Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Mass of Remembrance for Declan Sullivan



The University of Notre Dame has posted a video of Thursday night's Mass for Declan Sullivan.  Here's a link:

LINK:  CELEBRATING DECLAN SULLIVAN'S LIFE

The University of Notre Dame -- An Easy Target


This week's tragedy on the Notre Dame football practice field served up another "fat one" for an opportunistic main stream media.  You see, Notre Dame is an easy target for the media -- always has been, always will be -- for this simple reason:  they dare to do things right.

On a typical college football Saturday, a day that you could find a running back in the SEC (Chris Rainey) -- playing for the beloved Urban Meyer's Florida Gators, who just a few weeks ago is arrested for threatening to kill his girlfriend -- scores a TD in their win over Georgia.  Or, in the Big Ten -- where this past Thursday a defensive back from Michigan State (Chris Rucker) was sitting in a jail cell (serving a two week prison sentence for a parole violation) and two days later, he's in uniform -- playing against Iowa for the undefeated Spartans.

Yet, the media's not talking about Florida and Michigan State's "win at all cost" approach today -- no, they're talking about the university that dares to graduate all of its student athletes.  The school that sends you home for a semester or longer; for cheating on a paper, for driving a golf cart on campus while intoxicated, etc.   The EASY TARGET, because it dares to have standards and expectations for its student athletes and its university.

The University of Notre Dame failed one of its own this past Wednesday -- we know that -- and trust me, Notre Dame knows that.  Declan Sullivan's death was a tragedy, it was an accident and it can't be taken back.  The Sullivan's lost a son, a brother and a shining light on Wednesday -- Notre Dame lost one of its own.

What good does the media serve this morning with their attack on Notre Dame?

Do they think Notre Dame won't do their absolute best to ensure an accident like this never happens again?  Or, do they really think Notre Dame's going to "look the other way" and they (the media) need to serve the public good and force Notre Dame to do the right thing?

No, this is a selfish move -- to drive up ratings, page views and newspaper sales.

They know Notre Dame is going to do the right thing.

Shouldn't the media be putting the spotlight on schools like Florida and Michigan State -- maybe, just maybe they can help save a life -- by forcing these schools (and others) to "do the right thing" -- and not look the other way -- even when it might lead to a defeat on the football field...??

It just goes to show -- that administrators in Gainesville and East Lansing believe there are benefits in having such low expectations of their student athletes, their football programs and their universities.

Isn't this where the outrage should be today?

The Next Great Irish QB?


He's a nineteen year-old "baby faced" Notre Dame freshman -- who now just happens to be the starting QB for the Fighting Irish.  Tommy Rees, didn't earn that starting role -- he inherited it.  Yet, after yesterday's record setting performance for a freshman -- 4 TD passes going 33-54 and 334 yards -- Rees proved he belongs.


As a point of reference, Jimmy Clausen threw seven TD passes his entire freshman season in ten games as a starter.  Rees throws five TD passes in his five quarters of relief duty.  

He just might be the perfect passing QB for Brian Kelly's system.  Rees appears to get rid of the ball on time and is accurate -- two key elements in Kelly's spread offense.  While I don't think he'll ever be the runner I'm sure Kelly would like -- he can move the Irish down the field and score.  Think about it, he comes in off the bench in the first quarter (in the middle of an Irish possession) and proceeds to complete his first eight passes and leads the Irish to TD's the first two times he's on the field.


In a season that has turned into an unmitigated disaster -- Tommy Rees just might be the guy who turns "our frowns upside down."

Here's a link to his first post game interview session -- pretty impressive:

LINK:  TOMMY REES INTERVIEW

The Morning After -- The Media's IRISH Spin

The ND GO IRISH BLOG takes a "lap" around the web, every Sunday morning during the football season, to check in on the media's take on Notre Dame's performance the day before.  Today we get the opportunity to read what they're saying about our 28-27 loss to Tulsa.

LINK:  ESPN

LINK:  TULSA WORLD #1

LINK:  TULSA WORLD #2

LINK:  CHICAGO TRIBUNE

LINK:  CHICAGO SUN TIMES

LINK:  SOUTH BEND TRIBUNE #1

LINK:  SOUTH BEND TRIBUNE #2

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Coach Kelly After Today's Loss to Tulsa...

Here's a couple of links to Notre Dame Head Football Coach, Brian Kelly's post game comments.  The first link is video of his first comments since Wednesday's tragic accident.  The second link is video of his thoughts concerning today's loss to Tulsa.

LINK:  BRIAN KELLY'S COMMENTS ON DECLAN SULLIVAN

LINK:  BRIAN KELLY'S TULSA POST GAME MEDIA SESSION

Game Day @ Notre Dame!


Today's game just might be what the Doctor ordered for the Notre Dame Football team and the Notre Dame Family.  If you're like me -- and you're not going to the Tulsa game today -- here's how you can keep occupied leading up to kick-off.  We really need a win today -- GO IRISH!




KICK OFF:  2:41 PM EST


LINK:  NBC.COM SIMULCAST OF GAME

What The Money is Sayin' -- Today's Game

Every week, the ND GO IRISH BLOG takes a look at how the "experts" in Las Vegas analyze the Irish and their opponent.  Today, the Golden Hurricanes -- coming off a bye week -- will bring the 8th ranked offense in the country to Notre Dame Stadium for the first time in their school's history.  The Irish are currently a 8.5 point favorite.  Here's a link to a number of the betting site's analysis of today's game:

LINK:  ACCUSCORE

LINK:  MADDUXSPORTS

LINK:  TOUTHOUSE

LINK:  ODDSSHARK

Tulsa's First Ever Trip to Notre Dame Stadium


The Tulsa Golden Hurricanes and their high-powered offense, ranked 8th in the country, invade historic Notre Dame Stadium for the first time this afternoon.  Coming off a bye week, the Golden Hurricanes are averaging 491.57 yards per game -- 270 yards passing and 221 yards rushing.  Here is a link to a video of Tulsa's "walk through" at Notre Dame Stadium yesterday afternoon (photo as well).  And, a link to a video of Tulsa's Head Coach Todd Graham talking about Notre Dame:




LINK:  TULSA'S "WALK THROUGH" @ NOTRE DAME STADIUM 

LINK:  TULSA'S TODD GRAHAM -- TALKING NOTRE DAME

Helmet Sticker To Be Worn By Irish Today

The University of Notre Dame released this artwork last night of the helmet decal to be worn by the Fighting Irish football players today -- to honor classmate Declan Sullivan.  Tulsa will also wear the sticker on their helmets.

