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It was the great George Costanza who once said, “It is not a lie, if you believe it.”

Well Bruce Feldman has been throwing out a lot of “stats” with no substance about Notre Dame’s “academic” troubles. The latest was his “fuzzy math” that he was getting from his so called “sources”. He stated that Notre Dame is no different than any other school when it comes to academics. He goes on and states that Texas and Alabama has more “academic support staff” than Notre Dame. Bruce must of googled his numbers and told himself….”see, the numbers don’t lie!” Well Bruce, you didn’t lie, but you were comparing apples to oranges. Mr. Feldman is confusing “academic support” with “athletic academic support”. Yes, Texas has 20 “academic support staff”, and  Alabama has 12 “academic support staff” compared to Notre Dame’s 3. The difference is that the academic support at Texas and Alabama are part of the athletic department. In other words, “Saban’s Minions.” The job, at these football factories, of the “academic support staff” is to keep the players academically eligible…by any means necessary. Coach Kelly doesn’t have the last say when it comes to academic issues. Yes, he might have a “seat at the table” but it is one seat at a big table. Notre Dame has plenty of help that they offer their athletes, but they are true “academic support” not “keep me eligible” support.

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Mr. Feldman also got me all hot and bothered when he started to talk about the 4 players that were “dismissed”. Oh by the way Mr. Feldman, they haven’t been dismissed. They are still on the roster(for now) and are going to class. Bruce stated, ” losing KeiVarea Russell would destroy Notre Dame’s chances with having a decent season because he was the only “athlete” in the Irish defense of backfield.” Bruce, Notre Dame had one of the deepest secondaries in Irish history. Yes, Russell is their best cornerback, but they still have CB Cody Riggs(transfer who started 26 games for Florida), CB-Cole Luke(4 star), CB-Nick Watkins(4 star), CB-Devin Butler, Safety-Max Redfield(5 star), S-Elijah Shumate(4 star), S-Austin Collinsworth, S-Eilar Hardy(4 star), and S-Drue Tranquill.

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So maybe the Irish went from an A+ to a B+ with the loss of Russell, but who’s to say he won’t be back by game 2 or 3? This just goes to show me …again…that fans know their teams better than blow hard talking heads. Notre Dame’s problems are with their depth on their front 7, not with their secondary. Notre Dame’s other problem is with their public relations department, but that is a topic for another day.

 

A Breakdown of the Irish Run Game

Posted: November 26, 2013 by epschoet in Uncategorized

I stumbled over this article about the evolution of the Irish run game. What really stuck out to me is how a mobile QB can help the run game, even if he isn’t carrying the rock. The breakdown of the video is great…enjoy.

Irish Run Game

 

Help is on the Way!!!!

Posted: November 25, 2013 by epschoet in Uncategorized

Rees Snow

Tommy Rees ran onto Notre Dame’s field for the last time on Saturday, that is the good news. The problem is that now he must travel to Palo Alto and face a very good Tree defense. Without Tommy Rees this year, Notre Dame probably would have only won 5 or 6 games. the Irish pulled out a solid victory against those non-drinking Christians. What was very surprising is how the Irish only gave up 13 points to a potent BYU offense. What was not surprising is that Tommy Rees threw another interception in the end zone. I was really surprised that BYU was favored in the game. I figured ND would have been a 2 or 3 point favorite. A couple of stats that have went under the radar in the Kelly era: The Irish are 13-1 in the last 14 home games and the Irish are 12-2 in the last 14 games in November.

Over the weekend Kelly was able to get a verbal commitment from of the top dual threat QB’s for the 2015 class. Kelly seems to be getting away from recruiting the classic pro style quarterbacks and focusing on signal callers who can both pass and run. Once Kiel transferred during the spring, Kelly has received a commitment from DeShone Kizer a 6’4′ 205lbs from Ohio and Blake Barnett a 6’4″ 210lbs dual threat QB from California. Kelly also redshirted(I know…Notre Dame doesn’t redshirt) Malik Zaire a 6’1″ 205lb lefty signal caller out of Ohio.

So what does this mean?

