Whatever: Miami Instant Reaction

A few scattered thoughts after ND no-showed in a big game for approximately the millionth time in the last 23 years (and yes, I posted it with 8 minutes left, because who cares):

– Josh Adams and Brandon Wimbush were probably not healthy all week.

– The #FireKelly brigade is going to be back, telling us all about how Notre Dame never plays up when it truly matters, how ND has a ceiling as long as this guy is the coach, all that same stuff. And I don’t have much to rebut them with.

– The ‘ND has a ceiling as a program’ brigade is going to be back, telling us all about how Notre Dame can’t hope to compete while trying to have academic standards, that we should just hide and join the ACC and cash in our chips. They’re wrong, but I don’t have anything to rebut them with either.

– You just knew with all the attention that stupid-ass turnover chain got that it was going to be a thing. Never mind the fact that ND never turns it over; of course it was going to be a thing so it could get shoved in this fan base’s face just like every other stupid thing.

– Watch Miami turn around and lose to Virginia or Pitt. It would be so ND to draw Miami’s A+++ game and watch them flub it up the following week.

– Unless ND pulls this crap again vs. Navy or Stanford, they’ll still go to a New Year’s 6 bowl. Fingers crossed to not play another team of NFL stars again.

By |2017-11-11T23:22:26+00:00November 11th, 2017|18S Reads|78 Comments

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herecometheirish
herecometheirish

If you can’t rebut the fire Kelly brigade, maybe it’s time to fire Kelly?

And if you want to rebut the “program ceiling” brigade, point out that we have more talent than Miami, per the available evidence, but we were still embarrassed.

Orlok
Orlok

Why the downvotes? I disagree that we should fire Kelly, but that was a hell of an egg. And you’re totally right about the talent pool – we are, by every measure except that scoreboard, a more talented team than Miami. So it’s fair to talk about the coaching.

MDIRISH
MDIRISH

Talent from certain southeastern states, including Florida seems so deep that I wonder if the rankings are fair to them. Let’s look at some three star Floridians at Notre Dame: Tevon Coney and KJ Stepherson. These are two of the best players on the team. From now on when I look at recruit rankings I am assigning a bonus to players from certain regions if only in my mind. Why is it that Troy can beat LSU? Because the dregs of recruiting down there are still so good.

Anachronism
Anachronism

Fire Kelly? Maybe. Depends on the rest of season.

Fire Chip Long? Sure. Leave him on the tarmac in Miami for all I care. I’m not an X and O kind of fan, but even I could see that a run game of “shuffle, shuffle, handoff, shuffle, accelerate” was a bad idea against a fast, attacking defense.

This team was utterly outcoached, and it’s humiliating that it was by a Miami team that I’m still not convinced is that good.

Orlok
Orlok

I agree with you about being unconvinced by Miami. But Long’s gameplan was good on the first couple series – Wimbush just couldn’t make the throws to open receivers. Wimbush played about as badly as you could play. I think it’s fair to say that coaches should have run the ball more (and run him more), but initially I think the gameplan looked promising.

Anachronism
Anachronism

Wimbush was bad, which is a problem in itself (why has Kelly struggled to develop a really good QB?). However, my complaint about the run game isn’t the frequency of runs, but the type. These slow-developing run plays have been blown up all year early in games by the faster teams on the schedule.

Valpodoc
Valpodoc

Hats off to Miami they beat us tonight. They did to us what we did to MSU. Regroup, Navy in south bend next week. War is not over, just lost a battle.

Anachronism
Anachronism

I can’t agree with that last sentiment. The war for a playoff berth is almost certainly over. While a NY6 game is within reach by beating Navy and Stanford, the chance to play for a championship was lost by this mortifying performance.

dpet
dpet

It’s still a really good season. It’s tough to win on the road against good teams and it’s tough to beat this many quality opponents in a short amount of time like this. Let’s finish 11-2 and build for the future!

King Kenny
King Kenny

How many would take 8-2 if they were asked that question to start the year? I would and so would a lot of Irish fans. Hopefully we take care of business versus Navy and head west to play Stanford with a major bowl on the line. Finish at 10-2 and its a great season.

We got our ass kicked with the whole country watching. It happens. We were not the only top 10 to lose this week. The whole fire Kelly crowd that I am seeing everywhere really need to sit down and shut the hell up. Its bad enough dealing with these annoying ” the U is back” bunch that are on twitter and the gram tonight. I like the direction of our program. Nothing we can do about this bad lost but put it behind us and move forward. Kelly and Elko need to fix this run defense considering our next two opponents though. That does worry me a little.

mlafort1
mlafort1

Sure. It’s the way we lost that bothers me the most. Throwing it nine times in the first quarter with an inaccurate QB when you knew avoiding turnovers was the key to this game, defense getting pushed around for the second time in a row, just generally laying an egg on the national stage.