Stewart Named National Scholar-Athlete!

University of Notre Dame's Chris Stewart (Spring, TX) -- a fifth-year senior offensive guard -- has been selected a 2010 National Scholar-Athlete by the National Football Foundation.  The 6'5" 252 lb. lineman is the first student athlete in Notre Dame's storied history to take on football and law school simultaneously. Stewart graduated from Notre Dame in 3 1/2 years and entered Notre Dame's Law School this fall.  As a National Scholar-Athlete, Stewart receives an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship and is one of 16 finalists for the 21st William V. Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth, which recognizes an individual as the absolute best scholar-athlete in the nation and often referred to as "The Academic Heisman." The award comes with a 25-pound bronze trophy and a $25,000 post-graduate scholarship.  Stewart is the 16th Notre Dame football player to receive the scholarship and second in the past four years.  John Carlson, now with the Seattle Seahawks, is the last Irish football player to be so honored.  Chris will be one of the honored guests at the National Football Foundation's Annual Awards Dinner on Tuesday, Dec. 7 in New York City at the Waldorf-Astoria. The event will also include the induction of the 2010 College Football Hall of Fame Class and the presentation of several major awards, including the organization's highest honor, the Gold Medal, to American icon Bill Cosby and the Distinguished American Award to renowned journalist and author Tom Brokaw.  This past month, USA Today spent a day with Chris Stewart -- see the link below to that story.  Congratulations Chris!

LINK:  A DAY IN THE LIFE OF CHRIS STEWART

A Football Goal Post @ Yankee Stadium!

Three weeks from today, the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame and the Black Knights of Army -- will play the first football game in the Yankees' new $1.5 billion home.  The "home game" for the Irish, marks the first time since 1946 that the Irish have played in New York City.  That 1946 contest, also against Army,  in the "old" Yankee Stadium, ended in a 0-0 tie -- a game many have called the "greatest of all time." Yesterday, the Yankees released this photo of the first goal post in their new baseball park -- as they make the transformation to a football stadium.  I can't wait!  Here's a link to video highlights of the 1946 game:

LINK:  1946 ND vs. ARMY GAME

Friday, October 29, 2010

A Mass to Celebrate Declan Sullivan's Life

The University of Notre Dame family met on campus last night at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart with the family of Declan Sullivan and the Notre Dame football team -- to celebrate Declan's life.  The crowd was larger than the Basilica could handle as hundreds were forced to stand outside (photo) or gather in other campus locations to watch the Mass via a live TV feed.  Here's a link to a Chicago Tribune story along with WNDU-TV's story on the Mass and a MUST READ blog post from Amy Holsinger, a junior at Notre Dame -- it will make you very proud of our Notre Dame:

LINK:  REMEMBERING DECLAN SULLIVAN

LINK:  WNDU-TV'S COVERAGE

LINK:  A ND STUDENT'S REFLECTION OF LAST NIGHT'S MASS

Football Weekend Weather @ Notre Dame

Looks like another "sunny" football weekend at Notre Dame!  Since the forecast doesn't show any rain for a few days in the Michiana area -- I've dropped the radar link and added the WNDU-TV webcam link of the Notre Dame campus skyline.  Go Irish!

Notre Dame: #1 in the Classroom!

The NCAA released its Graduation Success Rate (GSR) measurements for student athletes, this week, and the University of Notre Dame is the clear NATIONAL CHAMPION!  19 of Notre Dame's 22 NCAA Division 1 athletic teams had a 100% graduation rate over the last six years.  The only three sports that didn't have a perfect graduation rate over this period was football (96%), hockey (95%) and men's tennis at (93%).  The football team's GSR was #1 in the country and the hockey team's GSR was #2 in the country.  Notre Dame's 19 for 22 in perfect graduation rates amongst it's sports teams (86.3%) also led the country.  Here's the ranking of the seven schools in the country who had at least 50% of its athletic teams achieve "perfection" with their GSR:

#1:  University of Notre Dame:  19/22 -- 86.3%
#2:  Boston College:  19/25 -- 78%
#3:  Wake Forest University:  10/14 -- 71.4%
#4:  Stanford University:  19/27 -- 70.3%
#5:  Duke University:  14/22 -- 63.6%
#6:  Northwestern University:  10/19 -- 52.6%
#7:  Rice University:  6/12 -- 50%

This marks the fifth time in the six years since the NCAA began this survey that the University of Notre Dame has had the highest percentage of athletic teams with a 100% graduation rate!  Wouldn't it be nice if the national sports media reported on this!  Have you seen ESPN cover this?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Notre Dame Football -- Put In Perspective Today

The tragic news of Declan Sullivan, a 20 year-old University of Notre Dame junior (Long Grove, IL), losing his life in an accident at Notre Dame's football practice today -- makes one's concern over our team's performance this season, seem so very shallow -- as the Sullivan family (Declan's sister Gwyneth, is a ND student) and friends deal with this horrific news.  I know the Notre Dame Family will pray for one of its own...


