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  • Rees Returns In Style

    by John Vannie

    Kyle Brindza’s 27-yard field goal with seven seconds remaining capped a clutch scoring drive led by Tommy Rees to give Notre Dame a 20-17 win over Purdue on Saturday. Rees came on after starting quarterback Everett Golson hurt his hand as he was hit and fumbled the ball deep in his own territory. The turnover enabled the Boilermakers to tie the game at 17-17 with 2:12 left. After George Atkinson’s kickoff return put the Irish in good field position, Rees hit John Goodman and Robby Toma on key third down throws to set up Brindza’s winning boot. Notre Dame moves to 2-0 on the season and will travel to play Michigan State next week.

    The game started out slowly for both teams from an offensive standpoint, as there was no scoring until late in the second quarter. A missed field goal by Brindza kept the Irish at bay in their first three possessions, while starting quarterback Caleb TerBush was ineffective for Purdue.

    Golson scrambled and unleashed a 30-yard toss to Troy Niklas to spark a scoring drive with just under four minutes left in the half. A three yard dive to the pylon by Golson capped this 87-yard march in ten plays to establish a short-lived 7-0 margin. The Boilermakers responded behind Robert Marve, who hit Antavian Edison from 13 yards out for the tying touchdown with nine seconds to spare.

    Notre Dame’s  defense shut down Purdue in the first series of the third quarter, and the offense proceeded to  march downfield on the strength of two long passes to Tyler Eifert and a short scoring throw to T.J. Jones. The Irish stretched their lead shortly thereafter as Bennett Jackson intercepted an errant pass by TerBush deep in Boilermaker territory and Brindza converted a 30-yard field goal for a 17-7 lead.

    Marve returned to the lineup and guided Purdue down the field with the help of poor tackling by the Irish secondary. After moving inside the ten yard line, a penalty and a sack on consecutive plays forced a 33-yard field goal by Sam McCartney on the first snap of the fourth quarter. Neither team could threaten to score on the next few possessions as the defenses took over. Unfortunately for Notre Dame, Golson was hit by Josh Johnson on a keeper and coughed up the football at the Irish 15. Johnson recovered to set up the tying touchdown pass from TerBush to Edison with 2:12 remaining.

    Atkinson’s stellar kickoff return gave Rees a comfortable starting point at the Notre Dame 35. The junior missed badly on a few passes but found the mark on consecutive third down throws to John Goodman and Robby Toma, the latter going for 21 yards and moving the Irish into field goal range. Operating with no timeouts left, Rees spiked the ball a few plays later at the Boilermaker ten with 11 seconds left. Brindza split the uprights for the final margin, but Purdue managed a bit of drama after a kick return near midfield and one tick left on the clock. A Hail Mary pass fell into the hands of Notre Dame’s Jackson and the Irish had their second win in as many starts.

    After the game, Coach Brian Kelly spoke of Golson’s injured hand but tried to dismiss any controversy by confirming that he remains the starting quarterback. Still, the use of Rees in meaningful game situations seems likely going forward.

    Let’s review the pregame questions to see how the teams fared in specific areas.

    Can the Irish bring enough pressure to disrupt the rhythm of Purdue’s short passing game? Notre Dame had four sacks, several pressures and two interceptions. The secondary covered well and both cornerbacks deserve praise.

    Will Riddick and Atkinson continue to keep Notre Dame out of long yardage situations on third down? The Irish relied on the passing game and ran the ball poorly, netting only 52 yards and a 1.4 average per attempt.

    Can the Irish offensive line give Golson time in the pocket to find an open receiver? Golson’s best passing plays were those in which he threw on the run. Purdue consistently beat the interior of the Irish line to apply pressure.

    Will Purdue’s special teams exploit an apparent advantage over their Irish counterparts? Notre Dame’s performance on special teams was dismal, but fortunately it did not cost them the game. Atkinson’s final return provided a boost. The Irish missed a field goal, caught a punt at their own three yard line, gave up a long kickoff return to Raheem Mostert, and suffered a penalty for having two players on the field with the same number – all in the first half.

    Can the home crowd generate enough enthusiasm to inspire Notre Dame? The University took no chances and piped in loud music to excite the masses. The coaching staff did its part to interject excitement with a lackluster offensive game plan that kept the score close against an opponent they had beaten by 28 points last year on their own field.

    Will Notre Dame’s secondary be able to contain Purdue’s speedy receivers? Yes, the cornerbacks and safeties were very good, but the Irish linebackers managed to get lost in coverage at inopportune times.

    Can Purdue’s linebackers and safeties match up with the talented Irish tight ends? No. Eifert and Troy Niklas managed several big plays to set up scores, and DaVaris Daniels also broke free for a 41-yarder. The bottom line is that Purdue’s pass defense failed in the final drive engineered by Rees.

    The road for Notre Dame gets even more difficult next week with a trip to East Lansing to play the 2-0 Spartans. Several key players suffered injuries in this game and did not return to the lineup, which is an obvious concern. Kapron Lewis-Moore (leg), Jamoris Slaughter (shoulder), Eifert (concussion), Daniels (ankle) and Golson (hand) went down while starting place kicker Nick Tausch (leg) was not available at all. Early reports are that all are minor, which is good news because the Irish will need all hands on deck if they are going to maintain success as they move into the meat of their schedule.

