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  • Irish Hopes Are Thrown to Lyons

    by John Vannie

    Notre Dame fought gamely to overcome an early deficit, but Stanford’s Wayne Lyons thwarted a fourth quarter comeback with two pass interceptions by as the Cardinal held on for a 27-20 victory. Tyler Gaffney paced a relentless ground attack that racked up 265 yards against the undermanned Irish defense, but the scrappy visitors would not go away quietly. Two Irish interceptions of Cardinal quarterback Kevin Hogan kept the outcome in doubt until Notre Dame’s Tommy Rees returned the favor in the final minutes.

    Trailing 21-6 in the third quarter, Rees tossed two touchdown passes in a six minute span to bring his team to within 24-20. Stanford answered with a ground based assault that reached inside the Irish ten yard line, but a key third down stop by Romeo Okwara forced them to settle for a Jordan Williamson field goal and a 27-20 advantage with nine minutes to play. Notre Dame subsequently had three chances to tie the game, but each possession ended in disaster. A costly sack and the two errant throws to Lyons left a bitter taste in what had been an error free game by Rees and the Irish offense.

    In retrospect, the tone was set early in the contest when Notre Dame was held to field goals in its two first half scoring chances, while the Cardinal reached the end zone twice for a 14-6 lead at intermission. Anthony Wilkerson’s 20-yard touchdown run extended the advantage to 21-6 before Rees found his rhythm. Stanford never lost control of the game, however, as evidenced by its 200 yard advantage on the ground.

    The Irish came into the game with the intention of running the ball, but fell behind early and trailed throughout the evening. As a result, they managed only 24 attempts for 64 net yards. Rees threw 34 times and completed 16 with two touchdowns and the pair of interceptions. Conversely, Stanford held the ball for nearly 35 minutes and threw just 18 times against 51 rushes.

    The loss dropped Notre Dame to 8-4 on the season, and the team must wait another week before the post season bowl invitations are issued. Senior guard Chris Watt left the game in the second quarter with what appeared to be a knee injury. He did not return to action.

    66 Responses to “Irish Hopes Are Thrown to Lyons”

    1. I my opinion Bob D. Def. is terrible. He had a terrible season, He is light years away from the defenses of Joe Yonto. Nowhere even close.

      It’s not the players, it’s the defensive play calling, terrible. Plus special teams have been terrible all season.

      The ND I know would not accept the pinstripe bowl, what an embarrassment!!!!!!

    2. Hard fought game the Irish could have won, but the same problems that plagued this team in September, October, and November plagued it again tonight. Absolutely horrific special teams, turnovers, missed tackles, clock/timeout mismanagement, and poor coaching. This team failed to get any better since September because the coaches didn’t make any adjustments on offense, defense, and especially special teams. How is it possible that someone who has been a coach as long as Kelly could have special teams this bad for his entire tenure and not make it a priority to fix it? Next year Kelly will have the QB (Golson or Zaire) to run his beloved spread offense so there should be no more excuses, at least for the offense. If it looks like this again, he needs to commit to a pro set and focus on running the ball because I have been completely under whelmed with his version of the spread. It’s year four, this program is past due to start winning some games they’re not favored to win.

      • MinookaIrish says:

        They weren’t favored to win AZ ST or BYU……let’s not forget they are 12 games removed from a national championship shot…cool the whole attitude that this is terrible…Charlie Weis isn’t walking through that door

        • ND Chicago says:

          The fact they weren’t favored to beat BYU at home demonstrates just how mediocre this program was this year. Thanks for helping to further make my point. ASU and MSU were good wins. If 8-4 at ND constitutes a good season in your mind then you must have either been born in the 90′s or you don’t know the history of ND football. Once again, this is year number 4 of Kelly’s program and if you look a little further into the record you’ll see they very easily could have lost to Navy and Purdue along with losses to below average Pitt and Michigan teams. I’m sick of the excuses made by Kelly and blind ND fans who cry about injuries, officiating, admissions, playing surface, and all the other lame excuses of why ND should be content with an 8-4 season. Many other programs face the same issues and contend for BCS bowls EVERY year. Enough excuses, get the job done or find someone who can.

