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  • Georgia’s Defense Stifles Irish

    by John Vannie

    Georgia’s relentless defense recorded takeaways on two strip-sacks of Brandon Wimbush in the final seventeen minutes, and the Bulldogs hung on for a hard fought 20-19 victory over Notre Dame on Saturday night. Both offenses and their young quarterbacks struggled to gain traction throughout the evening. Wimbush was 19 of 39 for 211 yards, while Georgia’s Jake Fromm was 16 of 29 for 146 yards. The lead changed hands four times in the second half, and the Dawgs overcame a 19-17 deficit with 3:34 remaining on a 28-yard field goal by Rodrigo Blankenship. Justin Yoon, who was perfect on the evening, had put the Irish in front earlier in the fourth quarter with his fourth field goal. Notre Dame had two opportunities in the final minutes to retake the lead, but Wimbush was under intense pressure and the final strip-sack by Davin Bellamy and Lorenzo Carter ended the game.

    The teams employed similar defensive game plans that loaded up against the run and challenged the quarterbacks to generate offense through the air. Both secondaries were able to cover receivers with a single defender without getting burned, and both sides suffered from dropped passes when someone did manage to get open. Meanwhile, running room was scarce, particularly for the Irish who recorded only 55 yards on the ground. Georgia was much more successful with 185 yards, but Notre Dame’s improved front seven stopped them enough times to earn a better fate.

    The teams exchanged field goals in the first quarter before the Irish recovered a fumble in Georgia territory early in the second period. Wimbush scored moments later from a yard out and a 10-3 lead. The Dawgs answered on the ensuing series as Terry Godwin made a great catch of a Fromm pass in the corner of the end zone. Yoon converted a 42-yarder a few minutes before halftime and Notre Dame took a 13-10 lead into the locker room.

    After a missed three point attempt by Blankenship to open the third quarter, Yoon answered with a 37-yarder to extend the hosts lead to 16-10. Two costly penalties allowed the Dawgs to answer, and they retook the lead by 17-16 on a six yard run by Sony Michel with 4:34 remaining in the period. Wimbush brought the Irish back to the Georgia 35, but was hit hard while attempting to pass and coughed up the football.

    Notre Dame was driving again as the game entered the final quarter. After a costly motion penalty, a third down scramble by Wimbush fell just short of a first down. Yoon was summoned to knock one through the uprights with 10:21 remaining in the game for a precarious 19-17 advantage. Georgia took over later after an exchange of punts, and rode a 31-yard completion to Javon Wims into scoring territory. Blankenship’s 29-yarder with 3:34 left accounted for the winning points.

    The game was tense but sloppy throughout, as evidenced by numerous penalties, dominant defenses and seventeen punts. Each side suffered two turnovers while barely avoiding others, particularly due to high risk passes. The Notre Dame offensive line was not effective against the fast and powerful Dawgs, and the Irish receivers dropped several Wimbush passes. Georgia employed a spy on Wimbush all night and held him to one net rushing yard.

    Let’s review the answers to the pregame questions:

    Which quarterback will make more positive plays and minimize mistakes? Wimbush was slightly better statistically, but both players struggled for most of the night. Fromm did have a touchdown pass and hit Wims on a deep throw late in the game to set up the winning points.

    Can Notre Dame match Georgia yard for yard in the running game? No, the Irish could not sustain anything on the ground and Dexter Williams did not even get an opportunity to run it.

    Which elite receiver, St. Brown or Wims, will have a greater impact? Both had only two receptions, but the late grab by Wims had the greater impact on the outcome.

    Will the Irish enjoy continued success in the red zone? No, they settled for field goals with one lone exception.

    Can Justin Yoon regain his confidence from field goal range? Yes, and he looked great as he kept his team in the game.

    Will Notre Dame fans need the Jacktron to get them to make noise? A hard fought game like this one that captivates the fans does not need gimmicks to raise the noise level.

    Will the Dothraki horde of Georgia fans drown them out anyway? It was pretty close. The Sea of Red was at least 30,000 strong, and this applies to both shirts and necks.

    The Irish can rebound from this difficult loss, but the offense needs better answers at wide receiver besides St. Brown and must clean up issues in pass protection. The defense simply must stay healthy and continue to play with the energy and determination we saw tonight.

    110 Responses to “Georgia’s Defense Stifles Irish”

    1. Speed kills. Georgia and the SEC for the most part has big strong and fast playmakers who run to the ball. Irish had the game and ready to win a big one at home but a freshman QB (many mistakes) with a FAST team did us in again. Kudos to the D … but when are we going to get the wake up … slow on both sides hasn’t got it done for years

    2. Not just drops; drops at crucial downs.

    3. Where was the offensive line tonight???? McGlichey is an All-American candidate and was absolutely abused. Defense played very well, but also benefited from GA miscues.

      • I totally agree. This offensive line has been overrated for 3 years. I cant see any of them having an NFL future.
        future. If they couldn’t handle Georgia’s speed, how about the NFL???

      • I’m at a perpetual loss at how NDs offensive lines have got so much positive press over the last three years or so.

    4. Tough loss fellas! You played with heart and get an “A” for effort! Now for my customary, dopey comments:
      1. As mentioned in a previous post, this is Kelley’s swan song. He is the consummate 8-4 coach (at best) and will not get the Irish where they need to be in order to truly compete for a NC. He has given it his best, however his best identifies him as a decent coach, not a great one. We need a great one.
      2. The kicking game was excellent. Tyler was booming the punts and Justin is “money!” Well done.
      3. Hats off to the defense for a solid performance. It wasn’t great, but much improved. They kept us in the game and should be commended. This is ironic to me since for most of the past decade we relied on high powered offenses to make up for lousy defenses. Now there’s a switch!
      4. Once again, the offensive play calling was awful. For crying out loud, just get the first down. Screen passes were terrible; low percentage sideline routes down the field when all you need is three yards; BW constantly running the ball for minimal or negative gains, you’re going to get this poor kid killed!
      5. The offensive line was completely outmatched. McGlinchey got owned all night, and I believe he knew it judging by his reaction after being responsible for the final fumble. First round pick?? That is a total fiction.
      6. BW is not in the same category as Golson or Kizer. They were both miles ahead at this stage in their young careers. In fairness, he had to contend with the porous offensive line and the perpetually collapsing pocket this evening. That said, he does not display accuracy in any sense of the word as he either threw balls into the turf or out of bounds on numerous plays in which he was pressured. Hats off to the heroic efforts shown by the receivers who he “stretched out” for most of the night.