    90 Responses to “Rees Returns In Style”

    1. i call BS on Golson actually being “injured”

      maybe i’m wrong, but i really hope BK didn’t kill the kid’s confidence going forward.

      • Hurt his hand. Got that? QB needs his hand to not be hurt.

      • Total BS on the injury & total luck on winning this 1…we had a kid with confidence & kelly brings in the turnover machine, were screwed…

      • NDBonecrusher says:

        Confidence, schmonfidence.

        TR has run the 2 minute drill about a zillion times and EG has done it zero times. Hurt hand or not Tommy gives best chance at a W in that situation. Right call by the Coach.

        The secondary is not as bad as we thought. The run game is not as good as we thought. We can still turn the ball over at bad, bad, bad times. On to State, hopefully without many injuries!

      • Don’t worry, Golston couldnt grip the ball after that hit he took on the fumble. BK named EG the starter for MSU already.

      • Here is my 5:
        1. What was Carlo doing on the field on 4th and 15?
        2. Why can we run for a first down in the 4th quarter but not the first?
        3. What happened to the screen game?
        4. How can rush the quarter back from the edge?
        5. Why has special teams not improved? The kickoff coverage team, field goals, extra points…No x’s and o’s here just execution.

    2. Losing the game would have killed his confidence. Bailing him out shows the whole thing isn’t on his shoulders. Golson is tough and will be fine.

    3. kelly is a pathetic coach. He is horrible. the special teams are a roller coaster again. three consecutive drives in the 4th quarter self destruct. Every play down to 2 seconds on the play clock. Yes they won and came from behind but it was against a team that they should have beaten by more than 14 points.
      He did at least name Goldson his starter next week but keeping Rees in the mix will eventually hurt the team. they looked lackluster, unprepared and confused most of the game. I am thrilled they won but very dissatisfied with the performance. I dont see the toughness that many talk about. They certainly cant exploit the talent they have on offense.
      What about the lame brain decision to squib a kick at the end of the game and give Purdue a chance for a hail mary? the special teams coach needs to be fired before sunrise. Our punt return team is totally out of sorts and our kick off team is terrible. It has been three years. It is time to see some improvement and consistency. In the end, a win is better than a loss but really–is that the best they have after three years????

      • jason c in pc says:

        How do you call kelly a terrible coach? Do you remember charlies 3rd year? 1 win away from matching his total. A squib kick at the end of the game is a call every coach makes, cant out kick the coverage if you make them feild the ball, not catch it on the run. Week in and week out i see “fans” get on here and talk about how much better they think we should be and talk bad about our coach like they are better than Kelly. Good game boys a win is a win, and purdue has a solid team ( see recruits under new coach). You can sit behind your computer and continue to bash the team you’re a “fan ” of, just don’t jump on the waggon when they return to glory. Pathetic way to talk about our boys. Good job coach kelly, i support you and so do real fans. Wake up the echoes coach!

    4. OC coach 69 says:

      This was a gimmy! Everet has all the physical skills over Tommy. Tommy takes BK’s crap and then does what he “feels” will work. If you have T Rees on the sidelines with 2:?? left, it is like getting your offensive coordinator, who is a 21 year old good athlete on the field to run a 2 minute drill.

    5. Sorry but when u take a sack for over ten yards when u should of thrown ball away then fumble the ball the next down… Common any QB know to protect the ball in that position.. Could of cost us the game and the clock management is a joke.. They called a time out two times on one drive and then they come out of a time out and jump off side.. Bone head mistakes …

    6. I agree … Golson was not hurt on the fumble …. he was yanked so Kellys fav could get on the field. In this case, it turned out good, but I sure had a difficult time rooting for him. Then Kelly says Golson is still the starter …. wanna make any bets on that next week??? Suddenly Golsons “injury” might get worse. What the hell happened to Eifert?? And why the hell can they not get a frickin play off before 2 seconds?? This team still has a loooooooooooooooooooong way to go, are you watching what USC is doing to Cuse? A looooooong way

    7. Tommy Rees is a clutch player, it may not look pretty but he gets the job done. I would put him in the starting job based on his experience and ability to win. Yeah he used to throw a lot of interceptions but so did Clausen and Quinn when they were freshman and sophmores. Rees is on pace to break all the records if he gets the starting job again, a terrible QB wouldn’t be in that position.

      • today he was a clutch player, in a whole bunch of losses last year he was not.

      • burrotrailalum says:

        The clutch player who can pass & run was still sitting on the bench. But, Kelly has a thing for TR.
        Against Stanford, AH came close in 1 half to breaking AL’s stats for whole game. Did well last week, too.

      • Ryan from Omaha says:

        I don’t think we should compare Tommy to Quinn and Clausen, those two outclass Tommy in terms of arm stregth and ball protection. Tommy has put together an impressive collection of wins and has proved himself to be effective in the two minute drill, but let’s not pretend that he’s in the same class as two QBs that were selective early in the draft.

