Suddenly it’s a ballgame!

It’s Purdue 26, Notre Dame 19 with 7:58 to go. Evan Sharpley, replacing the injured Jimmy Clausen, is looking Brady Quinn-esque all of a sudden; Tennessee’s own Golden Tate is looking Jeff Samardzija-esque; and Purdue is looking Michigan State-esque, circa 2006, as they “pucker pucker pucker” away a big lead. And of course, that lead could have been bigger (like, 42-19) if they had more of a red-zone offense. On the other hand, it could have been smaller (like, 26-24) if Notre Dame could kick a freakin’ field goal or extra point. Apropos of which, apparently Charlie Weis plans to go for 2 and the win if the Irish score again. Seems sensible to me, given that the kicker is 1-for-3 on PAT attempts that counted, 2-for-5 when you include the ones that were nullified by penalties. First, though, we need to stop Purdue on this drive.

GOOOO IRISH!!! BEEEEAT BOILERS!!!

UPDATE: Can someone explain to me how the F*** that was a touchdown?? His ass was on the ground!! WTF??? Why do we even have replay, if they aren’t going to take extra time to look at a play like that??

Regardless, 33-19 Purdue, 5:33 left. So much for that.

UPDATE 2: Aaaand an interception in the end zone effectively ends the game.

0-8.

UPDATE 3: 33-19, final.

So, was this a “moral victory” for the Irish? Certainly, they played better in the second half than they have all year. On the other hand, Purdue was definitely puckering. From what the announcers were saying, the Boilermakers have made a habit of playing lazy in the second half this season, and they continued that habit against the Irish today. No way do the next three teams on Notre Dame’s schedule let them back into the game like Purdue did. (Well, UCLA might, but only if they’re having one of their Karl Dorrell SpecialTM “lay an egg” games.)

On the other other hand, the Notre Dame team that took the field two weeks ago against Michigan wouldn’t have taken advantage of the opportunities Purdue gave them. So yes, there’s improvement. But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. I agree with AlGoldenDomer that “the 1st half may have been our worst of the year” — well, maybe not worst, but certainly worse than anything except the Michigan game — and that matters too. I think Camarillo Brillo puts it best:

We did show some heart. Sharpley played well. Tate and Kamara came on big, and they deserve more PT. Defense stepped it up a bit in the 2nd half.

However….

We were getting our asses kicked in the first half. [Defensive coordinator] Corwin Brown’s scheme for the Purdue offense was for s**t. We sat back in a passive base defense, like Minter and let Purdue shove the ball down our throat. We got very little pass rush on Painter. The wide-outs on Purdue were abusing our secondary.

Our special teams are beyond bad. Two missed PATs a missed FG, numerous poor squibs that gave Purdue great field position, terrible blocking on punt returns and kick returns.

Weis made some bad decisions. Where was Robert Hughes? Okay, he got stuffed on 4th and 1, who hasn’t? Bronco F***ing Nagurski couldn’t pick up 4th and 1 with this line. Tate was all over the field making great catches. Why put him on the bench? Why put Brian Smith on the field after that stupid personal foul? (two fouls if you count the uncalled one before that)?

It was a nice comeback but on the main this team is an undisciplined mess.

I’ll say it again. Charlie, you are the head coach. You are the man who swaggered into South Bend and proclaimed that when it came down to Xs and Os you would not get beat very often. Charlie, it’s about alot more than X’s and O’s right now. It’s about managing the game, preparation, making smart substitutions and keeping your players in line. The reality is, Charlie, you are 0-5. That has never happened before in the history of Notre Dame. Your contract was extended after 7 games in your first season. You are getting paid millions of dollars. This is your team, these are your recruits. Fix the problem, Coach Weis.

23 Responses to “Suddenly it’s a ballgame!”

  1. 4-7 says:

    I’ve been wondering why Sharpley wasn’t given more of a chance since his respectable performance against Georgia Tech.

  2. Gardner says:

    At least they covered the spread. First time that has happened this year.

  3. Scientizzle says:

    Man, what’s happened to Iowa over the last few years? Has Ferentz lost his touch?

  4. 4-7 says:

    33 again.

    Did someone park on an Indian burial ground or something ?

  5. Brian Foster says:

    4-7,

    Take heart. MSU only scored 31. You know, being “mediocre” and all.

  6. kcatnd says:

    MSU is up 14-7 on Wisconsin right now

  7. Brendan Loy says:

    Wisconsin has also looked very pedestrian this season.

    USC, LSU, Oklahoma, Florida, Texas, Cal, Oregon, etc. would wipe the floor with every Big Ten team except Ohio State, IMHO. The fact that they can beat each other doesn’t disprove this. Somebody’s gotta win the conference games.

  8. Anonymous says:

    At least you now know who your starting QB is.

    So, because Weis has effectually gone 0-5, and lost his last 7 games at ND, does this make ND racist? Ty would have been fired at 0-2…

  9. Brendan Loy says:

    No, it does not, for about 100 reasons that have been elucidated repeatedly and that I’m not going to repeat. But if you want a serious answer to why ND fans haven’t turned on Weis as quickly as you might expect, you may want to read this post.

    It should also be noted, for those who insist on looking at this question in the most simplistic way possible and considering nothing beyond the most superficial equivalences, that in Weis’s first two seasons, ND went to BCS bowls, whereas Ty’s first two seasons were both disappointments, as was his third. ND did not fire Ty after one bad season (nevermind one 0-2 start); they fired him after three bad seasons (or one disappointing season and two bad seasons, if you want to put it that way). So if they were to now fire Weis after one bad (admittedly, one terrible) season, that would actually be a much quicker trigger than they showed with Ty.

