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  • Jackson Leads USC Over Shoddy Irish

    by John Vannie

    Adoree Jackson scored touchdowns in three different ways – a 52-yard reception, a 55-yard punt return and a 97-yard kickoff return as USC rolled to a 45-27 victory over mistake prone Notre Dame. Special teams failures were again a major contributor in the loss, but multiple breakdowns in all phases of the game underscored what has been a season of embarrassment. The play of Josh Adams was the lone bright spot for the Irish, as the sophomore rushed for 180 yards on 17 carries.

    The game was competitive until five minutes remaining in the first half, when Justin Yoon missed a 37-yard field goal that would have tied the score at 10-10. The teams then exchanged punts, but Jackson fielded one on his own 45 and ran untouched through the Notre Dame cover team. Seconds later, Trojan safety Ajene Harris picked off a DeShone Kizer pass and brought it to the house for a 24-7 halftime lead.

    The Irish remained in the fight in the second half, but USC had an answer at every turn. When Jackson fumbled while returning another punt inside his own territory, Kizer converted with a strike to Chris Finke to close within 24-14. Jackson struck back on the next series when he entered the lineup on offense and took a flat pass around the corner and down the sideline for a score as his Irish pursuers took poor angles.

    Later in the third quarter, Kevin Stepherson beat Jackson on a stop and go route to bring Notre Dame back to within 31-21. Unfortunately, the Irish kicked to ball right back to Jackson, who leapt over tacklers on his way to a 97-yard touchdown. Both teams scored again in an ugly fourth period for the final margin. Notre Dame’s final points were earned when Malik Zaire hit Equanimeous St. Brown in the waning seconds. Previously, however, there was quite a bit of controversy resulting in embarrassment for the Irish. Defender Nicco Fertitta was ejected for targeting and lineman Jerry Tillery clearly kicked and stepped on USC players in separate incidents while they were on the ground and the plays were over.

    Notre Dame played with passion for most of the day, but the team was very undisciplined. The resultant breakdowns in all three phases made life easier for the Trojans, who survived a mediocre game by quarterback Sam Darnold. Aside from the special teams disasters and the pick six by Harris, the difference in the game was USC’s ability to pressure and sack Kizer on multiple occasions.

    Let’s review the pregame questions for additional analysis:

    Will the Irish be able to generate an effective running game? Adams broke a 74-yard run on the first play from scrimmage, but the offense was again guilty of an over-reliance on Kizer.

    Which special teams will make plays that alter field position? Jackson’s returns were gut punches for Notre Dame, although the Irish did capitalize on the one occasion that Jackson left the ball on the ground.

    Can Notre Dame pressure Darnold into poor decisions? Darnold stuck to short, safe passes. Playing with the lead enabled him to manage the balanced Trojan attack without taking risks downfield.

    Which team will win the battle in the trenches? USC’s defensive line and blitzers often got through to Kizer, but the battles were not as one sided as I had feared.

    Can Kizer convert enough third downs to keep the game close? Actually, he did. It was the two special teams scores and the pick six that kept the game from becoming a more interesting fight.

    Will the Irish sustain a strong level of effort for 60 minutes? Yes, but I could have done without the high school play calls that Brian Kelly must have thought were nifty. USC was not fooled.

    In which quarter will Kelly start screaming at his players? Kelly was right in reading the riot act to Tillery after his classless displays on the field, but his open air speech to the players at halftime was an odd display.

    As the dust settles on this greatly disappointing season, it is apparent that Notre Dame is a long way from competence, let alone excellence. The Kelly regime has run its course and the trend arrow is decidedly pointed downward. Fundamentals such as blocking and tackling are shoddy, special teams are arguably the worst in college football, and there is a lack of cohesion despite a talent level that most teams would envy. Kelly appears to lack the energy and humility needed to fix the deteriorating culture and work ethic within the program, and should step aside. The only remaining question is whether the University leadership is sufficiently committed to restoring its tarnished brand.

    113 Responses to “Jackson Leads USC Over Shoddy Irish”

    1. irishhawk50 says:

      Tillery should be suspended for the first game next year. One dirt bag move was bad enough, but two is clearly not acceptable. These are the kind of players ND is recruiting?

      USC was not that good, ND just played their usual clown car special teams making Adore Jackson look like a shoo in for a Heisman.

      Again, I just don’t see Kelly making this an elite team and I am not getting any younger. How many more rebuilding efforts must I see?

      • Avon Domer says:

        What Tillery did was inexcusable x 2. The worst was he deliberately kicked an obviously concussed USC player in the head while he was laying on his back and obviously knocked out. For that alone I’d pull his scholarship. This team has zero discipline whether it’s blown assignments on the field, academic cheating, fun with illegal drugs and God knows whatever else we don’t know about. This has to stop, though it obviously will not under Kelly.

