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Chat Transcript: Eric Hansen

  • 12:01

    Eric Hansen:
    Greetings and welcome to the post-Bye Week version of Notre Dame Football Live Chat. Just a reminder, please include your name and hometown with your question. Please keep your feet flat on the floor and hands flat on the keyword. No whining, biting, fighting, swearing, bare feet, 17-part questions, manifestos, or wagering, Let's get things started.

    12:01

    Comment From Bill from Toronto
    What should I be looking for out of ND coming out of the bye week? Will there be any major changes on offense or defense we should be looking for? Love the work Eric!

    12:03

    Eric Hansen:
    Well, I think we're finally going to see Sheldon Day in the lineup, which was starting to feel a bit like Linus and the Great Pumpkin. Eventually, I think Max Redfield is going to work his way into some more playing time at safety. The intriguing part will be how the inside linebackers play (without Grace) and how much rotation there will be.

    12:04

    Comment From Blaise, Westland
    What is the strengths of USC, and what areas do you think we have a chance to have a key advantage in?

    12:08

    Eric Hansen:
    USC has one of the best run defenses the Irish will see this year. They've also got a pretty fierce pass rush, which will be interesting given how well the Irish o-line has protected Tommy Rees to this point. They're improving offensively, and the running game has helped that along. Having RB Silas Redd back is huge. They've had problems in the secondary the past two weeks and made a personnel change there. They're not very good at protecting their QBS, an area ND needs to exploit. They're the worst kickoff return team in the nation, and they're one of the most heavily penalized teams in the country.

    12:08

    Comment From Steve, Ann Arbor
    Is USC really better now that they fired Kiffin, seems like they are playing harder than they have in the past couple years?

    12:12

    Eric Hansen:
    I wrote about that Sunday. I think they're certainly happier, but not sure they're necessarily better other than interim coach Ed Orgeron has helped in QB Cody Kessler's development by taking the strait jacket off the offense. It will be interesting to see how they react to their first puff of adversity under the new coach, will everything still be so Disney-esque? I still maintain there is enough talent on this team, in its starting ranks, to pose problems for ND, and USC (Lane Kiffin or not) does have some favorable matchups. This is a game where Tommy Rees has got to bring his A game against the team he has struggled the most against in his career.

    12:12

    Comment From Becky, LA
    With the turmoil at the coaching position, any chance ND is getting in with any of USC recruits to get them to flip?

    12:14

    Eric Hansen:
    There's a chance, but USC's class is rather small right now, and there's not a lot in it (as opposed to last year) that really gets the ND coaches all that interested. ND will have at least 13 official visitors on campus this weekend (who are not already committed to ND). I think that's where the Irish focus is now.

    12:14

    Comment From Steve from HB,Ca
    How much effect does the USC coaching change have on the game?

    12:14

    Eric Hansen:
    I think USC is better offensively without Kiffin and probably plays a little looser.

    12:15

    Comment From terryIrish
    Greetings from the great white north! Seems to me that the Irish really have to establish a ground game to win this 75th version of ND-USC. I agree with an ND Fan that BK must stick with the ground game.. no matter if it stalls from time to time. In that way, Tommy R is still as multi dimensional as he can be. As well, it might be an idea for Tommy to simply take off on the occasional foray. I know that USC is loaded with talent... but they cannot be everywhere all the time. What do you think of Tommy Rees managing a ground game, occasionally running on his own... and of course, managing a number of successful passes. We do have a talented core of receivers including some huge TEs. ND has pretty good talent to match that of USC.. but we've got to play with confidence. I guess there's several comments and a question! What do you think?a

    12:17

    Eric Hansen:
    Terry, glad to have you and glad you were able to finally get your question (and many comments) through. I think ND has to be balanced, and that won't be easy against a very good run defense that will probably tilt even more toward the run, given Rees' past struggles against USC's defense. I don't see Tommy running, but I do think this game presents Kelly with an opportunity to use Andrew Hendrix in some key spots to get the running game going and perhaps in the red zone as well.

    12:17

    Comment From Greg, Oakland
    Now with the bye week, do you think Folson takes more of a role, or do you expect Cam to still log major carries for the Irish

    12:19

    Eric Hansen:
    I asked Brian Kelly about Folston yesterday and had a chance to interview the freshman running back last week. I'll have his story online later tonight. Kelly's response was Folston wasn't fully healthy late in the Oklahoma game and was still nursing a pull when the Irish played ASU. I think there's a lot of trust that's been earned by Cam, but I think Folston needs to have an expanded role, We'll see if BK agrees with me.

    12:19

    Comment From terryIrish
    Thanks for the abulous live chats... and keep up the good work.

    12:19

    Eric Hansen:
    Thanks for joining in.

    12:20

    Comment From Dan From London,Ont
    Always love your work Eric and I have been lucky enough to make it to at least one game every year for the past 5 years. Im having a hard time being excited about his years team and I have once again landed tickets to the Navy game which I have caught in the past and is a great tradition game to watch and think everyone should watch at least once. But all that said do you see any changes at QB coming at all?