Need to not screw up against Navy and Stanford and then we get another shot to finish with a big win. 11-2 would still be better than 2015 and miles ahead of last year, especially with almost all the skill guys coming back. Doesn’t make this loss sting any less but that’s still potentially a very good season.

Brendan R

This is where I am too. I’m not so upset about calling the first half passes – the run game was useless, had to do something. But otherwise, I’m with you. I actually had this game as a loss in my preseason prediction. A close loss, of course, but… The problem is that even if we get to 10-2, as I expected, the taste of this loss is still going to be there. And man, did this team have me believing. That hurts.

As far as the “ND never gets up for big games” feeling that many have mentioned, I mean, we just did this same thing to a top ten USC team three weeks ago. It’s in there. Which makes this even more frustrating, actually.

I’m just super bummed that the ceiling for this season is now “good year, but still questions,” even if we go 11-2.

herecometheirish
herecometheirish

How do we know the run game was useless? We weren’t trying it enough, especially on first down. We were throwing right out of the gate, too (before we could have known it was useless)- which makes me wonder who was calling plays.

Eric Murtaugh

Ran on 1st down on the first two series, and 6 out of the 9 first half series.

Brendan R

Yep. Late in the first half the run-pass ratio was almost 2:1. The problem wasn’t that we didn’t run enough.

herecometheirish
herecometheirish

In my view, you have to count the interceptions as part of the cost of throwing the ball (especially when you have a relatively new QB). Throwing is always riskier than running.

herecometheirish
herecometheirish

It should have been 9 of 9, in my view, especially given the limitations at QB and given Miami’s rush defense. Of course, the other problem was the type of run play were were running- slow-developing plays. Those are less likely to work against a speedy defense and those aren’t what Adams is best at.

mlafort1
mlafort1

I had us at 8-4 before the season so I guess even beating Navy means I should think we over-achieved. But being a fan is irrational and the team had been playing so well that this feels worse than it would have at the start of the year.

More Noise
More Noise

Yes oh yes. Plus for us old guys it resurrects horrible beasts from the bowels of the earth – like the Balrog — that because this was such a nice, dominating, super bunch of teammates we kind of all really felt we would whip. But they whipped us. Yuck yuck yuck

MDIRISH
MDIRISH

Those Balrogs and their fiery whips…

Concrete Charlie
Concrete Charlie

Kenny, that was freaking brutal. Even talking about 8-2 seems pointless after something like that. That loss was bad enough to completely taint any season.

Most of the players looked like they didn’t want to be there, right from the start. BK looked like he didn’t want to be there on the sidelines. I don’t understand how they could be so far away from where they needed to be attitude-wise. Extremely disappointing. Both players and coaches bear the responsibility for that. It’s not something we should try to sweep under the rug with a, “Hey, we’re still 8-2!” Who cares about 8-2? We got absolutely demolished by freaking Miami.

More Noise
More Noise

HI all… wow, those demons not only did not get exorcised, they all doubled down. Getting up at 2:00 am to watch that awfulness almost made me flinch. But… I watched every minute. So, Concrete Charlie, I am not sure we can judge their attitudes from how they look on the sidelines? Seemed to me that BK was just trying to not looked panicked as he saw the s__t storm approaching. The players looked sweaty, hot, and maybe just bemused from the crowd noise. (BTW, Georgia was clearly hurt by that, and you could make a case for Bama in Starksville. It was that awful game in 1989 when the Miami crowd was so loud and players could not hear Tony Rice in the huddle that got me on this 25 year mission to help our crowd be louder. I was just really sorry to see that monster re-emerge. OK, yes, if we’d had success that would have quieted them, but they were really loud, and that has some impact.
Having said all of that, yes, that game will not be swept under the rug. But the team (and we the fans if I may) need to get that behind us for right now, shut down the “Squids, and finally beat Stanford out there.. I am gonna fly 6,000 miles to see that so they better!

MDIRISH
MDIRISH

Yeah, I do think the attitude among the fandom is rosier than I would have expected. I know it’s futile to be angry and maladjusted to be angry at a bunch of 18-22 year olds over football. But to not be competitive in a game like this shatters a lot of misconceptions I think. Someone above compared this loss to our win over Michigan State but we only beat Michigan State by 20 and Lewerke and company looked competent. We did not look competent. As far as this being a building year, BK isn’t gonna be around much longer even if he never gets fired. He will hit the wall that all Notre Dame coaches hit. If Notre Dame hasn’t won a game in Florida in 15 years then there is something endemic to Notre Dame at play.

