Blue and Gold Illustrated

Sept. 17, 2018

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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Page 26 of 55 SEPT. 17, 2018 27 "We'll go back, work on what we need to work on and come in a lot better next week. "… They blitzed a lot, just like Michigan. They blitzed a ton and closed up gaps and seams so the run- ning back didn't have a set area to run in." SAFETY PLAY ASCENDING The Irish defense saw the field for 97 plays, including 50 pass at- tempts from Ball State quarterback Riley Neal. However, Irish defensive coordinator Clark Lea's secondary responded well, especially the safety group. Neal threw for just 180 yards on 23 completions — 7.8 yards per com- pletion and 3.6 yards per attempt — with two interceptions recorded by Irish junior safety Jalen Elliott. "He had a great game," head coach Brian Kelly said of Elliott. "It was really good to see him. One of the things was for him to grow relative to the ball in the air, tracking the ball, coming down with it, all those kinds of things. He got the game ball." Fellow junior safety Alohi Gil- man finished third on the team in tackles with nine, including one for loss, while senior Nick Coleman registered one pass broken up dur- ing his time on the field. Freshman Houston Griffith dropped a poten- tial interception. RED-ZONE DEFENSE COMES UP BIG Although the Cardinals mustered points in all three of their trips to the red zone, they notched just one touchdown. Holding Ball State to field goals on its two other red-zone visits was crucial in the outcome, with the unit keeping potentially eight points off the board, if all three attempts were converted into touchdowns and suc- cessful point after tries. Ball State had first-and-goal in each of the first, second and fourth quar- ters, but came up short in the first two before finding the end zone with 12:01 remaining to cut the Irish lead to 24-13. MISCELLANEOUS NOTES • Senior kicker Justin Yoon moved into fourth place on Notre Dame's all-time scoring list (287 points). He surpassed current Irish running backs coach Autry Denson, who remains the program's all-time leading rusher (4,318 yards). • Four players saw their first action in an Irish uniform against Ball State: freshman linebacker Bo Bauer and fresh- man rover Shayne Simon played on special teams, and so did freshman running back C'Bo Flemister and junior walk-on cornerback Temi- tope Agoro. • Junior defensive lineman Jamir Jones saw his first action of the 2018 season in the Fight- ing Irish win. • Notre Dame scored on its opening posses- sion for the second straight week. Both were touchdown runs by sophomore running back Jafar Armstrong. • Junior Jalen Elliott recorded the first two- interception performance by a Notre Dame safety since Harrison Smith did it against Miami (Fla.) in the 2010 Sun Bowl with three. • The 23 third-down attempts were the most for an Irish opponent since at least 1996, per Notre Dame. Ball State converted just eight (34.8 percent). • Junior running back Tony Jones Jr. registered his first multi-touchdown game of his career. Junior safety Alohi Gilman tied for second on the team with nine tackles, including one for loss. PHOTO BY BILL PANZICA NOTRE DAME VS. BALL STATE QUARTER-BY-QUARTER COMPARISON Notre Dame 1st Qtr. 2nd Qtr. 3rd Qtr. 4th Qtr. 1st Half 2nd Half Total Time of Possession 4:59 7:41 7:07 5:51 12:40 12:58 25:38 Third-Down Conversions 1-3 0-4 1-3 2-4 1-7 3-7 4-14 Fourth-Down Conversions 0-0 1-2 0-0 0-0 1-2 0-0 1-2 Average Field Position ND-27 ND-33 ND-37 ND-36 ND-30 ND-36 ND-33 Ball State 1st Qtr. 2nd Qtr. 3rd Qtr. 4th Qtr. 1st Half 2nd Half Final Time of Possession 10:01 7:19 7:53 9:09 17:20 17:02 34:22 Third-Down Conversions 3-6 2-7 1-4 2-6 5-13 3-10 8-23 Fourth-Down Conversions 0-0 1-1 0-0 2-2 1-1 2-2 3-3 Average Field Position BALL-24 BALL-33 BALL-22 BALL-37 BALL-30 BALL-26 BALL-28 PLAY CHART (NO. OF PLAYS) Yards ND BALL Nega ve 14 8 0-5 38 61 6-9 2 16 10-19 9 11 20-29 7 1 30-39 1 0 40-49 1 0 50 or more 0 0 RED ZONE EFFICIENCY (INSIDE 20-YARD LINE) No Poss. TD FG Score Notre Dame 3 2 0 1 Ball State 3 1 2 0 BIG PLAYS (25 YARDS OR MORE) Notre Dame • 1-10 ND26 Wimbush 27-yard pass to Finke to BALL47 • 1-10 BALL47 Armstrong 42-yard run to BALL5 • 2-6 ND45 Wimbush 27-yard pass to Armstrong to BALL28 • 1-10 BALL31 Jones Jr. 31-yard run for touchdown • 1-10 ND34 Wimbush 26-yard pass to Boykin to BALL40 Ball State None

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