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  • Irish Continue Perplexing Slide

    by John Vannie

    Quenton Meeks ignited a second half comeback with a 50-yard interception return for a touchdown as Stanford overcame a 10-0 deficit to defeat Notre Dame by 17-10 on Saturday night. After a safety on another bad snap by the Irish brought the Cardinal to within 10-9, the visitors recorded the winning score with 10:38 left in the game when Bryce Love was tackled at the goal line and the ball rolled into the end zone. A pair of Irish defenders inexplicably could not pick it up, and Cardinal center Jesse Burkett pounced on it for the go-ahead touchdown. Stanford added a nifty two point conversion play for the final margin.

    Irish quarterback DeShone Kizer, who was replaced by Malik Zaire following his second interception, was reinserted to into the lineup with 3:44 remaining. The ensuing drive reached the Cardinal eight yard line as the clock ticked down, but ended in frustration when Kizer’s fourth down scramble fell short. The loss dropped Notre Dame to 2-5 on the season and 2-7 in their last nine games.

    Things were going well for the Irish in the first half. Stanford kicker Conrad Ukropina clanked a field goal attempt off the top of the left upright in the early going, and a Cardinal fumble set up the first Notre Dame score. Kizer capped off an impressive ground-based march with an eight yard run for a 7-0 lead late in the first quarter. Justin Yoon added a field goal shortly thereafter and the Irish held a 10-0 lead at the half. Stanford’s offense was in disarray as Christian McCaffrey cheered from the sidelines while quarterback Ryan Burns struggled.

    The Cardinal coaching staff did a better job of making adjustments in the locker room, and suddenly Notre Dame’s offense ran into trouble. Kizer’s interceptions occurred on consecutive series in the third quarter, and Zaire could not generate anything positive. Meanwhile, Burns did just enough to get his team into the end zone after his defense put nine points on the board.

    It was a bitter loss for the Irish, who played well on defense for the most part and appeared to be the more talented team. Confidence has to be an issue now, and the coaching staff should be concerned about its collective job security. The team has a week off for fall break and will resume play on October 29 when the Irish host Miami of Florida.

    Let’s look at the answers to the pregame questions for additional insight.

    Which offense will control the clock and keep its defense off the field? Stanford did a better job, particularly in the second half, and won time of possession by 33-27 minutes.

    Can Notre Dame’s anemic pass rush break through Stanford’s porous offensive line? The Irish brought some effective pressure and had a couple of sacks against the Cardinal, whose line was not very solid at all.

    Will Bryce Love pick up the slack for McCaffrey? Definitely. Love had 129 yards on 23 carries and acquitted himself well.

    Which team will shake off its recent losses and play inspired football? It was a tale of two halves. Notre Dame was clearly in charge in the first half, but Meeks’ interception changed momentum and the Irish never regained it.

    Can the Irish rediscover the running game? They did for a brief but beautiful scoring drive in the first quarter, but they did not pursue what appeared to be a clear advantage of this contest.

    Which offense will convert its red zone opportunities? Stanford scored on its only opportunity while Notre Dame had to settle for a short field goal on its second trip. A sack and two incompletions from the Stanford eight brought out Yoon. On the final series, the Irish had to throw and Kier could not find anyone open.

    Will Irish fans just stay home and watch the Cubs? The smart ones did – it was an entertaining game with a grand ending.

    Once again, a game that should have been a comfortable win came down to a final, pressure packed drive that ended poorly for Notre Dame. Stanford is not a good team, especially without McCaffrey, but the Irish seem to be hopelessly lost from top to bottom.

    93 Responses to “Irish Continue Perplexing Slide”

    1. Start the bus!

    2. a sad ending is setting up for Kelly. Whether he goes at this season’s end or they let him and us
      suffer another year, expect the losses to keep mounting until the B. of Trustees can justify writing
      another big check for a new coach.

      While I do have compassion for Kelly, if I was let go from my job, I wouldn’t be able to retire w/
      $5 to $10 mill. in the bank.

      What must be done eventually should be done now.

      • You’re very unlucky. With 5 million in the bank I’d never work a day in my life. Like Kelly hasn’t in recent years.

      • 8-5
        8-5
        12-1
        9-4
        8-5
        10-3
        2-5 (on our way to 4-8 or 3-9 or …)
        That’s only 1 or maybe 2 good seasons out of 7.

    3. I’ll never understand the complete abandonment of the running game, especially after the perfectly executed drive.

      • Only the genius can explain. He constantly preaches toughness and yet never sticks to the running game when need be. But who am I to question such a genius?