At approximately 4:50 PM EST today, a hydraulic scissors lift, used by Notre Dame to hoist a camera and videographer forty to fifty feet into the air to video practice -- tipped over, falling onto the street that runs outside the practice fields -- killing Sullivan, who was videotaping Notre Dame's defensive team's practice from atop the platform.  


The photos above, show the platform and lift laying on its side -- on the street outside the University of Notre Dame's Labar Practice Complex.  WNDU-TV is reporting that wind gusts this afternoon exceeded 50 mph on the Notre Dame campus.  Here's a number of links to the media's coverage of this tragic accident:

LINK:  NOTRE DAME'S OFFICIAL STATEMENT


























Notre Dame just announced that it will celebrate Declan Sullivan's life -- tomorrow night -- 
at a 10 PM Memorial Mass at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart.


"...And, until we meet again -- 
may God hold you in the palm of His hand."




THE ND GO IRISH BLOG WILL "GO QUIET" FOR THE NEXT 24 HOURS

The Definitive Notre Dame Football Database

Folks, I stumbled upon a Notre Dame Football online database today that is absolutely incredible.  It's published by Geoge Macor Sports Databases -- and it tracks every Notre Dame Football game since the inaugural 1887 season.  The very first football game played by Notre Dame was on November 23, 1887 against the University of Michigan -- a game the Irish lost 8-0 -- you'll find that game in the database.  Here's a link:

LINK:  THE DEFINITIVE NOTRE DAME FOOTBALL DATABASE

Youngest Head Coach in the NBA -- A Domer!


Former Notre Dame basketball star and nine-year NBA player, Monty Williams, will be coaching his first NBA regular season game tonight -- from the Head Coaches seat -- as his New Orleans Hornets take on the Milwaukee Bucks.  And, at age 39, this DOMER is the youngest head coach in the NBA!  ND Go Irish Blog regular, Denny Doyle, sent me an email this morning (THANK YOU!) alerting me to the fact that USA Today recently interviewed Williams -- here's a link to that story -- along with a link to a story posted on June 5th when he was named head coach:



LINK:  THE NBA'S YOUNGEST HEAD COACH

LINK:  WILLIAMS NAMED COACH OF HORNETS

Notre Dame's Offense -- National Rankings


It's Wednesday -- which means it's time for our weekly look at where Notre Dame Football ranks in certain statistical categories amongst the 120 teams in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision -- AFTER EIGHT GAMES OF THE 2010 SEASON. In today's analysis you'll see how Notre Dame's Offense & Special Teams currently stand; on a national basis -- as compared to their final ranking for 2009 -- and how this week's opponent: Tulsa's defense and special teams compare in the same categories.


OFFENSIVE TEAM STATISTICS

Total First Downs:  2010 Rank - #27 with 168 first downs -- in 2009 we had 293 first downs for the season, ranking us #13 -- TCU leads the country with 205 first downs.  Tulsa has 183 first downs for the season, ranking them #9 in the country.

Third Down Conversions:  2010 Rank - #66 with a 39.25% conversion rate -- in 2009 we had a 39.1% conversion rate for the season, ranking us #48 -- Nevada leads the country converting 60% of their third downs.  Tulsa's defense has allowed a 42.11% third down conversion rate this season, ranking them #84 in the country.

Passing Yards Per Attempt:  2010 Rank - #63 with 7.0 yards passing per attempt -- in 2009 we averaged 8.7 yards passing per attempt, ranking us #7 in the country.

Passing Yardage:  2010 Rank - #18 with 283 yards per game  (2,263 yards for the season)  -- in 2009 we passed for 323 yards per game (3,882 yards for the season), ranking us #7 -- Hawaii leads the country with 401 yards passing per game (3,206 yards for the season).  Tulsa's defense has given up an average of 330 passing yards per game this season, ranking them #120 in the country.

Rushing Yards Per Attempt:  2010 Rank - #87 with 3.7 yards rushing per attempt -- in 2009 we averaged 3.8 yards rushing per attempt, ranking us #76 in the country.  

Rushing Yardage:  2010 Rank - #98 with 112 yards rushing per game (897 yards for the season) -- in 2009 we rushed for 127 yards per game  (1,539 yards for the season), ranking us #88 -- Air Force leads the country with 326 yards rushing per game (2,612 yards for the season).  Tulsa's defense has given up an average of 113 rushing yards per game this season, ranking them #20 in the country.

Fewest QB Sacks Given Up:  2010 Rank -- #45 giving up 16 QB sacks -- in 2009 we gave up 25 QB sacks for the season, ranking us #66 -- Oregon and Marshall lead the country having only given up 2 QB sacks this season.  Tulsa's defense has sacked the QB 17 times this season, ranking them #38 in the country.

Fewest Pass Interceptions Thrown:  2010 Rank -- #103 having thrown 9 pass interceptions this season -- in 2009 we threw 5 interceptions for the season, raking us #5 -- Army leads the country having thrown 0 pass interceptions this season.  Tulsa's defense has intercepted 9 passes this season, ranking them #27 in the country.

Turnovers Lost:  2010 Rank - #85 with 15 turnovers lost -- in 2009 we had 14 turnovers for the season, ranking us #7 -- Oregon State leads the country with 4 turnovers lost for the season.  Tulsa's defense and special teams have gained 15 turnovers this season, ranking them #28 in the country.

Total Offense:  2010 Rank -- #52 with 395 yards per game of offense -- in 2009 we had 451 yards per game of offense, ranking us #8 -- Oregon leads the country 569 yards per game of offense.  Tulsa's defense has given up 443 yards per game this season, ranking them #108 in the country.

