*Notre Dame* and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Football Team

Discussion in 'The Mainboard' started by Thoros of Beer, Feb 3, 2016.

  1. Killy Me Please

    Killy Me Please I lift things up and put people down.
    Donor

    Durham Smythe just scored for Miami
     
  2. Wicket

    Wicket Fan: ND, PSV, Pool FC, Cricket, Urquel, Dog Crew
    Donor
    Notre Dame Fighting IrishSan Francisco GiantsNew Orleans SaintsChicago Cubs

    hes having himself a sneaky solid career. Hell never be a star but he could well do that job for 5 more years
     
  3. IHHH

    IHHH Well-Known Member
    Donor
    Notre Dame Fighting IrishMontreal Canadiens

    I thought this could happen, is Troy Nicklas still in the nfl? That guy might’ve lost millions by not coming back
     
  4. Wicket

    Wicket Fan: ND, PSV, Pool FC, Cricket, Urquel, Dog Crew
    Donor
    Notre Dame Fighting IrishSan Francisco GiantsNew Orleans SaintsChicago Cubs

    nope, he was still in the mill of off season invites last year but this year nothing afaik
     
    IHHH likes this.
  5. nexus

    nexus Paradise Found
    Donor TMB OG
    Indiana HoosiersNotre Dame Fighting IrishChicago CubsIndianapolis ColtsPittsburgh PenguinsReal MadridTool

    they would have renamed the Biletnikoff after him if ND had even a competent QB the last 3 years
     
    Everett Golson and Beeds07 like this.
  6. soulfly

    soulfly Well-Known Member
    Donor
    Seattle MarinersSeattle SeahawksBarcelonaSeattle SupersonicsSeattle SoundersSeattle Kraken

    Now do Calvin Johnson.
     
  7. Beeds07

    Beeds07 Bitch, it's Saturday
    Donor
    Notre Dame Fighting IrishSt. Louis CardinalsIndianapolis ColtsSt. Louis Blues

    He's has a quarterback now...
     
    IHHH and Killy Me Please like this.
  8. Wicket

    Wicket Fan: ND, PSV, Pool FC, Cricket, Urquel, Dog Crew
    Donor
    Notre Dame Fighting IrishSan Francisco GiantsNew Orleans SaintsChicago Cubs

    so at what point do we expect the kick times for this saturday? I want to know if im gonna get any sleep this weekend
     
  9. NilesIrish

    NilesIrish Not a master fisher but I know bait when I see it
    Donor TMB OG
    Notre Dame Fighting IrishChicago CubsChicago BullsChicago BearsChicago BlackhawksDemocrat

    We're at 3:30 est
     
  10. Wicket

    Wicket Fan: ND, PSV, Pool FC, Cricket, Urquel, Dog Crew
    Donor
    Notre Dame Fighting IrishSan Francisco GiantsNew Orleans SaintsChicago Cubs

    thnx, cbs, the site i usually use, didnt have most of the times yet. wanted to see if i could skip the noon slot (6pm our time) as my sister was gonna come over
     
    NilesIrish likes this.
  11. NilesIrish

    NilesIrish Not a master fisher but I know bait when I see it
    Donor TMB OG
    Notre Dame Fighting IrishChicago CubsChicago BullsChicago BearsChicago BlackhawksDemocrat

    Such a freaky play, Didn't realize it was Atwell at the time

     
    a1ND, Beeds07, IHHH and 1 other person like this.
  12. there weren't many highlight plays during the game but this was really incredible given who he was covering. not that scouts are going to need to look at the tape much to see he is an elite talent at the next level but plays like this certainly will be part of the highlight reel
     
    a1ND, Wicket and laxjoe like this.
  13. Wicket

    Wicket Fan: ND, PSV, Pool FC, Cricket, Urquel, Dog Crew
    Donor
    Notre Dame Fighting IrishSan Francisco GiantsNew Orleans SaintsChicago Cubs

    So this team has 2 Clemson level talents on defense (hamilton and JOK) and like 6 on offense (Basically OL TEs and Kyren) but it feels damn good to at least have a few. Dont even know how it feels to have clemson level talent
     
  14. ND should try to get a Trevor Lawrence type QB

    [​IMG]
     
    Red Rover, a1ND, Beeds07 and 9 others like this.
  15. Wicket

    Wicket Fan: ND, PSV, Pool FC, Cricket, Urquel, Dog Crew
    Donor
    Notre Dame Fighting IrishSan Francisco GiantsNew Orleans SaintsChicago Cubs

    we havent even offered arch manning
     
  16. theregionsitter

    theregionsitter Well-Known Member
    TMB OG
    Notre Dame Fighting IrishChicago White SoxIndianapolis ColtsColumbus Blue JacketsColumbus Crew

    no one has
     
  17. Dr. Richard Cranium

    Dr. Richard Cranium I'm sorry, the card says Moops
    Donor TMB OG
    Notre Dame Fighting IrishMilwaukee Brewers altMilwaukee BucksGreen Bay PackersTiger Woods

    In the off years between big time qb recruits when they normally sign Rees, Clark, Avery Davis, Book, etc they should go after the best of the best qb recruit and if the miss out just hit up the transfer portal.

