ND Football: Game 5/Week 6 BVG and Bowling Green Fly Into Town

The staff of Shake Down The Thunder Sports has been talking about this game. The return of Brian VanGorder to Notre Dame is with the Bowling Green State University Falcons. VanGorder was supposed to be the second former Notre Dame staffer to return this year. Below is an excerpt from one of our previous articles.

Brian VanGorder has been a journey his whole career. His college football coaching career started in 1989 as the LB coach at Grand Valley State Lakers an NCAA Division II football team. When Brian Kelly moved into the Head Coach position, VanGorder moved up to DC/LB on 1991. VanGorder left after one season under Coach Kelly and got his first chance at a Head Coach position at Wayne State. At Wayne State he went 16-17 over three seasons. In 2006 he assumed the Head Coach role at Georgia Southern where he had a record of 3-8.

In 2005, VanGorder got his first chance in the NFL as a LB coach with the Jacksonville Jaguars. VanGorder went back to college coaching in 2006. From 2007 to 2011, VanGorder was with the Atlanta Falcons for three seasons. In 2007 he was the LB coach and in 2008-2011 VanGorder was the DC. VanGorder went to Auburn for one season in 2012 as the DC. The New York Jets called on him in 2013.

Brian Kelly hired VanGorder as the DC/ILB for the 2014 season as he replaced Bob Diaco who left for UConn. In 2015 he assumed the role of DC. Things started to in the wrong direction at the end of the 2015 season and they appeared to continue into the 2016 season. Losing the last game of the 2015 regular season to Stanford and then losing the Fiesta Bowl to Ohio State.

The 2016 campaign started pretty rough for VanGorder and his defense. Losses to Texas in the season opener, Michigan State on September 17th and Duke the following week would be the end of VanGorder’s time with Notre Dame.

The defense appeared to be very confused on what to do. Every play the defense seemed to be looking for direction on what to do. Open field tackling and wrapping opponents up was a problem. Tackling high will never slow down an opponent. The Irish did not have a sack in a single game until the game against Duke which was only one by Nyles Morgan.

Notre Dame Defense Today

Photo By Lisa Kelly Shake Down The Thunder Sports

The Notre Dame defense today is a changed group. The defense as of last week stepped up a notch. After shutting down the Virginia running game and holding the Cavaliers to just four yards on twenty nine attempts. They garnered eight sacks and two INT’s (one for a touchdown). The defense is also more agile and not tired come the fourth quarter. All of the defensive coaches have paid dividends in this teams turnaround. Change on the defense was needed in order for this team to move forward.

The Keys To Success Against The Falcons

Photo By Lisa Kelly Shake Down The Thunder Sports


The offense must get back to setting the tempo. Last season the Irish would take their first possession and drive the field and score. This year it has taken one or two series to get the offense going. Coach Kelly had this to say on Sunday during his Sunday Teleconference: ” he is still evolving, he is a qb that needs to trust what he sees and stick to to it, needs to be more decisive.” The offense needs to play their game and the offensive line needs to continue the great protection of Book from opposing defenses.


Just continue to get better. Getting to the quarterback helps take the mental toughness of a quarterback. Winning the mental aspect of the game has been their key to success. Just stay away from the metal errors that extend drives and put extra points on the board. Just impose your will.

Special Teams

Jay Bramblett has been the star as a true Freshman. He continues to flip the field and help the defense contain the opposing offense. Chris Finke has to shake off the fumble of last week and move on. Finke for sure has moved on since the fumble.

Photo Courtesy of Matthew Rose

Our Picks From The Pre-Season Pick’em


Bowling Green comes in with a new Head Coach, Offensive Coordinator and Defensive Coordinator Brian VanGorder. Last season Bowling Green went 3-9 and are returning 16 starters from that squad. The Irish need to keep their foot on the gas and need a large margin win.

Jimmy chooses ND 41-16


Brian VanGorder has been a journeyman since his exit from ND. His defense will not be able to stop the weapons on the Irish offensive side of the ball. The defense will demonstrate and show they are renewed defensive unite and will give Bowling Green problems on the offensive side of the ball.

BVG will not be able to outplay the Irish coaching staff in this match-up.

George chooses ND 48-20

Game Day Information

The GameDay weather is supposed t be just beautiful. Check out the forecast from our friends at ABC 57. A fall weather type of game in Notre Dame IN.

Use this link to get all your Game Day information

Time: 3:41 p.m. ET

Site: Notre Dame Stadium

Radio: Notre Dame Radio Network

• SiriusXM (Channel 129)

TV: NBC (national) | NBC Sports app

Cheers and Go Irish!🍀🏈⚡

Shake Down The Thunder Sports would love to hear back from you

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