The independent voice of Notre Dame Athletics

  • Duke Stuns Inept Irish

    by John Vannie

    Kicker A. J. Reed, who hadn’t made a field goal this season, booted an 19-yarder with 1:24 left to give the Duke Blue Devils an improbable 38-35 victory over Notre Dame on Saturday. The seesaw game tilted back toward the Irish in the second half until the defense suffered yet another meltdown late in the fourth quarter. With the outcome on the line and quarterback DeShone Kizer once again taking the weight of the program on his shoulders, the talented junior could not come through to bail out Coach Brian Kelly as Notre Dame fell to 1-3.

    The contest was littered with the same poor fundamentals that have plagued the Irish all season. The offense chipped in with three turnovers to complement countless missed tackles by the defense and special teams failures. Duke outrushed Notre Dame by 208-153 and gained 500 total yards. Kizer threw for 381 yards as the Irish gained 534 in total, but the turnover battle was lost by 3-1.

    Notre Dame started fast with two quick touchdowns drives in the first six minutes, and the crowd settled in to witness a blowout. The fun began as Shaun Wilson returned a kick 96 yards to cut the lead to 14-7. The Irish visibly sagged from this gut punch as suddenly emboldened Duke dominated the rest of the half to take a 28-21 lead into the locker room. Two costly plays highlighted the turnaround – a missed field goal by Justin Yoon and a fumble recovery by the Devils at Notre Dame’s 25 yard line.

    The Irish appeared to regain control in the second half. The first sack of the season by the defense was followed by a six play, 83-yard drive to tie the score at 28. Moments later, the defense stopped Duke on fourth and one at the Notre Dame 20. Kizer took over and drove his team down the field to take the lead 35-28 on a nine yard strike to Equanimeous St. Brown with 7:46 remaining in the game.

    Things deteriorated rapidly, however, as Devil quarterback Daniel Jones read a corner blitz on the next series and hit Anthony Nash down the sideline. One whiffed tackle attempt later, Nash streaked into the end zone with the tying touchdown at the 6:47 mark. Notre Dame could not mount a comeback, as a poor kickoff return was followed by a sack to pin them at their own five yard line. Kizer then threw long on third down, but the pass was picked off at the Irish 45.

    Duke proceeded to bleed the clock as they ran the ball through the Irish until the drive finally stalled one yard from the goal line. Reed could not miss from there and the Devils took the lead by 38-35 with 84 seconds on the clock. Any hopes for overtime or a dramatic win were quickly dashed as Notre Dame turned the ball over on downs before reaching midfield.

    Brian Kelly was seen talking to Kizer repeatedly during and after the contest, but this is anything but a sign of good coaching. That the complete attention of the head coach is focused on his talented quarterback to win the game by himself while the rest of the team drifts sullenly like a rudderless ship is a sad commentary on the state of the program. The team’s overall performance was so inept and uninspired that no Manning or Montana could save this poorly coached bunch.

    Let’s review the pregame questions to continue our frustration a bit longer.

    Can the Irish offensive line muzzle Duke’s blitzes? Notre Dame generally picked up the blitzes well and Kizer enjoyed some success against it, but there were also some successes for the Devils.

    Will Notre Dame be the third consecutive team to hold the Devils under 100 yards rushing? Heck, they couldn’t even hold them under 200.

    Which young wide receiver corps will enjoy the most success? Both teams had quality performances by its receivers. Nash and T.J. Rahming stood out for the Devils, and Kevin Stepherson had his first TD for Notre Dame.

    Can the Irish special teams make a significant contribution? Yes, but those contributions to the outcome were of the negative variety.

    Will Notre Dame’s defense force more turnovers from Duke’s mistake prone offense? Freshman Donte Vaughn made an athletic interception to stop a potential scoring drive, but that was it.

    Do any of Brian Van Gorder’s 60 defensive variants require knocking down the ball carrier? He may still be installing some of those variants, but the ones we’ve seen to date have not stopped anyone.

    Notre Dame fans are now at the point in the Kelly regime where even his most ardent supporters are questioning whether this chuck and duck approach to offense and matador style of defense has run its course. The Irish were once synonymous with toughness and grit, but the program has become soft and the foundation is rotting.

    113 Responses to “Duke Stuns Inept Irish”

    1. Getting pretty close to as low as one can go.

      • james twarek says:

        My questions does Notre Dame really has the talented recruits like Clemson? Is the coaching really this bad> How can Clemson replace 8 on defensive and still dominate. I feel its all coaching. This season reminds me of the last season of Charlie Weis. We lose to Syracuse its time to part ways with Kelley

      • Rock Bottom has arrived.. I’ve been saying all season that ‘the world is ending” and how
        badly this team is coached..

        Some other posters didn’t like what I was saying because they couldn’t handle the truth that
        ND looks ‘absurd’ this year.. I was spot on.. How could you not see it after the first game
        at Texas..

        So much for “onward to victory”.. With all of the preseason hype, the kids have nothing
        left to play for (so, so sad)..

      • You gotta believe that all the coaches of ND’s competitors laughed and enjoyed watching Kelly throw his players under the bus by berating them IN PUBLIC at his press conference. On top of everything else that little stunt will be used against ND in the recruiting battles ND will face in the future as long as Kelly is around.

    2. This is what we get 7 years in? Time for a jack and two Brian’s to hit the road. Kelly’s loyalty to his friends who happen to be coaches is killing us. Ara or Lou please phone home.Madness.

