Tag Archives: down the tunnel

The Down the Tunnel Radio Show – Florida State Throw down Edition

-Kevin

The Down the Tunnel Radio show is back as we preview the big game against Florida State this weekend in Tallahassee. Had a great group of callers this week. We will be back on the air on Sunday night to review the outcome of Notre Dame and Florida State.

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Down The Tunnel Radio Show – Syracuse Week

-SGG Shamrock

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!

http://tobtr.com/s/6945789

Tuesday Chat with Brian Kelly – Syracuse Week

-SSG Shamrock

Brian Kelly met with the media today to discuss this weekend’s contest with the Syracuse Orangemen as well provide some new information on the ongoing academic investigation. Down the Tunnel was there and has all the pertinent information from Coach Kelly’s weekly press conference.

Key Information 

  • On the weekly depth chart release there was a significant shake up on the offensive line. The revamped offensive line has Ronnie Stanley at LT, Nick Martin at LG, Matt Hegarty at Center, Steve Elmer at RG, and Christian Lombard at RT. Coach Kelly did make sure to note that this may not be the exact offensive line that starts on Saturday and that Connor Hanratty and Mike McGlinchey will also receive first team reps this week.
  • Amir Carlise is OUT this week against Syracuse and is should be seen as questionable for next week against Stanford. Coach Kelly said that Carlise has been responding well to his PRP treatments and will start moving him around at the end of the week.
  • Torii Hunter is slated to make his Notre Dame debut this weekend and will get work with CJ Prosise in the slot.
  • Austin Collinsworth will be back in the lineup this weekend after missing the first three games with an MCL sprain.
  • Brian Kelly said that he was informed last Friday that the academic committee had been official formed and that if all goes well the hearings should be concluded by the end of NEXT week. Kelly also made it clear he was not a spokesman of the administration and that when a student is notified of a violation, only the student is notified and not the parents.
  • Coach Kelly stated that there is still not a “go to number one” running back in the backfield. Greg Bryant has been doing a very good job of understanding schemes but he has to unseat two players in Tarean Folston and Cam McDaniel that have played a lot of football game. Bryant has only played in three college games and still has work to do.
  • Kelly talked about the ACC conference alignment and how the main factors that went into the decision was ensuring high quality bowl tie-ins as well as a conference that made geographic sense for Notre Dame.
  • Kelly said that Malik Zaire is getting 60% of the reps in practice on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and 40% of the reps on Thursday. The amount of reps that Zaire gets just shows how confident the staff is in Golson as the quarterback. Kelly said there is no temptation to play Zaire at all.
  • Kelly gave credit to Paul Longo and Brian VanGorder for having so many freshman ready to play and contribute on the defensive side of the ball. Kelly also said they knew before the season that the staff knew they were going to have to play freshman but they didn’t know exactly who would emerge.

Check back all week long for all your Notre Dame coverage of this weekends matchup against Syracuse and dont forget to tune into the first broadcast of the Down the Tunnel Radio show on Thursday night. We will be taking your calls live!

Irish blow past Rice. A Weekend Review

-Sgt Shamrock 

Notre Dame kicked off the 2014 season off with a 48-17 bludgeoning of the Rice Owls at Notre Dame Stadium Saturday afternoon. From start to finish the Irish were in complete control of the game and even while Rice was able to tie the game in the first quarter there was never really a doubt that the Irish would cruise to an easy and impressive victory. The offense looked very crisp with Golson back under center and even though the receiving corps came into the game with little to no experience, they preformed very well (minus a few drops). The three headed monster known as the Notre Dame backfield preformed very well with a solid performance from Bryant, Folston, and McDaniel as they amassed over 280 yards on the ground against the Rice defense. However as good as the offense looked, nothing looking better than Everett Golson. Golson accounted for five touchdowns himself including three scores on the ground and finished the day with 295 passing yards and 41 rushing yards. Even more impressive than the stats for Golson was the throws he was making. His throw to CJ Prosise near the end of the second quarter, that was a sure touchdown had Prosise not dropped it, was an absolutely beautiful pass and the following pass to Prosice that was caught for a touchdown was equally as impressive. Its evident that Golson’s time with George Whitfield was very well spent.

