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Discussion in 'The Mainboard' started by Thoros of Beer, Feb 3, 2016.
The one from USC? Didn't he just transfer to Boise?
Man we really have a low hot rate on getting guys to come back under Kelly. I guess it’s good we are putting kids in a position to leave early but would love to have some dudes make bad business decisions every now and then
Disagree. As much as I'm an ND fan, these kids should get theirs whenever possible - colleges already take enough free labor from them
Houston in the transfer oortal
The whole city?!
Who is this referring to this year? Banks will be a 2nd/3rd rounder, McKinley/Book probably just want to get on with their lives, etc.
Tremble leaving early would be kind of a shock/question to me (since I think its obvious a year more in this system would do him wonders and we've had TEs make bad decisions to leave early before), but am I missing something? We're not a Dabo-like cult where everyone comes back blindly, but don't think we're bad at getting people to come back.
Between him and Allen, that's two high profile busts.
banks and tremble this year. Tho if they we may be able to get ade to play another year
He looked noticeably shitty every time he was in
yep. he's just not very good at football. hopefully he got his degree.
He did the new if you suck you study plan
Allen is such a bust I'm not even sure who you're referring to off the top of my head?
DJ Brown had passes up Houston at Safety which told me everything I needed to know
so if we thought DB was a clusterfuck this year (which it was) next year is going to be even more awful. We basically have Kyle Hamilton, who is good, Clarence Lewis, who is promising, and nothing
Maybe there are some guys in the transfer portal.
I'm ok with people leaving early
1. Get paid
2. They are talented
I am not on team Coan, but he makes throws in this video that Book hasn't made all year.
Agreed. I'm just so team finally develop a QB I'm jaded.
That's what I thought too. He makes a throw from the far hash against Ohio State that is pretty good.
We have everyone but McCloud/Crawford. Griffith and Rutherford had been passed up by others already on the roster, we'll see what happens with Bracy.
Need some of the young guys to step up but that was the case regardless.
I've brought up Coan multiple times because he fits the ND offensive model we just saw. But he is a much better thrower than Book. Not nearly the athlete though
Would we benefit from a more comfortable pocket passer that can make a few reads and get the ball downfield? Having that this year given OL play would have been more ideal...
How were Wisky's receivers last year compared to our projected roster next?
Not a fan of guys who's first name ends with the same sound their last name starts with.
Is it weird in more excited by the new guys with the guys coming g back than the guys this year? The only ones ill miss other than the line are JOK and Tremble if he goes.
By thoughts on Book are fairly known
Neither WR concerns me
We should be covered on the DL with the depth
Need CBs and a safety to step up, but I wouldn't mind being forced to see what we have.
Quintez Cephus for Wisky was really good in 2019 and was drafted by the Lions. He's basically a smaller slower version of Claypool but Coan made him look just as good as Claypool in 2019. He's in a ton of those highlights on Coan's film.
Tommy Rees 9 letters
Ian Book 7 letters
Jack Coan 8 letters
Drew Pyne 8 letters
Is it too much to ask for a name with more than 10 letters? I know we'll never see an apostrophe in a name, but maybe a hyphen?
To your point, I thought Daelin Hayes never really had the kind of year we thought he could this year. And Ade had a very good year. But I think Foskey's ceiling will be higher than both - he's not going to be perfect but could be more of a game changer.
Coan is a better passer than Book and i don't think it's all that close in that regard. He lacks Book's mobility and off script plays but the off script plays Book tried to do against the elite teams didn't work all that well and put ND in a hole often times
Someone pointed it out above, but Coan has been in quite a few games against OSU/Mich and he performed decently against them. At least he didn't look scared like Book did except for 1 game against Clemson this year.