    8. Its time to win, and I really don’t care how we win, Kelly can use all 4 qbs and I won’t care as long as he is producing W’s….That is what college football is about.

    9. irishhawk50 says:

      One thing at a time. ND won a hard fought game and I doubt Golson would have been able to lead that 2 minute drive injured or not. Rees did well and it was a team victory. I suspected it would be a harder game than most posters had thought, but it did “wake up the echoes”. The team will be celebrating this for awhile, but plenty of lessons to learn. Michigan State will be a hard game, but winnable. Go Irish!

    10. First I give Rees a ton of credit coming off the bench and delivering a victory. Golson played a good game and they should have continued to hand off to Riddick up the middle to kill the clock on the second to last drive. They get the first down after the option pitch to Riddick (studly run by Theo BTW) and Kelly goes with a pass play that results in a sack….. Bad mistake on the next play by Golson on the fumble but he didnt deserve to be pulled like that on the final drive. I thought Kelly coached a horrible game today. On two different drives where we had 3rd and 1 Golson had to call a TO because the call from the sidelines was late coming in, then coming out of the timeout the offense was still confused on what play was being called and the result was an off sides penatly – just HORRIBLE. Things could get ugly next week against Mich St……

    11. Kelly orchestrated the whole time-consuming offense today to allow Golson to progress. Unlikely he would yank him unless he was hurt. Purdue’s DL did a really nice job today-they stacked the box big time to un-nerve Golson.

      • Are you kidding me? How does waiting for the defense to set up before sending a play in allow Golson to progress? Does that help him read a defense? Does that help him recognize that they should audible because the defense is in a package that does not suit the original play call? How will that help Golson in East Lansing this week? There will be a ton of noise and confusion on the road and this tactic is a good way to force this team to either blow all of their timeouts far too early again, or force them into hiking the ball before a delay of game penalty when the offense in not on the same page which will lead to mistakes.

    12. Dr. Roland Kehr says:

      Am I the only person who couldn’t get the post-game news conference? Never had a problem last year. iPad, Android phone and computer couldn’t find it anywhere. NBC Sports Live Extra went dead after game!!

    13. Kelly is lucky here. There was some terrible play calling and clock management in this game. He never attempted to establish a run game from the first play. I think he chokes at ND Stadium. Next week will be a huge test. The OL looked terrible. Hopefully all injured will be back next week.

    14. Bill Rueter says:

      Great win but not a good performance. What happened to the running game? Special teams need a lot of work. Will we ever again run back a punt? The team looked liked they had “jet lag” from Ireland.

    15. Rees made it look easy.

      He spotted the mismatches at the line of scrimmage and let the ball fly…. early. Purdue’s rush didn’t have enough time to bother him. It was a different team with him at the helm. Their were receiver running wide open in the last drive and Tommy found them.

      Golson struggled all day with identifying the coverage mismatches and seemed reluctant to let the ball fly. That led to holding the ball too long and contributed to the 5 sacks. Fortunately, Kelly moved the pocket in the second half to give Golson more time to spot the open receiver.

      I suspect had Rees played earlier in the game, with Eifert…. the Irish would have moved the ball more consistently in the air …. Purdue would have been forced to add a d-back and the run game would have opened up.

      While I can’t believe I am saying this, but Rees looked way more capable than Golson and he did it with the game on the line.

      • Rees also made it look easy last year against Michigan, and then helped give the game away. He gave them a steady hand when they needed it today, but he is at his ceiling.

    16. I’m so glad that Kelly employed the 2-headed monster of Riddick/Atkinson during the game. Oh wait! Kelly, who has a knack over his 3-yrs at ND of making completely bone-headed game day decisions, didn’t play Atkinson for 1 down at running back (at least from what I could tell). Sometimes, I think Kelly hates ND and just wants them to lose what should be easy games. Ridiculous. Thank God for the win.

    17. I agree, he played well all game, then gets pulled on the last drive? This is why this will be Kelly’s last year.

    18. Irish were lucky to beat a very bad Purdue team. Brian Kelly is a joke

    19. I agree ND should have established the ground game early. Sloppiness is what kept game close—punt game, sacks, late turnover, plus some dumb penalities kept field position the wrong way. Golson made some great plays, and some boneheaded ones as a young talented QB will tend to do. This was a game they could not afford to lose and they pulled it out.

    20. Not a pretty win, but a win. It was Kelly’s call to make, he made it, it worked.

      On to East Lansing.

      I can’t wait to hear what nudeman will have to say.

    21. Donald Kaul says:

      The biggest problem is the fact that our offensive line was destroyed by a mid tier B10 defensive line. With the exception of last year’s USC game, this was the OLINE’s worst performance during Kelly’s tenure. Narduzzi and Mattison are salivating. If we can’t run, GOLSON is DOA. Our defensive front 7 is the saving grace right now.

    22. To the posters who are calling BS on Golson’s injury, are any of you doctors and were on the sideline examining his hand? To the posters who are complaining about letting the play clock run down on every play, have you ever watched Peyton Manning mange a game?