      • Honestly, would anyone on this board accept Ara as a coach? A coach from Northwestern? ND and fans have become too star stuck by glitz. And that’s what we have, a program that’s all style and no substance.

    3. ND looks good…for a Div. 2 team. Brian Kelly is right, he has no problems with his defense if he is a FCS school.

    4. Fulkerson's Ghost says:

      Notre Dame suffers from hubris at all levels. Admin thinks they can slap the Church in the face and honor whoever they want. The bookstore thinks they can slap supporters in the face and charge $70 for a sweatshirt. Someone thinks they can slap us all in the face with a half billion dollar monstrosity added to the football stadium. BK slaps his players in the face by throwing the under the bus. The fish has rotted not only from the head, but all the way to the tail.

      As I said elsewhere, BK makes Charlie Weiss look like Vince Lombardi.

      As someone who cared about the University for much more than football, I am done. I will not soil my shoes with dust from that campus.

      • The addition to the stadium makes you feel like you’re walking through a brick and mortar canyon. More seats for the donor class. Nice that it has some class rooms though as it won’t be used for football much.

        Ever wonder how ND claims to sell out games but can’t seem to sell your tickets when you turn them in?

        Was at the game last week. A night game you’ll recall. Couldn’t find a “cold” bottle of water in the stadium at half time. Makes you go hmmm.

        Have tickets for the Stanford game … wondering if I really want to drive 6-1/2 hours to see the D (try to) stop McCaffrey

        • Yes to al of the above. Notre Dame has lost it’s way due to its shameful pursuit of $$$.

        • By then the players will have taken the bull by the horns–they didn’t get their three to five stars and their scholarships to Notre Dame by being chumps–and may play up to their talent and potential instead of being confounded and slowed down by the overly controlled coaching system.

    5. I predicted that Duke would win 99-98 in regulation. That was a joke prediction. I was trying to be funny. Woe is me. Never in my life have I witnessed such ineptitude by my beloved Irish.

      • Really? Did you miss Charlie Weiss and Ty Willingham?

      • GraceHallChapel86 says:

        So…you haven’t watched many games. Faust, Davies, Willingham, Weis…there’s been LOTS of ineptitude.

        ND needs to lose the holier than thou nonsense and shamelessly plunk down the big bucks and get a real coach. Don’t get a high school guy (Faust), or an NFL guy (Weis), or a junior college guy (Kelly). Get a Saban or some other proven big stage coach and win.

        • Actually I did watch all of the games from the Faust, Weis, Ty, and Davie eras. It was a horrifying and traumatizing experience so I repressed my memories of those games, sending them to the dank dungeons of my unconscious so I could function. Thanks for re-triggering me.

        • Saban? Seriously? NOTHING would justify winning at that cost.

    6. Carlos Bauza says:

      Today I saw the light! Kelly’s approach is to blank out communication with the team while squeezing the QB to carry the other 21 on his back. Kizer is holding out bravely but Golson wilted last year under the same mismanagement.

    7. Worst loss in a long time. Indefensible and embarrassing is really all that I was thinking while watching this pathetic performance. I’ve never seen a softer weaker defense in my lifetime. Kelly has to take an enormous hit for this loss and the obvious eventual outcome that this season will produce. For the record VanGorder has to go but I can’t entirely blame him that these quote un quote 4 star recruits can’t tackle and look so soft. Someone fill me in on the next couple of games because I’m not sure I’ll be able to stomach watching them.

      • I’ll ask again, did you miss Charlie Weis?

      • My sentiments exactly. Have followed Notre Dame football for over 60 years never missing either listening to or watching. They can’t tackle, pass cover or pass rush. The “fight ” is sadly gone, as is my enthusiasm for watching next week. Coaching changes need to be made because this staff has definitely lost this team.

    8. The slide into the abyss of coaches since Lou has begun with Stanford loss last season and gaining speed. Time to end the slide. Jenkins, Swarbrick, and Kelly all must go.

      • Yes, bring back Lou as an interim coach. At least with Lou the team would understand the tradition and expectation, Lou can motivate anyone and .. is filled with spirit, which is sorely lacking. And he always believes in the Irish

      • Can’t fire Jenkins since he has to fire the other two,but why does ND sign a mediocre coach for years into the future and the following season is horrific? Lastly,what are these coaches doing during spring and summer practices? Aren’t those the times to uncover weaknesses and at least try to remedy them? By the time the games matter it’s too late. Good coaches don’t ever mention “re-building year.”

    9. they deserved to lose. Very much like the Carlie Weiss years. Poor special teams, very poor defense and an offense that can’t run the ball consistently plus key turnovers. You know if ND took the leade in the game they would play prevent defense and the other team would just go right down the field. Duke pressured the QB and played normal defense.

    10. Kelly and his entire staff should be fired after the season. We are probably looking at a 4-8 season with his recruits.

      • 4-8? I’m not sure they win another game based off the results of their future opponents. This is really the saddest team I’ve watched over the past 20 years.

      • GraceHallChapel86 says:

        I think 4-8 is realistic.

        I’m not sure they ought to wait until the end of the season, though.

      • A 4-8 season? On what are you basing your optimism?

      • ND football is now irrelevant with Kelly’s ineptitude and Urban Meyer and Jim Harbaugh in the neighborhood. Don’t know who the equivalent to ND that Harbaugh is to Michigan,but ND better find him soon-otherwise settle in for a long winter’s nap!