          • GraceHallChapel86 says:

            Agree.

          • Chingiale says:

            Can’t whine about admissions standards while losing to Stanford.

            • Well more than half of the Stanford seniors introduced before the game were described as Science, Technology and Society majors. What the heck is that? Harbaugh succeeded in getting Stanford to change their academic requirements for football payers. They now have none.

              This is not your father’s Stanford from an academic perspective. That said, Notre Dame should never lose to Stanford.

          • Yeah. They have won a whole bunch of games they weren’t favored to win in the past two years and played in the national championship game last year.

            Chill.

            • Last year was a fluke! Proved it this year! I ll chill when year in and year out we re a top twenty five team. Beating teams we should and not losing to teams we shouldn’t! STOP MAKING EXCUSES!!!!!

            • No kidding. These Kelly haters are delusional. He has his issues but i can find worse issues in any coach who may be avialable. This program is clearly on the way up. No team can survive with a QB who puts the ball up for grabs 2-4 times a game. Ask the 1998 – 2007 Packers about that.

            • Mike Coffey says:

              Then why don’t they have a better QB on the team right now?

              And yes, I realize Golson is suspended. Where is it written only two QB’s per team are allowed?

          • THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!! SOMEONE WHO FEELS AND SPEAKS THE SAME WAY I DO ABOUT ND FOOTBALL!!!

            • I’ve got news for you, ND shouldnt have beat Stanford. They are a better football team. If Harbaugh had been the coact at ND before Kelly I am pretty sure ND would be the better football team.

    3. mpsND‘72 says:

      The Tree

      I think that I shall never see
      A team as lovely as The Tree.

      The Tree who’s hungry defense prest
      Against our offense never rest;

      The Tree that fought off Sheldon Day
      And found the way to make a play;

      The Tree that made all summer wear
      A loss that was too much to bear;

      Upon whose bark a vengeance lain;
      Who ultimately won the game.

      Poems are made by fools like me
      But Stanford’s Tree beat old ND.

      Note: Dedicated to the Fighting Irish English Department.

    4. Big Mac

      Joe yonto was not a DC. He was a line coach. The defense is deleted due to injury. We have 5-6 2nd or even 3 stringers playing at any time. I guess last year was a fluke. I would like them to be a little more aggressive but you are out of your mind if you think this defense is playing poorly. They are playing pretty well considering all the losses.

      Oh and this is a different cfb world all bowls have tie ins and as an independent we have no tie ins and a bowls have tie ins. Take the pin stripe bowl and the 15 extra practices.

    5. MinookaIrish says:

      Big mac….ur waaayyy off…the problem isn’t Diaco, it’s that they played the game without their best interior linemen, both offensively and defensively. Add a healthy Nix, Day, Watt, Lombard and Martin to the equation and let’s see the outcome. All of you that have the “sky is falling in” attitude need to readjust. They finished 8-4 with losses to a top 10 team, a top 25 team, a ridiculously hot team at the time and Pitt….and did so without their starting QB. I’m not saying anyone should be fired up for the Pinstripe Bowl, but all things considered (Rees) this wasnras bad. EVERYONE RELAX!!!! This is a program on the up that isn’t in the state you think.

      • Wait!?!?!? Everyone should relax because we LOST another game we should have WON!!!! Please!?!?! Stop living in fanasty land!!!!! Have you been watching and listening to the people on here talking about the week in and week out frustrations of basic football and how it should be played. You might be fine with an average football team and program….but I m not!!!!! ND is starting to be like the Montreal Canadiens…….they are irrelevant and who cares about their past!!!!!

    6. YOU WONT POST MY COMMENTS

      KELLY IS JUST AS OR MORE DEFICENT THAN WEISS!
      PIGHEADED-JUST DUMB

    7. The ND team today was playing very good football even without several injured players. This team is on the up and up in the arena, and in the classroom.