The defense also played well in the season opener. Jaylon Smith again showed just how good of a player he is and can continue to be. He was flying all over the field and making plays. Joe Schmidt led the team in tackles and looked very impressive against the run. While there was a lot of concern regarding the defensive line headed into the season, the unit preformed very well. Jarron Jones and Sheldon Day were able to put pressure on the quarterback and were stout in run defense. The defense gave up a total of 367 total yards however a large portion of that occurred once all the starters had left the field when the game was already won. Their performance in the first half was very encouraging and while there were some missed assignments early on, they rebounded and there is no reason to think that they wont continue to improve as the season progresses (And hopefully they get some players back at some point as well).

Other Observations:

  • It was great to finally be excited about the special teams unit. Amir Carlise, Cody Riggs, and Greg Bryant all had very good returns and were able to set up the offense the entire game. Its much easier to score when you start at the 40 yard line instead of the 20. A great change from the “Fair Catch Approach”
  • Notre Dame only had two penalties the entire game for a total of 10 yards. Thats impressive in any game but even more impressive in a season opener, since teams sometimes come out a bit rusty in a game situation. I can’t remember the last time Notre Dame played that clean of a game and I really hope to see that trend continue throughout the season.
  • Both Cole Luke and Cody Riggs looked very impressive yesterday. They had their receivers locked down for most of the game and looked great in coverage as well as run defense. While KeiVarae Russell is still the best corner on the roster (and one of the best in the nation) should he not be allowed to return to the team, I am very confident that Riggs and Luke can more than handle their own in the secondary.
  • Speaking of the whole Russell and academic probe deal, did you notice which starter remained on the field when the second team defense came into the game in the fourth quarter? I did and found it very interesting given the entire academic suspension ordeal. Cole Luke was the only starter that stayed on the field with the second team. Now why would Brian Kelly keep that particular starter in the game when the Irish were up by so many points? It really makes me think that the staff is at least very optimistic they will be getting Russell back at some point in the future. Cole Luke was originally the backup for Russell and should Russell return, Luke will return to that spot on the depth chart. Just something that really caught my eye.
  • The field turf looks absolutely amazing and I couldn’t be happier how it turned out. It does however make the temperature a lot higher than normal with the rubber that is included in the playing surface. It will be interesting to see if that effects any of the players in future home games in terms of conditioning and hydration.
  • Of all three of the running backs, Greg Bryant is clearly the most talented in my opinion. He carried the ball eight times for 71 yards and one touchdown which is impressive by itself. But even more impressive was his 8.9 yards per carry statistic and that is with his longest run of the game being 17 yards. He was clearly the most impressive of the three backs Saturday and it will be interesting to see if he begins to get more carries from the staff. 

It is now officially Michigan week so make sure you stay with us here at Down the Tunnel for all your Irish coverage in preparation for the showdown with the Skunkbears on Saturday night. 

  

Rice Week Press Conference Recap

-Sgt Shamrock

Rice week is in full swing as Brian Kelly met with the media today at the Gug to talk about the Irish football team as they head into the season opener this weekend. In a new feature for our audience and fans, we will have a recap of each weekly press conference here on Down the Tunnel as we know that most people are unable to watch the press conference live. Of course we all know that press conferences are notorious for being full of coach speak so we will do our best to sift through it and provide all the pertinent updates.

KEY POINTS:

