The independent voice of Notre Dame Athletics

  • Hokies Target Kizer, Beat Irish

    by John Vannie

    Virginia Tech overcame a pair of 17 point deficits in the first half to pull out a 34-31 victory over beleaguered Notre Dame in the final home game for the Irish seniors. DeShone Kizer had a great first half for the hosts, but was never quite the same after absorbing multiple, blatant hits to the head later in the game. Surprisingly, none of these cheap shots was flagged on the field or reviewed by an officiating crew that aided and abetted the Hokie comeback at every turn. Still, Brian Kelly and the Irish deserve most of the blame for another poorly played second half in which the defense wilted and the offensive staff had no answer for Virginia Tech’s adjustments.

    Notre Dame enjoyed a fast start while the Hokies were shaky at the outset. Kizer directed a quick scoring drive in 3:09 that Josh Adams finished with a one yard touchdown run. After quarterback Jerod Evans fumbled the ball back to the Irish at midfield, they drove to the one yard line before going backwards and settling for a field goal and a 10-0 lead. Those unrealized four points would prove costly though.

    Evans recovered his own fumble on the next Hokie series, but they had to punt after a three and out. Once again, Kizer was on the money, hitting Chris Finke on a 31-yard post route on the first play of the second period for a 17-0 advantage. Virginia Tech finally got its offense going as Evans answered with a 23-yard touchdown run to cap a long drive featuring seven runs and two short passes. After an exchange of punts, the Irish briefly regained the momentum when Kizer threw a strike to Miles Boykin for a 24-7 lead at the six minute mark.

    The Hokies would not go away, however, and sent a message they would fight to the end by scoring with just over a minute left in the half. Tech then took the second half kickoff and Evans hit C.J. Carroll on a 62-yard slant and go to set up another score. The one-sided contest suddenly became close as the Hokies were now within 24-21. Meanwhile, Notre Dame’s offense was sputtering as Virginia Tech turned up the pressure on Kizer and made adjustments in coverage. They also painted a target on Kizer’s helmet during this stretch, although quite mysteriously none of these egregious hits were noticed by the officials.

    Things changed dramatically once again after the Hokies appeared to be in control. Evans threw another deep slant that had touchdown written all over it, but the ball bounced off the hands of his receiver into the arms of Irish safety Drue Tranquill for a rare interception. Adams responded a few plays later with a 67-yard burst to put the hosts back in command by 31-21 as the third quarter ticked down.

    Notre Dame’s defense stiffened in the red zone on the next series to force a short field goal early in the fourth period, and the Irish were clinging to a 31-24 lead. Tech then forced a three and out and began driving into scoring territory. Just when it appeared Notre Dame would hold, a horrific pass interference call on cornerback Cole Luke gave the Hokies a first down on the eight yard line. Evans hit Bucky Hodges for the tying touchdown two plays later after Hodges pushed off his defender to get open.

    The Irish got the ball back in a tie game with nine minutes left, but could not generate a first down as Kelly abandoned the running game. Kizer, who was brilliant in the first half with 199 yards and two scores, was held to three completions in 15 attempts for 36 yards after intermission. Kelly, of course, blamed the players’ lack of execution for the reversal rather than his own inability to react to Tech’s halftime adjustments. “We had some balls that were catchable that we didn’t catch. I just don’t think we executed quite as well offensively”, he said.

    Evans went to work after getting the ball back and mixed crisp passes with effective runs to bring the Hokies inside the Irish five. Jarron Jones led the charge defensively and Tech had to settle for another short field goal by Joey Slye to take the lead for the first time by 34-31. Notre Dame had four minutes to answer, but a third down sack ended the series and they punted it away. The Hokies then ran down the clock to 1:07 remaining before punting it to the Irish ten yard line. Kizer tried gamely into the wind to give Justin Yoon a chance at a tying kick, but the Irish ran out of time. In fact, Kizer was hit in the head again on a scramble, and Malik Zaire had to come into the game for a final, inconsequential pass attempt.

    The bitter loss dropped Notre Dame to 4-7 on the season and gave the seniors another gut punch to commemorate their final game in the stadium. The future of Kelly in South Bend seems unshakable from the exterior, but his failures this season against a weak schedule are not going unnoticed by the media, alumni and the fan base at large.

    Let’s review the answers to Sean’s pregame questions:

    Will Brian Kelly run the ball more than he throws? It was a 50/50 proposition, although Kizer had the largest share of the carries for the Irish and paid the price for it. Adams had only 13 attempts, which is criminally negligent.

    Will the Notre Dame pass defense be able to hang with this elite receiving corp? After a strong first half, the Irish safeties were torched over the middle for big plays.

    Will Virginia Tech avoid costly turnovers? The Hokies won in spite of committing two costly turnovers to none for Notre Dame.

    Which special teams unit will avoid the big mistake? No giant gaffes were committed this week, but Tech got the better of the return game with some positive yardage. Tyler Newsome punted well for the Irish.

    Does Jarron Jones emerge from his 2 week coma? Jones was better and did a good job of clogging the middle all day.

    Will this be Brian Kelly’s final game in South Bend? The Administration is not talking, but let’s get to the Grotto this week and not take any chances.

    107 Responses to “Hokies Target Kizer, Beat Irish”

    1. thank goodness only one more game.