    All of our big time qb recruits the pick their guy when they are sophomores that we all think are elite but in the end they end up like QB 8 in the class.
     
  18. Beeds07

    Beeds07 Bitch, it's Saturday
    Donor
    Notre Dame Fighting IrishSt. Louis CardinalsIndianapolis ColtsSt. Louis Blues

    Honest question. Has Kelly in the last 11 years with Ian Book ever said the QB play has to be better? Its always the line, or the receivers, but never the mediocre QB play.
     
    AbeFroman likes this.
  19. Dr. Richard Cranium

    Dr. Richard Cranium I'm sorry, the card says Moops
    Donor TMB OG
    Notre Dame Fighting IrishMilwaukee Brewers altMilwaukee BucksGreen Bay PackersTiger Woods

    Probably when Golson turned it over 86 times in the last five games of 2014
     
  20. Wicket

    Wicket Fan: ND, PSV, Pool FC, Cricket, Urquel, Dog Crew
    Donor
    Notre Dame Fighting IrishSan Francisco GiantsNew Orleans SaintsChicago Cubs

    and that second half of the usc game when rees went down and we had to roll with hendrix
     
  21. a1ND

    a1ND Bold & Spicy
    Donor

    ToT Offense

    “I think you evaluate it based upon the body of work. Certainly there are things he can get better at, but look, he wins. I get asked the same question each and every week. He’s a winner. He wins football games. He hasn’t lost at home. When it’s time to make plays, he made huge third-down conversions on the last drive. When the game’s on the line, you can count on Ian Book to make big plays for us, and that’s a good feeling to have.” -- Brian Kelly on Ian Book


    OFFENSE: DON’T COMPLICATE THE ISSUE
    The notion that Notre Dame’s offense didn’t come to play, was sluggish and was unable to move the football is an inaccurate portrayal in the 12-7 victory over Louisville.

    It came down to one very fundamental aspect of offensive football when you’re not scoring touchdowns on long-distance plays – the failure to convert in the red zone.

    Three times the Irish moved the football inside the Cardinals’ 20-yard line in the first half. In fact, the Irish had just four possessions in the first half and three ended up in the red zone.

    The first drive was 61 yards on 12 plays. The second drive was 76 yards on 15 plays. The third drive that started at the Irish 16 was a three-and-out. The fourth drive, which began at the Notre Dame four, went 90 yards on 14 plays.

    In the second half, the Irish had three possessions – an eight-play, 66-yard touchdown drive, a four-and-out, and a 14-play, 57-yard drive in which the Irish used the final 7:55 on the clock.

    So let’s not complicate what happened Saturday and turn this into something it wasn’t. Was Ian Book as sharp as you would have liked for him to be? No, in part because of swirling wind conditions. In part because Javon McKinley dropped a pass inside the 10. In part because McKinley dropped a two-point conversion pass. In part because Notre Dame threw it just 19 times, completing 11 for 106 yards while the rushing attack accounted for 232 yards on 49 attempts.

    “We controlled the line of scrimmage,” Brian Kelly said. “We controlled the time of possession. We had (three) penalties. We didn’t turn the football over.

    “I’ve coached a lot of games over 30 years, and I don’t know that I’ve been in one quite like this. I’ve been in a 12-7 game when it was a stinker. But this game was a little different. It was hard fought. It was the inability to cash in in the red zone, and then a couple of plays we need to make.

    “We’ve got to make a catch in the end zone. We’ve got to make a third-down stop. That’s kind of the difference in this ball game and it looks a little bit different in the end.”

    We are so conditioned to discount Kelly’s words and immediately turn to Book as the culprit for everything that goes wrong offensively that sometimes we don’t really grasp what we’re seeing, myself included at first glance.

    Book was dumped for a loss four times in the three first-half red zone penetrations. Notre Dame’s offensive line did not pick up Louisville’s blitzes well and Book was thrown for a loss.

    Could Book have been the problem in not adjusting the protection? That’s a possibility. But Louisville linebacker Monty Montgomery made a couple of nice plays in the red zone. Cornerback Chandler Jones sliced into the backfield and brought Book down. Jones jumped a route and almost made an interception inside the 10.

    Book could have saved three yards on the final drive of the first half and thrown the football away. Two plays later, he held onto the football a bit too long and Kevin Austin Jr. couldn’t get a foot down in the end zone -- otherwise the Irish lead 13-0 at halftime -- although if Austin is in the flow of playing after essentially missing two years of competition, perhaps he makes the play.

    The decision to fake the field goal and eschew a 9-0 lead is another matter. Didn’t agree with it then, wouldn’t have agreed with it even had it worked, and don’t agree with it now.