    11. The defense is terrible and can’t stop anyone. Your win championships with defense. What are recruiting class rankings for these two team over the past four years. It all comes down to coaching. Kelly needs to wake up and replace the defensive coordinator.

    12. Today was the beginning of the end of the Brian Kelly era. It usually happens when the team loses too many home games by a close score to far less talented teams. Losses to Northwestern in Louisville in 2014 fall into this category. Charlie Weis had losses to Navy and Syracuse, Ty Willingham had losses to Boston College and Pittsburgh, and even Lou Holtz lost to Northwestern and Air Force. Bob Davie lost these type of games on the road to Boston College and Stanford. It’s tough to watch coach killing losses.

    13. I used to get frustrated when Notre Dame, clearly the superior team, would suffer a loss after beating themselves. Today, the better team won. Duke. After 7 years and millions on salaries, Duke (a basketball school) had the better football team today.

      Penn State lost to Michigan 49-10 and as I watched that game, I thought the Penn State defense was far better than ND’s.

      This is the worst ND football team I have ever seen since I have been a faithful fan since 1986. How does that happen after playing in the National Championship a few years ago under the same coach?

      • DurhamIrish says:

        Duke has not been just “a basketball school” since they signed Cutcliffe. They have had 4 consecutive winning seasons and won the Coastal division in 2013, losing to eventual national champions FSU.

    14. The Brutal Truth says:

      It’s about time people see this team for what it is. Long gone are the “championship run” and “10-win season” banter. The Irish have been mediocre at best since the late ’90s. Fact is, ND is a “has been” team. No more.

    15. PC said it right; I honestly don’t know how long it’s going to be until I can stomach watching this “Notre Dame” team again. I put Notre Dame in quotes because I consider this team to be Notre Dame in name only. Certainly not in heart, guts and talent. Here we are 7 years into this coaching era and it feels like we’re right back to the Weiss era in which we crawled. Terrible defense. Was anyone counting missed tackles? Surely it was a record. Are opposing coaches smearing their players in vaseline? We’ve a decent offense (certainly not great) with occasional explosiveness but one that is far too prone to take the foot off the gas and make boneheaded mistakes. Special teams, after giving us hope last year, has certainly regressed. Yoon was solid last year, now suddenly he can’t make a field goal.

      It’s time for the Notre Dame football powers that be to think really long and hard about what they can do at this point to salvage something, anything from this season. Hard and fast decisions need to be made.

    16. Wow! When did ND join the Big 12? Game after game the ONLY hope is to out score the opponent. Sometimes it works, most times it doesn’t. I live in an area of the country (south) full of ND detractors always ready to dump on overhyped, over publicized ND. Some pundits actually mentioned ND in the playoff conversation. This defense is abominable in it’s halfhearted tackling attempts and inability to ever make a key stop. They actually had a chance toward the end against Mich St last week, but couldn’t make a stop to save their life. What’s really scary is the offense is trying to emulate them with sloppy, poorly executed plays. I guess ND is overhyped and over publicized.

    17. Wisconsin beat MSU – in E. Lansing.

    18. Did you read Kelly’s presser? As far as he is concerned he and his staff did a good job coaching! What planet is this guy from? This is a team screaming for good coaching. Goodbye VanGorder and Kelly

    19. irishhawk50 says:

      Playoff eligible? How about bowl eligible? Are you kidding? Pitiful!!! BVG should fall on the sword and resign! There are no more excuses. Yes, Kizer did not have his best game but put up 35 points. I wonder how many games over the years ND lost putting up 35 points? Not many. This team leaves the taste of Charlie Weiss’s last year in my mouth!

    20. May I have Your Attention Please.
      Cheap mediocrity has returned. Field turf, jumbotron, Ozzy, dusty old repeats of Sgt Tim McCarthy. Come on! Weis was classless and nasty. Kelly veers that way. Really finding the way to win with this team is going to require that the program stop sunbathing on piles of cash. Nobody on this board enjoys fat stacks of offense, the defense is the figurative heart of football.
      Revolts begin with mutiny. I predict we’ll start seeing some decommits.

    21. J DOUGHERTY says:


    22. We just returned from the game thoroughly disgusted. I am an alum from the Montana years. We flew in
      from Oregon for the game. I saw the Ducks a few weeks ago in Eugene – a real program on the rise w/ leadership
      ND needs a new coaching staff period.

    23. The seniors on this team have not taken the young guys under their wing. There is no energy or pride in this group. They r getting moved off the ball n over shooting everything… Both sides of the ball. They need to act like they want to win a game….together as a team

    24. I didn’t expect this although I’m not surprised. This team has nothing in the tank and is so fundamentally poor and uninspired that we’ll be lucky to win 5 games. I think we are witnessing the decline and fall of the Brian Kelly regime and I have no confidence in either him or his coaching staff.

      I’d say the short list of replacements is Tom Herman, Charlie Chryst and Brent Bieleima but they might not be interested in the job. At this point Lee Corso looks like an enticing hire.

    25. Really? These are heavily recruited players looking so inept against lesser recruits? Are the more talented players (supposedly) playing down and the less talented ones playing up? To me, that’s coaching. Maybe Brian K and buddies should figure out how to motivate these kids to play like they actually care about winning. And, Brian? Your pouty face on the sidelines doesn’t seem to do anything to help this pitiful team. And Van Gorder waving his arms on the sidelines isn’t cutting it either. But it does give me hope that one of these sad days he’ll fly away from South Bend.