    2. my 3 favorite words during the fall used to be RUN THE BALL, now they are FIRE BRIAN KELLY! this is the most undisciplined football teams i can ever remember watching at Notre Dame. it is beyond embarrassing. Brian kelly needs to go NOW! if swarbrick and jenkins won’t step up then the board of trustees needs to!!!!!

      • martinjordan says:

        martinjordan says:
        November 2, 2011 at 5:59 am

        ND is just as soft and undisciplined as the day Kelly arrived. I found this old post of mine from 2011: Parseghian went from 2 and 7 in ’63 to 9 and 1 in his first season with, essentially, the same players. Devine inherited Ross Browner, Luther Bradley, Rusty Lisch (lol) and Joe Montana. Holtz’s record didn’t improve immediately but the quality of football did. The costly turnovers, stupid penalties and flat performances of the Faust Era disappeared immediately. After a year and a half Kelly’s teams are just as sloppy and undisciplined as Wies’ making him another mediocre coach in what has become a procession of mediocrity since Holtz.

    3. Kelly puts his QB at risk too much and today it once again cost him. Kizer was targeted twice and Cole
      Luke was mugged! What is a defender supposed to do when the receiver is climbing his back and grabbing
      his facemask? Terrible calls today by the striped men. This offense has just lost it under Kelly and Kizer
      is just not that great. Yes he has a strong arm, yes he is big but he make too many high throws, holds the
      ball way too long and just makes bad decisions when in the key moments. The defense played good but
      were tired at the end since the offense went 4 3 and outs! Why Kelly didn’t call for Malik to spike the ball
      instead of trying to pass is just another reason Kelly has no business at this level. Good coaches think that
      way and he is just not that good at this level. Next year will be the same if he is still on the sidelines
      especially as all the big games are away and not home like this year.

    4. Don’t blame the refs. Kelly OUTCOACHED again

    5. I spend hundreds of dollars a year buying ND football stuff. I spend more than that on a pilgrimage to South Bend for a game each year. I have been a loyal fan ever since I can remember and I’m now 65. BUT, I have had enough.

      Kelly sucks in every way. He and his staff have failed to make adjustments during the game and especially at halftime. Kiser throws for 199 yards in the first half and in the third quarter, with the wind at our back, he throws for 16. How many times has he run the ball on first down? So predictable.

      How many big leads have we lost this year. Weakest schedule in years and we are four and seven?

      Top 15 or top 20 recruiting classes since he came here and we are four and seven?

      AND, we still use ACC officials? If the Va. tech game isn’t enough to change your mind about that then the AD and administration all need replaced.

      I’m done as long as things don’t change. Start with a new coach!

      • I recommend greater devotion to Our Lady and the Lord Jesus, take a pilgrimage to Lourdes or Jerusalem or to a Marian Shrine in North America, even the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in D.C. Trust me, I think Our Lady is calling her children to her bosom and away from devoting oneself to football.

        • sean naughten ND'61 says:

          ND has been built on football but it is time to realize that private colleges and universities cannot compete with public ones in major sports… i agree with you

    6. Head coach has responsibility for athlete’s safekeeping – Kelly should’ve done anything – and I mean ANYTHING – to make sure those targeting hits were reviewed. To my knowledge, he didn’t. I would’ve punched somebody …

      • There one and only ONE way in which (obvious & uncalled) targeting hits are taken care of – on the field.

        The word is out – Notre Dame can be pushed around.

    7. Vannie. You are absolutely correct that the smartest guy in the room could not make adjustments to our very predictable offense. First down on the two and we are in shot gun formation as usual the entire time and we can’t drive it in. Don’t blame it on the hike again, blame it on Kelly’s refusal to go under center and run the I formation. 4-8 season after getting smacked at Southern Cal. Hard to watch. I feel bad for the players. Go Irish!

    8. 4-8 for a coach paid multi millions of $ with a recent 6 year contract extension.

      Nice for Brian, not smart for ND

    9. irishhawk50 says:

      Out coached and out played again. VT wanted it more which was clear to anyone watching the game. I was a mild supporter of Kelly in the past, but it has become clear that he is not a good game day coach or a good developer of talent. In the rear view mirror, he has lost to top 10 teams more often than not and has been only relatively successful because he had greater basic talent pool than many of the teams he has faced. He is an 8-4 type coach at ND, occasionally a bit better or a bit worse. ND must decide if they are happy with that reality for the next number of years because that is what it will be.

    10. Joe Reifsnyder says:

      We really need to replace this coaching staff. Blowing a 17 point lead at home on senior day says it all. . The Kelly experiment has failed.We are no longer able to beat decent teams let alone compete with the elites. We need to get very serious about those who are leading our Football Program. We are doing substantial damage to our Brand.

    11. I said this after the Texas game, referring to the uncalled spearing by Texas in the 3rd quarter – Notre Dame can be pushed around. This was proved numerous times during the season, and then today it happened twice. And Notre Dame just let it happen. You can’t blame that on Kelly. There’s lots of things that can be blamed on Kelly, but the fact that Notre Dame football players can be pushed around on the field – forget about penalties called or not – is NOT Kelly’s fault. There has to be payback, whether or not it gets a guy kicked out of the game – which is probably a good thing.

      No fire, no spark – without that you’ve got nothing.