    12:23

    Eric Hansen:
    O Canada, we are well-represented by our neighbors to the North today (and I don't mean Michigan fans). I think in games against USC, BYU and Stanford -- because of matchups, Kelly really needs to explore the two-QB system. Rees finds himself with his lowest efficiency rate and completion rate of his career as a starter this year. He has cut down on turnovers. But I don't think Kelly trusts Hendrix to be anything more than a complementary quarterback. Rees is familiar and he knows what he's going to get from him, for better or for worse.

    12:23

    Comment From Carrie, Mt Pleasant
    Love the chats Eric,

    12:23

    Comment From Carrie, Mt Pleasant
    Sorry, my question is do you think Hendrix will ever get the chance to have a full possession for himself, seems like when he comes in for a play or two, they know the run is coming, making him less impactful

    12:25

    Eric Hansen:
    Carrie, I also think Andrew would be more effective if he got at least one series, or at least was able to finish off a series. I'm not sure Kelly sees it that way, but I think it would allow him to get comfortable and get in a rhythm.

    12:25

    Comment From Josh, Indy
    I know this isn't ND, but I dig your St. Louis Cardinals tweets. I go through all kinds of anger/frustration watching Lynn pitch. He's gonna melt down...the only question is when. I often have to turn the channel and calm down so my kids don't start hating me. Do you see another collapse coming, a la last year? GO CARDS!

    12:26

    Eric Hansen:
    Josh, thanks. You do know Derrick Goold of the Post-Dispatch now needs to answer a Notre Dame football question in his chats. ... I felt if the Cards won game 4, they would win the series. But I would not be surprised if it went 7 games.

    12:27

    Comment From Dan, Austin
    Love the workday break up with these chats.... Who is now the depth at ILB... seems like after this year its nothing but holes... Do they need to refocus their recruiting on this?

    12:32

    Eric Hansen:
    Dan, I'm going to answer the last part of your question first -- absolutely they do. The Irish do have Greer Martini and Richard Yeargin III on board, but I'm not sure either qualifies as a turn-key guy who you could just plug in next year in the two-deeps. Nyles Morgan, who is visiting this weekend, does fit that bill. But the Irish have a lot of work to do to get him leaning in the direction of South Bend. As far as the present, BK said Tuesday there are plenty of guys who could be converted to inside linebackers, and that may be true, but I don't see plenty who could be converted to ELITE inside linebackers. For now, Joe Schmidt backs up Fox at MLB, Kendall Moore backs up Carlo at WLB. Michael Deeb, a freshman, will train at both spots as the fifth option. The hope by the coaching staff is they won't have to use him and can save a year of eligibility.

    12:32

    Comment From Tim in Dallas
    I hear that Devin Butler is moving up the depth chart quickly. Do you expect him to have any impactful minutes this week? What about going forward?

    12:34

    Eric Hansen:
    He's been moving up and is now in the second group (although the "official" depth chart, which still lists Greg Bryant as a possible starting running back, lists Butler third at CB). Butler and Cole Luke are seeing more snaps and in more meaningful situations, but Jackson and Russell are still solidly the No. 1s.

    12:34

    Comment From Greg from Buchanan
    Happy Wednesday Eric! I loved your statistical comparison of Tuitt to Clowney and Lynch. Would you argue that Tuitt has not only put up better numbers, but he's also done it against better competition so far?

    12:35

    Eric Hansen:
    I think you could make that argument and win it.

    12:35

    Comment From Gary, NC
    IS this the week we finally see a screen pass... It seems with the way USC attacks, ND can get the ball out of Rees hands and into the RBS in open space

    12:36

    Eric Hansen:
    I sure hope so.

    12:36

    Comment From Mike in Maine
    Eric, I understand why G. Atkinson was benched after his dancing in the backfield resulted in lost yds, but why has Carlisle been exiled?

    12:37

    Eric Hansen:
    I think Amir lost some equity when he fumbled late in a close game with Purdue -- ND's only lost fumble of the year to date. He has to show he can get tough yards inside too -- not just be a perimeter runner. Perhaps, given the emotional factor of being a former USC player, he may get more of an opportunity this week.

    12:38

    Comment From Mike from Valpo
    Great chats! Thus may be premature, but if ND goes 9-3 or even 8-4, without a BCS game, which bowls will be available? It sounds like BCS or nothing (or at least an inferior bowl).

    12:39

    Eric Hansen:
    Mike, I wrote about that Monday. Scroll down about halfway through the article --but yes it is BCS or dumpster dive:

    http://www.southbendtribune.com/sports/college/notredame/football/article_f774fd10-3471-11e3-b872-0019bb30f31a.html

    12:39

    Comment From John from Bermuda
    Why doesn't Kelly use the slot receiver and tight end more down the middle - there seems to be few crossing routes attempted.

    12:40

    Eric Hansen:
    I think for fear that it might result in more interceptions.

    12:41

    Comment From Jim from Kennywood Pa
    Tommy Rees continues to throw the ball outside of the playing field.His accuracy is "limited" on deep throws.He has no speed to speak of.He was awarded the starting position without a fair compition last summer.I wonder if Rees has some unflattering pictures of BK with a duck.

    12:41

    Eric Hansen:
    I can certainly ask.

    12:41

    Comment From James, Dallas
    Heard the question about DB play at the Kelly press conference. Our DB ball skills seem poor (like really poor) relative to their speed and recruited talent. Seems to be to be one of the biggest weaknesses on the team -- and has been off and on for years. How can Michigan State have an entire NFL bound sedentary, and our four star recruits struggle year after year? Our guys are on the receiver -- more or less -- but do not make the play. Sometimes they miss in spectacular fashion. Thoughts?

    12:44

    Eric Hansen:
    You are playing with four starters who did not primarily play secondary in high school (Jackson WR, Russell RB, Collinsworth RB, Shumate OLB -- even Farley WR). So that may be part of it. You do make a good point about MSU's DBs. I can't defend it. ND's should be more technically sound.

    12:44

    Comment From June, MD Terrapin Country
    Any chance Ishaq plays any ILB? I know he plays behind Shembo and has been playing some end, thought it might be a possibility.

    12:45

    Eric Hansen:
    I'm not sure that's a great fit, though he does play kind of a spy in the middle of the defense in some pass-defense packages. Not sure how his instincts and body type would stand up to the run.

    12:45

    Comment From Deandre, Sarasota FL
    First time attending a chat, dig it. If ND can win this week, they should win every game til Stanford... Does 9-3 get them into a BCS game, or do they need to win out

    12:46

    Eric Hansen:
    Deandre, I dig that you're a part of today's chat. Given that ND is No. 32 in the (projected) BCS standings and need to get to 14 with Stanford as the only game they have to really impress people, I can't see a scenario in which 9-3 gets them to the top 14.

    12:47

    Comment From Fro - Marco Island
    Ok, I was laughed off as on drugs when I suggested ND play Tennessee in a shamrock game at Bristol Motor Speedway...I just would like to know who in either of those sports departments reads this or listens to SportsBeat 960! I deserve some finders fee or at least some affirmation baby! I digress. Where are the silver linings in this years team if, IF, ND stumbles agains USC at home?

    12:50

    Eric Hansen:
    Fro, it wasn't drugs I was suggesting. It was moonshine. And I do owe you an apology. Never in my wildest dreams did I think they could pull off a game at that venue. And as a finder's fee, if you'd like the game program from the Shamrock Series game in Arlington, I'll send it to you if you send me your address (via email). As to your question, I don't think there are silver linings if ND stumbles to USC other than some Hendrix fans may have a slight chance to get their wish. Slight.

    12:50

    Comment From Paul, Galway, Ireland
    Hey Eric, missed this chat last week - great to have you back! Do you see Coach Kelly being at ND for the longer term, say 5 years from now??? After his flirtation with the Eagles last January do you think that ship has sailed (as he would say)?? Or given the fact ND hasn't has the same season as last year, would any NFL teams be interested in him any longer?? I know he just signed a new contract but we all know those contracts usually have get out clauses etc and that didn't stop him coming to ND (I hope he does stay long term as I think he is building a really good program)

    12:53

    Eric Hansen:
    Paul, you didn't miss it last week, because when ND took a bye week, so did we. Your question is one I don't have a great answer to. Last spring, I was leaning toward Kelly being at ND long term. I don't feel as strongly now, and it's not based on anything but gut feeling. I'm not sure there will be as much interest in him this year as there was last. I think the Chip Kelly experiment in Philly, how that plays out, may affect BK to some extent.

    12:53

    Comment From j, los angeles
    i cant think of a player that has been hated on more then tommy rees. great kid but does he deserve all this negativity?

    12:54

    Eric Hansen:
    I'm not sure most of the fans are actually "hating" Tommy, but just trying to figure out what's best for the team in terms of quarterback play. I think that's fair. Don't you?

    12:54

    Comment From June, MD Terrapin Country
    Any chance Kelly calls a bootleg for Tommy R.?? It worked for Peyton Manning against Dallas!

    12:55

    Eric Hansen:
    A naked boot? I think there's a better chance of Kelly letting Al Lesar call the plays.

    12:55

    Eric Hansen:
    Keep in mind, Rees has just one planned run in six games for one yard. So I guess the element of surprise would be there.

    12:58

    Comment From Guest
    John Munster In, Go Mustangs! I know its early but is Rocket and Mirko Jr interested. Also what defense recruits are we likely to add?

    1:01

    Eric Hansen:
    It is early for those two juniors -- Jurkovic an offensive lineman at SB St. Joseph High here in town and Rocket2 a junior WR/DB at Ranchview High in Carrollton, TX. Both have expressed an early interest in ND. There is mutual interest, but to what level this early? Neither player has a offer from any FBS school yet. As to ND's defensive recruits, the most likely defensive addition in the near future, it seems, would be LB/S Drue Tranquill.

    1:01

    Comment From Chris from Tulsa, OK
    Eric, Glad to be back this week. Thanks again for the list of things to do down in Dallas, that trip was amazing and I was happy to see the boys win. Did you get time to enjoy yourself as well away from the game? What matchup(s) are you looking forward to this week?

    1:04

    Eric Hansen:
    I enjoyed Jerry World and my first ever trip to In N Out Burger (I did not get fries or the shake as my colleagues did). I really am interested to see how much pressure the Irish front can bring on Kessler and how that will affect the matchups with Marqise Lee and Nelson Agholor against ND's secondary. I'm also curious to see of ND can run the ball effectively. And finally, this is a big game for Rees against a team he has struggled against but has a struggling secondary itself.

    1:05

    Comment From Tom Kennesaw, GA
    Eric, last Wednesday was tough without your chat. It is the highlight of hump day. Is SC's run D eally that good or are the numbers skewed by a porous pass D? Their LB's have been super quick in the past how are they this year? Hopefully TR is better against USC than he was vs Mich St. and OU. Go Irish.

    1:10

    Eric Hansen:
    Their 3.7 yards-per-carry against is a bit high for a team ranked in the top 15 overall in rushing defense, but they've seen some really good running backs -- Arizona's Kadeeem Carey, last year's national rushing leader and No. 4 this year; BC's Andre Williams, the nation's sixth-leading rusher; ASU's Marion Grice, the nation's leading scorer. So I would say they've at least been tested.

    1:10

    Comment From Phil - Litchfield, CT
    Hi Eric. Great chats and insights as always. I'm going to violate Coach Kelly's rule and look ahead to next year a little. Not for the team but for my own personal needs. Traveling from far away for a game with family, there are a lot of logisitcs and schedules to juggle. Have you heard any insider info on WHEN ND will announce next year's football schedule? I know there are the ACC changes to incorporate, but do you recall it ever being delayed this late?

    1:12

    Eric Hansen:
    Phil, I hope to talk to Jack Swarbrick here soon and find out. I think the holdup is over where and against whom the Shamrock Series game will be played. There are unconfirmed rumors floating about Purdue being that game. We'll see. I can understand your frustration.

    1:12

    Comment From Lucas, Dublin
    Helllloooooo Eric.. When Golson comes back next year, is the job his or will he have to beat out Malik?

    1:12

    Eric Hansen:
    I think there will be a certain period of proving himself to the coaches and the team, but I fully expect him to be the starter, especially with Malik likely redshirting this year.

    1:13

    Comment From Ryan, Baltimore
    Who asks BK the best questions during pressers? You, or Mike Frank's Irish Sports Daily guys?

    1:14

    Eric Hansen:
    I didn't know it was a contest I've never really thought about it, to tell you the truth.

    1:14

    Comment From Marty, San Antonio, TX
    Eric, Koyack seems to be coming on lately. He missed a tOn of blocks early but he has rallied and even caught a TD. I almost fainted when he got in it was such a shock. Is it a matter of game reps bringing him up to speed? Another quick question, why only use the Shamrock Series uni's once a year? I know ND Tradition and all but it seems a bit wasteful. I think they are unique but a second time would not hurt... maybe a bowl game option?

    1:17

    Eric Hansen:
    Marty, I think it was a sense of urgency with Koyack. Either he was going to step up or get moved to the back of the line. And they need him to block well. We saw a lot more two-tight end formations in the ASU game to help bolster the running attack. As to the unis, I think traditionalists would freak if they were used more than once a year. And a lot of the traditionalists are big decision-makers and big donors at ND.

    1:17

    Comment From Jim, Atlanta
    From the heart of dixie in Atlanta, we're coming up tonight for a great long weekkend in SB. Please tell us that the bye weeek rust won't be like last time we played USC at home!

    1:18

    Eric Hansen:
    The bye week rust won't be like last time we played USC at home! I am obedient if nothing else. I don't think rust will be a problem as much as some tough matchups.

    1:19

    Comment From Dan From London,Ont
    I completly agree that no one knows the system better then Rees and he can read the defenses better then any of the other QB that are currently on the roster. But athletically Rees is the least gifted on the roster. I know Hendrix hasnt turned out what many of us thought he might and I agree in not waisting a red shirt on him at this point. I thought I would throw in there that I have my degree and graduated from ND in '03. But you would be surprised how many fans there are up north here of NCAA college football.

    1:23

    Eric Hansen:
    It is stunning how many ND fans there are in Canada and very cool. As to the quarterbacks, It's hard to fathom Hendrix and Zaire both not being able to mount a challenge. You look around the country. Penn State beat Michigan with a true freshman QB. Florida State is rolling with a first-time starter and redshirt freshman. Heck Cody Kessler at USC has a much better efficiency rating that Rees does. I think the thing that hurts Kelly the most perceptually is that he has yet to produce a QB who finished in the top 50 in passing efficiency at ND or an offense that finished in the top 40 in total offense. Again, perhaps implementing the complementary QB system will bring out the best in each QB?

    1:24

    Comment From Craig from Cincinnati
    Who would you start at running back if you were Coach for the day Saturday?

    1:24

    Eric Hansen:
    I'd start GA3 and finish with Cam McDaniel, with a lot of Folston in between and a little Carlisle.

    1:24

    Comment From Newt in Washington DC and feeling good cause we are one game away from the WS!!!!!!
    Eric, thanks for the write up on possible bowl destinations if we dont make a BCS. Do you think it would be more beneficial for us to go to New York and whoop an average team or go to a BCS bowl and get thrashed by a top 5 team? Also, with all the recruits coming in this weekend, who do you think is the most likely to pop (commit). Thanks as always for the knowledge!

    1:28

    Eric Hansen:
    Newt, great to have you on and still think you could help on the d-line this year. I would say neither scenario you mentioned is palatable, but I'd rather play the best competition available and let the chips fall where they may. I could learn a lot more about my team that way, As to likely to pop, I;m hearing Dure Tranquill Isaiah McKenzie and possibly the two kids from Dallas (Hendrix and Watkins).

    1:29

    Comment From DJ in Illinois
    What is the chance Marquis Lee plays Saturday. He's scary good but our DB's can probably match up with their other receivers.

    1:29

    Eric Hansen:
    He practiced yesterday and proclaimed that he'll be 100 percent by Saturday.

    1:29

    Comment From Guest
    Great win of ASU.. But why didn't Dan Fox take a knee

    1:29

    Comment From Guest
    after the interception? The game would have been over.

    1:30

    Eric Hansen:
    Because there was a clear path to the end zone that puts ND up 10 points.

    1:30

    Comment From Mike in California
    The coaches need to be smarter with the kids and prepare them for every situation. Thoughts?

    1:30

    Eric Hansen:
    I think you could say that about any coaching staff in the country.

    1:30

    Comment From Jack from Galien
    Glad to have you back. Last Wednesday just wasn't complete without this. My question is which current seniors have potential 5th year options for next year? Thanks.

    1:33

    Eric Hansen:
    Glad to have you back too. Collinsworth, Heggie, Hendrix, Lombard, Massa, Kendall Moore, Nix, Utupo, Welch and Lo Wood. Nix has already stated, though, he will go into the draft.

    1:33

    Comment From Don in Phx
    Eric, with a week off to think about it how much of the first half results are related to players making the plays on D, depth, coaching and scheme and finally QB? What will be different in the second half?

    1:34

    Eric Hansen:
    I think the secondary and d-line will be better. The running game and QB play HAS to be better. I think the inside linebacker play again becomes a question mark.

    1:34

    Comment From Curtis, NJ
    Rees throwing Deep, is this something that will soften the run defense of USC or just result in more turnovers?

    1:35

    Eric Hansen:
    Great question. I can't wait to find out.

    1:36

    Comment From Andrew Grand Rapids
    Do you have a link to the article comparing Tuitt, Clowney, and Lynch's stats anywhere?

    1:36

    Eric Hansen:
    It's the last item in today's notebook:

    http://www.southbendtribune.com/sports/college/notredame/football/article_5ce84196-35eb-11e3-8a62-001a4bcf6878.html

    1:42

    Comment From Steve
    Play calling is still horrendous. I have to think the top 20 teams right now with there head coaches in our situation, 4 or 5 RBs all 4 or 5 star recruits. All OLine 4-5 star requests with an average game manager qb. That they would not throw more than 20 passes a game with the big plays being off play action. What gives? Seems to be a trend new coaches win with former players recruits. Get a raise and longer contract then take a step back. Are you sold on the direction of the program?

    1:46

    Eric Hansen:
    There's a lot in your question to take in. I think Golson's return will improve the quarterback play. I think there are some holes on defense in the front seven that must be addressed through recruiting and player development. That's the best I can do in this kind of forum when you're essentially asking for a big-picture dissertation. I will say, it would be wise to let the season play out. Things could change, for worse or for better.

    1:46

    Comment From John Q Irish, Memphis TN
    C.J. Prosise has looked good blocking and pretty good the few times he's been thrown to, any chance they'll expand his role?

    1:47

    Eric Hansen:
    There's always a chance, but I am not predicting a major change. Tommy is locked in on Jones, Daniels and then Niklas.

    1:48

    Comment From Jordan from Cincinnati
    Hi Eric, hope you enjoyed the bye week. You had high praise for Jaylon Smith after the ASU game. Do you think teams will have to scheme differently to account for better perimeter play from him?

    1:48

    Eric Hansen:
    Yes I do, and I think he will handle it.

    1:48

    Comment From Blaise, Westland
    Next year our bowl tieins with ACC start, do we have to split bowl money with them?

    1:49

    Eric Hansen:
    If my memory serves me, no and they won't have to share theirs with ND either.

    1:50

    Comment From Teddy - Minneapolis
    Alright, so the running back by committee thing has had mixed results. George surged, then took a step back (literally, while in the hole). Amire looked great on his first carry and has been a bit out of sorts ever since. Tarean has had about 6 solid carries - not enough work to tell, and Cam is reliable, but not that exciting. Who in your opinion is the best long-term solution at running back?

    1:51

    Eric Hansen:
    I think you've got to mix and match until someone emerges, but I really like Folston.

    1:51

    Comment From Dan From London,Ont
    The sad thing is I truly feel like there is more from this team that we just have yet to see break out yet! Im excited about our young receivers just hate the way TR continues to just throw up prayers hoping his man will come down with the pass. Whats your thoughts on how will our D line look next yr which seemingly we are going to lose a lot actually on both the offense and defense?

    1:56

    Eric Hansen:
    If Nix and Tuitt leave as expected, you will have Day at one end, Rochell or Jarron Jones at another and a freshman or Tony Springmann likely at nose guard. The Irish have added Johnathan Bonner, Matt Dickerson, Jay Hayes and Andrew Trumbetti through recruiting, but they need more. Chase Hounshell, who is going to get a chance to resume practicing in the next week or two, is the wild card.

    1:56

    Comment From Val, Pitt
    Have they released where the next couple shamrock sites are going to be?

    1:56

    Eric Hansen:
    Negative.

    1:57

    Comment From Dan From London,Ont
    I agree Paul for Galway Ireland, Im one of the few who hasnt liked the hiring of Kelly. I have always been a more traditional pro style of offense and coachs like Saban and David Shaw prove that you can still win at the highest levels running that offense. The only think I will give Coach Kelly credit for is he has done a much better job recruiting then I thought he would and has landed a lot of more speed on both sides of the ball and thats something you need to compete in todays college football

    1:57

    Eric Hansen:
    You are now on record.

    1:57

    Comment From Terry - Des Moines
    I read that Peyton Manning actually was the only person that knew he was going with the bootleg so everyone would sell the fake better. Can you imagine how purple BK's face would be if Tommy did the same thing and failed.

    1:58

    Eric Hansen:
    I have a shirt that color.

    1:58

    Comment From Betty, South Bend
    In my day, if ND didn't go to a big bowl, they declined other offers... Maybe this year if they don't make a big bowl, they should just stay home

    1:59

    Eric Hansen:
    I did wonder the same thing. Thankfully, the ACC bowl agreement kicks in next year.

    1:59

    Comment From Greg from Buchanan
    I wanted to ask a follow up question to the one about Coach Kelly going to the NFL. Do you think he would be successful in the NFL? He really strikes me a "college" coach that wouldn't find great success in the NFL. Developing and educating boys into men who become contributing members of society seems to be one of the things he loves and does best in coaching. Less chance of doing that in the NFL.

    2:00

    Eric Hansen:
    It's hard for me to see him as an NFL guy. I think his niche is college, but I'm not sure he sees himself that way.

    2:00

    Comment From Ed,Greensboro
    To follow up on Hendrix. Why does Kelly not let him pass more.? Does he have concerns about accuracy, judgement or is it something else.?

    2:01

    Eric Hansen:
    I think Kelly perceives his limitation to be seeing the field well and spotting open receivers when the primary guy is covered.

    2:01

    Comment From Dan, Grand Rapids, Mi.
    Hi Eric. Thanks for doing these chats. How good is SC? I watched the 1st qtr. of the Arizona game and SC looked really good....then the next day saw the score and it was 38-31......how good is Arizona? Is their defense vulnerable? Can ND learn anything from that game? Also, where are the next Shamrock series games and against whom?

    2:04

    Eric Hansen:
    USC actually comes into the game better in almost every offensive and defensive category. Where they really fall short is protecting the passer, special teams, turnovers and penalties. Their secondary is very suspect as well. It really shapes up as a fun game to watch unfold. What ND can learn is whether it can run on a very good run defense and whether Tommy can take advantage of a weak secondary but on a defense with a great pass rush and very good athletes. No official word yet on Shamrock Series site 2014.

    2:05

    Comment From Allison, Wentsworth, TX
    What is for favorite food from any stadium you have been to?

    2:05

    Eric Hansen:
    You're going to find this hard to believe, but Boston College has an incredible spread (and a very tiny and antiquated press box). First runner up, the BBQ at the University of North Carolina.

    2:06

    Comment From Guest
    Hi Eric,Jim-Cumberland,Md. Could You ask MR Kelly if He could put a running back in that can also pass, so in that way He could leave His buddy Rees in to call plays and still have a Run,Pass threat.

    2:06

    Eric Hansen:
    You do know that the next time he asks my advice for strategy will be the first?

    2:06

    Comment From Ray from Chicago
    I know Jaylon Smith is playing primarily as the drop linebacker but I would like to see him blitz once in a while. His speed is his biggest asset now and until last game our pass rush was not a factor.

    2:07

    Eric Hansen:
    Ray, I would love to see that too.

    2:07

    Comment From mike in oklahoma
    Eric- It has been suggested that a percentage of money has to be funded prior to any upgrades. ND could easily afford anything- so why any delay in things like field turf? As a resident of Oklahoma, I had to hear the complaints from the OU base of media and team on the poor field. This is an ongoing issue for years, and why not just experiment for 1 year the field turf process? Heck-i'll send 50 bucks if would get started.

    2:08

    Eric Hansen:
    There are traditionalist that right the FieldTurf and some of them are very powerful. But I'm with you.

    2:08

    Comment From Yitzak Pearlman
    It would seem that Kelly and staff, after a fluke-ish 2012 performance, are settling into their avg. record of 8-5. Too many excuses, too many coaching errors (poor qb handling, poor db and lb recruiting), inept offense and mediocre defense.

    2:08

    Eric Hansen:
    That's dangerously close to a manifesto, pal.

    2:09

    Comment From Chris from Tulsa, OK
    Do you see ND ever playing a regular season game on a day other than Saturday?

    2:09

    Eric Hansen:
    Yes, the ACC could schedule them on a Thursday (road game). ND would prefer not to do that, but they may not have a choice at some point.

    2:09

    Comment From L Kiffin, Los Angeles
    I suddenly find myself in need of a job. Might there be an opening for me on next year's staff. Thanks so much.

    2:10

    Eric Hansen:
    At the Tribune? How fast can you type?

    2:10

    Comment From Charles from "The Bend"
    Hey Eric great to have the Chat back! OK...maybe its me but is Brian Kelley just slightly intolerant of his players flaws/ I'm speaking of Amir Carlyle and his lack of playing time since the admittedly critical fumble in the Purdue (?) game. This kid deserves better than this! We saw it with Dayne Christ after the So. Florida 99 yard fumble return and now the kid who has rehabed from injury 3 times is in the dog house for 1 fumble? What are your thoughts?

    2:11

    Eric Hansen:
    I think there should be a chance at redemption, but again coaches are going to play players they trust. A player has to earn that back, but he needs the opportunity to earn it.

    2:11

    Comment From T- in The D
    What kind of candy are you giving out this Halloween?

    2:12

    Eric Hansen:
    Usually Skittles and some kind of candy bar.

    2:12

    Comment From Guest
    John, Fort Wayne. Eric, we redshirted Crist, Golson, Kiel and none of them will have played 4 seasons at ND. history tells us that Malik Zaire will not be here in 2017. if he's really mgood he won't stay 5 years, if Golson comes back and Kizer emerges he probably will leave. why not give him a chance to at least play some? has Kelly not learned yet that it is hard to keep QBs 5 years

    2:13

    Eric Hansen:
    Crist did play college ball for five years. Golson and Kiel could end up doing so as well. You can't just play a quarterback to ensure he doesn't transfer. Every college has 4-5 or more on the roster. The best player plays.

    2:13

    Comment From Mark, Orange County CA
    Hi Eric, As always thanks for these chats. BK predicted that this will be a close game. I think this is a self fulfilling prophecy. Why does ND always play to the level of the team they are playing instead of playing up to their own talents and abilities?

    2:14

    Eric Hansen:
    I don't think ND is dynamic enough on offense to produce a lot of blowouts.

    2:14

    Comment From Tom GA
    what do we gave to do to have a x=successful wheel route out of the backfield? I see all kinds of teams on Sat and Sun be very successful 2-3 times a game.

    2:14

    Eric Hansen:
    I like the play myself.

    2:14

    Comment From Dennis, Port Clinton, Ohio
    Every fan questions coaching and the calls, it's only natural; however, every time I see Tommy lined up in an empty backfield, it makes me wonder about our offensive IQ. Your thoughts, Buckeye Fan?

    2:15

    Eric Hansen:
    I cannot recall a play (and I'm sure there have been some) where Rees in empty in the red zone has resulted in a positive play. I think it makes no sense on any level.

    2:16

    Comment From Jack Clark from St. Louis
    Eric, I've noticed a few instances in the past couple years where defenders would clearly jump offsides but the QB and Center allow him to get back across the line of scrimmage before hiking the ball. Seems they can pick up a gimme 5 yards just by hiking the ball. Does Kelly teach them to ignore this so they can focus on the play?

    2:16

    Eric Hansen:
    I think with a first-year center, it's a little trickier to execute.

    2:16

    Comment From Mike, So. Texas
    Eric, your opinion on strength of the USC defensive front for pressuring Rees and stuffing the run?

