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3 Things We Can Take Away From Notre Dame’s 34-31 Loss To Virginia Tech

Brian Kelly is basically speechless.

NCAA Football: Virginia Tech at Notre Dame Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Throughout the course of the entire football season for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, they have constantly shot themselves in the foot on the field, and Brian Kelly has made some really bad coaching decisions. They have done it to the tune of a 4-7 record, and have created a mob-like mentality for the Notre Dame fanbase.

Can we really learn anything new after 11 games? Is it even possible to look at any of this in a small picture sense? You try, but when it comes to Notre Dame, the big picture is always right in front of your face.

But... we’re going to try. Notre Dame lost to the Virginia Tech Hokies 34-31 after leading 17-0 at one point. All bets are off and no rules apply.

ACC officiating should be illegal.

No one wants to immediately point at the officiating crew as one of the reasons for a loss. It seems weak. Somehow though, today seems different. Somehow, the ACC refs were so incredibly terrible that there is just no way of getting around it if we tried.

Notre Dame was on the short end of a very brutal stick when at two different times, DeShone Kizer took a blow to the head (targeting) and the play was neither called- or even reviewed. Both times Kizer looked visibly hurt.

According to Brian Kelly, Kizer did not have a concussion and was fully cleared by the medical staff. Still, you could see Kizer struggling a bit right after those blows.

For those reasons alone this ACC crew should be banned from planet Earth, but they also spotted the ball like a bunch of toddlers were running the show. They were consistently off by a yard on a big plays and on that backwards pass of the Hokies, they spotted it 3 yards closer to the first down line than it should have been.

The whole game was one big screw up.

Where is Kizer’s head and why does this staff hate him?

It’s one thing to complain about the ACC refs and the no calls and no reviews of obvious targeting penalties- and it’s another thing to continually put him in bad situations.

When a quarterback gets hurt or even just starts losing his way a bit, you are supposed to protect him. In this case, it means you run the ball- WITH RUNNING BACKS. Instead, Notre Dame continued to call zone read plays that would allow Kizer to run, or just straight up quarterback runs. It looked cruel and brutal and mind numbing. Why was Notre Dame continually putting him in those positions? Do they hate him? (I’m only half-joking).

NCAA Football: Virginia Tech at Notre Dame Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

DeShone Kizer needed help both on the field and from his coaches and it looked like none of that happened. You need a reason why Notre Dame lost today- there you go. I believe Kizer lost any edge he had after those plays and was operating under a robot mentality. That’s okay if you’re a running back (although dangerous to your health) but for a quarterback it’s just stupid.

Go figure.

Insert Fire Brian Kelly Story Here

I actually think it’s safe to say that Brian Kelly will not be fired at the end of the season. Go ahead and blast me for all the reasons why he should be fired. Go ahead- because I probably agree with just about every complaint you have with him. I really do.

I just don’t think it’s happening. And therein lies the problem. What can we take away from this game and this season if it doesn’t include a change in leadership? Notre Dame has one game left against their rival Southern Cal. Even a game against the Trojans feels like a waste of time, and not because of a win or loss. It’s because we have no idea what kind of football program we have here- win or lose.

We know that against a horribly easy schedule, Notre Dame has lost 7 games by one score. ONE FREAKING SCORE. Even if the Irish had won all seven of those games, the problems would still be the same and maybe worse.

This team, this staff, and this university is confusing the hell out of everyone. Do they want to win football games- or don’t they? I’m positive it’s the former, but their own actions would suggest the complete opposite.

I’m confused, I’m tired, and I’m out of answers that serve only as hypotheticals. One game left in this nightmare season. One game- and then more confusion. I just don’t know man.

Notre Dame Football coach Brian Kelly after losing to Virgina Tech 34-31T

Posted by One Foot Down - For Notre Dame Fighting Irish fans on Saturday, November 19, 2016