pretty funny story you have there, IrishB&R. “That there’s the library?” Seriously? Record this story for future generations. My Grandfather had great ND stories, from the ridiculous to the sublime, and we kids loved it. Storytelling is getting to be a lost art. When I’m lucky enough to get to a game, I swear I hear echos of his shouting at the coaches, players, always, ALWAYS, the refs. WE ARE ND!

      • irishbornraised - Oct 14, 2012 at 12:14 AM

        I kid you not, then shaw makes that bull about how their in their own universe…

  5. seadomer - Oct 11, 2012 at 5:25 AM

    There will be TWO “5”s running around ALL DAY bringing pain to red tree’s O and D.

    ok… time for some SsssSS… I mean ZZZzzz on the W coast

  6. yaketyyacc - Oct 11, 2012 at 8:10 AM

    is the balloon about to burst? 5-0, 7th place ranking, BCS compuer maybe ranking ND close to no 1.
    and in our stadium. are we going o be scatching our heads late sat. afrernoon, saying,well next year?
    HELL NO! it is no fluke that with the toughest schedule, Notre Dame is undefeated; it is no mistake that our defense is second only to Alabama; and it is undeniable to overlook an offense, flush with running backs and receivers, LED by a quarterback named Golson.
    everyone is saying that the teams we defeated actually weren;t that good. Actually, they were until Notre Dame defeated them. it points out, not how bad they were, but how good Notre Dame is.
    Stanford is our toughest opponent yet.
    Don’t let them score a point, Defense. And keep their offense off the field, Offense. wade into them, jolt them, and WIN!!!

    • seadomer - Oct 11, 2012 at 12:05 PM

      Best yak read today!!

  7. dudeacow - Oct 11, 2012 at 10:12 AM

    The Hurricanes’ offense is ranked 15 in the nation. Stanford’s is 83. Hurricanes put up 3 points. Stanford puts up 0. Navy’s defense is ranked 64 in the nation. Stanford’s is 54. Navy allowed 50 points. Stanford allows 40.
    ND wins, 40-0
    That would be nice, but it probably won’t happen. But I still think ND wins this one easily.

  8. ndgoldandblue - Oct 11, 2012 at 10:43 AM

    The Irish seem to have more of a road warrior (or neutral site warrior) mentality this year. I’d like to see the offense get past this “reverence”, as BK called it, for Notre Dame Stadium and play as well at home as they do on the road or at neutral sites. However, I don’t see that happening against a rather tough Stanford defense (if you think the Arizona game was an abnormality). But I also don’t see Stanford’s offense doing much of anything.

    I think 17-9 sounds about right. The Irish will put up the same score as the Purdue game, sans one field goal, and Stanford gets three field goals. Notre Dame goes another game without allowing a touchdown. Here’s my take. I’ll believe that another team can score a touchdown on our defense when someone actually does it. Until that happens, I won’t assume that anyone can get into the endzone.

    • nudeman - Oct 11, 2012 at 10:49 AM

      Hope you’re right, but I saw a replay last night of their game against UA
      They have some offense, and holding them to 9 points would be an accomplishment
      Better than holding down Miami, UM and MSU

      • notredaniel27 - Oct 11, 2012 at 11:42 AM

        I watched the Washington game and Washington’s defense was forcing them to throw early for alot of incompletions. If we can get to thier QB we should be able to control them. Not sure how Washington’s D rates, but I am positive we are better.

      • nudeman - Oct 11, 2012 at 11:54 AM

        On the subject of “getting to the QB’, they didn’t do such a great job of that against Miami.
        Not saying there was “no pressure”. There was a moderate amount.
        But no sacks and the QB didn’t hit the turf much.

        Nunes looks a shade above average to me. That doesn’t mean he can’t have a very good or even great game though. But a ferocious pass rush would be nice

  9. bearcatirishfan - Oct 11, 2012 at 11:29 AM

    Has Stanford hd the play anyone with a decent pass rush yet, that might shake up nunes a little

  10. bearcatirishfan - Oct 11, 2012 at 11:48 AM

    Let’s go tuitt and she no

  11. notredaniel27 - Oct 11, 2012 at 11:52 AM

    Three touchdowns allowed all season. As long as we can get pressure up front we should be able to slow the run and force Nunes into bad decisions in the passing game.
    Stanfords D is very aggressive so it would be great to open the playbook and use that against them.