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Everett Golson will have 2 years of eligibility left starting next year. Golson will be able to practice with the Irish next month. The offense should be very productive for years to come with talented QB’s, great OL, RB’s, and WR’s. Just think when the Irish take the field in 2015, they will have the following QB’s on their roster:

2015  Everett Golson(1 year of eligibility), Malik Zaire(3 years), Deshone Kizer(redshirt freshman 4 years left), and Blake Barnett(freshman 4 years). In all honesty, I think all four of these QB’s would of started over Tommy Rees. Below are the video of the signal callers soon to be on the Notre Dame’s roster.

MALIK ZAIRE

DeShone Kizer

Blake Barnett

Bring on the Pitt Panthers

Posted: November 6, 2013 by epschoet in Uncategorized

I first want to thank Brian Beckman for leaving the stadium last year after the Irish fell behind at halftime.

The Pitt Panthers bring a 4-4 record to the 8pm ABC telecast against the Irish. Over the last 5 games against Pitt, the Irish have kept this game too close for comfort. The Irish won 29-26 last year, won 15-12 in 2011, won 23-17 in 2010, lost 22-27 in 2009, and lost 33-36 in 2008. Here are my 5 points to look at for the upcoming game:

1) DL starters Day and Nix have been practicing with the first unit this week. This is huge because the Irish are thin on the DL because of injuries. The Irish will hope to have Nix, Tuitt, Day, Smith, Calabrese, Fox, and Shembo ready for the first play on Saturday night.

2.) Pitt’s OL is not very good. They have average 40 yards per game over the last 4 games. They are ranked #102 in rushing with 122 yards per game for a 3.60 average. Pitt has allowed 29 sacks this year in 8 games. Look for Tuitt and Shembo to have big games.

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3.) The Pitt Panthers have a stud in DL Aaron Donald. He has 19.5 tackles for loss this year but he will be going against an Irish OL that has only allowed 7 sacks all year.

4.) Pitt brings into this game their best WR duo…ever!!!  Tyler Boyd and Devin Street both have height and pretty good speed. The problem is that they can’t get the ball on a consistent basis due to shaky line play and poor execution from their QB Tom Savage. Savage is a transfer from Rutgers that has the body and the arm, but lacks production.

5.) Notre Dame is 8-1 in the last 9 regular season games away from home during prime time.

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Conclusion– Pitt doesn’t run the ball well and they can’t pass protect. Notre Dame is banged up, so they will need to mend the pieces together so the starters will be able to take a breather. DL Isaac Rochell, DL Jarron Jones, DL Justin Utopo, and OLB Romeo Okwara will need to play meaningful minutes and be productive. I think Notre Dame mixes up the pass and run and will be able to move the ball on Pitt. Hopefully ND will stay healthy during the game, because I think they can slow down the Pitt defense. If you see Nix and Day leave the game early, all bets are off. I think Tarean Folston gets his 2nd 100 yard game and the Irish prevail with a 31-20 victory.

Is It Time to Sink the Navy Series?

Posted: November 6, 2013 by epschoet in Uncategorized

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The Irish escaped from an ugly loss last Saturday against the Naval Academy. This shouldn’t be a surprise to the Irish faithful. The Academies, every couple of years, will somehow sneak up on the Irish and either knock them off or have a near miss. Looking back over the years, Irish coaches…good and bad, have had a tough time with these undermanned teams. Have you heard one of these remarks from an Irish fan over the years?

“How can Notre Dame not blow this team out?”
“There is not one player on that team that was recruited by Notre Dame.”
“This is embarrassing…Lou or Ara would never let this happen!!!!”

Again most fans either do not know their favorite team’s history very well or they have a mild case of amnesia. Since 1974, Notre Dame has had 23 games against the service academies where the Irish either lost(thank you Charlie and Gerry) or was within a score of losing. Yes, even the great Lou Holtz had trouble with the service academies. Lou lost to Air Force in 1996, needed a goal line stand to stop a 2 point conversion in 1995 against Army, won 42-30 against Air Force in 1994, and won a tight game(22-7) against Navy in Notre Dame’s last National Championship season.

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I too thought that Notre Dame would not have a problem with this year’s triple option. Even though Coach Kelly had a major set back in 2010 with a horrible 17-35 loss to Navy, Notre Dame has dominated the last 5 service academies by an average score of 47-14. Then reality and history hit me right in the face.