  • Brian Kelly as well as the team has a great deal of respect for Rice. He praised their season last year in which they finished 10-4 and were the Conference USA Champions. Talked about the defense that plays a lot of man coverage and are very aggressive. Cited they finished top 30 in defense last season.
  • The players focus changes a bit once game week arrives. Classes are beginning and the excitement for the first game is out there. The key is to keep players focused on Rice. Unlike camp the team is preparing for a single opponent.
  • Brian Kelly approached the Unity council about the possibility of bringing back the Alma Mater after every game regardless of the outcome. The members voted and decided they wanted to go back to it. Kelly wants to make sure the voices of the players are heard.
  • Andrew Trumbetti will be starting over Romeo Okwara but both will play significant time
  • Jared Grace is ahead of schedule and recovering well but will not be available for Rice. Tori Hunter is also ahead of schedule. Kelly is going to try and have him run a bit next week and reevaluate.
  • Kelly has still not named captains but anticipates that being done within the next 24 hours. It is possible that Kelly could have game captains each week. He also stated he is not ruling out having one or two year long captains as well as week to week game captains
  • Keivare Russell, Ishaq Williams, Kendal Moore, and Davaris Daniels are officially ruled out for this weekend’s game. Brian Kelly has not received any updates and week seek some next week if he has not received any from Swarbrick. Kelly also stated that it is possible that SHOULD certain players be cleared in the middle of a week that they could be available for that Saturday’s game.
  • Kelly mentioned that the defense is both the most inexperienced but also athletic defenses he has coached throughout his career
  • Corey Robinson had a minor procedure last Friday for a fractured finger and a pin was placed in his hand. He was back practicing yesterday and will start against Rice.
  • Chris Brown has been impressive in camp and Kelly expects him to make big plays. He has great speed and can get off press coverage. He will get open.
  • Unlike seasons in the past there will not be as many offensive substitution’s when the offense is playing at a fast pace.

 

Make sure you check back with Down the Tunnel on Thursday to catch our first “Weekend Preview” of the season. We will break down the game against Rice this weekend, have players to watch, predict the score, as well as making predictions on other big games around the country.

Getting to know @NDFanComments

-Sgt Shamrock

Earlier today we announced the addition of the infamous twitter persona @NDFanComments to the Down the Tunnel team. Im sure a large portion of you have laughed, cried, and maybe even stared at your computer screen in disbelieve to some of the comments that NDFC finds as he browses the Notre Dame Football Facebook page. If you are one of the few who have not heard of NDFC do yourself a favor and go follow him on twitter @NDFanComments. Do it now. You can thank me later. 

While most people know about NDFC on twitter, almost nobody knows the origins behind the account. Well thats about to change. Since NDFC has joined the Down the Tunnel team, we thought it was a good idea for a little Q&A session for our fans and audience to get to know the newest member of the team. Without further delay, meet @NDFanComments.

 

Sgt. Shamrock: I know the twitter account has gained quite a large following. When exactly did you start the @NDfanComments account?

NDFC: I started the account last summer, probably around July, shortly before the shamrock series uniform unveiling.

 

Sgt. Shamrock: What was it exactly that led you to start the @NDFanComments account?

NDFC: Misery loves company. At first, it was just a bunch of people freaking out; I think it was around the time the Golson news broke. Fans were pretty close to the edge right about that time, and for whatever reason they felt the comments section of the fan page was the place to vent. Though, I think some believe it’s the appropriate channel to directly contact Kelly/Swarbrick/Jenkins, etc. One day I just thought, people really need to see this shit. Oak (@oaknd1) had posted a few things like that via his twitter account, but only those that were truly special. I thought there were a lot more and that they merited their own channel.

 

Sgt. Shamrock: How long after you started the account did it really start gaining traction and gain the large following that you have now?

NDFC: The 2013 Shamrock Series uniform unveiling was definitely a coming-out party for the account, mainly because it was the first thing that people could collectively complain about. Mostly because that was when our beloved Kathy graced the comments section with her cameo that is yet to see an encore performance.

 

Sgt. Shamrock: There are a lot of idiotic comments made on the ND Facebook page. How do you choose what comments to use and which ones to ignore?

NDFC: I’m glad you brought this up, one thing I’ve yet to understand is this desire to make the @NDfanComments twitter feed. Not to be confused with the tricerapopses (tricerapopsi?) of the world, everyone should strive to be like tricerapops, that dude is just brilliant with his trolling comments. Trolling is fun, I get it, but do me a favor and make it identifiable. Most are obvious, some are pretty good, and every now and then I’ll post someone’s comment who follows the account and they’ll celebrate. Congratulations, you successfully duped a regular dude who finished his undergrad at 29 years old and makes a hobby of reading comments sections on Facebook.

 

Sgt. Shamrock: From the time you began the account what have been the events that have led to the most amount of asinine comments on the Facebook page?