  12. jerseyshorendfan1 - Oct 11, 2012 at 11:56 AM

    Message to the ND team: Careful boys, Coach Shaw is “Holtzing” you. Blowing smoke up your dupa to try and get you to think you are great and that you have this game in the bag already. Pay him no mind and don’t become complacent. Fight hard and play tough from whistle to whistle and earn this win the old fashioned way.

    Speaking of Holtz, his recipe for a NC was a dominant defense and a mobile QB. Sound familiar?

    IRISH 34-20.

  13. bearcatirishfan - Oct 11, 2012 at 12:11 PM

    I personally think that Stanford has a better defense than USC, and probably Oklahoma.

  14. bb90grad - Oct 11, 2012 at 1:03 PM

    Haven’t seen or heard “dupa” in a while. Good to see Hunky slang has not gone away completely.

  15. seadomer - Oct 11, 2012 at 3:32 PM

    We got to cut in the middle, around the sides and a few knock in the back …

  16. 9irish - Oct 11, 2012 at 3:45 PM

    I’d like to see Eifert “get some”. I know, that just like Floyd, he is wreaking havoc on the defense just by being there, but it would be nice to get some long throws to him.

    I’m thinking ND 24-10….oh, okay, 24-NINE!

    Go Irish

  17. ndlv - Oct 11, 2012 at 5:55 PM

    I’m a little surprised that everyone seems so confident that ND will beat Stanford. This team made ND’s offense look very bad the past two years (keep in mind that ND’s running game has only looked good against Navy and Miami), and that Stanford’s tall tight ends are match-up problems. Stanford beat USC this year, a team that many think is the toughest on ND’s schedule.

    Don’t get me wrong, I want ND to win, but I would not be surprised if they did not pull this one out. If I have to make a prediction, I’d say that the Irish win a close one, 24-21.

  18. runners00 - Oct 11, 2012 at 6:07 PM

    Stanford gives up about 380 yards per game, which puts them at 55th in the country on defense. By comparison, Michigan gives up about 312 yards per game, which puts them 19th in the country.

    Who is Stanford defensively? They play a 3/4 defense that’s led by Chase Thomas, a senior linebacker with a bunch of tackles. Up front it’s Stephens (NT), Anderson (DE) and Gardner (DE). Gardner has had a pretty strong first half of the season with 4 solo tackles for loss and 4 assists for tackles for losses. He seems to be the guy with the penetration on running plays. Linebackers Thomas and Murphy, 3-star recruits, both seem to be very active defenders, with the 6 foot 6 Thomas being pretty difficult in coverage.Sophomore Safety Ed Reynolds has three interceptions, one of which was returned for a TD, and a lot of energy.

    They do something right, given that they’re 6th in the country against the run. But I don’t think I will be the first to say that Stanford’s opponents are not strong rushing teams. I mean, San Jose State is 101st in the country in rushing offense. Duke is 95th in rushing offense, Washington is 86th and Southern Cal is around 70th in the country in rushing. At 44th, Arizona is a pretty strong rushing team and their leading back had 132 yards on Stanford.

    Stanford isn’t Miami or Navy. They’re better than both teams and they have better athletes and better defensive schemes. But I think we should be able to move the ball on them and, as I have said before, I think we have one of the best defenses in the country and believe we’ll cause Stanford fits — especially as they try to throw on us.

    In the end, I think we will win this game. As I have done so far this year, I won’t predict a score but if we stay healthy and we focus on running the football right at Stanford, I think we’ll win. Go Irish!

  19. natesullivan24 - Oct 11, 2012 at 10:23 PM

    Stanford is just simply outmatched in this game. I think last week was a fluke for Nunes and the Stanford offense. Couple that with the stoutness upfront for the Notre Dame D, and the Cardinal could be in for a long night. If Notre Dame’s offense can put a couple touchdowns on the board then this one should be over. One other interesting thing to note is the weather report for this game – a high chance of thunderstorms. We’ll see how that comes into play, but expect a really low scoring game. Check out my full breakdown of this game here,, looking at the keys to the game, betting sides, and prediction.

  20. 1historian - Oct 12, 2012 at 7:36 AM

    Nate – I beg to differ with you. Stanford is NOT outmatched in this game. They are big, talented, and the juniors and seniors remember the game here 2 years ago and think they can do it again.

    Remember that game, guys. BK – just make sure you show that game a few times, especially to the juniors and seniors who were freshmen and sophomores and had to stand there and watch Jim Harbaugh egging his players on as they RAN UP THE SCORE IN OUR HOUSE.

    That debt must be paid.


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