Points Per Game:  2010 Rank -- #71 with 25.88 points per game -- in 2009 we averaged 30.1 points per game for the season, ranking us #32 -- Oregon leads the country scoring 55.1 points per game.  Tulsa's defense has given up an average of 28.9 points per game this season, ranking them #81 in the country.
.
TEAM STATISTICS

Fewest Penalties:  2010 Rank - #18 with 37 penalties -- in 2009 we had 75 penalties for the season, ranking us #50 -- Penn State leads the country in the fewest penalties with 25.  Tulsa is ranked #6 in the country for fewest penalties with 30 on the season.

Fewest Penalty Yards:  2010 Rank -- #37 with 355 total yards in penalties -- in 2009 we had 666 yards in penalties, ranking us #60 -- Penn State leads the country in fewest penalty yards with 176.  Tulsa is ranked #9 in the country for fewest penalty yards this season with 260.

Net Punting Yards:  2010 Rank -- #37 with an average net of 38.0 yards per punt -- in 2009 we averaged 32.1 yards per punt, ranking us #112 -- Florida leads the country with 44.55 net yards per punt.  Tulsa is averaging 10.18 yards per punt return this season, ranking them #37 in the country.

Field Goals -- 2010 Rank -- #10 with 13 field goals made this season.  The Irish are 13 for 13 (100%) -- one of six teams in the FBS who have not missed a field goal this season.  In 2009 we made 19 field goals, ranking us #22 -- while going 19 for 22 in the process.  Tulsa has made 11 field goals this season,  ranking them #25 in the country.   Tulsa's 11 of 16 (68.8%) -- ranking them #78 in the country.

INDIVIDUAL LEADERS ON OFFENSE -- Ranked in top 100

Dayne Crist:
-Ranked #56 in the country with a QB Rating of  130.2
-Ranked #14 in the country with 2,033 yards passing
-Ranked #20 in the country with 15 TD passes
-Ranked #65 in the country with a 59.6% pass completion percentage
-Ranked #27 in the country for most pass interceptions thrown with 7
-Ranked #3 in the country with a 95 yard pass completion / his 80 yard pass completion to Floyd would be ranked #19 in the country

David Ruffer:
-Ranked #8 in the country in most field goals made with 13
-Ranked #2 in the country with most field goals made without a miss (13)
-Ranked #18 in the country for longest field goal made - 50 yarder

Armando Allen:
-Ranked #65 in the country with 514 yards rushing

Michael Floyd:
-Ranked #23 in the country with 624 yards receiving
-Ranked #23 in the country with 44 catches
-Ranked #19 in the country with 6 TD catches
-Ranked #19 in the country with an 80 yard catch

Kyle Rudolph:
-Ranked #3 in the country with a 95 yard catch

Theo Riddick:
-Ranked #41 in the country with 38 catches
-Ranked #90 in the country with 406 yards receiving

TOMORROW AN ANALYSIS OF NOTRE DAME'S DEFENSE

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

"An Absolute Mess" -- Says Coach Diaco

I have to admit, it was difficult watching Notre Dame Defensive Coordinator Bob Diaco's session with the media after today's practice.  Diaco faced questions, for the first time this season, from a press corp that was "unimpressed" with his Irish defense.  Navy's offensive rushing output of 367 yards Saturday -- was shocking.  Here's a link to Coach Diaco's media session:

LINK:  COACH DIACO FACES THE MEDIA

The Most Expensive Penalty Flag in History!

The University of Notre Dame's pass interference penalty in the first half of Saturday's game against the Naval Academy -- was the most expensive penalty flag thrown in the history of college football.  IT WAS THE ONLY PENALTY OF THE GAME -- COSTING BOTH SCHOOLS A COMBINED ONE MILLION DOLLARS!  Liberty Mutual announced a promotion in September of this year -- here's a link -- in which they would award $1 million (combined) to both schools who played a "penalty free" NCAA FBS football game.  The defensive pass interference penalty -- an easy call for the officials -- was the only penalty flag that hit the football field in Navy's 35-17 thumping of the Irish.  It was the first time the Naval Academy had not been called for a penalty in eight years.  Saturday's loss to Navy -- which put a huge hit on the Irish's post-season bowl opportunities -- just got a little more expensive...

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Financial Impact of Obama's Visit?

President Obama's appearance at the University of Notre Dame's Commencement in May of 2009 was highly controversial -- that we all know.  What we didn't know was it's impact financially on Notre Dame.  CatholicCulture.org is reporting that financial contributions fell by more than $120 million during the fiscal year of Obama's visit.  It was the "imperfect storm" that year for Notre Dame; the Obama controversy,  the economy and a 3-9 football season.  Here's a link to the story:

LINK:  OBAMA'S FINANCIAL HIT ON NOTRE DAME

Wolfard '02 and Haney -- Third Place Last Night!

Season 17 of CBS's The Amazing Race has a Domer (Thomas Wolfard '02) and his girlfriend (Jill Haney) holding their own in this globe trotting adventure race.  Last night's race began in Sweden and ended in Norway -- with our favorite team -- finishing in THIRD PLACE!  When they reached the finish line, Thomas was sporting his Notre Dame Fighting Irish t-shirt.  Eleven teams began The Amazing Race, now seven remain.  Rumor has it the race will be moving to Russia next Sunday.  Here's a few links below to this week's episode and an interview of Thomas and Jill.

LINK:  SEASON 17 EPISODE 5

LINK:  INTERVIEW OF THOMAS AND JILL

LINK:  THOMAS & JILL'S FACEBOOK PAGE

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Sunday Conversation -- Coach Kelly



Life goes on -- and the Irish need to get over yesterday's beating by the Naval Academy and start preparing for Tulsa this Saturday.  This afternoon, Coach Kelly met with UND.COM's Jack Nolan for their weekly Sunday chat.  Here's a link:

LINK:  A SUNDAY CONVERSATION WITH COACH KELLY

The Morning After -- the Media Piles On

And, we should expect nothing else when the most storied college football team in the country takes a beating like they did yesterday at the hands of a military academy school.  Frankly, we deserve all of it.  (The photo is of Navy's "back up" fullback who rushed for 210 yards yesterday -- a school record for that position).  Here's what our "friends" in the media had to say about Notre Dame's humbling 35-17 loss to Navy yesterday:

LINK:  ESPN

LINK:  NEW YORK TIMES

LINK:  BALTIMORE SUN

LINK:  CHICAGO TRIBUNE

LINK:  SOUTH BEND TRIBUNE

Notre Dame Hockey Beats #1 BC Last Night!

