Blue and Gold Illustrated

Sept. 19, 2016

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

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Page 4 of 55 SEPT. 19, 2016 5 FAN FORUM DEFENSELESS I don't want to hear about inju- ries or missing key players. This is a failed defensive coordinator. Brian VanGorder 's defense has given up 1,435 yards and 132 points in the last three games. He is Brian Kelly's man and therefore his respon- sibility. There is no getting better as a coach. It is what it is and will con- tinue to be awful as long as BVG is in charge. It's on Kelly because it his hire and he continues to support him. It's a head scratcher, just like his inability to recognize that DeShone Kizer is by far the best quarterback on his roster who happens to be highly regarded by NFL scouts. The other head scratcher is Kelly's play calling at 35-31 with the ball in the fourth quarter. He goes conser- vative with a QB with a hot hand and a chance to put the game away. Kelly needs to take over the defense and turn over the offense to Mike Sanford. No changes will only lead to another three- or four-loss season. Dave Deeb Grand Rapids, Mich. Mr. Deeb, on one of those late plays, Kizer did check out from a pass to a run, so on occasions here or there the play that comes in is not always the one that is run. NO DEBATE AT QB As a diehard Notre Dame fan, I am totally beside myself at Brian Kelly's failure as the leader of the Fighting Irish football team. How do you replace the quarter- back that took the team down the field 78 yards and scored after only six plays? Then he doubled-down and kept the backup QB (Malik Zaire) in for another series. Was he trying to prove he was right in re- placing Kizer? Incredible! The Texas loss is on Kelly. Lou Caro Clayton, Ohio EXTRA DISCREDIT Adding points given up in overtime skews the points allowed statistic. If Notre Dame kept scoring in overtime, Texas might have scored 70 points. Overtime is not real football. It is simply a gimmick to get a winner. I don't think ties are that bad. Two of the greatest games in Notre Dame history — Army in 1946 and Michi- gan State in 1966 — wound up as ties. To be valid statistically, one should have two columns: Regulation points allowed and points allowed in over- time over the number of possessions the team defended. To me the Notre Dame defense al- lowed 37 points in the Texas game. Am I making an excuse for them? Heck no! A playoff contender shouldn't have allowed Texas more than 20-24 points. When you can't generate a very good pass rush and you have a po- rous secondary, you are in big trou- ble. Notre Dame has a good offense, but this defense prevents them from being a good overall team. I don't know enough to blame Brian VanGorder or the players. They both probably deserve a lot of blame. Charlie Pitale Philadelphia 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 The message board was, as expected, outraged with the 50-47 double-overtime loss at Texas in this year's opener. The wrath centered mainly on third-year defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder. The overall belief is Brian Kelly is a good but not great coach because of a blind spot on defense. WillyBeamin7: Hire the right people so BK doesn't have to worry about defense. Then again I don't think he's worrying much about it now. Gzeppier: Brian Kelly is not a great coach, plain and simple. A great coach wins big games on the road. He is a good coach and that's as far as it goes. ND needs a great coach. Irishsox05: Kelly made a huge mistake with Brian VanGorder. His record is now 55-24, under .700. He's finally got the QB position straightened out but he hired a bad defensive coordinator. There is nobody to blame but Kelly for BVG. It was his call. PhillyIrish16: I would like to see him find the right defensive coordinator, but I am not looking forward to when Kelly leaves ND. Bleedgold: You have to say he has developed a profile of playing well enough to lose. If a game is to be decided by 5 points or less, we will be on the losing end. KevinPS: He's an outstanding program-builder. I also agree that he's not a great coach. Could he be? Sure, but he hasn't proven it yet and time is getting on the short side. He needs to get an outstanding defensive coordinator and that will get him very close. Jimlafrance: Kelly is a very good coach and leader and representative of the University. He is far better at offense than defense — nothing could be more evident. Not sure why he stuck with BVG after last year. Enough evidence was in place to make a change. Now we're stuck. Third-year defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder drew the ire of Irish fans after his unit yielded 517 yards and 50 points at Texas Sept. 4. PHOTO BY ANDREW IVINS

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