    2. I state the obvious that Kelly has to go as not only have the players tuned him out, but I truly believe that he has no idea how to lead young men.Charley Strong knows, Mark Dantonio knows,PJ Fleck knows, but Brian Kelly has no idea how to get to the top and more importantly how to stay their.Please leave

      • Charlie Strong? Please.

        • YES to Charlie Strong. He is a Lou Holtz product. But doesn’t matter Kelly is back

          • Charlie Strong has proven himself incapable of leading a national program. Texas figured that out more quickly than the ND administration has figured out that Kelly can’t inspire. The joke would be on ND if ND hired Strong.

    3. Well I predicted 45-20 so at least I was very close although I thought it would have been worse than the score indicated. Special teams are a joke. Dropped passes. Missed fg. Penalties. Tillery should be suspended at least 2 or more games. No excuse for the lack of class on his part. Just glad this season is over. I’m sure we’ll be back to our usual 7-5, 8-4 type of season in 2017 which seems to be the acceptable standard at ND.

      • Denverjoeirish says:

        The 2017 schedule looks to be equally difficult as this season. Assuming BK stays as his last response to media rumors indicated, we can look forward to four or five victories. Ooohhh goody!!!

    4. Viktor racz says:

      Rebuilding my butt! After seven years, Kelly has reduced Notre Dame to Grand Valley St. This was a top ten team going into the season, but now we’re at Division II level play. This isn’t going to get better with age

    5. Will today’s fiasco make Swarbrick come out from his hiding place and do something?

    6. This was a total mess. I feel for the players, they do not deserve to be coached by such incompetence

    7. IF it had not been for football starting in thr 1920s by Rockne and becoming the school that trhe sons of the immergants wanted to attend we would be a tiny catholic school in the mid-west practically unknown football made notre dame and trhe powers that owe it to our football teams to be great. We have forgotten where we came from and who we are-my time is nearly over and my heart remains broken no fire no guts no pride hate burns deep for those who squeeze all the juice [ $]out of our name shame on them it will never be like it once was God Bless You.

    8. I thought Kelly was recruiting RKG “Right Kind of Guy”. Well, all I’ve seen in seven years is dummies and thugs. ND sits in the middle of B1G country and cannot recruit quality players like the B1G can. Time for BK to take a hike.

    9. The Irish no longer have any class. I would rather lose by 40 points than to have thugs in ND uniforms target opponents, and step on them while they are down . Good grief, what has BK done to this program?

      • The sequel to 30 for 30 “Catholics vs convicts”: 30 years later…. “Convicts vs Convicts. Gun possession, marijuana, cheating, sexual assault. Your hit the nail on the head, what makes our program any different now?

    10. This has to be the worse coaching staff in football. What a disaster. The entire coaching staff needs to be FIRED today. The players deserve better coaches than this gang of losers.

    11. Kelly needs to step down. Clearly, this team is totally undisciplined and lacking fundamentals. Special team play is pathetic. Player development is non existent. These have remained unresolved problem areas for at least five years. Disgusted with the football program. Have we reached rock bottom yet?

    12. This team is a mess. Can’t tackle, catch passes, play special teams, even the best player, Kiser,
      looked like he wasn’t focused/ poor preparation. No discipline, ie. shameful acts of Tillery.

      ND needs to replace Kelly now/ Kelly walks away, a multi millionaire as did Weis, Willingham.
      No matter.
      ND must return to excellence (though long gone)
      Start coaching search tonight.
      Give Urban a call, anyway!

    13. When I was a student we won the national championship. This will not happen under Kelly. He’s had his run and it’s not been all that bad but… he needs to go and if that doesn’t happen now both he and Jack need to go. Full stop. There are other coaches out there (the guy at Temple comes to mind) who know how to work with their players without getting snarly or stupid. Thanks, Brian, but time for your next adventure…

    14. james twarek says:

      Notre Dame is now a basketball school. Mike Brey a class act.

    15. Our Lady is crying. Our hollowed ground is tainted with incompetence and sin.Tuesday is Judgement day. Shake down the thunder Father John.

      Love thee Notre Dame.

    16. Hire Charlie Strong now before he gets away. He knows how to put a defense together and is a good recruiter and is familiar with winning at ND.

      • And he was 16-21 the last three years.

        • Agree with Tom D. How can anyone say Charlie Strong is the head coaching answer? We were afforded a complimentary opportunity to watch him try to lead a national program…and he failed miserably. Heck, why not give Gerry Faust a try.