    4. Wall-of-text rant to get it off my chest. Thanks for reading (or skipping):

      • The silence and lack of interest demonstrated by the few responses is deafening. Think everyone made the right decision and took in the Cubs or spent time with family
      • Losers always find a way to lose
      • The whole program has become soft. So glad we sold out with the turf, jumbotron, and smoke in the tunnel. I can’t believe I’ve seen tailgaters with umbrellas in their drinks and dance music being played in the parking lot instead of radio football highlights
      • Speaking of dancing, I loved the dancing on the sidelines—fired up when it doesn’t matter; just silly
      • Kelly should never again smile until he wins a national championship. Saban, Meyer, and Harbaugh are on another level, and I can’t remember them ever smiling. Maybe Meyer once in a while. All have killer instinct. Kelly doesn’t
      • Kelly can recruit and develop players, but he has no killer instinct (preparing players mentally on game day to destroy their opponent no matter the environment or weather). Either bring in Holtz on Saturdays or pair yourself with a quarterback who has it (Zaire). The Kelly-Kizer lovable losers combination is lethal
      • Rooting hard for Kizer so he takes his great tools and stats to the NFL
      • Love that Jimmy Clausen is lashing out. He, Quinn, Kizer, Powlus, and Mirer are all cut from the same cloth—great skills, lots of accolades, “NFL draft picks,” and no where near any national championships. Tony Rice, Kevin McDougal, Everett Golson (2012; eventually lost his mind), and Zaire–winners
      • Eventually, people will see that Zaire’s coming out against USC, upset against LSU, and blowout over Texas mean a lot more than NFL stats that are always just enough to lose; leadership trumps “NFL skills” in college every day
      • How are we stuck with a BC quarterback doing our games on NBC? Just painful
      • Speaking of NBC, really appreciate the lack of updates on the much-more-interesting Ohio State-Wisconsin game
      • We will never have a power running game thanks to our overall softness. Stop asking the team to run the ball up the middle on 3rd or 4th and short. We’re like 3-for-142 under Kelly
      • Wish the punting team would stop trying for the perfect trick-angled-punt and just punt the ball 50 yards and put your shoulder in someone’s gut
      • Can’t wait for the ESPN 1988 Notre Dame-Miami 30 for 30 on 12/10. I’ll pretend it’s live

      • You think Zaire is the answer? Wow. Kizer is better at all faucets of the game. It isn’t even close. The coach is the problem.

        • My preference for Zaire is built around the concept of leadership. I think the combination of Kizer and Kelly in the area of killer instinct is lethal. Kizer has very good skills, but no ability to will his team to win. He always does just enough to lose, but the stats look great. Zaire has demonstrated the ability to will his team to win. Remember how crushed we were when Zaire got hurt after the leadership he had shown in those USC 14, LSU 14, and Texas 15 games. My belief is that, given the reigns, Zaire would compensate for Kelly’s lack of killer instinct and the fear Kelly instills in players heading into Clemson (how will we survive the “hostile environment”?), Texas 16 (“hostile environment”), Michigan State 16 (“how are we possibly going to match their toughness?”), and NC State (“hope we don’t turn the ball over and go down 35-0”), etc. Not denying Kizer is a skilled quarterback, just don’t see anyone getting the team into the mindset of “This other team doesn’t even belong on the field with us–we will put our foot on their necks and press harder once we sense we’re breaking their will to compete.” I don’t think Kelly is going anywhere after a bad season, so, if Kizer goes to the NFL, we’ll find out next season.

          • Agree. A great QB needs to have skill, and be a leader. Kiser has the skils to make plays but does not lead this team.

          • Agree with you. I cannot believe we are not seeing more of Zaire. Everyone points to being behind to UVa before Zaire went down. However, what they didn’t notice was his calm, talking to his team in the huddle, asking them to believe. I think had Zaire not gone down to injury last season, they would have been undefeated. Say what you want, I couldn’t care less. Zaire is the man to ** LEAD **. Kizer is not a leader.

          • Kelly is the cause of any perceived problems with QB leadership due to his boneheaded call to not name a starting QB for the first game. It is obvious Kelly favor Zaire, but the skill difference is so apparent that he can’t play him. If Zaire had the leadership skills you assign him one would think the team would rally around him when he comes in. Yet the opposite occurs and the team becomes immediately deflated and the offense suffers for it. Open your eyes! It is plain to see. The team is bad but has a chance when Kizer plays. The team is worse and has no chance when Zaire plays. Kizer throws better, runs better, and is a better leader but has been undermined at every turn by the head coach.

        • Agreed Kizer is the best QB by far for this team. Kelly and his play calling are KILLING him.
          GO IRISH

      • And also, Kelly can recruit, but his development of players is highly suspect. They don’t seem to get better from sophomore year on and don’t seem to get better during the season. He gets talent and then under performs with it.