NDFC: Obviously the uniform reveals have been the biggest draws of humor, we’ve all seen the darker side following the loss to Pitt, but those aren’t fun. I’d much rather people laugh than cringe, but sometimes the cringe-worthy comments are just too cringe-worthy to ignore.

 

Sgt. Shamrock: Did you ever anticipate that you would have gotten this notable in the ND Twitter family when you started the account?

NDFC: I wanted the account to be seen, certainly, though I wasn’t sure how it would be received. ND fans as a whole are known to take themselves quite seriously. I know my dad really enjoys the account and when it was in its early stages he would ask me if and when I thought it was going to reach 1,000 followers. I told him I was pretty happy with the 700-800 I had because I think that’s the only portion of the fan base on twitter who hasn’t completely lost it (yet) and in my opinion, the best kind of fans.

 

Sgt. Shamrock: What excited you about joining the Down the Tunnel team? What can our audience anticipate with your addition to the team?

NDFC: I think the fit was right; DTT’s content is a great mix of intelligent discourse and rational thought combined with a good dose of humor. I’ll be putting together a recap after games and major events/announcements, similar to the HLS recap only with little to no rational thought at all from the participants. Should be fun, we’ll laugh, cringe, and probably embarrass someone by posting their parents’ comments. There will be no anonymity whatsoever as far as blurring faces or names. (Accountability, right gang?) Go Irish, Beat Owls.

 

Will Mahone Arrested on Multiple Charges

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-Sgt Shamrock

It seems as if the yearly off season tradition of losing a player will continue this year. According to reports, Notre Dame running back/wide receiver Will Mahone was arrested on Sunday in Mahoning County, Ohio on multiple charges that include assault of a police officer, resisting arrest, vandalism, and disorderly conduct. News of a Irish football player having “off the field” trouble began circulating earlier today and now we know who that player is.

Mahone was a member of the 2012 recruiting class but has been limited with injuries and has not seen much playing time. Last season, the Irish coaching staff moved Mahone from running back to wide receiver to see if he could contribute elsewhere with a logjam of talent at the running back position however that never was able to pan out. The University of Notre Dame has yet to comment on the incident and the ramifications Mahone will face, however it seems that his football career at Notre Dame may be in jeopardy.

The arrest record can be found here: http://pii.mahoningcountyoh.gov/(S(0pzeta55ymm5c355mtx4xd55))/Booking.aspx

 

Down the Tunnel Tailgate recap

-Sgt Shamrock

The inaugural Down the Tunnel tailgate is in the books and boy was it a good one. The drinks were flowing, grill was fired up and our friends at Indiana Whiskey were on site with some of their delicious whiskey for everyone to enjoy. I just wanted to thank everyone who came out and made it such an awesome event and even better weekend. The weekend was filled with meeting good people, good drinks, and good times. Special thanks to our friends at Indiana Whiskey for coming out and hanging out with all of us. There were rave reviews about their whiskey and I again encourage everyone to make sure they pick up a bottle (If you have not already) next time you are in the Indiana area. With the spring game over we are without football until the fall but it give us at Down the Tunnel to game plan some new ideas we are kicking around to improve our tailgates and the overall game day experience for our loyal Down the Tunnel readers. Again thanks to everyone who came out. It was great to meet you all. If you were not able to make it this weekend we look forward to meeting you next season.

 

 

 

 

Taking a Look at the Spring Game

-Sgt Shamrock

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Its finally here. The 2014 football season begins this Saturday with the 85th Annual Blue Gold game. Its that time of year where the fan base is actually optimistic for a change. Well at least most of the fan base. There are always those outliers who always want to complain about something or another. But I digress. Saturday will be our first glimpse at the 2014 version of the Irish football squad. Now while the spring game is nothing more than a glorified scrimmage and we as fans are not going to see to much of anything in terms of scheme and the playbook, it is a good opportunity to see how some of the individual players have progressed through spring practice and to get an idea of who might be ready to contribute on the field this fall. And almost even more importantly, it will give anyone who is coming to town to watch the game a chance to come by the first ever Down the Tunnel Tailgate with our partners at Indiana Whiskey. So along with meeting good people and enjoying some great whiskey, here are some things to watch for on Saturday.

