Blue and Gold Illustrated

Nov. 14, 2020

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

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Page 6 of 55 NOV. 14, 2020 7 UNDER THE DOME snaps. In this instance, ratios and percentages are a better judge. Fifth-year senior defensive end Ade Ogundeji, tied with nearly 40 other players for 59th nationally in sacks, ranks 10th in quarterback pressures. Heading into the Clemson game, he was 18th in Pro Football Focus' pass- rush productivity rating among the 119 edge defenders who have logged at least 100 pass-rush snaps. That's a better illustration of his effectiveness despite a lower sack number. Notre Dame's other defen- sive end, fifth-year senior Daelin Hayes, is above him, at 14th. Meanwhile, Owusu-Koramoah is tied for ninth among all linebackers in snaps per reception when guard- ing slot players. He's simply not tar- geted often. It's worth noting his 6.0 tackles for loss puts him on pace for 13 over a 13-game season, which is an impressive individual number. He may be one exception to the counting stat unfriendliness. As for Hamilton, he does not have an interception, but his NFL passer rating against is 18th among 124 safeties who have played at least 130 coverage snaps, per PFF. He has al- lowed eight catches for 49 yards on 17 targets, with three passes broken up. McCloud ranks 18th in passer rating among 120 cornerbacks who have played at least 130 coverage snaps. Opposing quarterbacks have a 50.8 rating when throwing at him. CREATING HAVOC That's a sampling of players who are performing better than the count- ing stats indicate. Individual counting stats are lower due to low snap counts and rotations, but on the whole, Notre Dame is eighth in tackles for loss, 16th in sacks and 25th in passes defended. Mix all those together, and it gener- ates the best single stat with which to evaluate Notre Dame's defense. Havoc rate. That's the percentage of plays on which a defense registered a sack, tackle for loss, interception, pass bro- ken up or fumble recovery. For the season, Notre Dame's havoc rate is 23.0 percent and was over 20 percent in each of the first six games. There isn't a national havoc rate leaderboard for this year or from 2019, but a 23 percent havoc rate would have ranked no lower than third in the Football Bowl Subdivi- sion every year from 2014-18. Notre Dame can produce impact defensive plays, even if it lacks some- one with an eye-popping stat line. An- other illustration of the entire team's capability: Per a Nov. 2 tweet from ESPN's David Hale, Notre Dame has stopped 34 percent of designed runs for no gain or a loss, which ranks first in the country. That number goes up to 40 percent on first down. The third- down conversion rate is low (24.4 per- cent) for the Irish because they're so effective limiting yards on first down. When every fifth play is a disrup- tive one and every third play goes nowhere, offenses find scoring to be an exercise in futility. And that's the ultimate goal. "It's about keeping people off the scoreboard, and our defense does a really good of eliminating big plays, keeping the points down and being fundamentally sound," Kelly said. "When you do that, those are the most important stats when you re- ally look at it." ✦ H A M M E S N O T R E D A M E B O O K S T O R E N D b o o k s t o r e . c o m | 5 7 4 . 6 3 1 . 6 3 6 1 HOME IS WHERE THE IS .

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