Orlok
Orlok

It’s more about who you play and when you play them. Do you think we’d have a problem with UF or FSU this year? We also haven’t won a game in New Mexico in 15 years. This should suggest that the problem is not Florida, or New Mexico.
Most tellingly, we throttled USC – a team that I think will end the season ranked higher than Miami. So this was an incredible egg, and we looked totally incompetent despite being more talented than Miami. But I don’t think this is a sign of an ND ceiling.

MDIRISH
MDIRISH

Nor Alaska. I would be worried about FSU. I’m not saying ceiling necessarily. I’m saying everybody (oddsmakers, journalists, etc.) consistently and maybe systemically overestimate our ability to compete in certain big games. It seems like road games are a problem. Other than that, I can’t guess why. USC is kind of a double edged sword for my argument. Yes it is a big game that Notre Dame won but then why can’t we compete with a poorer team when we travel to Florida. Surely it’s not the heat or some other ridiculous canned answer. We have many players from Florida.

Orlok
Orlok

Genuine question, based on your reply: what is Kelly’s record in big road games? Most coaches are better at home than on the road, but is that gap wider for Kelly than for other coaches? I’ve certainly heard that but cannot remember the source. IrishTexan has a nice list below, but are we missing others?

MDIRISH
MDIRISH

2010 Michigan State 31–34 OT (11-2, 14th)
2011 Michigan 31–35 (11–2, 9th)
Stanford 14–28 (11–2, 7th)
2013 Michigan 30–41 (7–6, NR)
Pittsburgh 21–28 (7–6, NR)
Stanford 20–27 (11–3, 10th)
2014 Florida State 27–31 (13–1, 6th)
Arizona State 31–55 (10–3, 14th)
USC 14–49 (9–4, 21st)
2015 Clemson 22–24 (14–1, 2nd)
Stanford 36–38 (12–2, 3rd)
2016 Texas 47–50 2OT (5–7, NR)
NC State 3–10 (7–6, NR)
USC 27–45 (10–3, 5th)
2017 Miami (FL) 8-41

These are all the road losses under Kelly, although I didn’t mean to attack Kelly in particular. The opponents end of year ranking is from the Coach’s Poll.

eyerish9299
eyerish9299

Throttled USC….at home. BIG BIG BIG difference there.

TFRdidnothingwrong
TFRdidnothingwrong

This is the same feeling as every year. The ND-gets-exposed game is the same as every year. Whether it’s Miami, USC, Bama, whoever. It’s brutal. I can’t tell if it’s worse when it happens earlier or later in the season. This year we had UGA to look like a juggernaut to make us feel better for a few weeks. But it’s the same. It’s the same purgatory feeling we had after that game. In fitting fashion Miami will definitely lose one of their last few games to a terrible team. Kelly said Wake didn’t figure out Elko. Well tonight looked a lot like the stuff Wake was doing to shred the defense. After eight weeks the defense was aggressive and tackling well and hungry. The last two weeks they reverted back to the BVG-wait-for-them-to-come-to-me tackling technique and they got burned. Every year they recruit a bunch a of four stars with great speed. Every year some other school shows us that Notre Dame doesn’t know what speed is. Once again the perennial “one of the best O-lines in the country” got bullied. McGlinchey and Nelson will still get drafted high. But they were helpless for much of the night. We know they’re better than this. Every year they’re better than this. And every year they can’t get it done. Sure, they can still get to and win a “major bowl.” But it doesn’t matter how many of us would have taken that in the preseason. Everyone sees the talent they bring in every year. And every year they can’t get over the hump. I’ve never been in the “Fire Kelly” camp and I’m not quite yet. But there’s not much more to see. “Where to now?” is kinda wearing thin as the defining question for the program.

HolyCrossHog
HolyCrossHog

After the clusterF last year, I for one, am ok to be where we are, not to say I’m not disappointed. Hasn’t the season thus far exceeded, I daresay, everyone’s, expectations? If anyone actually felt in August we’d be in playoff contention in November, I call bullshit. Just focus on winning the next two games and then feel free to see if the sky is indeed falling, or blame it on Lucy.

nd09hls12
nd09hls12

If Swarbrick accepts a bowl game against Ohio State, the Board should call a meeting to terminate immediately.

nd09hls12
nd09hls12

Wait, does somebody want a piece of Ohio State? Yes, yes, what tho’ the odds and whatnot, but, like, why do that to yourself (again)?