Here are a few points that stuck out to me after last week’s game:

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1.) Navy’s sophomore QB, Reynolds is really good and will be a pain in Notre Dame’s side for the next 2 years.
2.) Cut blocks are flat-out bull shit!!! It is one thing to cut block at a players feet, but when you go for the knees when a player is running away from you is down right dirty. There was a play when a Navy OL was going to the 2nd level to block Calabrese. The Navy OL torpedoes himself straight into Calabrese’s knees.
3.) Notre Dame is a walking wounded on the defense side of the ball. On the last drive against Navy, Notre Dame had 2 players on the DL that were scout players 2 weeks ago. Counting the 2 deep in the DL(3 positions) and OLB’s…Notre Dame has 7 of 10 players injured.
4.)  Running back Folston is now healthy and is going to be the man over the next 3 1/2 years.
5.) Those AAC refs were horrible!!! I really think that they had a vendetta against the Irish for leaving the Big East.
6.) The refs let Navy get away with too many penalties because they are undersized and because….well…they’re Navy. After re-watching the game 3 times(I know, I have a problem) the fullback and left guard should have been called for illegal motion 3 or 4 times.

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Conclusion- What does the Navy game do for Notre Dame? The media calls Notre Dame out for playing Navy every year, even though Navy is probably a top 40 team. If Notre Dame beats Navy…who cares, but if they lose…the media has a field day. If Notre Dame decided to cancel the series because too many injuries are occurring, the John Feinstein’s of the world would crucify the Irish. There is a reason why a lot of big time football programs will not play Navy. The have a chance to beat you and your team could be a walking mash unit after the game. I realize that Notre Dame owes Navy for helping keep their doors open…but I feel the debt has been paid on the backs of injured players careers. Notre Dame will be lucky to get by Pitt and BYU unscathed, let alone Stanford. So here’s hoping for a 9-3 finish and a bowl win.

Relax ND fans…I’m not going to the game!

Posted: October 17, 2013 by epschoet in Uncategorized

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I love this rivalry. This is the only rivalry that gets two different parts of the country to hate each other for a week. You have the left coast against the midwest, warm weather vs the cold weather, Catholics vs the smoke doping surfers, etc. Here are a few things that I thought I would bring to your attention:

1.) Did you know that Notre Dame has more players(12) on their roster from California than any other state?

2.) Notre Dame hasn’t beaten USC in South Bend since 2001(Pete Carroll’s first year).

3.) My father n law has the actual game ball of his last game on his mantle, the USC game in 1968…a 21-21 tie. Yes that’s right the ball that OJ Simpson carried is on his mantle. There were a couple of great coaches on the sideline that day: John McKay, Ara, and Mike Holmgren(back up QB for USC).

I am happy to announce that I am not going to be in South Bend this year…(wait for applause)…because I have taken down the Irish single-handedly in this series. Jesus gave me one victory…a great come from behind victory…Marinovich taking smack…”gut check” quote from Holtz…my brothers selling their tickets to a damn Asian female  Trojan fan…oh the memories.

Now for the losses:

1998- Jarious Jackson blew out his knee in the finale home game against LSU. Guess what…I was at that game…and little did the Irish faithful know…I already bought my airfare to Cali. I didn’t learn my lesson and took my jinxed ass out to the west coast to visit my cousin Danny. End result…USC shut out The Irish 10-0. Oh yeah…did I mention Arnaz Battle fumbled on the 1 yard line? Foreshadowing is a bitch!!!

2005- The Bush Push!!! The greatest atmosphere that I have ever been in. I sat 20 rows up in the student section. Kirk Herbstreit, who was right in front of us, stated that it was the loudest he has ever heard Notre Dame Stadium. Little did the Irish faithful know that I was in the stadium…that is why that on 4th and 9…Leinart completes a 70 yard pass. Leinart fumble goes out of bounds…the Bush Push…clock striking zero…fans running onto the field…mer child’s play when it come to my jinxing web that I weave.