      Oh well, next up is a hapless BC squad. We should win that one on our way to another predictable loss against Michigan State. Hang in there, lads! The coaching search is likely well underway.

      • I respectfully disagree with your assessment of Wimbush, and it is way too early to judge him after two games. I watched him play throughout his high school career, and have a very good idea of his capabilities. It is true that he made a couple of inaccurate throws last night, but Georgia subjected him to intense pressure, and there were also a number of critical drops. He has a cannon for an arm and when he settles in, he will be a very accurate passer.

        The problem last night was a disastrous performance by the O line, not the QB. And the Irish do not have a second big time receiver like Stepherson to complement EQ, as I noted in my earlier post. I seriously doubt that Golson or Kizer would have done any better against the terrific Georgia defense.

        • I hope I am wrong as well. I prefaced my observation with the crappy play by the offensive line. However I will maintain that Golson and Kizer were much better. I have yet to observe a cannon arm.

          • domerdocmn99 says:

            I agree. Tons of balls in the dirt in front of wide open receivers. Looked like the guy that ended up as a linebacker at Cincinnati… It would be understandable if he was a true freshman. Sadly, he’s actually a junior on campus. With him at the helm, we are destined to another 7-5 season. Pack your bags BK…

          • But you will. Do some research. It is a well known fact. This is a guy who was recruited by Alabama, Penn State and many others. I have an advantage, having seen Brandon play many games in high school.

        • irishrifle: I agree 100 percent with what you said about Wimbush. This was only his second start and he was up against probably a Top 5 defense in the country. Their front seven was dominant and left ND with no running game whatsoever. I thought Wimbush displayed a great deal of poise and courage and we have him for two more seasons after this one.

      • On point #6 you must either be crazy or one of those fans who never even played touch football by the time you were in sixth grade. But that doesn’t make sense because the rest of your critique is good. Do you have something personal against Wimbush?

        • Hey, I said my comments were dopey.

        • Okay, I’ll jump into this fray. When my bride of 41 years mentions after the game that BW did not display one smidgen of confidence or leadership, either on the field in huddles or on the sideline, it’s a pretty clear indicator that the kid (at least for this game) was in way over his head. How he actually completed 50% of his passes is remarkable given that it seemed he was either throwing into the feet of wideouts, away over the sidelines, or 10 feet over the head of receivers. Not once did I see him clap his hands to his teammates, be vocal and animated. Rather, he always looked scared, tired and confused. However, our QB wasn’t the most noticeable problem. What in God’s name was Chris Long thinking? JHC!! How many times did he call painfully slow read options to JA33 that didn’t make it out of the backfield. To think you can do the same things that don’t work over and over again and expect different results is the height of stupidity. And to top everything off, BK’s performance in the post game presser was embarrassing. I’ve been a BK apologist for most of his tenure, but I’m being forced to think otherwise. Georgia is NOT a great team. To score five times and only come away with 19 points is, well, mind blowing. Thinking that BC, Miami(O), Wake and Navy would be guaranteed W’s have now become huge maybe’s. And, if I hear one more thing about our all-america left side of the O line, I’m going to shoot myself.

          • Oh, and one more thing. When asked after the game why Dexter Williams didn’t play, he would only say it was a coach’s decision. What? Our quickest, most elusive back not seeing one minute of play time when JA33 was running like he was wearing a 150 lb. back pack makes my blood boil. What the hell is going on out there? Vince Lombardi’s words could never be more appropriate.

            • You read my mind, Jack. We all love ND, but are tired of the excuses. We are simply not competitive and haven’t been for a long time. Could you imagine if Saban, Meyer, or even Harbaugh had been at the helm for eight, going on nine seasons with these results? Like yourself, I have been a BK supporter for most of his tenure, however objectivity demands that we face facts rather than hoping for “next year” to rationalize our angst.

    5. Defense looked much improved, lots of nice tackles and some big plays. At a loss with offense, o-line got whooped. Wimbush looked a bit lost and not ready for prime time yet. Also, at a loss with why Williams received no carries after a fabulous, productive game last week. Oh well, expected a worse outcome and they really could have won this one.

      • I’m stunned about Williams too. I like Adams, but he’s a grinder and doesn’t move through the gears like Williams does. I thought Kelly was going with a plan of using Adams to bruise for the first half and bring out Williams with fresh legs and a higher motor for the second. I should have known better.

    6. Elkhart Joe says:

      Tough game but exciting to watch. Very impressed with the new D. Hopefully it energizes recruiting. Proud of the team the way the kept fighting. Somebody has to win and somebody has to lose. Hopefully we win many this year.

    7. And the losing streak begins…

    8. I was impressed with the Irish defense they were much better than I thought the would be, but not with the passing accuracy from Wimbush. He’s a tough kid and took big shots, but he missed too many open receivers.

    9. Terry McManus says:

      They lost to a better team, but they could have won with just a little more luck.

      Georgia’s team speed was just too much, especially their defensive line which controlled the ND offensive line the whole game, specifically the strip-sack on Wimbush with a few seconds to go in which Georgia’s right defensive end went by McGlinchey as if he weren’t even there.

      The strength and conditioning program is already paying off dividends, and it was good seeing Kelly talking calmly to Wimbush on the sideline and to the whole team. This was a tough game to lose but they’ll get over it – this team has character.

    10. Georgia’s defense was helped by a slow offensive line who missed a lot of assingments.

    11. Impressed with the defense and their entire game effort. Best I have seen in years for ND. The offense needs alot of work. If ND had an offense like years past, they would be national championship contenders. No doubt. It was a very good game to watch and obviously disappointed at the final outcome.