More Noise
More Noise

I think that is the point, nobody wants to go through that again, so if JS were to do that, this would be grounds for… impeachment or whatever?

nd09hls12
nd09hls12

That was (slight) sarcasm

IrishTexan
IrishTexan

Kelly came out with a prepared team and a good game plan in two of his Marquee matchups: FSU 14 and OU 12. Those were abviously split. Clemson 15 we actually looked like crap and that the moment was too big, then Clemson turtled a little on offense and we rallied to make it close at the end. NCG, tOSU 15 and tonight we’re all unmitigated disasters. I disagree that games like USC this year disprove the point. There’s a big difference between 11v13 at home and 3v7 on the road unofficial quarterfinal. IDK why he seems incapable of winning big games, but the biggest concern is his consistent inability to get the team even ready to play on the same field. Unfortunately for firekelly folks, he’s here for at least another couple years after turning 4-8 into 8-4 at worst and 10-2 at best. Although I think you could make a Frank solich like choice if the team collapsed to 8-4. I just don’t know what to think this morning. If we’d come out and played well and lost I’d be disappointed. Now I’m just pissed

nd09hls12
nd09hls12

Oh, if we lose the last two, there’s no defense to or reason for keeping Kelly. He can’t lose to Navy and expect to keep his job. But they’re not losing to Navy, and hopefully we’ll beat Stanford and just call this a pretty good year that can turn to very good with a big bowl win.

hooks orpik
hooks orpik

10-2 with several convincing wins with this schedule would be better than pretty good in my eyes, it would exceed expectations since most intelligent prognostications were in the 8-9 win range.

I do agree though that if 8-1 turns into 8-4 something is going to give but I also agree that’s probably not likely.

Brendan R

We have a big problem on the road, for sure. That’s really puzzling, and certainly points to a coaching/preparation issue. We got swallowed up by that atmosphere last night, which is enormously disappointing.

More Noise
More Noise

Interesting point. Prior to the game when asked about the expected raucous crowd, BK mentioned MSU, almost as his mantra that we could replicate that. t’s not that he can’t prep a team to win on the road — he just does it less than his mean.

nd09hls12
nd09hls12

Post on TOS (I’m a masochist) says BK is 1-14 on the road or neutral site at ND against teams that ended up ranked, with the possibility for 2-14 if MSU finishes ranked. That’s brutal.

(Yes, yes, cherry-picked stat, but that’s not *that* odd of a stat to take a look at)

IrishTexan
IrishTexan

I too checked out TOS this morning against my better judgement. I was surprised at how relatively measured and calm things were over there

herecometheirish
herecometheirish

I think that’s because nobody there is surprised; they’ve been saying this about Kelly since Tulsa.

Irishchamp23
Irishchamp23

I’m not happy about the loss. It is very disappointing way to “end” the season for us when all signs pointed to a win beforehand. However, I don’t think this is the same thing as getting “exposed.” We’ve still beat some really good teams this year by a lot. I think we didn’t bring our A game (or our B game) and got beat by a team who brought their A++. Wimbush reverted to not being able to throw accurately (who saw that coming after the last few games?) and it cost us big time. If someone told me we were a -3 in turnovers I would have been certain we lost (not 41-8 loss but a loss nonetheless). The other surprising thing is how we couldn’t run. Was it really that their bad run defense was just too fast? Was it scheme and we haven’t faced this kind of speed after Georgia in the front 7? Were they just loading up because they weren’t worried about our WR’s? I don’t know but I’d like to find out. Herbstreit was all over the “slow-developing” plays but the point is to see who should run or where the hole is – it’s not like those have been a problem all year, so why now?

My take away is that we are a good team (this is not my normal takeaway!; normally we are just exposed) that needs the QB to take a little pressure off the running game with a few downfield throws AND with runs of his own (which Wimbush did little of either). Against lesser teams we can be fine with less from Wimbush but from a top 15 kind of team we need a little more from him to keep the balance on offense. Our defense may have been exposed a little bit. Was it our LBers who weren’t filling the proper gaps or making the plays over the middle on the passing game? I wonder if Morgan has been a bit of a disappointment.

