Thursday, January 04, 2007

Complete Domination

I don't know what happened in the locker room at the half, but the team that came out in the second half got worse going into the second half.

Coach Weis' playcalling was completely ineffectual, as the offense completely sputtered.

The defense tried hard at the beginning of the half, but from the moment that the review reversed the fumble recovery by Wooden, this defense was beaten. They got tired, and the offense never gave them any opportunity to catch their breath.

Brady Quinn looked downright average in the second half, which is a tremendous credit to the adjustments that the LSU defense made.

We stopped running the ball, and couldn't complete a pass to save our lives.

LSU totally dominated us in the second half, and my confidence in this coaching staff is shaken. Don't get me wrong, I still think that Weis is the savior of Notre Dame football, but our defensive staff needs a complete overhaul. As we get Weis' recruits in here, which will increase the overall strength and speed of the team, we will get back to Notre Dame football.

The worst part of this whole debacle is the draw that Notre Dame got going into the bowl game. LSU got to play a home game against a lower ranked opponent, and as par for the Irish, they were placed in a bowl game above their achievements. If we weren't Notre Dame, we would have gotten a shot at Wake Forest, Boise State, Louisville, or Oklahoma - all teams that we could have beaten. Instead, we were paired against the hottest team in the country, and much like the USC and Mishigan games, we were overmatched.

I'm beginning to think that to break our bowl streak we will be playing in the National Championship, because otherwise we'll consistently be in over our heads.

Congratulations to LSU - they whooped our ass.

The good news - now I get to focus on recruiting for a while. Any high school football player that watched that game can see that we need the help, and I expect us to sign another top 5 class.

So much for "9-3 is not good enough" - 10-3 in this case is actually far worse, as we got blown out of games 3 times, whereas our 3 losses last year were all in close games to the end.

Back to the drawing board.


Brendan Loy said...

Brady Quinn looked downright average in the second half, which is a tremendous credit to the adjustments that the LSU defense made.

Umm... Brady Quinn looked downright average in the first half, too. He was okay in the second quarter, but that was only after looking awful in the first quarter. This is what I wrote at halftime:

Memo to Fox commentators: STOP PRAISING BRADY QUINN. BRADY QUINN IS HAVING A BAD GAME. Terry Bradshaw’s commentary about how “poised” he is was completely ridiculous, given how shaky and nervous Quinn was in the first quarter (which Bradshaw himself acknowledged 2 minutes later, with no hint of irony). Quinn’s first touchdown pass was a poorly advised throw into a double coverage, and he was incredibly lucky that Grimes made an incredible catch. Granted, he should have had a touchdown pass on the throw that hit Samardzija on the helmet, so that kind of balances out. But he also threw an interception into double-coverage that was wrongly overturned on replay, in addition to the interception that’s on the record book. And he threw a ton of passes into the ground (not always intentionally), at his receivers’ knees and ankles (not always under pressure), etc. For heaven’s sake, his completion rate is 11 for 25. He is not playing well. The only reason Notre Dame is in this game is the surprising success of their running game. I suspect LSU will adjust its defense and take that away in the second half, so Brady will need to play much better if the Irish are to have a chance. I hope he does. But praising him for that first-half performance is crazy.

LSU did indeed adjust, but it wasn't the passing game that their adjustments took away, as your comment seems to imply -- it was the running game. The passing game was never there. That's too bad, because Brady had a great career at Notre Dame, and it's unfortunate it had to end with such a subpar performance. I don't know how much of it was poor play on his part and how much of it was good play on the LSU defense's part; I'm not a good enough football analyst to make that call. I do think he was rattled/nervous in the first quarter, but after that, I'm not sure what the problem was. But regardless, it's not like he was playing well in the first half and then became "average" in the second half. He was never on his game. Alas.

Wacko said...

He was efective in the first half, as the Irish used the pass to set up the run. At the start of the game, LSU was stacking the box, daring Brady to beat their man coverage. As Brady moved the ball, the linebackers had to drop into coverage, leading to Darius' 100+ yards in the first half. In the second half, LSU again challenged Brady - this time to beat their zone coverage, stacking the box against the run.
Because Brady couldn't move the ball, and LSU had 8 guys in the box, Darius couldn't run either.

In most games, you would be correct, but not this one. Brady had a very good game in the first half against the 3rd-ranked pass defense in the country. He did not have a good game in the second half.

In his defense, even when he managed to find the seam in the zone and deliver a ball on target, Rhema would drop it.