      • Yes, if that rating in the classroom continues to climb, ND may improve their bowl slot next year from the Pinstripe to the Champs Sports Bowl, given their new ACC tie-in. Give me a break!! I’d sacrifice a few grade-points for a few more touchdowns and tackles on the field.

    8. I totally agree with MinookaIrish. 8-4 with your 3rd string qb and many, many backups on the offensive line and the defense. I say 3rd string qb because Kiel would have replaced Golson if he thought he could compete with him and Zaire but he must have believed otherwise. This team is going to be very good next year and for the first time in a long time will have more than one good qb.

      • This is the kind of stuff they say after 8-4 seasons at Minnesota. Texas Tech, Kansas State, Arizona, Oregon State, Iowa, Mississippi State, etc. Do you think elite teams like Alabama, Texas, USC, Florida State, Ohio State and LSU are happy with an 8-4 season, regardless of any injury problems they may have endured during the course of the season? Isn’t that where we want the Irish to be as a program…able to churn out 9-10 wins on a consistent basis no matter who we line up on Saturday? Or are we satisfied to accept a 7-8 win season with the hope “wait till next year.” Who are we, the Chicago Cubs?!

        • What can powerhouse Florida say about a 4-8 season and a loss to an FCS opponent? It could always be worse. Have faith that this program is moving in the right direction.

          • Do you think Florida is happy about their year? They were very close to firing their coach who went 11-2 last season. Injuries or not, if they don’t win 9-10 games next year, Muschamp is out. Will ND hold its current coach to those standards?

    9. Well…Pinstripe Bowl here we come!

      • We still have an abysmal bowl record to overcome. Hawaii and Sun bowl notwithstanding, in the Davie/Willingham/Weis/Kelly era the record stands at 2 and 9…and these losses were not competitive. Kelly is 1 and 2. There is a lot to play for and, dinged up as we are, a lot riding on reversing this trend…I mean if our schedule is so darned tough year after year, how come we can’t get it together after a month of preparation and practice? Not like there isn’t any film to watch against our opponent.
        So if it’s Pinstripes in NYC (and not some fetid malaria ridden southern swamp) than so be it.
        Hanging your hat on a win in December has got to be part of the answer to our problems in September.

    10. Well. I guess it is safe to say that this season was like a roller coast to say at least. Hopefully we didnt lose any or many recruits and i only hope that this year brought valuable experience for our underclassmen which will in turn help make next season more successful!!! Happy Thanksgiving and a Merry Christmas! GO IRISH….ALWAYS!!!!

    11. frank carpin says:

      stanford game typified the season..the boys played with heart but injuries and a limited QB accomplished a respectful season but not the elite level the overall talent should command….next year will be different…healthy bodies and a dual threat QB… AND the coaching staff will look a lot smarter.GO IRISH !

    12. We have allot of injuries and to key people. We have played all year with our second string QB and we really don’t have a 3rd string QB so we got lucky there. The games we lost were all close and we were never blown out so 8-4 is acceptable and pretty much what I imagined before the season started. I do think Kelly was out coached allot this season and I wish he would run the ball. We have key people out on defense and the best medicine there would be to control the clock and run the ball but Kelly does not have the patience. Special teams are and have been terrible, recruit a returner please. We still miss tackles especially at LB and DB but all in all 8-4 is not bad.

    13. Wait until next year we are going to be really good.

      • Mike Coffey says:

        What leads you to that conclusion, considering our offense with Golson last year wasn’t in the top half of the nation?

        • Exactly. Need more studs on the offensive and defensive lines.

        • I am sure it was in the turnover department. Turnovers are everything. Having a QB that can manage the game without throwing it up for grabs 2-3 times a game will be huge.

        • Mike,
          It was a Joke. You must not be a Cubs fan. ND has turned into the Chicago Cubs of College football.