      • PanDomer'73 says:

        Disagree…it starts at the top and that is precisely what is wrong with the program.

      • Sorry, but you are enabling this coach and his staff. We have 7 years of data on Kelly now and he is solidly in Davie, Willingham, Weis territory. If this team is uninspired it’s due to a lack of leadership at the top. They’re pushed around because Kellyball is softball. The only thing he’s consistent with is scapegoating players for his failures.

    12. Fire his ass. Seven years is enough. Football has become an embarrassment under Kelly. The look on his face in the second half said it all…clueless. Outcoached, outcoached, & outcoached.

    13. A great summary of another disaster in Irishland. I cannot we are putting up with this crap in year seven.

    14. The stench and rot is just too much for me. I am sorry. Wait until next week at Southern Cal! What a joke for a team…with so much history of greatness. To come to this is almost like watching a tragic and unnecessary death of someone you truly loved…yeah…you know….like the poem …”to an athlete dying young”! Notre Dame football is dying. What else can be said.

    15. If neither the refs nor the replay people call obvious targeting of Kizer when he is at home, what hope is there for ND to protect its players from concussions? I expect the no call on the road (e.g. Texas game), but not at home? Where is Kelly when this happens? He should be on the field screaming at the officials.

    16. irish rifle says:

      Couldn’t agree more on the outrageous missed targeting calls where Kizer was drilled, but what about the absurd pass interference call against Cole Luke when the receiver went over his back to prevent the INT??!! Should have been offensive pass interference! Definitely the worst call I have seen all year. And there should have been another pass interference call on the last VTU TD where the receiver obviously pushed off in the end zone. Those four calls/no calls unquestionably affected the outcome of the game. Infuriating.

      • Yes, the Receiver went over Luke’s back and proceeded to punch the ND defender right in the Head!!!! NO CALL!! Screw this Tobacco Road Conference and their Corrupt Officiating Crews!!! Get ND Football the hell out of that Conference, and end the unfair game conditions (like playing NC in the middle of 1 of NC’s worst Hurricanes in history!!) Unbelievable how this team is being managed from the top down.

        • You are right, Patrick !
          Simple remedy is get rid of the first domino (swabrick) and everything will fall in place….kelly, Tobacco Road Conference, corrupt/inept officiating crews.

    17. Have to disagree John. ND played well enough to win, but atrocious officiating. The interference call on the last VT scoring drive and the no-call on the push-off TD catch are hard to fathom. Clearly ACC officials don’t like the Irish independent status. And while we’re probably stuck with Kelly, can we at least lose Flutie?

      • Denverjoeirish says:

        I don’t think the officiating disdain for the Irish has anything to do with ND’s independent status but I could be wrong. It simply has to do with ND being ND, which was once an elite football program but should now move down to the FCS level considering the direction it’s going. The powerhouse Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, USC and OSU (remember Woody Hayes?) programs of yesteryear were questioning how a small Midwest school could compete and draw such widespread fan support and they and the officials didn’t like ND for it. I’ve seen countless officiating atrocities against the Irish over the last four decades by officials from various conferences.

      • Justavisitor says:

        Can’t say I agree on the atrocoius refereeing calls. There were several
        Turnovers by VT that ND wasn’t able to capitalize on.

        I would say the late game interference call on ND was wrong. Unless
        They say he impeded the receivers path to the ball.

        The late VT TD pass was clean. There’s always pushing off between receivers and DB’s today.

        By the rule Edmonds should have probably been ejected for the targeting hit to The ND QB.

        Just watched the replay and VT dominated the second half pretty soundly: yards and time of
        Possession. Can’t wait till ya’ll come South in ’18. I look forward to extending the hospitality that every single ND can we met extended all day as we toured the campus, tailgated and sat in the stands with.

    18. james twarek says:

      We need to call tom Herman, Its time for a change. This is the worse coaching sense Charlie.

      I put up the first $1.00 to buy out Kelly contract or give him a job in the bookstore.

      Good BYE Kelley! We will get our buts kick against USC!

    19. james twarek says:

      Lets not make same mistake as lsu did this year. Don’t wait another year.

    20. Another debacle that clearly shows Kelly and staff arent even worthy of coaching a high school team. Im also tired of players who makecrhe same mistakes week in and out but still play.

      other than Texas ND is the laughing stock of America. Texas will rectify their problem shortly. It will take a miracle from the BVM for ND to do likewise.

      Im boycotting ND football here on until Kelly and or Swarbick are gone.

      • Denverjoeirish says:

        Speaking of Texas, I’m seeking headlines that prominent UT boosters are demanding that coach Strong be fired. I’m not reading any headlines that ND alumni are making the same demand. WHY?!?!?

    21. james twarek says:

      I wish for a new coach for Christmas! We need the student body to protest at Father Jenkins house just like they did when they fired Charlie.

    22. Why am I not surprised by the outcome? Please let this be BK’s last home game. Please……..

    23. You know I always felt they were not going to win this game. Even when they were up 17. It was a combination of past games and seeing that VT was stopping themselves. ND defense how no ability to stop them. Also like other losses ND offense gets shut down. Lets face it other than one run by Adams they did noting in the second half. I know Kelly will talk about losing close games but I don’t think this game was that close. VT when they needed to move the ball had no problems and ND when they needed to move the ball in the second half had no clue. Kelly like most of ND coaches since Holz has gotten worse rather than better.