Jeff Jackson's Fighting Irish hockey team beat the top ranked team in college hockey last night, Boston College,  2-1.  SOME GREAT NEWS ON A SATURDAY IN WHICH OUR FOOTBALL TEAM GOT HAMMERED BY NAVY. Sophomore goalie Mike Johnson had 28 saves and senior forward Calle Ridderwald scored two second period goals as the Irish move on to 4-1-0 on the season.  The victory snapped a 14 game winning streak for Boston College -- a carry-over from last season when they won the National Championship.  It's the fourth time that Notre Dame has beat a #1 ranked Boston College hockey team in the last seven seasons.  (The photo is of former ND hockey coach Lefty Smith handing out the trophy that annually goes to the winner of the ND/BC hockey game to Irish team captain Joe Lavin).  The #17 ranked "young" Irish (12 of the 27 players are freshmen) are sure to move up in the polls this week prior to their "home and home" series with Western Michigan University this weekend.  Go Irish!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Our Worst Loss of All Time?

Folks, I've promised to be POSITIVE on this blog about Notre Dame.  And, I will do my absolute best to continue that trend.  I just got done watching a game that reminded me of the Miami whipping on Gerry Faust's Irish back in the mid-80's -- a game I thought was the worst in Notre Dame football history.  Gang, this may have topped it.  A 217 lb. Navy "back-up" fullback rushed for more than 200 yards today -- the first time in Navy history.  He did this up the middle of a defense that featured supposedly, our best defensive lineman (Ian Williams) and our best linebacker (Manti Teo).  How does that happen -- ALL GAME LONG?  Does Georgia Southern have better athletes than we do on defense?  They held Navy to 109 yards rushing and 13 points.  THINK ABOUT THAT!  We're fortunate that Navy called off "the goats" in the 3rd quarter.  They kicked our fannies.   Never thought I'd write that about Notre Dame football.  Here's a link to Coach Kelly's post game press conference -- not a fun duty today.  It's on right now.

LINK: COACH KELLY POST GAME MEDIA SESSION

What The "Money's" Saying About -- ND vs. Navy




Every week, the ND GO IRISH BLOG looks to the "experts" in Las Vegas who set the "betting line" on college football games.  The last two weeks -- Vegas has been right on the money, with their point spreads on Irish games.  The Pitt game, ND was a 6 point favorite -- the Irish win 23-17.  The Western Michigan game, ND was a 24 point favorite -- the Irish win 44-20.  COINCIDENCE?  Here's what they're saying about today's game with Navy:





The Irish vs. #1 Ranked Opponents

This evening, the #1 ranked team in college hockey -- Boston College -- will be taking on Jeff Jackson's #17 ranked Fighting Irish at the Joyce Center.  It will be a great early test for this young Notre Dame team.  You may recall that Notre Dame and BC met in the NCAA National Championship game in 2008.  We won't mention who won that game...  In college football, the University of Notre Dame and the University of Oklahoma have beaten more #1 ranked teams than anyone else in history -- with both schools beating teams ranked #1 at the time -- eight times!  Here's a list of all time wins by schools against #1 ranked opponents in college football:
-Notre Dame, 8
-Oklahoma, 8
-Miami (Fla.) 7
-Purdue, 7
-USC, 7
-Texas, 5
-Alabama, 4
-Arkansas, 4
-Michigan, 4
-Ohio State, 4
-Penn State, 4
-Auburn, 3
-Florida, 3
-Illinois, 3
-Minnesota, 3
-UCLA, 3
-Wisconsin, 3
-Arizona, 2
-Georgia Tech, 2
-Kentucky, 2
-LSU, 2
-Maryland, 2
-Michigan State, 2
-Oregon State, 2
-Tennessee, 2
-Arizona State, 1
-Army, 1
-Boston College, 1
-BYU, 1
-Florida State, 1
-Georgia, 1
-Kansas, 1
-Kansas State, 1
-Mississippi State, 1
-Nebraska, 1
-Northwestern, 1
-Rice, 1
-South Carolina, 1
-Stanford, 1
-Syracuse, 1
-Texas A&M, 1
-TCU, 1
-Texas Tech, 1
-Washington, 1
-Washington State, 1

Friday, October 22, 2010

Help This Domer Win Hispanic Award!

David Olivencia is a graduate of Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business MBA program -- and he's a finalist for the Outstanding Hispanic Award at the upcoming Hispanic Forum 2010 this December in Washington D.C.  David is a member of the Notre Dame Club of Detroit -- and the Club sent out an email out last night asking the Notre Dame family to go to the site linked below and vote for David.  I thought it would be an effort the ND GO IRISH BLOG gang should get behind.  So, here's the link to vote for David.  Go David! and Go Irish!

LINK:  VOTE FOR DAVID OLIVENCIA

The Daniels Family -- Welcome to Notre Dame!

