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  • Irish Can’t Stay Afloat in Raleigh

    by John Vannie

    Dexter Wright scooped up a blocked punt and raced into the end zone with the game’s only touchdown as North Carolina State defeated Notre Dame by 10-3 on Saturday in simply awful weather conditions. The Wolfpack dominated the game throughout, but neither team was able to capitalize on even one of many opportunities until Darryl McKeever got his hand on a Tyler Newsome punt with 12:43 remaining. The Irish fell to 2-4 on the season with Stanford coming to town next week, while State rose to 4-1.

    Coach Brian Kelly confounded and frustrated the Irish fan base by ordering up pass play after pass play when it was obvious that the high winds and driving rain dictated a ground based strategy. NC State outgained Notre Dame on the ground by 187-78, with Matt Dayes accounting for 126 yards on 23 carries. Roughly half of the rushing yards for the Irish came on their final drive, but a poor snap on a fourth and eight play at the Wolfpack 16 yard line ended the bid by Notre Dame to tie the score.

    The number of bad snaps, bobbles, windblown passes and fumbles were too numerous to count on a day where no game should have been allowed to start, but the loss cannot be considered a fluke because NC State’s coaching staff did a better job of adjusting to the conditions. The Wolfpack ran the ball 46 times and attempted only 14 passes, completing seven for 41 yards. The Irish ran 36 times and threw 26 passes, but many of DeShone Kizer’s 15 rushing attempts came on aborted pass plays. Kizer completed only nine passes for 54 yards and had one interception in the red zone on a wind-blown throw.

    State had the upper hand early despite a strong wind in its face. Solid running set up field goal attempts on their first two drives, and Kyle Bambard connected on the second try for a 3-0 lead. Notre Dame could not generate any first half points, but did have a few good chances in the second period. A poor punt by the Wolfpack gave the Irish excellent field position, but they fumbled the ball away with a bad snap at the State 23. When freshman Julian Love recovered a fumble on the next play, it looked as though Notre Dame would score as Kizer brought his team to the Wolfpack six yard line. From there, the play sequence went false start, sack, incompletion and interception.

    With the wind at their backs in the third quarter, the Irish were handed a few golden chances by NC State. The Wolfpack punter went to a knee to field a snap on the opening series of the second half, giving Notre Dame the ball on the 25 yard line. The Irish were unable to make progress from there, but Justin Yoon drove a 40-yard kick over the crossbar for a 3-3 tie.

    Two plays later, an NC State fumbled the ball to Notre Dame at the 22, but a sack and three incompletions squandered the opportunity. Reserve quarterback Jalan McClendon, a powerful runner, entered the game for the Wolfpack and drove his team to scoring territory. A third down play inside the five yard line blew up when Dayes missed the pitch back and ended up with a 15 yard loss. Bambard came on to attempt a field goal, but the holder could not handle the high snap and the Irish dodged a major bullet.

    The third quarter ended with more of Kizer’s passes hitting the ground as Kelly refused to let his offensive line take control. Wright’s touchdown followed shortly thereafter, and an Irish fumble on the next series made matters look even more bleak. Notre Dame’s defense, which played quite well with the knowledge that State was going to run the ball on nearly every play, held once more to set up a final chance for the Irish offense. Kizer took the team on his back as they gained 64 of their 132 total yards in this decisive drive, but two incompletions and a two yard scramble set up the fateful fourth and eight miscue.

    As Kelly read the riot act to center Sam Mustipher on the Notre Dame sideline, the Wolfpack took the field to run out the clock.

    Let’s review the answers to the pregame questions:

    Which offense will be most effective in the red zone? Both teams had one trip to the red zone and ended up going backwards with no points scored.

    Can the Irish offensive line control the active NC State defensive front? No. The running game never got traction and Kizer was hit hard far too many times.

    Which special teams will dictate field position? Special teams were the story of the game, although the wind often had much to do with success or failure. There weren’t any excuses on the blocked punt, however, and that was all she wrote.

    With the potential sloppy conditions, which team will manage to avoid costly turnovers? Neither team was immune to critical miscues, but the Irish brought pain upon themselves by trying to run so many pass plays.

    Which of these much-maligned secondaries will raise their game? The edge goes to NC State, whose defensive backs were challenged more strenuously on the afternoon and accounted for a few impressive pass break-ups at key moments.

    Can Notre Dame’s defensive line make a positive contribution? They allowed only three points all day and had many excellent series, but faltered against the run on a few occasions that proved costly.

    Which team will run the ball more consistently? NC State, by a wide margin.

    Do I really want to spend four hours of my weekend watching a B-level disaster movie? That’s exactly what it was, and to think I could have played golf in sunny and 80 degree San Diego weather. UGH!

    At the end of the day, this game illustrated why the Kelly regime at Notre Dame should conclude at the end of the season. The Irish coach had a poor game plan for the conditions, and the considerable athletic talent on the roster is being squandered due to poor schemes and terrible fundamentals. Dissenters will predictably come back with, “Who are you going to get that is better than Kelly?”, but the fact is that a dead cat would be 4-2 with this team and there are indeed plenty of candidates out there if Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick and the University Administration emerge from their state of denial and do what needs to be done.

    111 Responses to “Irish Can’t Stay Afloat in Raleigh”

    1. I think the most frustrating thing was not seeing the coaching staff adapt to the elements. The offense should have had Kizer under the center with two backs in the back field bulldozing NC State’s front seven. The special teams should’ve kept the rugby style punting strategy to give the punter some room to boot a ball that won’t be returned anyway. The defense was OK, but honestly NC State shot themselves in the foot more than ND fought to win this game. Next week against Stanford could get ugly, especially with Stanford getting embarrassed by Washington last week. I expect them to come out inspired and destroy us. Something in the vicinity of 41 to 7.