    But let’s not complicate things. Book and the Irish offense converted 8-of-14 on third down, including a crucial 3-for-3 on the game-clinching drive. They moved the football on five of seven possessions. They gained 61, 76, 90, 66 and 57 yards on those five drives. They just didn’t capitalize in the red zone where Book was 2-of-5 for 11 yards in the first half for a variety of reasons.

    Notre Dame collectively did not make plays in the red zone. The pass blocking by the offensive line wasn’t good enough. The pass-catching by Irish receivers wasn’t good enough. Book wasn’t good enough. Tommy Rees wasn’t good enough. Louisville’s defense played well. Collectively, Notre Dame’s offense faltered in the red zone.

    RED-ZONE WOES
    “You had to remind me of that, huh?”

    That was Tommy Rees’ smiling comment about Notre Dame’s red-zone issues late in the Camping World Bowl against Iowa State during a Zoom meeting with the new Irish coordinator this spring.

    Twice late in the second half of Notre Dame’s 33-9 victory over the Cyclones, the Irish had chances to push the score into the 40s. A run by Ian Book to the one-yard line probably could have been a touchdown if Book had tucked back inside instead of running toward the pylon. Book then threw incomplete to Chase Claypool and the field goal was converted.

    On 1st-and-goal from the 18 shortly thereafter, Tony Jones Jr. gained one yard, Jafar Armstrong was thrown for a four-yard loss, and Book’s third-down pass to Chris Finke netted just a yard. Jonathan Doerer came on to boot another field goal.

    Now four games into the 2020 season, Rees and the Irish offense are still trying to regain the red-zone magic of 2019 under coordinator Chip Long whose offense for 12 of the 13 games last year converted 40-of-51 (78.4 percent) of its red-zone entries into touchdowns.

    With Rees’ one-game stats added in, Notre Dame ranked eighth in the country last year in red-zone touchdown percentage (42-of-55) for a 76.3 percent mark.

    Four games into the 2020 season, Notre Dame is tied for 54th (out of 76 FBS teams) in red-zone touchdown percentage with 12 touchdowns on 21 entries, including a 1-of-5 mark in Saturday’s victory over Louisville. To be fair, it really was 1-of-4 as the Irish ran out the clock after reaching the Cardinal 10-yard line on a 24-yard run by Kyren Williams.

    Notre Dame came up empty on all three red-zone entries in the first half, and then Book’s nifty tight-rope run of 13 yards into the end zone with 3:43 left in the third quarter proved to be Notre Dame’s only touchdown and the game-winner.

    In the season-opener against Duke, Notre Dame converted 2-of-4 red-zone cracks into touchdowns. Against South Florida, 5-of-7 red-zone entries went for touchdowns. Against Florida State, 4-of-5 red-zone penetrations resulted in six points.

    Part of it is Book. Part of it is the Irish wide receivers with no clear-cut red-zone answer minus Chase Claypool, although freshman tight end Michael Mayer would seem to be an easy and inviting option. Part of it is on Rees to find ways to get his offense in the end zone.

    But the stats speak for themselves. Notre Dame is, generally speaking, moving the football. The Irish are 23rd in total offense. They’re seventh in rushing offense. They’re 30th in scoring despite tallying 27 points against Duke and 12 versus Louisville. They’re 15th in third-down conversions.

    They just haven’t punched it in against the No. 58 (South Florida), No. 52 (Florida State), No. 45 (Duke) and No. 42 (Louisville) scoring defenses in the country so far this year, and if the Irish are to continue their FBS-leading 10-game winning streak, they’ll need to be better within the shadow of the goal line.

    WIDE RECEIVER WOES
    To lump Notre Dame’s red-zone and passing issues in general all on Ian Book would be inaccurate. To place the blame only on the Irish wide receivers would be unfair. To say it’s all on Tommy Rees is misguided. To say Brian Kelly is at fault because they haven’t recruited well enough at receiver would be missing the reality of the situation, although you always have an opportunity to sign better personnel.

    In football – and life – it’s seldom one thing that is the problem, particularly in the ultimate team sport that is football. It’s a combination of things. There are too many moving parts to place it all on one player or one position.

    And yet as Tony Dungy repeatedly pointed out in the Louisville game, the Irish receivers were having difficulty against the Cardinals’ pass coverage.

    Louisville CB-Kei’Trel Clark (No. 13) had a very good game. He jumped several routes, including the lone target to Braden Lenzy – a up-and-out route – which tells you the route was telegraphed. If a cornerback doesn’t respect Lenzy’s ability to beat him deep with his speed, the route had to have been a dead giveaway. One of Louisville’s best cornerbacks – Marlon Character – returned to action in the second half after missing the first 30 minutes due to a targeting penalty the previous week against Georgia Tech.

