Things have been a little crazy for The Subway Domer as of late and my only trip up to South Bend this year was no different.
I am appalled at the picture on the left. I don't fucking care that Jon Bon Jovi was at the game. Play another song that sucks balls. This is just another example of Notre Dame becoming Notre Disney.
Like most of you, I was instantly pissed from the 3rd quarter on to the end of the game. Unlike some of you, I did not instantly come to the Internet to blast players and coaches alike. I did peek in on a few of the message boards and I instantly saw about 327 threads calling for Weis's job and hundreds more flaming out against the program.
I'm spent. After being in a funeral home otherwise known as Notre Dame Stadium for what turned out to be the longest game in the existence of Notre dame Stadium, I saw far too much and far too little to come to any conclusion about the future of the program. Call me blind, just don't call me a flamer. We were countless plays away from winning this thing and fell short. If we would have won, I'm sure the haters (ND fans and others alike)would have still blasted this team for the obvious reasons, but it would have been win #6 and a bowl berth so things would have been a little cheerier. Instead, I overcooked my steak, had skunked Michelob, and watched a team piss away a chance to improve. That tasted like shit. I should have stuck with Pabst.
Charlie Weis. As I stated earlier, people want his ass gone. I am not one of those people. I see no reason to have another coaching search and set up a chance that a few of our key players to have a decision to make on whether to stay or to head elsewhere. I think that in the overall scheme of things, that Weis is doing what is best for the program. However. There were many, many mistakes by the Fighting Irish Head Coach on Saturday. Go for the fucking throat Charlie. I am way past annoyed with the way Weis sits on a lead for the past 3.5 years. It's old. The thing that Notre Dame does best right now is throwing the football. I'm not sure that we did enough of it on Saturday- and that's with 44 attempts. The first down playcalling was awful. I know Haywood is the "playcaller" now, but ultimately the offense falls on Weis. A buddy of mine (Buckeye fan) that was with me at the game, stated that he could see the body language of the team coming out of the huddle and he could tell that they didn't want to run whatever play that was called. It was maddening (a term that has been used a lot by others writing about this game). Weis says that he is looking for "closers" on this team. I want our Head Coach to be one. 7 yards in the 3rd quarter is fucked up. Do better.
Jimmy Clausen. After you look at Clausen's stats for the game against Pitt (23-44 for 271 and 3 TD's) you might think that he had a decent game. That may be a little true, but some of the decision making was really bad. He didn't throw any INT's but there should have been with some of the coverage that he threw into. Overall though Jimmy looked like a very good Sophomore quarterback. He will make a few mistakes from time to time and he will make some really good throws as well. He really suffered from having to deal with a lot of pressure from the front four of Pitt and throwing into a 7 man zone. That is not easy. Of course, people are going to blast him because of who he is and who he plays for, but I think that Clausen is right on track (vote in this weeks poll if you haven't already) to be one of the greatest ever at QB for the Fighting Irish. He did not have a great game, and the overthrow to a WIDE OPEN Mike Floyd that could have won the game was really, really bad. He will have a hard time sleeping that one off this week.
The offensive line. These guys took a step back. After playing very well for the past few games, they were not firing on all cylinders. Clausen had too many balls batted down (5) and too many Pitt bodies in his face. Sam Young may be the weak link. I don't know. Trevor Robinson looks like the real deal as a true freshman. He should see more time. Other than that, I'm not sure what the staff or the players will do about a lack of determination against only a 4 man rush let alone a blitz. Something doesn't look right.
Golden Tate and Michael Floyd. With out a doubt, these are the very best weapons that Notre Dame has in its arsenal. It's not even close. Floyd looked like a veteran with 10 receptions for 100 yards and 2 TD's while Tate looked like another highlight all-star with 6 receptions for 111 yards and 1 TD. Floyd had a very blue collar day as his longest reception was only 18 yards. He ran a lot of comebacks and shorts outs to go along with his endzone fade patterns. Tate did a little bit of everything and made one of the best catcthes this year with a a bobble grab that went for 47 yards. The problem is that ND was not using anybody else with any kind of consistency. The Irish have to use Allen, Rudolph, and Kamara more since the defenses will be keying in on Floyd and Tate more and more. The more ND throws to others (I think the loss of Grimes is bigger than anyone is admitting right now) the more it will open up these playmakers.
The Running Backs. I have no particular comment of my own, but rather a quote from domer.mq of Her Loyal Sons:
As awful as ND’s running game is - and at this point, no amount of statistical
spin can change that - it’s time to declare Armando Allen the #1
The Stadium. This game was a Wimbledon event. Wimbledon without the top seeds. Being Lutheran and having Catholics in the family, I am used to sitting down, standing up- repeat 20 times. But this is insane. I spent the last 3 years over in the student body (Thanks Jon) and maybe I am just in shock with the overall effort from the crowd. The TV timeouts suck and take the flow out of the game, but wow. So does all of the tight ass fans that yell only at the person in front of them. This Stadium is so overwhelmingly calm that it makes me want to assault a stuffed penguin. There were 2 moments that stick out to me that are not crowd related, but were things that happened that I will never forget.
- The sprinklers going off before the second part of the first overtime was insane. What the hell was going on? I realize that Irish fans wanted the game to be over, but maybe they should have waited until Pitts kicker was on that end to let it fly?
- After the Tate TD, the game was delayed. I thought that the officials were trying to decide if they should check the replay on the TD as they did with the Floyd TD's. I saw a broken drum and started to yell out a few profanities about getting the game moving and other such things. It wasn't until I saw the Pitt player that was shaken up on the play walking back to the bench that I realized what was going on. I felt like an asshole and I instantly issued a loud apology to the fans (Irish and Pitt). They all laughed as they must have sensed my embarrassment ant heartfelt repentance. My bad.
The Defense in Nutshells.
- Lambert looked awful once again. Blanton looked a little bit better. This all makes me wish for Walls.
- McNeil had 2 INTs and almost took one back to the house. He was the corner that Baldwin scored on in the corner, but that is an awfully hard job to do when the WR has 5 inches on you and can jump like superman. I thought McNeil did a really good job overall.
- David Bruton makes plays. So does Kyle McCarthy. Maybe too many as they combined for 31 tackles.
- Harrison Smith made a really bad decision when he got that personal foul. It was stupid. It may have cost us the game, but it is one of about 50 plays that the Irish can look back on as possible game changers.
- The defense played a lot of young bodies. I can't help but wonder how better off this defense would be if Toryan Smith would have panned out as a real MLB. Our personnel issues across the front 7 are scary. This unit is playing out of position as far as the position assignments go. It shows against teams that run effectively.
That's really all I have. I am already moving on past this game and looking forward to Boston College. I just have these final thoughts for all of you trashing the program.
- The Irish are right on track for what most experts considered them to be this year: 7-5/8-4 with a bowl bid.
- This is still a young team. They will get better.
- There are still 4 games left this season and anything can happen.
- Better crack open another one, this one kind of tastes like shit too.