      The defense played great down a few starters in the second half. Maybe Purdue is better than we thought. I guess some people will never be satisfied unless we beat every team by 40 points.

    23. irishhawk50 says:

      I am not sure I watched the same game as these posters. Purdue had a better defense than many here gave them credit for. ND defense was better than last year against an experienced group of QB’s and receivers. Golson showed flashes but still made too many mistakes. He must make a big leap if ND is going to beat Michigan State. Rees was the hero of the game as much as some people don’t want to hear that. I agree there should have been better execution, especially on the offensive side of the ball but I think Kelly did the right thing with the game plan especially with them loading the box against the run. This was a good win. These are college kids many underclassmen learning on the fly not the Green Bay Packers.

    24. Give Purdue credit, they controlled the LOS and forced EG to beat them through the air, The kid played a decent game but made several costly mistakes (not making the right reads, holding the ball and taking sacks versus throwing the ball away and of course the fumble at the end), I agree with what is stated above in that EG would not have provided a GW drive. While I don’t think TR is the QB of the future on this team he does provide us with a good security blanket that can be called on in the heat of the battle to pull out a W. Lots of players went out today with little or no information (never heard an official report on Eifert, Slaughter or KLM) so I don’t question whether EG was really hurt or not. BK is paid to win games and that is what we did today and he said EG was is starting QB so it better for all involved to stop the speculation. 2 years ago we lose that game so that is progress. Support the Irish, especially after a win

    25. NBC wb management of the game and press conference is a joke. No directions, no explanations, nothing.

    26. I think it will be interesting to see what happens to Purdue the rest of the way. Is that defensive line as good as they appeared today? How are they going to hold up when they play Michigan and Ohio State? Was this only because it was Notre Dame, or are they for real?? Guess we will find out but not for another 3 weeks. Me thinks they will not play that well again the rest of the season. Could be wrong, but we will see.

    27. Oh stop it. We won. Golson was not prepared to run the 2 minute O at the end, Rees was. Give Kelly credit for knowing that. I do think the game plan at the outset was stupid. Why all the passes? We have a dynamic running game!

    28. To all the haters and complainers, we aren’t that good. We’re young, inexperienced and our schedule is hard as hell. No one should expect ND to be great this year. Everyone should be happy with a 2-0 record. Get use to games like these. And let’s not forget, Purdue’s d-line was straight up nasty. Go Irish.

    29. El Capitano says:

      When Rees was put in I immediately thought: this is Kelly’s job on the line; if Rees doesn’t deliver Kelly is done dealing. He must have known that. But because it worked it has to add to his legitimacy as the Head Coach. For all the clock mismanagements and special teams snafus, oneida admit that Kelly knows his kids and what they can and can’t do. Saying he is trying to lose seems nuts but I can agree that he chokes a bit at ND Stadium. That said he made a ballsy call when it counted and we got the W.

      On a separate note, Rees not only delivered on the field but in the interview with Erin he sounded mature and committed. Perhaps his suspension got his head screwed on a little tighter. I don’t know. But he was impressive on a number of levels today.

    30. Come on guys, are you serious? Purdue loaded up the box. They had a gameplan to stuff the run and force golson to pass to win. As far as clock management goes, golson is young and has trouble reading the defense pre-snap. We have a lot of young guys playing. 2 minute Tommy is always clutch when he has to be, remember the drive against Michigan last year. To me, the real dissappoinment was with the captains making bonehead penalties. If we didnt have Kelly for our coach, who else would want this job BE PATIENT! GO IRISH!

    31. Bitch away if you want to, but this had the old familiar script being turned upside down. I’ve lost count of how many leads were surrendered in Quater Four, only to lead to a heartbreaking loss. Was I concerned when BK went to TR? Ask my wife! But the kid did the job. And as the song goes, he was a Son of Notre Dame who rallied. I’ll take it and run. Go Irish.

    32. A few things from the game:
      1. GA3 only one carry? He is THE home run threat on the team and one carry?
      2. Purdue’s defense line was great, why continue to run right into the tackles? The outside carries gained some (EG in the red zone), where was GA3?
      3. Teach the corners to tackle.
      4. I am sure EG had an injury if he fumbled in the 4th quarter.
      5. The TR nightmare has returned

    33. Joe, You must have watched a different game than I. Golson was 21 for 31, 289 yards and a TD. Another rushing TD. Golson struggled? Dude, he carried the team the entire game. He’s the starter. Rees did a great job with the final drive, but Golson is the QB that we need.

    34. O'Boyle Boy says:

      Bubble boy on the last drive? REALLY tough to see, but results are what they are; a win.

      Maybe I can’t remember the “game manager” and his past performances from before with utter clarity, but have you ever seen a QB come in on the last drive and throw each pass after 2-3 steps minimum, 6-7 times in a row like that? It seemed scripted. Did Kelly have this in the bag, ready to go?

      …And if you don’t believe it, I know a guy on the team that will have his people get you (meanwhile, he will be getting faked the hell out by a slot receiver on yet another TD).