    26. Brian Kelly needs to go, he will never make this team a winner. We need a coach who understands how to win at Notre Dame.

      Defensively Notre Dame should be a 3-4 team. The Irish cannot recruit defensive ends the way SEC and ACC schools can to run a 4-3 defense. But ND can recruit talented 5 star linebackers, it’s proven every recruiting class. Pressuring the quarterback, which is essential for any potential championship team, has to come from linebackers.

      Offensively this school can never be a spread team, Notre Dame should try to look more like Stanford. Notre Dame can recruit five star lineman, five star quarterbacks, five star tight ends, four star running backs, and big four star receivers every year.

      But Notre Dame will never be able to get three or four speed guys, like Will Fuller, year after year.

      I know the offense isn’t the problem now but if Notre Dame is actually going to compete with the top teams it will have to solidify “all three phases.”

      Imagine if ND had an offense with a running back, fullback, tight end, and two big receivers like Claypool and St. Brown (with Boykin rotating) on the field. With the quarterbacks and lineman Notre Dame gets the offense could be unstoppable.

      The coaches at Stanford know who they are. They put there best 11 on the field and execute.

      Maybe a coach from Stanford can bring their approach to Notre Dame.

    27. Time for the donors, alumni, students and fans to start putting pressure on the Administration. A total lack of fundamentals and heart has been evident for some time. Brian Kelly’s comments on ESPN website article prove he has lost touch with reality or that his ego has finally surpassed the space available in his head.

      Kelly stated that every position is up for grabs, however, he has given the coaching staff an A+ for this game. “Actually, that’s probably the one area that I feel better about today,” Kelly said. “We did what I wanted today in terms of coaching. And COACHING HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE OUTCOME TODAY. I was pleased from that perspective.”

      Wow. Just wow………………

    28. Kevin from Reading, PA says:

      I’m happy to say I was at the Nevada game, the only game Notre Dame will win this year. No question that Swarbrick who supposedly likes BK will cave to the overwhelming pressure of the Board to oust this entire coaching staff. BK has lost the locker room. It is very visible in the product on the field. I take no satisfaction in saying this. As a proud alum, I am simply embarrassed. One consolation, at least somebody told BVG to wear the same color shirt as the other coaches. We are making progress in that regard. Good night and good luck.

    29. Larry Rossi says:

      The saddest part is wasting my afternoon watching this unravelling. Kelly, may not be very good coaches, but their players aren’t very good either. Too many underclassmen with very few leaders. Perhaps some day, just not now. So where does the fault lie?
      Once upon a time there was a ND coach by the name of Joe Kuharich who had a talented bunch but couldn’t coach college kids…better suited for the NFL. Ara took these same kids and the rest is history. Kelly is Joe Kuharich.

      • Give Hugh Devore credit for holding the fort between Kuharich and Parseghian. Some great players were recruited that year, some of the foundation for the ’66 National Champions.

    30. The biggest thing that has characterized the ND football program for the last two decades is an overwhelming sense of entitlement. They are spoiled rotten.

      With the NBC contact, the Crossroads project, and all the razzle dazzle, they think they are hot stuff. It is almost like they expect opponents to roll over and die in awe.

      Until they get hungry again, this is the new baseline.

    31. Kevin from Reading, PA says:

      Now I read the headline that “all spots are up for grabs”. Give me a break. Let’s start with the head coaching job being up for grabs. Last week it was “we have to do a better job coaching”. I thought that was assumed when you make $7 million a year. “We are young and inexperienced.” Why isn’t Alabama ever young and inexperienced? I bet Dillon Hall could beat this team. Why don’t we put another big building in the middle of the football field and shut down the entire operation. One more thing. I was very upset when Kelly was in Kizer’s face in the first half. That’s easy to do to a 20 year old kid. Lots of guts Kelly. Why not get in the face of Van Gorder who really deserves it. Or how about Swarbrick getting in your face for the 1-3 season, players getting caught with a gun and pot, and the academic cheating scandal last year. Is Father Jenkins or the Board paying attention?

      • The academic and criminal law violations can be traced directly to Swarbrick. It was Swarbrick who OK’d the recruitment and admission of football players who are below academic standards and those whose have demonstrated serious character flaws and he did so in an effort to keep pace with the Clemsons and Alabamas of the world. It is now very apparent that that the arrest tally for the year will well exceed the number of victories. My first instinct is to blame the student for academic fraud or criminal arrest, but when that becomes an annual event, it likewise becomes apparent that there is an institutional problem and that starts with Swarbrick. The ultimate irony is that instead of keeping pace with Alamaba he is now losing ground rapidly to those schools who do still use the student athlete model–the Dukes, the Stanfords and the Northwesterns. But Swarbrick is doing the job as he perceives it–making money from every possible and potential revenue stream available. Can I get a bid on yesterday’s tossed coin?

        • When did Swarbrick direct that academic standards would be lowered for football players. I never saw that memo. Please advise…

    32. It should be clear now the current defense is our biggest problem. It has been a major problem for the last three years. The offense has issues but it scores lots of points. Either Kizer is overthrowing receivers or the receivers are not continuing their patterns. Our receivers are young but they are going to be outstanding.

