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Brian VanGorder Fired

Brian Vangorder

Brian Kelly axed Brian VanGorder today, which was expected but I thought it would come after this season. However, with 8 games left and everyone averaging 500 yds against ND I guess he had no choice.

Greg Hudson who is currently at ND as an analyst was named the new DC. Hudson played an undistinguished career as a LB in the 90’s and has been in coaching ever since.

His last job was as a DC at Purdue from which he was unceremoniously fired – so don’t go jumping for joy. I really hope this is an interim appointment for his Purdue firing was wildly applauded.

You gotta feel for Montgomery VanGorder, unfortunately he’s only a junior.

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Duke 38 Notre Dame 35

Brian Kelly Duke Press Conference

Now that seems very strange to write that header, yet Duke comes in with 2 losses, freshman QB and rolls up 500 yds on ND – actually just shy. QB Jones accounted for 3 TD passes and 1 pick. Duke’s best player injured his knee in the 1st quarter or this score would have been worse.

I think Kelly’s presser says it all, he’s hoping mad at everyone associated with this team except Dexter Williams. Kelly really goes after QB Kizer which seems odd since Kizer has to carry the whole team. Was he sharp? No, but he did account for 381 yds. 2TD 1 Pick and 1 rush TD.

Here is Brian Kelly’s after game press conference:

This is a team that is sinking fast and it’s hard to believe many favored ND to make the Final Four. Now 6-6 would be considered a good finish. Little to add here, but Kelly threatening to bring in Wimbush is absurd and merely a shot at Kizer.

He should be jumping all over the OL for if Kizer was better protected and the running game is blocking better we wouldn’t be having half of these problems. No straight ahead blocking. We still insist on running east-west.

So what else is going on? Well Wisconsin held MSU to 2 first half FG’s and won 30-6. Nevada lost to Purdue and Syracuse edged UCONN so I guess Diaco is on the hot seat there. Syracuse, by the way, runs an uptempo offense.

With Kelly burning down the entire team how does he get anything out of them? The way he’s talking, he’ll have 22 different starters for Syracuse.

Finally, the Defense. Nothing else left to say about them although I did see them more aggressive in tackling. The only problem is that while they were hitting harder all that did for them is bounce them further backward. Also, the DL just cannot work up the energy to play more than 7 minutes or so.

Here are the game highlights:

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Notre Dame Vs Duke Predictions

Notre Dame Vs Duke Predictions

Duke currently at 1-2 has played tough in both losses to Wake Forest (24-14) and Northwestern (24-13) and they are coached by David Cutcliffe who has taken them to 5 Bowl Games – I think.

Cutcliffe was set to join Charley Weis as QB coach when he had to bow out due to open heart surgery. They have a 215 lb RB who is averaging 5 yds a carry.

They also have a nice young QB Daniel Jones who averages 266 passing yds per game – that’s 800 yds in 3 games. He has a group of talented receivers who will fight for the ball. So look for a lot of passing as well as the deep ball from Duke.

On defense Duke is decent, they have a good DL and currently rank 3rd in the country in sacks. 14 sacks in 3 games. ND has 0. So these guys will not just come in and give it up.

ND Stadium has long since lost its mystique and scares no one anymore. Too many losses in big games, playing disinterested and uninspired to alleged pushovers. So I fully expect Duke to take it to them.

ND has big problems on both sides of the ball. On offense they just run the same plays over and over which I think makes a defensive co-coordinators game plan easy.

ND must protect Kizer at all costs. Duke will jam the box and put an unrelenting rush on Kizer, they want to be disruptive and deceptive.

So far the ND OL has not looked overly imposing, certainly not impressive. So there is hay to make by Duke if they play aggressive.

Everyone knows the ND defense is basically a disaster. I’ve never seen so many befuddled players on the field at the same time.

That entire defensive coach group really has to step up – this is not all BVG’s fault. Finally, can these guys just play hard for an entire game and not for just a couple of plays.

I expect this to play out as similar past games.

Notre Dame 27 Duke 17

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Commit Number 18 DE Donovan Jeter

Donovan Jeter

4 Star DE Donovan Jeter 6’5″ 250 from Pennsylvania picks ND over OSU, Michigan, PSU and others.

Early on ND was out of it, but Mike Elston kept working and landed this high quality commit.

Here are his video highlights:

Also the Syracuse vs ND is game set for 12:00 PM EST on ABC or ESPN.

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Sloppy Play

Brian Kelly Sloppy

Brian Kelly while still defending Brian VanGorder says sloppy play all over is the primary problem. I say you’re right, but add in sloppy coaching.

On offense, just way too predictable. If Sanford is not calling the plays, now is the time to give him a shot.

Denbrock and Kelly have been running same plays for 7 years. How the hell can you punt with 3 minutes to go and expect this defense to get you the ball back?

This is the same defense which gave up a 73 yd TD burst right up the middle. Did anyone even touch that guy?

On defense – a whole group of these coaches are not doing their job.

The DL does not even know where to line up half the time and usually line up wrong. This is a continuing problem. Ok, lets just tell these guys we are going to play a 4 man DL – RE, RT, LT and LE.

You play LE every play and you line up here then the rest of you jugheads line up accordingly – Every Play!!!.

