So the Notre Dame Fighting Irish have stumbled out of the gates, and someone has to be the fall guy. That man is defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder.
Brian Kelly announces Brian VanGorder has been relieved of his duties. Greg Hudson assumes responsibilities.— Michael Bertsch (@NDsidBertschy) September 25, 2016
To be fair, Notre Dame hasn’t been good on the defensive end. The Fighting Irish are 101st in points-per-game allowed, 103rd in yards-per-game allowed, and 104th in yards-per-play allowed. The team has surrendered 500 or more yards in three of four games. The only one it didn’t was a win over Nevada in which the Wolfpack still gained 300 yards.
Kelly’s comments after the game Saturday led many to believe that VanGorder would be retained.
“That’s probably the one area that I feel better about today,” Kelly said regarding his defensive coaching staff. “We did what I wanted today in terms of coaching. “There are things that I want to get better at defensively, there’s no question. But that’s the least of my concerns after today.”
But things get a bit clearer when you factor in that this may not have been such an open-and-shut case in terms of Kelly’s decision.
VanGorder’s son, Montgomery, remains on the roster as a quarterback, perhaps complicating the situation from Kelly’s end.
Wherever the directive came from for VanGorder to get the axe, it’s done. Now Notre Dame enters a new era, and hopefully for Greg Hudson, it’s much better on the defensive end.