Moving to the Middle: Jaylon Smith

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Of the major changes taking place on, and of, the field for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, moving Jaylon Smith from outside- to inside-linebacker is likely going to be the more meaningful for the team's success in the 2014 campaign. By taking the five-star sophomore out of his comfort zone, Head Coach Brian Kelly, Defensive Coordinator Brian VanGorder, and Linebackers Coach Bob Elliott are guaranteed to have the comfort of knowing that arguably their most-talented defensive player is on the … [Read more...]

Snap Judgment: Pitt

Yep, this pretty much sums it up. (Screen capture from @SuperManTDJesus)

So where do we even start with Notre Dame's debacle in Pittsburgh last night? Perhaps we could start with Tommy Rees. Tommy, quite frankly, had one of his worse games in his career at ND. He may have had 300+ yards through the air, but he did so with a sub-50% completion rate and 2 INTs which may have been two of the worst balls that I've ever seen him throw. One of these came in the endzone and when Notre Dame was on Pitt's 2 yard line no less. Or perhaps we could point to T.J. Jones' … [Read more...]

Her Loyal Podcast: Episode 3

Irish Twins Logo Full

The Irish Twins are delivering Her Loyal Podcast early to you this week. In this episode, the Twins have a breakdown of Notre Dame's victory against Air Force, the Jaylon Smith love-fest continues, Reesus is praised, and the discussing the mystery that is the Irish rushing attack among other topics. GET TO IT! As an aside, we will hopefully have this up on iTunes soon. Unfortunately, the RSS feed for the podcasts are still slightly broken, but I will hopefully have this fixed soon. … [Read more...]

Defending the Option: Who Takes Over for Te’o?

4-3 Option Assignments

Before the Irish started their 2012 season against Navy, I had a detailed post describing how Bob Diaco runs Notre Dame's defense against an option attack. In short, Diaco throws the 3-4 away for such games and switches to a more traditional 4-3 look. The catch though, was that Diaco had another wrinkle in the assignment football that you usually see in the option: Manti Te'o. To refresh, here's how ND started to assign players to defend the option after the 2010 disaster in the … [Read more...]

Packaging Rhythm Throws with Base Run Plays

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After rushing for nearly 190 yards per game in 2012, Notre Dame is averaging a meager 137 yards per game this season. While there are a number of reasons why the run game has struggled (graduation of key personnel, playing from behind, etc.), it is clear that the Irish miss Everett Golson's mobility. Defenses are attacking the line of scrimmage with little fear that Tommy Rees will make them pay for over-pursuing the Irish running backs. Although Rees will never be a running threat, Brian Kelly … [Read more...]