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IBG: The season finale

Nov 28, 2013, 1:16 PM EDT

ibg_nokelly3

Happy Thanksgiving. Here’s hoping everybody is spending it with family, friends and loved ones.

The Notre Dame football team is gathering today, with coaches and their families celebrating with the team as a new record for turkeys eaten is attempted. Before I get to work in the kitchen today, let’s get to the IBG (sorry, it’s a day late), and answer this week’s pressing questions.

As usual, check with our fellow IBGers for their answers as well.

Her Loyal Sons
ND Nation
UHND
Strong and True

Play along in the comments, as I pose a final question to you, asking you to play Jack Swarbrick as you negotiate with bowl committees and conferences.

NDTex, HerLoyalSons.comBYU and Stanford are somewhat similar offensively: a strong rushing attack paired with a quarterback that can go mobile. Does the defense’s performance, injuries and all, against BYU make you feel any better going up against Stanford or are we facing a totally different beast in the Cardinal? 

I can see the similarities, but I also think Stanford is a much better offense than BYU, with a quarterback that’s a better passer, an offensive line that’s much stronger and a better running back. You’ve got to feel better after the defense’s performance last week, but the worries shouldn’t suddenly disappear.

That being said — Saturday is as close to a stress-free game as you could ask for. There’s no BCS game in play if Notre Dame wins, but the Irish should have nothing to lose. That won’t help an undermanned front seven hold their own against a Stanford front that’ll try and beat down the Irish, but it should help Brian Kelly and company throw everything but the kitchen sink at David Shaw’s team.

Frank Vitovitch (UNHD.com): It’s been a long time since Notre Dame has won a game it has been as big of an underdog in as they are this weekend.  Where would this game rank in your mind in terms of upsets for Notre Dame and when was the last time you went into a game thinking Notre Dame had no chance and they walked home with the victory.   As a bonus, would a win over Stanford this weekend be Brian Kelly’s signature win up until this point in his tenure at Notre Dame?

Gosh, that’s a tough question. I’m probably the wrong guy to ask, as I usually spend all week thinking about what needs to happen for Notre Dame to win, and then I have a pretty good idea of how it’ll happen. I’ve done that this week, rewatching the 20-13 victory from last year, and realizing that Notre Dame won the football game in spite of three Everett Golson turnovers, including a BRUTAL one in the end zone that turned into a touchdown for Stanford. (Of course, Stanford’s Josh Nunes did his best to keep Notre Dame in the game, throwing two horrible interceptions.)

Maybe the last game I walked into thinking that Notre Dame had no chance to win was the Irish’s visit to the Coliseum in 2008. I don’t think there was an Irish fan in the stadium that felt good heading in there, and the mock applause that came from the stadium when the Irish finally earned their first first down as the third quarter ended was the worst.

I understand why Stanford is a two touchdown favorite, but I don’t necessarily agree with it. I think the Irish have to play very good football, but this victory wouldn’t shock me. After all, Utah beat this team. (Utah, that is 1-7 in the Pac-12.) They’ll need to hold on for dear life on defense, make some big plays on offense, and stay error free.

I think any “signature victory” talk can be thrown in the trash can as Kelly ran the table in 2012. That’s as signature as it gets.  

Aaron Horvath (Strong & True): If someone would have told you that Tommy Rees would leave Notre Dame with 7,000+ yards and most likely 60+ touchdowns when he committed out of high school, most people would call that person crazy. Needless to say, he has surprised many. What are your thoughts on what Rees has been able to accomplish during his tenure at Notre Dame and what other Irish senior went above and beyond your expectations during his time at Notre Dame?

My thoughts on Rees are well established. He’s had a great career and if all recruits overachieved like he did, the Irish would be in a very good place.

Taking a look back at the Irish’s transitional recruiting class, you start to see why it’s so difficult for coaching staff’s to get much of anything out of that first shared recruiting group. Of the three star (or lower) recruits in that first class (13), only Rees and Bennett Jackson played a lot of football.

Bad luck and transfers also played a role, with Danny Spond, Cam Roberson and Tate Nichols retiring because of health reasons, Matt James tragically passing away before ever coming to campus, and Spencer Boyd and Derek Roback transferring away almost immediately.