    Javon McKinley doesn’t do well in press coverage. Most of his damage in the Florida State game came with a cushion at the line of scrimmage. Book’s decisive throws against the Seminoles – perhaps due in part to their coverage – helped make McKinley a star that night.

    Kevin Austin Jr. is still rounding back into form. Lenzy hasn’t been able to stay healthy. Joe Wilkins, despite a strong opening performance against Duke, isn’t that gifted when it comes to athleticism and creating separation. Ben Skowronek, battling hamstring injuries, flashed against Louisville with a couple of third-down receptions, including one in the final drive that helped ice the game. His first catch – a 16-yarder – converted a 3rd-and-10 that led to Notre Dame’s first field goal.

    Lawrence Keys III missed the Louisville game in concussion protocol. Avery Davis has flashed a few times. He has five catches for 52 yards, including a 17-yard touchdown against Duke. Notre Dame tight ends Tommy Tremble and Michael Mayer remain quality options – they’ve combined for 17 grabs totaling 194 yards, including some athletic wizardry by Mayer against the Cardinals – but Tremble has caught just two passes in the last two games.

    What about Jordan Johnson, Xavier Watts and Jay Brunelle? Whenever the frontline receivers don’t put up numbers, there’s a cry for freshmen, regardless what they’re doing on the practice field to prove to the coaching staff they belong on the field. Presumably, if they thought they could make a difference, they’d be on the field.

    The Irish miss Chase Claypool, Cole Kmet and Chris Finke, which was one of the most predictable things about the 2020 season. Irish Illustrated said it, wrote it and emphasized it, making the comparison to 2016 after Will Fuller, Chris Brown and Amir Carlisle left the nest with a combined 142 receptions for 2,210 yards and 19 touchdowns (14 by Fuller) in 2015.

    Claypool, Kmet and Finke combined for 150 receptions for 2,009 yards and 23 touchdowns last year Replacing that production and chemistry with Book would have taken time without the pandemic. Missing spring drills with a truncated summer and coronavirus protocol certainly hasn’t helped the chemistry of the passing game.

    The pedestrian performance of Notre Dame’s wideouts, Book’s penchant for failing to spot open receivers at times and wide receiver injuries have contributed to a wideout corps with just 26 catches for 329 yards (12.6-yard average) and one touchdown.

    There are no easy solution. Rees certainly tried to accentuate the wideouts against the Cardinals, and Louisville got the best of them in the red zone. The Irish just have to keep grinding to find more productivity out of the passing attack.

    QUICK-HITTERS: OFFENSE
    Full disclosure: I’ve been pointing out the shortcomings of Louisville DC-Bryan Brown. Credit to him for coming up with a game plan that stopped the Irish in the red zone. I saw a lot of drop eight on 3rd-and-long from the Louisville defense in its first four games. Brown did a nice job of mixing things up…Louisville linebacker Monty Montgomery could play effectively for Notre Dame…The wind clearly impacted several of Ian Book’s passes, particularly in the first half, but on the first snap of the game, he forced the football to a covered Javon McKinley with an easy read directly in front of him down the middle to an open Michael Mayer. This happens much too frequently for a quarterback that has started 27 games…

    I thought Chris Tyree had a disappointing performance against Louisville. He fell/went down too easily on several occasions, and a lack of wiggle – other than one run late – is a problem. He’s fast but not fast enough without a little bit of shake (a la Kyren Williams) to be more effective. He can run by you on occasion, but without make-you-miss wiggle, it’s hard to be a great back. Worth keeping an eye on. Credit to him for a great blitz pickup on the late third-down conversion pass to McKinley. Still a great prospect…Irish fans may not have been impressed by WR-Ben Skowronek against Duke when he came up lame with a hamstring. The Louisville game was his first action since and he made two clutch receptions. You’ll like his great hands, which he flashed against the Cardinals. Loved how he put his head down and powered through the tackler in the final drive…

    5COMMENTS
    It’s been a slow start for Kevin Austin Jr., but in addition to his 18-yard reception, he drew a holding penalty against the Cardinals. More action this week against Pittsburgh’s press coverage… How did the referee miss the original touchdown call on Austin’s corner end-zone catch? Pretty clear he was out of bounds…Michael Mayer is a physical freak. Call me Mr. Obvious…Nice block by Joe Wilkins Jr. on an 11-yard run by Williams…Great job of attacking the opportunity by McKinley on his 15-yard jet sweep…C-Jarrett Patterson had a great matchup against Louisville NT-Jared Goldwire. Patterson is even better than anticipated this season. He has a chance to be a real star, and it could be at another offensive line position down the road…TE-Brock Wright is known for his blocking. That said, this was one of his better all-around blocking games…

    “You play to win the game!” No problem with the Irish running out the clock instead of trying to punch it in. (The only way style points are needed in 2020 are if the Irish lose to someone other than Clemson. Beat Clemson once and you’re in.) Remember Cam McDaniel’s fumble against Northwestern in 2014? In fact, that was another game in which it was easy to disagree with a Brian Kelly two-point conversion decision, only that one – with an 11-point lead – was more egregious.
     
