Another game for the 2016 Notre Dame Fighting Irish, and another loss in the books by one score. Brian Kelly can’t seem to get out of his own way, and he is once again on the losing end of a game against the Stanford Cardinal.
Did we learn anything new? Probably not “new,” but some theories got reinforced and in doing so, the madness begins. Bugs are crawling all over our bodies- or are they? Nothing is what it seems and yet... and yet, everything is crystal clear. We search for questions that we already hold the answers to.
This is Jeopardy.
The most underperforming unit on the Notre Dame football team.
What is, the offensive line? In my mind, most of the trouble this season really revolves around the offensive line and their inability to protect the quarterback as well as playing as soft as a down pillow when it comes to run blocking. Brian Kelly knows this, and for better or for worse, I think that is why the playcalling has looked the way it does. Not being able to run the ball properly means you can’t protect your quarterback, protect your defense, or protect a lead.
Whatever pedestal that people have for Harry Hiestand should be burned down to the ground. From poor snaps, to playing soft, to confusion, to a plethora of mental errors... what the hell are you doing in practice?
The definition of crazy.
What is, Brian Kelly’s tomfoolery with the quarterback position? Once again, Brian Kelly messes around with the Notre Dame quarterback situation, and once again it backfires. In other years, Brian Kelly has actually played the quarterback cards quite well- but not in 2016. We can rack up at least two losses this season to the quarterback flip-flop. Against the Texas Longhorns, DeShone Kizer should have been the man the entire time. Against Stanford, Brian Kelly went to Malik Zaire in 3 straight series that saw nothing but disaster (not all Zaire’s failt though). We can even point to Kelly not playing Zaire against the N.C. State Wolfpack when his talent was needed as another example.
Brian Kelly has made all the wrong moves at quarterback this season, and seeing Kizer trying to bring the team back on one final drive to tie it- and finding some success shows how horribly wrong he was tonight.
A pleasant surprise.
What is, the Notre Dame defense against Stanford? This is what we have been waiting for since Brian VanGorder got fired after the loss against the Duke Blue Devils. The Notre Dame defense came to play. It was much more like the Bob Diaco defenses Notre Dame had in the beginning of the Kelly era as opposed to the crazed crapfest since 2014. Granted... Stanford is not the offensive powerhouse it used to be, but the Irish defense held them to one touchdown and one two point conversion. That’s pretty damn good three weeks removed from the dismissal of their defensive coordinator.
This was the lone bright spot in a night filled with darkness. Notre Dame has no identity on offense or defense, but at least one move made this year has seemed to help the team.