    33. Just wanted to add Malik Zaire doesn’t need to be in a navy blue jersey again after taking that lame duck sack for 15 yards and not throwing the ball at least away. You’d think with hardly ever getting to cut loose he’d be itching to chuck it deep but to sit back there and take that sack, didn’t even scramble. He’s checked out and I’d rather see Wimbush as back up.

      • Fitz, I totally agree! If you’re itching to be out there you would do anything to make a play and most certainly throw that things 60 yards or scramble more with your feet. I completely agree he has checked out and although I didnt hate it at the time, Kelly’s indecision to choose a QB has hurt the chemistry and led to a extremely complacent team. Coming into the season we could all agree the defense was the weaker side and probably couldnt even agree lack of pass rush in particular could cause them issues but I am equally dissapointed in their O-Line. They can’t run the ball particularly on short yardage situations and the defense senses it coming which is a major issue and even their pass protection which is ok has leaks in it at many of the crucial times. They are all around putrid.

    34. it took this loss for people to come around to seeing what many have been saying for years. Kelly is a fraud. he is not a good coach. the defense is pathetic and that is a given but again the special teams are horrible. no improvement in 7 years. Late in the 4th when we needed it we returned a kick off to the 15. Kick off return coverage is horrible. kicking field goals and extra points is a roller coaster. no improvements season after season. in the 4th quarter when we need a big drive we come up short both against texas and duke. and with all that kelly then throws the players under the bus. Yes all positions are up for grabs and that should include the head coaching position. CW was bad but was out in five years. we are seven years into this and this season looks a lot like the CW era. Kellys teams somehow had a great 2012 season despite the humiliation of being out coached and out prepared against Alabama but after that we have not been a good team Still no signature wins but lots of signature losses.

    35. How pathetic. I feel bad for the players. They certainly deserve better coaching than this. ND football has hit rock bottom. At this pace, and I do not see any reason to believe that anything will change, this will likely be one of the worst teams in ND football history by season’s end. If they go one to win or two more games this season, that will occur only if they happen to play someone with less heart than this team.

      Forget about the bad coaching, which is clearly non-existent and needs to change. This was bad everything. Where is the leadership among the players? Where is the heart and the will to win? In four games, including two at home against Nevada and Duke, there is not one player on the team that’s athletic and powerful enough to sack the QB even once? Really? Sorry, but Cream Puff State is nowhere on the schedule this year, so the prospect for a sack later this season isn’t looking very good right now. Even with bad coaching, someone should be able to step up and make a hit. This team lacks leadership.

      This team needs to go to all-out, full contact practices. Injury, of course, is a risk but so is not practicing hard enough as evidenced by the fist four games of this season. During the Holtz era, many of the players commented that practices were so tough that game days were a breeze compared to practices. That would be at least a first step in building a culture toughness, which this team clearly lacks, bad coaching or not.

      • Thank you Paul!!! That’s exactly what this team needs!!! As Allen Pinkett said, “we need to bring in some criminals”. Now, before you get all PC on me he wasn’t talking about criminals LITERALLY!! He was talking in football terms of tough players!!! Last time I checked this sport was a mans sport!!! We need players like Chris Zorch!!! He was as mean and nasty as they come!! ND isn’t interested in those kinds of players, they d rather give out participation medals and call it a day instead of winning football games!!!! Oh an btw, apparently over the yrs in the Kelly Era there has been a criminal element!!!! Just look what happened I. August!!!! Again. Wrong kind of criminal we want at ND!!!!

    36. The big question is who gets to wear the number 2 jersey next week?

    37. We may be missing the real cause of ND’s issues. For the past many years they higher down for the lowest cost coaching staff as compared to the top ten teams.

      It is time for the good fathers of ND to open their pocketbook and dig deep into the gold coins of the realm. I know that some of you have heard the term “Cash Sweet Cash” (CSC) and how it applies to the payment of the coaching staff at ND. And how the good fathers like to spend money. ND does not publish its coaches’ salaries but “Sports Illustrated” did print a number for Kelly. From the SI numbers here are some last year’s fun facts:
      Alabama Saban: $7,087,481 Staff: $5,227,090
      Michigan Harbaugh: $7,000,000 Staff: $4,248,667
      Ohio Urban $5,860,000 Staff: $4,021,950
      Oklahoma Stoops $5,400,000 Staff: $3,768,500
      Florida State Fisher $5,150.000 Staff: $4,284,800
      The above is the top five coaches’ salaries. With number 10, Mississippi Freeze is paid $4,300,000 and his staff paid $3,091,000.
      Now let’s talk ND as far as $$$ made from football they are number 5 or 6. Kelly is paid $1,187,272 that places him at 68. There were no stats for the ND assistance coaches but if it follows the top ten schools it is less than the head coaches pay.
      If ND wants to keep NBC and its followers, they must replace the coaching staff with quality coaches and pay them what is required to get the best. Past storied history can only take ND so far and it appears to be losing some of its glory. It is time, in my view, for Father Jenkins and the Athletic Director to look for the very best staff available and pay them what is required to bring back ND’s storied history

      • Larry Rossi says:

        All that “extra” money…about $19mm went to Charlie Weis! I think that finally ended in 2015. Sad.

