Tuesday’s With Brian Kelly – Stanford Week

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Brian Kelly met with the media for his weekly Tuesday press conference as the Irish prepare to take on Stanford on Saturday at Notre Dame Stadium. Down the Tunnel was there and sifts through the coach speak to provide you the key tidbits.

  • Coach Kelly talked about the challenge Stanford will present this weekend. He praised their veteran players including quarterback Kevin Hogan and receiver Ty Montgomery. He also called Stanford’s defense the best in the country
  • In discussing some of the turnovers from the Syracuse game Coach Kelly talked about the fumble on the direct snap when Golson was trying to spike the ball at the end of the first half. Kelly said that Golson heard the whistle blow and he stopped playing which is the way he was taught.
  • Coach Kelly also talked about the play of the receiving corps through the first four games of the season. He was very impressed with the entire group and praised their perimeter blocking. Coach mentioned that Will Fuller is getting more and more confident every week.
  • Everett Golson was the FBS Independent Offensive Player of the week however when Coach Kelly told Golson he wasn’t all that excited about it and maybe felt that he didn’t deserve it.
  • Ben Council will be a part of the defensive rotation this weekend against Stanford
  • Amir Carlise is clear for all activities and should be good to go this weekend. Austin Collinsworth should also be able to contribute this weekend.
  • Jared Grace is continuing to make progress everyday but its unclear when he will have that “break through day”
  • Coach Kelly stated that he has no idea what the process is this week with the academic hearings and also does not know when the decisions of the hears will be completed.
  • Kelly make it clear that Notre Dame is going to need to get big chunk plays on offense if they expect to beat Stanford. Coming into the game Stanford has only allowed four plays of 20 yards or more all season long.
  • In the most bizarre question of the day, someone actually asked Coach Kelly if he had any thoughts of inserting Malik Zaire into the game against Syracuse. Not joking. And to be expected Kelly stated the thought never crossed his mind.
  • Kelly praised CJ Prosise’s skill set of having a burst, he can catch the football, and he can block very well. He still needs to work on route running and tracking he deep ball but Kelly is pleased with his play so far.

Everett Golson for Heisman. Down The Tunnel Style

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We are five weeks into the college football season and after an outstanding start to the season, Everett Golson is in the thick of the Heisman trophy conversation. Every year there are always Heisman trophy “campaigns” for players in the conversation and we here at Down the Tunnel want to get that campaign kick started. In order to make it more fun for everyone we have decided to start a contest that will get the Golson for Heisman Campaign started. Here is how the contest will work:

  • Make a sign that says “Golson for Heisman” and include Down the Tunnel somewhere on the sign. Either the name of the site or the site logo.
  • Bring your newly made “Golson for Heisman” sign with you and get a picture with you holding it in as many different places as possible. The idea is to bring it to all sorts of events for mass exposure to show your support of Golson for Heisman!
  • Every time you tweet or email us a picture of you with your sign you will earn a point. If your sign makes it on TV (And you can prove it) you earn five points. So if anyone is near a campus where College GameDay is going to be that would be a great chance to earn points.
  • Each week through the rest of the season there will be an updated leaderboard of who has the most points. At the end of the regular season the individual with the most points will win any two free Down The Tunnel T-Shirts of their choice!

So basically you make a sign that says “Golson for Heisman” with DTT somewhere on the sign and than you take pictures of yourself with it in as many places as possible! TAKING A PICTURE WITH THE SIGN IN YOUR HOUSE DOES NOT COUNT. Get out there in public, at sporting events, in the big city, and anywhere else you think would be an interesting place to show your support for Notre Dame’s Heisman Trophy Candidate!

To submit your photo’s you must either tweet them too us @DwnTheTunnel or you can email them to kjburke10@gmail.com. The contest ends the Sunday following the last game of the regular season. Now get out there and get the “Golson for Heisman” campaign started!

Down The Tunnel Radio Show – Syracuse Week

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First of all I wanted to thank all of our fans for the outstanding show of support as we had our inaugural show tonight. We had a blast talking Notre Dame Football with all of our fans. You guys are the best and we look forward to speaking to all of you again next week.