The 2018 class... wow this is bad.
yea, that class is killing ND...almost none of the top guys have panned out
that WR and Safety class killed ND this year. Had even one of the WRs or Safeties panned out, ND would have looked much better
Jesus christ I didn't realize it was that bad
Are Noah Boykin and Micah Jones still in the program? Never heard of them
Noah is gone. Micah will be gone shortly
Soft hinting that McCloud may do another year
It's behind a paywall for me
Loy just posted that he expects him to announce that he is leaving soon.
huh, it was free this morning but that must have been a mistake
“When you lose football games, there are a few more plays that you have to make. We had two opportunities in the red zone to score (and) this would (have been) a competitive football game. We didn’t make enough plays. This wasn’t a matter of getting knocked off the ball or not having enough players to compete against Alabama. This was about making plays.” - Brian Kelly
OFFENSIVE PHYSICALITY VS. ALAMABA’S DEFENSIVE FRONT
There is clear evidence that Notre Dame has made up ground on Alabama since the 42-14 loss to the Crimson Tide in the 2012 national championship game in terms of physically matching up against the Crimson Tide.
The clarifier to that statement, of course, is that the only statistic that ultimately matters is the final tally, and Alabama once again decisively defeated the Irish on the scoreboard, 31-14.
Notre Dame never truly contended for a victory. The Irish contended to make it 21-14 in the third quarter had Ian Book shown the slightest bit of touch on a pass to tight end Michael Mayer that was easily picked off by Bama linebacker Christian Harris. The winner of the game was finalized on that play with 7:27 left in the third quarter
Notre Dame’s offensive line physically competed with the Alabama defensive front, as Irish Illustrated predicted it could in the days leading up to the Rose Bowl in AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Notre Dame rushed for 62 yards on 15 carries (4.1-yard average) in the first quarter and 43 yards on nine carries in the second (4.8).
The 105 yards rushing on 24 carries in the first half was a clear sign that left tackle Liam Eichenberg, left guard Aaron Banks and center Zeke Correll in particular were more than prepared to handle Alabama’s two-deep three-man front.
But a few things prevented the Irish from competing for a victory: 1) the Irish couldn’t get into Crimson Tide territory on its first two drives, 2) Alabama totaled 260 on 18 plays in its first three possessions and scored touchdowns to take 14-0 and 21-7 leads in the first half, and 3) the Irish needed to score touchdowns on all four of their red-zone penetrations and they scored just two.
Contrary to two years earlier against Clemson in the Cotton Bowl when the Irish couldn’t move the Tigers’ four-man defensive line with three eventual first-round draft picks, right guard Tommy Kraemer and right tackle Robert Hainsey joined the aforementioned center-left guard-left tackle combination to push the Alabama front and create creases for Kyren Williams to rush for 60 yards on 14 carries in the first half. In the first two Irish possessions, Williams had runs of 15, seven and seven yards. They were making inroads.
In his second career start, Correll – who was a late-in-the-week decision to start because Ian Book continued to have difficulty seeing over the 6-foot-6 7/8, 310-pound Josh Lugg – did an excellent job of holding the point of attack against nose guards D.J. Dale and Tim Smith while frequently pushing both nose guards off the football.
Correll proved in starts against North Carolina and Alabama that he clearly is one of Notre Dame’s best three offensive linemen moving forward into the 2021 football season. That’s an exciting development that was never expected when November began.
It was Banks and Correll who escorted Chris Tyree on Notre Dame’s most explosive play of the day – a 27-yard screen pass -- that catapulted the Irish to a 15-play, 75-yard, 8:03 touchdown drive that spilled into the second quarter to make it a 14-7 game.
Correll was strong at the point of attack and showed the natural inclination to assist on double teams and then sift to the second level to block Tide inside linebackers Harris and Dylan Moses. Eichenberg and Banks frequently caved the right side of the Alabama defensive front.
Additionally, Eichenberg and Hainsey did a nice job against pass rushers Will Anderson Jr. and Christopher Allen. Neither recorded a sack nor a tackle for loss after entering the game with a combined 13 sacks and 22½ tackles for loss. Alabama had two sacks of Book after recording 32 sacks in 11 games, or three per game. (Note: 21 of Alabama’s 32 sacks on the season came in the four games prior to the clash with Notre Dame.)
