Jesse J. @TheShamRap
Huh? Did you really think I was going that route?
While Justin Brent’s Fall Break social media
shenanigans were an interesting filler to an otherwise
exhausting bye-week following “crabby flag-gate”,
there’s only one message to be taken from that;
Ok, now that that has been addressed, on to stuff that matters…
Playoffs? Playoffs?! We are ranked 10th and you wanna talk about playoffs?!
So we’re ranked 10th in the inaugural Playoff Committee Poll.
Did you REALLY think a close loss to Crabby Patty U
was gonna be enough to keep us in the mix for the
playoff action?! Hell no. These assholes don’t respect
And why should they? Our biggest win is a loss, and our 2nd biggest win is to Stanford, who until hopefully
this week vs. Oregon, hasn’t done us any favors with their play.
In fact, non of the teams that were supposed to give us
a chance to show our might have done us any favors
as far a S.O.S.
We can hope Louisville at least has a strong showing
We can pray that ASU crushes Utah before our showdown in Tempe.
We can half-heartedly put our hatred aside for USC,
and hope they close the season out impressively.
WE CAN WATCH AS THE REST OF THESE CONFERENCES
You may have heard how Keenan Reynolds is a
dynamic play-maker for Navy, and we should be wary.
Stop it. Right now.
I’m not gonna kill you with a page full of seamen stats,
so I’m gonna make it simple…
Navy is TERRIBLE this year.
This is not even in the same class as any Midshipmen squad we’ve faced over the last decade. Not even as good as the Navy team we beat 50-10 in Ireland to open the 2012 campaign.
This is the PERFECT game to start playing ANGRY.
I’m not even going to waste anymore time talking about Navy.
We win 56-13. Game over.
It’s not time to hit panic mode yet folks!!!
A lot of football yet to be played!
That’s my 2 cents. PEACE, I’M OUTTA HERE!
Brian Kelly announced today during his press conference that Notre Dame defensive end Ishaq Williams will not play for the Irish this season due to the findings of the academic fraud investigation that has been going on since before the start of the season. This news comes on the same day that Davaris Daniels announced that he too will not play for Notre Dame this season.
Ishaq Williams was a big time recruit when he arrived at Notre Dame but his performance never quite matched the expectations that went with his talent. There was a large amount of excitement for Williams to move back to defensive end in Coach Brian VanGorder’s new defensive scheme for the Irish but fans will have to wait until next season to see if the new scheme would allow Williams to finally live up to the big expectations that he brought to South Bend. It should be no surprise that Williams is planning on returning to Notre Dame next season. Williams wants to play in the NFL however his production has not warranted a realistic goal of being drafted. While he may not play this season having Williams return to Notre Dame next season along with KeiVarae Russell, who also stated he plans to return for next season, has got to have Irish fans excited about a defense that could possibly return 11 starts from this years team that has started 6-0 and played much better than people had anticipated.
Its been months since the initial reports surfaced but today it has become official. Notre Dame and the University of Georgia have announced that the two schools have agreed to play a home and home series. UGA will travel to South Bend to play Notre Dame on September 9th, 2017 and the Irish will head down south to the Peach State to play the Bulldogs on September 21st, 2019.
Needless to say this is outstanding news for not only Notre Dame football but also for college football in general. With the College Football playoff looming, strength of schedule will be a key factor determining the 4 teams who make the cut, and this is a prime time SEC opponent. Playing a game in the deep south will also help bolster the already superb recruiting efforts from Brian Kelly and the rest of the staff. The fact that myself as well as Moons, Dixie, and many other of the #NDTwitterati crew are from Georgia makes this even more exciting. While it is a few years away I know I am already excited for the matchup. I see a Down the Tunnel tailgate road trip in our future…..
– Sgt Shamrock
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!!
Notre Dame didn’t waste anytime after defeating Rutgers in the Pinstripe Bowl to hire a new defensive coordinator. Multiple media outlets are reporting that Brian Van Gorder will be the new defensive coordinator for the Irish, taking over for Bob Diaco who left to become the head coach at UConn. Van Gorder is coming to Notre Dame after serving as the linebackers coach for the New York Jets under Rex Ryan this past season. Van Gorder has a history with Brian Kelly, working with him at Central Michigan as defensive coordinator.
Before coaching for the New York Jets this season in the NFL, Van Gorder has had multiple coaching stops in his career. In 2003 he won the Broyles award as the defensive coordinator at the University of Georgia. Van Gorder’s defense finished the season in 2003 ranked 3rd nationally in scoring defense, 4th in total defense, and 6th nationally in passing defense. Following his stint at UGA, Van Gorder took a head coaching job with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He only lasted one season in Jacksonville before leaving to take the head coaching position at Georgia Southern. Following one season with Georgia Southern, Van Gorder took the defensive coordinator position with the Atlanta Falcons from 2008 until 2012 when he took the defensive coordinator position with Auburn University.
This is definitely an interesting hire by the Irish. While most thought the Irish would hire from within, I always thought Brian Kelly would at least take a look outside the program. The hiring of Van Gorder points to a possible move from a 3-4 defense to a 4-3 defense. It does make sense as Louis Nix in enroute to the NFL and the Irish are left without a clear cut nose tackle, which is needed to successfully run a 3-4 defense. Of all the candidates that were out there in the rumor mill, Van Gorder’s name was not mentioned by many. It will be interesting to see the future of the Irish defense with the new hire and if it will bring a change of philosophy to South Bend.