This week we talked about Notre Dame taking on Syracuse, the status of the academic investigation, and the addition of Texas A&M to the schedule. We will be on the air live every Thursday night at 8. If you were unable to call in this week we look forward to you calling in next week. Go Irish!


The Tailgate Throw Down – With Chef James

Here it is, a new weekly feature here on Down The Tunnel, The Tailgate Throw Down with Chef James. Each week, Chef will be bringing you a simple to make and delicious tailgate fare idea, along with a great beer, wine or mixed drink that pairs up well to get you ready for the game. Chef will be bringing you dishes centered around the local fare of wherever the Irish are playing, and when they’re at home, expect some good old fashioned Irish and midwestern dishes.          

                  Enjoy & Go Irish! – Mayhem

I don’t know about you all, well, yeah, I do, we’re ready to see our lads fly out of the tunnel, like yesterday. Fact is, the only bad part about tomorrow is that we have to wait all day for our game to start. So, the silver lining. It’ll give us time to do what we Irish fans do on Saturday, celebrate by cooking up some food. Well, some of you will order pizza, right Emily Metz? (Do your thing girl). For the rest of you that haven’t already gone to the grocery store, I have some “tailgate” fare in mind, and will be hitting you with some idea’s each week at DTT.

First, since we’re east coast bound, it was either crab or shrimp. Since most of you can’t get Maryland blue crab (yeah, they eat a lot of that in Jersey, too), I decided to make this first contribution short and sweet with……Shrimp rolls. Just like lobster rolls, only a bit simpler, and way less expensive.

Grab a pound of fresh raw shrimp, preferably 21-25 count, and steam them in two cups of water and a cup of Blue Moon beer with the juice of half an orange (see what we’re doing here?). While you’re at the store, grab a pack of Kings Hawaiian mini sweet rolls, as pictured.

In a large mixing bowl, combine 1/3 cup of mayo
½ cup of minced celery
2 tbs. Of lemon juice
1 tbs. Of orange juice from the other half of that orange
3 tsp. Old Bay seasoning

Cool the shrimp in the refrigerator for an hour, then chop them into large chunks and toss them in the mixture above. Using a large spoon or ice cream scoop, stuff the shrimp into the rolls.

Since we have so much time, though, lets do a three cheese mac and cheese with ham and scallions. A little more involved, but what are you gonna do anyway? Watch Stanford? FSU? Actually, we probably will, but we’ll still have time.


3 tbs. butter

3 tbs. flour

2 cups milk

½ cup shredded cheddar

½ cup shredded jack

½ cup shredded parmesan

1 lb. Pasta or Egg noodles (Penne or Shells work best because they hold the cheese better, but you can use egg noodles as well)

Garlic powder

1 tsp. nutmeg

Salt and Pepper to taste

1 tsp. crushed red pepper

¼ lb. smoked ham, cut into ribbons

Green onion and Paprika for garnish

1 lb. Of bacon, cooked, and crumbled


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly spray a 13×9 baking dish.

In a stockpot, generously salt enough water to cook the noodles, and cook them until al dente.

In a saucepan, melt the butter, and midway through, add the flour. Whisk until smooth, and add the milk. Bring to just below a boil, or until it has begun to thicken. Add the cheese, salt, pepper, nutmeg, crushed red pepper, and ham.

Drain pasta, and add to a large mixing bowl. Add the cheese sauce mixture, and stir well. Transfer to the baking dish, and cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes.

While it’s baking, prep your bacon and midway through the baking process, stir it into the mac. Finish it off for the rest of the time, uncovered. Garnish with some scallions and smoked paprika.

Remember the Blue Moon beer we used for the shrimp? That was convenient because that’s this weeks beer pairing. Make sure you have a couple oranges on hand to slice up and add to it.

Keep an eye out for next weeks food piece on DTT. It’s Stanford week, and you gotta know I’m going to hand you something to throw down in the kitchen with before the game.

Until then….Go Irish!