    17. ND Dad 2010-2014 says:

      Where did this all go wrong? Go back to the “We trust in Lou” days. Flashing the “l thumb and first finger as the band played on…the next generation of IRISH football about to be embraced…then lost
      Sadly read it and weep

      https://www.google.com/amp/www.chicagotribune.com/sports/college/ct-urban-meyer-notre-dame-fiesta-bowl-spt-0101-20151231-story,amp.html?client=safari

    18. Thank Touchdown Jesus this pathetic season is over.
      Administration doesn’t have the balls to fire Kelly.
      What more can be said at this point except ND is no longer relevant in football.
      Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

    19. Notre Dame was once a great Catholic football school. Now it is neither.

    20. Tillery is a thug and an embassment to the University. We don’t need players that take cheap shots at injured players on the other team.

    21. You know Kelly was angry that there were so few questions about USC. That is because what is there to ask. I would like to feel sorry for Kelly but he is and has always been arrogant.

    22. Press conference made me vomit.The sweet spot will be your empty desk after your gone!!
      For the love of Jesus.

    23. Headline on Yahoo Sports is Kelly is searching for a new job. With that out there either the school is going to fire him or he is going to quit. He cannot stay after this info has been made public. That’s why he did not stay in California and recruit.

    24. AS you may recall Tillery didn’t make the Fiesta Bowl Jan. 1 because of unspecified violations. That is all I needed to see from him to know he didn’t belong at ND. in todays game he has 2 cheap shots and isn’t even sent to the locker room. Players like this should be sent packing not only from the team, but from the university. This tells all about the control Kelly has over his team.

    25. Let’s see if Mike Brey could lead the search committee as his teams over achieve, can actually mount a comeback and compete competively when facing top ranked competition. Oh not to mention they always attend to business with inferior teams. Exactly what is needed on the gridiron. Oh, they seem to be able to make mid game adjustments too. And they do this with an inferior set of facilities too. If Kelly was 50% of the coach Brey is, this year’s team would’ve won 10 games !

    26. If Kelly’s representatives have contacted other schools to possibly leave ND that why wait to fire him. Let him go. It gives us a chance to get a good coach my first call would be to John Hsrbsigh. Of the ravens

    27. Class of 85 says:

      At one time, Notre Dame was a Catholic University focused on education and religion first, athletics second. It recruited Catholic players that could pass a rigorous course load. These players went to class, played with class and won football games. Greatly disturbing to see our player that thinks it is ok to assault a defenseless player by stepping on his ankle, and a semi-conscious player by “walking” through his injured head. This individual should be removed from the school. Have we become Baylor? I prefer to watch the Academies and Stanford – athletes, gentlemen and students playing football.

      • The academies,but not Stanford. They are jerks.

      • Do you think that formula works today? All successful programs today have their “problem” athletes. Even Lou Holtz carried some players on his great teams who ran into trouble from time to time, and I don’t know any Irish fan who wouldn’t like to go back to those days.

    28. Jim Diette "73 says:

      Dear Brian Kelly:

      Put yourself in the shoes of LBJ. Imagine John Vannie (my fellow Keenan Hall resident) as Walter Cronkite. Now I want you to realize that if you’ve lost John Vannie, you’ve lost ND Nation.

      If you can only follow in LBJ’s pattern to compose the speech: “I shall not seek, nor will I accept, an invitation to continue as Head Coach at the University of Notre Dame…”

      Since JS won’t pull the trigger, how about a resignation, or let’s just call it “an honorable discharge”.

      • John Vannie says:

        Hey Jim, nice to hear from you. I always thought very highly of you, and I can assure you that I am no Walter Cronkite. My excuse is that writing this stuff is not my day job.

        These days we are a far cry from Ara though. I’m so angry I could start a food fight in the North Dining Hall.

        • Jim Diette "73 says:

          Let me be the first to toss the “mystery meat”! Ara was a tough act to follow. I suggest Brian Kelly keep his dog inside. Remember Dan Devine”s dog was found hung outside his doorstep.

        • Hey John, I was Keenan in the late sixties. The food fight was something!

    29. How about hiring Skip Holtz. If anybody understands what ND football should be, it’s him. He’s also won everywhere he’s been, USF not included.

    30. Phront Range ND says:

      First time posting here, but had to get it off my chest…Did anyone else think that the targeting call on Fertitta was bogus and nothing more than a great, bone jarring hit to the shoulder pads? More ACC replay officials putting their anti-ND bias stamp on another game? Kizer held the ball way too long all game, and with all the blitzing he didn’t tuck it and run up the gut once! The only adjustment Kelly made was to call the team out in the rain in front of everyone. Made little difference, this game fell into the same underachieving, mistake riddled formula we’ve come to expect. Absolutely disgusted.

