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IBG: Moving forward to Purdue

Sep 11, 2013, 2:09 PM EDT


There’s no doubt the loss to Michigan still stings for Irish fans. But Brian Kelly’s squad has no choice but to move forward. If there was a common theme in the postgame comments from the players that spoke to the media, it’s that they’ve got 24 hours, and it’s on to Purdue.

It might have taken most Irish supporters longer than that, and it’ll likely be a conversation that continues throughout the season, but that’s why fans are fans. So as we get into the Irish Blogger Gathering, let’s check in with NDNation’s Mike Coffey, who I’m sure has more than a few thoughts on where the Irish stand after two games.

For more IBG, Check out:

Strong and True (my answers will be up later today)
Subway Domer
Her Loyal Sons

Here are my questions and Mike’s answers. Feel free to play along in the comments.

1) With the loss to Michigan now in the rearview mirror, what’s the most important thing for this team to reestablish this weekend?

The most important thing ND can do this weekend is re-establish focus on defense. Two sub-par performances have the unit back on its heels. We’re all aware of the offense’s limitations, but that was a problem going into the season. The defensive problems have come out of the blue, and if they’re not corrected, will doom this season.

2) Postgame at Michigan, Brian Kelly was very careful with his words, but seemed to think the offense needed to do a better job picking up the slack against a team like Michigan. Yet the defense gave up 41 points. Through two weeks, what’s your assessment of both units?

The defense’s regression probably is the biggest disappointment of the season so far. There really isn’t any facet of the unit I could say is performing well, other than Jaylon Smith. What this unit needs more than anything is for someone like Louis Nix to take command on the field and start demanding more focus.

On offense, while I like the yardage totals we’re racking up between the 20s, we continue to see poor red zone efficiency, due (I believe) to imbalance in the play-calling scheme. Three pass plays after first and goal is not going to get the job done, especially with a quarterback who is not a threat to run the ball at all. Until we see more balance inside the 20 yard line, we’re still going to see field goals instead of touchdowns, and coupled with the defense’s problems, that could spell losses.

3) Name one player on offense and one player on defense that you want to see more of this Saturday?

On offense, I’d like to see more of Greg Bryant. His running style seems tailor-made for the kind of offense ND needs to throw at Purdue Saturday – a soul-crushing ground game.

Defensively, I want to hear Sheldon Day’s name get called a lot. Purdue doesn’t have a mobile quarterback or a high-powered offense, so we should see good pressure being generated by the front three guys. I’m guessing the Boilers will be focused on stopping Nix and Tuitt, which should leave Day with some good opportunities.

  1. 25kgold - Sep 11, 2013 at 2:16 PM

    Bottom line, without Golson–THIS is the kind of season we’re looking at this year. Even Google can’t pull up Tommy’s performance; he is who he is! If we have Golson, teams have to respect our offense. They can’t just crowed the box and/or drop eight back and call it a day! Truth be told, Golson (and this is going to come of glib) not only screwed himself, but he did his team (and the season) in as well! It’s foolish for us ND fans to have an auspicious viewpoint of this season. TM is a career backup, a damn good one at that…BUT a BACKUP nonetheless(on that note, GA3 is probably a career backup RB as well)!! TM is NOT a 12/13 win QB!! He’s not even a game manger, he’s a closer/clean-up QB. Above all, he’s BK’s security blanket–and until TM leaves ND (kinda like Danard Robinson at Michigan), that’s when we might start to see some greatness come from this offense.

    • dickasman - Sep 11, 2013 at 2:39 PM

      Hi mirror!

  2. dickasman - Sep 11, 2013 at 2:46 PM

    I’ll tell you what and here’s an insider tip for you stock owners. If we lose, you better start buying up stocks in Pfizer because I can tell you that the gross sales of Xanax will go through the roof at least in midwest region.

    I know what he’s saying about Nix stepping up but really the guy that really needs to step up here in my eyes is Tuitt. He is on the edge. Stop with that nice guy sht and step up and say fok dis motha imma take ova dis gama ova much like Lynch once did. Go sack some mothafugga’s, chase the mug down and then spit in the guy’s face and say not here, not now, not today, not against us, not on my watch bich!

    Well, not exactly like that but you get the gist. Tuitt, get your fat a$$ outta that 3 point stance and do something!!!! Where are you at???

  3. dickasman - Sep 11, 2013 at 2:53 PM

    I believe chip kelly wanna be needs to give Bryant the ball let him see what he can do. I believe he can be and better than what Riddick was eventually. Sure, he will fumble. Sure he’ll run east and west but you gotta let him play and get some confidence against crappy teams such as Temple and Purdue. At least put him in right behind Carlisle. This is the game to do it. Just give him the dam ball and let him run over these highschoolers. I like Atkinson but to me, he’s more of a change up guy. Carlisle cannot carry the load. Bryant can’t either as season goes on he will be tired. We are a multiple back team.

    I wish sometimes BK was like his BFF Obama and ask us what we want us to do cause he sucks at being republican.

  4. ndgoldandblue - Sep 11, 2013 at 2:53 PM

    I hate getting into the predictions game because it’s all speculation, but…(long pause)…if we don’t come out and lay the smack down on Purdue this Saturday, I will be absolutely shocked. If the team comes out uninspired and flat (and possibly loses), I will be completely floored.