  10. Brendan Loy says:

    P.S. The absolutely ridiculous obsession with calling ND “racist” for firing Ty is about the WORST THING POSSIBLE for promoting racial equality among coaching.

    Think about it. Whey the HELL would any school want to hire a black man as their coach, if they know that firing said coach if he ultimately fails to achieve the desired results (which every school must always reserve the right to do, with any coach) is going to lead to endless accusations of racism?

    Your attitude is entirely counterproductive. Notre Dame didn’t hire Ty Willingham because he’s black (any more than they hired Bob Davie or Charlie Weis because they’re white), and they didn’t fire him because he’s black (any more than they fired Bob Davie because he’s white, or than they’ll fire Charlie Weis because he’s white if this horrible performance continues indefinitely). You haters are the ones who are making this about race. You’re like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. Good grief.

  11. Anonymous says:

    i love you brendan, you have taken my man-crush from golden tate

  12. 4-7 says:

    good post Bloy, but you know that the word ‘racist’ hasn’t been used to promote racial equality in years.

  13. Mad Max, Esquire says:

    What is the “moral victory” of being down 23-0 at the half. The game was lost then. Notre Dame wasn’t even able to make up the 23 points it was behind in the first half. If this were USC, maybe you could call it a “moral victory.” But it was f-ing Purdue!

  14. Mad Max, Esquire says:

    Regarding the whole Ty Willingham thing, I really do believe if Weis continues on this track….

    1) First 0-5 start EVER for ND

    2) Going for longest series of loses EVER for ND

    3) Possibly being so bad ND could lose to Navy for the first time in two generations.

    4) Possibly headed toward the worst single season record in ND history

    I think the ND alumni will insist that he go, contract or not. Any ND lawyers willing to work pro bono on the case?

  15. Becky says:

    Personally, I think ND might give Weis one more year, even if they go 0-12. But…I think that the Athletic Director will/should be fired. Who gives an unproven coach such a massive contract extension? Someone needs to take the fall for that one!

  16. Mad Max, Esquire says:

    Per Becky’s point, I think the Athletic Director will probably be gone after this season. It won’t happen now. But in the Spring when fewer people are paying attention, I think the AD will be given the boot regardless of what happens from now on.

  17. Sandy Underpants says:

    Brendan, that’s a lie. Ty was 10-3 and went to the Fiesta BCS Bowl in his first season with Notre Dame. He didn’t have 3 bad seasons. He had a better start than Charlie Weis. When he went 6-6 his next season all the racist Notre Dame fans and alumni were calling for his lynching and even put together a letter demanding his firing, which tanked any leverage he had of recruiting the best players, but guess what, he still brought in all the players that led ND to 2 stellar seasons the last 2 years. The guys that are slow and plodding up and down the field this season are charlie’s boys.

    And btw, Ty Willingham and Charlie Weis had IDENTICAL records at Notre Dame, at this exact point in their ND coaching careers, and nobody is asking ND to fire Charlie Weis. If you don’t think race has anything to do with it– you’re something else.

  18. Brendan Loy says:

    I won’t bother to try arguing with you, because you’ve repeatedly proven yourself to be totally ridiculous on this issue, and you don’t even attempt to acknowledge the numerous factual rebuttals that have been repeatedly offered to the precise arguments you’re making above (which you’ve been making for the last two years). I seriously doubt you’re going to suddenly start being objective or fair now, or start considering the 837 answers to “Why are the Ty and Weis situations different?” that are more facially plausible than “racism.”

    However, I would just like to make a factual correction. Ty did not go to the Fiesta Bowl in his first season with Notre Dame. He went to the Gator Bowl, and got crushed there by a weak N.C. State team. Ty never took Notre Dame to a BCS bowl.

  19. Sandy Underpants says:

    Yeah, well Ty’s bowl loss was closer than Charlies. I was objective and fair from the start, you and the ND defenders are the one’s being ridiculous.

    Charlie has led Notre Dame to their worst start in school HISTORY. He’s on a 7 game losing streak since last season, and none of the losses were close. In fact ND has been beaten by an average of 25 ppg. CW has led ND to the worst home opener loss in school history, the longest losing streak in school history. These records make Ty Willingham’s “Accomplishments” look like Lou Holtz. But there isn’t ONE person asking to fire Charlie.

    The only argument that this has nothing to do with race is– “Notre Dame isn’t racist”. How would that argument hold up in a court? Pray for Phil Spectors jury.

  20. yea says:

    people playing the race card on nd/willingham is idiotic. seems to me like its just people want to kick a program whlie its down which is really pathetic. its actually counter productive because if schools are going to have the race card played on them when things dont go well, why would schools ever want to give a black coach a chance in the first place? kudos to ND for having the balls to hire a black coach in the first place, when there are very few black coaches in division yet most of the athletes are black.

  21. yea says:

    whoops, brendan pretty much summed up my thoughts above in the comments, sorry for copying you bren, didnt mean to.

  22. Anonymous says:

    ya ND is racist… that is why they are the only d-1 football team (non-black college) that has both a black offensive cordinator and a black defensive cordinator.

  23. Mad Max, Esquire says:

    I seem to recall that ND went to a BCS bowl under Charlie because the bowl organizers wanted to sell tickets. I thought there was some debate over whether or not ND should have even been there based on their ranking.