If we can get back up emotionally I think we can win out and beat another solid team in a new years 6 bowl game (if, of course, we don’t turn it over and Wimbush can throw and run a little better).

n.b. there is now real scenario’s where a 2 loss team gets into the playoffs (not us mind you without a conference championship). It is likely that the big 10 AND the Pac 12 will have a 2 loss champ (OSU/whoever). It could be Clemson, Alabama, Oklahoma and a two loss team (do Georgia or even a 1 loss Miami get in? I don’t know). And could Auburn beat Bama (meaning an SEC champ could have 2 losses?

IrishTexan
IrishTexan

Is this the worst loss of Kelly’s tenure? I would argue yes. If not the greatest margin of loss, it’s near there. It’s actually worse than the Bama game in terms of points. Relative to expectations, perceived strengths and weaknesses of the two teams, and long term impact of the game’s results, I think this may be the bottom of the well.

As has been pointed out previously by myself and others, he doesn’t have a history of winning big games to counterbalance this catastrophe (unlike eg, Urban, whose team lost disastrously to a worse team last week). Georgia got wiped out yesterday, USC blew out a good Stoops team in the Sugar bowl, etc.

The issue is not “x cannot happen in year 8” as they’re fond of saying on NDN. The issue is that, when there has been a damning dearth of success at the highest levels, travshamockeries like last night take on a different relevance than similar isolated data points in other coaches’ careers

Irishchamp23
Irishchamp23

Good teams have disappointing losses. This just does not feel like the worst loss in Kelly’s tenure. It actually feels like the program is back on solid ground with Elko running the defense and not that we got exposed so “what do we do now?” No doubt the running game will take a hit next year with 2 nfl players leaving and probably/maybe Adams gone too but with Wimbush as the starter for the next 2 years (here’s hoping to him becoming more consistent throwing the ball!) the offense should also be solid if we can get a WR to step up and be the man.

IrishTexan
IrishTexan

Read my last sentence for my response to the “good teams suffer bad losses” argument

kiwifan
kiwifan

Our receivers, except maybe Stepherson, just aren’t top talent. Somebody said that if the deep ball in the first series had been caught for the td that was there for the taking, the game may well have been different. ESB didn’t lay out for the catch, which would have been tough but doable for a championship talent.

Next play Claypool let one go off his hands that would have been a first down.

I only trust Stepherson, the rest are over rated.

Overall, the biggest issue last night was speed. Miami was WAY faster than we are. That affected:
1. Tackling, especially in the middle of our D, but everywhere.
2. Blocking for the run game
3. Running down our ball carriers
4. Covering receivers

Our lines in particular looked sooo slow, as did our runners. Coney looked like the only guy on D fast enough to play his position vs the Miami speed.

I don’t understand why their QB wasn’t spied, we made him look like Superman. The rest of it was poor execution rather than poor coaching IMO.

I watched Auburn crush the Georgia defense that smothered us. I wouldn’t want to play them. They may well beat Bama. On the other hand, Saban.

Oklahoma also looked scary good on offense and reasonable on D.

The way things are stacking up, there are going to be some very good teams in the top non-playoff bowls. If we beat Navy and Stanford (the latter will be tough) we’ll end up playing someone we may be outclassed by once again. On the other hand, God forbid we lose the last 2 due to a team letdown, especially on D which has sucked 2 in a row now. That reminds me of one of the years under Willingnam, we were undefeated well into the season, were crushing FSU into the 4th quarter when the D suddenly looked like jello and FSU started scoring at will. We lost most or all of our games after that, despite being so far ahead that we did get the win over FSU. The Wake win reminded me of that, I hope history doesn’t repeat itself.

IrishTexan
IrishTexan

2002

KG
KG

Based on comments from a past acquaintance who was a starter on that 2002 team, ND was kicking FSU’s keister at halftime and the players were really feeling great. A few of them may have been a little too excited, and talking smack. Whether it was “too much” or not, Willingham took the team to task at halftime for showboating and as I understand it yelled at them the entire break. They came out for the second half with their own coach completely taking the wind out of their sails. I heard this story a few years later (it was as we were hiring Weis) so take that for what it is worth, but I trust my source and it certainly explains why they were so flat the next game against BC and the rest of the year. Could you imaging kicking a team’s butt and your coach yells at you for it? I’d be like “eff this guy.”

kiwifan
kiwifan

Wow, I didn’t know that! Even more bizarre because it was FSU, a truly hated rival.

TW is and was an idiot.

hooks orpik
hooks orpik

Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised given the nature of the loss and the instant reaction of having to deal with it, but it still sort of surprises me to see talk about Kelly’s job. For some with agendas (like at TOS) they were just waiting for this moment all season I’m sure to get in the usual talking points.

