The Day After: Notre Dame’s Big Game Blues Continue


The big game blues continued for Brian Kelly and Notre Dame. Now, just one day after an embarrassing loss to Michigan, Notre Dame has fallen to #16 from #8.

Stop me if you have heard this before – Notre Dame showed up unprepared for a big game.

Notre Dame fans went from playoff hopeful prior to kick off to questioning if Kelly has overstayed his welcome as head coach of Notre Dame.

Where It Went Wrong

From where I sat, pin pointing the problem goes back to the opening drive of the game for Notre Dame.

Sure, Ian Book’s first completed pass to Chase Claypool was a thing of beauty – but the Irish were forced to punt. Michigan even tried to give the Fighting Irish a break by roughing the kicker.

What did Notre Dame do with that break? Fumbled the ensuing snap – took a false start penalty and ended up behind the sticks and kicking the ball away.

Then, the first drive for Michigan’s offense was a three and out and gave fans false hope that this was about to be a football game.

That’s when it happened. The Irish special teams broke through the line and deflected the punt! But things just couldn’t go the way of the Fighting Irish. Trusted senior Jonathon Jones attempted to fall onto the ball but given the monsoon-like conditions only complicated matters as Michigan found a way to fall on it and take possession.

From there – the winds changed. Notre Dame just could not answer the rushing attack.

Now caught playing from behind, the Irish abandoned the game plan and succumbed to the eager weasels, I mean wolverines. Same thing.

The Golden Standard

A blow-out loss always raises some questions. First step is trying to figure out where it went wrong. Once the problem has been identified, steps can be taken to make certain it does not happen again.

Part of being a fan of Notre Dame includes high expectations to perform at the highest level. Notre Dame has a long-standing tradition of academic and athletic standards. While the history is rich in tradition, college football is about what have you done lately.

Let’s face it. Prior to the loss to Michigan, Notre Dame showed enough over the past decade, to be relevant to national championship conversations. The exception was the 2016 season – Kelly’s first and only losing season as a head coach.

Today though, Notre Dame affirmed the notion that the Fighting Irish are not the team they once were.

More Questions Than Answers

Naturally, when a team is under performing the best place to go for resolve is Twitter.
Michigan fans came out of the woodwork quickly to jump on an opportunity to remind me that the Irish forgot to get off the bus.

It is awful to have to agree because the team you would defend left you with nothing to argue.

Many questions came in from fans and followers – for which I have no answers. The Irish were simply out played every step of the way.

All of the numbers suggested a much more even match up. On paper – this was supposed to be a fight.

A Foreword Moving Forward

Despite the emotional roller coaster – the loss brings me a sense of relief.

Notre Dame has a lot to prove – but the pressure is off for the Irish for the rest of 2019. Fans will be calling for many changes moving forward – let’s temper expectations.

They are a good team – but good is not good enough, when you’re a fan of the Fighting Irish.