Ultimately, the Irish couldn’t sustain the rushing success as they were forced to throw it 27 times in the second half while the rushing numbers dipped to just 2.4 yards per carry (14-for-34) in the third and fourth quarters. When the Irish fell behind 28-7, they no longer could stick to a balanced approach, which is problematic when you can only throw to one half of the field with Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II closing down one side.
Brian Kelly and Tommy Rees have to come up with ways to score against the Alabamas and the Clemsons in championship/playoff competition. The Irish have now scored three points against Clemson in the 2018 playoffs, 10 points versus Clemson in the ACC championship and 14 points against the Crimson Tide in the 2020 playoffs. That’s 27 points in three games. Nine points per game and 2.25 points per quarter isn’t going to cut it.
Notre Dame has narrowed the gap physically, but didn’t have the skill-position talent/athleticism to take it to the next level. Additionally, as competitive as Book was in leading the Irish to two undefeated seasons out of three, he couldn’t match the sheer talent of five NFL quarterbacks that were in the playoffs in 2018 and 2010 – Trevor Lawrence, Tua Tagovailoa, Kyler Murray, Justin Fields and Mac Jones.
So the Irish have narrowed the gap on one front but not the other.
THE DEEP-SHOT DILEMMA
Notre Dame was faced with several dilemmas against a program the magnitude of Alabama’s, including the fine line between trying to control the clock and picking spots where the offense could get a few chunk plays to create scoring opportunities. The only way to stop Alabama’s offense in 2020 is to keep it off the field.
Notre Dame’s longest pass play to a wideout was 20 yards to Ben Skowronek with less than a minute remaining in the first half and Lawrence Keys III with less than five minutes in the game. The Irish couldn’t afford three-and-outs or empty possessions. At the very least, they needed to run some clock and flip the field, anything to keep the football out of the hands of Mac Jones, Najee Harris and DeVonta Smith.
Even flipping the field didn’t matter because the Crimson Tide scored on touchdown drives of seven plays for 79 yards, five plays for 97 yards and six plays for 84 yards to open the game. When asked on Twitter what I would do to stem the tide/Tide, I came up with the only solution to slow them down – score, onside kick, recover the onside kick and repeat over and over again.
“We felt like we were going to be able to control it as we had with some of the spacing throws, and then trying to get (a deep shot) set up,” Kelly said. “Then we lost Tommy (Tremble to injury) on some of the 13 personnel throws that we had set him up for, which kind of put us back a little bit.
“So yeah, Tommy (Rees) and I were having that conversation virtually every drive as to when we wanted to take our shots. We had to balance that with ball control and limiting possessions.”
Take a deep shot and miss and now you’re off-schedule/behind the chains. Playing offense behind the chains is no way to win against Alabama. Then again, stringing together 15-play, 75-yard drives – as the Irish did at the end of the first quarter and into the second quarter – is difficult to do against Alabama more than once or twice in a game.
As it was, it took a 4-of-7 effort on third down in the first three possessions to get on the board and put themselves within seven points with 11:16 left in the first half. And yet that was met with a 2:21/84-yard drive by the Crimson Tide that quickly made it a 14-point differential once again.
Notre Dame simply did not have the skill position personnel that was ready to compete at this level in 2020 to take a more aggressive approach at Alabama. And yet you have to create some situations where you could give it a shot, and Book was always gun-shy in his time at Notre Dame to let it fly. That meant he would have a sparkling touchdown-to-interception ratio -- 37-to-6 in 2019 and 15-to-3 in 2020 – but was unable to quick-strike the best opponents.
Would Braden Lenzy, Lawrence Keys III, Jordan Johnson, Xavier Watts, and Kevin Austin Jr. have been able to provide that weapon? On pure athletic ability, perhaps, but the Irish coaching staff wasn’t comfortable playing receivers they did not deem ready to perform at this level.
To be sure, that’s easy to second guess. But without the benefit of actually witnessing their performances on the practice field, there’s no way of knowing exactly why they chose to go with the receivers they did. Or rather, they believe they chose the receivers who could run the routes and decipher coverages on a consistent fashion.