Overall the results are pretty good, even though yesterday was obviously an unsatisfactory effort and result. 24 hours ago this seemed like a program in the right direction and a playoff caliber team. I get the bitter disappointment of the blowout, and hey I feel it too…Just curious how much 1 game can alter so much or at least raise questions.

I also don’t like the “ceiling” talk. Notre Dame is a challenging and unique situation but one that the results showed they were in the running for it this year up until November. It’s difficult to win every game, even more so on the road. Losses sometimes happen. Odd some can’t accept or realize that or think that valid to call for a coaching change or question the entire program in general.

We’ll see how the season ends and how things wrap up, but this looks like a double digit win, top-5-to-10 type of team. That’s not perfect, and they’re striving for better, but it’s pretty good. Would be nice to see a strong finish to the season and hopefully a win over a quality team in a new year’s bowl. It sucks one awful game puts that all in question.

herecometheirish
herecometheirish

I don’t think it’s just one game raising questions. Kelly has now coached 100 games here. In eight years, we’ve had three good seasons and five mediocre-to-awful seasons.

Furthermore, we’ve usually not won these sort of games -big road games- under Kelly. The only wins I can think of are OU 2012 and USC 2012. The losses include FSU 2014, Clemson 2015, Stanford 2015, and now Miami 2017.

hooks orpik
hooks orpik

I mean, I get that, but I don’t think his overall record or road performance is the most relevant topic to consider when thinking about the best way to move into 2018. Giving a 2 year grace period to get feet wet and straighten up the mess Weis left, Kelly’s got 12, 9, 8, 10, 4 and 8+ wins, which obviously other than 2016 could be framed as pretty solid for an overall body of work. I’d say his resume is satisfactory -he’s pretty much averaging 10 wins a season, especially considering the heaviest emphasis has to be the most recent and with 8+ wins, they’ve exceeded most realistic expectations and potentially could be going for 10+ wins this season.

Big road games are tough to win. Top 5-10 teams don’t typically lose at home, and it’s rare to get an opportunity in the first place. I agree that is troubling, but stuff happens, right? Unless you never lose, you’re probably going to lose mostly to top teams in their house. Also if it may help (or not) there’s not a challenging road schedule next year. @SC and @Virginia Tech as the toughest tests away, so Kelly probably won’t have the opportunity to have any “big” road games.

Yeah, there are questions about how Kelly will get the team to perform next year, but anyone except Saban probably has some level of the unknown and a history of bad-to-mediocre seasons around. Short of just admitting it’s an impossible situation to just never lose, I don’t see what Kelly needs to do. They laid a complete egg yesterday and that’s embarrassing, but I don’t think too much differently about Kelly or the direction of the program in general just based off that performance. To me, they’ve been good enough vs MSU, USC, NCSt to build up good will.

IrishTexan
IrishTexan

We are 2*-13 against P5 ranked teams on the road under Kelly. That, frankly, sucks. Also, when considering average number of wins per year under a coach, I think median or mode are much more useful to consider than mean. He has won 8 games 4/8 years with (hopefully) 3/8 seasons better and one much much worse. I think we can fairly call that his ceiling

kiwifan
kiwifan

That’s kind of an arbitrary yardstick IMO. His overall record isn’t bad, just out of synch with possibly unrealistic fan expectations.

hooks orpik
hooks orpik

Yeah, that’s parsed odd. And would that include a win over (unranked at the time, but ranked now) Michigan State?

Kelly’s road record in general isn’t great, but it’s pretty difficult to win on the road against good-or-great teams was more my point.

IrishTexan
IrishTexan

I don’t think winning big games on the road is an arbitrary yardstick for success. 2-13 on the road against teams ranked at end of season. Both wins are vacated pending appeal. Lou was 14-13-1in similar games. Expecting somewhere from .350-.500 average in road games against quality opponents seems a very reasonable mark.

kiwifan
kiwifan

30 years without a championship, most of it in the wilderness, definitely supports the ceiling argument IMO. Good sometimes but not ever great in that timeframe, although in the waning years of Lou we were awfully good, so say the last 25 years rather than 30. None of our players were born when last we were great.

hooks orpik
hooks orpik

All of that is true, but what I can’t reconcile (not specifically calling anyone out) is the mindset that anything less than being a consistent national contender and champion means anything other situation has a “ceiling” or, really, the placeholder for saying they’re upset that there are limitations. Well, if we’re being honest- of course there’s limitations. I don’t think we’ll ever see another dynasty type era for Notre Dame like the days of yore of Rockne or Leahy or Ara or even Lou, if only because of how the game is these days, plus how difficult it would be to build and maintain championship level teams for prolonged periods.

