Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Jags as OC: Season 2, Notre Dame

Think the Notre Dame game is a big deal now? When we were at one of our low points and they were the No. 13 team in the country, it was an even bigger deal. In 1998, TOB and Co had the Irish on the ropes and were about to pull off a huge upset only to come up short in the most frustrating manner. You can read about the 31-26 loss here or just watch the end below.

Stat Line
First downs 26
Rushes-yards 40-173
Passing 318
Punt Returns 1-13
Kickoff Returns 5-103
Interceptions Ret. 0-0
Comp-Att-Int 22-35-1
Sacked-Yards Lost 2-14
Punts 3-29
Fumbles-Lost 0-0
Penalties-Yards 6-47
Time of Possession 31:25

What can we learn from the game? Before I get into the lessons learned, did you guys notice the young kid with the headset and dejected look? That was Jags. As I mentioned in the very beginning of the coaching search, Jags was a key figure in that loss. But I’ve moved on in a major way and hold no grudge against our new coach. In fact, I think the stubborn way TOB dealt with the team over the next eight years leads me to believe it was TOB’s call to go for it four straight times. Enough about the final series, let’s focus on the offense. (Nah, those four downs should be our lesson!) What does this game tell us about Jags? With the game on the line, our current coach went with our best player behind his best unit (the offensive line) four times. Hindsight is 20/20 and he looks like a chump for not mixing it up. I don’t blame Jags for what happened. Everything you do in that situation takes guts. If his style is to go man to man for the win, I think I’ll be happy. However, if after ten years he never mixes it up and becomes more rigid than TOB, I’ll be pissed.

Although it is all under the bridge, if I ever get a chance to interview Jags I will ask him about that game.


Rafael said...

Aww man, seeing that clip brought back some bad memories. I was at the game in the student section along the 5YD line and had a view of that whole series. I swear, you could hear a pin drop after that last stop.

I agree with you that this (the 2nd quarter backup QB exaperiment is my other favorite example) is an example of TOB's stubbornness. I remember having a discussion with my roommates and we all agreed that we should have thrown it at least once just to keep ND on their heels, but no the Major ran it all 4 downs.

I think Jags'll be okay. A few years in the NFL & having the former ECU HC as your OC should prevent this from ever happening ever again, as it did that day.

As an aside, seeing those old Reebok Reds just makes me wish we get the Adidas Maroons as our official gear this season.

eagle1331 said...

Does anyone know how I can go about getting tickets for THIS year's ND game? And has anyone RV'ed it out there in the past... I need some tips on where to rent, how much to save, how many people to take.. etc... It would be greatly appreciated...

RunningRedLettered said...

I just got ill watching that clip. I was SO SPOILED by 4 straight BC-ND wins in college...

Still, I'm getting excited about the season and Jags' potential.

Keep up the good bloggin'.

The Critic said...

I was a freshman on the goal line in 1998, and if that clip gets one thing wrong, it is that there is no way it was that loud after than 4th failed attempt. I still think that part of the problem was that they went on one all four times, in part because they were heading toward a delirious student end zone that couldn't turn the volume down pre-snap. Even the Ed Reed Miami game was louder.

I wish you'd skipped this game.

Eric said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jesuitHOOPS said...

yeah- thanks for re-living that memory. I was in double P leaning over the old jumbotron and just wanted to jump.
I'm pretty sure that Rafael was sitting on the parking garage side's 5YD line, because the ND section was ridiculous.

What has made that play even worse is that Deke Cooper had a better/longer NFL career playing for the Steelers (I think) than Cloud did for the Giants, Pats, or whoever picked him up.