The Morning After Irish Insight: Notre Dame vs. Pittsburgh
There's not much to say this week other than words consisting of disappointment, anger, and even sadness after yet another late comeback attempt on the road, only to crush the hearts of Notre Dame nation.
I've decided to take a different approach to my traditional Sunday recap piece today. In light of the feelings I am dealing with, I am only listing one positive.
No complaints here. Golden Tate is the most exciting player in college football.
While the rest of the team looked as if they hadn't even unpacked their traveling bags, Tate took his normal approach and burned the Pitt defense numerous times. Not to mention he returned a punt 87 yards in the final quarter of the game to even give the Irish a chance.
I know Jimmy Clausen is a special player. However, if Tate wasn't on this team, they would be under .500 at this point in the season.
Looking at the box score, the team was penalized five times for a total of 53 yards. Anyone who watched the game knows that all five of those penalties were costly and came at the worst possible times in the game.
That's not all on Weis' shoulders, but a finger can definitely be pointed at the entire staff for a few of them.
Energy (or lack thereof)
While running out of the tunnel, the Irish were welcomed with a "We Beat Navy!" chant. Personally, I thought this would inspire the team to hit harder, run faster, and win one for their coach.
Instead, they looked more lethargic than ever and looked as if they have already checked out for the season. In my eyes, the lack of urgency and no sense of desperation were the most disturbing sights I have seen all season.
I'm still scratching my head in regards to this one.
Nick Tausch has been a phenom-freshman this year. After going almost perfect the first half of the season, Weis decided to give David Ruffer a chance after Tausch missed two field goals. Where is the commitment to the players?
And onto the debacle called "punting." Eric Maust took the punting duties last night and, without using overly-harsh words, sucked. That's all there is on that front.
News, Notes and (Mostly) Rants
— Even though I say this every week, tackling is obviously not a focus in practice for this team.
— Shaq Evans sighting: Jumping up and down on the sideline without a helmet, only dreaming of seeing game time.
— In what seemed to be the worse call in Notre Dame history, Jimmy Clausen's last-minute "fumble" spiraled 15 yards with his arm moving forward, followed by a whistle blowing the play dead before the ball was: picked up, reviewed during an Irish timeout, and overturned, only to give Pitt the ball and ending the football game.
Earn your stripes, Jack Swarbrick. Stick up for your program.
— In other news, Swarbrick was quoted as saying that when he evaluates Weis in the future, economics will not be a factor in determining whether he will be let go or not.
— The reported buyout for Weis is said to be $10 million.
— Weis mentioned the word "moral" in his post-game press conference. This angered me more than the game itself.
— Staying on topic, Weis was protected by the entire secret service during the conference and while leaving the game (pictured above). Another head-scratcher.
— Enjoy Clausen and Tate while they are here. They are two special, young football players.
— Goodbye, Charlie.
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