What to Watch For:

Receiving corps- With Davaris Daniels suspended for the spring and TJ Jones and Troy Niklas headed to the NFL, the Irish receiving corps is going to look very different this spring than what we have grown accustomed to over the last couple years. While some of the young receivers did get playing time last season, Tommy Rees was the one throwing them the ball. In fact only one receiver who is on the roster for the spring game has actually caught a pass from Everett Golson; Chris Brown. While the amount of talent in the receiving corps is not argued, it will be interesting to see how the connection between Golson and receivers like Corey Robinson, Will Fuller, and Justin Brent will look after being away from the team for over a year.

Everett Golson- Speaking of Golson, this will be the first opportunity for Irish fans to see him on the field since he was dismissed from the university last spring. During his time away, Golson worked with renowned quarterback guru George Whitfield and so far the reports out of practice paint Golson as a “Bigger, stronger, and faster” version than before. Yes it is just the spring game, but this will give everyone an opportunity to see how Golson has improved in his year away from the program.

The defensive line- After losing Louis Nix, Stephon Tuitt, and Kona Schwenke to the NFL the defensive line is a bit too thin for my liking. Sheldon Day, who has shown flashes of brilliance so far in his career, is going to have to be the leader in the group and we all expect Ishaq Williams, who was moved to defensive end from OLB this spring, to finally start living up the hype he received when he signed with Notre Dame. Now the defensive line we see Saturday will most likely not include everyone who will receive playing time next season, as incoming freshman like Jay Hayes will almost certainly be among the rotation if not only due to the lack of depth at the positions. Don’t expect to see any new wrinkles in the new defensive scheme that Defensive Coordinator Brian Van Gorder has brought with him to South Bend just yet. Coaches don’t normally do anything but run a plain base defense in a spring game. But it will be nice to see the individual players along the D-line and be able to see who has stepped up to fill in some large voids

It’s good to finally have football back, if only for a short while. The Spring game is always a fun event that helps bring excitement to a new season of Notre Dame football. So if you are in town to attend the game, enjoy the great experience and make sure to stop by the Down the Tunnel tailgate. Indiana Whiskey will be there along with a lot of other delicious beverages, tasty foods, and good people. I have the final details and information for everyone tomorrow so stay tuned. Its going to be a fun weekend. If you are watching from home, just kick back have a drink and enjoy the first glimpse of 2014 Notre Dame Football.  

 

A Partnership forged in Whiskey

– Sgt Shamrock

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On behalf of the entire Down the Tunnel team, I am pleased to announce that we have reached a partnership/sponsorship agreement with the Indiana Whiskey Company based in South Bend, Indiana. The Indiana Whiskey Company is veteran owned and operated and produces truly excellent small batch whiskey. We could not be more excited in our new partner/sponsor joining the Down the Tunnel team.

So what does this mean for you the reader? Well I am glad you asked. Very shortly (hopefully within the next day or so) you will see a tab at the top of the website that will take you directly to Indiana Whiskey’s website. Make sure you click on it and check them out. You will not be disappointed. Vise versa our new friends at Indiana Whiskey will have our site logo that you have come to know and love and a link to Down the Tunnel on their website. We both know that we share the same demographic; Irish fans and whiskey drinkers. In addition to this, the folks at Indiana Whiskey will be providing some of their delicious product for the Down the Tunnel Blue and Gold game tailgate that is taking place on April 12th and will also have a representative on site to talk about their company, answer any questions about their product, and to enjoy some whiskey with loyal Notre Dame fans. So if you are already planning on attending the spring game you have this awesome event to look forward to and if you are not planning on attending then it looks like you may have to rethink your decision. I mean come on guys its Notre Dame Football AND Whiskey. TOGETHER! What more could you ask for. On top of the spring game, our friends at Indiana Whiskey will also be providing their product for select Down the Tunnel tailgates during the football season (TBD which ones). As if enjoying game day at Notre Dame was not awesome enough, now you get to throw in drinking delicious whiskey with good people. Its a win-win for everybody. And once you taste this delicious whiskey, you will have no problem driving to the Indiana Whiskey Distillery to buy some to bring home with you. Its only 10 minutes from campus. Its a no brainer.  

You excited? I thought so. All of us are excited too. Now lets drink some whiskey!!