Kelly’s had Notre Dame in the NCG in 2012, and they were in the running and conversation in 2015 and also fairly you have to add they were in the conversation for 10 weeks in 2017 too. That’s not ideal since he hasn’t broken through, and it’s not out of school to ask if there is a ceiling, but big picture I see a coach who has steered the team to national prominence and relevancy in 2 of the last 3 seasons. I don’t see why you consider firing that. I guess that’s my bar for success for a ND coach, I want him to position the team to be in the mix later in the season and to me Kelly’s meeting that expectation.

IrishTexan
IrishTexan

To be clear, I’m not proposing firing him based on that performance. I just think we need to think about where we are and where we want to be. If we’d gotten lucky and faced Kstate in January 2013, he might have won us a title by now. I’m not sure that would have substantively changed the trajectory of his career here.

With the playoff setup, any team who is going to win it all has to win two “big games” in a row. Since he has consistently demonstrated an inability to have the team ready for even one of those games, what is going to change after 100 games that will suddenly make him able to do it twice?

hooks orpik
hooks orpik

I hear ya, and the conversation probably is fair to have considering results, it’s just interesting to me to see what different expectations are.

Michigan State on the road at night wasn’t a big game? Ranked USC and NC State weren’t big games? Yesterday’s game deserves a demerit, but I’d point to player performance and execution before Kelly. It’s not his job to block, run, pass or tackle.

I suppose I may have more confidence in Kelly than most. The next time the Irish play a really good team, I’m not going to think “oh, ND is gonna lose because Kelly can’t prepare them and lost in ’14 to Clemson and FSU and is 2-13 against ranked teams so he’s going to lose again”. Just isn’t a thought process of mine, and I feel like sooner or later they will win some of these big games they’re losing. And, if they don’t, maybe it’s because that other team was really good, not simply because the the ND coach is incompetent or incapable.

IrishTexan
IrishTexan

If MSUand Stanford are ranked and we’re 10-2 at the end of the season, he’ll be 4-14. That’s some progress but not much. I agree they seem better able to perform on a big stage at home, although strangely that’s also where some of the awful losses to bad teams have come (Duke, NW, Navy, Tulsa, USF). Under Kelly we’ve had at least one blowout loss every single year. The least of these was 2013 where we lost to USC and OU at home by only 14 each. I think this is the criterion to look to improve if they were to look for a new coach. If you don’t see anyone on the horizon who you think can avoid bad losses at a clip of 1.5/yr and do significantly better in big games,hang onto BK. Maybe he’ll luck out one of these days. But at this point I do believe that anything better than 10-2 would be due primarily to luck

nd09hls12
nd09hls12

What about this deserved a downvote? His one season that was better than 10-2 was due almost entirely to luck (our second-order wins that season were 10.1), and he hasn’t been able to do better than that.

BK has won one big game since December 2012 (to avoid the quibble: I’m not counting 2013 MSU because it did not seem like a big game at the time, and it ultimately was not a big game for us on any level; it only has meaning of any last import to MSU). That’s where we are right now.

hooks orpik
hooks orpik

It depends on what your definition of a big game is. Kelly’s beaten 2 ranked top-15 teams this season alone (at the time of the game) in USC and NC State. I’d consider both of those big games. Of course, the Miami game had more meaning and was a nasty loss, no downplaying that, but it’s not like there were a lot of expectations or talent level that this actually is a top-4 team in the country right now.

IrishTexan
IrishTexan

There is a clear delineation between home and away record in “big games”. That definition is probably somewhat fluid and subjective, but I think most could agree that it would include some of

1) both teams ranked top 15 (2017 USC, Miami, 2014 FSU, 2012 OU, 2013 USC)
2) night road games (2012 OU, 2011 Michigan, 2015 Clemson, 2017 Miami)
3) games that are getting a lot of national attention (any of the above)
4) games that serve as a tipping point in a season (2013 OU, 2014 ASU, USC, 2015 Stanford)
5) games with title implications (2012 OU, 2014 FSU, 2012 NCG, 2017 Miami)

Given any standard, Kelly’s teams have performed objectively poorly in these games. As stated above, Kelly has been good for at least 1 blowout loss per year, and although I haven’t dug into the records for this, it seems 1 WTF loss per year except 2012 and 2015

nd09hls12
nd09hls12

I was counting USC this year and not counting NC State. NC State (1) is NC State and (2) will barely finish in the top 25, if at all. That was not and is not a big game – it was a game that ND should win at least 7 times out of 10, if not more.

eyerish9299
eyerish9299

I’m also not saying fire him, the issue I have is that next year, he could be right back to 4-8. I don’t think anyone THINKS that is going to happen, but I also don’t think anyone would be super shocked. I think more people are shocked about this season than they would be if we are 4-8 next year.

hooks orpik
hooks orpik

4-8 in 2018 would be super shocking, being as they actually have a competent defensive coordinator. Barring some sort of massive scandal or injury outbreak, there’s no way Notre Dame is a 4 win team, way better than that. More of what I see is being upset and wanting to change directions since they’re a 8-4/9-3 team with Kelly every year with a ceiling of losing to the top teams in the country.