    12. I once heard a saying that went like this: “If nothing changes, then nothing changes”. That is how I felt
      about the offensive play calling last night, pitiful! Adams left, Adams right, Wimbush around the
      end! Wimbush is not going to hold up if this continues to be the game plan, he took way to many hits!
      What happened to this 3-headed running back system we heard about all preseason? Dexter Williams goes
      from torching Temple for 124 yards last week to not even touching the ball yesterday! Adams is big and I
      get it but Williams is faster and gets to the edge, he can match the defensive speed. Adams looked tired
      in the 4th quarter after being “the guy” all night. And the o-line, please, the o-line stunck it up! I am sick
      of hearing about the all-americans and NFL ready o-line we have and they continue to get flagged for
      false starts, can’t protect our QB when it counts, and only get us 60 yards rushing? If Chip and Brian continue
      this type of scheme offensively it won’t be long until we are looking at 4-8 again! If Williams doesn’t get
      in the games look for him to transfer, he has too much talent to be riding the pine. Wimbush looked like
      a QB who has only started 2 games last night, completely missing open receivers and not ready for “prime
      time” especially since he had zero time to set his feet and make a throw! Georgia is a good team but they are
      in the bottom tier of the SEC. If they had a QB like we are gonna face against USC this secondary would
      have been torched. However, that is one bright spot to last night, the defense. This defense is miles ahead
      of our offense in talent and execution! The defense played big time ball and came up big last night, very
      impressed with how Elko has these guys ready to play and executing. D. Hayes is the real deal, D. Tranquill
      as “Rover” is working very well and the front 7 overall did very well against 2 legit running backs. Hats off
      to this defense for 2 games played at a higher level so far! So Chip and Brian, are you going to do something
      different as far as the play calling and using the 3 running backs you have, or is it going to be the same ole
      same old? I pray you make some changes quickly in your play calling!

    13. Heartbreaker. To the Irish faithful that sold there tickets.. just shameful. I hope the profit you made goes into your church collection baskets. Had to be so sad for our players coming out of the tunnel seeing that. Defense finally learned how to tackle witch was awesome but now the offensive line can’t block .

      • Amen.

      • How can you blame them? What has ND football given us fans in the last 21 years?!?!? The on field product is not worth the money.

        • Jerrod: Then keep your money and stay home. For those who sold their tickets to Georgia fans, you certainly have that right, but don’t ever try to tell me you’re real Notre Dame fans because you’re not. My hunch is those who sold their tickets are the ones who complain the most when Miami (Ohio), Ball State and Western Michigan appear on our home schedule, so why buy tickets to ND games if you don’t want to see classic matchups against outstanding teams like Georgia? True Notre Dame fans would die before doing that. Count me as one of them. GO IRISH, BEAT B.C.!

    14. When was the last time ND beat a significant opponent? Anyone?

    15. Not a surprising outcome! The hurricane news was on instead of the game, but I followed from time-to-time on ESPN Gamecast. Again, a BK ND team can’t find a way to win against a decent team. UGA is not what they were 5-10 years ago, like the whole SEC East, but they are rather physical compared to Temple, and the Irish D could not shut down the run against a team led by a limited Freshman QB.

      Settling for FGs was indicative of an offense that couldn’t run the ball, and seize the game. As I could tell last week, Wimbush has accuracy and timing issues, but the 39 throws were a lot, so again the ND offense isn’t physical enough to run, and BK and the O Coordinator can’t coach the QB well enough or draw up a simple enough passing attack. I wonder how many fans ND has lost over the years due to the mediocre coaching over the past two decades?

      • Martin Medvetz says:

        How many fans have we lost? Don’t need to look any further than the amount of red in the crowd, not to mention last weeks game sold out at the last minute.

    16. Once again we are on the other end of a close game decided by one possession (1-7 last year, Kelly’s record at ND in close games must be awful). Another rare opponent gets to come into our house and enjoy all of our festivities and also a win. The Dan Devine “nobody comes into our house and pushes us around” no longer applies. One has to question the play calling and lack of adjustments given what we were trying to execute didn’t work. Another season and already disappointing. The talent is there and we should still finish with a decent record, but can’t beat top opponents. Congrats to the 30-40k Georgia fans who paid for a fun weekend, guarantee when we go to Georgia in 2 years we won’t pass the 8k tickets we are allotted. Terrible to see so many fans sell their tickets to the opponent. One thing that has really improved is tackling in the open field, hopefully we can continue to improve with he fundamentals.

    17. Flutie and Hicks need to go. Period. CBK post game presser was priceless.

    18. Very fair and balanced assessment. I am stunned at the overall ineffectiveness of the offensive line and extremely disappointed in particular with the performance of Mike McGlinchey, culminating with his total whiff on the edge rusher which led to the strip sack from the blind side on Brandon Wimbush that sealed the game for Georgia. There was also a critical offsides penalty on Robert Gainsay that turned what may well have been a TD drive into one in which the team had to settle for a field goal.

      The running game was nonexistent. Again, that largely falls on the offensive line, although it appeared that Josh Adams was running tentatively at times. Georgia has a strong defense, but holding the Irish to 55 yards rushing is totally unacceptable. Agree with you that there were too many dropped passes and that the wide receivers other than EQ are not impressive. Team could really have used Kevin Stepherson last night, as having a second game changer to complement EQ would have been huge.

      The most encouraging part of last night’s game was the defense. It was tough and resilient, something we have not seen very often in recent years. They played their hearts out and did more than their share in their efforts to secure a victory for the Irish. This bodes very well for the balance of the year.

      Finally, it is unfortunate the Georgia incomplete pass early in the game, as ruled on the field, was overturned by the replay crew and turned into a TD. There was nothing approaching incontrovertible evidence which would have justified that overturn. The receiver was juggling the ball throughout the attempted one-handed catch and was clearly still doing so when his left elbow touched the ground out of bounds thereby ending the play. If the call had been correctly upheld, Georgia would have had to settle for a field goal, and the outcome of the game may well have been different.