By Sgt. Shamrock
Another college football weekend is upon us. This week Notre Dame travels to play the Pitt Panthers at Heinz Field Saturday night. But don’t tell Pitt that, since they are oddly treating this game like it’s being played at Notre Dame. Confused? Don’t worry, if you missed Pittsburgh and their ultimate derpness I’ll catch you up. To start things off, Pitt TE JP Holtz said this gem to the media,
“I don’t like Notre Dame at all…I just think they’re really cocky and their coaches are really cocky. It’s awesome up there, but just not somewhere I would want to go to school.”
So somebody says they don’t like Notre Dame. IM SO SHOCKED!!! What I find really hilarious is that Pitt is going to need a lot of help from the Irish to win so they really had to hope that Notre Dame would come out flat in this game. Safe to say these comments won’t help their case there. Thanks buddy. Now I know what this kid said was probably pretty stupid, but what Pitt did next really takes the cake. During practice this week, the Panthers, were actually blaring the Notre Dame Fight Song over loud speakers during their practice AND had a student manager dress up as the leprechaun. You can’t make this stuff up. Not only is this game at Pitt, but the Irish band isn’t even traveling for the game! To quote ESPN 8 the ocho dodgeball announcer Pepper Brooks, “It’s a bold strategy Cotton, let’s see if it pays off for ’em.”
The Irish are coming off of a very sloppy win over Navy last week where the defense played their worst game of the season against the triple option. With the triple option behind them and a hopefully healthy defensive line, I expect the Irish defense to have a much better game against Pitt which ranks 103rd in the nation in total offense. I guess you could say that the Panther passing attack, lead by quarterback Tom Savage, is the strength of the Pitt offense, but that only ranks 70th in the nation while the running game is an abysmal 104th nationally. This bodes well for the Irish as they matchup well with the Panthers passing game with the 23rd ranked passing defense. The Irish defense has struggled against the run last week against the triple option but that’s a completely different animal than most teams rushing attacks. With Louis Nix, Stephon Tuitt, and Sheldon Day all expected to play together on the D-line, the Irish defense should start looking like it did against USC again.
The Irish offense however could be in for a tougher road. While Pitt may being having an bad year on the offensive side of the ball, their defense has played pretty well at times. Their defense is ranked 34th in total defense and is anchored by stud defensive lineman Aaron Donald, who Brian Kelly called a “one man wrecking crew”. The Panther defense specializes in defending the pass, ranking 18th nationally, while having trouble defending the rush ranking in the bottom half of the country at 63rd. The Irish running attack, led by Cam McDaniel and Tarean Folston, had a breakout game last week with the help of tremendous offensive line play, so look for the coaching staff to again work to running game on the road early and often.
Overall Notre Dame SHOULD win this game by a pretty good margin. There is just too big a talent gap and to be quite frank Pittsburgh is just not a very good team. They are coming into this game at 4-4 and riding a two game losing streak including a loss to Navy. The Panthers best win this season would be over Duke (yes Duke), 58-55 earlier in the season. The two best teams they have played to date have been Florida State and Virginia Tech, which were both losses. But as I do recall, I said a lot of the same things last week about Navy, and we all know how that turned out. Pittsburgh has always played Brian Kelly coached teams very well. Since losing to Pitt while coaching at Cincinnati in 2007, Brian Kelly has beaten Pitt five straight times but all by 7 points or less including last years 3OT thriller in South Bend. Pittsburgh always plays Notre Dame very well, and this year will be no different. However, no matter how many times Mark May picks Pitt this week, Notre Dame will be too much for the Panthers.
Players to Watch
Offense- After facing two straight defensive lines that were undersized, the Irish offensive line gets back to going against a more normal sized front seven. The offensive line played very well last week and contributed to the breakout game for the Irish rushing attack and I am eager to see some consistency this week against a much tougher defensive line.
Defense- With the recent injuries to the defensive line, Jarron Jones found himself on the two deep for the Irish this week. A former 5 star recruit, Jones was recruited as defensive lineman but many believed he would play offensive line at Notre Dame. He will get a sufficient amount of snaps this week and I am very eager how he plays.
Notre Dame 31 Pittsburgh 21
Other games around the country
2 Oregon at 5 Stanford- This is a battle of two completely different styles of football. Stanford plays a hard nosed old school brand of football based on a strong running game and tough physical defense while Oregon spreads the field and uses their speed. Stanford won the matchup last year but this years Oregon team is better on both sides of the ball. Oregon 35 Stanford 20
10 Oklahoma at 6 Baylor- This is Baylor’s first big test of the year and it comes at home on Thursday night. Bryce Petty has placed himself in the Heisman race and could be looking at a possible invite to New York at the end of the season. Baylor has not had much luck against the Sooners in the past but this time they pull it off. Baylor 41 Oklahoma 28
13 LSU at 1 Alabama- Pretty much the first big test for Bama this season unless you count their win over an overrated Texas A&M team that lacks defense. LSU will be a much stiffer challenge and while most don’t give them a chance, I do. LSU 20 Alabama 17
Virginia Tech at 11 Miami- Miami came crashing down to earth after being embarrassed by Florida State. Even worse for the Canes, star running back Duke Johnson was lost for the season. Virginia Tech is coming into this game following an awful loss to Boston College and will be eager to get back on track and their defense will help them do it. Virginia Tech 21 Miami 20