    2. Kelly lost this game—-

    3. The play calling was abysmal. I almost think BK wants to be fired. This team isn’t fun to watch anymore. It’s frustrating and depressing to watch ND football.

    4. Father John.. Jack.
      Have CBK bags packed for him when he arrives. It’s beyond comprehension.
      Did he call those time outs in the last seconds to let Sam suffer more?? To let
      all of us suffer more ?? I….I’m just ….. My Lord.

    5. I have NEVER been more disgusted at a Notre Dame team in MY LIFE! Defense, you guys rocked. Deshone should have been on the bench early. Don’t give me the rain BS. Our offense was a joke. I could have gotten a good high school team to remember that in that rain you use 2 HANDS TO COVER THE BALL!
      Deshone are you stupid???? At this rate I see us losing 3-5 more games because we SUCK as football players. Our season is OVER, unless you’re redshirting guys for a reason I say get some other kids a chance because it’s VERY obvious the starters are getting knocked around like a bunch of Div II players by inferior teams. I’m taking down ALL my ND stuff from the house inside and out, hanging up ALL my gear and hoping next year the guys want to play and earn their $200,000. scholarships. NEVER BEEN MORE EMBARRASSED of NOTRE DAME in my life. Even when Charlie was there.

      • SubwayAlum_52 says:

        Well, it’s a good thing your emotions don’t matter. Do you seriously think Kizer is stupid? He is a 1st round draft pick playing his ass off.
        Also, from a former division II football AND 2x track and field all American, i invite you to watch a D2 game, and you will see damn good football..

        The best course of action for the university is to can Kelly, and take your drunk grumpy hide with him

    6. Kelly’s decision to go for it on fourth and long instead of Yoon kick the 3, especially after he just kicked one of similar distance,is dumbfounding! Also,at the end on fourth down why not have Yoon kick a fg and then take your chances on an onside ? Can’t put much blame on Mustipher- odds of succeeding on a fourth and long don’t change if you have Kellys play calling. Seventh year coaches with 2-4 record at ND don’t deserve an 8th,no matter the cost.

      • Denverjoeirish says:

        AMEN! Right on point. Irish w/h/b up 6-3 and who knows how things would have played out from there. Oh I know, BK would have continued his predictable play calling and NC State would’ve had a gut check to find a way to win.

    7. Brian Kelly post game press conference. He knows.
      Gruden..Gruden..

    8. I’m glad I didn’t waste my time watching this game. Golfing in 70 degree sunny Ohio weather is much more satisfying despite my constant three putting.

    9. Since last seasons loss to Stanford Kelly’s team is now 2-6 in their last 8 games. That is all you need to know about his coaching acumen. This is just not a well coached football team. Seems they have regressed in every way. He is the college version of Chip Kelly where he knows everything and everyone else is stupid. In miserable conditions he flat out refused to stick to a run game, despite having “All Americans” on the left side of the line – Ya right. This team has a tone of talent and it is simply being run into the ground by a B league coach over his head. Even when he has a QB who is a good runner he flat out refused to alter his approach. He has cost this team more games then he has won. Time to move on. Looks like 4-8 this year. Another great year by the Irish.

    10. Trying to stubbornly force the pass in hurricane conditions is vintage Brian Kelly. And once again ND can’t get out of their own way. When this becomes a pattern then you have to look at the head coach and the coaching staff.

      We are now looking at an absolute best of 6-6 and a bid to the Clorox Crapola bowl against the MAC runner up. If Swarbrick thinks 6-6 is a sign that the program is on solid ground then I think it’s time for a new AD.

    11. Larry Rossi says:

      Out here in sunny San Diego…it’s actually 84 @ 3PM, and it’s clear that rooting for 2 teams, the Irish and the Chargers really challenges one’s commitment. Play calling was abysmal, weather worse and what was the insertion of Malik Zaire for one play all about? He should have been in most of the game, and they should have run it every play. What did they have to lose? Oh, that’s right, they did lose!

    12. I have been your main dissenter so I’ll take that conclusion at least somewhat as talking to me and I gotta say I’m astonished at Kelly game plan. That was worse then the conditions in which they played in. I watched in disbelief as they attempted pass after pass and didn’t insert Zaire but for one play in the last 4th. Now I said if this spirals out of control he could and quite possibly should go. I’d say two bad losses at home to rivals Stanford and Miami and this thing will end ugly. I am not sure the powers that be will get his replacement right or that the future coach will accomplish anything better but I cannot defend this game, this season, or Kelly any longer.

    13. we are 2-6 in our last eight games.we are headed in the wrong direction.Jack- wake up.

    14. Kelly’s time is over. He has lost it. I just read where Kizer said 95 percent of the play calls today were pass plays. Really. It that weather. And Kelly defended that by saying they were the right calls. Kizer changed them to runs. Kelly lost this game you have the projected number 1 and number 3 lineman projected in the next nfl draft and you can’t run the ball. Swarbrick needs to be on the phone now

      • Fr. John needs to meet Swarbick on the tarmac and tell him his services are no longer needed

    15. Numerous times an ND defender would deliver a direct hit at the line of scrimage and make no effort to wrap up the runner who would then gain another 7 or 8 yards. ND needs to spend Monday in tackling school.

    16. I suppose the title of this game would be ‘ND Slip Sliden Away.’ Unfortunately, this title is both literal and figurative as their season continues to go south. So, perhaps the big question is whether ND can beat a Navy team that is surely going to beat #6 Houston. ND looking at 4-8 or even 3-9? Very sad.