    19. Five things we learned:
      1. Kelly again fails to game plan a big game.
      2. Chip Long not calling plays. I am a Memphis grad and under Long last year they spread defenses and ran from multiple sets with many wr reverses. Saw none of that last night.
      3. Kelly determined to run up middle even when nothing there.
      4. Kelly does not use tight end to ease pressure. And O line including McGlinchy way over rated
      5. ND needs to buy more stick em for receivers

      Very frustrating loss at home. Especially against a true freshman qb in an away game. Under Kelly no opposing team fears Rock’s House

    20. Agree with above. Almost all of it, actually.

      Where was our “All-Universe” O-Line? Perhaps they didn’t read all the hype about how good they are supposed to be. THAT was the difference-maker to me: the inability to run and run late. One of those FG’s is a TD and this is a different story. We get a few 1st downs and give Yoon one last chance and this is a different story.

      The D was more than equal to the task and was the only pleasant surprise. All of the other surprises were decidedly UNpleasant. Special Teams were much improved from last week.

      I have not been a Kelly hater by any stretch. I still don’t hate him, but the weight of evidence suggests that he has a ceiling and we have seen it. He doesn’t win big games. Full Stop. So, the best we can hope is that we win the games we are solid favorites in and the rest–oh well. I guess that means 8-4 or 9-3 this year and an appearance in the “ Who The Hell Cares” Bowl on December 28th. JS will have to decide if that’s good enough for Notre Dame. The argument is always “Well, who ya gonna get to replace him that’s better?”. Find a young guy and bet heavy on him. The facts suggest that we have seen Kelly’s best days. Accept that or move on. As somebody sagacious wrote above, “If nothing changes, nothing changes”. Many of you guys have been saying this for years. Guess I am just a slow learner. Thanks for tolerating my rant.

    21. All the program changes constituted a Lateral Arabesque instead of a move forward. Read “The Peter Principle”. Coach Kelly reached his top competence Before Notre Dame. Now he is beyond his point of competence.

    22. Terry McManus says:

      IMO Doug Flutie wishes he had gone to Notre Dame.

      WR – Give Boykin a chance.

      So we lost a heartbreaker – whatcha’ gonna do next?

      We need to give BC a whippin’ – bounce back.

    23. Without question Georgia has an outstanding defense and it will be the finest unit ND faces all year. But with two possible first round draft choices on the left side of the offensive line can’t you muster more than 79 rushing yards on 34 carries on your home field? McGlinchey and Nelson looked like overmatched redshirt freshman most of the night. I’ve never been enamored with Hiestand’s coaching.

      The highly questionable roughing the passer call in the third quarter arguably cost ND the game, but they need to overcome those things and still win.

      Yes, Notre Dame played with a lot of heart and didn’t give up. But the more things change the more they stay the same. This is just another one of Kelly’s too many to count signature close loss “wins” to a top 15-20 team. And before the super fans lecture me that we can’t win them all I understand that but the problem is that WE DON’T WIN ANY OF THESE GAMES (Ok, maybe in 2012 but that’s five years ago).

      So once again ND snatches defeat from the jaws of victory. Expect close losses to USC, Stanford and possibly one more foe. The apple dumpling gang rides again. 8-4 here we come.

    24. Mike Elko and the defensive staff deserve kudos. The unit is starting to do all the little things necessary to kill drives and keep opponents out of the end zone. The fundamentals and open field tackling are vastly improved over the last several years.

    25. Will Chip Kelly keep coach Elko when he’s hired next year. Night and day defensive improvement.

      • Bob Stoops. Much better coach than Chip Kelly although I’ll take him! Can we please quit giving the ND defense credit for playing well against a horrible offense starting a true freshman?

      • As a Philadelphia Eagles fan and a Notre Dame grad, I must say you are totally uninformed to want Chip Kelly as our coach. That guy is a fraud. Wow!

        • Don Sullivan says:

          Agree! Jon Gruden is the man. Swarbrick and this admin have no clue. They must just like paying off contracts for bad coaches!

    26. McGlinchey! Give me a break. Dexter Williams with no carries and question brushed off by Kelly. Kelly’s abuse of that female reporter should be reason enough to fire him. Is she a professional or a student working for the Observer? Defense and tackling have improved tremendously. Kelly never expresses a love for Notre Dame. His press conference was an embarrassment.

      • Seriously?? Not that I am 100% enamored with BK at this point (personally, I’d like to meet him again and slug him one in the mouth for lying to me when he was hired), but you’re wrong in this point.

        DEAD wrong…

        1) The point of the question was definitely valid (and legitimate). However, the manner in which the question was asked was totally wrong. The media is there to report stories, ask questions, etc., in an IMPARTIAL manner, without dropping 20 thoughts prior to each question they ask. Just ask the damn question already! I am tired of reporters giving their perspective and then asking the question. We all know what happened in 2016. This is 2017, so just ask the damn question and keep your opinion to yourself.

        2) Now, I do agree that BK should have known better.The media is no friend to him as many are more than eager to cast him in a bad light because he is Notre Dame’s coach. All he did was help the endeavor here when he should have just took the high ground.

        3) There are those in the media (er, um… Pat Forde) who are the biggest hypocrites alive. They paint Kelly as a bully and a jerk for saying what he means in public to their face. Meanwhile, the reporters (er, um…. Pat Forde) have an agenda – to continually write one negative story after another, call for coaching jobs, talk nonsensically about YOUR SEAT IS SO HOT, and do this all in the public light without saying as much to the coach. This is like being somewhat cordial to someone you have as a Facebook friend, but then every week posting an update about how awful that person is.

    27. Shame on the Irish fans who sold their tickets. You contributed to the loss resembling another Red Invasion, Nebraska- 27 Notre Dame- 24 (OT).

      • Totally disagree with you. If they put them on StubHub, ND fans could have bought them. Guess what? ND fans are not supporting this mess. The ND ticket holders who sold did not cause McGlinchey to play so poorly.

        • goirish1988 says:

          Sell them back to ND through the ticket exchange program or sell them at face value to a fellow Domer, but making them available to an opponent’s fans on a secondary market is disgraceful.

          • sluredandstumbly says:

            You mean like the University itself does through the new Vivid Seats partnership?

            • Fulk's Ghost says:

              ND has been gouging us for years. I have no loyalty to them. If they can make me back some money to replace some of the tuition I spent there, hooray for me – I’d sell my ticket to the devil.