    35. KellyGruene says:

      ND is 2-0 for the first time since 2008. Chillax people! Gotta stop the penalties. Gotta improve special teams play. Golson will improve and the young players gaining experience and confidence will pay dividends. Guess I’m still a Domer Dreamer, but there are a lot of positive things happening.

    36. Key points:

      Defense held Purdue to 282 total yards and about 100 in the second half, with two starters out much of the way.

      Effert was out on the game winning drive.

      This was only Golson’s second game EVER!! OL play was poor and Golson avoided several sacks because of his mobility. The fumble was unfortunate but he played an overall solid game; experience will only make him better.

      I agree, today’s game is one ND would have lost in the past.

      Now before you complain too much, be thankful you are not an Arkansas, Colorado or Nebraska fan tonight. And if anyone ever says again that Air Force is a cupcake game, ask Michigan tonight.

    37. Not sure what to make of game. Golson did not seem hurt – more angered at being pulled. Hard to believe anything this coach says. He is like a politician with a prepared answer that flies in the face of what seems to be the reality of a situation.
      No. 44 continues to be the worst linebacker in the country and will be the “go to” defender by Michigan instead of our graduated No. 4. How this guy gets on the field is a mystery.
      Expected this to be a tough game as Purdue is much better than people think.
      Small details elude this coaching staff. Why spike ball with 11 seconds? Tommy waits 4 more seconds and we don’t even kick off. He was lined up and under control it seemed. Not a big complaint. It just shows to me that this is not championship caliber coaching. Of course, if we had a timeout, we could have run the clock down to a couple seconds. Again, coaching and game management not there after 2 years. And still no special teams. Looks like a high school team at times. Trying to be upbeat about the win but the nagging doubts about this coaching staff and administration keep resurfacing.

    38. burrotrailalum says:

      Easy with the “in style” attribute. Also “in style” was his passing, if anyone noticed. Rees got by. Golson did OK. Poor O management. Still waiting for the best QB to play with 1st string again.

      • John Vannie says:

        I can’t be cynical all of the time. After hearing Rees answer questions from Alex Flanagan in the post-game interview, I was impressed by his humility and very happy for him. That doesn’t make him John Elway though.

    39. martinjordan says:

      It’s going to be a strange year. The offensive line is overpowering one week and anemic the next? The starting QB has a good game but makes a big mistake and is relieved by the suspended former starter who leads a game winning drive? the Kicker misses a 40 yarder badly early in the game but calmly nails the game winner? i’m not sure what to make of it all.

      1. The offensive line really struggled to handle Purdue’s Tackles and 5 yard penalties in third and short situations killed several promising drives.
      2. Golson did well until Eifert got hurt.
      3. George Atkinson only had one carry?
      4. The ten yard sack preceding Golson’s fumble was an atrocious play call. You’ve just converted a third and short running the ball and you’re trying to run the clock.
      5. The no huddle seems to confuse the offensee as much as it does the defense.
      6. I’ll say this for Tommy Rees – What he lacks in talent he makes up for in mental and physical toughness.
      7. The squib kick should be taken out of the Special Teams play book and Punt Returns are STILL an adventure.
      8. The defensive front seven was solid again.
      9. Stephon Tuitt and Louis Nix were excelent.
      10. The secondary was helped out by several dropped passes but played well.

    40. with all the offensive tools we have including GA3 and D Neil there was no effort to use them at any point in the game. Kelly is poor with preparation and game planning. For those who keep saying that we are young remember that this is his third year as coach. come on–where is the progress. special teams are as bad as any in the NCAA. has anyone ever thrown a block on a punt return?? ever?? three straight fourth quarter drives that ended in either negative yards because of penalties or a fumble when we could have put the game away. that is all on kelly and his preparation. Yes –good win but really a very sad and dismal performance. If Rees had played more we would have been destroyed because he could not have avoided any of the pressure. they would have sacked him with a three man rush.

    41. Time for coaches to realize they are not at Grand Valley but at ND. Terrible game plan from the offensive”genius”.

    42. Forgot the last 2 minutes.. what happened with the offensive play calling? Last week we score 50 points using a pro style offense.. this week, we throw that out the window and score 20 points.. This team is not built for a spread offense.. use the hogs up front and make the pro style offense and sprinkle in the spread option. horrible game planning on offense.

    43. Lots of interesting comments. Plenty of insights to mull over. Only one remark seems unquestionably 100% true: “The team looked liked they had “jet lag” from Ireland.”

      • By “jet lag” I presume you mean a right bloody throbber of a hangover!

        Tommy you drive me crazy but I saw you beat USC.

        ND’s best play of the game was the option.

        Go Irish!

    44. BK’s game management is atrocious. He almost cost us this game. Rees should have ran the clock down to 3 seconds before spiking the ball for the winning field goal. Instead, he thought it would be a good idea to kick off to Purdue (which they almost broke for a TD) and let them throw a hail mary from midfield on the final play. Oh yeah, I was at the game and the 14 year old kid sitting behind me was quick to point out Kelly’s error in clock management. The final play of the game should have been our winning field goal. Way to go Kelly, a 14 year old in the stands understands clock management better than you.