      • irish rifle says:

        You are 100% correct on the targeting call on Fertitta. I watched numerous replays. Hard hit to be sure, but it was clean. Shoulder to shoulder. Argument that the receiver was defenseless is absurd. He was running at full speed, potentially for a TD, if Fertitta does not make the hit. Removed a TO on the resulting fumble and gave USC their last TD. Certainly was a huge momentum changer, but unlikely to have changed the final outcome.

        Really frustrating this year that there have been several obvious targeting calls on opposing players that were missed, such as those in the Texas (Hunter) and Va Tech (Kizer) games, that had a direct impact on the outcome, but bogus targeting calls get called against the Irish.

      • PAC 12 official in the replay booth. ACC on field officials made no call (which at least they’ve been consistent with all year).

    31. Carlos Bauza says:

      Just throw Kelly from the team.

    32. From the days of listening to ND on Armed Forces Radio football while overseas in the ’50’s/’60’s and suffering with Kuharich and Devore, I’ve never felt so discouraged as I’ve been since the departure of Holtz. Now that the team discipline has degraded as badly as it has and Kelly has almost matched Weiss with 8 losses this season, can we please thank him for tryin’ and find us a coach!? I returned to the U.S. in ’64 in time for Ara and and found football bliss. Can we do that again maybe? Hell, I’m getting OLD and would like to see another national championship before the grim reaper strikes.

      • Adding insult to the injury that is our run of awful coaching hires since Holtz is 1) watching Ohio State be rewarded for intentional infractions that caused Tressel’s termination with…a new coach named Urban Meyer and therefore a national championship and 2) watching Michigan struggle for a few years under Rodriguez and Hoke and then come up with Harbaugh. How long does ND have to wait for a Saban, Meyer, Harbaugh? 20 years and counting. Tick, tick, tick…

        • Ranked 68th in pay for coaches, yet demand top top 5 results.

          9.0 billion dollar endowment acquired in 160 years of existence and still cheap when it comes to paying top dollar for head coach and his staff.

          Why did tony alford leave again?
          probably the poor pay package.

    33. Good article and comments but the best comment here was the reminiscence about food fights in the North Dining Hall. Put a smile on my face that the game did not.

    34. While the team did show some grit, they are fundamentally poor and woefully sloppy. You can now add dirty and undisciplined based on Tillery’s actions. You could call this game L.A. surfer dudes vs. golden dome convicts.

      I’m sick and tired of youth being used as a crutch by Kelly and some in the ND sports punditocracy. Ohio State is the youngest team in the power five and they are #2 in the nation. Alabama has the youngest team in the SEC and they are #1 in the nation. Maybe ND can’t be top 5 this year but they could at least have 8-9 wins and a top 20 ranking with a quality coach especially since the schedule was relatively weak.

      I have no confidence in Brian Kelly to turn things around. It’s obvious the ND administration is not committed to greatness on the field. Or off of it for that matter.

    35. Those hits in Kizer last week were way worse then that targeting call yesterday. Still, Only with that hit did USC stop talking trash, and most likely stopped delivering their own cheep shots the camera never saw. Should be between the lines, but have to fight back. Half their team was on the feild, when kicker made a simple tackle. Showboating in end zone. Can’t just sit back and take that. Oh well, on to 2017. Need revamped defense and special teams, if not a new coach.

    36. Some end-of-the-nightmare season thoughts:
      -What would we all do without this blog? Thanks to Vannie and all involved who provide this venue to vent the angst of Irish faithful.
      -How is it that Penn State, a school that committed truly egregious institutional violations is playing for the Big Ten championship? At last check, the NCAA has rescinded most of the penalties that arose from the Sandusky case, based on nothing else but political pressure from Pennsylvania pols and alums. Who is sticking up for the Irish?
      -As much as I agree the BK should go, who is out there that wants to replace him. As much as I love the ND tradition, do high profile coaches feel the same?
      -Was it only me who winced at the graphic during the Michigan-OSU game that showed Urban Meyer was on the ND staff?
      -Say what you want about Harbaugh, he doesn’t mince words about the officiating.

      Best to all and see you next season!

      • Penn State–yet another program that has gone through a full cycle of down then up during ND’s seemingly never-ending down cycle (2012 was mostly a fluke).

    37. Larry Rossi says:

      Listening to the call of the game, the focus of the comments seemed to center around a lack of leadership. Well, that starts at the top and one of the worst displays of leadership occurred at halftime when BK decides to berate his team in front of 72,000 people. Anyone, and I mean anyone who considers themselves a leader knows that is the absolute worst action to take. Embarrassing others for their errors in front of the “customers” seeks only to excuse the lack of a true leader.
      I am so tired of this man whose lack of leadership has only sought to excuse his inability to effectively manage these 18-20 year-old young adults, and should be the reason ND should be looking for a true coach!
      Generally, I think most football “coaches” are overrated lacking the temperament to really be called one. A few come to mind. Think of those who consistently do this without having the talent…Niumatololo, Fitzgerald, Parseghian (at Northwestern) come to mind. But lately, we seek out only those who fill a void and mistake winning for developing people. Kizer demonstrates regression and a lack of coaching, and probably should stay. But, he should also consider leaving if BK stays…no growth will occur! Opportunity to improve always exists if we take the time to define success. Until then, a lot of yesterdays and very few tomorrows.