      • IRISH 88 ……. Exactly!!!!!

      • Running the ball up the middle: Every time it’s 3rd and one (or less), and I see Kizer line up in the shotgun I puke in my mouth a little. We’re only about 1 for 112 in that situation.

      • why do we have the shamrock series and “in lockerroom coverage” of the players for a whole season?
        Gimmicks, gimmicks and more gimmicks.

        How about a conference championship with a stable of common routine opponents that we can gameplan against year over year.

        It is no wonder that BK and every ND coach loses his mind…..

        Wait, we’re in the acc, no wait big east, no wait pac 12, no wait we have an option on the big ten in 2033. There is no sense, and its be/c the board is comprised of West coast, East Coast, South and Midwest, with their “expert egos” all taking center stage.

        Too many chefs in the kitchen, but hey, I get to see a cutsy uniform in san antonio again this year!!!

        How about a meaningful win in 16 years would be better?

      • Don’t use my handle.

    5. ND Dad 2010-2014 says:

      I wonder what anyone expected other than the result of this game. It has been apparent that this staff has lost the team for the season. Good football teams put away inferior opposition at some point within sixty minutes. We really haven’t done that for years. BK shows all his game day coaching weakness routinely and we sit and watch at year seven. Kiser is touted as NFL top material and he is banished to the bench? Yeah that’s a real character builder for a team searching for some stability in a must win game against a weak rival who we should be sky high to battle at home. Time to account for where we really are…

    6. “If Kelly blows this game he should be shown the door.. IMMEDIATELY!!!! “

    7. The defense only gave up 7 points and the offense was playing a team that gave up over 80 points in the last two games, but our offense could only score 10.
      Everything is reversed. Our powerful offense can’t do anything when earlier we were putting up large scores.
      On the other hand, our defense could not stop the Little Sisters of the Blind early in the season and are now doing a decent job after getting rid of the problem (Van Gorder.)
      I don’t think Sanford is to blame, so perhaps we need to let Kelly go or at least let the Offensive Coordinator do his job.
      The head coach needs to be the manager of the team and the coordinators should be permitted to do what they are paid to do. Kelly cannot be the jack of all trades. He is only interfering.
      And, why in the name of God do we let the enemy bring their own officials into our house?

    8. AND, several years of top 20recruiting classes. The talent is there, it is just not being developed.

      • Remember Gerry Faust before Lou? Faust recruited great talent. However, he had no idea what to do with it. Lou knew what he had and knew what to do with them. This program needs another Lou.

    9. james twarek says:

      Good bye to Brian Kelley! Terrible coaching decision again. enough is enough

    10. Kelly is ruining these kids. He continues to just flounder at this level of coaching and just does
      not have the team ready to play at all. They have lost the will and the understanding of how to
      win under his regime. The defense was outstanding, they gave the offense so many opportunities
      to put points on the board . Kizer is just a shell of himself now and Zaire has no clue what he is
      doing anymore. We have 2 QB’s that were supposed to be the dynamic due turn into a couple of
      circus acts. And what is wrong with Mustipher, my gosh, 2 more miscues at snapping the ball
      that were extremely costly. BK is ruining talent, this reminds me of the Willingham days, great
      recruiter, terrible coach! Once again ND gives another head coach a fat contract and once again
      he turns tail and forgets how to coach. This is just sick to watch anymore.

      • You didn’t just call Willingham a great recruiter, did you? He was the main reason that ND was FAR BELOW the scholarship limit. It wasn’t until Weis that the recruiting was back on par.

    11. The same execution errors over and over again and absolute zero heart from any Notre Dame players.

      Seems the ND players are more concerned with their 40 year career they been sold than their 4 year football career.

      The opposition comes into ND stadium with more heart and desire than any ND player. No pride whatsoever.

      • What do you expect when their head coach’s only desire is himself? What do you expect when Brian Kelly is their role model?

    12. And for White Sox fans, this has turned into the Fall from Hell.

    13. Mercifully, the game didn’t go into OT. When Stanford could rest its best running back for its more difficult conference opponents and still mount an impressive run game, it says a lot about the state of ND football.

      ND’s coaching performance only lacked a “Dismiss me” banner hung between the hands of Touchdown Jesus. Perhaps BK will be spending this bye week with his financial advisers and agent. He needs a plan on investing $16 – $20 million and landing a analyst’s role on ESPN or FS1 for $750,000 a season.

      Finally, there is a bright side to this: ND players will enjoy Christmas and New Years at home.

    14. Kizer has lost composure and seems unaware of the role the clock plays in football. Kelly makes what should be comfortable wins nail biters that we usually lose. How those two ND players could not recover the fumble in the end zone is mind-boggling. I’m glad our players had fun jumping around on the sideline because there was little cause for levity once they crossed the line to the field of play. Yet another game that should have been won was blown. Hard to imagine this coaching staff righting the ship.