While Jackson’s senior season hasn’t been as steady as people would’ve liked, the fact that he’s been an every down player for two seasons and a defensive captain is impressive. He very well could’ve been a lost player, a guy who started his career as a deep threat, 165-pound wide receiver. But after spending his freshman year on kickoff return and special teams, Jackson transitioned into a key defensive starter, battling serious shoulder injuries to stay on the field these past two seasons.

Kudos to Jackson.

Mike Coffey (NDNation): Which of ND’s strengths do you believe has the greatest chance of getting ND the win on Saturday, and which of ND’s weaknesses do you fear might keep it from happening?

Running the football will be key, but I think Notre Dame’s ability to make big plays down the field will need to come into play if the Irish are going to win. If Tommy Rees is able to make plays down field to TJ Jones, DaVaris Daniels and Troy Niklas, then there’s a chance the Irish are going to score with Stanford. 

Obviously, turnovers will be fatal. But of this team’s official weaknesses, getting off the field on third down worries me, as I think this defensive front only has so many snaps in it, and if Kevin Hogan can continue to move the chains, Stanford will eventually wear this defense out.

My question to you all:

You’ve got your choice of bowl game locations and opponents. Put yourself in Jack Swarbrick’s shoes: Give me the ideal opponent and location.

  1. goirishgo - Nov 28, 2013 at 1:37 PM

    Easy – the best bowl available against the best team available. Although I’d like a piece of UCLA anywhere at anytime.

  2. nudeman - Nov 28, 2013 at 2:27 PM

    Unfortunately the BYU win does little to encourage me.

    Predictions:
    - ND will come out looking disengaged and flat after last week’s senior day win
    - SU will stuff ND’s run on first couple series
    - Kelly/Martin will panic and ignite the after burners on the passing game. Rees will throw 30+ times
    - He will make a few nice throws that will be red meat for supporters Keith and Wisner
    (Wisner: “You’re CRAZY nude. Did you see that throw to Niklas?”.
    nude: The one right before the INT? Yes, saw it. )

    - It is POSSIBLE that Rees’ numbers will be OK, but no guarantee; he’s had several <50% games this yr
    - He will throw at least 2 picks and they will come at the worst times
    - Jarron Jones will come back to Earth with an anonymous game
    - Gaffney will torch ND's depleted D-line
    - Rees will change 90% of the plays and use all three 2nd half time outs before 10 min are left in Q4

    SU 31
    ND 16

    You can argue with this, call me names and key my car, but you HAVE TO admit this:

    ALL of these predictions are 100% in keeping with what we've seen ALL YEAR
    So why would it be any different after 11 games, and against their strongest opponent?

    • mayesdays - Nov 28, 2013 at 4:38 PM

      Nothing to loose and a big under dog. Two aspects you failed to mention

      • nudeman - Nov 28, 2013 at 4:45 PM

        First, it’s “lose”.

        Secondly, are you saying they will have a great game and win because there’s nothing to lose? I don’t buy that.

        And lastly, the fact that we are at the point where there’s nothing to lose means one thing: We are there because we’ve played ourselves out of any meaningful bowl game. That’s because we are decidedly mediocre.

      • mayesdays - Nov 28, 2013 at 5:10 PM

        I am not saying they have to play a great game, and they were far from that in last year’s win. Stanford has the PAC12 Championship game, in which ND can’t stop them from going to. The best they can do is go to the Rose bowl, which again a ND loss won’t affect them. Therefore, ND may be more hungry than Stanford, especially when you factor in ND’s youth who are starting to play well. EX. JJ and TF.

    • mtflsmitty - Nov 28, 2013 at 5:06 PM

      All the enthusiasm around the BYU victory (which was a solid win, and the game was never in doubt), is probably more about all the negativity that was swirling around the fan base after the demoralizing loss at Pitt, than it was because we beat such an outstanding opponent.

      Likewise, to use the BYU win to buoy one’s expectations against Stanford, is probably a bit optimistic.

      Defensively, BYU and Stanford are like night and day. BYU plays two deep safeties nearly every down and ranks poorly against the run. BYU is much better against the pass. Those defensive strengths and weaknesses set up very well for us. Stanford on the other hand, is something like 5th in the nation against the run, and slightly less stout against the pass. Not a good combo for us.