    17. NC State outplayed ND and deserved to win. ND’s offense line line is overrated. I agree about the play calling no imagination ran same offense they do when it is sunny out. You cant win in football if you can not run the ball.

    18. ND is nothing of what it used to be as an institution of higher learning, and it’s been that way for a while. The football team is an indicator of the overall weak culture on the campus and of the administration. Playing finesse football in a tropical storm is the defining moment of Kelly’s career at ND, nothing makes sense. I really don’t think Kizer is that good, he has a good arm and makes nice throws, but he doesn’t lead the offense, make the big plays at key moments, and most importantly he doesn’t win! Changing the play at the line on 4th down because one guy was going to blitz, and waiting for the play clock to go way down was the major factor in the bad snap, plus he knew he would have no time to throw after he picked up the ball, but he cocked it rather than just throwing it, to basically end the game for ND; the INT was predictable at the end of tge 1st half too: 3rd and goal at the 20 and he makes a late throw deep over the middle in a downpour, I mean, this team is so pathetic that you can’t even get mad at them anymore.

    19. I was at the game today… It was brutal. Made it home alive and still have power (crossing fingers). I just do not understand how he talked about a special game package in his presser and radio show for the weather. It was so difficult to throw.. It was a game of field position and 2 to 3 yrds was better then no gain or worst a lost. frustrated.

    20. All three commenters are right on. I also could not believe ND Offensive play after play with only one back, given the game conditions. Heard Kelly immediately after the game in interview, attempting to quickly blame the entire game difference as being the blocked punt/TD alone. He clearly brought a Southern California bone-dry venue game plan into a torrid howling hurricane swamp – and stuck with it through the 4th quarter. Not as an excuse, but I do believe the game should never have been allowed to start – surprised there were not a ton of injuries. I believe playing in the rain & snow IS real football – but that part of NC was receiving the full force of the hurricane during the game. When a ND game has more empty seats than full before halftime, it should have told the Conference Suits something. The Kelly Era has officially reached its conclusion. If ND is ranked over 100th in so many categories, then Brian Kelly is a 100+ ranked college football coach.

    21. I have lost all faith in this offense. The defense steps up and gets them the ball and this offense
      goes dark. BK puts too much on Kizer and the kid is loosing confidence. And how about that call of
      going for it at 4th and 12 when Yoon just booted a 40 yarder! Then to top that off he brings Malik in for
      one play with less than 5 minutes in the game! Can you ruin a kids confidence anymore than that? No creativity
      at all on the offensive side of the ball. I am sick of ruining my Saturday’s by watching this jerk try and
      coach.

    22. hear Mack Brown, Les Miles and possibly Jimbo Fisher might be available.

      • Mr. Unpleasant says:

        Mack Brown would be nauseating.

        • Denverjoeirish says:

          Jimbo Fishhead is the typical coach who allows players who are subject to disciplinary action to play in games. He allowed their QB to play the ND game in 2014 when the scumbag was caught on video publicly screaming sexist rants in one of their student centers. Yeah, we need a new AD and coach but not this slime ball. I’ll take Les Miles over this low life any day.

    23. Im watching Navy and they are on the verge of maybe beating Houston. They may lose but I see heart great fundamentals, and sound coaching.

      After watching today’s debacle kelly truly has no clue. To run empty backfield for half the game is a coach that needs fired Sunday morning. I see players who after playing their freshmen year do not improve over time. We heard about kelly recruiting right kind of guys but these players make the same mistakes time after time and have very little drive and heart.

    24. It is my thought the coaching staff is now on an aircraft to return home. And apparently still working on their game plan because they did not appear to have one during the game. New coach, in my limited view, would go a long way to put this team back where it needs to be.

      Yes, ND did loose many quality players to the draft but so did Alabama and Ohio, to name a few. And this happens to them every year but they always perform with each years player draft. Too many years ND gets in quality players and they never improve….. Coaching is the only reason.

    25. ndOptimist72 says:

      Look on the bright side: you can now plan for the holidays, without giving thought to Notre Dame football.

    26. irishhawk50 says:

      Great game plan! The definition of insanity. Running the same plays over and over and expecting different results. ND was out coached. NC State, at least, had a game plan for their running quarterback. Where was Zaire? One play in which he slipped! I used to think Kelly was a good coach, not great, but good. Don’t believe it anymore. I could go on and on but all the posters here saw the same game I did so why bother.

    27. THE MOST OVER PAID NCAA COACH IN ND HISTORY.YHE

    28. Vannie. Thanks for your honesty. You are the only writer to put your name on an article calling for Kelly’s ouster unlike the guys at the South Bend Tribune. Are they afraid they won’t be invited to the post press conference banquet? I just watched the press conference and Kelly was very nervous and continues to lay blame on the players like Sam Mustipher. We score 3 points and it’s Sam’s fault. Call a play and run the play. Changing plays confuses everyone. Kelly also blamed the punter. What’s with the rugby kick now? 2 blockers because of the rugby kick then he doesn’t run and use the rugby kick! I’m sick of this zone read stuff too. The pros are going back under center now. Time to adjust. The game plan should have been put a fullback in front of the halfback, Kizer under center, and run the darn ball. Even if the pass was good, the ball was slippery by the time it got there and made the ball hard to hold. Never an adjustment. Poor game plan by a poor coaching staff. And Swarbrick gave this guy 5 more years in January. What a mistake!

      • John Vannie says:

        You’re right – I’m not exactly worried that the school is going to cut off my access as an insider, because I’m not one. I’ve been following the program for more than 50 years and graduated from ND during the golden Era of Ara, and the current state of the program makes me profoundly sad. Notre Dame has poured a lot of money into football but has little to show for it. Change may be painful but they cannot afford to continue this failed regime. You have to wonder if others in the hierarchy beyond Kelly need to go as well.

