Blue and Gold Illustrated

Oct. 12, 2019

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

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28 OCT. 12, 2019 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED some safety work, maybe some op- portunities there in our nickel and dime package. "Moving him there gets him on the field a little bit quicker." The impact of this move was imme- diate, which isn't a surprise because he played safety last season. Per Pro Football Focus' initial grades, Griffith was on the field at the safety position for 14 snaps against Bowling Green. The other change was a little more drastic, as it moved now former wide receiver Cam Hart to the defensive side of the ball. He was a two-way player in high school, and actually thought he would play cornerback for the Irish when he initially committed. Now that he's made the move to that position, the Notre Dame coaching staff is intrigued by his potential. "We like his length at corner," Kelly said. "He was a guy that played quite a bit of defense when we recruited him. We're looking for some size at that position, and he certainly brings that. "We evaluated him the last couple of weeks at the position during one- on-ones and some individual peri- ods, and we really liked what we saw there." With corner Noah Boykin and safety Derrik Allen transferring dur- ing the offseason, building depth at those positions was needed this sea- son and in the future. If Griffith and Hart are able to ef- fectively transition to new positions and become productive players, it could be significant for the Irish go- ing forward. PASS RUSH PRODUCES The Irish had two sacks versus Bowling Green. While this may seem like a small number, especially given that they had eight last weekend against Virginia, one could argue the Irish pass rush was actually even more dominant against the Falcons than it was when they played the Cavaliers. On the 27 times a Bowling Green quarterback dropped back to pass (attempts and sacks), the Falcons were sacked or hurried nine times, which is an average of 33.3 percent. Last weekend, using the same equa- tion, the Cavaliers were hurried or sacked 25.5 percent of the time. While this isn't a perfect metric because it doesn't take into account the times the quarterback may have scrambled for a positive gain, it does provide a more complete picture than simply looking at the total number of sacks Notre Dame had. The ability to get after the quarterback was a big part of the first Fighting Irish shutout since 2014. "It was awesome. I was just talk- ing to the rest of the guys in my class about how we've never really shut out a team since we've been here," senior defensive end Julian Okwara said. "It was definitely an exciting time for us. I think the defense as a whole played very well." One of the two sacks came from defensive end Jamir Jones, who is moving into a consistent role after Daelin Hayes injured his shoulder against Virginia Sept. 28 and is now out for the season. Jones played 32 snaps according to Pro Football Focus' initial count. This is almost twice as many snaps as he played last weekend, but more im- portantly, a large portion of his snaps also came at the drop end position, backing up Okwara. Against Virginia, none of Jones' snaps appeared to come at that posi- tion and Okwara played 89 percent of the defensive snaps. ✦ NOTRE DAME VS. BOWLING GREEN QUARTER-BY-QUARTER COMPARISON Notre Dame 1st Qtr. 2nd Qtr. 3rd Qtr. 4th Qtr. 1st Half 2nd Half Total Time of Possession 6:06 6:44 3:30 10:20 12:50 13:50 26:40 Third-Down Conversions 2-3 2-3 1-2 3-3 4-6 4-5 8-11 Fourth-Down Conversions 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 Average Field Position ND-37 ND-27 ND-24 ND-21 ND-33 ND-22 ND-29 Bowling Green 1st Qtr. 2nd Qtr. 3rd Qtr. 4th Qtr. 1st Half 2nd Half Final Time of Possession 8:54 8:16 11:30 4:40 17:10 16:10 33:20 Third-Down Conversions 3-6 1-5 4-6 0-2 4-11 4-8 8-19 Fourth-Down Conversions 0-0 0-2 0-0 0-0 0-2 0-0 0-2 Average Field Position BGSU-21 BGSU-19 BGSU-23 BGSU-25 BGSU-20 BGSU-24 BGSU-21 PLAY CHART (NO. OF PLAYS) Nega ve 5 10 0-5 23 41 6-9 12 12 10-19 9 5 20-29 8 1 30-39 3 0 40-49 1 0 50 or more 0 0 RED ZONE EFFICIENCY (INSIDE 20-YARD LINE) No Poss. TD FG Score Notre Dame 6 5 1 0 Bowling Green 0 0 0 0 BIG PLAYS (25 YARDS OR MORE) Notre Dame • 1-10 BGSU34 Book pass complete to Claypool for 34 yards and a touchdown • 2-15 ND41 Book pass complete to Wright for 40 yards to the BGSU19 • 3-16 BGSU25 Book pass complete to McKinley for 25 yards and a touchdown • 1-10 ND23 T. Jones rush for 36 yards to the BGSU41 • 1-10 BGSU41 T. Jones rush for 26 yards to the BGSU15 • 1-10 ND25 Jurkovec pass complete to McKinley for 26 yards to the BGSU49 • 3-11 BGSU39 Jurkovec pass complete to Davis for 32 yards to the BGSU7 Bowling Green None MISCELLANEOUS NOTES • This contest marked the second time this season Notre Dame recorded at least 50 points (66 versus New Mexico and 52 against Bowling Green). The last time the Irish reached that plateau in multiple games in a season was in 1996 when they did it four times — versus Washington (54), Navy (54), Pitts- burgh (60) and Rutgers (62). • Brian Kelly became the first Irish head coach to post three or more shutouts — 38-0 versus Wake Forest on Nov. 17, 2012; 31-0 against Michigan on Sept. 6, 2014; and 52-0 over Bowling Green on Oct. 5, 2019 — in his Notre Dame career since Lou Holtz. • With the victory over Bowling Green the Irish have now won 14 straight home games inside Notre Dame Stadium, which is the third-longest streak in school history since the structure opened in 1930. • Senior quarterback Ian Book's 36 career touchdown passes move him into eighth place in Irish his- tory (surpassing Jarious Jackson, 34). • Senior defensive end Julian Okwara recorded his first career block on a Bowling Green field goal attempt in the third quarter. The previous Irish player to block a field goal attempt was Isaac Rochell versus LSU in the 2014 Music City Bowl.

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