    38. ND’s offense is boring, especially Kelly’s version of the West Coast offense, meaning if Kizer doesn’t perform exceptionally well in passing and sacrificing his body on designed QB runs for 4 quarters, the Irish lose. Same boring offense applies to other college offenses that utilize the no huddle, QB in permanent shot gun formation with 5 receivers, with O-linemen standing like robots at scrimmage line awaiting input from sideline, all in hurry-up mode.

      Adding to dreariness is that while the offense tries to play fast to hinder defense, this fast pace is constantly negated for 3 to 4 minutes or longer as referees put on headsets to review almost every fumble, difficult catch and possible helmet to helmet hits. Based on amount of time that refs wear their headsets, the devices should be part of their uniforms and not kept on sidelines.

      TV viewers during these reviews get to watch a pizza, beer and 2 car commercials plus a promo for a soon to be canceled new TV series while stadium audience sits in rain, cold, heat and snow. Then double the number of commercials after every score, punt, kickoff and turnover. In summary, the offensive schemes of ND and college football in general combined with the official reviews and TV’s commercial interruptus have created a monotonous activity designed to take creativity and spontaneity out of a sport.

      Sorry for rant. Just tired that the only real creativity in college football seems to be in guessing which uniforms will be worn each week.

    39. Interesting comment about ND becoming a roundball school. Might be some credence there. Look at what Mike B and Muffet M have done. All done with class and dignity.

    40. Denverjoeirish says:

      Well, at least we’ll go into the 2017 Temple game undefeated.

    41. poorly coached, unsportsmanlike play, poor adjustments, horrific specials teams play, and NCAA sanctions. Yes, Kelly must go and it is not apparent to me that he is going. I think and fear they are going to try and put some make up on this pimple. $warbucks has been neutered it would appear from his silence. Speaking of vacatur, $warbucks has vacated his position and has displayed an appalling lack of leadership. Others at this venue can argue with more eloquence than I about his failures in leading the football side of things and his many errors there. It is his complete lack of integrity that mandates his termination. His list of malfeasant cconduct is now legend: Declan Sullivan, Kelly, NCAA Sanctions,
      numerous arrests, vacated wins, a track coach who has created a sexually hostile environment, Lizzy Seeburg, his complete silence and abdication of leadership during the clear darkest days of ND football, among others. NDNATION is wasting their time if yo think only Kelly needs to vacate the premises.

    42. Hanratty-Seymour Fan says:

      Everyone has been unhappy for a long time, so make a change. Notre Dame is about victory and maturity.

    43. Just PLLLEEEAAASEEE put a product on the field of which we can all be proud!

    44. I have sent an email of concernn to Father Jenkins. If you wish to do the same: president@nd.edu

      • I’m sending my ND garb to the AD with a note saying when you guys are ready be serious about winning National Championships send my sh*t back.

      • 1st time poster. I’ve enjoyed the insight and comments for yrs. on the board. Generally spot on. Been a fan since the mid 80’s when GFaust was coach. I’m now 47 and don’t know if I’ll ever see another football title again in my lifetime. It’s been sad to see the decline of this program over the past 2 decades, minus a few good yrs. Truly believe it starts at the top: Administration, AD. If they want a consistently top 10 program with a shot at a title once every 5 or 6 yrs., I feel these things must happen/change: 1. Let the players earn their undergrad degree in 5 yrs., not 4. Take some of the academic rigors off them. Also, must they take Calculus and have a language? 2. Stop catering to the other schools/conferences: scheduling and officials. Let U$C come play in SB in November. Stop using ACC officials against ACC opponents, etc. ND has gotten the short end of the stick too many times (not inferring officials cost games but …). Yes I know the Navy history/tradition, but is this something that benefits ND? Do they have to play every yr.? 3. Take a chance on Jr.College transfers. What can this hurt? Give a coaching staff the proper tools and support and this program isn’t far off considering the talent they’ve got per the past yearly recruiting class ranks. Is the University committed to excellence on the field? Times change. Is the school willing too? It’s a shame how soft the program has become: tackling, fundamentals, lack of toughness, etc. I live 35 miles from State College and it makes me sick having to put up with the PSU is great mentality/attitudes. Oh, and I do believe it’s time for a coaching change. My 2 cents

    45. What a miserable press conference! Now for my final dopey comments of the year:

      1. NFL?? Are you kidding me? There is not one player on this squad that should expect to leave ND and join any NFL team (including the Browns). If one thing is clear, no player development has transpired over the past couple of years.