    15. Pathetic. No sense saying more as the idiot head coach lost the team and this terrible season is his fault. Time to find a real team to cheer for. Missing Charlie.

    16. Absolutely sarcasm.

    17. Brian Kelly has ruined the team. he is in Kizers head. it is the Everette Golson Syndorme. Coach gets in your head and you can’t make a good decision. Kelly has not developed his talent well as someone above mentioned. His quarterbacks seem to have the deer in the headlight look. No confidence and lack of consistency are the key features of our offense. No running game despite a good start yesterday–coach won’t stick with it. Special teams blunders again. Kick off returns to the 15 yard line, terrible punting etc etc. Kelly is a pathetic coach. In 2007 Weis was starting a new QB working with Willinghams senior class which was the worst recruiting class in the past 40 years. In 2016 Kelly has a first round NFL pick with a year experience at QB and with players he recruited. I am not saying Weis was a better coach, I am saying Kelly is every bit as bad. In the past 7 years name one area that we have really improved in. Not defense, not special teams, not play calling. Name a big offensive drive in the Kelly era that allowed us to win a game. not at Texas this year when we took the lead in the 4th quarter and got the ball back and went three and out. Not yesterday, really not ever. He is a disgrace to the program. we had more talent on the field than every team we lost to this yea.

      • I was thinking about this a lot this morning, and it seems like Brian Kelly (thanks to his TRUMP-level EGO and impulsiveness, probably) basically ruins or comes close to ruining every QB that has the misfortune of playing for him.

        *Crist (a BIG-time HS CA QB)
        *Rees (one could argue he was already damaged)
        *Hendrix (see the following about Zaire)
        *Golson (who actually came back for another year of abuse after an exile year…and soon fell apart)
        *Zaire (who looked promising, now looks completely clueless in limited action)
        *Kizer (clearly rattled and lacking confidence thanks to BK’s instability)

        It should also be noted that Kelly is now 2-5 against Stanford (a solid and consistent program that has an identity, sticks to it, builds around it, wins). Even those 2 Ws are near-miracles (a questionable OT goal-line stand in 2012 and a last-minute chuck from Golson to Koyack in 2014.

        ND REALLY needs to swallow its pride, eat that contract, and heed the actions of that Stanford strength coach:

        Tell ol BK “bye bye.” This thing is beyond broken. Kick this little Football TRUMP to the curb, already!

        Don’t let him get his hands on Wimbush too!

    18. Flanner525 says:

      On TV at least, the stadium seemed completely dead. Reminded me of those awful beat downs in 03 against FSU and USC. But this game was close and people still don’t care.

      I liked for the last drive the announcers said that now the coaches would call plays Kizer is good at. The rest of the game is stuff to make the coaches look smart I guess.

      • Denverjoeirish says:

        Spot on. I was switching between this game and OSU/Wisconsin and the crowd involvement was like night and day. I thought the ND crowd was attending a funeral an texted my observation to a buddy of mine attending the ND game. He said he sensed that the fans were worried and my response was “why worry? This season’s a bust, so everyone should get wild and scream until he or she goes hoarse!”

    19. just watched that idiots press conference. he says no one needs to apologize. what about you coach, don’t you need to apologize for ruining your QBs confidence and for calling a terrible game?

    20. I hope ND waits…and dosen’t just “knee jerk” make a coaching move. Wait until they know they have the right man. There are probably only a few who could do it. No more experimenting. ND has about run out of the “relevent” time. It has been almost 30 years since we won a championship. Notre Dame has to get the next coach right. I think I know who I would go after and he is coaching in the neighborhood. Most people probably think he would not come but I would pull out the check book and go get him. The next move needs to be a Holtz like moment. When he took the job I knew we would be winning again and we did. We need that person the next time we make a coaching change. I want to know that the nexxt coach…we will be winning again…now and not later. I am sick of waiting around and I don’t have a lot of years left to sit around and watch a bunch of trees grow.

      • I’m still here in Phoenix and saw Tony Rice and Lou Holtz win in 88 and can’t believe 28 years later the Irish are at this point. Lots has changed in the college landscape but there are coaches who find a way to win year after year. Holtz was one of em and we let him get away. Swarbick needs to follow Kelly out the door.

        • Could not agree more… they both need to bounce. I was skeptical before last week but the program is in disarray. 2-7 in the last 9 games. YIKES

    21. This team is a mess. Who is the genius that came up with the “Girls just want to have fun” game plan? They looked like the Stanford Band!
      ND is playing schoolyard football. Rivals have coaching and a tactical game plan.
      Fortunately, Spartans are down. Go get Dantonio. Trade Kelly to Dancing with the Stars!