      MOVING FORWARD:
      I’ll be looking for a W against the tree. But if we don’t get it, and wind up 8-4, I’m going to feel ok about this season. With all the offensive talent lost, with TR doing his best, and our defense really missing a strong leader 8-4 gets us through a rebuilding year and ready for a strong finish to recruiting and a great 2014.

      • nudeman - Nov 28, 2013 at 9:47 PM

        Funny, but no one ever says “Carlo is doing his best”; or “Bennett Jackson is doing his best”; Fox, Farley, GAIII … same. Does anyone doubt they’re doing their best? I don’t.

        So why is it mandatory that whenever someone criticizes Rees the fact that “he’s doing his best” is always mentioned, along with:

        - “He’s a good guy” (I’d bet there’s not a single person here who knows him)
        - “He’s a great teammate”: (I’m guessing no one here has ever been in the locker room)
        - “He checks us into the right play”: (How do you know? Does anyone here know the play he checks OUT of?”)
        - “He’s VERY smart; a coach’s son”: (Does amazingly stupid things for such a braniac)

        2 games left. Thumbs down just below

      • ndadvocate - Nov 29, 2013 at 12:01 AM

        It’s not funny that people say that Tommy is doing his best. Everyone acknowledges that he doesn’t have elite talent. When a starting quarterback goes down and the back-up is forced to go in than it becomes a common phrase. Bennett Jackson, Farley, Fox and GA have talent and more is expected out of them. When a starter goes down and a backup has to fill in you got to hope they can hang in there and do their best. Tommy was never expected to start as many games as he did throughout his career, but I’m glad we had him just in case.. It seems like you are going out if your way to jab at him here.

      • ndgoldandblue - Nov 29, 2013 at 10:19 AM

        ndadvocate, prior to the season, everyone on the team (coaches included) talked about Tommy’s leadership and knowledge of the offense. I remember O-linemen talking about Tommy being an easier quarterback to Everett to pass block for because they always know where Tommy would be in passing situations. Coach Kelly discussed the mental edge that Tommy has over Everett, and that intelligence of the offense would be an asset.

        My point is, there was no “woe is me” attitude from the team. They were perfectly fine with Rees running the offense, so why does everyone throw out the “forced to play with a backup” excuse? It’s weird. I think Tommy’s an above-average quarterback. He definitely has his good games; that’s for sure. But, it seems like the guy is immune to any kind of criticism.

        People go on about how great of a quarterback Tommy is, and then turn around when he has a bad game and say, “Well, he’s just a backup in a starter’s role right now, so not much is expected out of him.” You can’t have it both ways. Either he’s a solid but not spectacular starting quarterback who makes some bad mistakes (which I believe is the case), or he’s just a backup filling in for a rightfully exiled starter and wins shouldn’t be expected. Which is it?

      • ndadvocate - Nov 30, 2013 at 2:11 PM

        ndgoldandblue: In my opinion Tommy is a great back-up to have, but he is flawed. I thought it worked out perfectly last year that he was able to come in the games as a ‘closer’. I have never been in the camp that the Irish wouldn’ skip a beat with him as a starter. Golson simply has more upside and forces D-coordinatorsto prepare for more. I do see your point but it all comes down to expectations for him in the preseason. Many felt we could possibly be more effective with him as our QB but I disagree. Personnally, I was hoping for our defense to dominate like we did last year, which could have led to a BCS bid. If our defense would have been as good as last year (Huge if), than Tommy would have been plenty serviceable to win 10 or 11 games. This year our defense was disapointing and therefore we had to score many more points. In that reagrd, Tommy did his best to keep up but it just wasn’tin the cards for us this year. It would have taken a special quarterback (which I think Golson could be) to live up to expectations.

    • tucsonfan - Nov 28, 2013 at 5:41 PM

      I think it could go either way.

      As for our mediocrity, I think overall we’ve done better than we had any right to expect with a 2nd or 3rd string QB, tons of 2 deep player injuries, including several crucial front 7 on defense.

      Despite it all, we’ve beaten USC, MSU, and ASU, something I wouldnt have believed once we lost EG. Losing the Pitt game was what happens when you have to rely on 18-22 year olds to execute, sometimes. I could never be a coach at this level, with my livelihood depending on how the kids play on any given day.

