Tag:Notre Dame
Posted on: September 24, 2011 3:28 pm

Notre Dame wins, crisis averted

PITTSBURGH -- Tommy Rees wasn't good for long, but he was good enough -- for long enough -- to save Notre Dame on Saturday against Pittsburgh.

Rees, who has replaced Dayne Crist as the Irish's starting quarterback, was mostly awful on Saturday but summoned a perfect drive in the fourth quarter -- going 8-for-8, and also connecting on the two-point conversion after his touchdown pass to tight end Tyler Eifert -- to rally Notre Dame past Pittsburgh 15-12.

Other than that drive, the Notre Dame offense was one play, a 79-yard burst off tackle by short-yardage back (!) Jonas Gray for a 7-3 Irish lead early in the second quarter.

Other than that drive, Rees was unremarkable. He was 15-for-32 for 137 yards and two turnovers -- an interception and a fumble. Rees has committed nine turnovers in four games, and had he not led that late TD drive, this week would have been full of talk of a quarterback controversy in South Bend, not to mention a 1-3 season going nowhere in the second year under Brian Kelly. Who would have been described, probably, as "embattled."

Instead, a 2-2 start for the Irish ought to become 4-2 after games with Purdue and Air Force, and after that who knows? A hot team is a confident team is a dangerous team.

Posted on: December 10, 2009 5:41 pm

Brian Kelly is the Notre Dame Litmus Test

Notre Dame ain't what it used to be, and if you ask me, it's never going to be what it used to be -- one of the dominant programs in college football -- ever again. Not without massive changes in admission standards and scheduling, meaning, a relaxation of both.

But I could be wrong about that. Maybe Notre Dame can stay high and mighty when it comes to academic standards and scheduling practices and still return to its greatness of decades ago. Brian Kelly will be the litmus test.

Urban Meyer wouldn't have worked as a litmus test, because Urban Meyer is too good. Urban Meyer could coach at Ball State, and Ball State would become a national powerhouse. Urban Meyer at Notre Dame? Instant powerhouse, and not because it's Notre Dame. But because he's Urban Meyer.

Brian Kelly is a poor man's Urban Meyer, and if you think that's an insult, think again. That would be like saying I'm a poor man's Ernest Hemingway. I'd take that as an enormous compliment.

And so should Brian Kelly fans. He's a poor man's Urban Meyer, which is to say, he has a lot of Meyer's ambition and ego and offensive flair. But he's not Meyer. He's good, but he's no Meyer.

And so my point is this: If Brian Kelly can't return Notre Dame to its previously great heights, then it can't be done. Short of the hiring of Urban Meyer, which, as I've said, wouldn't prove anything because Meyer would win huge at Baylor or Kentucky or, yes, Notre Dame.

My theory on Notre Dame -- great tradition, but it's never coming back -- will be put to the test by Kelly, who's perfect for the job. He runs a crazy-fun offense that will win over recruits, and he has a huge personality that will win over the media, and he's Irish-Catholic to boot. His name is Brian Kelly , for crying out loud.

Kelly is as good a coach as Notre Dame is ever going to get -- but he's not a can't-miss genius. He could possibly miss. And if he does miss? Then I was right: Notre Dame ain't never coming back.

Category: NCAAF
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