      • I had the exact feeling, even when ND was up a ton early – you just knew that a Kelly orchestrated collapse was imminent. In fact, every ND game I’ve watched this year gave me a nauseating sick stomach that took days to recover from: This team is like watching a slow motion train wreck, week in, week out.. yes, even the Army game, because you knew that after that cake walk, Kelly would be acting like he had his team knocking on the door of a National Championship again. When will the misery end!!

    24. I just listened to the press conference. Kelly said he must watch the film in order to determine what VT did differently on defense in the second half to stop us. That sums up his ineptness as a coach. He is a terrible game day coach. He cannot make adjustments on the fly.

    25. Anyone surprised? The other team makes adjustments, and all of sudden neither the offense nor defense can get anything right. Unfortunately, this scene has become all too familiar. I do not know why they bother making all those investments in the facilities around a stadium that hardly matters anymore. Why not take all that money and invest in some real coaches? I feel bad for the seniors. They deserve better. The USC game will be the ugliest game of the year, and one can only hope it would be Kelly’s last. If he comes back, you might as well write off the next season as well.

      As for the officiating, blatantly overlooking the repeated shots to the head is unacceptable and downright sinister. They have no business being referees in college football. We are talking about players well being here. ND has nothing blame but itself for the poor season, but those referees clearly had an anti-ND bias, and should never be allowed to officiate at ND Stadium again. You can bet ND would have gotten called for those types of shots every time. I hope those refs get their due and then some.

    26. Same game. Different team

    27. Then Malik came in for the final play and thought there were 5 mins left. Time to hit the reset button.

    28. Sad thing is Kelly will be back for next year. But by anyone,even the board’s standards, surely it will be do or die for him next year!

    29. It started at the coin toss, why didn’t they want the wind in the 4th quarter?

      • EXACTLY what I Wondered. When A Team Defers Dont You Get The Choice What Goal You Defend? (I dont Know Why It Is Putting In Rando Capital Letters) I Thought You Got That Choice.

    30. ND Dad 2010-2014 says:

      Sat through this one in A very cold ND stadium. Some hits against Kizer could be very well valid in this loss but I must say they should not be what we believe is a premise for the outcome. This team has been outcoached for such a very long time it pains me to point out refs aiding in the loss because of non calls to hits on our QB. More relevant is the lack of coaching and effort to a point where our team at home has the chance to get bowl eligible with a home win after jumping to a 17 point lead…finishing the game and then taking the momentum to USC for a last win. It sounds like fantasy now to become bowl eligible at 6-6 before this game. We have lost the ability to even salvage the season at this point… and sitting in a section with all VT fans who voiced dismay in all the points they left on the field today through three quarters… I must say they were spot on. Time to realize this program is broken after seven years with BK. A must win at home for a chance to continue NDs chance at bowl eligible?… enough said.

    31. I love Mike McGlinchy and I am extremely happy that he said he will be back next year. However, how many false starts have been called against him yesterday, last week and so on? This man is a senior and an obvious talent, so why, after the 11th game of the season is stuff like this happening.
      Not trying to single out Mike M., but how can this continue all year long?
      I have said this last week and once or twice before. There is no player development on this team. Top 15 to 20 recruiting classes and all they can get out of these kids is now 4 and 7, soon to be 4 and 8.
      Stop buying tickets. Stop buying jerseys and t-shirts and other things. Hit them in the pocket book until the administration decides that they too have had enough. As greedy as everyone is in South Bend, it won’t take too long.

    32. I hate to say it,but for the first time since the Kuharich years I just don,t care .Goodbye Sorin Society!

    33. First thing ND must do is eliminate ACC refs when we play ACC schools. Two major targeting hits, one on a sliding QB, totally ignored. It is not the first time this year. Cole Luke’s interference call was definitely one of the most blatant game throwing ref calls of the year. How about at least never allowing that ref near an ND game in the future. On a VTech touchdown the replay clearly shows the receiver pushing off with his hand on the DBs face mask. This was not a momentary push off but a sustained stiff arm hand on or holding the DBs face mask. Like Michigan State, we lost a lot of experienced players and are in a rebuild year. The reason it is so bad is the failure to replace Coach Van Gorder after the bowl game. Trying to revamp midyear certainly distracted Kelly and everyone else. And yes, the failure to spike the ball to stop the clock was a head scratcher.

      • Dear Gutsmo, i must slightly disagree. the FIRST thing ND must do is FIRE BRIAN KELLY!!!!

        • Sebastian
          As I said earlier, get rid of Swabrick, his replacement will get rid of Kelly and get us out of the tobacco road conference and it’s officials so they’ll never step foot in ND stadium

    34. I have been a loyal fan since I grew up in the 80s watching Lou’s great team. Generations of my family have been immigrant catholic ND fans. But I am done. It has been 30 years of mediocrity since then. When Swarbrick said Kelly would be back next year, I have up on this program. Why should I spend my time and energy following a program that accepts mediocrity? I have spent the last 3 Saturdays rooting against ND. I want this program to loose every game. Wait till USC gets its hands on this team. It will be a thrashing.

    35. While there have been a few brief flashes of hope this program has been mired in mediocrity for the past 23 seasons. Brian Kelly’s contributions have been a 59 and 30 record (.663) and three Top 25 finishes in seven seasons.