    29. At the end of Kelly’s press conference he said I want my offense to want the ball at the end of the game to go win the game. Holy crap he does not get it, that’s not winning football. Another coach would have this team winning games right now.

      My personal objection to Kelly has always been I believe he will never beat the best teams but now he is losing to bad teams, and it’s not the players, it’s all on the coach.

      The biggest difference between Kelly’s team this year and his previous teams is there are no front line NFL players on defense. Te’o, Tuitt, Smith, Nix, Day, and Kap all kept Kelly’s previous teams afloat. I give Kelly no credit for these players. Kelly’s teams have always had weak cornerback play and I think it’s because cornerbacks require more coaching on technique than other defensive positions when making the transition from high school to college. Nick Saban coaches his DB’s personally. We all saw Cole Luke play like Revis at times. I don’t care what anyone says Luke is a good player but there is no progress due to lack of coaching.

      The best evidence Kelly does not deserve credit for defensive players like Te’o is the quarterback competition between Zaire and Kizer. How is it possible that the best quarterback in college football and the likely number one pick not the hands down unquestioned starter. I honestly believe Kelly did not see any difference between the two. He thinks his scheme (on offense) is all that matters in winning football games.

      Brian Kelly is just a bad coach

    30. I’m soooo glad that BK told us that the rain wouldn’t matter and the Irish would go ahead and play.

    31. HORRIBLE weather and ND coaching was worse. The entire coaching staff is clueless and should be embarrassed to receive a paycheck. It doesn’t look like they will win again this year. Kelly has made ND a joke and should be fired tonight. I am convinced ND will never return to being a top program a should consider dropping football since they don’t know how to play.

    32. JV. I too am an ND grad, class of 74. We were blessed to watch Ara, his great assistants and great players. My roommates told me Ara was tough as nails but made them better. They loved him and played hard for him. Kelly has lost these players. It’s so easy to see. Remember when Lou ran the ball down Spurrier’s throat with Jerome Bettis in a bowl game? Lou embarrassed Spurrier on national TV. Kelly would throw 50 passes in that game never realizing that Spurrier could not stop the running game. That’s game planning. A previous writer on this site was correct. Chip Kelly and Brian Kelly think they are the smartest guys in the room. I say this as a Philly guy. Well, they actually are smart I guess because they convinced a lot of dopes to pay them a ton of money. Thanks for letting me vent. Notre Dame, Our Mother, pray for us.

    33. Ellen Bush says:

      It is so clear that Kelly HAS to go. Maybe the AD can go with him. I am sick of him blaming the players for his stupidity. That is so low class. Running should have been the only option today. I hope Kiser goes to the NFL next year and enjoys some good coaching. So sad about the Irish. It is a program in shambles.

    34. It is obvious that we were led to believe that this IRISH team is a lot worse off that predicted!!!! The smoke and mirrors that this coaching staff has produced only fools the coaching staff and not anyone else!!!!
      It is time for this administration to make a serious consideration that football at this UNIVERSITY is enough either going to be a factor or not!!!????

      Obviously not willing to win a National TITLE is a top priority at this school anymore?! They are the Montreal Canadiens of the college football!!! They would rather talk about the past accomplishments then try to focus on putting a winning product on the field!!!

      After all this is a Catholic Institution NOT an Ivy League school!!!

    35. Is it possible that these guys just aren’t that talented? NC state whipped our offensive line.

    36. Yes others need to go as well if they cant fire Kelly.

    37. Kelly ripping our center on national TV for that screwed up snap was priceless. After a zillion dropped passes (why were we passing anyway all day?), missed tackles, fumbles galore he decides to take it all out on a kid on the last offensive ND play (which probably wouldn’t have gone anywhere). I am sorry. Kelly is a D-Bag (and D doesn’t stand for defense).

    38. Carlos Bauza says:

      Brian Kelly was Fine at all jobs prior to this one. BUT at Notre Dame he occupies a job beyond his competence.
      Kelly reached his level of incompetence. The job is too large for him. He must go. And it will probably take someone to fire him. He will probably NOT “do a Kuharick” (submit his resignation).

      New Coach Search probably started secretly two weeks ago.

    39. Exactly. $warbrick hired Kelly. Kelly is exactly as advertised when $warbucks settled for him out of Cincy. Pass Happy, little D, de minimis running game and penchant for hiring his drinking buddies from Grand Valley State. So why is anyone surprised. ? Gimic football wins for awhile. Fundamentals will be there year after year. Kelly and $warbucks are tied at the hip. Both rake in millions and their employer rakes in tens of millions. From their perspective only minor adjustments to the win loss column need be made. The rest is good. The boat will not be rocked if $warbucks in left in place. If $warbruck had any honor he would have resigned his post after the Declan Sullivan tragedy. $warbucks has flawed judgment and thinks in one dimension. He never should have permitted that game to be played in those conditions and that comment has nothing to do with the game of football. The health of all the players was at risk and resources were diverted from the hurricane effort. $warbuck just pulled a Kevin White and extended Kelly’s K another 5 yrs. $warbucks has mismanaged the FB program and he aint going to deep 6 Kelly. If you want change, it starts with $warbucks.

    40. One word to describe everything I saw today “baffled.” Ok maybe another word “disgusted.” It appears even hurricane Matthew wants Kelly fired. Yes, the game should not have been played today. That’s a fact. But that is also Not an excuse, as both teams were in the same conditions and in the end they did better, better enough anyway.

      Hey guys, there’s a hurricane outside. Let’s take the old ball out and hey, go long!

