All aboard!!!!!! Hahaha. Oh boy, Notre Dame was going off the rails this week, quite literally. A ton of negative talk (read press conferences and twitter posts) swirling around this team and let’s hope the Irish can take a HUGE U-turn from the previous six days.
The good news is that the Fighting Irish are hitting the soft spot of our schedule and it is extra squishy. But don’t let the ride fool you, we are going to need this time to build confidence and find players *cough QB* that gives us a chance to win against Stanford It’s another IBG Gathering and its time to go and wake up the neighbors cause I am taking this one….LEGHOOOOOOOOOO!!
1. Coach Kelly refused to fall on the proverbial sword after USC. He felt that some of the players that needed to play with poise just didn’t. Do you agree or disagree? Did coaching play a role in our egg-laying against USC?
Well first of all let me begin by saying that the coaching staff hasn’t help themselves out in the PR category from kickoff to the time that I am writing this. There are many head scratching moments I can list but let me just touch on the highlights:
- Nine rushing attempts the entire game
- The QB shuffle in the red zone
- The lack of any kind of vertical passing AGAIN
- Michael Floyd being shutdown AGAIN
- Robert Woods being allow 1/2 of USC’s catches (see the bullet point directly above)
- Leaving three timeouts on the board at the end of a two-possession game.
- A coach pointing to a single play as the down fall of the entire game
- An offensive coordinator referencing the same play as per why the team is 110th in red zone offense
- The calling of individual players leading some ND players to get defensive on Twitter
So when it comes down to what I think…
Yes I realize that, Rock. But the coaching is absolutely the target win or lose, especially in the public forum. If there are “mental” problems causing players not to play with poise, then it is on Coach Kelly to teach. Apparently that is an ongoing process, but Kelly needs to right the ship quickly, it is why he gets paid millions…..and millions. (< -- last Rockism of this post)
2. In their post-game interviews, Coach Kelly, Jonas Gray, Harrison Smith, and Tyler Eifert all called the atmosphere for USC "electric." Coincidence?
If it is a coincidence then the team needs to spend a little less time thinking about the Brian Boitano Spectacular and more time on football. No, it isn’t a coincidence but players are not known to do a lot of ad-libbing I don’t they were commanded to say it.
I was sort of neutral on the jumbotron issue (see below) but am very much against the Ozzie Osbourne spectacle against USC and the idea of field turf gives me much pain. But I can’t stop there, too much to talk about so see the next paragraph
Piped in stadium music – Ok if you want to do some of it, I think that is just fine, but pick music that is Fighting Irish appropriate. I had no problem with the Shipping up to Boston, though I am not sure how that will work when BC comes to town. But what the heck does Crazy Train have to do with the University of Notre Dame? The Seven Nation Army song was fine but it was hardly original…see Michigan. Allow me to suggest Jump Around
sure it was played out in the 90s but at least it has an Irish feel. Maybe commission a remix of Here Come the Irish. Just do something original or appropriate to the setting.
The most important thing for me is to leave the existing stadium traditions in tact as much as possible. The piped in music stepped all of the GooooooooooO Irish on the kick off and some other moments where the band usually steps in. Merge the old with the new. Notre Dame is a solid brand and that brand is built on tradition. If you turn the gameday experience into just doing the same things that are done in stadiums all across the country then how exactly are we different? You are killing one of THE best brands in sports
The new helmets – I think they look good. I am sorry to see the tradition of the managers painting them going away but the change is worth it. A good reflection (pun not really intended) on the dome and the University.
Field Turf – What is the point? Will it help injuries because the turf is softer than dirt? Maintenance? Cause I think Notre Dame can afford fertilizer and gas for the mower.
I can sum this one up quickly: I don’t want to go to a football game and smell the rubber of recycled tires that is on the surface of a FieldTurf field. If I wanted to smell hot rubber, I would go to a NASCAR race.
Jumbotron – I went to the ND-Army game and was sort of pro-jumbotron though I will understand if they don’t do it. I was at the Army game at Yankee Stadium and that jumbotron was awesome and I thought they did it right. It was tasteful and positive. They used it to educate fans on Notre Dame Football history and get them involved in the game, I left the game without having Crazy Train in my head so that is a plus too. After last Saturday’s Ozfest, I no longer have any faith that they will be able to pull it off tastefully. Hopefully they will dial it back Saturday and renew my faith.
Most importantly – Win games – I have NO idea why Kelly cares so much about this issue when his team is 4-3. Win games and the atmosphere will take care of itself. This all seriously reminds me of when I was in college and we got a new coach. He redesigned new uniforms that year that were a departure from our traditional school colors. We lost our first game and after that game he said in the team huddle, and I kid you not, “Well boys, at least we LOOKED better than the other team.” Needless to say I wanted to burn those unis after that statement. Gotta believe that a lot of players had similar feelings after hearing the coach call for stadium upgrades so soon after a tough loss.
Kelly is really burning through some benefit of the doubt here this last week. He needs to remember that winning games lubes a lot of squeaky wheels.
3. Is your faith in this coaching staff shaken after Saturday night’s debacle?
Yep. I think our problem stems from the quarterback position. He was quick to make a change after the first half of the season, I have NO idea why he is sticking with it through our current malaise at the position. He is the quarterbacks’ coach on this team, he needs to keep all of his options open. The upcoming stretch of games would be a prefect opportunity to give Crist and Hendrix more time. I haven’t given up on Crist and I think it is crazy that some people have. He has a year of eligibility left and showed us last year that he is capable of some pretty solid play. Yes, he has some atonement to do but give the kid a chance. One freak play shouldn’t end someone’s career, not a kid with all of Dayne’s attributes.
4. Should we be satisfied with a mere win over Navy, or does it have to be somewhat convincing?
The best thing would be to win big to give the backup quarterbacks and our defensive backs some more game experience. As per the margin of victory for moral, I don’t think it will make a difference if we beat Navy by ten or by 40.
5. Will the Irish shut down the vaunted Navy triple option, or are we in for a shootout?
Navy isn’t very good, at all. I don’t think they will match up well at all against the Irish. They do a good job running the ball and I think they will get more than 150 yards on the ground. But there isn’t much of a chance at all that Navy will beat the Irish. This Navy team bears no resemblance to the teams we have seen the last four years
6. Take us out with a quotation, clip, or photo to summarize your post-USC/pre-Navy state of fandom.
Alright now it is your turn. What is one moment you would like to erase from last week and what is one thing you would like to see this week? Sound off in the comments section below.