    I guess, I don’t see this team laying an egg two weeks in a row, especially against a poor team like Purdue. I’m not even preparing for a loss this weekend. I’m preparing for, “How well did we look in beating Purdue?”, or “What things did we improve upon in our victory against Purdue?” I won’t even know what to think if the Irish lose to a really bad Purdue team. If that happens, the few fans hanging on to hope for a positive season will probably lose it.

    • dickasman - Sep 11, 2013 at 3:02 PM

      I agree. But I fully expect ND to handle Purdue, even if everybody plays crappy.

    • dickasman - Sep 11, 2013 at 3:03 PM

      BTW, did you mean “LAYETH SMACKETH DOWNTH”, da Rock style??? Iffffffffffffff youuuuuuuuuu smelllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllrararararararararllllllll what da Rock is cooking?

  5. ndcanuck - Sep 11, 2013 at 3:03 PM

    1) Yup – clearly the D needs to get established. Not “re” established – just established period. This front 7 was supposed to dominate. While getting some pressure is nice, making actual plays is better. The secondary likely isn’t good enough to hold up against the teams on the schedule unless the line and LBs start making plays.

    2) No surprises here, but it’s all about better play calling, more consistent running and not putting Tommy in the position to have to carry the team. See above for the D.

    3) Offense – Amir. Loved what I’ve seen so far, want to see more and get an established #1 at RB. Defence – Shembo. Someone needs to step up and become a leader on the field for this team, why not him?

  6. irish4me - Sep 11, 2013 at 3:27 PM

    Hey Dickasman your comments on this board are really juvenile. Can we dispense with all the talk about your ass and some imaginary blonde? Look Dick, I’m really fine with profanity, I really loved Richard Pryor but he was FUNNY. So either get funny or back to football. This is a football site not a comedy club where you work out your material (it needs a lot of work).

    • dickasman - Sep 11, 2013 at 6:04 PM

      Irish, Im like your typical ol timer ND geezer that likes to talk football among other things and tell life stories like you’re talking to your neighbors. Im not trying to funny, honestly, comedian I am not nor am I trying to be. I talk like this in real life not just on the internet. Give me your address and you can see in person. Get off da Louisville slugger, would ya?

      BTW, this bud’s for you. Tommy Rees, blah blah blah, four horseman, blah blah Ara Holtz, blah blah. “Goooo Irishhhh”.

      You happy now? You love me long time now?

  7. irishwilliamsport - Sep 11, 2013 at 4:01 PM

    The defense lost all four leaders in Teo, Lewis-Moore, Motta and Spond and that’s the big difference. Except for Teo the replacements are just as talented or better but no clear leader has emerged and I thought Carlo or Fox would be one of those guys but not yet. I hope to see Luke and Redfield get more time and Rochelle, why save them when they are needed now. The coaching staff felt they had 5 real difference makers in the last recruiting class, Luke, Redfield, Smith, Folston and Bryant all with elite talent why not play them more ? Only Smith is getting significant playing time.

  8. ctfivula - Sep 11, 2013 at 4:37 PM

    1. Reestablish dominance and attitude. Go out and pound Purdue into submission. Do not let up. There is no mercy in this dojo!
    2. Offense needs to be run first pass second. Use the 6 quality running backs and top notch offensive line to set up the pass.
    Defense needs to play angry and hit someone.(Angry and under control) I have yet to see Carlo or anyone for that matter ring someones bell. They always seem to be chasing from the side or behind.
    3. On Offense I want to see more running backs all of them! Ok all may be a stretch but you know what I mean.
    On defense I want to see Tuitt. He should have a career day against these guys.I want to see why he is projected to be a first rounder without having to break down game film and look at his mechanics and other nonsense. Make some plays baby!

    I saw a variation of the pistol over the weekend. It was run with a second back beside the QB and the regular back behind him. I think this may be a good way to get some more talented running backs on the field and be able to utilize a little bit of read option without having to have a mobile QB. Come on Chuck lets get creative!

    • nudeman - Sep 11, 2013 at 5:25 PM

      On the run/pass mix, I agree, ND needs to run a LOT more.
      However Kelly and Martin are on record as saying the reason they threw it so much last week was because UM had an extra guy or two in the box.

      In other words, UM forced them into throwing it more than ND wanted.

      Based on Rees penchant for throwing it to the wrong color jersey and lack of accuracy, is there any reason to believe other teams won’t do the same? Seems to me like a recipe for a weak team like Purdue to stay in the game, and a better team like UM to beat ND.

      • dickasman - Sep 11, 2013 at 6:10 PM

        Nude, we’ve seen this movie already with Rees over and over with same results. Good teams know how to defend Rees and they drewl over it. But we ain’t got nothing on the bench other than piece of pine either so 4 loss season would be a terrific season. Seeing how USC has studdered out of the gates, we might get lucky and only have 3 losses. 3 losses season=WINNING!!!

      • domer77blowsgoats - Sep 11, 2013 at 7:17 PM

        Great insight nude. UM was the first team to force TR to beat them, brilliant observation! Hasn’t been happening since Tulsa in 2011, nope, first time last week… I’m sure no other d coordinator will try it though!!

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