2009-Another great game. Notre Dame found itself down 34-14 with 13:33 left in the 3rd quarter. Clausen and Tate led the Irish back to within a td. ND had the ball inside the 5 yard line but WR Duval Kamara slipped in the end zone on the final play. Too bad Michael Floyd did not play in the game. Little did Kamara know that was sitting in the stands that day.

2011- This was going to be the game that made all the past losses go away. I was so confident going into this game: ND was a 9 point favorite, new Gold helmets, “Crazy Train” blaring, 50 top recruits on campus…no match for my hex and my black cat ass. I had to prove to myself that the South Florida game was a fluke. No way two 99 yard fumble returns could happen in the same season under my watch. God tried to get me out of the stadium during the South Florida game with a deluge, heavy winds, lighting, and thunder. But I returned to the scene of the crime…as if to say in a Yul Brenner kind of voice…”Where is your God now Moses?” My false Idol…Dayne Crist(not to be mistaken with Christ)….did not let me down. He opened my eyes to my true power…the power of the jinx.

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Conclusion– Just like there are 2 sides of the Force, there are 2 sides of the jinx. Those who don’t believe in it…and those who believe in it, knows its power, and yields to it. If you do not believe in the jinx…you are doomed to repeat it. I have seen the light…I will not go to another Notre Dame home game…until… next year. There is no way that the football gods would ruin my son’s first game…his name is Rudy for god’s sake!

Muck Fichigan…bring on Purdue!!!

Posted: September 12, 2013 by epschoet in Uncategorized

I think Mark Grace said it best, “When you are in a slump…you need a slump buster.” The Michigan game could of been the start of something beautiful, instead Notre Dame was stood up and now we need that easy ugly girl to ease the pain. That ugly girl is of course…Purdue.

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I had to take a few days off before I re-watched the Michigan game. The venting will now begin:

(1) Devin Gardner is really good. Maybe he will wake up later in the season, but that was one of the best performances that I have seen from an opponent’s QB. Every time the Irish put pressure on Gardner he would either scamper for a first down or throw a pinpoint pass to a covered receiver.

(2) Michigan has a good staff. I thought Kelly really blew this one, when he played down “the rivalry.” The Michigan  coaches knew how to get their team up for this game and played the “chicken” card to perfection. Hoke is 16-0 at home and I thought all along that they could win the Big Ten. I think they might lose to Northwestern, but beat Ohio in the last game of the season for an 11-1 season.

(3) Any time Rees throws 51 times…there will not be good results. Coach Kelly and Chuck Martin fall in love with the pass too much, especially when the Irish fall behind. Notre Dame ran 30 first down plays: 23 were passes and 7 were runs. 12 of the 23 passes ended up with an incomplete pass. The 7 times that they ran it, they average 8 yards a carry with 4 yards being the lowest amount.

(4) The pass interference call on Bennett Jackson was horrible. The refs let the teams play for the most part, but why did the ref throw a flag after he thought Jackson intercepted the ball? If you saw something, throw the flag right away. I am still a firm believer of “letting them play” especially late in the game.

(5) I don’t blame Rees, the defense, or Kelly for the loss. I do blame Golson for letting down his team. The Michigan game shows how a “playmaker” can carry his team when they most need it. When it is 3rd and 5, Golson could of ran for a first down…Rees on the other hand…not so much.

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Now is the time for a good “slump buster”…bring on Purdon’t and all of her fans who hate Notre Dame. There are times that Notre Dame has struggled against the boilermakers, but this won’t be one of them. The Irish have won 7 of the last 8 against Purdue, and this might be the worst Purdue team since Tiller arrived. I’m looking for a 45-7 beating!!!

Easy money for all of you gamblers out there. Every year I usually do really well in the first couple of weeks…then Vegas gets ahold of the situation. I am 15-6 against the lines so far this year and here are my “goldilocks” for the week(the dogs are the way to go this week):

Cal +16 vs Ohio State

Tulsa +24 @Oklahoma

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BC +14 @USC

Illinois +10 vs Washington

Youngstown State +26 @Michigan State

Delaware +17 @Navy

Goldie Lock

Ed’s Lock of the week is UCLA +4 @Nebraska

Here’s to Bama pounding Manziel this weekend!!! Go Irish beat Boilers!!!