      2. Fire Kelly? And whom, pray tell, should we replace him with? We need a top drawer coach at ND like Saban or Meyer. And they aren’t coming! Les Miles is the only one that is remotely near that status and he ain’t coming either. We have been set back substantially by this administration and staff.

      3. This school is so rocked by scandal that nothing really matters at this point. The integrity is gone. The disastrous outcome of this year’s season is merely a symptom. Tillery’s behavior is consistent with an undisciplined team that is rotten to the core.

      See ya next year, gents.

    46. Looked at the 2017 schedule. We are going 12-0 and in the BCS. You heard it here first! And I only had two martinis tonight.

      • You must be hammered. The BCS was replaced by the College Football Playoff three years ago. Won’t even comment on your prediction of the Irish going 12-0!

    47. ND Dad 2010-2014 says:

      Some posts here have referenced the Penn State turnaround after a program in disarray. Penn State violations were absolutely horiffic and the program was left for dead. O’Brien gave some life in a first year to try and resurrect a broken program, then he left. This program should have been buried after that but now you see them in the Big Ten championship. Why? Franklin tried to be the answer similar to BK as a great recruiter and motivator but lacked the same skills as a quality game day coach. Franklin did one very crucial thing to keep his tenure and move the Lions to the Big Ten championship. He stumbled on an Offensive Coordinator who played the game with great success, who then coached with great success and relates to players as a former player with great results. Joe Moorhead has been given the freedom to run the offense by Franklin and also given the opportunity to give input on the defense. Results speak volumes and the message might be to the ND admin that a coach like that may be the answer. Urban Meyer was in a position just like Moorhead twenty five plus years ago and he was an ND coach who loved the IRISH. Go back to where you went wrong ND in not putting Urban in the drivers seat and find a young coach like him back then or more importantly a Joe Moorhead like now.

    48. Ellen Bush says:

      For the first time I didn’t even watch the ND game Sat. Enuf said.Swarbuck and Kelly HAVE to go. Where has the integrity of the university gone. Is is sad to see how bad the program has gotten.

    49. Great post ND Dad

    50. Kelly cannot be allowed to coach any further, and must be removed now. Total lack of control. Its bad enough to lose, but to lose national respect because of the way you play the game is beyond the pale. Its a question of who now not when.

    51. The Hawk '65 says:

      Kelly’s not going to resign unless ND settles on a big severance package to make it look better for him. With the precedents set for Willingham and Weis for ridiculous buyouts upon being terminated, why should he not wait to be fired instead, especially after the new contract extension the University stupidly gave him. Regardless, the man can’t cut it on multiple fronts on and off the field at ND and needs to go. It’d be worth tapping into that $9B endowment to bring in someone to restore pride and integrity to our great school.

    52. Terry Hutton says:

      Tillery a total embarrassment. Another example that BK has lost the team. I keep hearing “maybe a suspension”? Come on…kick him off the team. And for crying out loud get a new coach.

      • Totally agree. I would go one step further and take his scholarship from him and kick him out of school.This only ends when there are REAL consequences for bad behavior.

    53. Kelly has no clue. He has to go. Team has no discipline and Kelly cannot motivate his players.

    54. The Hawk '65 says:

      Unless they were sworn forever to some loyalty oath as a condition of their scholarships, it’d be interesting to hear from former players about their experiences with coach Kelly. Unless I missed them, I’ve not seen any comments to that effect here in the past year or so.

    55. Look at how soft the last 3 ND coaches have made this program! At least Davie maintained a somewhat physical team, but overall, they all turned out to be lemons. You can blame ND for being a bad place to coach, but Stanford seemed to get better with a really good coach in Harbaugh, but I don’t know why a good coach would want to come here at the peak of his career. I think the best scenario would be a to get an NFL coach who got fired and is good at teaching the fundamentals, because tackling, blocking, lifting weights, and special teams seem to be below BK’s intellectual football IQ (which has been proved by his ‘sophisticated’ offense, lol). As I’ve mentioned before, I think some guys who can coach at other programs can’t handle the politics of ND, so it affects their ability to coach in a negative way. We need somebody who can coach the fundamentals and likes the media attention and can thrive off of it to motivate his young players.

    56. If we’re all going to pile on Tillery for his cheap shot, I suggest we all pile on the ND hockey team and suggest they get kicked off the team, too, for their 10 minute misconduct penalties against ASU on 10/6/2016.