  22. a1ND

    a1ND Bold & Spicy
    Donor

    Defense

    “On film study, we felt like there was a vulnerability there. We felt like it was going to go for a touchdown or I wouldn’t have called it, coupled with the fact that that was the time to take a shot at it. From our film study and our preparation – we worked on it all week – I felt like that was the right time to take the shot at it. The only thing you can question is the distance. But the rationale behind it, the way it was set up, we felt like it could go for a touchdown.”
    - Brian Kelly on fake-field goal attempt

    A DOMINANT PERFORMANCE
    The leftover perceptions of Notre Dame’s 12-7 victory over Louisville invariably focus on the negatives when a game plays out like this one did. Notre Dame’s offense didn’t capitalize on several red-zone opportunities in the first half, otherwise the score would have been 21-0 or 17-0 or 13-0 at halftime.

    The lasting image of this game would have changed dramatically.

    Notre Dame’s defensive performance has been overshadowed by the offense’s red-zone issues. In fact, the defensive effort against a dangerous Louisville offense with a variety of weapons should be lauded. Clark Lea’s plan and his defense’s execution were magnificent.

    “We were trying to get the perfect call and, at times, we didn’t have our players with their cleats in the ground,” said Brian Kelly after the defense showed rust/coronavirus aftershocks in the 42-26 victory over Florida State a week earlier.

    “We’re going to be simpler and we’re going to attack the line of scrimmage. We’re going to be a physical football team.”

    Notre Dame held the Cardinals to 22 points under their per game average, 81 yards under their rushing average, 127 yards under their passing average, a whopping 208 yards under their total offense average, and seven first downs less than their typical output in their first four games.

    In quarterback Malik Cunningham, the Cardinals have a true dual threat, although he has been less accurate throwing the football this year despite returning his top pass-catching weapons. Running back Javian Hawkins typically is a handful. Wideouts Tutu Atwell and Dez Fitzpatrick have annihilated defenses in the past.

    Notre Dame battered Cunningham into just 118 yards passing and 49 yards rushing (with a long of 11). Hawkins, averaging 117 yards rushing per game and 5.5 per carry, managed just 51 yards on 15 carries (3.4) while the Irish dumped him for two yards or less on 10 of his 15 rushing attempts. Atwell was contained to a mere 7.2 yards per his six catches. Fitzpatrick caught just two passes for 21 yards.

    On every front, Clark Lea’s defense – even without an established Buck linebacker, even without much of a pass rush, even minus starting DT-Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa at full strength and even with a secondary still piecing things together – stifled a creative offensive mind of Louisville head coach Scott Satterfield.

    Outside of a late-first half 28-yard run by Hawkins, a 14-yard Hawkins run on his first carry, and a 29-yard wheel route to Hawkins that caught Notre Dame’s defense by surprise, the Cardinals’ other 42 snaps accounted for 148 yards, or a mere 3.5 yards per play.

    “The first thing you have to do is understand their tendencies,” said Irish standout Rover Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah. “Tendencies are a huge thing when you talk about defending great players. We know they like to go long. We know they like to go on jet. Those were things we really tried to key in on.”

    Notre Dame used Owusu-Koramoah more as a straight-up linebacker as opposed to the multi-dimensional player he is capable of being by assisting in pass coverage. That helped bottle up Hawkins in particular and Atwell as a jet sweep/shovel pass option. Safety Kyle Hamilton also kept a special eye on Atwell to assist Notre Dame’s cornerbacks.

    Additionally, and perhaps most importantly, Notre Dame’s defensive front won the point of attack, shifting the line of scrimmage to frequently put the Cardinals in 2nd-and-long and 3rd-and-long situations. The Irish had eight tackles for loss to raise their total in four games to 35, which places them 12th nationally at 8.75 per game.

    Notre Dame held Louisville to 3-of-9 on third down. The Cardinals were faced with 2nd-and-9 and 3rd-and-11 in their first series, 3rd-and-7 and 3rd-and-14 in their second series, 3rd-and-21 in their third series, 3rd-and-14 in their fifth series, 3rd-and-16 in their sixth series, and 2nd-and-26 and 3rd-and-17 in their seventh and final possession.

    The key to Scott Satterfield’s offensive approach is predicated upon the running game. The Cardinals were 18th in the country in rushing attempts last year. It sets up the passing game for big plays, which is a big reason Louisville was eighth last year in yards per pass attempt at 10.1.

    Louisville contributed to Notre Dame’s defensive cause by committing seven penalties for 60 yards, several of which came at critical times in a low-scoring game. But it was the Irish defense that forced the issue and bottled up a potentially dangerous offensive attack.

    “Just cutting down the amount of calls that we have,” said Owusu-Koramoah when asked to give specific examples of how the defense was simplified for Louisville in order to get their “cleats in the ground.”

