Two comments: First, I agree that the pass play on first and goal from the one was a bad call from Charlie, who was trying a little too hard again to out think his opponent. The QB sneak for at least two trys would have been the way to go, especially since UCLA relys more on speed than size on defense. But I also want to mention that ND needs to change it's short yardage running plays, which tend to start deep with the running back looking for a hole, to quick dives with straght ahead wedge blocking. Most of the time when we have been stopped on a short yardage running play, our linemen are looking who to block and the tackler is knifing in from the side. If you have a quick staight ahead play that doesn't start deep, you can avoid that scenario. They just need to get a little push forward knowing the snap count.My second comment comes back to the QB. Weis now said that the philosophy was to keep it simple and have Clausen manage the game and avoid turnovers and this gave ND the best chance. Please recall, that Weis said in the summer that he needed a playmaker, not someone to manage the game. He has turned 180 degrees, and unfortunately, if he had only realized it sooner, this would have given ND the best chance in the early games. I find this change especially ironic since Geogia Tech and UCLA have similar defenses and we needed to avoid turnovers to have a chance to win. Sharpley should have started (Charlie acknowledged coming out of spring practice that Sharpley managed the offense the best) and we would be weeks ahead of where we are now, regardless if it was Clauesn or Sharpley at this point. The offense would have been working towards becoming proficient at the basics at an earlier time, instead of waiting until 3 weeks in the season.
I agree with you point about the approach we took in the GTech game. I think it did set us back in term of the development of a young team running Charlie's "true" offense.