      Sick of defending Kelly. Being Irish and living a long time in the Midwest is not enough. And believe me, I’ve defended this guy, mainly, for a long time. But I’m simply at a loss and, I saw someone say this, does Kelly Want to be fired now? and get that huge payout? Didn’t we just finish off paying off the bum Charlie? Has he given up on his program in the way that his players have on him?

      • That’s what I was thinking. My cat could’ve coached a better game. It’s like Kelly wants to get fired.

    41. This is one of the worst ND teams of all time. This team will lose to Stanford, Miami, VA Tech, and Southern Cal, and one of the service academies for a 3-9 finish. How does this happen six years in to the Kelly regime?

    42. Bocceman2 says:

      Army only team left Irish might defeat. 3-8 in year 7 deserves loss of job

    43. Ranger Up says:

      Agree with everyone’s comments.. WTF over.. I’m astonished at the lack of bad weather game planning and the ability to make adjustments.

      Kelly is an arrogant ass and has the audacity to blame players who are trying to execute his lame brain pissed poor game plan. Kelly has lost this team and he needs to go now.

      Jack – Grow some balls and fire Kelly tonight..

    44. Oleballfan says:

      I saw body language that told the story of a team going through the motions. It was idiotic trying to throw the ball in those conditions. All this coach has to show is close losses. Never a quality win. Kizer would probably be wise to bail out after this year if you believe all the hype. He would learn a lot in an NFL system that complements the run with the pass, not the other way around. Is this really a top tier program? C’mon.

    45. TimmyIrish says:

      Chris. Petersen…please…!

      • Why would Petersen want to come to ND? He is a great coach, but his tough no-non-sense attitude would ‘offend’ the elite of ND. Remember, this guy gained his fame by developing 1 star and no star recruits who did not feel entitled. I like Petersen and I think he knows better than to come to ND.

    46. Before u fire Kelly, there r a lot of really good coaches losing this year also. That being said, whatever issue is going on with Malik n BK, they both have to get over it and coach him n play him so he’s not just one n done. Kizer should have been benched at least a few plays for the last 2 weeks. He’s too busy planning his NFL career. Last year he was really engaged with the offensive players. This year instead of getting his team mates up, he watches the game by himself. And why isn’t Sanford calling the plays? Wasn’t he brought here to run the offense? good job Defense! You’re really showing improvement n it shows your effort. Now let’s hunker down n beat the tree next week!

    47. If I am Swarbrick, I come in Monday and tell Kelly to get his stuff out of the head coaches office and move down to the janitors office. Kelly is still under contract to ND, so his job will be cleaning buildings, etc.
      The O coordinator runs the offense and calls the plays, makes up the game plan. The D coordinator does likewise for the defense and so on.
      The players have one half to show how much they appreciate the fact that ND pays them to play football with an education second to none. If they don’t make the effort, they sit the bench and clean locker rooms and the stadium after games. They will earn their scholarships by doing something.
      Then we develope young players and teach them how to play at the collegiate level.
      None of this will happen but should.
      ND will lose at least eight games this year. And Kelly was talking about competing for a Natty! This team couldn’t win the MAC with this kind of leadership and effort.
      WHERE IS YOUR PRIDE DAMMIT!!!!!!

    48. The Hawk '65 says:

      Send Kelly and Van Gorder back to Grand Valley State where they belong. I still say we should give our coaches an IQ test before we hire them. The man doesn’t have the brains or temperament to be a major college coach. (Sounds a lot like one of our illustrious presidential candidates.)

    49. 1-All of you invested the time to watch ND football today? Ha!
      2-Brian Kelly deserves credit for elevating ND football out of the “irrelevant” category that Davie, Willingham, and Weis dropped us into (all of which were horrible administration decisions)
      3-The secondary has been decimated and put Kelly in a tough spot
      4-It’s been clear since the beginning that Brian Kelly is a good coach, but not the one to ever win a national championship as we have never beaten the elite teams or even the very good ones
      5-Killer Instinct
      a) There are three key skills a head coach must have to win a national championship: recruiting, player development, and motivation/killer instinct
      b) Kelly has never had killer instinct and never will, and the players exhibit the head coach’s mentality (Look at Harbaugh)
      c) Please stop telling us and the players that Austin/Clemson are intimidating environments, we have to “match” Michigan State’s toughness, and the objective at NC State is to not turn the ball over and fall behind 35-0. Players start to believe it will take a miracle to win
      d) Give the players—or at least let Zaire give the players (as he did in the 38-0 win over Texas)—a little Holtz by telling them the other team doesn’t deserve to be on the field with ND and the score should be 42-0, especially when the other team is comprised of players who weren’t even considered for an ND scholarship
      e) Kelly must go because: no killer instinct, no national championship (not to mention the disaster that this and other seasons became)
      6-These players are a joke and demonstrate no respect for the accomplishments of past players. Please tell me we are no longer doing the “hand out the #1 jersey to a different player each week thing” that makes a mockery of the accomplishment of past players and puts that accomplishment on an undeserving player

      • Mr. Unpleasant says:

        The players aren’t a joke but they are over-controlled. Seems that “coaching” and scheme have priority over letting the players live up to their talent. Too much time wasted looking to the sideline is one example of that.

    50. The Hawk '65 says:

      Jack Swarbrick has done a great job with other ND men’s and women’s sports, but he’s been a disaster for football, the gold (traditionally) standard of ND athletics. Despite ND magna degree and Stanford law, his background was predominately in law prior to becoming AD. What basis did ND have in hiring this guy? Between Weis and Kelly, he has done a very poor job in recognizing and paying reasonably for good coaches to manage our deservedly, esteemed football program.