    38. we should pay more but not to kelly –we should pay more for a good coach. Kelly should be paying ND to refund the school for his pathetic efforts

    39. theSpringZone says:

      The offensive playcalling is redonkulous. No running game (getting sick of those stupid zone reads). The passing game is “OKAY”, but without an established running game, it makes it hard to really be effective with the pass. Our defense really needs some work. I think my defensive years at Saint Francis (FW) could do a better job than this current ND team. They also don’t play with fire — lacking urgency all around. So sad!


    41. Best moment of game was when officials stopped play to allow BVG to gather his defensive players on the field so that they could sign the football after ND’s first sack of the season. The Blue Devils were so moved by this historic moment late in the 3rd quarter that they never regained their offensive intensity. Autographed ball will be handed to BVG as part of his $2.5 million severance package in December.

      Worse moment of game was having to watch DK meet with the always scowling BK to review how DK once again failed Kelly by allowing previously hapless Duke to score 38 points. “What were you thinking!” Kelly was seen mouthing at his QB.

      Did the NCAA outlaw huddles and a QB under center? Irish are addicted to shot gun formation so that Kelly can show his superior play calling skills. We once won championships with huddles, fullbacks & TEs blocking for small, fast backs. Now everything rests on the QBs skills at decision making and willingness to sacrifice himself for Kelly.

      There’s always next year.

    42. Ghost of Joe Moore says:

      Forget about Jenkins getting another coach, he got his man
      in BK who has become the politically correct ambassador for
      ND football. BK was a coach for about 2 maybe 3 years at which point
      he morphed into the CEO of Irish football. That was in part thanks to “fans”
      who thought he needed to be more civil on the sidelines..

      BK at this point after his love affair with the power and lore of
      being head football coach at ND has groomed himself in the glow
      of a very politically correct environment at Our Ladys research facility
      to be a politician as emplified by his smartest guy in the room take on his DC
      who by the way says really improved his coaching bravado since last week.

      Football is only looked upon as a revenue generator for the university
      and the current brain trust is happy to milk it dry in its current state.

      In the end, true to a good politician, BK will not take blame for
      the BVG hire, everything is fine….in fact BVG is improving dont ya know!
      Smartest guy in the room, we as fans and almost every other analyst
      has it all wrong….

    43. Interesting that the on line South Bend Tribune has nothing on the Saturday disaster. Articles on Indiana and Purdue games are there but nothing on the Irish. My recollection is that there were also no pre game articles. What’s going on there? Have they written off the program??

    44. Unfortunately, Notre Dame has become the University of Chicago … a REALLY good school that no longer plays football.

      First of all, does everyone understand that one week ago, Duke lost to a bad (1-3) Northwestern team who had already dropped two HOME games to … are you ready … Western Michigan and Illinois State!

      When you lose a couple early, there’s always a a big risk that the coach loses the hearts and minds of the players. I was worried about that after Mich State and of course the evidence against Duke is overwhelming that indeed Kelly has lost the team, especially with his comments afterward. Yes, coach, the players need to display more passion and make more plays … but who called a first down run to the short side that got completely stuffed after Duke came back quickly to tie it at 35 ? Whether it’s in-game strategy,week-long preparation or summer-long preparation, I see significant weakness in the Kelly coaching staff. ND has had very solid Top 10-12 recruits entering the university and several NFL players exiting the university … but what happens for 3-5 years on game Saturdays in can really only be explained by a sub-par coaching staff. I thought the Faust Era was pretty bad, but those teams played with passion ALL THE TIME. This regime is worse … the team is both tactically challenged AND soft as marshmallows. Nobody does LESS with more than Brian Kelly.

      Along with many fans/alums, I think I drastic change at the top needs to be made the moment this sorry season ends, if not earlier. THE TARGET: Tom Herman at Univ. of Houston. (Or maybe Paul Chryst … Did you see Wisconsin manhandle Sparty in East Lansing ?)

    45. Kelly is the Most pompous coach or person on the universe. For him to think the coaches did a good job yesterday, maybe he just doesn’t get it. Any fan who saw the difference between him and Cutliff,Duke’s coach,can see why ND can’t win. He sulks,pouts and doesn’t get the role of a head coach. Duke was clearly the better team. If ND doesn’t fire him and Van Gorder, we r in for years of bad football. He lost his team. They aren’t passionate because he can’t inspire or motivate them. Win bush transfer while u can. All recruits don’t go to ND as long as Kelly is there. I am so sad at the demise of the football program I have loved all my life.

    46. irishhawk50 says:

      I used to think Kelly was a good coach, not great, but good. I don’t think that anymore. I guess it was just wishful thinking. I can’t believe he threw his players under the bus when the obvious problem is the coaching. Do the math. Do you think that out of 85 scholarship players they just misfired and signed 85 losers? Or is it more likely they have been poorly coached.

    47. The good:
      We registered a sack, baby!
      We can consistently score 28-47 points a game

      The bad:
      Opposing teams tend to score even more points

      The ugly:
      Brian Kelly press conference

      At this point I’m getting superstitious so maybe if BVG shaves his mustache that might lead to better tackling and keep opposing offenses to under 400 yards.

      If all the starting positions are all up for grabs save the long snapper then I think all the coaching spots need to be up for grabs after this season, including Kelly’s.

    48. Attitude reflects leadership, Coach Kelly.

      How dare you, sur, blame the players for your failed schemes and coaching weaknesses?

      Kelly has been overrated since his arrival here. We have watched coaches like Urban Meyer, Nick Saban, etc. excel at their respective programs and never blame their players for their faults.

