Alright, so there has been much moaning, wailing, and gnashing of teeth on the Notre Dame message boards. The fan base has splintered into two groups:
1. Weis is a horrible coach, and [example of poor performance from most recent game] is why he'll never win a championship at Notre Dame. Hire [Stoops, Meyer, Saban, Gruden, etc.].
2. Weis has rebuilt this program and has us playing well, and [example of good performance from most recent game] is why we'll get to the national championship next year. Besides, we could never get [Stoops, Meyer, Saban, Gruden, etc.].
I've been working on an analysis of Coach Weis' career thus far, and I'll post that over the bye week. But in the interim, we have one of the clearest arguments for both sides in this week's game.
Weis is a horrible coach, and the complete lack of tackling fundamentals in this game show that we'll never have a defense capable of winning a championship at Notre Dame. Hire Stoops.
Weis has rebuilt this program and has us playing well, and going into an opposing stadium against a Big Ten team that hung around with Oregon and coming away with a win without our top receiver, top running back, and only half of our Heisman candidate quarterback is a testament to the depth we've developed and is why we'll win the championship next year. Besides, we could never get Stoops.
And I'm really stuck on the fence here. As I watched the game with my buddy Ian (a Purdue guy), it was kind of hilarious to watch. At one point we seriously got into an argument about whose team is more capable of choking a game away.
I think that everything you need to know about this team is summed up in this quote by Weis:
"You know, they (Purdue) had a couple of carries where they got yards, and then the rest of the carries I mean, they gained 56 yards on three carries, and they gained 11 yards on the other 14 carries. They had a 26 yard run, a 15 yard run and a 15 yard run, and they were really the only runs that were over ten yards, and the rest of it averaged less than a yard a carry."
So to sum up, if we wouldn't screw up a few times a game, we could be really good.
Every coach I know has stressed that the team that makes the fewest mistakes will win the game.
And we still make too many mistakes.
We've got the talent, and (finally) the depth. We have the motivation and the belief.
But I'm tired of watching us shoot ourselves in the foot over and over again.
If I were Coach Weis, I would spend no time trying to put in a gameplan this week. We'll run our base offense and defense against Washington.
I'd spend every second of practice time available drilling fundamentals. Fundamental tackling. Rip/swim/spin drills. Fundamental blocking. Catching drills. Passing drills. Kicking drills. Ball running drills.
I want some Oklahoma drills, baby. Learn to hit someone one-on-one and put them in the ground.
If this team started playing solid fundamental football, they could run my pee-wee team's offense and defense and beat everyone on their schedule. We're relying too heavily on athleticism and not enough on crisp, clean fundamental football.
And that's on the coaching. Watch it, coach - I may be falling off the fence here pretty soon if you don't clean things up.