    14. A. ND did remarkably well for a team with a QB with limited mobility. TR will be missed for his passing skills, composure and ability to be embarrassed on national TV whenever he returned to sidelines after an interception or incompletion. Will never grasp why Kelly left TR with an empty backfield when every defensive coach knew Tom would not run with the ball. O line deserves loud applause for protecting him so well, especially with Kelly’s pass first and then pass again strategy. As do Irish receivers & TEs who performed so well in obvious passing situations.

      B. Lack of QB depth rests on Kelly’s shoulders. ND does not have a #2 QB and I do not believe that the obscure #3 ever played a down this season. Irish were fortunate that TR remained healthy this season.

      C. Banged up team needs a reward for its efforts, and I would urge ND to consider sunny and hopefully warm San Diego over a cold, windy, cloudy Yankee Stadium. Players, their families and friends could use some time in La Jolla, Del Mar and even the SD Zoo. Bowl game is meaningless, as Bob Davie and Charlie Weiss proved over and over again.

      D. Kyle Brinza has to be the MVP for the 2013 season. He is truly special.

    15. irishhawk50 says:

      I have to agree with those who see the glass half full although many of the criticisms of the others are valid. Tommy Rees lost this game. I am not saying they would have won, but his career long case of sudden coverage blindness struck again and lets not forget there were two additional almost picks that were dropped. The team did play with heart and the defense did tighten up in the second half enough to win the game if the offense could have come through.

      I also realize how banged up the team has been all season and will cut the coaches some slack on that account, but I still think the coaching has been a let down with the exception of the offensive line coach. All things considered I think of this year as a B -. Hope springs eternal for us fans. Go Irish!

    16. ElkhartIrish says:

      Why did we go 12-0 last year and 8-4 this year? Strong and veteran d line and o line, running backs, linebackers and d backs and mobile quarterback backed up by an experienced and savvy Rees. This year is a triage unit compared to last year. You try stopping running backs coming at you play after play because the d line are being pushed off the los. Just having a mobile qback will improve things greatly and hopefully we can get some animals for the d and o line and we’ll be right back up there. Take a breath!

    17. Repeated-identical mistakes over and over is all on the coaches. This a team of big-hearted kids with poor coaching. If Kelly can say in a pregame interview how he is content to give up the 8,9,10 yard passes but not the long ones,he should learn how to teach a college level secondary how to play the game.
      Kelly’s fast tempo offense(Cincy) plan?-is there a NCAA record for delay of game?
      Arm-shoulder tackling is not a new style nor is push blocking. Smash mouth tackling and pancake blocking are both alive and well in winning programs.
      If there is a QB with significant limitations the coaches should work within those:e.g. 8,9,10 yd.passes and throw long only if the receiver is wide open,never never roll out and stop staring down receivers look one off-it is quite effective.
      Purple faced coaches chewing out,F bombing youngsters is not proven to be effective.
      Tre Mason(Auburn) coughed up three consecutive touches (recovered one),stayed in the game and ran for 128+yds. Fumble once and your out is small minded. Injury excuses are just excuses. These kids great football yesterday and only for the same repeated coaching gaffs,it is my opinion they could have been 10-0.

    18. Excuses,excuses,excuses there’s always a reason why we lost. I think it’s unacceptable to go 8-4 when our coach has had four years to build the team he wants. I know we have a lot of injuries with starters, but so does every team. If we have more than we should, we should question our conditioning program. Something needs to change. Head coach?

    19. Time for a coaching change? four years at the helm and we went 8-4 . That’s not getting it at ND

    20. I find it interesting how quickly everybody wants to crucify Tommy Rees. When the opposing quarterbacks throw interceptions it’s great play by the Irish defensive backs. Do you folks realize you have won as many or more games by errantly thrown balls by the opposition than what you have lost? The Michigan State game is a prime example. Although it was thrown by a wide receiver, one would think if the receiver is covered by three DBs, throw it away or get as much as you can by running and not throwing the ball. That turnover led to the winning points. We’ll see if NDs pass du jour with Golson will be be to throw a pop up to Niklas like he did to Eifert and hope he can go up and get it or get an interference call. In my opinion, the old Notre Dame would not readmit him if this is indeed his second academic offense.

