While everyone else is worrying about who will replace Charlie I figured I'd write about the good things of his last season. Yes, there were actual good moments in this disastrous 6-6 season. I tried to only use plays I could find isolated on youtube... Honorable mentions to the punt return, Golden Tate bouncing Taylor Mays to the ground as he scored, Michael Floyd's 80 yard touchdown against Nevada and the first touchdown of the season by Kyle Rudolph.
10. Two point conversion against Michigan. The Boise State Statue of Liberty play. It worked to perfection, the bobbling of the football by Armando Allen only adding to it. While losing to this Michigan team is unforgivable this play was spectacular. If only Charlie had run the ball at the end of the game instead of throwing passes, this team could have been 7-5.
9. Golden Mary against Washington State. Easily the most explosive member of the Irish since Rocket. The young man will be mentioned again on this list. This play would be much higher if it wasn't at halftime of a game against the Cougars.
8. Kyle McCarthy and Harrison Smith combine for a game winning explosion of a hit. Beating Washington in miraculous fashion and I can't pin down a play from the multitude of goal line stands to put here. The defense came up big in the overtime period and allowed the Irish to still think they were good.
7. Kyle McCarthy wins the Michigan State game. Another game winning play by Kyle, this time with his hands instead of his shoulder. Also the last time the defense shows up on this list. Beating Michigan State is third on my list of must win games following FUSC and SCUofM. Thankfully we got one of them this year.
6. Robert Hughes two point conversion against Washington (full game highlight). This play allowed the Irish to force an overtime and was an awesome use of team work as well. The offensive line wouldn't quit and forced HUUUUUUGHES into the end zone.
5. Rocket Ismail at the USC pep rally. What a great job of firing people up. Just an awesome job and what every pep rally needs. Even with the loss to FUSC I still watch this at least once a week.
4. Dayne Crist to John Goodman. A glimpse of the future. The best pass Crist has ever thrown and maybe the best pass by a Notre Dame quarterback all year. Goodman pulling away from the defensive back is almost as impressive as the pass itself.
3. Kyle Rudolph wins the Purdue game. A great job of sealing off the defensive player and stealing a game. Another perfect pass from Jimmy. Perhaps this play would have worked at the end against FUSC.
2 (tie). Michael Floyd's non touchdown against Michigan State and his touchdown against Stanford. This plays are very similar except one was ruled a David Grimes touchdown and the other surprised a Stanford cheerleader. A great job by Jimmy of moving around and being able to throw a pass where only Mike can catch it.
1 (tie). Golden Tate touchdown and the band dive against Michigan State and scoring his third touchdown against Stanford. Everything about this play is perfect. A great toss by Jimmy, a great catch by Golden and a perfect celebration. It also scored the winning points. The picture of Golden Tate hovering above the band has been my desktop picture since I found it. Against Stanford it's just amazing that no one can trip him up and just count the players he runs by on this 80 yard 30 yard touchdown catch and run.
I just don't want 2009 to be remembered only for Charlie's demise. There were great things happening (mostly offensively) but tons of plays that should be remembered for years to come.