    • Keith Arnold - Nov 28, 2013 at 7:13 PM

      Boy Nudie — Did someone put something in the stuffing? Love your optimism heading into the weekend!

      • nudeman - Nov 28, 2013 at 9:56 PM

        Keith, the stuffing, to my knowledge wasn’t laced.

        I knew that wouldn’t be popular. And I hope I’m wrong. But I think most regulars here can 100% identify with what I wrote. Might not like it, but can’t deny its reality.

        They have had had impressive spurts – but not whole games – against good teams like ASU and USC. A good quarter here, a good quarter there. Never a full game.
        But for the most part this year has been like watching a team on ludes.
        Even when they win we all say “wow, that sort of sucked”.
        At this point, after 11 games, they are what they are.

        I just can’t see them winning this weekend.
        Besides, per BK this is Stanford’s Super Bowl.

      • mtflsmitty - Nov 28, 2013 at 11:58 PM

        Keith, There’s no risk in being the pessimist. If ND wins Nude gleefully says he was wrong and can sorta be happy. If ND loses, as Nude and all of Vegas agree, he simply says I told ya so. No downside.

        But hey, Nude, a point of clarification: “When they win”, WE ALL DON’T say “wow, that sorta sucked”. I agree there’s a vocal minority here who do. But the majority enjoy the wins. We are glad to see ND compete and win. And we don’t feel compelled to short-change ourselves out of a victory by lamenting that the W wasn’t complete enough somehow.

        And I’ll go one step further. I for one would never look back, as you did earlier this week, at our victory over MSU (now ranked #11) and hold the game plan up as a failure. So if by “we all sorta say that sucked” you are referring to yourself and the mouse in your pocket, no problem. But please don’t lump us all together.

      • nudeman - Nov 29, 2013 at 11:04 AM

        OK Smitty, all fair points. But you talk about my position being “no risk”.
        As if I’m sitting here cleverly calculating the odds

        First, not one of us is risking anything here. It’s all anonymous.

        Secondly, I’m just writing what I see. If ND was coming into this game with 10 or 11 wins and a track record of burying teams, including their best opponents, I’d be writing something completely different. Hasn’t happened. No need to rehash it all, but “many” of us here have talked all year about the flat play, the time outs being squandered, the abandonment of the run game, the porous D …

        And now we play the toughest opponent of the year, on the road, without Nix, Councell, Grace, and others and I’m supposed to be optimistic?

        Sorry, not running for most popular guy here. Just the facts, maam.

  3. deadman3020 - Nov 28, 2013 at 3:32 PM

    Nude for president !!!!!!!

    • nudeman - Nov 28, 2013 at 4:39 PM

      I shall not seek, nor will I accept any nomination for President. Sorry. Busy.

  4. charlie617 - Nov 28, 2013 at 4:02 PM

    Assuming that only realistic bowl options are in play…

    Being a northeasterner with family in Cincinnati, I’d personally like to see the Irish play the Bearcats in the Pinstripe Bowl. Decent matchup, good venue, and a trip to NYC is a great reward for the team.

    But since there’s already a pretty big ND fanbase in NY, and we come out to play in the NE region every couple years anyway, I think Swarbrick has to go with a bowl somewhere we don’t travel too often. Maybe the Independence (Advocare?) bowl in Louisiana, or the Belk Bowl in N.C., or the BBVA Compass bowl in Ala. Not as exciting as NYC, but good exposure for the program in a great recruiting region.

    • bearcatirishfan - Nov 28, 2013 at 7:46 PM

      I disagree, only because I don’t want my alma mater playing my favorite football team. I want them both to win ball games

  5. irishdodger - Nov 28, 2013 at 5:01 PM

    It’s funny how all the ND bloggers think the spread is too high despite acknowledging all the flaws & injuries with the Irish. Then add the fact that we all agree this will be our toughest opponent & I think Stanford covers easily.

    Stanford knows ND will try to establish the run. Unless Kelly/Martin truly commit to the run (i.e.., not abandoning it at the first sign of trouble), they should probably throw on first down if the D shows man. I give Kelly/Martin credit for establishing the run vs BYU. Let’s see if he sticks with vs this defense. That will tell us what we need to know. The sooner he abandons the run, the more picks we throw.