      We’re good at double standards here for holding football to a higher standard than other schools and apparently the other D1 athletes at ND, too.

    57. year 1 – redshirt for football, take 25 credit hours that year
      year 2 – 1st year used for football, take 25 credit hour
      year 3 – 2nd year used for football, take 25 credit hours
      Year 4 – 3rd year used for football, take 25 credit hours
      Year 5 – 4th year used for football, take 20 -24 credit hours

      At end of 5 years, player has a solid undergrad degree from nd and football team has the x-factor —> DEPTH/LEADERSHIP Bc you have an inherently older crew

      Nd still has fulfilled its mandate to provide a quality education just not at an unreasonable pace as currently and has been required since I was a student there

      Kelly spoke of this as an issue in a press conference this year.
      Don’t worry coach – I heard your plea, certain admin / fans / alum called it an excuse.
      Those are the same people appalled by how un ND tillery’s actions are.
      same people that are appalled by a coach that yells

      My guess is that tillery and Kelly would be more on an even keel if it was more of partnership with the academic side of the equation. I think everyone in the staff and players pressed all year long

      So I’d give Tillery leeway and make it clear that what he did could have been career ending for his fellow competitor and leave it up to him on whether to call the USC olineman up and apologize like an ND man would – how does that sound?

    58. Terry Hutton says:

      How does that sound? Talk to Tillery and say “naughty, naughty…the next time you are really going to be in trouble.” That sounds ridiculous.

      • I’ll also add what other schools do

        Year 1 – redshirt for football, take 25 hours of undeclared major survey courses
        Year 2 – 1st year of eligibility for football, take 25 hours of undeclared major survey courses
        Year 3 – 2nd year of eligibility for football, take 25 hours of declared major courses
        Year 4 – 3rd year of eligibility for football, take 25 hours of declared major courses
        Year 5 – 4th year of elgibiltiy for football, take 20 – 24 hours of declared major courses

        Versus our current state:

        Year 1 – redshirt for football (or play), take 30 hours of undeclared major courses
        Year 2 – 1st year of eligibitly for football, take 30 hours of declared major courses
        Year 3 – 2nd year of eligibilty for football, take 30 hours of declared major courses
        Year 4 – 3rd year of eligibilty for football, take 30 hours of declared major courses
        Year 5 – 4th year of elgibity for football (if asked back, and are taking grad), take your grad courses

        This schedule is draconian to use the word Coffey used.
        So really our guys are younger, declare their major faster, than the competition.
        It’s unfair. And i humbly submit, that there is no compromising of core values if you follow the model of the other schools, kids are still getting degreed, just at a more reasonable pace.

        This is precisely why OSU whoops us last year at this time, and reloads (more depth) to a 12 and 1 schedule currently and looking at another CFP.
        Their scheme is not great, they have 5 stars all around, but in fact its like Paul Brown said, “here have my play book, you’ll know what’s coming, I’ll beat you with sheer precise execution” and right now, and has been for all my 17 years as a fan of ND, there is no time to install precise execution on the football team, b/c the pace of the school demands.

        I’ll never say I’m done with ND football, but the intentional hamstringing of a football program for stupid rigid rules surrounding 4 vs 5 years to get a degree, especially when our guys declare earlier a major, is ridiculous.

        • ND Dad 2010-2014 says:

          I have to agree with you to a point. Academic standards play a big part at ND but a long term football staff that can not recognize what they have to deal with and what is expected given the terms of the university should not be held unnacountable at year seven… Unaware and unprepared would be more appropriate at this long into the tenure of BK.

    59. john waters says:

      Anthony Davis reincarnated! To resolve the referring issue a nice soft pass to the head ref where eleven players converge might lend them to reconsider their prejudices

    60. I just want to add to my previous comments. If the players had any respect/fear for their coach(Kelly) they would not dare do anything to embarrass him or the university.

    61. had to let it sink in for a few days. what a year. have to believe the ND administration is well aware of the situation as it presently stands. i am certain the wheels are turning and it is only a matter of time before those responsible for the decline in the football program as it relates to a lack of success on the field but just as importantly a total breakdown in core values which represent the history and tradition of the school will be held accountable. no way it can continue – time for a change. better days ahead.

    62. Malik–Thanks for staying at ND through graduation. Go to Cal now! Their graduate transfer QB will probably be a top ten draft choice, and now the Golden Bears could use another graduate transfer quarterback of similar excellence. Sonny Dykes will let your talent thrive.