    21. Hey John, you were so close on the score prediction. We had just one extra field goal.

      I realize that it’s all conjecture at this point but I think that if we had a healthy Golson this year we would’ve ended up, like Stanford, 10-2, possibly better. Ultimately I don’t mean to put Rees down. He had his moments. His limitations are and have been simply obvious. They have been hashed out for 4 years now. No need to repeat. His last (regular season) game as a senior was pretty indicative of his career as a whole. Two steps forward, 2 steps back. 2 nice touchdowns, 2 lame duck interceptions. If we won the turnover margin in yesterday’s game, we win the game.

      But I do see hope for the future. It will be fun to watch Golson get to work with GAIII, Cam, Daniels, Niklas and others. Our defense was full of subs and young guys but still performed pretty gutsy against Stanford. They got the couple of stops we needed down the stretch. I would like to see Tuitt come back but there is still plenty of talent remaining. Add another stellar recruiting class and a couple of Frosh surprises like Jaylon Smith and Fulston, and we have a team that just might be BCS bound again.

      In the meantime I hope we can add another bowl win and end up with a 9 win season. As fans we should not be so elitist that a down season that produces 8 or 9 wins is not enough for us. Let us not forget the state of this program not so long ago in ’07! But let the haters hate I say. You can’t keep a solid program down. ND will rise again!

    22. Once again, another terrible start in the first quarter. Why does it take Diaco so long to make adjustments?

      Horrible special teams– I’m sick and tired of writing the same response..What part of this
      does Kelly not see? Please — somebody tell me that I’m wrong..

      Poor “red-zone” play calling. Why can’t we finish drives?

      Kelly is an “average” coach which means he’s as close to the bottom as he is to the top.

      I will say one positive thing: The Irish players fought the whole way.. The coaching staff is letting
      them down.. IMHO

      • yes, those players did fight, and for nothing but pride, which is a tribute to the coaches. Winning or losing this game meant a trip to the pinstripe bowl. We watched Weis, Willingham and Davie teams all quit under the same circumstances.

    23. Tough to figure out what is more painful to watch: Rees and his ints or Kelly and his coaching. This team was smacked in the mouth yesterday and smacked hard. For a guy who preaches toughness his play calling sure looks finesse to me. If Irish lose bowl game it will be 3 out of 4 years with 5 losses for the Irish. The program is treading water.

    24. Like everyone I too am disappointed with an 8-4 season. Even though Tommy made terrible decisions during his career, We would not have won the games we did this season without him. He is a tough minded kid who you can see loves being a member of the Notre Dame program and if you are to believe the comments from his team mates he is the leader of that team. Don’t get me wrong, he made me crazy during his time under center, but, I give him a lot of credit for the guts he displayed.

      We all become completely unglued discussing special teams and I would echo those feelings. Here is my biggest question. If we have 3-5 star recruits that were not able to crack the line up in offense or defense, shouldn’t we have the athletic ability and talent to play special teams? Please Kelly, hire a special teams coach!! We have kids with the talent and the heart. They just need someone to coach them!!

      GO IRISH!!!!

    25. MJJR

      You nailed it!! Good job!

