Blue and Gold Illustrated

Oct. 8, 2018*

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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Page 4 of 55 OCT. 8, 2018 5 FAN FORUM SPECIAL FORCES I have always supported Coach Kelly, but one thing that really both- ers me about his coaching style is the special teams play. I can't remember the last time we actually blocked a punt or blocked a field goal and returned them for touchdowns. I watch other premier college teams and they play every play like it's a game-breaking play. Alabama, Ohio State, Georgia, etc., all block punts and score on special teams. Notre Dame, on the other hand, just tries to not make a mis- take. It's almost like we take special teams plays off. I miss the days of Lou Holtz when we would take kicks back for touch- downs and block punts and field goals regularly. Even under Charlie Weis with Tom Zbikowski we were scoring on special teams. Those are game-changing plays in my opinion. It's time to start playing on special teams as hard as we play offense and defense. We could really dominate games, especially now that the of- fense has found some footing with Ian Book at QB. Tom Woenker St. Joe, Ind. Mr. Woenker, we agree with your ba‑ sic premise (although Tim Brown and Rocket Ismail don't grow on trees), but blocking kicks for scores are rare. Even under Lou Holtz it occurred twice in 11 years (Pitt in 1991 and Rut‑ gers in 1996). It has occurred twice in Kelly's first eight seasons (Utah in 2010 and USC in 2015). On blocking kicks, Jarron Jones (2013‑16) had six, an unofficial school record. WHAT ABOUT BOB? I'm a longtime reader, and I think you guys do a great job. I know you didn't have the space to list every walk-on success story in your "Walk- On Wonders" inset on Sept. 17. I think you missed an important one in Bob Burger. Bob played guard in Dan Devine's last season and was an Academic All- American. He walked on and was a freshman on the '77 national champi- onship team, and as a junior earned a scholarship. He was a chemical en- gineering major and did stellar work in the classroom. It would have been nice to see Bob listed in your article. Pete Effler Via the Internet Mr. Effler, it is an oversight. Burger started regularly on the 1980 unit as a guard and was the model student‑athlete. Not only was he a first‑team Academic All‑American in chemical engineering, but also in 1985 he graduated from the University of Cincinnati medical school and is an orthopedic surgeon. He was winner of the Dolly Cohen Award as the top scholar athlete in the country, and in 2006, Dr. Burger was in‑ ducted into the Academic All‑American Hall of Fame. His son, Bobby, transferred from Dayton to be a walk‑on for the Irish in 2009‑10. Senior Chris Finke has made some huge plays as the punt return man, most recently a 52-yar- runback at Wake Forest, plus a 45-yard return at Stanford last year in the regular-season finale. PHOTO BY ANGELA DRISKELL BE HEARD! Send your letters to: Blue & Gold Illustrated / Letters P. O. Box 1007 Notre Dame, IN 46556 or e-mail to: FROM THE WEBSITE Following Notre Dame's 56-27 victory versus Wake Forest, junior quarterback Ian Book's stellar perfor- mance in his first start this year was the primary topic. The notion of using both him and senior Brandon Wimbush in two different offenses in order to confuse defensive coordinators also was brought up, but not well supported. Here's a small sample from Guy Gadbois: Would this be too confusing for the rest of the team? Would the o-line have trouble adjusting to a different style? Would the backs as well? Cripe56: That is too much to expect. You have to have a plan for both, but it has to be within the same offense. Wimbush has some basic fundamental issues that would not likely be fixed by putting him in another offense. Much better to pick out what he can do within the offense and run that if he needs to go in. Rich Starkey: I'm not taking my QB out of the game to give someone else a try unless Book falls flat on his face or gets injured. If the staff is doing anything, it's putting in more stuff for Book, not Brandon. Mec22: Totally agree with Rich! Mastering one game plan and identity is difficult — and now people are saying have no identity and practice being a different team each week. Get over it and move on. Patrick1010: Will they call different plays already in the playbook based on who's in? You bet, or at least they should be. Seemed they tried to make Brandon into something he's not in week 2 and 3. Chamgel: There's no need for "special" packages to get him in the game. I'm never a fan of playing two QBs. Wasn't when they were rotating Book in, and wouldn't be if they rotate Wimbush in now. BGI User 2232: Get everyone behind Book as your leader. Don't allow the seed of doubt that suggests, "Gee, if we'd only run that package with Brandon in that situation, we might have had a better out- come." That possibility is always going to be true, but you can't think about it. It becomes a distraction. You want the entire team on the same page. Irishnatty: If Coach Taylor couldn't make it work in season 3 of Friday Night Lights, then no one can.

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