One of Brian Kelly's most recent recruits is Davaris Daniels -- a big time wide receiver out of the Chicago area.  Davaris, just happens to be the son of Phillip Daniels, a defensive end with the Washington Redskins -- who's in his 15th year in the NFL.  FYI -- that's Davaris on the right...   Rumor has it, that Brian Kelly will be instituting a "bring your Dad to school" program the Saturday of the USC game next October -- it's expected that Davaris's dad will offer to give a demonstration on "the art of  the QB sack"-- in Coach Kelly's Notre Dame classroom (Notre Dame Stadium).  Sounds like a wonderful idea to me!  Here's a link to an ESPN.COM story this week on these two:

LINK:  THE DANIELS FAMILY

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Weather Forecast for Notre Dame vs. Navy

Here's what the weather forecast looks like for "Football Weekend" for the Irish and their fans these next few days in East Rutherford, NJ -- courtesy of My9 TV.  Looks like great weather!  Here's a link to local weather radar for northern New Jersey:

LINK:  WEATHER RADAR FOR NEW JERSEY

It's a Big Deal -- When the Irish Come to Town

Thought you'd enjoy this screen shot of the "home page" of the New Meadowlands Stadium website.  It shows a photo of Armando Allen above the stadium -- the Irish are coming to town!  Here's a link to their official website:

LINK:  THE NEW MEADOWLANDS STADIUM

CBS Affiliates -- Where to Watch the Irish!

CBS doesn't publish a TV coverage map for college football -- so, you're going to have to check out your local TV guide to see if your CBS affiliate is going to carry the Notre Dame vs. Navy game this Saturday.  Kick-off is scheduled for NOON, 12:00 PM EST.  Here's a link below to a list of the CBS affiliates across the country by state.  And, if you learn that you won't be getting the game -- you can watch the game on the web -- click on the link below to watch the game online at cbssports.com:

LINK:  LIST OF CBS AFFILIATES BY STATE

LINK:  WHERE TO WATCH THE GAME ONLINE

It's Thursday -- Brian Kelly's Radio Show Tonight


Every Thursday during the football season -- Notre Dame Head Football Coach, Brian Kelly -- hosts his radio show live from Legends of Notre Dame.  If you can't be there in person at 7 PM EST -- you have the option of watching it or listening to it, live on the web.  Here are the links:

LINK:  WATCH THE SHOW

LINK:  LISTEN TO THE SHOW

Hottest Ticket in College Football This Week...

You guessed it -- Notre Dame vs. Navy at the new Meadowlands Stadium.  That's according to STUBHUB.COM -- here's a link to the story.  Ironically, the most expensive ticket in college football this season (see link below) also involves the Irish an another military academy.  I guess that's the price you pay for no longer being RELEVANT...

LINK:  HOTTEST TICKET IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL

LINK:  MOST EXPENSIVE TICKET IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Three ND Players Receive Mid-Season Honors

Phil Steele, who publishes Phil Steele's College Football Preview -- just released his "Mid-Season All American Team" and three Notre Dame Football players received All American honors;  Manti Teo, Michael Floyd and Kyle Rudolph.  Teo was named 2nd team All-American linebacker, Floyd and Rudolph were named 4th team All-Americans at their respective positions.  Manti Teo was also named to Sports Illustrated's Mid-Season All-American team -- as a 2nd team linebacker.  Here are the links to the teams:

LINK:  PHIL STEELE'S MID-SEASON ALL AMERICANS

LINK:  SPORTS ILLUSTRATED'S MID-SEASON ALL AMERICANS

Notre Dame Releases Football Schedules

The University of Notre Dame released its 2011 and 2012 football schedules yesterday -- and they contain some new opponents, some past opponents and those you've come to expect.  Notre Dame alum, Skip Holtz (son of Lou) will bring his University of South Florida Bulls into Notre Dame Stadium to kick-off the 2011 season.  It will mark the first time the Irish have played this school in football.  That same trend carries on later in the year when Notre Dame will travel to Winston-Salem, NC to take on another "first time opponent" in the Deamon Deacons of Wake Forest -- in its 31,500 seat stadium.  This just might be the smallest football stadium (pictured) the Irish have played in, since the days of Rockne.  Other highlights of the 2011 season include the first night game in the history of Michigan Stadium -- as the Irish will play the Wolverines "under the lights" on September 10th.  And, a neutral site game in Washington D.C. -- as the Irish will take on Maryland at the Redskins' Fed-Ex Field.  The 2012 season kicks of in Ireland -- as the Irish will travel to Dublin to take on Navy.  This season will see the return to the Notre Dame football schedule of some of the bigger names in college football; Oklahoma, Miami and BYU.  The Miami game will be held at Chicago's Soldier Field. Here's the FUN FACT OF THE YEAR:  Ten of the twelve Notre Dame's opponents, on the 2012 schedule, have won a NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP in football.  Here are the ten schools; Navy, Purdue, Michigan State, Michigan, Miami, Stanford, BYU, Oklahoma, Pittsburgh and USC.  The only two schools on the 2012 schedule that haven't; Boston College and Wake Forest.  Is anyone playing a schedule like that in the country?  Here's a link to the 2011 & 2012 schedules:

LINK:  NOTRE DAME'S 2011 & 2012 SCHEDULE

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

PHOTO OF THE DAY -- Buffet's Office Sign



Legendary Berkshire Hathaway investor, Warren Buffet -- was interviewed by USA Today about his love for Nebraska football.  Buffet, who's lived in the same home in Omaha, NE -- that he bought for $31,500 in 1958 -- says "his heart is with the Huskers..."  Well, it look's like his "head/brain" is with the IRISH -- see the sign behind him.  Go Irish!

How Navy Plays the Game of Football...