    28. While Georgia is a fine defensive football team, the only truths to emerge out of the last 8 years is that our millionalre
      our millionaire brain trust of $warbrick and Kelly can lose to anybody, absolutely anybody. Neither bring value to the university and more critically neither bring respect, honor or integrity to
      the program. There remains a cloud over the program stemming from, inter alia, their disgraceful, smug, and self serving handling of the Declan Sullivan incident. ND, and this includes Jenkins and the BOT of trustees never demanded accountability for that
      tragedy. The other truth is that Kelly is just not a nice guy or a class act. He knows now he is completely unemployable beyond his current contract. Swarbrick now is only about not admitting his signature hire has been an abject failure fully capable of, as he has not proven, losing to anybody
      Jenkins is irreversibly invested in Swarbrick, Swarbrick’s ego precludes him from acting on what is evident to the entire rest of the sporting world and Kelly’s personal and professional short comings have been well documented ad nauseam. Thus, this trinity of egos watch each others back not with an eye toward the others or for the
      greater good of ND, but for their own self interest narrowly defined.

      • God needs to fire ND’s BOT, Jenkins, Swarbrick, and Kelly. ND has not won a nat. title in anything since ’88 and has been not improved in college academic rankings in years. If God will not to it who will.

    29. Ghost of Joe Moore says:

      Irish, all the amenities but still not ready for prime time.
      Maybe next year…of course i cant remember when i havent
      said that in how many years. BK an 8-5 guy. Irish be lucky to go 8-4
      Of course that will be enough to keep BK another year….

    30. dave trembley says:

      you have to run the ball to win – QB doesn’t win the game but play calling was limited – first play of the game told us what ND was going to do – you don’t trick the other team. You beat them playing your style game which should be use that offensive line and control the clock. Defense is improved but will get worn down as the season continues if it is 3 and out on a regular basis.The Coach the week before looked like he let the coaches coach. Not so last night. Shame on those who sold their tickets.

    31. The youngreporter was right, nothing has really changed as we still cannot win a game that matters.Is there a more overrated coach in the country than the great Harry H.?

    32. you have to run the ball to win – QB doesn’t win the game but play calling was limited – first play of the game told us what ND was going to do – you don’t trick the other team. You beat them playing your style game which should be use that offensive line and control the clock. Defense is improved but will get worn down as the season continues if it is 3 and out on a regular basis.The Coach the week before looked like he let the coaches coach. Not so last night. Shame on those who sold their tickets.

    33. Shame on the Irish fans who sold their tickets. You contributed to another loss, resembling the 2000 Red Invasion, Nebraska- 27 Notre Dame- 24 (OT).

    34. The Ghost of Brian Kelly Past says:

      The Georgia game makes Bristol Clear why we need to join the SEC.

      One of my main points – keep me honest on this Vannie – was how slow Wimbush gets the ball out. The guy makes the hitch in Hideki’s giddy-up look like a Lola. Think about it.

      McWhatever his name is just put Tony Mandarich, Jr. tape up, so congratulations to him, but the thing of it is, Glinch is not the Grinch that stole Christmas. Our coaches are. A third grade OL coach knows you bring a tough back to chip on that side but our coaches are so South Bend.

    35. It’s hard to tell where this game puts us until we see how good Georgia is the rest of the season. If they are indeed on of the two or three best teams in the SEC then a close loss is not that devastating. The defensive effort was the best of the Kelly era in my opinion. When was the last time a ND defense stopped a power team on fourth and one when we really needed it? You win with defense and a power running game and it looks like the Irish are working towards that combination. Now all we need is a decent offensive line. I’m sure all of you are as tired as I am of hearing how great our O-line is going to be with all the five star recruits and then getting smoked against every decent team. A first year QB needs time and ours had very little last night. Anyway with the defense improved and finally playing physically. We have a chance to win every game on the schedule save perhaps USC.

      • The Ghost of Brian Kelly Past says:

        That is the dumbest comment I’ve ever wasted my time readings. The Dawgs are in the CFB playoffs . Everyone knows that. Their D is better than the 85 Bears and we just gift 🎁 a W for them because Kelly no longer coaches the O. He instead set up a paradigm to blame others.

    36. Bill Kellne says:

      first sight when NBC came on was the sea of red in the stands and I almost puked!!! Totally disgusting. Admin should send every guilty ticket holder a notice that their tickets will not be renewed again. Game was equally disgusting…..ran the same four plays the entire night. Is Dexter Williams in the dog house?? what happened to the “awesome” trio of RB’s we have???? Defense was okay, but against a freshman QB that had one week to prepare. USC will post 50 on us. Kelly is gone, but honestly, who’s available that’s any better? Please, please don’t bring in Les Miles!!

      • Jon Gruden

      • The Ghost of Brian Kelly Past says:

        Les Miles is in a halfway house transitioning to hospice.
        We pluck Urban Meyer by offering the moon. He’ll
        accept this time b/k he realizes the Zeke/Max Redfield
        cartel owns Columbus.

      • Agree on the Les Miles comment. I am an LSU fan and watched that clown for too many seasons. After the Sabin inheritance ran out, that was it for Miles. There is somebody out there for ND, but, first of all, they have to have a stellar resume to begin with. I am not sure ND knows what a ND head coach’s resume should look like after the past hires since Holtz left.

      • Thought the same about D, Frosh QB w/ only 1 week prep and you let them run for 185 yards? Should have been able to keep them below 100 or at least 120! And per the offense, it’s not like you’re facing a Bama caliber D, UGA’s not what they were 5-10 years ago, or for that matter the whole SEC East, so not being able to run the ball or complete more than 50% of your passes is pretty mediocre. Plus, you should be able to get the UGA offense off the field quicker to tire out their defense, but isn’t the case with this team.

    37. The defense played good enough for ND to win, but offense was woefully weak. The inability to run the football was the difference in the end. Poor blocking, bad throws and dropped passes didn’t help. Until we get an offensive line that can move people off the ball expect more of the same when we play teams like this. You simply cannot expect your QB to shoulder the entire offense. Old fashioned powerhouse football still works. It was also a bitter shame to see the number of Irish fans (if you can call them that) who sold their souls…I mean tickets to the Georgia fans.