    36. Tony Dambra says:

      Listen up! ACC refs will almost always favor the teams in their conference. Whether these calls were intentionaly against ND is up for debate. Anybody remember the call against ND vs. Florida State where we would have won the games a couple years back?

      It’s time to join a conference.

      Theses refs will contine to advance “their” teams at the expense of an outsider. It’s always about the $$.

    37. While another disappointment, the fact we were in a shotgun formation from the 6 inch line tells all. Those 4 points could have been the difference. This team is soft because Kelly is soft. When Navy pushes ND around, you know something is wrong. As a Texas alum, I hope we dont fire Strong but if we do then I’dlove for him to come back to ND. I love Notre Dame but it’s getting very hard to watch this team.

    38. While Kelly is a good representative of the university (except for his penchant to berate players while the cameras are on him) he has clearly been a poor in game coach without the ability to make in game adjustments when opponents adjust their offenses and defenses. Thus the recurrent theme of ND starting hot and then losing a big lead and looking lost in the 2nd half. Multiple questionable decisions throughout the season including trying to throw the ball in a hurricane instead of giving Zaire a shot to power the run game but yet changing quarterbacks against Stanford, and again yesterday choosing to take the wind in the 3rd rather than the 4th quarter when so many games have come down to the last few possessions. Of course we have been out coached by Navy too many times to count. The ND brand is definitely suffering. Look at all the empty sheets at the Navy and Army games and the number of VT fans in the stands yesterday. Watching on TV I was struck with the loud cheering from the VT fans and thought it almost sounded like a neutral site game.
      We have to stop giving multiyear extensions to coaches who have not won a national championship. I think Swarbrick needs to petition the Catholic bishops of this country to take up a second collection in all the churches to buy out Kelly’s contract. (We collect for Catholic Univesity so why not for ND?)
      I have been a big Kelly supporter but I don’t think he knows how to fix this and the success of the football team has significant impact on the identity and financial wellbeing of the University.

      • a good representative of the university?!?!?! uhhh how! blames everyone else. cusses out players and coaches. nothing but an arrogant bully! ND lost their way and their values 7 years ago when they hired this A-ho!e. he would make a crappy protestant!

    39. FIRE KELLY!!!
      FIRE KELLY!!!
      FIRE KELLY!!!
      FIRE KELLY!!!
      FIRE KELLY!!!
      FIRE KELLY!!!
      FIRE KELLY!!!
      FIRE KELLY!!!
      (repeated 8 times, one for each loss this year – and yes, I counted our upcoming USC loss.)

    40. Pat Narduzzi Pitt. Great rapport with the players, solid running and passing game,solid defense, disciplined, team toughness. Flying under the radar.

    41. 4.57 points. That’s the avg margin of loss this year, with most or all of them due to failure to close games out. To me that’s a failure of coaching, conditioning, focus, or all 3. The good thing is all 3 can be addressed by replacing the coach with one who does a better job in 2nd half, conditions the players better, and maintains focus for 60 minutes. What a sad, sad state. I don’t want DK to leave, but certainly would not blame him. Trojans are likely going to eat our lunch.

    42. Is there someone out there who would like to start a petition requesting the Administration to ask coash Kelly, for the sake of Notre Dame football, to render his resignation? With thousands of irate/concerned fans messaging Fr. Jenkins in such a petition, perhaps, it might have some influence.

    43. I think Kizer should head to the draft. That will be better for him, and simultaneously force BK to start from scratch and build around a QB that hasn’t seen much game time. Among the staff overhaul that needs to happen is a new D-Coordinator and O-Coordinator. If BK really expects the fan base to be excited about next years prospects by bringing back the same staff, them he shouldn’t be surprised if he gets fired within the next year.

      But honestly, I’m seriously over BK. You simply don’t give up a 24-7 lead like that. Bubble screens on 3 and 4, false starts on 1st and 10, roughing the passer on 3rd and 18, Kizer holding onto the ball too long (can’t he ever check down to at least get 6-8 yard short passes like Virginia Tech’s Evans was doing all day?!), absolutely atrocious missed tackling on special teams causing what should have been a 5 yard return become a 30 yard return, etc etc. All points to coaching. These little things add up and cause the 7 point or less losses we’ve come to get used to under BK.

      Frankly I hope USC beats the hell out of us. Maybe it’ll wake up the administration to do something. Too bad he’s extended through 2021….that’ll be one hell of a buyout. We need an administration overhaul (Swarbrick, Jenkins, et. al).

      • totally agree but here is my big fear. how is nd going to get a first rate DC when everyone knows that brian kelly is on the hottest seat in the country next year. who would uproot their family to come to ND when (if you look at next years schedule!) brian kelly could easily be 3-3 at the bye week.

    44. The hardest thing to do in college football is win on the road. This ND team had THREE actual road games. No other team in the country even comes close to that. This team has yet to play an actual ranked team! Seven losses to unranked teams, several with below .500 records and yet they whine about close losses? And don’t give me the nonsense about academic standards. Kelly himself told Sports Illustrated and ESPN that the average GPA and test scores for his team – 2.7 GPA and 23 on the ACT -are well below that of the student body -3.7 and 33. Stanford and Nortwestern have far superior numbers and better teams. Also, they never get the four and five star players ND gets.

