Blue and Gold Illustrated

Nov. 2, 2019

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

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28 NOV. 2, 2019 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED were at Georgia Sept. 21 and against Michigan. He did shank one punt, but he more than compensated for it with his other nine efforts. RUN DEFENSE REGRESSES TO EARLY SEASON STRUGGLES In the first two games of the year against Louisville and New Mexico, Notre Dame surrendered a combined 461 yards on the ground. This was due to, in large part, many missed tackles and poor run fits. Popular opinion held that Notre Dame's inability to stop the run would lead to getting gashed by Georgia's potent run offense, but in- stead the Irish held their own and had a chance to win at the end before losing 23-17. It appeared their run defense woes had been fixed. Fast forward to the Michigan game, and Notre Dame regressed to its early season struggles against the run. The Irish allowed the Wol- verines to run for 303 yards on the ground on 57 attempts, good for 5.3 yards per carry. This came from poor run fits, weak arm tackles and all- around sloppy play. "That hasn't been who we are," head coach Brian Kelly said. "We've been very stingy and that's kind of what I was saying earlier is that our identity was not on display tonight. We're a physical team; we weren't physical." To make matters worse, Michigan didn't even pretend it was going to throw the ball early in the game. At the end of the first half, senior quar- terback Shea Patterson had thrown four passes for two completions, yet they still managed to already pick up 167 yards on the ground. What's even more disheartening is the number of big plays Michigan had on the ground with six runs of 20 yards or more and two runs of 35 yards or more. At one point, Michi- gan running back Hassan Haskins almost hurdled a Notre Dame de- fender in the middle of a big run. "We just didn't execute the way we were supposed to and didn't play as physical as we were supposed to and to our standard as a defense," senior safety Alohi Gilman said. ✦ MICHIGAN VS. NOTRE DAME QUARTER-BY-QUARTER COMPARISON Michigan 1st Qtr. 2nd Qtr. 3rd Qtr. 4th Qtr. 1st Half 2nd Half Total Time of Possession 7:53 9:40 8:55 8:09 17:33 17:04 34:37 Third-Down Conversions 1-3 2-5 0-3 1-2 3-8 1-5 4-13 Fourth-Down Conversions 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 Average Field Position UM-27 UM-35 UM-23 UM-42 UM-31 UM-32 UM-31 Notre Dame 1st Qtr. 2nd Qtr. 3rd Qtr. 4th Qtr. 1st Half 2nd Half Final Time of Possession 7:07 5:20 6:05 6:51 12:27 12:56 25:23 Third-Down Conversions 2-5 0-4 0-3 1-3 2-9 1-6 3-15 Fourth-Down Conversions 0-0 0-1 0-0 0-0 0-1 0-0 0-1 Average Field Position ND-20 ND-29 ND-35 ND-23 ND-26 ND-29 ND-28 PLAY CHART (NO. OF PLAYS) Yards U-M ND Nega ve 7 6 0-5 38 43 6-9 13 6 10-19 4 2 20-29 6 2 30-39 2 1 40-49 1 0 50 or more 0 0 RED ZONE EFFICIENCY (INSIDE 20-YARD LINE) No Poss. TD FG Score Michigan 5 4 1 0 Notre Dame 2 2 0 0 BIG PLAYS (25 YARDS OR MORE) Michigan • 1-10 ND39 Charbonnet rush for 35 yards to the ND4 • 1-10 ND47 Haskins rush for 25 yards to the ND22 • 2-10 UM25 Haskins rush for 49 yards to the ND26 • 1-10 50 Pa erson pass complete to Sainris l for 34 yards to the ND16 • 1-10 ND27 Wilson rush for 27 yards and a touchdown • 2-6 ND26 McCaffrey pass complete to Sainris l for 26 yards and a touchdown Notre Dame • 1-10 ND25 Jurkovec pass complete to McKinley for 28 yards to the UM47 • 1-10 UM47 Jurkovec pass complete to Kmet for 18 yards to the UM29, plus a U-M penalty for roughing passer (Up- shaw) 15 yards to the UM14 MISCELLANEOUS NOTES • Junior wide receiver Michael Young will likely be entering the transfer portal and is looking to leave the Fighting Irish football pro- gram, per multiple reports. However, after the loss to Michigan, head coach Brian Kelly indicated that perhaps Young had not come to a final decision yet. "He did not make the trip with us, and we'll have a discussion on his status with the team moving forward," Kelly said. Young has played in three games this sea- son: Virginia, Bowling Green and USC. He has six receptions for 21 yards in 2019. If he does transfer, he will look to graduate from Notre Dame and transfer with two years of eligibil- ity left. • Senior running back Tony Jones Jr. had an X-ray on his ribs. He did not have any broken bones, but was unable to return to the game. • Michigan is now 5-2 at home and 8-7-1 overall when playing a higher-ranked Notre Dame squad, and the Wolverines have a 10- 14-1 record in games that both teams were ranked. • This game marked the last scheduled con- test between the Irish and Wolverines until 2033-34, though it is not the lone break in the series. The game has been played in 33 of the last 42 seasons overall. • Michigan's 31-point win marks its third- largest margin of victory against Notre Dame in series history, trailing 38-0 wins in 2003 and 2007. • The 45 points scored by the Wolverines are their second-most against Notre Dame behind the 47 they scored in 2006 in a 26-point win in South Bend. • Prior to this game, Notre Dame had held its opponents to less than 30 points for 20 straight games, the longest streak in the Foot- ball Bowl Subdivision. Freshman Zach Charbonnet, who finished with 74 yards and two scores on 15 carries, and the Wolverines gashed the Irish for six runs of 20 yards or more and two runs of 35 yards or more. PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL

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