    38. Bernard Long says:

      When they play a good team they either get blown out or they lose a close one – either way they lose. Offensive line play just awful. I agree that Kelly answer to lady reporter in press conference is typical. His arrogence is his downfall. You think losing would humble him.

    39. Aaron Koproski says:

      Everything I read above I agree with…..but add….
      #7 time for not only Kelly to go but Jack needs to go too!!! You need a football AD not a lawyer!!! Anyway we can get Barry Alverez to. One back to ND?
      #8 time for ND to get out of this tv deal with NBC!!!! Time to go with their own tv network like Texas does.
      #9 from now on I’m listening to ND home games on the radio!!! XM/SIRIUS Catholic Channel…..sick and tire of listening to ND hater announcers of future ADs to our rival schools. I expect ND bashing on ESPN, ABC, and CBS but not on a station who is supposed to be the home station of ND Football!!!!

    40. My observations are as follows:

      Close games are won with small but important plays and often on special teams. Yes the kicker hit his field goals. After that our special teams continue to let us down. Our punter punted with great distance but once kicked the ball in the end zone when we could have pinned them deep in their own territory, kick off coverage was poor, kick off returns– poor to mediocre, punt returns – worst in the universe, The defenses were never touched. All these things are signature points in Kelly’s special teams for 8 years. Good special teens play turns the field position, creates pints and changes momentum. In Kelly’s tenure seldom if e Er against a good team have we had this advantage. ( anyone who saw Alabama beat FSU last week understands how special teams wins games).
      My second observation is that with the speed Georgia has, trying to run outside was absurd. The inability to run up the middle and match their strength was devastating.
      Finally no matter who he hires and Elkonseems like an awesome find, Kelly is in it over his head. A small time coach ruining a big time program. He can’t prepare or coach his team to beat a good team.
      Until the NBC contract is threatened ND can continue to support mediocrity because there is no real penalty in revenue loss. If losing money were an issue ND would wise up and dump Kelly in a minute

      • Totally agree on the punter: he seems to be way more interested in punting the ball through the end zone than punting for position.

    41. goirish1988 says:

      I don’t blame any ND ticket holder for selling his/her tickets to demonstrate disgust with four consecutive horrible coaching hires (not counting O’Leary). I just returned home from attending the game, and, as I do each year, painfully ask myself, “Which game will be the last game I attend? Which Saturday will be the last Saturday I give up watching on television instead of doing something more productive with it?”
      However, I will either not purchase tickets from Notre Dame or, if I do, I will sell them back to the school through the exchange program. Making them available to opponents on a secondary market like StubHub unnecessarily impacts fellow alumni, players, and others. The behavior of anyone who did this infuriates me.

    42. Here we go again. Kelly can’t beat a quality team. I’m sure we will lose to MSU, USC and Stanford, then one or two winnable games. Probably be 6-6 or even a winning 7-5. Kelly must go as he is not a winner. Most overrated coach in football. Ara, Frank and Knute must be crying in heaven watching had sad this once great football school has been irrelevant since Lou left. Truly sad and disgusting.

    43. goirish1988 says:

      I read this earlier this week and was reminded of how Kelly never has his players believing they are the better team and should go out and win by 20: “30 Years Ago: Sept. 12, 1987. After a 5-6 debut season under Lou Holtz in 1986, the second-year head coach has a succinct message for his troops as they open the new season in Ann Arbor against No. 9 Michigan. “It doesn’t have to be close,” he said, noting the previous year’s 24-23 loss to the Wolverines and how the series often comes down to the final series.”

    44. irishhawk50 says:

      Sorry to post late but spent the day at our mountain cabin cutting brush and working myself past the ND game. I have read most of the posts. I agree with most comments but disagree with some of the assessment of Wimbush. He is not the answer. He was lost in the weeds the whole game. Book should have been given a chance. Wimbush can get his confidence back against BC, if that is how you view it. I think he was a good high school quarterback and maybe that is as far as it may go. Sort of reminds me of lesser Golsen. Kizer came in cold and made plays and had the feel for the big time (even though Kelly wasn’t sure whether to start him or Zaire last year!).

      As I, and many others, have said Kelly is an 8-4 coach and his record against ranked teams is poor. I am afraid the Irish will never return to glory with him at the helm.

    45. As much as we dump on Kelly, let us not forget the master of this mess-Jack Swarbrick. No free ride for him either.

    46. As a former UGA player, I want you to know what a privilege it was to see our team play at Notre Dame Stadium. Many former lettermen were very excited about making the trip. What a great atmosphere! It is something we will be talking about for the rest of our lives.

      I was not able to go, but by all accounts, you were wonderful hosts, and treated our players and fans with great respect. I hope we will return the favor in a few years.

      As Coach Smart said after the game, its a shame one team had to lose. In a close hard fought game, it comes down to catching breaks, and we were the fortunate ones last night. It could have just as easily gone your way.

      I have always respected ND football, and will be rooting for you even harder this year. Thank you for being such classy hosts. Your players have a lot of guts… both teams will be a lot better because of last night’s game. Best wishes for the rest of your season.

      • Much appreciated, Dawg85! You’re just as classy as all the Georgia fans I met prior to the game. All of them were generally thrilled to see a game at ND and it was a pleasure sharing the day with them. Good luck the rest of the season … with that incredible defense of yours, you’ll win many games!

    47. Dawg85. Thank you. The more I think of it and the crap alums are getting on here for selling their tickets to you all, Notre Dame is truly a bucket list destination. We all benefit when we share our Catholic faith and devotion to Our Lady with new friends. The football game home field advantage pales in comparison to the spiritual connection we have established with you. Hopefully, and you have said so already, you will share with all you meet the goodness that is Notre Dame. Go Irish!

    48. If you think getting rid of Kelly is going to improve the football team you must b having pipe dreams.We have had a bunch of coaches since Holtz.The landscape of college football has changed.I call Notre Dame the grave yard of coaches.I don’t care who you bring in,his chance of success is very slim,too many factors oppose success.I would love to see them as successful as Ara/Holtz had them.We are as good as we’re going to be,Kelly or not.