    63. Best of luck to Malik. Always a Notre Dame man.

    64. ND Dad 2010-2014 says:

      This is the kind of coach we need ND:
      In his 19th year in college coaching, Joe Moorhead is in his first season as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach after spending four seasons as the head coach of the Fordham Rams.
      After inheriting a program that went 1-10, Moorhead steadily built Fordham into a Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) playoff regular, along the way, leading the Rams to their best season in program history in 2013 and the Patriot League title in 2014. Moorhead earned a 38-13 record as the Rams’ head coach with three consecutive berths in the FCS playoffs. During his tenure, Moorhead produced the highest ranking in program history (#5 in 2013), highest final ranking in program history (#9 in 2013 and 2014), the first two wins over FBS schools in program history and the first two wins over top-10 opponents in school history. Moorhead guided the 2014 Jerry Rice Award for the NCAA FCS Rookie of the Year, three consecutive Patriot League Offensive Players of the Year, 11 All-Americans, five CoSIDA Academic All-Americans and 55 All-Patriot League performers (37 first team, 18 second team) while with the Rams. Under Moorhead, the Rams were consistently one of the top offensive teams in FCS. The Moorhead-led offense set 16 school records (individual and team) in 2013 and 2014. In 2014, Moorhead led the Rams to their first Patriot League title since 2007 with a perfect 6-0 mark in league play and an 11-3 record overall. In one of the most impressive seasons in school history, Moorhead guided the Rams to a 12-2 record in 2013, which included the program’s first win over an FBS opponent (Temple) and the school’s first two wins over top 10 opponents (Villanova, Lehigh). For his efforts, Moorhead was named the 2013 AFCA Regional Co-Coach of the Year and Patriot League Coach of the Year. He was also a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Award and the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year.

      Before returning to take the helm at his alma mater, Moorhead spent three seasons at Connecticut, including two as the offensive coordinator. He helped lead the Huskies to 2010 Big East Championship and a berth in the 2011 Fiesta Bowl. Additionally, Moorhead was at Akron for five seasons, Georgetown for four seasons and a pair of seasons as a graduate assistant at Pitt.

      As a collegiate player at Fordham, Moorhead was a three-year starting quarterback and team captain as a senior. He was a second team All-Patriot League selection in 1995 after finishing 13th in FCS in total offense. He earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Fordham in 1996.

    65. Terry Hutton says:

      I suggested this once before and never received any feedback. How about Peterson from Washington?

      • Mike Coffey says:

        He’s been quoted multiple times saying he has no interest in leaving the Pacific northwest. That’s where his HS contacts are, etc. I have no interest in anyone not enthusiastic about being at ND, which is been a problem with three of our last four coaches.

    66. The Hawk '65 says:

      I’m guessing that ND is waiting on the NCAA’s response to its appeal before deciding on Kelly’s fate, which is supposed to come within the next few weeks.

    67. My personal opinion would be to contact the following 3 for there interest: John Harbough, Dan Mullin, and
      and Bob Stoops. I would see what it would take and anything within reason, hire them on the spot.

      • Mike Coffey says:

        I think those would be three good picks, although as I said elsewhere, energy and enthusiasm are key, and I’m not sure Stoops has them in enough supply.

    68. If dreams come true and Kelly is fired, a good prospect to replace is Greg Schiano. He made Rutgers into winner and did a nice job with OSU’s defense this year.

      • No way. Dig deeper re the personality.
        Give a “realpolitik” assignment to some astute prof in the History department to give a profile of Ara’s management acumen. Even his graduate assistants were fearsome and serious men, future presidents and CEOs in their demeanor and commitment. Everyone was accountable. Great seasons ensued. The legend is authentic.

    69. Jim Diette '73 says:

      Agreeing with Mike Frank’s Power Hour suggestions to hire a young high energy guy, teaming up with an experienced senior protege. Tim Priester once promoted ND go after a young Urban Meyer after his success at Bowling Green. Instead we had to live through George O’Leary”s hiring and firing, and then Tyrone Willingham. Sure lost on that one.

      My suggestion: Hire P.J. Fleck as Head Coach and pay Charlie Strong comparable salary (already supplemented by Texas buyout) to head the defense and be a mentor to an inexperienced P.J. Fleck. Unfortunately, ego’s would eventually clash and one would have to part.

    70. For those that think that ND’s poor play caused Adore Jackson to run wild, you might consider that he runs a 4.25 and is 4 inches short of an Olympic qualification in Long Jump and can cut at almost full speed. Kind of reminds me of the Rocket. ND’s problem is that they continued to kick it to him. Not many teams took that chance so ND has itself to blame from a strategic standpoint. Don’t slam your team, give the other guys some credit. Adore has Reggie Bush skills which is saying something. A little lighter, but he has mad skills.

    71. Terry Hutton says:

      I submit the name od James Franklin as the next ND football coach. He has been through the tough academic requirements at Vanderbilt and turned around a horrible Penn State team.

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