Blue and Gold Illustrated

Sept. 18, 2021

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

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Page 4 of 55 SEPT. 18, 2021 5 FAN FORUM QUESTIONABLE TACTICS I have been watching football for more years than I care to mention. Dur- ing those years I see a three-man front as a defense that loses contain of the QB and allows the D-linemen to be double- teamed. Can you make some sense of using the three-man front? My second question involves tack- ling. Will we ever again see defenders wrapping legs? Time and again we see contact and the back continues to gain positive yards after initial contact. Help. Tony Ardizzone Via the internet Mr. Ardizzone, the decision to go to a three-down line can probably be chalked up to being a tactical mistake. As our own Patrick Engel noted on a piece that ran on a couple days after the game, it was as if defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman was daring Florida State to run on his defense. "The Seminoles did," Engel noted. "Ex- cluding sacks, they averaged 6.3 yards per rush (24 carries, 142 yards) on their three scoring drives that netted 18 unanswered points to force overtime. "Those drives contained 37 total plays. Notre Dame was in a three-man front on 23 of them." The idea was probably made with the hopes that it would force the Seminoles into long, sustained drives that would burn time off the clock. The decision, however, was compounded by the fact that the Irish failed to move the ball on of- fense in the fourth quarter, producing just 33 total yards. That led to the defense be- ing on the field longer and perhaps getting fatigued, resulting in more missed tackles. Engel noted that Notre Dame's first- half havoc rate — the percentage of plays with a tackle for loss, pass defended or forced fumble — was an "absurd" 26.9 percent. The Irish made four sacks in the first half and snagged three interceptions through three quarters. Florida State could not muster a drive longer than six plays until late in the third quarter. After the Irish made the switch to the more con- servative three-down look, they produced just two havoc plays on 41 snaps the rest of the way, a 4.8 percent rate. In retrospect the Irish probably went to that three-down look too soon and stayed in it too long, though hindsight is 20-20. MISSING LOU I've been reading BGI since the 1990s and Lou Somogyi's column was the first thing I read every week when my maga- zine arrived, so I was delighted to see in the August issue that the magazine planned to run his old columns. Then I received the September issue and no Lou. What happened? Please renew your plan to run his old columns for at least this one season to honor his memory and please many of his longtime fans like me. Thanks. John Lynch Via the internet Mr. Lynch, thank you for your input, it is much appreciated. Rest assured that we plan to do some more "Best Of Lou" col- umns in the future. BE HEARD! Send your letters to: Letters Blue & Gold Illustrated P. O. Box 1007, Notre Dame, IN 46556 or e-mail to: FROM THE WEB Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly caught some heat for his postgame comments following his team's 41-38 overtime win over Florida State Sept. 5. "I'm in favor of execution, maybe our entire team needs to be executed after tonight," Kelly told ABC sideline reporter Katie George. "We just didn't execute very well." During his presser with the media after the game Kelly explained that he was trying to make a joke that paid homage to former USC and Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach John McKay, who after a Bucs game responded to question about his team's execution by saying, "I'm in favor of it." It elicited quite a response on social media, but most Irish fans felt it was much ado about nothing. Here's a sampling of their opinions from our Blue- message board: mgormal1: Honestly, that is a sad commentary on our society. It was clearly a joke. People want to say bad taste, bad joke, etc., whatever. I'm cool with that. People legitimately upset by it need to find something more meaningful to do with their lives. bkuz619: The only place it blew up was on cancel culture Twitter and the only people calling for heads to roll were the FSU fans and all people who disliked ND in the first place. Funny how many ethnic groups were singing the War Chant and tomahawk- ing last night, and nobody called out all those racists from every corner and creed of the earth. ScrapOD: In the new American wokeness. It's now 12 noon EDT. Any word on Brian Kelly be- ing arrested for treason or sedition or at least being asked to resign? Johnnyh: He doesn't need to explain ----. It was glorious!!! Beautiful and 100% spot on! msmith67: Sorry to say he is going to be executed at 1300 hours. How dare he steal a joke from John McKay from 1976. This country is just unreal. We need to go back to being tough SOB's. Silent Banjo: Where Kelly failed in his shtick was not factoring in that McKay had an inadvertent straight man, who asked "What do you think of the execu- tion of your team?" Thus far, Kelly's best joke has been hiring Brian VanGorder. samarrand: BK doesn't know how to deliver a joke. Every attempt at a joke by BK has been cringey, but yeah it was a joke just poorly executed. JOIN THE CONVERSATION! GET A 60-DAY FREE TRIAL WITH CODE IRISH60 Florida State racked up 142 rushing yards on 24 attempts (6.3 yards per carry) while rallying from an 18-point deficit against Notre Dame during the final 20 minutes of regulation. PHOTO BY ELLIOT P. FINEBLOOM/COURTESY FSU PHOTO

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