    “Just making it easy for everybody to understand to be able to play really fast. That was what we keyed in on this week to play fast and physical. When you take out some of the calls and take out a lot of the checks, you get more comfortable in the defense.”

    For the second straight week, the Irish allowed a touchdown drive to start the second half. Against Florida State, the Seminoles marched 75 yards on seven plays. Against Louisville, it was 83 yards on 13 plays. That needs to be cleaned up. But otherwise, the Cardinals rans 32 plays netting for 132 yards for a rock-solid performance when the Irish offense needed to be bailed out.

    DECIPHERING THE LINEBACKER CORPS, ISSUES
    As expected, a less than Drew White-like performance against Florida State was replaced by the alert, heady play of the Irish Mike linebacker, whose three unofficial tackles didn’t accurately depict his active contributions to the Notre Dame defense that limited Javian Hawkins to 3.4 yards per his 15 rushing attempts.

    Bo Bauer continued to show that he needs to get his fair share of the playing time as well. Bauer has an uncanny knack of “jumping off the page” when it comes to noticing his involvement in the action. He also was credited with a deceptive four tackles (three solo) while serving as Notre Dame’s nickel linebacker with well-timed blitzes that didn’t get home on quarterback Malik Cunningham, but increased Cunningham’s anxiety getting rid of the football.

    It’s virtually impossible not to notice Bauer when he’s in the game.

    Buck linebacker remains a work in progress that has to be cleaned up in the next two weeks before taking on a certain No. 1-ranked opponent. Shayne Simon started, Marist Liufau mixed in, and Jack Kiser returned to brief action after missing the better part of two weeks of practice in COVID-19 protocol.

    Simon seems to be around the football quite a bit in the first series of games but then has difficulty getting into the mix. The Buck (or Will) linebacker has to be around the football a large percentage of the time. The position is set up to be one of the team’s top two tacklers. Simon missed the South Florida game in protocol, but in three games and two starts, he has just five stops and no other stats.

    One play in particular was particularly disturbing. It was a Malik Cunningham run in which about five yards prior to the two bodies meeting for contact, Simon failed to move his feet and just kind of leaned into the tackle on a 3rd-and-5. It was horrible technique, particularly for a Buck linebacker whose main job in the middle of the second level of the defense is to make tackles. Not surprisingly, Cunningham gained seven yards to notch the first down.

    Liufau has the physical traits to be a quality defensive player for the Irish, whether it’s at the Buck or, out of necessity, Rover after the Owusu-Koramoah era comes to a close. But he, too, frequently misses the run gap and runs himself out of the play.

    There’s a degree of uncertainty surrounding surprise South Florida starter Kiser at Buck linebacker. He started against the Bulls when Simon and Liufau were in protocol and Kiser shined, so much so that his eight solo tackles in essentially one game out of four is tied for fourth on the defense.

    But Kiser showed the instincts to play the position, regardless of the level of competition. His active feet is one of the most noteworthy qualities he showed against South Florida, which is the direct opposite of Simon’s play on Cunningham mentioned above. He shows instincts and a proactive approach to the opposing team’s offense, or at least he did against South Florida.

    It’s impossible for a defense to remain stout week after week without a Buck linebacker around the football. It just goes against every defensive principle of sound play. Kiser needs to step up, and if he does, look for Clark Lea to press the Kiser button.

    THE SAFETY DIFFERENCE
    It’s more simple than the following description, but there’s truth to it as well. In games in which Shaun Crawford has played safety for Notre Dame this year, the Irish have allowed 20 points spanning three games. In the one game Crawford was forced to play cornerback and other safeties were on the field next to Kyle Hamilton, the Irish gave up 26 points to Florida State.

    That’s an oversimplification in and of itself. But suffice it to say that when the Irish have the Hamilton-Crawford pairing at safety, they are better off, particularly when they can run Nick McCloud, TaRiq Bracy and Clarence Lewis on the field at cornerback and D.J. Brown comes in and offers solid play as he did against the Cardinals.

    In 2018-19, Notre Dame finished tied for second in the country in yards per passing attempt (5.6) in the former and tied for third in yards per passing attempt (5.9) in the latter. In the three games Crawford has played safety, Notre Dame is allowing 5.7 yards per pass attempt. Florida State averaged 8.1 yards per pass attempt against the Irish. Again, an oversimplification, but Crawford’s diagnosis of a Tutu Atwell jet sweep was absolutely textbook.

    The optics match the statistics. Hamilton, the human eraser, and Crawford give the Irish the best chance to win against the pass when they’re on the last rung of the defense, just as the great duo of Alohi Gilman and Jalen Elliott did in 2018-19.