      • No $warbucks has not been good with other sports either. That is the image not the reality. He coddles a track coach who uses anatomical vulgarities to refer to a female staff assistant and $warbucks tolerates this work place hostility. He has a cross country coach whose team just placed 25th of 25 in its own invitational. Dead last. This coach was even beaten by a commuter school.

    51. Brian Kelly, STOP BLAMING YOUR PLAYERS! (Disgraceful! Take a page from the GREAT coach, Bear Bryant). LOOK IN THE MIRROR!@

    52. I really don’t care about the other sports and apparently neither does NBC. This team will end up 3-9 if they can sneak out a win over Army in the Shamrock Series which is another joke conjured up by Swarbrick. I got a call this week from ND selling football suites. Cost is 15 grand per seat which I would call a seat license. That is a 20 year contract paid one time. Then the seat itself costs 3 grand a year which comes out to $500 per game. That includes food and drink. So for someone who does not drink alcohol that’s no inventive. The suite was on the goal line on the visitor’s side. No thanks. I have heard from a reliable source that all those prices have come down and that they are struggling to sell them out. If we get smoked by Stanford I would think the students will be chanting “Fire Kelly”. Then the shit will really hit the fan.

    53. how many games in the kelly era have we seen horrific special teams. even in 2012 our special teams were bad. no change in 7 years. no hang in bad play calling, out coached in every big game and road game he has been in over the past three years. Kelly is vey good a blaming players and yelling at them. maybe excellent in that category. But overall he is a mediocre coach who doesn’t belong in South Bend.
      The BS about ND academics being too tough to get good talent is insane. We had nine guys go to the NFL last year. We have more talent that each team we lost to this year. The losses are on the coach. I am afraid the school won’t do the right thing because of the contract extension. But everyone who understands anything about football knows what has to happen. Kelly has got to go for us to be a top 25 team ( forget top 15)

    54. BK is a very poor game time coach.He will loose most of the time against quality opponents in big games because he has the lethal combination pride,arrogrance,stubborness and inability to adjustments.He can recruit he just can,tcoach.I don,t care how many s
      rs a kid may have coming to the college level he still needs coached up. This is obviously lacking at ND.The only thing I can say in defense of BK is that his O-Line stinks and could not block the Little Sisters of the Poor.Until we rectify these we will continue to produce fodder for all the haters.Embaressed to be Irish.

    55. When Virginia tech can score 34 points against North Carolina in the rain and only 3 points for the Irish against NC State our ship has sunk. My prediction for the rest of the season is maybe one more win against Army. That will make the Irish 3 and 9. Its time for Kelly to be fired. This is unacceptable for Irish football. The team is still not prepared to win football games. The athletic department needs to move in a different direction and start the search for a new Notre Dame football coach. We need a coach like Dabo Sweeney.

    56. The reason our offensive line is so bad is the same reason our running backs look bad and out special teams stinks is that the very talented and sometimes NFL quality players we have are not developed. Instead they are forced into a system without an identity and their development thwarts. Look at the three running backs, even when holes are present, they don’t hit them quick. If you looked at all three of the backs you might thing they are mediocre at best but last year and two years ago you might have thought they were pro quality. No development, no identity. Special teams which is a third of the game has been ignored for 7 years. Remember the two year period where we didn’t return punts–dead last in D I in punt returns. Kelly is a pretender. A blamer, a terrible play caller and a very poor coach. not sure how 2012 happened but he needs to go asap

    57. If the administration continues to ignore the demise of ND FOOTBALL they will then need to address the decline in cash flow to the non revenue producing sports and general student scholarships that the football profits fund. How long do Fr. Jenkins and Swarbrick expect to receive top dollar from fans and NBC in return for the crappy product currently being peddled? The administration would be well served by getting some consulting help from ND’s highly touted business school on how to connect the dots.

    58. Gmoney321 says:

      The future of Brian Kelly, in my opinion, will be this week’s game against Stanford. It appears the wheels are falling off the
      Cardinal bus. Injuries, weak play at quarterback, soft defense and two recent pounding have Stanford in a downward spiral.
      It’s a shame because I think McCaffery is the epitome of what a college player should be. Anyway, if ND loses to Stanford, call the moving van.

    59. It’s one thing to lose games when the other team just beats you on a given day even when you play reasonably well. That’s going to happen. But to consistently lose games that are tied directly to poor coaching decisions (like Texas, not deciding going in that Kizer is your #1. Like NC State with poor game plan given the conditions) and/or also games against teams with MUCH LESS talent (Duke, NCState) is just not acceptable at this level. Not if the ND administration wants to compete for the CFB playoff.

      With respect to the frequent losses vs teams with MUCH LESS talent … these are EMBARRASSING. There are far too many embarrassing ND football moments under the Kelly regime. You just cannot lose to Duke at home! There are just too many Duke-type Saturdays for it to be a statistical outlier. These losses just don’t happen to well-coached teams that possess solid Top 10-15 talent. ND is poorly coached … far too many games when we just look both flat AND incompetent.

      If the ND administration REALLY cares about consistently competing for the CFB playoff, a coaching change must be made very soon !! But do they ???

    60. Perhaps ND center Sam Mustipher should be awarded the No.1 jersey for Saturday’s game against Stanford to signify that he bears sole responsibility for Saturday’s loss. The 1 jersey gimmick would allow the crowd and TV audience to know just who lost the previous game for the Irish, and boos could be directed at Mustipher accordingly. Since linemen are not allowed single digit numerals, a small “1” could be sewed onto his jersey much like a captain’s “c”. Prior to kickoff, NBC’s on field talking head could pummel Sam with questions about how it feels to be such a loser, with her questions repeated until Mustipher cried on camera.