In the case of Lenzy, Austin and Keys, injuries played a role while Johnson’s academic issues from early in the season were going to be a disqualifying factor at a place like Notre Dame. He also struggled with deciphering coverages/route concepts. Watts and Johnson will have to take a significant step up in the spring.
WILLIAMS THE WARRIOR
With his 16 carries for 64 yards and a touchdown in the Rose Bowl, red-shirt freshman running back Kyren Williams completed his first season of competition for the Irish with 211 carries for 1,125 yards and 13 touchdowns. That made Williams Notre Dame’s first 1,000-yard rusher since Josh Adams in 2017, the fourth 1,000-yard rusher of the Kelly era and the second best rusher in 14 seasons with the most touchdowns on the ground since Autry Denson’s 15 in 1998.
For anyone who witnessed Williams’ first season as Notre Dame’s starter, it runs much deeper than the statistics, as impressive as they were. In Williams, the Irish have the emotional leader of the offense moving forward. (Whether tight end Tommy Tremble continues to form a tandem of offensive leadership with Williams in 2021 remains to be seen.)
His will and determination to succeed and lead the Irish to success oozes out of him on a football field. He is a true warrior and fiery leader Notre Dame will need as the quarterback, four offensive linemen, the team’s top two wideouts and perhaps one of its two tight ends depart the program.
Williams was ready from the outset and poured his heart out all over the AT&T Stadium field. His competitiveness may be equaled but cannot be surpassed. His 211 carries is the second most of the Kelly era behind Cierre Wood’s 217 attempts in 2011. He also caught 35 passes for 313 yards – including eight grabs for 31 yards against Alabama – to give him 1,438 yards from scrimmage in 2020.
When looking for reasons for optimism in a 2021 transition season, the top of the list is dotted by the 5-foot-9, 195-pounder whose passion for competition and winning is unsurpassable. The Irish should be able to get two more seasons out of Williams before he tries to prove that he’s talented enough and tough enough to play on the next level.
Two more years of that type of productivity and effort will make him one of the greatest running backs in Irish history. Williams is an inspiration to behold.
BOOK’S FINAL BOW
The Tale of the Tape on offense has been used to dissect Ian Book on a weekly basis the last three seasons. Most of it has been positive because he did indeed lead the Irish to 30 victories. And while he doesn’t/can’t lead with the emotional punch of a Kyren Williams, Book is a huge reason the Irish have made two playoff appearances in three seasons with an 11-2 season slipped in between.
From this vantage point, all the respect in the world for Book, his determination and his leadership of the Irish since taking over as the starter in the fourth game of the 2018 season. You may be mad that the Irish haven’t had a more physically gifted player at the quarterback position. But Book maximized his abilities and in so doing maximized Notre Dame’s opportunities in accruing a 33-5 record over the last three seasons, including a double-overtime victory over No. 1 Clemson in 2020.
All due respect for the warrior that Book was for the Irish. Notre Dame does not get to 33-5 and two playoff appearances without the maximization and determination of Book.