      • What is up with all the pocket passing with such a mobile qb? Most of the roll out passes were good gainers while the pocket passing game was a big sack time for Purdue. I am at a total loss trying to figure out why we can’t call more ” spread offense ” kind of plays.

      • She he did.

    45. I knew there would be people wanting to take Kelly’s scalp. I knew the fans were way overreacting to that win over Navy. When you outweigh another teams by 50 pounds per man on average you ought to rack up 50 points. Notre Dame was lucky Danny Hope is Danny Hope. An average coach would have won that game. That chaos on the goal line when Purdue had to settle for the field goal was pathetic.

    46. Ugly win, much work to do, several questionable decisions by the coach.

      But in the end, we’re 2-0.

      I’ll take that over a beautifully played loss.

      On to MSU.

      • Mike Coffey says:

        No one is saying a “beautifully-played loss” would be acceptable. That’s a false choice.

        We played like crap and were lucky to win the game. We’ve seen that too many times in the last two years … hell, in the last 20 years.

        When the team plays well consistently, the chances they will win games is very high. When they do not, the chances they will win games is very low.

        We need good, consistent play. We have yet to see that under Brian Kelly, and no one seems willing to draw a line in the sand saying “we see it by this point or else”.

        • Toad Department says:

          I don’t understand this ‘line in the sand’ mentality. What does this even mean? What difference does it make if I (or any other ND fan) draws some metaphorical line in the sand and gives BK an ultimatum? I have no power to make ultimatums and neither do you. If it makes you feel better to deliver bold ultimatums on the internet, so be it. Drinking and yelling works for me. Both have equal effect on ND football. We faced a team with a good DL and they whipped our OL’s a$$ for most of the day. We lost our best player on offense, our most experienced DL, our best DB, our best WR, and the backup to our most experienced DL, a list that includes two of our four team captains. The field was filled with guys who have played little to no football before last week being forced to play in key situations and we won. Mike Van Gundy, Bret Bielema, and Bo Pelini also failed to deliver a second consecutive week of good, consistent play yesterday and their teams lost. We won. On to the next game.

    47. Whining and complaining about a victory, what is it that you guys expect? Purdue had a bunch of returning starters, at least two pretty good quarterbacks, and they all came to play. Those calling for Kelly’s head, have you ever led anyone, anywhere? Things happen. Mistakes need to be remedied so the team gets better. It is difficult to understand that, when your opponent fills the box, you must pass? I too wanted Golson and I still want him; but he “ain’t” perfect. Tommy came through in the clutch. Good for him and good for Kelly bringing him in.

    48. Scranton Dave says:

      Rees was 3-8 and half of those passes were ducks, He threw 1 good pass, so let’s take it easy on the praise of Tommy. While Purdue looked to have a good DLine, their secondary was below par. If TR sees the field against any of the good defenses on the schedule, he will look overmatched like he did last year. I do believe Purdue is at least decent, and between the travel to Ireland and the 2 Michigan schools being next on the schedule, I was worried that this was a trap game. So a win is a win is a win!!! But they need to play better to beat MSU.

    49. we made it a whole two weeks into the season before the calls for BK’s head. Seriously guys, relax. All the over-the-top rhetoric about how BK is such a bad coach is annoying. He isn’t an awful coach that deserves to be banished to dimension X. He probably isn’t the greatest of all coaches either. That he is probably having a better Sunday than Arkansas’s coach is probably all that we know for sure. The Irish are 2 – 0 and moving on to a game against a good team. Can we please wait to fire the coach till after the season?

    50. I’ll take an ugly win over a pretty loss any day of the week. Now the fun part of the schedule starts.

    51. I am not sure what game you all watched or if you did any research on Purdue prior to watching the game. Purdue’s defensive line has a ton of talent and it was expected that ND would struggle to run against their front 7. Purdue also has a very good offense which ND defended very well. Notre Dame played well to beat a good Purdue team today. Purdue will win alot of games this year and so will ND. ND definitely has some weaknesses to work on but overall they played a very good game and won. First 2-0 start in 5 years. Go IRISH!

    52. El Capitano says:

      Am I the only one who thought Eiffert saved Golson on a number of bad passes?

    53. People who say that Golson is overall a better QB than Rees are clearly correct. People who say that Rees is better than Golson in a 2 minute drill are also clearly correct (at this point in time).

      Had Golson shown more effectiveness in the 4th quarter I’d have been in favor of leaving him in for the game winning drive, however the last few drives Golson’s elusiveness was actually working against him. I’m glad we have some depth at QB for the first time in as long as I can remember.

    54. Purdue not as bad as some thought? Are you kidding me? Compare Kelly’s recruiting classes to Purdue’s during the same period, not even close. Yet they come to ND and push our O line around and get five sacks?
      Diaco rushes 3 on 3rd and 15 and gives up 12 yards? Calabrese can’t cover his rear end yet he is in on passing downs?
      Offense is way out of sync and cannot get plays in. Burn time outs in one period.
      This is all we have three years after hiring BK? Looks more of the same crap we have put up with for last
      20+ years.