    49. Lot’s of ‘same ole, same ole’ comments on here. Let’s not get carried away. This wasn’t the same ND team from recent years. The D looked great. If ND manages to kick for the win on the last drive, the boards would be lit up with ‘we’re back’ type of comments, when in fact the rest of the 58.5 minutes
      of the game would still be unchanged.

      O line was ineffective, but dang, give the UGA D some credit here. It was a hard fought game. Both QBs made some errors, but categorizing Fromm as just another true freshman QB is unfair – He did very well considering the circumstances.

      Finally, quit whining about all the red in the stadium. UGA traveled well and, from what I’ve read, were very respectful. It was their first visit ever. Would you rather them not be excited to come to South Bend? Economics causes reselling. Stop with the moral guilt. The fact that this ticket was the highest price of any in this college football season (to date) is a GOOD thing.

      In the end, ND (ranked 24th) fought hard, but got beat by UGA (ranked 15th) by point. It came down to the last drive and it WAS as close as the score. Let’s not poison the team with all the negativity.

    50. Dawg85,
      Thanks for a truly classy comment. One of the best I have ever read from an opposing fan. I flew in from France for the game, was surprised to have so many red shirts seated near me, but they were deeply devoted to their team and knew how and when to cheer. (our own fans need a little work on that sometimes, though I love ’em all except the ones who sell their tickets to opposing fans!)
      Anyway, like I told some of your fellow Dawgs, I hope you win out, and beat Bama in your playoff.
      Go Irish!

    51. The loss is all too familiar and there are multiple things to point too (Offensive Line, QB Play, some spotty play calling to name a few) but by far the worst thing about that game was the invasion of Georgia fans! I live in the Northeast and don’t get out to South Bend as much as I would like anymore but was beyond embarrassing. I don’t care if it was bucket list item for their fans or that the Falcons were in Chicago the next day. For the first time in a long while, the play on the field far exceeded the fan base’s loyalty! Shameful- they didn’t lose because of it I’m sure but if I was a player on the team and came out of the tunnel to that I would feel a huge letdown and that look couldn’t be good for recruiting either!

      • The play on the field did not exceed the fan bases loyalty. Plenty of us spent our Saturday night watching yet another loss with plenty of penalties, fumbles, missed blocks and dropped passes. Visitors swarming our stadium once every 15-20 years is the price we pay for our unique place in college football, combined with our lack of any recent success. Fans are sick and tired of paying $100 to watch our terrible product. If they can recover 400-500$ by missing one game more power to them.

      • If you follow ND recruiting on twitter, it seems that most all the recruits that were at the game were very impressed with ND. It was a huge, bucket list game with historical significance. I live in ATL and the local reporters that got access were gushing at the historical significance of standing on the field at Notre Dame prior to the game. Also, the red shirts visually standout a lot more than navy or green. Let’s not tie a good traveling fan base to the apocalypse just yet. People from GA were willing to spend any amount to go to that game – let’s just be happy for that fact.

        • Terry McManus says:

          “I live in ATL and the local reporters that got access were gushing at the historical significance of standing on the field at Notre Dame prior to the game.”

          Good point, which begs the question – “historical significance” – based on what? The answer – Based on things that happened years ago, not on anything in the recent past.

          If people were willing to come all the way from Georgia and spend all that money to see their team play at Notre Dame- more power to them, and I’ll bet the merchants in S.B. would second that.

    52. Patrick Olmstead says:

      I bought season tickets this year in part so I could see the Georgia game. I wish more ticket holders had felt the same way. It was a terrific game. One of the things that separates ND is its morals. We had two players – Stepherson and Williams – with SEC level speed who did not play. “Coaching decision” reflects values. I think Williams could have made a difference. I think Stepherson will be a solid #2 when he returns (likely in game 5 or so, after his team discipline). The other receivers were big, but slow and didn’t come out of breaks crisply, from my view. That said, it seemed to me that BW had no pocket, save for the first throw. It’s TOUGH throwing when you cannot step into the throw and when BIG defensive linemen are close to you and have hands up. Heck, even Tom Brady suffers under those conditions. BW is starting his second game. GA lines played well. Our guys couldn’t match it. I was THRILLED to see a screen to Adams. I joked to the fans behind me that Kelly’s been setting that play up for 8 years now. (She was a ND fan from Arkansas coming in to see ND, because it was on her bucket list.) FYI – they were traveling to Wisconsin the next day. We asked if they were going to the Green Bay game. They said “No. They’re playing Seattle. There were no tickets to buy.” I hope one day that ND returns to glory, so we can have tickets that cannot be bought. Until then, I will be thrilled if our defensive effort holds up, and I will hold out hope that we will continue to call screens, shovel passes, and draws to slow down the rush (and I will cross my fingers that we stop running BW – his legs should not be our offense). And, I would love to see someone teach our punter to kick the ball higher and pin the ball to the sideline. There is no excuse for kicking into the end zone in the first quarter – that ball should hit the 10 yard line. And, a 59 yard punt with a 25 yard return is a 34 yard play. (GA punter generally had high punts with 2 people down at the ball before it came down. His “bad” punt ended up rolling down so far it became a great punt. That field position mattered.)

    53. I was at the game on Saturday and was disappointed that two friends of mine could not attend. As I look back, I was not in a good mood before the game. Having two friends back out on me at the last minute and my other friend lost her 2 tickets to the game and I had the extra one to share with her so she could go. The Georgia fans were loyal and nice. I am just disappointed that so many fans/alumni at ND are so fickle and sold their souls like Judas for the almighty dollar. I was disappointed in another close loss, but was proud of the way the defense kept us in the game, but was very disappointed in the offense. I am not trying to take anything away from the Georgia defense, but the penalties, missed blocks, and dropped passes by receivers, was very irritating. Instead of 3rd and 4, we get a penalty that makes it 3rd and 9 and then an 8 yard gain and 4th and 1. I am disappointed in the O line that caused Winbush to get sacked on two occasions and lose the football. The last one cost us the game.