    26. ONCE AGAIN OUR COACHES HAD NO GAME PLAN TO STOP STANFORD. STANFORD RUNS THE BALL DOWN YOUR THROAT. THEY USE AT LEAST 5, SOMETIMES 7, 300LB LINEMEN, TO BLOW YOU OFF THE BALL. COACH DIACO PLAYED HIS STANDARD 3-4 SCHEME FOR MOST OF THE GAME. OUR LINEBACKERS, OUTWEIGHED BY AT LEAST 50 LBS PER MAN WERE NO MATCH FOR THE STANFORD RUNNING GAME. YOU WOULD THINK DIACO COULD HAVE TRIED USING 4 OR 5 DEFENSIVE LINEMEN, STACKING THE REMAINING 3 LINEBACKERS BEHIND THEM, AND PLAYING MAN TO MAN IN THE SECONDARY. LET STANFORD TRY TO BEAT YOU PASSING, NOT RUNNING THE BALL AT WILL. ON OFFENSE, ONCE AGAIN COACH KELLY’S RED ZONE PLAY CALLING WAS HORRIBLE. AS HE HAS DONE ALL YEAR, THE FIRST PLAY WAS A RUN, RIGHT UP THE MIDDLE. YOU WOULD THINK BY NOW A PLAY ACTION FAKE AND A THROW TO TROY NIKLAS MIGHT WORK BETTER. ESSENTIALLY THE GAME WAS OVER WHEN WE HAD TO SETTLE FOR 2 FIELD GOALS IN THE RED ZONE. IN A GAME IN WHICH THE IRISH HAD NOTHING TO LOSE KELLY SHOULD HAVE USED MULTIPLE FORMATIONS, TRICK PLAYS, REVERSES, AND SCREEN PASSES. AS I WATCHED ALL SEASON KELLY AND HIS STAFF APPEARED TO COACH SCARED, AFRAID TO LOSE, INSTEAD OF COACHING TO WIN. HIS SPECIAL TEAMS, IN ALL AREAS ARE HORRIBLE. LOU HOLTZ SHOWED HOW IMPORTANT SPECIAL TEAMS WERE TO A SUCCESSFUL PROGRAM. HOW MANY GAMES WERE WON BY TIM BROWN, AND THE ROCKET DUE TO KICKOFF AND PUNT RETURNS. KELLY IS A GREAT BRECRUITER, BUT I DON’T KNOW IF HE IS THE ANSWER. LOOK AT THE JOB URBAN MEYER HAS DONE. NEXT YEAR WILL BE THE LITMUS TEST FOR THE KELLY ERA. NO EXCUSES!

    27. Mark Urda says:

      For the first time in over twenty years, ND has won over 8 games in four consecutive seasons, has won in spite of significant injuries and the loss of our starting quarterback. Thank you Coach Kelly and The Fighting Irish football team for your efforts and for putting the University first and football program back on solid footing. It truly disappointing to hear all the negativity on this site given the stae of this program before Coach Kelly’s tenure. As the saying goes, Success is a journey and not a destination. ND football is again on that path with excellent recruiting, player development and devotion to team and university.

      • Mike Coffey says:

        You realize that winning eight games in a 12- to 13-game season is not nearly as meaningful as when you only play 10 games, right?

        • Mark Urda says:

          It certainly beats winning only 4 or 5 games, and also includes an unbeaten 12 game regular season. It speaks to both consistency and upward trending direction. There is every reason to believe the best is yet to come.

          • Mike Coffey says:

            A “consistency” of winning eight games a year is not one I consider acceptable. I also fail to see the “upward trending direction” when the “unbeaten regular season” seems to have been due to a once-in-a-generation defensive player and effort. The offense all four years has been average at best, so unless there’s another Manti Te’o on the squad right now, I fail to see why I should see a trend of any kind.

            • Mark Urda says:

              I agree that consistent 8 wins seasons are not acceptable, and like you I expect better. The trend I see is seen in both recruiting and player development which clearly paid dividends given the injuries suffered on both sides of the ball. Manti was truly great, and his absence was a major factor in defense’s early season struggles. Jaylon Smith is not Manti but he is and will be a force as will Redfield, Deeb and Bryant. 2014 will be the best indicator if the program is really on the right track or not. Go Irish.

            • mpsND‘72 says:

              The voice of reason. Amen!

    28. The use of the words ‘gamely’ and ‘scrappy’ to describe this team are key. It says to me that this team was not really expected to do that much or go that far. Maybe it’s because of the many injuries maybe it’s because of the coaching, maybe it’s because the talent is not that talented – it’s probably a combination of the 3.

      ‘Gamely’ and ‘scrappy’ to me are the curse of lower expectations. At least they were not described as ‘plucky’. THAT would be a real insult.