      • Agree completely. Do you think Lou Holtz would have been scared to run the ball because he knew they were going to be putting 8 men in the box? If you think Purdue’s D-line dominated, just wait ’til next week. State is going to score some points on us next week, and not just because of our DB’s. Kelly’s offense can’t get 2 yards running the ball when it needs to and because of that, they won’t be able to keep the chains moving and our D off the field. It’s a joke. And don’t kid yourself: That kid from MSU can throw the football. Much better than either of those guys yesterday and their tight end is a monster. MSU, Stanford, BYU, Oklahoma and USC ALL have even better defenses than Purdue and I’ll guarantee you that each of them will score more than 17 against us.

        • Agree again completely with two previous posts. What game are people watching? I hate to say something like this….vowed I would never do it….however, when I was at ND Purdue NEVER pushed us around like they did Saturday. To have a decent but clearly second tier Big Ten team push us around like that was disheartening to say the least. When ND was competitive on a National level it did not ever fear running the ball even if all 11 players were at the line of scrimmage. Did anyone notice that perfect pass thrown by Turnover Tommy I believe to Toma that was thrown as the receiver was making his cut with the ball arriving perfectly! I was hopeful Golston would show much better than he has. He either throws it up and expects Eifert to catch it or pretty much waits (too long) before releasing ball. I am sure he is scared to death of throwing a pic….BK has these kids scared and it is tough to play your best when you are afraid that any mistake might put you on the bench. I wish I could say we were back but until we push around all of the second tier competition we will not be able to compete with the Alabama’s or USC’s. Wish it were not true but it is! GO IRISH!

      • jason c in pc says:

        Good lord shine down on this guy. He thinks he is knute for god sakes. Look at sec football, even as an irish fan we can agree big linemen and fast skill players will cover your weaknesses. ND is in their 3rd year of building this team and we can all agree the talent in south bend is there. Purdue has the same model as everyone else in the big 10 and we have close games year in and year out with big 10 teams. Like it or not purdue recruits big 10 class players, talent was shown, but the better team won. At the end of the day win and move on. 10 more to go. Go irish!

    55. Gutsy move to play Rees the last drive instead of the then struggling Golson. Let’s face it, it was a make or break call for Kelly to insert Rees like that all of a sudden and he comes off looking smart! The amount of penalties, sacks given up and general minor errors tells me for whatever reason the Irish didn’t really have their heads in the game, this first home game,the same way they ironically were able to do overseas. I also agree with some of you that Purdue is an improved squad from the last few years. I’m not saying they’ll be winning the Big 10 anytime soon, but in my estimation they’ve built up to a mid tier Big 10 school, as opposed to bottom dwellers. I think Purdue has a decent chance of winning some conference games this year. As for ND, a couple even tougher games are on the way, so let’s hope everyone gets their heads (and bodies) into the game! Go IRISH!

    56. Oh God help us. And I have tickets to go watch the Oklahoma slaughter. Probably ought to take a blindfold and ear plugs.

    57. Last week I thought we could win the first four games. Something inside tells me we still might…..but it is a very very small voice.

    58. I totally agree.. We are no further than we were under Weis .. It’s the same bone head mistakes and I am tired of seeing mediocre football.. We were home and pearly had a better football team. I can help to go back to coaching when it takes two time outs in one drive and burning timeouts and the defense being out of position.. I’ve been saying this for around 10 years.. We can’t stop 3rd and long and forth and long when it counts.. When they PU scored that touchdown on 4th and 10 to tie it up it took me back to 2005 when USC converted a 4th and long and the eventual bush push and last year against Michigan at the end of game when it took 2 plays to drive length of field to score a touch down to eventually win the game.. Our defense seems to go to sleep when it counts the most. Our offense looks confused.: I’m tired of seeing the same old mistakes and mediocre football.. We obviously have talent on this team.. I blame it on coaching and I don’t want to hear excuses anymore.. They are tire some..

      • Mediocrity is why I refuse to support the university. Notre Dame has set its bar too low in all areas, ever since Malloy became president. Jenkins is not an improvement – and I have made it clear to him that my support depends of the University seeking excellence, not mediocrity.

    59. Why do people make excuses for Kelly, his staff is horrible and so is he. The play calling was ridiculous, for some reason GAIII and Neal were all over the field against Navy and couldn’t find the field versus Purdue. Neither one was hurt because they did all the punt and kick returns. For some reason Kelly wanted Toma and the passing game to shine.

      Then the defensive play calling is unbelievably bad, at Russell, Jackson, Shumate, and Brown all played multiple downs a corner against Purdue, but on Purdue’s fourth down touchdown play Calabrese was covering a receiver, the one that caught the BALL! Plus the “bend but don’t break” three man rush drives me crazy.

      I think everyone can agree this is not championship winning football Notre Dame is playing.

    60. Kelly has yet to win a big game. MSU this week is a must. A loss here should signal the beginning of his demise and a win can go a long way to turning things around for him. Not sure he is good enough to come up with a game plan that can win but I do believe he has the talent to win. For all those who are thrilled with Irish recruiting under Kelly I remind you that we have NO corners right now who were recruited as corners. Once Wood got hurt we have only converted players from other positions. This is clearly a coaching and recruiting error of epic proportion. At this point being fare there is really no improvement since the CW days. Kelly has not developed any players to date. CW did develop the receivers and QBs. Kelly needs to do something that defines his tenure. this week should be that statement game.