I have the utmost respect for the Naval Academy -- one of my best friends growing up is a graduate of this prestigious institution.  The commitment these young men and women have made to our country should never be questioned.  They are heroes.  Having said that -- I'm not a fan of how they play the game of football.  Undoubtedly, we're going to hear a CBS Announcer, this Saturday, talk about how the "undermanned Naval Academy plays with great discipline..." -- in a complimentary fashion.  What they don't have the guts to say is this: Navy football has become synonymous with -- CHEAP SHOTS.  Case in point, here's a video of the game last year at Notre Dame Stadium.  The video catches a Navy football player -- on the other side of the field from the play -- attempting to end the career of a Notre Dame football player (Robert Blanton).  Here's the link:

LINK:  NAVY FOOTBALL HAS "SUNK" TO THIS

Legendary Irish Coach Dies at Age 93

Tom Fallon who retired from the University of Notre Dame in 1987 as the WINNINGEST COACH IN IRISH ATHLETICS HISTORY -- died yesterday at the age of 93 of natural causes at his South Bend home.  Fallon was Notre Dame's men's tennis coach for 31 seasons (1957 - 1987) taking his 1959 team to a Co-National Championship.  He retired with an overall record of 514-194 good for a 72.6% winning percentage -- earning him a spot in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Hall of Fame.  Fallon also found time to coach the Notre Dame Wrestling team -- as he started this program in 1952 at Notre Dame and led it for its first 15 seasons.  Fallon's combined win total for his wrestling and tennis teams was 579 wins.  Here's a link to Notre Dame's story on Tom's death:

LINK:  ALL TIME NOTRE DAME COACHING GREAT

Notre Dame's Offense -- National Rankings

It's Wednesday -- which means it's time for our weekly look at where Notre Dame Football ranks in certain statistical categories amongst the 120 teams in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision -- AFTER SEVEN GAMES OF THE 2010 SEASON. In today's analysis you'll see how Notre Dame's Offense & Special Teams currently stand; on a national basis -- as compared to their final ranking for 2009 -- and how this week's opponent: NAVY's offense, defense and special teams compare in the same categories.


OFFENSIVE TEAM STATISTICS

Total First Downs:  2010 Rank - #26 with 146 first downs -- in 2009 we had 293 first downs for the season, ranking us #13 -- Tulsa leads the country with 183 first downs.  Navy has 122 first downs for the season, ranking them #84 in the country.

Third Down Conversions:  2010 Rank - #78 with a 35.8% conversion rate -- in 2009 we had a 39.1% conversion rate for the season, ranking us #48 -- Nevada leads the country converting 57.8% of their third downs.  Navy has converted 43.5% of its third down conversions this season, ranking them #23 in the country.

Passing Yardage:  2010 Rank - #18 with 2,006 passing yards (287 yards per game)  -- in 2009 we passed for 3,882 yards (323 yards per game) for the season, ranking us #7 -- Hawaii leads the country with 2,817 passing yards (402 yards per game).  Navy's defense has given up an average of 160 passing yards per game this season, ranking them #9 in the country.

Rushing Yardage:  2010 Rank - #97 with 791 rushing yards (113 yards per game) -- in 2009 we rushed for 1,539 yards (127 yards per game) for the season, ranking us #88 -- Air Force leads the country with 2,428 rushing yards ( 347 yards per game).  Navy's defense has given up an average of 163 rushing yards per game this season, ranking them #78 in the country.

Fewest QB Sacks Given Up:  2010 Rank -- #70 giving up 15 QB sacks -- in 2009 we gave up 25 QB sacks for the season, ranking us #66 -- Boise State leads the country having only given up 1 QB sack.  Navy's defense has sacked the QB 8 times this season, ranking them #95 in the country.

Turnovers Lost:  2010 Rank - #70 with 13 turnovers lost -- in 2009 we had 14 turnovers for the season, ranking us #7 -- Oregon State leads the country with 4 turnovers lost for the season.  Navy's defense and special teams has gained 13 turnovers this season, ranking them #31 in the country.

Total Offense:  2010 Rank -- #50 with 2,797 yards (399 per game)  of offense -- in 2009 we had 5,421 yards (451 yards per game) of offense for the season, ranking us #8 -- Oregon leads the country with 3,402 yards (567 per game) of offense.  Navy's defense has given up 323 yards per game this season, ranking them #27 in the country.

Points Per Game:  2010 Rank -- #68 with 27.14 points per game -- in 2009 we averaged 30.1 points per game for the season, ranking us #32 -- Oregon leads the country scoring 54.3 points per game.  Navy's defense has given up an average of 18.17 points per game this season, ranking them #22 in the country.
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TEAM STATISTICS

Fewest Penalties:  2010 Rank - #29 with 36 penalties -- in 2009 we had 75 penalties for the season, ranking us #50 -- Penn State leads the country in the fewest penalties with 20.  Navy is ranked #6 in the country for fewest penalties with 27 on the season.

Fewest Penalty Yards:  2010 Rank -- #56 with 340 total yards in penalties -- in 2009 we had 666 yards in penalties, ranking us #60 -- Penn State leads the country in fewest penalty yards with 131.  Navy is ranked #7 in the country for fewest penalty yards this season with 226.

Net Punting Yards:  2010 Rank -- #37 with an average net of 37.87 yards per punt -- in 2009 we averaged 32.1 yards per punt, ranking us #112 -- Pittsburgh leads the country with 44.83 net yards per punt.  Navy is averaging 7 yards per punt return this season, ranking them #76 in the country.

Field Goals -- 2010 Rank -- #8 with 12 field goals made this season.  The Irish are 12 for 12 -- one of seven teams in the FBS who have not missed a field goal this season.  In 2009 we made 19 field goals, ranking us #22 -- while going 19 for 22 in the process.  Navy has made 5 field goals this season,  ranking them #82 in the country.   Making 5 of 8 in the process.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

PHOTO OF THE DAY -- Saint Andre Bessette


This photo is of the tapestry of Saint Andre Bessette, of the Holy Cross Congregation -- the founders of the University of Notre Dame -- which was displayed on the facade of St. Peter's Basilica during the Canonization Mass celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI in St. Peter's square at the Vatican on Sunday.  The University of Notre Dame's delegation, led by Fr. Jenkins, arrived in Rome Sunday morning in time for the celebration.  An estimated crowd of 50,000 was in attendance.  Saint Andre Bessette is the first member of the Holy Cross Congregation to be so honored.

