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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Decisions That Are Coming Back To Haunt ND’s Brian Kelly

Special Teams Coaching

While the Irish have long given up in developing a punt return game, these two years in a row now of dismal performances are embarrassing.  

The kickoff aspect of special teams has faltered as well.  Against Boston College, Kyle Brindza winged one kick toward the sideline only to have a BC return guy snatch it before it went out of bounds.  Later Brindza would kick TWO out of bounds giving BC the ball at the 40 yard line.  Brindza has kicked off 66 times so far for a 65.3 net yard average, with FOUR OB’s and ten TB’s.  Looking at last year, David Ruffer kicked off 65 times for a 64.3 net yard average with two OB’s and ten TB’s.  So where is this great leg brought in early to improve the kicking game?  Better yet, where is the Special Teams coach to nurture it?  Hire one now.

Theo Riddick to WR

Theo flunked punt returns.  This year he has 34 receptions for 362 yards and 3 TD’s ranking him fourth on the team.  Robby Toma in very limited action has 15 receptions, almost halving Riddick’s total.  Riddick needs to be moved back to tailback where things are getting a little dicey.  See below.

Playing Time

Notre Dame has played four games that were basically over at half time. Purdue 38-10, AFA 59-33, Navy 56-14, MD 45-21.  You could even throw in MSU 31-13 to some extent.  So we are down to one tailback and how many game reps has George Atkinson III gotten?  9 for 23 yards.  Another freshman Cam McDaniel is 3 for 13 yards. 

At quarterback everyone has been waiting for Andrew Hendrix in the easy wins or even some time for Dayne Crist.  Hendrix has participated in the AFA, USC, and MD games.  Crist has been in the USF, Purdue, USC and Navy games.  If Tommy Rees goes down again, it will look like the Chinese fire drill during the USC debacle all over again. 
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