September 13th, 2010 at 10:14 AM
Notre Dame's problems fixable...sound familiar?
Reading this, I couldn't help but see how much the explanations of the problems, and the hopes in fixing them sounded a lot like Michigan the last couple of years.
What he didn't like had nothing to do with the defense being slow - as some analysts have railed — but rather being in the wrong places.....“I don't have to do that. Our kids are going to play hard. We know how we're going to play the game. Now we've got to play cleaner. We've got to be better at the execution.”
As much as Kelly lauded his team's depth in the era-opening 23-12 dismissal of Purdue on Sept. 4, the Michigan game showed that depth is not universal across all positions.
Kelly, who won games with a fifth-string QBs at Cincinnati, inherited an ugly algebra problem at quarterback at ND, and he's still dealing with it.
Defensively, the safety spot has been hit hard. Starter Jamoris Slaughter (ankle) didn't practice enough to be effective against Michigan's Robinson, and backup Dan McCarthy wasn't 100 percent, so he wasn't an option either. With freshman Derek Roback having transferred earlier in the week, that left Harrison Smith and Zeke Motta.
That meant ND couldn't play nickel, because it uses an extra safety in that package. It also meant that Smith and Motta had to play every snap.
“Eighty-something snaps,” Kelly said. “That's way too many.”
Still, ND could have won the game had it been able to stop Michigan on the Wolverines' final possession. Robinson was 5-of-6 passing for 55 yards on the game-winning drive, thanks to misalignment on several plays by the Irish.
“Fleming was active, but he misfit a lot of pass-coverage scenarios. especially in the last drive,” Kelly said.
4. Kelly has dealt with adversity well.
But he continues to get additional doses of it.
It just seems like a mirror of a lot of the problems we've had in transition the last couple of years. Whether that's process or excuse making is which side of the ball you're on, I guess.
Oh, and it also mentions, if you're trying to find a #16 Michigan jersey, you're going to have to wait...they're all sold out. ;-)