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Player Interviews – Syracuse Week

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Another game weeks means more Irish player interviews. This week we have Corey Robinson, Jaylon Smith, Issac Rochell, Cody Riggs, Tarean Folston, and Ben Koyack.

Corey Robinson

Jaylon Smith

Cody Riggs

Issac Rochell

Ben Koyack

Tarean Folston

Getting to Know Thy Enemy – Syracuse Week

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Syracuse week rolls on and before we dive into how the game will play out from our perspective its important to look at the matchup from the other side of the table. In a week where we are already introducing the new Down the Tunnel radio show (premiering tomorrow night) we at Down the Tunnel are bringing you yet another new weekly feature. Each week we will have a Q&A with a media member from the opponent the Irish will face that week. This week we were joined by Brent Axe (@BrentAxeMedia), an ESPN Radio host in Syracuse covering Syracuse athletics and is also an AP voter. Brent answers some of our questions about Syracuse and how he thinks the game this weekend will play out.

DTT – After looking back on the first three games of the season, what would you say that the major strength of Syracuse is at this point? What is the major weakness?
Brent – Ironically their biggest strength could also be perceived as a weakness as well as quarterback Terrel Hunt is the team’s leading rusher with 273 yards so far this season. Hunt has done a good job on zone-read plays and is much more decisive this season in Syracuse’s fast-paced offense, but his yardage also has to be attributed to the weakness of wide receivers to get separation, forcing him to take off and run more. Running back Prince-Tyson Gulley is capable of breaking off a big run at any time and Linebacker Cam Lynch has been a major strength as well. He is Top 10 in the country in several defensive categories and looks like he has been shot out of a cannon to begin the year.

The weaknesses have been the struggle of the wide receivers to gain separation. Syracuse’s passing game has been short-range on bubble screens and short routes. The secondary is also a big question mark. The history is there for this unit failing to keep up with athletic receivers.

DTT – Syracuse comes into this game with one of the top 20 rushing offenses in the country while Notre Dame touts a top 20 rushing defense? What makes the Orange rushing attack so potent? How do you think they will far against the Irish defense?
Brent – Versatility. What helps is that Syracuse basically has another running back on the field with Hunt. He’s not a burner, but is elusive and can get to the first-down marker when needed on 3rd down. Gulley is the No.1 guy and has the speed to get to the outside and ability to find the hole. Adonis Ameen-Moore is the power back. He is very similar this year to what Jerome Smith was to the Orange last year. Very hard to bring down. Devante McFarlane and Erv Phillips bring speed. George Morris II has flashed at times, but he has kind of been the odd man out this year.

I’m very curious to see how they do against Notre Dame defense because it is far and away the best they have seen this season.

DTT – Syracuse has seemingly had some trouble in the passing game so far this season. Why do you think that is?
Brent – I think it’s a combination of the receivers struggling to find separation, Hunt still developing as a passer and Syracuse’s offensive philosophy. Offensive Coordinator George McDonald has joined the party of coordinators that want to run as many plays as possible, so I think the tendency is Hunt will take the safe route and keep the chains moving by utilizing the H-back a lot. One big key for this game is Hunt will not have his safety valve in this game as Ashton Broyld got hurt last week against Maryland.

DTT – Who are two Syracuse players that Notre Dame fans have not heard of but will know by the end of the game on Saturday?
Brent – I’ll go with Cam Lynch and Brisly Estime. Watch Sean Hickey at left tackle as well. He is going to be an early-round NFL draft pick.

DTT – How do you see the game playing out? What is your prediction?
Brent – I think their best hope is to put pressure on Golson and try to force him into a few mistakes, which won’t be easy considering how he has played this year. Syracuse will play physical “hard-nosed” football, as head coach Scott Shafer likes to say, and will blitz a lot. But the offense just isn’t ready to keep pace. McDonald better have a few tricks up his sleeve. But at the end of the day I think they will be physically dominated by the Irish ‘D. and will struggle to score. Their kicking game is a mess right now. If they can’t finish drives with points, this game will get away from them fast.

I’ve got Notre Dame 41, Syracuse 14.