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Blogger Mailbag: PITT

Nov 7, 2013, 10:16 AM EDT

In the past, Irish Blogger Gathering (IBG) has introduced you to a different Notre Dame blogger from different websites (NDNation,, Inside the Irish & Her Loyal Sons). This week our faithful leader NDtex from Her Loyal Sons decided to switch IBG back to it’s roots.

This week everyone turned in a question for the rest to answer and decided to give the reader an opportunity to read the thoughts of the “blogmaster” from their site rather than someone from another site.

Here are other answers to the questions from other blogger (links will be live when posted):


Inside the Irish

Her Loyal Sons

From NDtex, Her Loyal Sons: Tommy Rees has very quietly put up some rather impressive passing numbers. His 22 TDs and 8 INTs are surprisingly not far off from Heisman candidate QBs such as Jameis Winston (24 TD, 6 INT), Johnny Manziel (26 TD, 8 INT), and Marcus Mariota (20 TD, 0 INT). While “Rees for Heisman” is an obvious stretch, especially since he isn’t a dual threat like the previously mentioned QBs, I’d wager tied 8th in the nation for TD passes is a lot more than most Notre Dame fans were expecting. Should we all be making a much bigger deal about this or should we wait and see how he ends the season?

By now everyone probably knows my thoughts on Tommy Rees. If not, you can read about some of them here. Nonetheless, I think Tommy has not received nearly the praise from Notre Dame fans that he probably should get. Here is a guy on nearly every career passing list for Notre Dame, and on top of that, his 22 TDs is one of the best marks in school history and we still have three games (plus potentially a bowl game) left.

The problem with making this such a big deal is that there are so many people out there that fancy themselves Notre Dame fans that want to disparage Tommy every chance they get. Tommy is a more than suitable quarterback for the Irish.

So, to answer the question, we should definitely be making a bigger deal about this

From Frank Vitovitch, Tarean Folston broke out in a big way against Navy last week with 140 yards.  How big of a role do you think the freshman back will play in the final three games and what level of production are you expecting from him down the stretch after his break through performance last weekend?

I think Folston will play a big role coming down the stretch this season in the run game. Last week he showed that he runs fluid routes out of the backfield and pass protect as well which bodes well as the season progresses.

I’ve called the Irish running back stable the “Characters of Seinfeld” as any one of them can be the star of the game (episode). Last week it was Folston, early in the season it was Amir Carlisle and in some games Cam McDaniel was the workhorse.

Folston could be the answer coming down the stretch, but Coach Kelly has begun to ride a running back late in the game that has ran well early on. So Folston could go from 140 yards one game to 30 the next just depending on situation and how the group of backs are running that particular day. One thing I can tell you however is that if the Irish come out of each week with a victory, there will be no second-guessing who received carries and who didn’t.

From Mike Coffey, NDNation: Lots of comments after the game concerned the poor condition of the turf in Notre Dame Stadium and what can/should be done about it.  One of our number has contended the BYU game on November 23rd will be the last with the current grass in the Stadium.  What kind of a playing surface do you believe the Stadium should have and why?

I honestly don’t care what surface we have in Notre Dame Stadium as long as that is what Coach Kelly and the football team want. As a member of the athletic department, all I do is look at the field, I don’t have to play on it, the same goes for fans. Those fans who are up in arms about the “tradition” of playing on grass are literally out of touch. Where were those people when we went from having basketball games played in cages to the open arena feel now? They complain to complain.

Nonetheless, my background in business pushes me to say that Notre Dame Stadium should have artificial turf because when all is said and done it not only is cost effective, but it also always looks good and provides a good surface to play on. My only problem with that is the possibility of putting people out of jobs and the people on the Stadium grounds crew are some of the best people I have had the chance to meet at Notre Dame.

From Keith Arnold, Inside the Irish – With the defense so beaten up, is winning out still possible? Would you prefer a lopsided match-up in a BCS bowl or a potential bowl win and possible 11-win season? Would the offseason narrative be better if ND won a second-tier bowl or lost a BCS bowl?

To answer the last question first, I personally think the offseason narrative would be best if the Irish won a second-tier bowl game and reached the double-digit win total (10-3, 11-2). Saying that, I don’t see the Irish being left out of the BCS conversation if they reach 10 wins.

Additionally, the Irish are a fickle squad when talking about a possible BCS matchup. Yes, the Irish aren’t as good on the defensive side of the ball in their beaten up state, but with a month off the team can get back to a healthy state.

Winning out is definitely still possible, the biggest hurdle is of course again Stanford. The two games prior (Pitt, BYU) pit (no pun intended) the Irish against two squads that are very capable of beating the Irish.

Best case scenario is always winning out and winning a BCS bowl, if not that then get to a BCS bowl and lose. But what do I know…

  1. cjchval - Nov 7, 2013 at 3:46 PM

    If the playing surface should be selected based upon what the players and Coach Kelly want, what happens if next year’s players or the next head coach want a different surface?

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