    QUICK-HITTERS: DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS
    Best performance by red-shirt freshman defensive tackle Howard Cross III in a Notre Dame uniform, which is a total of eight games. Strong, active and physical, Cross still needs to be more consistent. But he has the tools to be a fine interior defensive lineman for the Irish…DE-Daelin Hayes will be remembered for his kill shot on Javian Hawkins in the second half of Notre Dame’s defensive beatdown. But it was Hayes who lost contain on a 14-yard Hawkins run. He also was unable to shed TE-Isaac Martin, who at 6-foot-1, 250 pounds, should not be strong/quick enough to defeat Hayes that badly. Don’t know exactly why pass-rusher Isaiah Foskey played so sparingly -- likely because the Irish were so bent on stopping the run against Louisville – but Hayes has to be better than that…

    Correcting a previous mistake, which makes the stat even worse for Notre Dame. The Irish have faced 119 passes in four games with just one interception. They repeatedly have had players in position to make the play, only to fail to come up with the pick. Missed interception opportunities, at least half-a-dozen so far, can come back to haunt a team in a close game…Things might have been less tense down the stretch if Evan Conley had stayed at quarterback in place of cramping Malik Cunningham. He was an interception waiting to happen…Shout-out to Cunningham. His 28-yard pass to Atwell in front of the Notre Dame sideline was the best throw of the day by either team…Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah has developed a Jaylon Smith-esque sweep of the hand after a big play, although it seems to be the back-handed opposite of Smith’s patented ground-sweeping move…

    Interesting to hear Mike Tirico talk about what a poor warm-up session kicker Jonathan Doerer had, only to see Doerer drill a couple short but wind-altered field goals in an extremely low-scoring game. That’s a credit to Doerer’s tough-minded approach…Pretty gutsy call by Satterfield to go for a 4th-and-3 at the Irish 47 to open the second half. NBC’s Tony Dungy admitted that as a head coach, he would have punted. Trailing 6-0, a failed 4th-and-3 would have given the Irish the football 47 yards from paydirt and a 12-0, 13-0 or 14-0 lead, depending upon Brian Kelly’s decision/execution of the point(s) after…A couple of nice tackles by Jack Lamb on kickoff coverage, plus the obligatory Bo Bauer special teams tackle. He almost always gets at least one…Initially, I thought Jay Bramblett could have cut his fake field goal back to the right where long-snapper Michael Vinson had really cleared out some room. But following Aaron Banks, as Bramblett did, probably made the most sense. Credit to the Cardinals for covering up a tendency that the Irish thought they could exploit…

    This is twice now that Rylie Mills has had an opportunity to get multiple snaps. He has to work harder and fight stronger to get off blocks. He’s getting tied up and losing one-on-one battles…A curious comment by sideline reporter Kathryn Tappen with 2:15 left in the game. She said there was a lot of energy and smiles on the Louisville sideline and encouragement after big plays. That may have been the case earlier, but by the time they got to Tappen, the Irish were running out the clock. Doubt there was too much energy and smiles by that point. Tappen is used so infrequently during a home game that there’s really very little reason to have both her and Jac Collinsworth working on the sideline. But hey, it’s their dime.
     
  23. laxjoe

    laxjoe Well-Known Member
    Donor
    Notre Dame Fighting IrishAvengersSan Diego Padres

  24. Wicket

    Wicket Fan: ND, PSV, Pool FC, Cricket, Urquel, Dog Crew
    Donor
    Notre Dame Fighting IrishSan Francisco GiantsNew Orleans SaintsChicago Cubs

    awesome, hope we dont get any extra night games
     
  25. laxjoe

    laxjoe Well-Known Member
    Donor
    Notre Dame Fighting IrishAvengersSan Diego Padres

    clemson and I'm guessing north Carolina on Friday after thanksgiving. but I'm with you. let's keep it at 3:30 and earlier
     
  26. Wicket

    Wicket Fan: ND, PSV, Pool FC, Cricket, Urquel, Dog Crew
    Donor
    Notre Dame Fighting IrishSan Francisco GiantsNew Orleans SaintsChicago Cubs

    yeah clemson and UNC isnt a worry, im psyched enough about those games
     
  27. beist

    beist Hyperbolist
    Donor

    This timing is inconvenient for those of us who have to take little kids trick or treating. A blowout would be appreciated
     
    laxjoe likes this.
  28. NDfanPSUgrad

    NDfanPSUgrad Well-Known Member
    Penn State Nittany LionsNotre Dame Fighting Irish

    So Jahmir smith just walks away from Football.
     
  29. CTownND

    CTownND Well-Known Member
    Donor

    He's probably just going to take some time off and transfer, right? I doubt he's just going to stay a student at ND but I guess there's a couple precedents for that.

    Probably a name that nobody remembers, but John Kadous played OL/DL back in the late 2000s Weis teams and just quit the team but stayed at the school. He was about 6'7", 300 and would beat the shit out of me trying to block him during interhall football practices.
     
