Thanksgiving is usually a time to enjoy family, friends, food and a little football. It is meant to be a relaxing day. After losing 24-23 to Syracuse, Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis will probably spend the day worrying about where he will work next season.
The Syracuse loss was particularly horrifying for Notre Dame fans. The Irish were leading 20-10 going into the fourth quarter, but lost after kicker Brandon Walker missed on a 53-yard field goal attempt. Weis decided to go for the field goal with 7 seconds left instead of trying one more play to get Walker, who was 3-6 on field goals, a little closer to the uprights. Instead, the pressure was put on a sophomore kicker who had already missed twice in that game, and he buckled.
The blame should not only go to Walker, as the Irish defense fell apart in the fourth quarter. Syracuse, who was 2-8 with a lame duck coach going into yesterday's game, scored twice in the fourth quarter. After Antwon Bailey ran 26 yards for a Syrause touchdown, Orangemen quarterback Cameron Dantley, the son of Notre Dame basketball star Adrian Dantley, threw a touchdown pass to Donte Davis with 42 seconds left to put Syracuse up 24-23.
To add insult to the loss, the Notre Dame fans pelted their own team with snowballs on Senior Day. Pat Kuntz, Ian Williams and Ethan Johnson were all hit with some of the lake effect snow that fell onto South Bend on Saturday. Weis was spared the snowball, but not the boos and taunts when leaving the field.
The Irish face sixth-ranked Southern California next week, and will likely fall to 6-6. Some bowl will invite them but what difference will it make? The Syracuse loss, and poor coaching decisions in that game, most likely sealed Weis' fate. Enjoy the turkey on Thursday, Charlie. You won't have much to be thankful for after Saturday.