    • tucsonfan - Nov 28, 2013 at 5:47 PM

      So when is the right time to abandon the run? How long do you wait to say the run isn’t going to be established.

      Vs Pitt, we ran 6 times for 11 yards in the 2nd half. At what point do you decide that won’t cut it?

      Just a question, I don’t know the answer.

      I think our run game has been very inconsistent, while the passing game has been largely there all season, although with TR the bad throws really bite hard and have cost us at least 2 of the 3 losses.

      • mtflsmitty - Nov 28, 2013 at 9:22 PM

        I think it’s more about not being predictable. Everyone expects us to try and set up the run right out of the gate. That would make sense. But hey, how about some slight of hand?

        Play action on first down with two tight ends. ILBs bite and Troy releases through the middle for 22 yd reception. Repeat.

        1st down, single set back, dbl tight ends to one side. Take advantage of their aggressive pass rush, Troy releases forcing one of the ILBs to follow, screen pass to the RB. Repeat.

        Now maybe we can run. Run. Run.

        2nd down, trips left, DD split right. One step drop, slant to DD. have we run a slant to the weak side of the field all season?

  6. schoosier53 - Nov 28, 2013 at 6:18 PM

    Bowl game -New Years day game in Dallas

    The season – Tommy is an FCS or D II QB at best. Just cflip over and watch an SEC game while the Irish are playing. With Golson we are undefeated. With Tommy 8 – 4. No arguing he works hard and is committed. He is just not D I. Clemson has 2 backups that could start for ND. We should not taken Gunner. No sophmore QB is killing us.

    • c4evr - Nov 28, 2013 at 8:56 PM

      You are higher than a kite if you think Golson’s presence would have made the defense play any better this year.

      • tucsonfan - Nov 29, 2013 at 12:55 AM

        C4never, you’re dumber than a stump if you can’t understand how a solid offense makes the defense’s job easier.

      • c4evr - Nov 29, 2013 at 7:14 PM

        For your information, tucson, last year’s team scored exactly 5 more points than this year’s team at this point in the season. So your argument really lacks any serious consideration. But, by all means, don’t let any facts get in the way when you post.

    • wisner74 - Nov 29, 2013 at 5:38 PM

      This is another great example of the silly hyperbole used here by many Tommy Bashers.

      How does a guy who is not a D-I-quality QB end up fourth all-time in passing yardage and very close to second in TD passes at Notre Dame?

  7. irishdrg1 - Nov 28, 2013 at 6:49 PM

    IRISH WIN 24 to 21 with kyle kicking winning fg as time runs out. GO IRISH

  8. papadec - Nov 28, 2013 at 7:11 PM

    I’d like to see ND play a sec team in a warm location Bowl game.

    • c4evr - Nov 28, 2013 at 8:58 PM

      I’ll second that, but I’m pretty certain not for the same reasons.

  9. ajw21 - Nov 28, 2013 at 7:25 PM

    Nude: If we have seen what you predicted all year how did we beat 3 teams in the top 25? I think us beating them makes the losses to 2 unranked teams (I think Oklahoma is still ranked) all that much maddening. Not sure if we beat Stanford but we can play with ranked teams.

    • nudeman - Nov 28, 2013 at 10:07 PM

      My predictions have had their hits and misses.
      Before the year, I said “10-2 is more likely than 8-4″. And I already knew Rees was the QB.
      I was sure they’d beat Michigan and also said the Pitt game was a trap because they came so close to beating ND the last two years. Was sure they’d get beat by Stanford and either Pitt or OK.

      Other than Air Force, can you tell me one complete game the Irish have played this year?

      I didn’t know Tuitt would play like a 3rd stringer most of the year, Nix would be in and out of the lineup, Councell, Grace and Hounshell would be lost, and Bennett Jackson would be so bad. I stupidly sort of bought the “New and improved Tommy” nonsense.

      But mostly I didn’t know this would be a team so lacking in spirit and energy.
      And that’s why I don’t see them taking the good karma from last weekend and leveraging it against Stanford. They just haven’t been able to sustain anything from one good quarter to the next, or one game to the next. So why would it suddenly happen this weekend?