      • I don’t think getting all sexist and Talking Tough about it is going to change anything, really.

        In fact, it’s seven seasons of Tough Talk that has ND in this bind.

        Talk is cheap. But girls are playing football some now, too.

        Gender nor fun don’t factor into the problem with ND Football now. Although, actually, a lack of fun does seem to be a real problem.

        Hard to have fun when you lose 7 of your last 9 games, though…

      • Keep in mind that Dantonio has lost four in a row and the Mildcats hung 54 on him yesterday. Plus he’s not interested.

    22. Year 7 of the Kelly Era and here we are. ND presents perhaps the most boring offensive playbook in the land. The much heralded O line rarely opens holes for the runners & has Kizer under almost constant pressure. A horde of young receivers comes running in and out of the game trying to figure out their routes. Talented backs have nowhere to run. Kelly has ruined Yoon’s confidence after a good freshman year. The defense has given up on any sort of aggressive action in favor of keeping the play in front of them, and that’s been an improvement over BVG at least.
      And then there’s Kizer. Like it or not, and BK clearly does not like it, Kizer is our best player and only hope. His 2 picks vs. Stanford came when a receiver ran a bad route and when he was being swallowed by two defenders.
      Kelly, once considered a quarterback whisperer but now a quarterback screamer, has taken two talented athletes and confused the hell out of them. Poor Zaire marks his minutes by falling down, running into other players and throwing the ball five yards behind his targets. He is lost. Kizer is constantly forced to improvise in bad down-and-distance situations with rushers in his face, and then gets blamed for not producing enough miracles.
      What a mess Kelly has made of these two guys. Both will bail on BK before next season. Book it.

    23. Kelly has run out of ideas. Swarbrick, how much longer must we suffer?

      • Denverjoeirish says:

        “Hi, I’m $warbick. This will continue to go on as long as the big alumni contributions and ND merchandise revenues keep pouring in! And guess what? While we stink, we still fill the stands with Fans who sit on their hands and feel great that they encountered this generation’s Notre Dame Experience!”

    24. i think the offensive line is the problem. Kizer did not look good because he simply didn’t have enough time to get the ball out. He was hurried, taken down and sacked all night. When the O-Line is as bad as it is, it doesn’t matter how many great skill players you have, you will never be good.

      There are ways around this of course…screen plays, running back draws, dink and dunk passing, but I see a reluctance to evolve by the coaching staff on the offensive side of the ball. As a result, Kizer is having to shoulder the load and is getting overwhelmed. Not a blueprint for success.

      Kelly will be around for a couple to few more years at least and he will have some decent seasons, but he has the the same syndrome as the likes of Mark Richt – good but not good enough to win a championship. Heck, he’s not even as consistent as Mark Richt either.

      If anything though, Kelly will at least leave a decent recruiting pipeline for the next coach to work with. It’ll be miserable and frustrating until then but the grave was dug as soon as Kelly signed that extension.

    25. I was at the game and it was an awful experience. The fans desperately wanted something to cheer for, but it was like watching a high school game. The play calling on offense was so conservative. Zero creativity. Kelly has finally met his match. He doesn’t know how to motivate a group of players that have more important goals than football. Blaming his players backfired and he must’ve gotten his hand slapped because now he’s embellishing everything. This is more about culture than coaching. Kelly’s teams play anxious at home and are afraird to make mistakes. Navy is going to crush us. Crush.
      Wake me up when this is all over.

    26. I think PJ Fleck from Western Michigan is the guy

    27. This is what I said yesterday……….IRISH eyes will be cryin’ after this game because there isn’t going to be a complete game plan, inconsistent play calling, no tackling, O-Line will not dominant on a consistent basis and above all the IRISH will beat themselves not Stanford they will take advantage and score and win the game like most games this season.

      God I hate when I’m right. ;(

    28. TimmyIrish says:

      Each time I think, “It can’t get any worse,” it does…

    29. Ellen Bush says:

      Sad isn’t even the word for ND football. I have never seen a worse season not just with losses but the kids seeming lack of confidence and overall enthusiasm. If they don’t fire Kelly,we r in for many bad seasons. He has lost this team. If I were a player,I would transfer as soon as I could. Pathetic Kelly. Please leave .You owe it to the fans.

    30. Vannie,

      I hate to be right but:

      Did I not say that our D would allow one hundred yards rushing to some no name RB.

      Army is the only game we will win the rest of the year.. I ALSO predicted a few weeks ago
      that PRIDE AND STUBBORNESS come before the fall… I was spot on in regards to BK.