LB’s, in case you don’t know it you are supposed to shed blocks. I’m not sure any of this is fixable. Invite some HS coach in that runs a 4-3 to show you how to do it.

Coming up Duke is 1-2, but with a good Head Coach named David Cutcliffe and a good QB Daniel Jones has passing average is 266 yds per game. Cutcliffe is a QB guru.

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Michigan State 36 Notre Dame 28

Brian Kelly Post Michigan

MSU cruised to an easy win rolling up 500+ yards while holding ND to 57 yards rushing. MSU’s defense absolutely mauled the ND OL with NT Malik McDowell doing damage to all 5 ND OL and yes that includes McGlinchy and Nelson – no way are those 2 ready for Sundays.

Obviously VanGorder has to go, but what do you do when the D players give little effort and play lazy, stupid ball. There is no toughness or exceptionalism in any D player as far as I can tell.

This is not just about a D system but also about want in the players. On both sides of the ball the ND players look gassed by end of the 1st quarter. Throw out the playbook and just copy Oregon’s plays.

Kizer is the whole offense and I would just go to the pass offense every play until the D backs off.

This off season Kelly needs to evaluate the DL coach, Todd Lyght and LB coach Elston – just for a start.

Keep Elston for he is doing very good recruiting co-ordination. Just get him off the field and into an office. I have the feeling the OC of Sanford goes when season over, something better than the 3 headed system Kelly has.

Notre Dame is drifting into the 3rd tier of college football along with the BC and Syracuse’s. Take a look at the schedule. We could easily lose 4 more games – Stanford, Miami, Va.Tech and USC.

This game really must have impressed all those recruits!!!

Here are the game highlights and post game Brian Kelly press conference:

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Notre Dame Vs Michigan State Predictions

ND vs MSU predictions

Wouldn’t it be nice if ND came out of the tunnel as jacked as the Michigan State squad. You know, like lets play football instead of looking half asleep.

What is always amusing to me is the football ability of each team. MSU rarely gets anyone that ND even wants yet always go toe to toe usually to the wire.

MSU went to the final four and even though they lost the effort was there and that is why Saturdays game will be a lot tougher than expected.

The MSU players usually push ND around and out tough them. Let’s start with NT Malik McDowell. He moves around so he’ll get a shot at all 3 of ND’s inside guys, then we’ll see whether a lot of smoke blown at us. Speaking of smoke, why imitate Miami coming out of the tunnel?

MSU has 3 good LB’s so if the OL falters they will shut down the ND running game. Kizer will have to win this game and we better hope he’s on and gets the time to pass.

MSU has its usual offense – big running backs and a serviceable QB. The OL can be a problem for ND if ND just goes thru the motions on the DL – outside of Rochelle these guys don’t play for 60 minutes.

Jarron Jones and Daniel Cage can’t just play a few downs, Trumbetti either loses his job or does something (anything) for him to play – this kid is a head scratcher. And Jerry Tillery is just a big soft kid.

From last week I’m glad Tevon Coney gets to start. He was popping guys last week. I also like Avery Sebastian hitting guys. VanGorder should use four down linemen and let these guys loose for thinking is not their game.

So for once I’m going with the bookies giving ND +7 so I’ll say:

Notre Dame 30 Michigan State 21

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Press Conference Michigan State

Brian Kelly met the with press and expressed the feeling that ND will have its hands full on Saturday.

Michigan State is well coached and tenacious. ND players better look for a motivated, tough MSU team.

Kelly now feels free to express how good a QB Kizer is.

Here is a good ICON video of the preparation and highlights of the Nevada game:

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Notre Dame 39 Nevada 10 | Recap and Highlights

Almost a shutout but ND allowing junk time points finished that off, but as the Nevada coach said, if we’re supposed to beat Notre Dame we wouldn’t be in the Mountain West Conference.

In what was a tedious boring game that caused new announcer Mike Tarico to ask Doug Flutie “why so Quiet?”

ND went thru the motions, but they are going to have trouble down the road. The OL simply cannot handle defenders 1-1 they need the combo block and they cannot block north to south.

Just about every ND run goes east/west why? I don’t know what the pundits saw when they described this ND line as awesome with 2 sure fire All Americans.

ND’s RB’S gained yards despite the OL. And while I’m on this, Kizer was harassed on most pass plays – taking too many hits. Why in the hell run Kizer in this game?

High marks to ND RB’s especially Josh Adams – 10 carries 100+ yds.

Receivers Eq St Brown and CJ Saunders are going to be good. Freshman Stepherson gets his first TD along with Saunders.

RB D. Williams gets his 1st also. Looks to me like Zaire has already checked out.

Defense looked a little better and Safety Tranquill pulled a magic trick when he raised his arm and the ball arrived at the same time.

Jarron Jones got a pick and the D stopped a 4th and 1.

I’m impressed with Tevon Coney. The kid looks like a hitter.

Nyles Morgan will be a force with more playing time and where is Jerry Tillery? Kid does not seem to have eye of the tiger.

Crushing loss for Shaun Crawford. He’s out for the season with an Achilles injury.

Since when is it good Defense to surrender 300 yards to what would charitably be called a good HS team? Hell they got 100 yards rushing.

In other news Bob Diaco has no time management skills as he lets time run out with 17 second on the Navy 1 yard line.

Here is the post game Brian Kelly press conference: