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Turnovers doom Irish in Champs Sports Bowl

Champs Sports Bowl - Florida State v Notre Dame Getty Images

Tell us if you’ve heard this before: turnovers cost Notre Dame a game this season.

It was the case early in the year, when the Irish committed 10 turnovers on their way to an 0-2 start to the season, and it proved to be critical in an 18-14 loss to No. 25 Florida State in the Champs Sports Bowl.

Irish quarterbacks Tommy Rees and Andrew Hendrix were interchangeable tonight, and neither played particularly well. Rees got a majority of the snaps, but threw two interceptions; Hendrix threw another one to give Notre Dame three costly turnovers and allowed Florida State to score 18 unanswered points.

It was a defensive struggle — neither team broke 300 yards of offense — and the lone score in the first half was courtesy of Notre Dame’s defense, but the difference was E.J. Manuel’s two touchdowns combined with two more field goals.

The Irish drop to 8-5 on the season and the Seminoles move to 9-4. Both teams had high preseason expectations, but it was FSU that was able to salvage a quality win in the postseason. Notre Dame, on the other hand, will have another long offseason as they try to climb back into college football’s elite.

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25 Responses to “Turnovers doom Irish in Champs Sports Bowl”
  1. cfbfaninbadnfltown says: Dec 29, 2011 10:33 PM

    Different game same old Irish.

  2. maxvv says: Dec 29, 2011 10:40 PM

    Lou Holtz is still pretty sure ND is going to a BcS bowl next season. Or the year after that. Or, you know, whenever.

  3. thefiesty1 says: Dec 29, 2011 10:40 PM

    Typical bowl game for ND. Another loss.

  4. dkhhuey says: Dec 29, 2011 10:41 PM

    HEY what do you know… yet another overrated domer team lays yet another egg in a bowl game… oh I know – wait until next year!!!!

  5. jtsel81 says: Dec 29, 2011 10:44 PM

    I can’t get Floyd’s drop out of my head!!!

  6. alligatorsnapper says: Dec 29, 2011 10:45 PM

    maxvv: good one!

    Lou Holtz was pretty sure LSU would lose to Georgia, or maybe at least lose one game this year, or maybe it was next year or the year after that….or sometime in the future.

    Congrats to Florida State and Coach Jimbo on a one year extension.

  7. polegojim says: Dec 29, 2011 11:03 PM

    1) Another ND second half meltdown.
    2) Completely abandoned their first half defensive plan. Why?
    3) Brain dead efforts with rotating QBs

    What on earth are they thinking on the ND sideline? Not a Coach Kelly fan at all.

    But….FSU was lucky, pure and simple. They had three good catches within an overall bad game.

  8. metalhead65 says: Dec 29, 2011 11:09 PM

    can’t wait for the dame excuses for this personal favorite whenever they lose is the we just don’t have the talent,and they say it with a strait face! I wonder if a school like IU would take the lack of talented players in the recruiting classes that dame gets every year? face it you are not entitled to a win just because you are dame. and what a classy guy you have screaming on the sidelines representing your school. I am sure he inspires alot of loyalty from his players embarassing them like that on national tv every week.

  9. boshk says: Dec 29, 2011 11:31 PM

    how seriously can you take a guy that can’y spell?

  10. boshk says: Dec 29, 2011 11:33 PM

    sorry that should be kan’t.

  11. speedy138 says: Dec 29, 2011 11:46 PM

    les miles is one of the most laid back coaches on the sideline and his team is undefeated. coach kelly wants to blow up on every other play and he is 8-5! does anyone else see where im going with this

  12. emperorzero says: Dec 30, 2011 1:51 AM

    The multitude of problems that Kelly needs to fix with the Irish: 1) For the love of God, find a quarterback. 2) Get some defensive backs. 3) Find a receiver not named Floyd who can catch the ball and make some plays. 4) find another back to go along with Sierre Woods.

    Kelly gets ripped for his sideline demeanor, but the majority of the Irish mistakes are just so boneheaded. He didn’t have these problems at Central Michigan or Cinncinnati, but then again, he had real quarterbacks at those two schools.

    If Kelly has a good recruiting class again on the defensive side of the ball, I think there is hope for Notre Dame. If not, Note Dame will be stuck n the purgatory of 8-5 and losing meh bowl games.

  13. saabista says: Dec 30, 2011 3:29 AM

    Not to worry Domer apologists: Hang tight, just 8 short months from now and your beloved team will be rewarded with another unwarranted, absurdly high preseason poll ranking.

  14. acieu says: Dec 30, 2011 6:48 AM

    Not ND’s fault. God has abandoned them for Tim Tebow.

  15. dkhhuey says: Dec 30, 2011 9:09 AM

    @acieu – not that is funny!!!

  16. polegojim says: Dec 30, 2011 10:27 AM

    @emperor – so you’re saying that the Irish have way MORE than their share of boneheaded players making boneheaded plays?

    So…who is responsible for recruiting and coaching boneheads? Kelly and his team of coaches! Kelly seems to spawn boneheadedness.

    Two bonehead interceptions by Rees – I mean, REALLY boneheaded. The first one only meant… THE GAME. Rees also took three sacks that were bonehead plays…and put them out of scoring position. Standing there for an eternity and NOT feeling the pressure??? He’s not a starting quarterback, stop trying to play him like one. Bonehead coaching.

    Boneheaded Defensive Coaching to abandon the first half scheme that was DOMINATING.

    I’m that harsh…. and I actually LIKE Notre Dame

    But, the same can be said of FSU Recruiters and Coaches who put themselves in the position to have 3 starting rookie O linemen. FSU was just the ‘smaller’ bonehead to win that game.

  17. brutusbuckeye2011 says: Dec 30, 2011 11:00 AM

    polegojim’s comments about abandoning the 1st half defensive scheme are right on the money. I was thinking the same thing while watching the 2nd half.

  18. 1historian says: Dec 30, 2011 11:24 AM

    Next year’s ND team will be 5/8 BK and 3/8 CW.

    Rees has had 2 spring practices and 2 full seasons to absorb the Notre Dame offense.

    Hendrix has had 1 spring practice and 2 full seasons to do the same.

    College football is NOT rocket science.

    Neither one of them shows the ability to make the players around them better, which is one of the requisites of being a QB. Aka, neither one of them has IT. In addition both Rees and Hendrix (and Luke Massa) had already been recruited when Kelly signed on.

    In contrast – Everett Golson is the first 100% Kelly recruit at the position.

    This past season was a holding year – redshirt Golson, let him watch from the sideline, put some weight on him.

    He won the scout team player of the year award.

    He is elusive, he is fast and he has an excellent arm. If Kelly has brain one, which I think he does, he will put Golson out there, let him play through his mistakes, and (on Kelly’s part) lose the red-faced screamer routine, things will improve dramatically next season.

    246 days until kickoff under Irish skies.

  19. irishking says: Dec 30, 2011 12:04 PM

    The Rees-Hendrix circus continues. Throwing the ball into the waiting arms of linebackers seems to be the new thing among ND quarterbacks. Rees cannot kick the habit of throwing into double and even triple coverage. I was hoping to see Golson get some game time but it never happened.

  20. ukeone says: Dec 30, 2011 3:30 PM

    Notre Dame – the Great Independent Catholic Institution of College Football & the heir apparent to the Almighty’s ‘kingdom come’ – ought to pull-out all its rosary beads and recite a few “real Hail Mary’s” in good-faith, as the ones they try to do down on the ol’ football field just seem to go flat these days! And a myriad of “mea culpas” together with a few heart-felt “wait-till-next-year (or whenever) litanies” will not help Coach Kelly & the Irish past their more-often than not, overly-ambitious schedules. Yet, the Great & Holy Lou Holtz (the saint that he is) seems to have more faith & hope in the Irish than we all do; therefore, ‘Let Us Pray’ for ‘miracles’ in South Bend next season (and throw-in a few shamrocks for good measure) because Notre dame will once again rise to kingdom come status and will become the New Jerusalem in Division I – to conquer the heretics and restore the NCAA to THEIR WILL! We will all temble & fear the Irish next season…”I THINK NOT!!!” LOL

  21. alligatorsnapper says: Dec 30, 2011 3:34 PM

    Some insightful and some funny comments on this thread.

    I think I saw a graphic showing ND’s QB recruits over the past 10 years or so, how many were switched to another position, how many transferred, how many flaked out, etc. If they had not had a fiasco at QB this season they would have picked up Gunner Kiel and he could not have hurt them with what they have now.

    irishking: thanks for insightful and a funny post.

    My kin folks are cringing at the year end, year out saga of Irish football. They want somehow to get back to some golden years (or at least 40 years ago).

  22. irishking says: Dec 30, 2011 4:21 PM

    Just wait until 2012 when Coach Kelly will make all the SEC unbelievers *believers plus*…..every knee shall bow when the Irish bring home a National Championship. Lou also needs this to happen in his lifetime and so does Ara.

  23. helenh777 says: Dec 30, 2011 7:19 PM

    I can not figure out what makes one team so special no matter what they do. Notre Dame flat out stinks. No matter how much they stink Dr. Lou thinks they are the greatest. Hey they are 8-5. They lost to S. Fl. and they are 5-7. Wow. If only I could see just one game without Notre Dame coming up. Maybe that is just too much to ask for. By the way. Congrats to Fl. ST. Pray things go better next year.
    Just saw Rutgers win their bowl game. Great!!!! And sure did win their basketball game last night . Great season Rutgers.Now maybe we can stop hearing how great Ok.St. is. Or maybe not. If you look around you will see that every team has a group of humans on their team. Even the best can have bad days. Roll Tide

  24. ultraglide says: Dec 30, 2011 10:41 PM

    I don’t understand why they didn’t put Floyd back in. Even if he was injured, he would have drawn coverage just standing there.

  25. alligatorsnapper says: Jan 1, 2012 10:53 AM

    Which team has the longest losing streak in history for bowl games, which was just tied by Northwestern?

    …hint…the same school which is overrated in pre-season rankings every year to fall out of all rankings by the 3rd game…you have it now…

    it is the Notre Dame Irish.

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