      • Amen! I support BK but with all of the supposed talent why are they unable to produce this wide open spread offense that we saw in BK’s Cincy teams and we see every Saturday from many other schools….Oregon, Ok State, etc……its the same old conservative plays week after week with no apparent imagination on the offensive side of the ball. How is it that other schools kids can come in at Freshman and produce right away…..look at USC, Michigan, Nebraska…..all those kids played at a very high level their first year. I guess we simply don’t get that top tier talent…..I sure hope Gunner turns out to be the real deal as a five star guy and some day soon gets his chance…..

    61. I have had issues with Tommy Rees perfomances/turnovers in the past, but as an ND fan and alum, I wanted to crawl under my stadium seat, when I heard our fans booing him before a play was even snapped. The other quaterbacks remarked how helpful and unselfish Tommy had been in helping them get prepared for the season. He has shown himself to be a true ND guy. Booing him at that time when he has been called on to try to help ND pull out a victory and is in their trying to lead the other 10 guys on offense was one of the most classless and stupid things I have encountered by ND fans. I was really glad that he was able to pull the game out after that.

    62. I can’t say enough about Tommy Rees. I am frankly shocked at the fans booing our quarterback, what a shame. First of all, we don’t have a loud stadium to begin with, and then some idiots decide to make noise by booing OUR team. I hope some people in the stadium told those idiots to shut up.

    63. You have to be concerned about the efficiency of the Irish offense with Golson at the helm.

      Purdue has shown others how to defend Golson, Namely, load up the box against the run and force him to throw into tight man-to-man coverage. Now were some mitigating factors on Saturday.

      Purdue got pressure in his face, pretty much all day. It is hard to step into throws with defenders coming straight at you. When Kelly, moved the pocket in the second half, Golson did drive the Irish a better.

      The receivers didn’t provide much separation from defenders which required Golson to fit his throws into tighter spaces. Easy to say, hard to do for new qb.

      The Irish rarely had good starting field position, which makes qb’s more reluctant to let the ball fly.

      That said, in watching the tape, Golson held the ball too long on a number of occasions, resulting in 2 of his sacks and lots of pressure. With experience he will identify mis-matches sooner and let the ball fly. In contrast, Rees pretty much decided where the ball was going before the snap and let the ball fly pretty quickly. He trusted his receivers to make a play in single coverage. While it can lead to higher incompletions (I think he as 3 for 8 on the final drive), it reduces the likelihood of pressure getting to you (there was none on that drive) and puts pressure on the secondary because they know the ball is going to fly even in tight coverage.

      Golson is clearly the better qb. He has better physical skills and more upside than Rees. That said, Rees experience showed in the final drive. He sees the field better and makes quicker decision with the ball.
      Sure wish we could put Rees experience in Golson’s body!

    64. Is this team a Championship Contender (like ’88 or ’93), or not?

      You can’t tell. Not yet anyway. Let me give an interesting example, manipulating stats to make my points.

      Average scores: ND vs Opponents (divided into ranked and unranked) in 1988 and 93, ND CONTENDER years.

      1988
      vs Ranked: ND 28, opp 20
      vs Unranked: ND 35, opp 10

      1993
      vs ranked: ND 30, opp 27
      vs unranked: ND 38, opp 13

      2012 (after 2 games)
      vs ranked: N/A
      vs unranked: ND 35, opp 14

      CON 2012: If you are con 2012 ND, you can say, “We should have beat Purdue 35-14, and 20-17 is an indication we are not in fact a ND CONTENDER.”

      PRO 2012: If you are pro 2012 ND, you can say, “Well, our average is on. We are allowed 1 20-17 vs an unranked.” There is hope.

      WHAT YOU CANNOT SAY:
      1. There is no hope that 2012 ND is a contender.
      2. 2012 ND is a certain contender.

      INTERESTINGLY
      The defense appears to be closer to contender numbers above than the offense. Could the offense, around a frosh QB, throughout the course of a season develop into a contender…

      MY OPINION
      Maybe.

      Hard to imagine ‘bama or SC letting Purdue hang around that long. But with a young QB, there’s reason to hope. Certainly time will tell–in a couple weeks with a couple ranked Big 10 teams, we will know better what kind of team we have.

    65. I have folllowed Notre Dame since I was nine years old. I was a teacher for 35 years and I played football in high school and college. Though I was never a star player, I was a winning high school head football coach for fifteen years.
      A coach who terrorizes his players at this level deserves to lose because intimidation is not a primary technique of good teaching. It may be necessary for the “hard cases”, but even then, the tactic has limited results and only in the short run. Nothing succeeds like success. A good coach at any level instills confidence in his players, not fear.
      I was very disappointed in Kelly at the end of last season because he did not coach, he just ranted and terrorized his players. I hope he has changed his approach. Terror tactics worked for Lombardi, but those guys were pros, these young men are barely out of high school. Kelly needs to know his audience better.

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