      They did give it their best shot – they fought to the end and we can’t ask anything more of them. I for one am proud of them and look forward to one more game.

    29. Kelly and his staff did a good enough job given that in year 4- after a 12-1 season- he had a huge setback at QB, putting him back into the Weis era at the most important position for his offense. He is here to stay, unless a more committed football program lures him away. ND is fortunate to have him.

    30. The game turned out pretty much as I expected with Stanford running right at ND all night to exploit their lack of health and depth on the d-line. True to form, ND struggled in the red zone and Tommy Rees turned the ball over at critical junctures, thus swinging the momentum back to the opponent. Once again, Kelly abandoned the run very early in favor of the pass happy empty set formation and this marks the second year of red zone woes which is inexcusable given the talent level and veteran status of much of the offensive personnel.

      This season wasn’t a total loss and there were some good wins such as against AZ St., MSU and USC, but there were also losses against Michigan and Pitt that should have been wins and had that been the case they might be awaiting a BCS bowl invitation instead of a third tier bowl. Kelly was hired with a mandate (as I recall) to qualify for the BCS two out of every three years. That hasn’t happened and year 5 will be critical as another 8-4 ledger will tell me that we have the wrong guy.

      Many fans people think that once Golson steps on campus that ND is officially back, but I won’t be convinced until I see him produce on the field. If ND struggles again in 2014, I anticipate some of the excuses put forth by pundits and super fans will be as follows:

      1) Golson is really only a sophomore on the field and is still learning the offense.
      2) O-line lost AA Zach Martin and is breaking in a few new starters. Give them time to gel.
      3) D-line lost AA’s Nix and Tuitt and is breaking in new starters. Wait until 2015!!
      4) Breaking in new people in the defensive secondary and at linebacker.
      5) Can’t expect to win them all with our strength of schedule and 3-4 losses is still a success.
      6) Just wait until stud recruits xxxx and xxxx arrive on campus in 2015, then we’ll really be good.

      I’m still not convinced that Kelly and staff can make ND a BCS contender every year, but I hope he proves me wrong.

    31. The thing that bothers me about this season is we beat some teams that are as good and better than the teams we lost to. So why did we lose to worse teams than we beat? Because we thought those teams we lost to were good. For the teams we didn’t know were so good (MSU, ASU) we played better. If we thought a team was good (Mich, OK, Stanford) we played expecting to lose.
      We used to play our best as underdogs. Now we play expecting to lose…and it comes true.

    32. ND Chicago says:

      These number (courtesy of the South Bend Tribune) don’t lie and they don’t indicate a program trending up. For everyone that thinks Golson’s probable return to the starting line up will turn ND’s offense into a juggernaut look at the 2012 rankings of ND’s offense; passing is actually better with Rees as the starter this year. These numbers prove that in every measurable facet of the game Kelly has not gotten any better, or regressed, since his first year.

      Irish by the numbers
      How the 2013 Notre Dame football team fares in the national statistical rankings compared to both its 2010-12 incarnations and the nations new No. 1 team in 2013, Florida State, NDs bowl opponent just two seasons ago.
      ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 FSU
      OFFENSE
      Rushing 80 38 54 92 30
      Passing 47 71 40 34 14
      Total 75 54 35 61 7
      Scoring 76 78 49 67 3
      Red zone 100 70 88 49 1
      Pass efficiency 55 74 59 59 2
      Sacks allowed 2 28 36 38 85
      DEFENSE
      Rushing 75 11 47 50 13
      Pass efficiency 62 16 58 25 2
      Total 45 7 30 50 4
      Scoring 36 2 24 23 1
      Sacks by 105 22 59 54 30
      Tackles/loss 108 78 77 77 21
      Red zone 63 7 55 35 23
      SP TEAMS
      Kickoff return 25 93 36 75 6
      Punt return 62 116 112 100 35
      Net punting 102 30 102 64 111
      MISC.
      Turnover margin 77 27 118 51 3
      Note: Rankings are out of 123 FBS teams in 2013, 120 in 2010-12.