      • tucsonfan - Nov 29, 2013 at 1:03 AM

        Nude, you just cannot get off beating the dead horse regarding your contempt for Reese. One could argue he’s been the most valuable player for ND this year–remember how we all, yourself included I would bet, shuddered when he was hurt and Hendrix came in and was beyond awful? What would our record be if he had gotten hurt and was out for the season, say like Spond missing the whole season? That’s not to say TR is our best player at all, just that he’s all we had this year due to the circumstances and he’s mostly come through–much better than many of us expected.

        As for complete games, I’m happy with a W, no matter how we get it. Don’t let perfection be the enemy of good enough. I have never in my life felt bad about how ND has ever won a game, and my first memory of ND football was while Leahy was coaching.

      • nudeman - Nov 29, 2013 at 11:09 AM

        Dude,
        The only reason I mentioned Rees was to make the point that I made my predictions after Golson was suspended. We ALL knew/know that hasn’t helped. I took no shots at Rees here, you YOU need to stop beating the horse.

        For the record, my predictions were probably 50% at best.
        I also predicted Cam would get no more than 50 carries, GAIII would get around 800-900 yards, and basically they’d go 10-2. All wrong.

        What were your predictions?

  10. 25kgold - Nov 28, 2013 at 8:10 PM

    Brain Bowl ’13! #ClassFirst

  11. c4evr - Nov 28, 2013 at 9:05 PM

    Season played out about the way I expected. The ASU game was a surprise – as was Pitt, but not in a good way – and I agree with Nude (or he agrees with me) that ND is flat and mediocre. Acceptance is the first step in recovery, so it’s time to deal with it. At least the team won’t have to deal with the distraction before the Pinstripe Bowl of Kelly flirting with the NFL this year. Stanford 33 ND 14.

    • mayesdays - Nov 28, 2013 at 9:31 PM

      GO IRISH! BEAT THE TREES, AND SURPRISE THE C’s!

    • tucsonfan - Nov 29, 2013 at 1:14 AM

      I love how armchair quarterbacks like C4 and Nude decree that this team is flat and without spirit or energy.

      They have made plenty of mistakes, as young athletes do, but how the hell would you know they don’t have spirit or energy? Awfully hard to win any games at this level if you don’t have spirit or energy, and we’ve beaten some darn good, ranked teams (more than any other team this year) despite our losses. Nobody else has beaten MSU this year, for instance, regardless of whether you think we had a perfect gameplan. Personally I’m hoping the Spartans shock tOSU and think they have a chance of doing it. They certainly will be the best team the Buckeyes have played by far.

      Maybe you guys just feed on negative energy and whining–that seems to be C4′s personna. Nude, you have some pretty good posts with some interesting takes on things, but you can be johnny one note at times and miss the forest for the trees. Its more fun when you do see the good (winning) as well as the mistakes.

      • nudeman - Nov 29, 2013 at 11:16 AM

        tucson
        I am hardly the only person who thinks they have been flat and leaderless this year.

        Re: Rees, to repeat what ndgoldandblue wrote, when Golson was suspended, his cabal of supporters like you all talked about how the players felt there is no dropoff from Golson to Rees, how it’s easier to pass protect for Rees, how smart he is, he always gets us into the right plays, etc etc.

        Now that the year is near over and we’ve seen that Rees v.13 is the same as Rees v.11, you all want to talk about “well he tries soooo hard; he’s doing his best; where would we be without him; he’s our #2 QB, lay off”

        As ndgoldandblue wrote, which is it? You can’t have it both ways.