    2:16

    Eric Hansen:
    I think they're legit.

    2:17

    Comment From Guest
    Hi Eric Jim Cumberland,Md. Keep up the work.

    2:17

    Eric Hansen:
    thanks

    2:17

    Comment From Mike, Pico Rivera CA
    Eric, dont know if this has been asked yet, but wiht such a highly touted run defense and questionable secondary do you think SC will stack the box to defend the run? If they do will that allow TR to have more succes in the passing game?

    2:18

    Eric Hansen:
    Theoretically yes - that's what they did against Arizona and got torched. But can Rees deliver? This is a big game for him. He won't be able to simply be a game manager in this game. He's going to have to be a play-maker.

    2:19

    Comment From Beth in MI
    Hi Eric. Will be at the game on Saturday and I am really looking forward to it. The end of the ASU game made me cringe. The poor last offensive series, the defense letting ASU go right down the field and score and the too close for comfort onside kick. I can't put this all on the players. Is Kelly panicking?

    2:20

    Eric Hansen:
    I don't think panic is the word I would use. There are many who didn't like Kelly calling a pass on third down, but when everyone was covered, Rees needed to just slide down and make ASU use a timeout. Why in the world do you throw the ball out of bounds on that play? As for the defense's last stand, I think coaching and players re to blame.

    2:21

    Comment From Al from Philly
    To put it simply, given the current QB situation, does this team throw too much to win against the better teams on their schedule?

    2:21

    Eric Hansen:
    Not when it gets behind.

    2:22

    Comment From Mike in California
    Eric, you're wrong.. If Fox takes a knee the game is over and we don't have to sweat out the last onside kick that Marion Grice had his hands on for a brief moment. what part of that don't you understand?

    2:23

    Eric Hansen:
    If you didn't want my opinion, why did you ask the question. What part of that don't you understand pal?

    2:23

    Comment From Andy, Marshall
    I would have to disagree about not going to a low level bowl game. By not going, ND misses out on valuable practice time. Thoughts?

    2:25

    Eric Hansen:
    That is one drawback, but if you're playing a game you're going to lose money on against a low-level AAC or MAC opponent, I do think you could make the case that there' a lot more to potentially lose than can be gained. I'm not sold either way, but I think it is something to ponder.

    2:25

    Comment From Guest
    Eric, Greetings from Ontario! I read Monday's Article and your insight to the Bowl opportunities for ND were very interesting. Normally a Team with a 9-3 record are rewarded with a decent Bowl game. Is it the choice to remain an independent that is giving ND the short end of the stick? Betty, I too recall back in the day when ND would pass on a substandard Bowl offering rather than be associated with the pre-Christmas Day offerings. Or is it the funding received for playing any Bowl that is driving ND to accept?

    2:27

    Eric Hansen:
    ND has already used its once-in-four-years ticket to the Russell Athletic/Champs Sports Bowl. This is the last year of the cycle. A big reason ND joined the ACC was to put football in a position where it never had to sweat out this kind of scenario again. Had ND failed to make the BCS last year, they would have been in the same situation. The whole bowl pictures changes for the better next year.

    2:27

    Comment From Dom from Colonial Beach, Virginia
    Hi, Eric, look forward to your chats every week, thanks for doing such a great job. I'm not sure if this has been asked yet, but is there a game situation wherein, Coach Kelly, tells himself, "Let's let Hendrix run things for a while and see how he acquits himself."

    2:28

    Eric Hansen:
    I think he has dug in his heels so far on Rees that I'm not sure he'll ever get to that point.

    2:28

    Comment From Derek In Afg
    Eric, just a comment, have seen all but the temple game broadcast this year. Frequently check SBT to get latest information on ND, Keep up the good work.

    2:28

    Eric Hansen:
    Well thanks.

    2:28

    Comment From PC of NC
    Eric, at season's end would you put an undefeated OSU ahead of any the current top ten ranked teams that ended with one loss .... [be objective now :)] thanks for the chats.

    2:29

    Eric Hansen:
    You have to see how things play out. I vote in the AP poll and have OSU No. 5 at this point. There are one-loss teams that could jump them.

    2:30

    Comment From TNT65 - Atlanta
    Eric, Great job on this forum and the coverage all the time! do you see Isaac Rochell as a stalwart on the D line, or just average as he develops?

    2:30

    Eric Hansen:
    Too early to tell, but early signs would point to him developing into a pretty good player. I like his makeup.

    2:30

    Comment From Sean,greensboro
    Is our offensive line playing up to expectations?Thanks

    2:31

    Eric Hansen:
    They're fifth in the country in sacks allowed with an immobile QB. I certainly give them an A in that department.

    2:32

    Eric Hansen:
    That's going to have to do it for this week. I need time to figure out how a NASCAR track can host a football game. Maybe they could have one in a swimming pool, whpo knows? Thanks for all the great questions. We'll be back next Wednesday at noon EDT for more.