Notre Dame's Defense -- National Ranking

It's Tuesday -- which means it's time for our weekly look at where Notre Dame Football ranks in certain statistical categories amongst the 120 teams in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision -- AFTER SEVEN GAMES OF THE 2010 SEASON.  In today's analysis you'll see how Notre Dame's Defense currently stands on a national basis -- as compared to their final ranking for 2009 -- and how this week's opponent: NAVY's offense compares in the same categories.

DEFENSE -- TEAM STATISTICS

Quarterback Sacks:  2010 Rank - #10 with 19 QB sacks -- in 2009 we had 19 QB sacks for the season, ranking us #92 -- Florida State leads the country with 30 QB sacks.  Navy has only given up 4 QB sacks this season, ranking them at #26 for fewest QB sacks given up.

Tackles for Loss:  2010 Rank - #50 with an average of 6.29 tackles for loss per game -- in 2009 we averaged 6.0 tackles for loss per game, ranking us #48 in the country.  Miami (FL) leads the country with an average of 9.5 tackles for loss per game.  Navy's offense has only allowed 4.67 tackles for loss per game this season, ranking them #23 for fewest given up.

Interceptions:  2010 Rank - #13 with 10 interceptions -- in 2009 we had 12 interceptions for the season, ranking us #50 -- Florida and Alabama leads the country with 13 interceptions.  Navy has thrown 4 interceptions for the season, ranking them #19 for fewest interceptions thrown.

Passes Deflected:  2010 Rank - #28 with 23 pass deflections -- in 2009 we had 28 pass deflections for the season, ranking us #99 -- Oregon leads the country with 37 pass deflections.

Third Down Conversion Rate:  2010 Rank - #13 allowing only 31.58% conversion rate on third down -- in 2009 we allowed a 39.5% conversion rate, ranking us #67 -- TCU leads the country allowing only a 22.47%  conversion rate.  Navy's offense has converted 43.5% of its third downs, ranking it #23 in the country.

Turnovers Gained:  2010 Rank - #22 with 14 turnovers gained -- in 2009 we gained 19 turnovers for the season, ranking us #80 -- Oregon leads the country with 22 turnovers gained this season.  Navy's offense has only turned the ball over 6 times this season, ranking them #6 in the country for fewest turnovers.

Rushing Yards:  2010 Rank - #41 giving up an average of 130 yards rushing per game -- in 2009 we gave up an average of 170 yards rushing per game, ranking us #89 -- Boise State leads the country giving up an average of 58 yards rushing per game.  Navy's offense averages 259 yards rushing per game, ranking them #9 in the country.

Passing Yards:  2010 Rank - #102 giving up an average of 256 yards passing per game -- in 2009 we gave up an average of 227 yards passing per game, ranking us #76 in the country.  Nebraska leads the country giving up an average of 117 yards passing per game.  Navy's offense averages 109 yards passing per game, ranking them #117 in the country.

Total Yards:  2010 Rank - #82 giving up 386 yards per game -- in 2009 we gave up an average of 397 yards per game, ranking us #86 -- Boise State leads the country giving up 210 yards per game.  Navy's offense has gained an average of 368 yards per game, ranking them #68 in the country.

Points Allowed Per Game:  2010 Rank - #53 giving up 23 points per game -- in 2009 we gave up 25.3 points per game, ranking us #63 -- TCU leads the country giving up 9.3 points per game.  Navy's offense has averaged 21 points per game, ranking them #96 in the country.

DEFENSE -- INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

Tackles Per Game:
  • Manti Teo -- averaging 11.29 tackles per game -- ranked #10 in the country
Sacks Per Game:
  • Darius Fleming -- averages .50 sacks per game -- ranked #84 in the country
  • Ethan Johnson -- averages .50 sacks per game -- ranked #84 in the country
Passes Deflected Per Game:
  • Harrison Smith -- averages .86 pass deflections per game -- ranked #72 in the country

TOMORROW AN ANALYSIS OF THE NOTRE DAME OFFENSE

Monday, October 18, 2010

Should Jimmy Clausen Have Stayed Home?

Former Notre Dame QB, Jimmy Clausen -- who was the starter for the last three games for the NFL Carolina Panthers -- spent the NFL Bye weekend visiting friends and former teammates at Notre Dame.  Unfortunately, Jimmy returned home to Charlotte to learn that he's no longer the starting QB for the Panthers.  Matt Moore was named, this afternoon, by John Fox (Carolina's Head Coach) as their starter for this Sunday's game against the San Francisco 49'ers.  The Panthers are winless on the season 0-5.  Clausen's completed 47.3% of his passes for 454 yards and 1 TD against 3 interceptions. Maybe Jimmy should have stayed in Charlotte and looked at film this weekend?  Ironically, Clausen is ranked 33rd amongst NFL QB's and his replacment (Matt Moore) is currently ranked 35th.  Maybe it's not the QB?  Here's a link to the story -- along with a link to the current NFL Passing statistics:

LINK:  CLAUSEN DEMOTED

LINK:  NFL PASSING STATISTICS

Brian & Paqui Kelly -- NBC Interview

Notre Dame Head Football Coach, Brian Kelly -- has a 5'-4" hero in his household, his wife Paqui.  Mrs. Kelly is a two-time cancer survivor and the driving force behind the Kelly Cares Foundation.  NBC ran an interview this past Saturday, with the Kelly's, during halftime of their telecast of the Notre Dame vs. Western Michigan game.  You'll enjoy this story -- which was quite appropriate -- since October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Here's a link:

LINK:  BRIAN & PAQUI KELLY -- NBC INTERVIEW

PHOTOS OF THE DAY -- ND GAME DAY!


I ran into these Notre Dame fans Saturday -- outside of Notre Dame Stadium -- offering further proof that we have the greatest fans in the world!