    33. For those that think Kelly has done a good job please see the previous post about our progress. we are average at best in virtually every area except the fantastic job the O line has done in preventing the least mobile QB in D I football from being sacked.
      the lack of speical teams play and the poor kick off coverage has been a major factor in our inability to put teams away. Winning big against bad teams is now an important factor–right or wrong –it is very important. we cant win big against anyone.
      It is not Rees’fault that he really is not good. Nor is it his fault that he has a terrible arm and cant after four years get his team to the line of scrimage and get the ball snapped with more than 2 seconds on the clock. He is limited and doing his best with a really poor skill set. It is all on Kelly after four years for having him as the primary back up to Goldson. That no one else has been developed or groomed is really all on the coaches. I agree that we could not have predicted Goldson being expelled but we have to assume he could have been injured. Tommy was ok for a transition but four years into a spread offense with Tommy as the back up is simply suicide.
      The offensive identity and play calling has been horrible. why ever run an empty backfield with a qB that cant run. It tells the D pass without doubt. The substitution patterns of the running backs is baffling. No one back ever gets in a good feel for the game. the under use of Foltson and earlier in the year of Fuller is mystifiying.
      The coaches this year have to be rated as a D or F. they have been terrible.

    34. Young Man says:

      Blame falls on Tommy, our defense kept us in the game. Tommy boy isn’t clutch, which is why he was the 2nd string to begin with. Very smart guy, just not athletic enough to make to throws needed to win. Cn’t blame Kelley’s play calling if our team can’t execute.

    35. This wraps up yet another disappointing season at Notre Dame. The only silver lining is that finally–FINALLY–after all of these years coming in to squander big games and building school-record numbers (7th in school history with wins, 22) against teams that ND should have had no problem with to begin with, Tommy Rees, the Great Mistake, is gone. I cannot tell you how much I look forward to never again having to fear Rees blowing a game by giving the ball away at the most inopportune time. The final INT at Stanford was woefully under thrown because Rees’ arm is weak and has no business being a starter for a major Div 1 program. By the way, the receiver he was throwing to in that situation had a good three steps on his guy and on could have scored a TD. If ND had a QB that wasn’t a waste of space, that game would have been very different.

      As disgusted with how things turned out this year, I am willing to see what BK can do next year. But I want to echo some of the sentiments that I have seen here on this thread: if we aren’t playing in a BCS game next year as part of the four game playoff or in a Bowl that is played on or after New Year’s Day, then BK has to go. I am sick and damned tired of mediocrity while one loss teams get to b*tch and moan about not being able to play for a National Championship over an undefeated team because they are entitled to do so, or so they have been led to believe by ESPN.

      God bless Notre Dame and GO IRISH!!!!!

    36. Fenian_32 says:

      We can lament Golson’s absence all we want, but the truth is that ND had to run the ball effectively this year, and couldn’t. The red flag is this: we tried to run the ball! Think of the pistol formation, two-tight end sets, Rees under center, multiple backs etc., and we only have a couple games with a good rushing attack. 149 yards a game for 82nd in the nation is abysmal. More concretely, think if this team was able to run the ball like Stanford. We would have taken the pressure of Rees, scored more touchdowns in the red-zone, made the injury-laden defense look better, and IMO, won at least two more games.

      I’m excited for Golson to return next year, but I see the running game as a major red flag, and it starts up front.

    37. I’m from Ohio and I am extremely proud….to be an ND fan. The local school here embarrassed themselves by their actions on the field up north and their leaders embarrassed the state by their lack of concern by taking no action! I really don’t think this would ever happen at ND! Look at the way Tuit was so calm after being ejected last week but still had someone calmly lead him out. Class on class!

      We have fallen some (for many reasons) but I don’t think we have to go too far to be right back in the mix.

    38. fenian_32 says:

      Tuitt did show exceptional self -control as he was being wrongfully ejected, especially when you consider the classless behavior of the Pitt fans above him. He will be an excellent young man to invest an NFL contract in, hopefully in 2015 not 14!

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