      This latest press conference by Brian Kelly has sealed his fate, as far as I’m concerned. It is an unmitigated outrage seeing Kelly blame his players while lauding the lousy coaching staff for a supposed job well done. Shame!

      This program recruits too much talent to play this poorly and it starts and ends with the coaching, period.

      Tme to actually hire a coach who understands the tradition o winning at Notre Dame and takes his job seriously and not as a side hobby.

    49. Just released. Brian Van Gorder has been fired.

    50. Van Gorder is gone. The student body and fans have spoken

    51. irishhawk50 says:

      BVG gone!

    52. Brian VanGorder’s response to getting fired: “Yeah… Coach woulda put me in fourth quarter, we would’ve been state champions. No doubt. No doubt in my mind.”

    53. Brian VanGorder’s response to the news: “How much you wanna make a bet I can throw a football over them mountains?… Yeah… Coach woulda put me in fourth quarter, we would’ve been state champions. No doubt. No doubt in my mind.”

    54. What do u know. Van Gorder is fired. Now when will Kelly go???

    55. Wait a moment… Here I thought that BK said that he thought that the coaching in yesterday’s game was right where it needed to be, and that it was all on the players.

      Now, all of the sudden, he reevaluated everything and decided that after embarrassment after embarrassment, BVG needed to be fired. Nevermind the fact that tax records show that BVG was one of ND’s highest paid coaches. Money for nothing and your chicks for free!

      Next, BK needs to be reevaluated. I have been less than impressed with Kelly’/ teams since he’s been here. His offensive play-calling has been both predictable and uninspiring, his inability to immediately identify Kiser over Zaire, and his general “it’s not my fault” attitude have run their course. Simply put, there are better up-and-coming coaches with more passion, fire, and imagination than Kelly.

      His tenure needs to be over soon.

      • GraceHallChapel86 says:

        199% agree. Kelly is dumping ballast with Van Gorder’s firing (which did need to happen, of course). He he needs to go, too.

        Kelly has embarrassed Notre Dame. I’m no Luddite, and I don’t care if some traditions are tweaked. But to think that flashy uniforms somehow can mitigate a failure at the basics is just ridiculous.

        ND, go to a proven and successful FBS veteran coach and quit messing around, trying to be cute with NFL play callers and junior high coaches. You more than lost in apparel revenue alone what it would have cost you to hire that way int he first place.

      • You’re right. What a complete contradiction!

    56. Kelly should go before it gets too late…

    57. By the way, to paraphrase, my cousin, ND’s next coach is right on campus. His name is Mike Sanford. Brilliant,loves the school, mature beyond his years, players love him. Kelly, too paternalistic, caustic personality, it was just a matter of time before this affected the team. Does Sabin have the same personality? Yes, but he gets there heads. He also teaches technique, something Kelly is woefully inept at.PS Shalom, Brian VG.

    58. Here again are my dopey and simplistic observations:

      1. BVG is a good man and a smart guy. But in the final analysis, was a failure at ND. He was a questionable hire from the start and really didn’t have an outstanding resume when hired. He was a personal friend of BK. This disasterous outcome is on BK.
      2. BK is a good man and a smart guy. He is a good coach, but not a great coach. ND needs a great coach. BK can’t win against top tier programs and won’t win against them. This has been painfully predictable against virtually all ranked opponents over the past several seasons. Did anyone think we would actually beat Alabama, Ohio State, Louisville, etc.?
      3. We are stuck with BK’s monster contract. Did we learn anything from the Weis debacle? I think not.
      4. Has anyone called Les Miles yet?

      • I’ll add some dopey and simplistic comments as well.

        1) The NFL complex defensive schemes just don’t work at Notre Dame. BVG reminds me of the John Tenuta hire. Sure complex works well when the Defense doesn’t have 40 other hours per week booked with schoolwork and staying elgible, works well tho when you’re the Dallas Cowboys and are paid to play foootball 100% of the time.

        2) For the most part the last 7 years of kelly have been what I call volatile top 45 to top 15 football. Meaning, at any given time we can play down to the lower bounds of middle 60 fbs teams (tulsa loss, usf loss, duke loss), or we can play up to the upper bounds of top 15 teams (see oklahoma win, see lsu bowl win, see stanford home win in ’12) and for those of you who count moral victories, almost wins against FSU and Clemson.

        3) I think Kelly is the right coach for ND. He is nowhere as terrible as Weis. These teams do tackle harder (maybe not in Sept 16) but for the other 7 years, each one of these ND teams tackles harder than any Weis team.

        4) I think the question could be, is diaco available again? Whatever he did seemed to work well in ’12. Except of course for the fact that we got exposed in NC game.

        5) I think they need to dumb it down for these guys on the Defensive side of the ball. BVG said in preseason video that his players don’t have the time to watch video to the extent they can maybe at other colleges, so therefore it begs to question…why does not Notre Dame always overcomplicate things and try to build a ferrari when they have time to build a chevy? OSU is playing basic defense with all new freshman b/c they play simple fundamentals, and against Oklahoma those corners were velcroed to those wide outs, and that was after they were called out for being “basic.” So Kelly did the like, by questioning his players where their guts are in the media. Any competitor worth his salt will take that heart, and while unpleasant to hear in the press, could very well use this as a motivator.