      After each post loss press conference, Kelly would award the ignominious 1 to the player he viewed as losing the game, which would permit BK to avoid all responsibility for the loss. Ultimately, the No 1 jersey, like Bob Davie’s dog biscuits and Weis’ “scheme advantage” will be forgotten once BK is given his $20+ million buyout so that he can be a color analyst on ESPN.

      • Fulkerson's Ghost says:

        In fairness, he did do a pretty bad job. He is getting a free ride to college for that performance. It was not up to standards expected by anyone.

    61. Brian Kelly is becoming Gerry Faust 2.0. At least Faust could engineer a few wins against top 10 teams. If Swarbrick was the AD during the Faust era he likely would have rewarded him with a long term contract.

      It seems Jack has accepted Iowa like mediocrity as the new normal for ND football and 6-8 wins each year means the program is humming along.

    62. Sad to say but my prediction is that Kelly will be gone by the end of this season. One thing ND needs is a bulldozing FB. That being said, they probably didn’t take the long cleats with them, and again, they should have run the ball more.

    63. Wow did Swarbrick ever get sucked into the “I’m talking to the NFL” trick by Kelly. Kelly received great advice from his agent on that one. I used to think Swarbrick was smart but did he ever take the bait on that one. Now he’s gagging.

    64. Fulkerson's Ghost says:

      Putting all the blame on the head coach is myopic. This is a total failure on all levels.

      Even though Kelly is the genesis of most of the problems, no one on the team has any heart. These kids are in a top college. Are they all imbeciles completely lacking in insight and personal responsibility?

      If they suck at tackling, and their coach is too stupid to fix it, they should try and fix it themselves. If their coach has no passion, so what? They can’t find any on their own? If I was being embarrassed on national TV every week, you can bet I would be working a lot harder than these kids give evidence of working.

      The next step in the blame game is for a bunch of whiny, entitled kids to say “If only we had a better coach we would have been in the running for the national championship.” BULL. These kids don’t have the heart under any coach. They are damaged good. The sooner the whole shebang is gone the better.

      • Myopic? Not even close.

        Attitude reflects leadership, vis-a-vis Kelly is a bad coach/uninspiring leader hence the team adopts his “who cares” attitude and plays with no heart.

        Blaming the kids on the team is ridiculous. They play within the confines of Kelly’s system, and are a direct result of it. You want heart? It starts with the head coach. Kelly is like a bump on a log, and actually throwing players under the bus is disgraceful.

        Quit giving excuses for this teams lack of heart and focus to everything or everybody not named Brian Kelly. This is his soggy sandwich and we’ve all had to take a lot of awful butes.

        • Fulkerson's Ghost says:

          If people in their 20s need inspirational, Knute Rockne speeches to get fired up, they don’t deserve to be playing at this level. That’s extrinsic motivation, and it is for losers. Like the Irish have now.

    65. Fire Kelly and let Sanford run it the rest of the year. He was supposed to be a hot young head coach in the near future. Why not let give him a chance like a free 6 game trial period to see what he is all about? Could it be any worse.

    66. I am ND ’67. Was a big fan. Everyone open your eyes and believe what you see and have seen over these many years. Everything stinks with this ND program. ND is becoming another Vanderbilt. Time for the Pres. to clean house from the A.D. on down asap. Not only the fans, but the players deserve much better. I lived with some of the football players in Sorin and saw how hard they worked on everything and how much they cared to win. Anyone who does not see this is asleep at the wheel.

    67. Under Kelly, I’ve witnessed losses to Tulsa, Duke, Navy, Duke, USF, and now North Carolina St.

      The above listed schools arent even in the same league as far as recruiting, so why is Notre Dame losing?

      This is simple: it stars and ends with the head coach… Brian Kelly.

      I read a lot of excuses when Charlie Weis was coaching, and he was just as bad. Brian Kelly has lost this team, he’s lost the fans, and coming soon if not already, he’ll lose the alumni.

      This program, as it stands, is in complete shambles. And, when a head coach throws his players under the bus instead of assuming responsibility for losing then that marks the beginning of the end of his tenure.

      This team wont get a bowl game, nor do they deserve it. Still, these athletes and fans deserve much better than the effort Brian Kelly is giving. Kelly just looks nonchalant on the sidelines. His playcalling stinks, and the team discipline and preparedness is completely lacking.

      That’s solely on Kelly.

      I just hope that if ND does decide to fire Kelly that they bring in a head coach who knows the value, the importance, and the tradtions of this once elite program. The new coach needs to be fiery, and know how to coach todays game.

      Spare me the Gruden talk. The guy is way over-rated, and if he truly wanted to coach, he’d have done so by now. For all the talking Chuckie does, he’s not fooling anybody – he doesn’t want to be exposed as a bad coach. He only won with Dungy’s team and couldn’t reproduce that.

    68. Just as I said on the day BK was hired my opinion certainly seems to be popular on this blog.

    69. ND Dad 2010-2014 says:

      I sat through the freshman orientation with my son as BK was introduced to his first address as the new head coach at Notre Dame. If anyone has a video of that day with BK please post it because all you need to know about this guy was answered then and there. I will not go on with rants. I knew that day we were in trouble with someone who had his own agenda and had no clue as how to embrace his new position at Notre Dame with his first year and the freshman class. Someone hopefully has the video and please do post. No surprise for me … Look at the initial season for BK and you will see why Notre Dame football has become an abyss of leadership non-existent from top down. Last time I checked ND was all about CHARACTER. No sign of it here from day one to seven years later. Always will love Notre Dame !!!