      On a side note: I bought a hot dog and Powerade and I was taken aback that the Georgia band was heading into the stadium and I dropped my Powerade and the refreshment stand would not replace it. I would have to purchase another. I just can’t believe how money hungry the university has become and I could not believe that I could not even get another drink since I accidentally spilled it. I did not feel the warm ND hospitality at the refreshment stand near section 18. Shame on all of you for not giving me a replacement. Fr. Ted would be shaking his head.


      • Fulk's Ghost says:

        You’re mad they did not replace your drink? You should be thankful they did not charge you a fee to clean up the one you spilled!

    54. I couldn’t agree more IrishGreen. I can’t blame the ND players or coaches for this one. While I am not a big BK fan, I put this one on the ND fans.

      The Georgia fans I met conducted themselves with class. They came out to support their team, their team played well, and they were rewarded for it. They deserved to win.

      Thanks for the nice comments, Dawg85. Good luck to your team the rest of the season.

      • Mike Coffey says:

        You mean the same fans the ND admin is content to suck dollars out of with no regard for the quality of product they’re providing?

        I don’t like that they sold their tickets to GA fans, but I completely understand why they did.

        • Mike, My main issue with your argument is if you have such a problem with this team, school or coach then why are you buying the tickets in the first place? If you are disgruntled fine but don’t buy them and then resell! I don’t care what anyone says its not BK/JS fault this fan base sold out and in a big game at home turned it into a neutral site game! I have never seen another team, playing a big night game have their stadium look like that. Those images will stick with me for a long time.

          • Mike Coffey says:

            Certainly a reasonable question. I suppose I have more of an issue with people who bought the tix as a one-off and then went to sell them than I do with season ticket holders who have to buy it as part of their package.

            • Mike the problem of the GA “red stadium” and “ND being our house” conflict is homegrown and the University’s fault. Read these posts from above:
              goirish1988 says:
              September 10, 2017 at 4:57 pm
              Sell them back to ND through the ticket exchange program or sell them at face value to a fellow Domer, but making them available to an opponent’s fans on a secondary market is disgraceful.

              sluredandstumbly says:
              September 11, 2017 at 10:15 am
              You mean like the University itself does through the new Vivid Seats partnership?

              Fulk’s Ghost says:
              September 12, 2017 at 9:46 am
              ND has been gouging us for years. I have no loyalty to them. If they can make me back some money to replace some of the tuition I spent there, hooray for me – I’d sell my ticket to the devil.

              It’s a sad state at our ND family when my alumni son and his class can no longer get tickets for a game at face value. We have sold our alumni ticket exchange and at this point our soul to third parties for more revenue? Where in the hell is the true Notre Dame My family has loved forever and the institution my Son and his classmates busted their behinds to get admission into the a place they all loved.

    55. Stat of the game: 30% of ND’s offensive plays were QB runs, for less than 0.5 yards per carry.

      17-18 QB carries.

      Until the spy comes off the QB, let him throw/scramble, but let the RBs run.

      Last, that late hit call setting up the GA TD in the 4th was completely bogus.

    56. You nailed that one Mike.
      Brian Kelly makes his money from us watching NBC, buying merchandise and going to games.
      Fans are tired of paying for losing.
      A ND t shirt used to stand for something.
      Now I fork over $35 for a big ND logo that signals “used to be good” to the rest of the college football world. Oh but it does have a cool tiny under armour logo on it too.

    57. Harry Hiestand must go.
      Offensive line was offensive!

    58. This was a really tough loss and it still stings three days later. ND fought hard and the blame could be placed on a number of things for the loss (lack of adjustment, dropped passes, silly penalties, etc.) but have to remember football is a team sport and had the team, as a whole, played just a little more consistently then the final score is probably 22-20. Hypothetical speculation is a waste of everyone’s time but it’s hard not to dwell when you’re tortured so much as an ND fan.

      Having said that, I was shocked at how poorly the offensive line played. The middle of the field was clogged the entire game (for both teams) and the play calling on the Irish side didn’t ameliorate the offense in any way. In contrast, UGA was able to adjust and get to the edge. That Georgia sweep was effective for most of the night.

      I felt bad for Wimbush. Neither of the two fumbles were his fault and he was running for his life the entire second half. Really difficult to establish a rhythm.

      I don’t want to rehash too much that’s already been brought up but all in all, I am happy I made the trip and it was an overall pleasant experience. The UGA fans were classy and quite enjoyable to be around – even in the tense moments. I had multiple groups of UGA fans ask me why nobody was trash talking them or being rude. Welcome to Notre Dame. At least we have that to hang our hat on.

      Comment of the day as I am walking into the stadium from a UGA fan: “y’alls campus is awesome! I’ve been taking pictures of grass all day!”

      Go Irish

    59. BOTH defenses were STIFLING! But Ga. was just a bit MORE stifling!

      Coach Kelly handled WELL the reporter’s superfluous question. Quit’yer bitchin’!

    60. Irish players IMHO gave it all but were let down by their coaches. If McGlinty is getting beat by a quicker defensive player why didn’t they keep a RB in the back field to pickup blitzing players. I was not impressed with the offense- Pretty predictable- do they have a limited number of plays due to being early in the season or are they just being conservative, if they are it didn’t work very well. Also saw Coach Kelly responding in a completely unprofessional manner to a young lady reporter-NOT GOOD FOR THE NOTRE DAME IMAGE!

    61. I have not written in a long while and I respect this site’s right to go after Kelly. I get it. But I cannot let the crowd slide. I cannot look past how many cheap ass bastards sold out. If the Irish are bad then it is what it is and you still support the team. If ticket prices are too high then do not buy them. So we had a neutral site game. You have to win neutral site games. Problem is, this was a home game. If we lose we lose, but we are all in it together. Losing to Georgia at home hurts but that sea of red killed me. I do not have the money to go home to Notre Dame Stadium. It is a shame the assholes who sold their tickets did not respect that our the team. Hard to be upset about a loss when most fans could care less to show up.

    62. Where was D. Williams (#2). Do they realize how fast that kid hits the hole and accelerates through it?