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Blue & Gold Illustrated

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

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Page 4 of 55 OCT. 7, 2019 5 FAN FORUM HEART OF [BLUE] GOLD There will be critics and naysay- ers, as inevitable as the sun coming up, but I feel compelled to praise the Fighting Irish for their outstanding grit, determination and heart in their hard-fought battle with Georgia. As difficult as it is to swallow an- other loss to a top-10 team, particu- larly one from the SEC, the Irish team we saw show up and the fight they displayed in the fourth quarter was everything college football is meant to be. I ran into a very wise old Notre Dame fan (90-plus years old) several years ago while watching a Notre Dame-Michigan game and, sensing my frustration and emotion, which I wear on my sleeve during games, he looked me in the eye, smiled, and told me something that struck me to the core: "All we can do is ask our boys to do their best and be competi- tive each week." Considering Notre Dame's history post-Lou Holtz, I think all Irish fans should be thankful Coach Kelly has his teams, especially this one, com- peting at the highest level, despite the setbacks. Let there be no doubt Notre Dame's defense is one of the best in the country, especially its sec- ondary, and Cole Kmet is the best tight end in the country. Ian Book might not be a Heisman frontrunner, but I'll take his scrappiness, decision- making, and leadership over any QB. Thank you Irish for a great game — now run the table! Tim Kennedy Oro Valley, Ariz. TAKING A TIMEOUT, OR TWO Notre Dame's use of timeouts in the second half of the Georgia game bordered on the sacrilegious. Timeout 1: Notre Dame had the ball on its own 27-yard line with 7:46 left in the third quarter. It was third- and-seven. They were lined up ready to snap the ball but the snap clock was running down to one second and Ian Book called a timeout. After the timeout on the third-and-seven play, they picked up four yards and then punted. Would it have been much different if it had been third-and-12? Timeout 2: ND had the ball on its own 29-yard line with 2:34 left in the third quarter. Again it was third- and-seven. Again, the snap clock was running down and it appears it was Brian Kelly who called the time- out this time. After the timeout on third-and-seven, Book threw an in- complete pass and ND again punted. Would it have been much different if it had been third-and-12? These were wasted timeouts that could have had a bearing on the out- come of the game. I can possibly un- derstand a timeout in the third quar- ter if, for example, you're on your opponent's 15 yard-line and set up for a score and it's third-and-two. But third-and-seven in your own ter- ritory with significant time left in the third quarter? The defense did a great job of get- ting the ball back near midfield with two minutes left to play — and Notre Dame's third timeout was wisely used during the previous series to accomplish that. Just think how different the offense could have played during this last se- ries if they had the two wasted time- outs available to use. Michael J. Higgins Via the Internet BE HEARD! Send your letters to: Letters Blue & Gold Illustrated P. O. Box 1007, Notre Dame, IN 46556 or e-mail to: Two years ago when Georgia visited Notre Dame and about 40 percent of the stadium was comprised of Bulldogs fans, they complimented and were amazed at the hospitality and civility of the school and its followers. Apparently, it was reciprocated this Sept. 21. At, the overwhelming feeling was the game at Athens was one of the best college football experiences they had. Here is one example that was seconded by dozens of others: GoIrish94: I have attended close to 40-plus away games, and this was one of the best college environments ever! First time that I have attended an away game without hearing a four-letter word like "F ND," a-holes, etc. Yeah — absolutely no cursing. It was a total shock! Georgia fans were a class act. They truly made the effort to say hello and thank us for visiting. A buddy of mine told me that they added numerous welcome committees outside and inside the stadium. They copied this from their experience at Notre Dame. Crazy environment. Noisy as hell. We sat in the ND section but were sur- rounded by UGA fans. All were extremely polite. After the game, many fans approached ND fans thanking us for visiting, recommended places to go eat downtown, etc. Even though we lost, it was an amazing experience. This is what a game atmosphere should be like! Thank you UGA! JOIN THE CONVERSATION! GET A 60-DAY FREE TRIAL WITH CODE IRISH60 FROM THE WEBSITE .com By all accounts when the Irish came to Athens Sept. 21, Georgia fans reciprocated the hospitality and civility shown to them at Notre Dame Stadium in 2017. PHOTO BY J. MARLATT/WPG

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