I don’t particularly buy that argument as a reason to change, but at least, yeah, it’s probably closer to accurate. 4 wins isn’t in the equation for me, that was an extreme outlier of worst case scenarios and the worst issues have already clearly been fixed to prevent that from happening again.

IrishTexan
IrishTexan

I’m not saying that the sky is falling re: Elko. I just want to point out that, similar to 2014, what first seemed like a competent to good defense has completely devolved statistically in the last two games. After holding teams to an average of 18.7 ppg, we’ve given up 37 and 41 in the last two. I know that 24 of those points against Miami are at least partially on the offense, but still. I hope very much that they return to form for the rest of the season and contain Navy and Stanford for comfortable wins. If we continue giving up lots of yards and points for the final four games of the season though, I’m afraid we’ve seen this movie before.

Brendan R

24 points off turnovers, 17 of which came with our defense on the field. Those three Miami scoring drives covered 32, -4, and 30 yards. Their other drives went as follows:

– 5 plays, 23 yards, punt
– 8 plays, 58 yards, TD
– 9 plays, 48 yards, FG
– 3 plays, 6 yards, punt
– 4 plays, 26 yards, punt
– Halftime –
– 9 plays, 90 yards, TD (this drive had the absurd 4th down completion that Love almost broke up)
– 5 plays, 17 yards, punt
– 9 plays, 53 yards, missed FG
– Victory formation

The defense didn’t exactly cover themselves in glory, but they weren’t terrible either. They were put in impossible situations all night by how horrific the offense was. Also, Wake just scored 64 on Syracuse – obviously not an elite defense, but their previous high for the season was 35 on a schedule that included LSU, NC State, Clemson, and Miami. It’s possible that Wake is actually pretty good on offense.

I don’t really think this is similar to 2014, in that the issue in 2014 was that people figured out VanGorder’s defense. Elko had one week where the guys lost focus up 25 in the third quarter, and one week where they got screwed by the offense in a huge road game. He also had eight years of elite results at two different FBS schools coming into this season – it would be pretty weird if his defense just suddenly stopped working.

IrishTexan
IrishTexan

OK, you’ve convinced me not to fear the worst re: defense. Now we can just hope that the team mentality will survive the last two games and get them in a position to make up for that embarrassment in a big bowl game.

herecometheirish
herecometheirish

OSU, Texas, and USC all went long periods without titles. It’s about hiring the right coach.

Irishchamp23
Irishchamp23

This is basically where I am at too Hooks.

eyerish9299
eyerish9299

It’s not just the 1 loss that hurts so bad, it was a BLOW OUT against a team that just about everyone thought was lucky to not have at least 3 losses. It also just feels like the bottom is ready to fall out because that’s what we’ve become accustomed to at ND. There have been some promising seasons and then all the sudden we implode and are back to the same ol’ same ol’. That’s what this loss feels like.

IrishTexan
IrishTexan

This is what I fear too. I hope that Kelly can rally the team for good performances and two wins in the coming weeks. Getting their heads on right after a demoralizing and deflating loss would be very much to his credit as a coach

Orlok
Orlok

Question for the commentariat: was it just me, or were we not running Wimbush at all (I think there was one busted play where he took off)? He clearly is not a good enough QB for us to put him in and not use his legs.
If he’s not healthy, do you play Book next week against Navy?

kiwifan
kiwifan

He started taking off in the 4th quarter pretty well, minus sacks. Maybe they told him not to run earlier? I’m guessing it was Miami loosening up their defense, because in the first half they were all over him the few times he tried to scramble or run.

Someone criticized BW for the fumble charged to him—that was all on McGlinchey, who completely whiffed on the DE speedrush, just as he did vs UGA.

Irishchamp23
Irishchamp23

He was not a threat running the whole night it seemed – whether it was a called run play, a read, or on a pass play. That made a big difference I thought and made us 1 dimensional.