      • John Vannie says:

        You’ve been right on the money lately. What is surprising to me is that ND has played nothing but very mediocre teams. A really good coach would be 7-0, and even a dead cat would be 5-2.

    31. The defense has gotten a lot better with more or less the same kids playing but without Van Gorder. Look at the numbers, that’s a straight up fact. Would this same offensive lineup be a lot better without Kelly stalking from the sideline? I’d bet my bottom dollar on it. And yet knowing ND admin I can’t see them hurrying on the situation. Kelly is here until the season’s end as that’s the “classy” way to handle a football divorce. Hope and pray we can find the right man available after the season. But sadly for this season it’s gonna be a long bumpy road! Ugly, close losses in winnable games for a team under usual circumstances.

    32. I don’t like the artificial turf. I don’t like the loud music. I don’t like the smoke. I don’t like Crossroads. I don’t like the students doing the Lou cheer. I do like the “Fire Kelly” cheer.

    33. Did anybody else catch Kelly’s opening comments when he said, “This game will probably come down to the end of the 4th quarter…”

      What kind of winning mentality is that? Is that really the mindset to instill in the minds of the players… “Hey team, just hang in there and stay alive and try to pull it off in the final minutes of the game…”

      • Yes, exactly. That’s the kind of mindset that must change. He should be empowering his team of very good athletes with the mindset of relentless attackers who never let up until it’s 78-0 like Harbaugh does. Instead, we get the Bob Davie, “we hope to hang in there and maybe the ball will bounce our way late in the game for a win.”

      • Not wanting to give the opponent any bulletin board material, Holtz used to say stuff like that. Publicly. What he used to say to the team in private was a lot different.

        I honestly have no idea what Kelly tells the team in private. If I had to guess, it’s the same thing he says publicly, or even more likely, nothing. At this point though, I don;t think it matters what he’s telling the team in the locker room; I don’t think they are listening to him anymore.

    34. I am done with ND football. If the coaches and players don’t have any spirit, why should I?

      • Aaron👍👍 says:

        👍

      • If you are an alum such as I, the reason we show spirit is that the team is part of the Notre Dame community to which we belong. It’s like a marriage in which we share the highs AND the lows.

        That being said, I think if BK did more of his talking through sound on and off field coaching decisions we would have a much healthier community spirit. We need a coach who is humbled to represent the institution. One who can develop and motivate the players regardless of the field condition, scoreboard, PA music, or broadcast coverage. A coach who can direct a season that at least delivers hope of winning outcomes with whatever talent may be present. I think that’s the problem. I sense no hope with this team..and it’s just not because of its record. But then…I grew up watching the Cubs…

    35. It is becoming nearly impossible to watch my Alma Mater being coached by a man that blames everyone else but himself for the losses that keep piling up. HINT-Kelly- YOU are the HEAD COACH, your players are not punching bags that you can verbally abuse, especially since the FAULT lies with YOU, not them. These kids(yes, they’ll still kids) deserve better than YOU, MUCH BETTER. Do the honorable thing, and resign and void your contract.

    36. There are so many problems but as someone else said the offensive line is awful. So overrated. Can’t fire Kelly until they have a suitable replacement. Since every coach since Holtz has failed it makes you wonder if they can attract a proven winner. I don’t know why they can’t win more. Maybe they cannot not be as good as Alabama or Ohio State but at least be as good as Stanford.

      • The problem started when they allowed Bo(o)b Davie to weedle his way into the HC. When they hired him, I remember telling my grandfather, “This is the end of Notre Dame football as we know it”. He didn’t believe me until the 2001 season… and then told me that I was right. This was the downfall of ND football. The moment they hired him, this set the wheels in motion.

    37. sungho oak says:

      it’s much worse season than 2007 because we have talents.

    38. That was about as fun as watching old people eat. This game went to the team that played less ugly. The game was a gift to Stanford. They must have been laughing all the way back to Palo Alto. Stanford practically had to do nothing but watch ND self destruct and implode on itself in the second half. The defense was a pleasant surprise, while the offense was its own worst enemy. Unfortunately, I do not see the offense getting any better any time soon. They rely way too much on Kizer to carry the offense and make big plays. He is clearly cracking under the pressure, and you cannot fault him for that. He needs to be coached to manage the game and not give it away, and other players need to step up.

      If ND wants to get back to competing for a championship they need both new players and coaches. Certainly, this team is underperforming and is better than its record because they are clearly not prepared come game day. ND had this game won. On or two more scoring drives and they could have put this game out of reach. The final red flag for me was on third down and goal with twelve seconds left to play. Why on earth would you spike the ball when you have two plays left to get into the end zone? For these situations, the team should have already have one or two hurry-up plays that they just run. Then on fourth down, just throw ball into the end zone and give yourself a chance! That’s when it’s okay to throw an interception. It’s not okay when you have a 10-0 lead. There’s no reason to be a gunslinger and give them any momentum when you are controlling the game. Something bad has gotten into this team’s psyche. They do not know how to win and the lack of coaching isn’t helping.