      • jerseyshorendfan1 - Nov 29, 2013 at 11:25 AM

        For purely selfish reasons, I will say Pinstripe Bowl vs. Rutgers/Houston/Cincy/Don’t Really Care. If it happens I will be there. Now, on to the Stanford game. As many of you know, I was predicting 11-1 this year with a loss only to the Cardinal. I knew they were going to be good and I knew they’d be gunning for us like Judge Smails after the way Manti and the D snuffed out that last series pulling off a goal line stand for the ages. I didn’t see us losing to UM or Pitt at all although I did think Oklahoma would be tough but we would pull out the win. Well, looking at how wrong I was, I’m beginning to think I may have been wrong about Stanford as well. Perhaps the performance against BYU has my spirits temporarily buoyed, but I think we just may pull off the upset here. This is the last time in an ND uniform for a lot of guys and I think they come together as a team, play their hearts out and walk out of Palo Alto tomorrow with a 20-17 W on a Brindza walk off FG. Get your blood pressure meds and your Tums ready boys because this will be a good one. Two keys: no turnovers and don’t give up the big chunk passing plays on D. This Stanford team is not invincible, they were manhandled by a team that we manhandled in SC so there is hope. We will be 10-3 after a bowl win and recruiting will roll right along, all shaping up for a much better 2014. I do hope that the BYU game showed the coaching staff that we do have a running game and if you have a negative play here or there, don’t panic, keep pounding. Somebody is gonna break off a 10 or 20 yarder and that will keep Shaw thinking, opening up some good opportunities for Hercules, some screen plays and taking a crack at going down field every now and then. We have to play with that devil may care attitude and leave it all out on the field. With that, I believe I may have hit my limit of trite football sayings so I’ll close by saying GO IRISH BEAT STANFORD (if for no other reason than they have the effing dumbest looking mascot ever created…..a tree…..WTF?).

      • c4evr - Nov 29, 2013 at 7:25 PM

        Tucson, you have great points… if and only if the expectations of this program are on par with the Central Florida’s of the world. But when you are paying millions to a coach – as well as pulling in top 10 recruiting classes – you hope to see more than ‘giving it the old college try’. For someone who purports to being a positive poster, you are awfully quick with the ‘dumber than a stump’ retort when you happen to dislike like a post. That only proves I’ve hit a nerve. There is no amount of positive spin you or your rainbow cohorts can muster that puts this season in a good light. With the exception of Cam, Niklas, Nix, Tuitt, Smith, and Jones, this team has been flaccid most of the year. That’s on the coach and his staff.

  12. viktory2013 - Nov 29, 2013 at 2:46 AM

    Mr. Nudeman, like it or not, speaks the truth. It’s not negativity to simply point out a frustrating situation,or beating a dead horse to complain about a lingering problem.
    It’s not Tommy Rees’ fault that he lacks talent, particularly if it was a one season issue. But that it’s been an ongoing dilemma since 2010 is the root cause of all the furor. I think many of us would shrug off his mediocrity if he simply plodded along and didn’t make a huge impact, but when his errors are so mind boggling, game changing and repetive, I think the consternation is justified. And if you don’t believe a quarterback can change the entire complexion of team, check out Green Bay. And Andrew Hendrix mysterious regression into oblivion doesn’t somehow make Rees’ play exemplary. With the experience Rees has gained, his play at this stage should be near flawless. Lack of ability doesn’t justify ridiculously poor decisions again and again.

    With a single game remaining, it is what it is and no change is forthcoming, so it’s pointless to squabble amongst ourselves, however living in denial about a glaring problem is embarrassing.
    The team just might knock off a beatable Stanford team (despite what their media hacks spew), and exit the season and springboard into the next on a high note. It’s doable, but not with end zone picks.

  13. ronniethec - Nov 29, 2013 at 1:51 PM

    Nude. I have been following this board for years and have never made a comment. But now that TR’s career is nearing an end, I think it’s time for me to opine. Number 1. You know very little about the game of football. Number 2. You are kind of a jerk. There is no number 3.

  14. tucsonfan - Nov 29, 2013 at 9:01 PM

    For Nude and C4:

    For the record, I’ve never been a Reese cabal guy–when EG was suspended I assumed the season would be a dead bust–I was overly pessimistic about Reese, but is he the guy I wanted to QB the team this year? No way. On the other hand, 8, 9 or 10 wins with Reese as QB and all the hurt guys we have is a tribute to Kelly’s coaching, in my mind.

    C4, I said you were dumber than a stump to juxtapose your claim about EG having no effect on the ND defense’s performance–you said schoosier must be “higher than a kite” to think EG would have made a difference in the defense’s performance. Sorry, that IS just dumb.

    Finally, C4, noting that there’s only 5 point difference in points scored last year vs this year is interesting but irrelevant. The players are totally different, both ours and the teams we play.

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