        6) I don’t think the house is burning, yet, remember the 38 to 0 drubbing in 2009 by michigan and then we all learned that the team had been in shells all summer camp? This team though poor at tackling still has manned up at times and lost by a combined total of 14 points to teams that will probably all finish in the top 35 of college teams this years. a year ago a kelly led team stood toe to toe with Clemson – let us not forget – in a very hostile environment.

    59. The Hawk '65 says:

      Interesting that Kelly hired Greg Hudson just this past June as the “defensive analyst”. Apparently, he held him in reserve in the event the defense showed its continuing ineptitude under BVG and he could insert Hudson immediately to prevent further bleeding. Clever boy, let’s hope so.

    60. Other than watching this loss, the worst part for me was Kelly throwing the kids under the bus! I am totally all for peeling the paint off of the locker room walls letting them know he expected more, but, that stays in those walls! Lou would have never placed the blame on his players. Saying these kids get scholarships to play at Notre Dame and it shouldn’t be like pulling teeth, was just nonsense. Last time I looked he and his staff are getting a pretty nice salary to coach and motivate. Ever think that the team never seems up and ready to go is because they have no faith in their coaching leadership? Just a sad sad time for ND football.

      • Vince, I understand what your saying but let’s be honest here that defense is as soft as I’ve ever seen and although they are 18-22 year olds, if they can be given all the accolades and even sometimes worshiped when they succeed, I think they can handle being called out for playing with no passion. How many tackles did they miss? Worse then missing a million tackles was in many instances I didnt even see them with a will to get up and reengage in the play.The team did seem disinterested throughout and even Kizer seemed to play dispirited football. Really embarrassing and I will be the first to say Kelly should start to feel the heat and in my opinion gets this season but all bets are off depending on if he losses this team completely. 6-6 or better he should be given one more season but if this thing goes completely south then I am open to cleaning house provided they can get an upgrade. Change for change sake is a terrible idea.

    61. Clearly, the team has some much major issues right now. Losing to Duke at home is a new low. But it is easy to think the grass is always greener on the other side.

      Kelly IS a good coach and I think that with the right staff, ND can win 10+ games every year with him at the helm. No doubt, his tenure has been marred by some really f****** terrible losses (South Florida, Tulsa, NW, Louisville, Duke)
      :: vomits all over keyboard ::

      But all of you who are saying that ND lacks talent are out of your minds. ND has the talent. It is all about personnel. Our defensive scheme does not suit the players we have.

      That being said, I am extremely frustrated and want to know what the hell is going on inside the locker room. Also pisses me off that Kelly was taking things out on our best player (Kizer) when he should have been getting in his coaches’ faces and maybe even getting mad at himself for horrible play calls.

      The program is at a crossroads… Personally, I would love to Swarbrick get fired. Bring in Gene Smith.

    62. Gene Smith will not come to notre dame . he was here once before. I say Kelly needs to make some staff changes and Gove him next year. If there is no big time turn around next year, Kelly is toast.

    63. Lots of posts about axing Kelly which is to be expected after a awful loss and terrible month of football but let’s be careful about replacing the coach. Coaching changes cost you recruits that year and typically it takes most coaches a year or two thereafter to either get the existing players to buy in and flourish within the new system or the full 4 years to get “his” guys in there to be judged appropriately. I still think aside from a handful of coaches Kelly’s got a better shot to get us to a playoff then starting this all over again. I can already here the critics say,” anyone can go 6-6 so why do we need him? I get it— this year is a disaster but I’m just saying I’d prefer staying the course, seeing how or if he can overcome the adversity and give him one more year before starting all over again.

      Here are a few examples of good to excellent programs with frequent coaching changes:
      Miami: 5 coaches since 2007
      Tennessee: 3 coaches since 2009
      USC: 3 coaches since 2010
      Florida: 3 since 2011
      ***Just to showcase there hasn’t been a really good season between all of these teams combined despite the hope that change would bring a positive outcome.

      • Mike Coffey says:

        So keeping him after a crappy job won’t cost us recruits this year?

        Timidity is not what ND was built on.

        • He will keep just about all of his recruits after one bad year as opposed to firing him losing half of them and then waiting on a 2-3 year rebuild at the minimum. Again, if I knew who we were replacing him with I mighth say it’s worth the risk but my bet is we wouldn’t land a top echelon coach /recruiter.. Said differently, I believe stability will more likely lead to long term success then shuffling coaches again.

          • Mike Coffey says:

            First off, you’re assuming he’ll keep them all. History shows chances of decommits are higher after a season like this.

            Second, he ends up losing half of them next year, or just as bad, has a much more difficult time signing them because next year’s recruits realize he’s a lame duck, and we still end up “waiting on a 2-3 year rebuild at the minimum”.

            These are the same arguments made when Davie, Willingham, and Weis were fired. They were wrong then, and they’re wrong now.

    64. Carlos Bauza says:

      TEXAS sounded the Unmistakable Alarm about Kelly’s coaching.
      DUKE started the Countdown for Kelly’s departure.

    65. Hey PC. I’ll give you one example if you fire a coach and replace him with a good coach: Jim Harbaugh. Your arguments are weak. Notre Dame needs a new and better coach. All the excuses Kelly gave at his weekly press conference are on him. All the changes he is putting in should have been standard operating procedure. His days are numbered.

    66. Does anyone remember the job Ara did with the same talent that had seriously losing seasons under Ara’s predecessors? The very next year to boot.