    39. Im real anxious to see what will happen these next two weeks with an off week before a huge game against Miami. I rememberer 2011 with a two week wait before USC the team imploded because Kelly called out all the Weis players and destroyed the morale of the team. they got blown out by USC at home. Many of those Weis recruits that Kelly hated are now in the NFL and they carried the team to their undefeated regular season. When Kelly has time to prepare he has not faired well against good teams. the next year with time to prepare for Alabama the team melted down again, and then last year against OSU with a month to prepare we got destroyed again. these next two weeks will be interesting to say the least

      • 31-17 is hardly a blowout…. I’ll tell you what it was, though… it was Dayne Crist fumbling the snap on the 1-yard line and giving away a score that would have made it 24-24 with ND having all of the momentum by that point. Instead, it was a 7-point swing to USC which gave them the momentum (he did the same against Navy in 2010 as well).

    40. ND Dad 2010-2014 says:

      Van
      I would like to see some stats on ND football before and after the NBC contract. Take ten years before and apply that to the ten years after or until present day. Just asking, no judgement but my thoughts are a microscope on this program does us no good . Have we lost our soul for the big bucks?

      • You know, I disagree… It has little to do with the contract with NBC and more so with the coaching picks since 1996 (Davie, Willingham, Weis, Kelly).

      • John Vannie says:

        I’m not sure the big bucks theory works here. The ten years prior to the 1991 inception of the NBC contract includes the Faust years, and we all know what has happened since Bob Davie replaced Lou Holtz. The school has made a series of poor or mediocre hires since 1996. I have to agree with Scott who attributes the slide to the university leadership and these lousy coaches. I don’t believe it’s simply an attitude of complacency since they starting cashing NBC’s checks. The real problem is actually scarier – ND is really trying to hire good coaches but they don’t know what one looks like. It’s a mix of arrogance and incompetence within the administration.

        The exception to the theory that ND still cares about good football may be the Willingham hire by Monk Malloy, which most of us knew at the time was going to be a disaster. ND did cut its losses with that choice but have not found the right guy yet. It makes one doubt they can get the next one right either, despite the huge investment they are making in Crossroads and other cosmetic improvements. None of that will pay off if the product remains non-competitive.

        NBC can’t be happy right now. They signed the contract at the pinnacle of Notre Dame’s last glory days, and on Saturday they broadcast the lowest-rated prime time game in the history of the relationship.

        • Spot on, Vannie! I couldn’t agree more. Fr. Hesburgh KNEW what a great coach looked like. Fr. Jenkins (with all due respect) knows NOTHING when it comes to football coaching. And, as I told someone else in another thread, I am not sold on P. J. Fleck. This program needs another Lou-like hire and, with a limited track record in the FBS, Fleck is not the guy. I would be satisfied with someone like Peterson. Look at his track record with Boise State and now UW. That is what this program needs. Someone like that to walk in and tell these guys, “You are either with me or you’re done. It’s that simple.” I cannot remember which player he told, “Son, when I’m in this room, you’ll address me as coach and you’ll sit up straight with your feet off of the table.” Someone who will instill discipline in them.

        • ND Dad 2010-2014 says:

          Van
          I love and respect the institution that is Notre Dame. My oldest son was my first and only to attend this university. I only bring up the point about the NBC contract because of personal experience. We are from a very small town in western Pennsylvania and that town had a bus trip to Notre Dame football from the 1950’s. The year before the ND/NBC contract our bus rolled onto campus with no tickets. We worked our way into the athletic office and eventually were lead to AD Dick Rosenthal.
          He shook all our hands and ask us what we needed. Twenty minutes later we had tickets. I know now I may sound very naive but that’s the Notre Dame I will remember forever. After the NBC contract we could not even get in to thank the admin in football. When I talk about the NBC effect on the University it’s not about wins and losses but the change in cultural since the agreement . Maybe I am holding out for a place that is immune to big college football reality but I sure wish it could be like it was on campus thirty years ago.

          • John Vannie says:

            Thanks for your interesting perspective. I went to ND in the 1970’s and believe it was a golden era in ND sports and academic history. It’s much different now, but I suppose every alumnus believes his/her four years were the best. I do know the personal touches have been replaced by a corporate look and feel, and that is sad.

