The Fighting Irish put away the Pitt Panthers Saturday 42 – 30. The Kizer to Fuller connection worked to perfection throughout the day. However the defense continues to give up yards and points which will be a challenge when they meet Stanford the last game of the season. Kisser threw for 4 TD and ran in another as he continues to mature into one of the best college QBs. Will Fuller caught 3 TDs and had 152 receiving yards. The one concern is the injury to C. J. Prosise. Prosise hurt his shoulder early on and hopefully won’t be out to long.
The Cal Bears continue their losing streak, now 4 games, in Eugene. The Ducks ran all over Cal 44 – 28. Cal got out to a 10-0 lead then folded their tent. Jered Goff once again had a below average evening going 18 – 41 for 329 years with 2 TDs and a pick. Oregon out gained Cal 777 yards to 432. A lot of Cal’s yards came in garbage time. It now seems apparent that Sonny Dykes is likely to leave at the end of the season and that Goff will also leave even he doesn’t seem ready for prime time NFL. However it is likely that Goff will leave Cal because he will taken fairly high in the first round due to a lack of quality QB going in the upcoming draft. Cal now has 3 games left; they should win at least one, Oregon State, but not likely to beat Stanford. They do have an outside chance against a struggling ASU.
The locals are steadily bashing the 49ers from top to bottom although most of the arrows have been aimed at Jed York and his court. Most pundits and fans feel like York has emptied the roster and coaching staff in order to save money and put in people that will not question him. However the team may be worse than he expected and the fan reaction more direct, that is staying away from games and not spending their cash on 49ers goods. The feeling round the Bay is that Jed now be forced to makes some changes or at least let Trent Baalke make some football organizations changes such as hire a new coaching staff and sign more free agents during the off-season. Having said this there is a camp that feels that Baalke is also part of the problem due to poor drafting and unsuccessful free agent signings. Most people are saying that Jed is unlikely to fire Baalke or hire a president of football operations to oversee more dramatic changes because he is incapable. As the 2015 goes down the tubes it will interesting to see what or if Jed makes any changes. I will say the fans want dramatic change and the local press is supporting that move.
There are now rumblings in Berkeley that Sonny Dykes won’t be back in 2016 and that the parting will mutual. Sonny will be in last year of his contract and may be willing to step away due to the difficult academic requirements at Cal and the fact he was not hired by the present AD is unlikely going to get a contract extension. I think most Cal fans would welcome a change if the Bears fail to win more than 6 games. However Sonny might be right that Cal is unlikely to be much more than an average team given the strict academic requirements, poor administration support, fickle and cheap fan base and lack of football tradition and name buzz. In fact if Sonny leaves Cal will be hard pressed to hire big name coach to energize the football program. Cal may reach out to former Cal player and NFL coach Herm Edwards as well as recruit Troy Taylor to mentor the QBs and offense.
Notre Dame came to Philadephia expecting a tough game from 21st ranked Temple football team and got everything the could handle. In the end a clutch drive late in the game resulted in a Kazer to Fuller TD with 2:09 left on the clock putting Notre Dame ahead for good 24-20.
Temple managed to bootle up the Notre Dame running game thus put all the pressure on the red shirt freshman Kizer to throw and run the Irish to victory. Kisser threw for 299 yards and ran for anther 143.
Notre Dame now moves up the highway to eastern Pennsylvania to take on Pitt next week.
I love the Irish but I don’t think they are a top 5 team. They should go into the Stanford game with one loss as the rest of their schedule looks fairly soft.
Rumors are flying that there will majors changes in the 49ers organization due to the terrible team record and the fan out cry against Jed York and company. There is speculation that Kaepernick will be benched after the Rams game as he under performs. This is an easy fix and many teams have taken this approach, bringing in the back-up for two reasons, first to see if he can spark the team (rarely happens) and second to give the starter a kick in the ass. Bill Walsh employed this approach late in Joe Montana’s career with some success.
A more significant rumor is that Jim Tomsula will be fired if the Niners lose to the Rams and Falcons over the next two weeks. Tomsula is Jed’s hand picked coach. If Jed fires Tomsula it is an admission of his failure and essentially turning the football operations over to Trent Baalke. I have my doubts that Tomsula will get fired this early in the season as there is no credible person on the staff to take over. However i do think Tonsil will get the boot at the end of the season albeit he didn’t have much in the way of personnel this year to work wih.
Another rumor is that OC Geep Cryst will get demoted or fired by Tomsula after this Sunday due to overall poor offensive game plans an execution.
The Packers have had a successful and perfect 6-0 season so far. The bye week came at a very good time as the team is dogged by many nagging injuries. Aaron Rodgers has played well given he has not had the same set of receivers from week to week and Eddie Lacy has been injured on and off.
The defense has also had its ups and downs although I must say they are playing better that previous years. But they still have the propensity to give up lots of yards and at times being unable to stop a key drive. The Pack needs to be more consistent of defense by keeping pressure on the opposing QB thus denying the passer time to find an open receiver.
The bigger question for the Packers is the number of sever or season ending injuries to key players. Losing Jordie Nelson is huge although James Jones and Ty Montgomery have done a very good stepping up. Another big surprise is Jeff Janis, a small college second year players who seems to be Jordie clone.
As always getting home feel advantage in the playoffs is key in the NFL. This year the Packers, Panthers, Falcons and Cards seem to be the top contenders for that spot. Panthers seem to have the edge due to a lighter schedule. The Packers are in fairly weak division which may help but they still have to play the Broncos and Cards on the road and the Panthers at home on November 8.
Go Pack Go!
Cal got whipped by UCLA 40-24 Thursday night but Cal never seems in the game as UCLA ran away early. Goff was out played by UCLA freshman QB Rosen 295 yards to 399. UCLA also out gained Cal 174 to 131, on the ground. However the most important statistic was the score. In addition most of the significant Cal yards were in piled up in garbage time when the game was out of reach.
The most disturbing thing about this loss is Cal had two weeks to prepare after a near win against Utah. Next up is a very talented USC team in Memorial Stadium next week. A loss to SC will bring out the Sonny doubters and will put the team in a downward spiral that could lead to just one or two more wins.
I think that Goff latest performances is now raising the specter that he is not top 10 draft choice given his struggles against better teams and the fact that Cal runs an offense at Cal that is not NFL friendly.
The Niners were administered a thrashing at the hand off the Seattle Seahawks last night losing 20-3. The score didn’t really indicate how bad the Niners were beat. In fact after the first Seattle drive the Niners were never in the game. At no time did the Seahawks feel threatened. Marshawn Lynch ran rough shod over the 49ers defense.
The only 49ers bright spot was they sacked Wilson 5 times. However the 49ers offense was a different matter as no aspect of he offense showed any life. Kaepernick was inaccurate, tentative and lacked confidence. The offensive line gave up 6 sacks and couldn’t open any holes for the running game. Kaepernick was unable find his receiver to the extent any were open and when he did his throws were wild. In addition Kaepernick under pressure is even worse as he unable to effectively scramble away from pressure because he lacks first or second step quickness. The Niners front office has compounded the QB problem because the don’t really have a credible back-up and they are not grooming a young QB to take his place. Hence it looks like its going to be Kaepernick for most of the season unless he gets hurt.
It’s now become evident that the 49ers 2015 season is a total bust with very little hope for success. What is Jed York going to do in the off-season to fix this mess meaning the football operations from the GM, coach and players to the organizational culture and stadium situation? I suspect very little.