ESPN’s Allison Williams paraphrased Brian Kelly’s message to his team before taking the field. She said that Kelly told his team to “prove that you belong on this field.” I find it hard to believe those were his exact words. If they were, I’m not sure that message conveys the proper frame of mind. That would be a statement declaring the ability to compete, not the ability to compete for a victory. I’d rather think the paraphrasing of the comment missed the mark of what was actually conveyed…Book was a bit panicked early in the game. He threw a backwards pass to Kyren Williams that would have been recoverable had it not shot out of bounds. He also overthrew Javon McKinley on the very next play that easily could have been intercepted. He settled down after that…Much was made of the 3rd-and-7 designed run by Book on the second series. There must have been a tendency the Irish thought they could capitalize upon. If it’s blocked well and it works, it’s a play that’s never mentioned. I didn’t overreact to it like many did. I felt it would have been too risky to go for a 4th-and-5 at the Notre Dame 44…and then Alabama marched 97 yards…
The illegal shift that was called on Chris Tyree that negated a touchdown pass to Michael Mayer. Was that because Tyree didn’t set himself and was bouncing around in place? Can’t think of any other reason for the flag. Tyree finished his rookie season with 73 carries for 496 yards and four touchdowns. That’s a 6.8-yard average. Kelly/Rees must find a way to strike a balance between the need to feed the rock to Williams as much as possible while also getting Tyree more than six touches per game in 2021. Four of his eight receptions on the season came against Alabama. There should be more touches for Tyree in the running game with Book’s departure…Loved the fact that despite the game being out of reach, the Irish didn’t stop battling offensively. After the Mayer touchdown pass was negated and the drive ended with a fourth down incompletion, Notre Dame put together a 14-play, 80-yard touchdown drive. It’s small consolation, but the fight never left the Fighting Irish…
Unfortunate injury to Tommy Tremble in which he was rolled up after squaring up outside linebacker Christopher Allen on a block. Williams and linebacker Christian Harris rolled up the back of Tremble’s foot/ankle. If this is the end of Tremble’s time at Notre Dame, it’s a shame for Notre Dame. Somehow, they need to convince him that he will be a more integral part of the passing game to get him back. For a team that uses 12 and 13 personnel much as it does, Rees needs to add to the playbook and get Tremble more involved in the passing game. He’s a tremendous blocker, but 19 catches in 12 games is skimpy. Tremble not double-clutching several of the throws to him would have given Rees more confidence to get him the football more frequently…Credit to Ben Skowronek, too, for battling for four receptions for 41 yards. He also played hard to the very end. He finished the season as Notre Dame’s leading scorer through the air with five touchdowns…
Based upon the way Zeke Correll played against North Carolina and Alabama makes one wonder how he didn’t win the job over Josh Lugg sooner. The ankle injury against the Tar Heels obviously threw a wrench into the plans. All that matters now is that the Irish get Correll on the field moving forward. His performance in two games with no experience was outstanding under the circumstances…This is off topic, but I’ve wanted to say it. If there’s a phrase I could remove from the football lexicon, it’s players/teams with “a chip on their shoulder.” What does that mean? Being motivated? Everybody’s motivated. There are always going to be players/teams who are underrated because we live in a “pick the winner of this game” mode. Everybody considered an underdog is motivated to prove it wrong. If I never heard that phrase again, I’d be very happy. But it’s here to stay…Insight into Alabama: Nick Saban is flagged for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty when the score was 31-7 with less than three minutes remaining. The entire Alabama sideline also argued an interference call on the Tide with 28 seconds left. Perfection is pounded into the psyche of the Crimson Tide players.
the dreaded glottal stop
Is coan rumored?
All i have seen is if we want him he will come we haven’t decided if we want him or want to wait for others to enter the ortal
The problem with Book isn’t arm strength. The problem is that he’s mostly unwilling to throw further than 15 yards. Part of that is because he holds on to the ball too long which results in smaller windows or longer throws and I think part of it is also because he’d rather tuck the ball and run instead of risking an incompletion or interception.
If Coan will take risks and can anticipate receivers coming open and get the ball out of his hands quicker then our passing game should look a lot better.
Emma and #Wisconsin Badgers what kind of player is Coan?
100% agree with that description for Book...he has the arm strength to make the throws, but unwilling to throw it when it's not clear cut. Also agree with the part where he'd prefer to run it instead
It’s not difficult to get gun shy given Kelly’s treatment of young QBs turning the ball over. The article written that quoted Tony Pike’s experience with how Kelly handles QBs was pretty telling.
Additionally, some more examples of how we constantly get out-schemed in these big games...
We can talk about recruiting all day, but until we have an elite coaching staff, the players won’t matter.
That's what we thought.
I would like to know why Nd doesn’t run more rpo, it’s so tough to defend
Because we’d rather go back in time before innovating. We’ll be running wishbone soon enough.