      • I agree with you one hundred percent.
        I used to read and listen all I could about Charlie Wise and be inspired. Regardless of how people felt later on, I always believed everything he did, was for the betterment of players and Notre Dame. His Friday night prior games rallies brought tradition to relevance. His emphasis on players staying for four years and obtaining a degree were of the utmost importance. In contrast, Kelly’s famous statement “tradition does not win games”, told me all I needed to know about his character. I felt he was not qualified on day one and certainly still feel he is not qualified today. He can promise vulnerable young men they will play as a freshman and go to the NFL early but he will not earn their respect. He can’t lead young men, recruited from all states and all walks of life, and turn them into future leaders, be it on a football field or personal life. Kelly is all about Kelly. He blames all in public and never himself. I agree he needs to go and the sooner the better. Yes, I will love ND forever.

    70. I guess in year 7 we would have hoped that we would have to fight hold onto our head coach. Brey for example seems like he’s ready for the next level. This job should be a hot seat by definition.
      Control alt delete

    71. LEPRECHAUN HOOP says:

      When I arrived at ND in the fall of 1963, the program was in absolute shambles…
      – interim inept coach, Hugh Devore
      – finished year at 2-7
      -essentially a laughingstock doormat of a program
      Next year, 1964, Ara arrives and take the SAME PLAYERS 9-1 and one final minute of last game from 10-0
      Coaching, motivation, strategy and energy are everything.
      Solution=simple…. pull BK, appoint Sanford interim HC and take time to recruit the really right guy.
      BTW, in case you’ve forgotten-same guys and same coach got NC in 1966 !

      IT CAN AND MUST BE DONE

    72. Felipe Cardenas says:

      Brian Kelly’s saving grace is currently coaching at Texas. Swarbrick will wait until Strong gets forced out at UT and then he’ll hire him as ND’s DC. Pay him head coach money and give him legitimate authority. You heard it hear first.

    73. Notre Dame’s bye week is after the Stanford game. Any chance Jack has shared that with Coach Kelly?? Looks like BK has exactly one week to save his job.

    74. This is yet another example where ND’s transition to more of a finesse style team under Kelly has led to mixed results at best. Coaches who emphasize power first with a solid defense and the ability to run the football tend to have more consistent results and sustained success. You know the coaches I am talking about. It is not always pretty, but what we just witnessed this past weekend was not exactly pretty either. This was the perfect game situation to run the football and emphasize a power-based game. Unfortunately, the coaches and the players do not have the mindset to execute this kind of game plan.

    75. Not sure I’d let AD Swarbrick hire Kelly’s replacement if and when that time comes. Hopefully that time is right around the corner! But AD Jack has had the wool pulled over his eyes one too many times and at great cost … both in terms of millions of wasted $$ on Kelly AND more importantly the erosion of NDs tradition and image. The ND brand is taking a huge hit right now with Kelly as HC. I’m sure several recruits will jump ship and maybe NBC will follow. Again, does the Golden Administration care enough to make a change soon ???

      ND should form a football coach search/hire committee ASAP including former players and coaches. Let them identify and hire the next coach. AD Jack can be involved, but he gets but one vote out of maybe 9.

    76. I try to cut Kelly slack because he was such an improvement and better coach then the three that preceded him. Honestly though, if after 7 years and this is what kind of a team and program you have, there is something desparately wrong. I am not sure Notre Dame can attract the kind of coach like an Ara or Lou anymore. I think there may be a perception out there you can’t win at ND anymore because the Administration takes a harder line on admissions and other factors as well. I doubt seriously I will ever see the glory of ND football return. I can’t see Notre Dame competing with the real elite programs. I hope I am wrong.

      • Mike Coffey says:

        Even with his myriad flaws, Brian Kelly took ND to a championship game. If someone like Kelly can do it, why can’t a number of other coaches?

        • Please stop with the national championship game stuff. We lucked into that and weren’t a championship caliber team. We were squeaking by inferior teams and needed all sorts of pathetic play by Pittsburgh including a missed field goal in OT to win that game. Championship caliber teams pummel inferior teams regularly. That team never did that, and it was obvious to all it was a once-in-a-lifetime-gimmick team, not a team that had national championship talent. I believe ND can compete for a national championship again regularly and that the tough admissions standards is nonsense because it’s been that way for a long time and we continue to get top-10 recruiting classes. However, it will take a coach with at least these three skills: recruiting, development, and motivation/killer instinct. Kelly has the first two. Holtz had all three as do Saban, Meyer, and, unfortunately, Harbaugh.

    77. Let me ask this last question? If you had to call it, will Kelly survive another year or will the administration make a move? And if they were to make a move, who would be some names probably in the mix and would they really have an interest. I have heard many names mentioned as always but it is always the “usual suspects””. I really don’t see Notre Dame winning all of the remaining games, although every week I get this feeling we can get it done. I’m probably being foolish, but I think we can beat Stanford and Miami.

      Finally, I agree with the gentleman above (irish88) that we were never really a championship looking team the year we went to the big game. I always appreciate the return responses. Thank you.

    78. I am sick to my stomach. I Can’t understand why Notre Dame extended the contract to what continues to be a failure of a coach.
      From day one, Kelly proves he is clueless calling the right plays. Be it calling time outs at wrong time or critical mistakes on what should be simple plays.
      He is not deserving of a coaching job at Notre Dame. His previous coaching qualifications at lower level schools were insignificant at best. His seven years average at Notre Dame maybe better than prior coaches but he is not good enough for Notre Dame.
      We keep hearing about him going to the NFL. I wish him luck but I believe no owner is dumb enough to hire him as a coach.

    79. Everyone is talking about ND losing to Stanford. Never mind it, the bigger embarrassment will be when ND gets whipped by Virginia Tech.

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