    45. It took Lou Holtz 11 years to lose 32 games.

      This record will be broken by Brian Kelly in SEVEN years.

      Enough said.

    46. Tony Dambra says:

      Attention! Attention!
      All ND fans refer to Sean’s post game answers. Follow his advice, nothing furthest needs to be done!

      Get to the Grotto!

    47. Just saw USC won 36-14 last night and ND is a 16 point doggie next week. It’s going to be ugly. Why have USC, Michigan and Penn State risen from the depths and ND is moving in the opposite direction? We all know the answer.

    48. The VT coach was penalized 15 yards for vehemently protesting the 5 yard false start call against his O-line in the 2nd Q. Why wasn’t Kelly just as outraged over the 2 helmet hits on DK in the 2nd half? If refs fail to throw the flag, what about the booth officials who allegedly can review such concussion inducing hits?

      Kelly should have gone onto the field to protest these non-calls and non-reviews even if it cost 15 yards or had him tossed from the game. Or, at least threaten to forfeit the game by having his team walk off the field in protest for such poor officiating. If NCAA rules require QBs to be protected, and officials seemingly ignore their responsibility to do so, the head coach has to do more than grimace on the sideline. If Kelly can repeatedly berate a player on TV for not going out of bounds with a minute remaining, he certainly can be as livid if his QB is intentionally hit in the head not once but twice in the 4th Quarter.

    49. We live in the greatest country in the history of the world. ND used to be one of the greatest programs in the history of college football. I view the ND admin (starting with Jenkins), just like the elites running our country….complete buffoons!!! Until enough fans show up at Jenkins door and demand better, nothing will change, just like the last election (regardless of who won, people are ticked off). Kelly will never win games until he gets a real defense and I hope we don’t wait that long in getting a new coach. Think of all the $$ ND has wasted in extended contracts with the wrong coaches, could have been used for a better coach. I live in Ohio and 40 miles south of Ann Arbor. The ND admin has no idea how difficult it is to be a punching bag with osu and um fans all around me. It’s so embarrassing! Even they feel sorry for me now. They all say the same thing, how can nd permit this mediocrity for the past 25 yrs? ND supposedly prides itself on such high academics. How the hell do you idiots keep making the wrong decisions? I’m so disgusted and wait till SC blows our doors off next week, it’s going to be ugly. I truly feel bad for the players, they deserve so much more from Jenkins ivory tower!!!

    50. His name should be Brian Jelly because he and his players are soooooo soft. Obviously, Jelly needs to be dismissed as soon as possible, if not 4 weeks ago! Swarbucks needs to be replaced as well. But we are ND football fans who look at it from a “compete for the playoff” mentality. If it were up to us, swarbucks and Jelly would be gone, and we’d be negotiating a deal with Tom Hermans agent NOW !!! HOWEVER, I have severe doubts that the ND Administration REALLY wants to consistently compete for the CFB playoff, and therefore I doubt they will replace Kelly before 2017, unfortunately. It will take that much time for university beancounters to figure out that football related revenue will be taking a severe hit in the near to mid term. In fact, non-football related revenue may also decrease substantially.

      Solution: Hire new AD and head football coach ASAP. Strongly consider just flat out joining the ACC so we’re aren’t constantly disadvantaged by both CFB playoff criteria and biased officials. Do what you have to do to get elite defensive lineman in here. Failing to make the first of these moves prior to 2017 will result in a disastrous 5 year period that will indeed lead us to question whether ND should just join the Ivy League or dismantling the football program and becoming the University of Chicago – East Campus. The ND Admin must make this fork in the road decision NOW !!!

    51. Same old shit just another Saturday afternoon. Rode the Harley instead of wasting another day watching Kelly get out coached again.
      Checked the score when fueling the bike and nd was up 17 points. Told my buddies they will blow the lead and lose.
      Well, I was right again. What a waste of talent and another year down the drain.
      If Kelly doesn’t get fired after SC crushes him, don’t know what it will take.
      Thank God I live out west where riding the Harley is an option instead of watching Kelly get out coached again.

    52. Good news is he lost yesterday, and SC is getting really tough so I give them
      an 85% chance to win the game. I said before the Army game that if he lost 2 games there would be a 66% chance he would lose his job, which is still
      too high, considering he and ND have not beaten a great team since FSU in 1993. OU was not that good in 2012, nor was FSU in 2002. Regardless, ND is a coaches’ graveyard. Definitely need a great leader at coach who can handle the limelight because the last 4 coaches have not been able to handle the politics of ND and coach the team at the same time.

    53. Fire Brian Kelly and then go get the check book and head to Columbus and pay Urban Meyer to come to ND. A proven winner, like when Holtz came to ND…we all knew we would begin to start winning again and compete for the National Championship. Don’t hire another experiment. Four years in a row and nothing to show for. Insanity! Go get a championship coach…the one in Columbus. The wins and championship potentials will more then pay back what you are spending. Meyer won the NC’s at Florida, Ohio State and if he comes to ND and wins, he will be I believe the only coach in the history of college football to win NC’s at three different colleges. I think that would appeal to him..and sure make alot of ND fans happy!

      • What makes you think Meyer would want to come to ND? He’s had the chance before and didn’t do it, so why would he do it now?