    Red Rover, Beeds07 and laxjoe like this.
  30. Wicket

    Wicket Fan: ND, PSV, Pool FC, Cricket, Urquel, Dog Crew
    Donor
    Notre Dame Fighting IrishSan Francisco GiantsNew Orleans SaintsChicago Cubs

    Well thats one more scholly available
     
  31. CTownND

    CTownND Well-Known Member
    Donor

    lmao, didn't even realize it was this bad

     
    Red Rover, AbeFroman and Wicket like this.
  32. IHHH

    IHHH Well-Known Member
    Donor
    Notre Dame Fighting IrishMontreal Canadiens

    this is disgusting.

    how do you explain not playing jordan jonhson with that type of production.
     
    Beeds07 likes this.
  33. Rise

    Rise Well-Known Member

    Traits
     
  34. Rise

    Rise Well-Known Member

    In all seriousness though - we all know the Kelly playbook, He is still stuck in the mode where we lose to teams like Louisville and has decided he will just get the win and move on in games like that. I don’t feel like going through the list but: Vanderbilt, vt last year, bowling green etc. etc.
     
    Beeds07 likes this.
  35. theregionsitter

    theregionsitter Well-Known Member
    TMB OG
    Notre Dame Fighting IrishChicago White SoxIndianapolis ColtsColumbus Blue JacketsColumbus Crew

    I think this is why the last couple seasons have felt like purgatory

    win all these games unimpressively

    Lose to good teams

    reward is a bowl matchup with Iowa State and a #10 ranking
     
    beist likes this.
  36. IHHH

    IHHH Well-Known Member
    Donor
    Notre Dame Fighting IrishMontreal Canadiens

    it was rhetorical but damn that kid must want to go back home
     
  37. Wicket

    Wicket Fan: ND, PSV, Pool FC, Cricket, Urquel, Dog Crew
    Donor
    Notre Dame Fighting IrishSan Francisco GiantsNew Orleans SaintsChicago Cubs

    yeah there feels no further upside. As good as the team has consistently been it hasnt touched or even sniffed greatness
     
  38. Rise

    Rise Well-Known Member

    We probably need a fresh philosophy but we could easily end up as Nebraska or any of the other teams which thought 10 wins wasn’t good enough so I get the hesitancy to make a change. Here’s to hoping for a smooth power transition in the next couple of years
     
  39. theregionsitter

    theregionsitter Well-Known Member
    TMB OG
    Notre Dame Fighting IrishChicago White SoxIndianapolis ColtsColumbus Blue JacketsColumbus Crew



    Skoronski starting at Left Tackle as a true freshman

    that looks like a painful miss
     
  40. Rise

    Rise Well-Known Member

    Weird one for sure
     
  41. Red Rover

    Red Rover Neck water faucet, mockingbirds mocking
    Donor TMB OG
    Notre Dame Fighting IrishPhoenix Suns

    Didn’t understand that one at all

    Theran Johnson seems to be the same way this class. They both just prefer Northwestern to ND
     
  42. Dr. Richard Cranium

    Dr. Richard Cranium I'm sorry, the card says Moops
    Donor TMB OG
    Notre Dame Fighting IrishMilwaukee Brewers altMilwaukee BucksGreen Bay PackersTiger Woods

    Moving 15 minutes away to start as a true freshman, live in Evanston, and get a degree at Northwestern.

    Can't blame him
     
  43. beist

    beist Hyperbolist
    Donor

  44. Rise

    Rise Well-Known Member

    Was looking at some old posts and saw Aero hasn’t been active for 2 years...Hope he is still kicking. Anyone else drop off the face of the earth? I think I came over during those 24 hour chat sessions on some random site during the Kelly hiring live messaging updates (I vaguely remember getting NJ Irish to use his mod capability on a pay site to confirm the ip address of some dude with stoops information). Didn’t we use to have our own chat room for game watches or am I just imagining that?
     
  45. Wicket

    Wicket Fan: ND, PSV, Pool FC, Cricket, Urquel, Dog Crew
    Donor
    Notre Dame Fighting IrishSan Francisco GiantsNew Orleans SaintsChicago Cubs

    yeah smugzy
     
    DetroitIrish3 and Rise like this.
  46. beist

    beist Hyperbolist
    Donor



    Not going to lie, I did not see this coming
     
  47. nexus

    nexus Paradise Found
    Donor TMB OG
    Indiana HoosiersNotre Dame Fighting IrishChicago CubsIndianapolis ColtsPittsburgh PenguinsReal MadridTool

    Not only has TMB lost Aero but even worse, it kept Druce
     
  48. HotMic

    HotMic Insider
    Donor
    Ohio State BuckeyesCleveland BrownsKent State Golden FlashesCleveland CavaliersCleveland Indians

    Interested Browns fan here. Haven’t been able to watch much this season, how has Owusu-Koramoah been so far this year?
     
  49. He is a monster
     
  50. Killy Me Please

    Killy Me Please I lift things up and put people down.
    Donor

    Didn't aero fake being gay or something