    41. We can only manage 10 points against a team that gave up 85 points the previous two weeks?

      I can’t even find a silver lining anymore. There’s enough talent and weapons to at least be 4-3 at this point in the season yet ND continues to underachieve and underwhelm. We’re now staring down the barrel at 3-9 or 4-8 punctuated by another humiliating loss at the Coliseum.

      I can’t really fault Kelly for inserting Zaire. It was worth a try.

      One criticism of Kelly when he took the job was that it might be too big for him since he came from the weakest conference in college football at the time (the Big East) and was never an assistant for a major program. Looks like there is some validity to that.

      • “We can only manage 10 points against a team that gave up 85 points the previous two weeks?”

        This is because BK is now the defensive coordinator, you see… I mean, he fired BVG and promoted GH to the DC spot, but has not allowed Hudson to really assume the role of DC just yet. Not until BK can point to the admin and say, “See? This is why you hired me, see? I fixed the defense! I fixed the defense! Sure, the offense is now struggling, but since the defense is well on its way again, I can spend more quality time with the offense and get them going again. But, don’t worry guys, we’ll be bowl eligible.” So, BK hasn’t had the time to work with the offense since he’s had to spend more time with the defense.

    42. Carlos Bauza says:

      This job is beyond Brian Kelly. He inhabits a job beyond his scope.

    43. marleyman says:

      I am dying for these kids. I saw some much improved tackling and great enthusiasm. But make no mistake my friends, Brian Kelly isn’t going anywhere anytime soon and we better embrace the suck! After signing that monster extension, we will have him for the remainder of this season and most likely 2017.

      • I am not at all privy to the internal workings of the ND Administration, but I am going to wager a few things. The last thing the ND President wants to do is pay for another big head coach buy out, especially on the heels of the Charlie Weiss buy out. His words to Swarbick are something like, ‘Hey, you hired this guy, you fought for a contract extension, now you solve the problem! Even at ND, the University President’s responsibilities extend far beyond football. I would imagine that paying off multi-million dollar contracts for non-performing coaches ultimately destroys the President’s credibility with the faculty. Yes, I know it’s ‘athletic department’ money, and ‘booster money’, etc. but there is still a perception problem. Example, as a University President, would you like to explain to a group of assistant professors that a 5% pay raise is out of the question after paying off two dead beat coaches?

        • Mike Coffey says:

          I’d explain the prestige of football is what brings in the donor money that allows them to do what they do.

          • Thank you! You are right. As I have said many, many times….the football program made Notre Dame what it is. There may be those that deny it but it is true. The greatness of Notre Dame football beginning with Knute Rockne made Notre Dame a world wide name. A little school out in the middle of nowhere is what is today because of Championship football. Great coaches…great players…great memories. Now look at it. Almost 30 years and nothing but a shell of itself. But…I say wait…endure and suffer through this…and make sure the next coaching hire finally is the right one. Look east I think….pull out the check book again and get him here. He has won at two universities and if he can come to Notre Dame and win here…(he loves Notre Dame) he can enter the history books as the first and only college football coach to win National Championships at three different universities. I am pulling for him to do it again this year and it should make it easier for him to make the move. Maybe this is wishful thinking but I believe it is possible. Someone once said…”you never know until you ask”!

    44. I guess my posts are no longer allowed/wanted as I see my last one is mysteriously missing. Well done on the dictatorship front!

    45. It all boils down to what “the Administration” wants to get out of this football program. If they are content with an occasional New Years Day Bowl and roughly a .650 winning percentage, they will stick with Kelly for AT LEAST another year. On the other hand, if “the administration” wants to be in the college football playoff every other year, or at least knocking on the door for that, then Kelly should be replaced after this season concludes, or earlier. KELLY IS NOT CAPABLE OF RUNNING A TEAM THAT CONSISTENTLY COMPETES FOR THE PLAYOFF, LET ALONE THE NATIONAL TITLE. I think everyone can agree on that … even “the Administration”.

      So it’s up to “the Administration” to decide what it is they want. I’m not sure it matters what fans & alums want. It appears the only thing fans/alums can do to influence “the Administration” is hit them in the wallet. So … don’t watch ND games (easy to do these days), don’t attend ND games (collossal waste of money, esp if airfare is involved), and withhold donations. Eventually “the Administration” will get the message, not that they will necessarily care. In the meantime, ND will remain much like the Univ of Chicago … a really good school, with a once proud football tradition, that no longer plays football. In another few years, ND may likewise use their football field for big science experiments … just like they did at UofC !

    46. I can’t stand watching this team, the coaching and these players including Kizer who often seems to lack urgency and a killer instinct. He has no clue when to take check down, when taking a sack is okay and when to get the ball downfield under any circumstance. Some of that is clearly on Kelly but some of it is a QB who I think has enjoyed the pats on the back last year and maybe some of that went to his head.

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