    54. J Phillips says:

      I wrote after the Texas game when Tori Hunter was
      Injured by blatant targeting and the ACC crew
      negligently ignored this, that ND needed to withdraw
      From the ACC to protect our athletes. ND is negligent
      In not protecting our players. As demonstrated
      Saturday VT’s #22 blatant targeting of Kizer was
      And will continue to be ignored by the despicable
      ACC crews and conference officials. These southern
      Imbeciles will never get over the fact that ND students
      Beat the crap out of the KKK when they converged
      On South Bend decades ago. Join the Big 10.

      • sean naughten ND'61 says:

        I feel the same way….however Indiana had the largest contingent of KKK members in the country during the 20’s and 30’s….in 1927, from southern Indiana the KKK came up the Dixie Hwy, Rt. 31, and held a meeting in SB,…ND students went into town and confronted them and all hell broke out with a good number of students being arrested….I am a NYC guy living in SC now and things are improving but there is still a ND bias, but it still would exist in the big 10…Michigan did not want ND to join the Western Conference (as it was known during the Rockne years) because of its Catholic identity….however 2 prominent catholics, Joe Paterno and Coach K of Duke have been ardent ND haters in the past 25 years.
        Duke fans have always hated ND.

        • Let em hate. I couldn’t care less…

        • Glad to see ND fans in S Carolina. Hoping to move there soon. We’ll join forces and educate the “south” on what a great university Notre Dame is. We’ll have to wait a bit I’m afraid to brag on our football team however!

    55. Hans Hoerdemann says:

      Bring back natural grass.

    56. ND’s recruiting class rank the last 4 years: 6,11,13,15 I see a pattern that is not looking good. Then when you look at the recruiting ranking as compared to their win/loss record, ND is not turning its players.
      Now according to Kelly it is the players fault …..I see an error in his self judgement/value. I hope there was a win/loss clause in his 6 year extension. I am so tired of ND paying for two under performing
      coaches instead of paying for one excellent coach. They are out there, ND just needs to pay for talent.

    57. Kelly should do the classy thing and step down after the season. He looks like a man who can’t stand his job anymore. He should go back to coaching I-AA or Div II. Accept a partial buyout from ND, get a new job and move on, amicably. But judging from how arrogant he seems to be that will never happen. He’s gonna have to be booted and massively bought off like Charlie. Ugh. It seems hard to believe now the Philadelphia Eagles were once inches from hiring this dude. Is there anyone left in Notre Dame nation at all who thinks he deserves more time and chances?

    58. Relax everyone. Notre Dame is a basketball school.

    59. I love Kizer but he is not the answer for ND nor is Kelly. ND will be 15-15 under Kelly in the last 30 games and Kizer will be 12-11 as the staring QB. This season was lost last year with Van Gorder coming back, Kelly not picking a QB AND Kelly not turning over the O calls to Sanford. The D can be blamed for some losses but the O play calling and special teams have been just as detrimental to the team. If Kelly does not bring in a top 5 D coordinator, he won’t survive one more year. Non-football fans can blame injuries last year and youth this year, but football fans know the issues ND faces go far beyond those issues. Win or lose, I will continue to be ND’s number fan. I am just tired of all the close games and loses in the 4th quarter

    60. Carlos Bauza says:

      The only decent thing Brian Kelly can do After the coming loss to USC is to deliver his prepared resignation letter.
      He can only admit to failing his intent to “win championships” at ND. Resignation is only decent. And hanging on is another story.

    61. Charlie Strong historical

    62. Game Day……Same result…..Thank GOD there is one more game and no bowl game to continue to watch this disaster called ND Football!!! PATHETIC!!!

    63. Kizer will go to NFL – no way he comes back – the guy is a mental mess – coach in his face and has destroyed his confidence. Higher ups will continue to spin it – hasn’t been up to standards for a long time. Get beat by Duke, Navy, blow leads week after week. Let’s get back to basics and stop the nonsense.

    64. I am a 1965 alumni and have also had it. Seems like every year we are playing true freshmen at multiple positions. BK looks lost and constantly angry on the sidelines. He NEVER makes adjustments during halftime. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Time to move on. I will continue to contribute because I love ND as an institution but will no longer buy tickets until a change is made. Have been going to at least one game a year for over 50 years, but no more. The price gouging for tickets, parking and everything else has gotten worse every year too. Don’t know if I can bear to watch USC game. Talk about teams going in opposite directions!

    65. I frankly feel as though Kelly does not really enjoy coaching at Notre Dame anymore, and I think he now knows he can’t get it done there. I don’t see the administration firing him this year and we will probably have to continue to endure watching the total demise of ND football. Finally…I hope I am wrong.

      • Agree, I think he’s thinking to himself, I’ve done everything I can do.
        Weis got there with the hand holding final game at Stanford in 2009.
        ND is too sleepy of a school to handle a top 5 football team, sorry to say.

    66. The ACC refs are horrible every week not just against ND. The ACC favors other ACC schools over ND as they get nothing when ND wins as ND does not share TV revenue as other ACC schools do. FOLLOW THE $$$.

    67. Was at game directly behind VT bench. Based on eyeball test, the game was a talent mismatch, but the game was a microcosm of the season, bad coverage, bad tackling, bad scheme and lack of offensive patience. Most importantly, soft play. Up by 7 late and three and out, no runs, no short passes, no nothing. Not one here to blame the HC for everything, but when you lose as many close games as Coach Kelly has, I don’t want to here that the fault lies elsewhere. ND can compete with anybody, no excuses, we just need the right guy and Coach Kelly unfortunately is nit the right guy.

    68. Like I’ve been saying since I was a student in 2001, it is impossible for Notre Dame to play a pick ’em schedule of top tier opponents year in and year out. All the while, requiring each player to get an undergrad degree done in 4 years only. The big name football programs out there allow each player to get 5 years to complete one degree.

      In a sport where depth matters and 3 points often separates the wins from the losses, the extra year of depth matters SO SO SO much.

      Spare me comparisons btwn Stanford and Northwestern. Both of those programs are in an established conference with like opponents year in and year out.

      There is so much churn in ND football (scheduling, players gone in 4 years, impossible standards). Take it from someone who actually has first hand knowledge of how one football factory specifically works, and what we do in South Bend. We shoot ourselves in the foot with the way we approach everything relating to football. And frankly, I’m sick of it.
      But I think I’m one out of 44 posters on this blog and there are 85,000 other fans who sheepily walk in an accept this garbage product on the field.

      Why is it, that other programs reload after losing 8 leaders?
      Why is it that other programs can handle this churn?
      Why is it that even those “leaders” get run in the fiesta bowl?
      There is just not the fight to do the impossible task that is ND football and I can’t blame it. there are structural changes that desperately need to be made.

      Happy no bowl season. We don’t have to worry about getting run after next week.

    69. Like Kizer related in the presser, “What do you want me to say?” This team stinks from top to bottom. They were in position to win every game they lost (Coaching), the offensive line gets handled weekly, the defensive line applies no pressure, the secondary plays ten yards off opponents, the tackling is marginal and special teams has been a joke. Kizer to the NFL? Why? So he can be a career backup like all the rest? What a mess.

    70. When it rains, it pours. 0-13 for both 2012 and 2013 per NCAA today? Is part of this the Golson hangover?

    71. Kelly embarrasmment to Notre dame. I know the trainer committed the cheating but he is the leader. I wish Notre dame could have got a bowl ban penalty. Then they would fire him. He has run a very diappointing program. He has had more problems then any other coach at Notre dame. Fire him now!

      • ND wants too much out of their athletes.
        Why aren’t there general studies majors available to these football players?
        They are begging cheating by forcing football players to attend rigid courses, taught by full profs and students payingfull freight looking to go to med school or ascend in other disciplines.

        Just one more example of how ND can’t run a 21st century football program.
        Offer a watered down track for guys that can’t hang academically and have one bad option, cheating.

        Then, we don’t have to read disruptive and USAToday articles that lump us with the institutions that actually cheat.

    72. Kelly’s NCAA probation officer will not permit him to travel to California.

    73. The problems goes deeper than Brian Kelly. It starts with the administration, Fr. Jenkins, Swarbrick, and trickles on down. Nothing will change until Fr. Jenkins is replaced, and then Jack Swarbrick, and then Brian Kelly. There are too many elitists at Notre Dame now with their new agenda. They want to be “Ivy League” in academics and now it has taken over football. With the trailer trash artificial turf, to the crappy NFL style ghetto music blasting on the intercom, to the new video board next year. Wow, 700 million dollar buildings and prices that just keep going up, and what a great product 4-8, after next week. Of course I am being sarcastic with the “great” product remark. I have supported ND my entire life and finished graduate school there, but I am so disappointed that instead of Almighty God being worshiped, it is all about the almighty dollar now. They need to clean house and the fans and alumni need to send a message by boycotting the football program until they can get a decent coach who “Gets” Notre Dame. Unfortunately, the elitists do not want Notre Dame to be Notre Dame, they want it to be a watered down Ivy League school or Stanford or Northwestern. We are not that ! We are supposed to be ND. Now ND means No Different. There are still good people there and they do a lot of good, but there are some upper administration people that need to be voted out.

      GO IRISH! 🙂

    74. If Kelly survives this something is up. No other coach would survive this. He has been a major catastrophe since day 1. All the stuff that happened on his watch is grounds for termination We Are ND n We must act like it and niws the time

    75. The NCAA announcement today must be the last straw. For the good of the university, I believe it is time to wipe the slate clean and start anew.

    76. ND Dad 2010-2014 says:

      You can’t put a Notre Dame football team on the field with a lack of integrity and leadership like we have not seen for a very long time with BK and those who have been his predecessors since Lou. We have made tremendous mistakes since saying bye to Urban Meyer and now have to face reality ….a reality we should have recognized 20 years ago. Big time College football may be dirty but we may have been able to bridge the gap somewhat with a coach who understood the environment and philosophy and maybe the distance we needed to overcome between an academic standard and a nationl championship. This pathetic state was in the workings for a very long time.

    77. This is a classic example of the ineptitude of the NCAA. These sanctions, even if they are reversed, scream loudly “Don’t self report and do like ND and internally address the situation.” The country’s sick and tired of pinheads running the show. ND supporters can be a little paranoid, true, but after last weekends horrible display of biased officiating, it’s time to circle the wagons. Firing Kelly now would send the wrong message to the NCAA and college football. It’s time to fight Irish!

    78. Whatever NCAA. Feels like ND has had self imposed sanctions for 30+ yrs. Please, will someone make ND a power house once more.