Blue and Gold Illustrated

March 2022

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

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Page 13 of 99

14 MARCH 2022 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED UNDER THE DOME John Michael Bertrand — Baseball The graduate student returns for his second season with the Irish after a successful 2021 and was named to the National Colle- giate Baseball Writers Association Preseason All-America Team. Bertrand made 14 starts in 2021 and finished the year with an 8-2 record, a 3.21 ERA, 68 strikeouts and three complete games. He led the team in starts, innings pitched, wins and strikeouts after transferring to Notre Dame from Furman. Kaylin Hsieh — Fencing The Hong Kong native earned ACC Fencer of the Week honors after going 13-2 for women's epee at the St. John's and Philadelphia In- vitationals, which took place the third weekend of January. She had a total of three perfect bouts over five matches. Hsieh attended the most re- cent Olympics in Tokyo on behalf of Hong Kong for the individual and team competitions. She was the 2021 NCAA runner-up for women's epee, earning All-America recognition. Ryder Rolston — Hockey Following an 8-2 win over Boston College Jan. 19, Rolston was named Big Ten Hockey's Third Star of the Week. The sophomore forward recorded his first hat trick of his Irish career in the victory and scored the game-winning goal, his fourth of the year. The Michigan native was a 2020 NHL Entry Draft fifth-round selection by the Colorado Avalanche, but his rights were traded to the Chicago Blackhawks in April 2021. Kelly Straub — Diving The graduate student won ACC Co-Diver of the Week Jan. 25, the second time this season she has earned honor. Straub posted a career-best score of 375.45 in the 3-meter competition at the Tim Welsh Classic. The Omaha, Neb., native won the event, topping divers from ninth-ranked Ohio State and 25th-ranked Akron. She also posted a third-place 1-meter score of 299.90. Both of her marks earned NCAA Zone qualifying measures. — Ashton Pollard TOP TOP OF THE CLASS OF THE CLASS Irish student-athletes excelling on the field and in the classroom ✦ GIMME FIVE BY ASHTON POLLARD Notre Dame identified a weakness in its secondary and used the transfer portal accordingly. In January, the Irish landed Northwestern transfer safety Brandon Joseph, just its third undergraduate transfer since 2010. According to On3's senior national college football reporter Matt Zenitz, Joseph was the No. 4 de- fensive player available on the transfer list, and he is No. 16 overall. On the defensive side of the ball, Joseph trails edge player Ochaun Mathis, who is headed to Texas from TCU; cornerback Eli Ricks, who is making the move from LSU to rival Alabama; and edge Jared Verse who will continue his career at Florida State after starting at Albany. Joseph, a Texas native, earned a four-star transfer ranking for his performance through two full years of seeing the field at Northwestern. He was just a three-star recruit out of high school, and the only in-state Power Five offer he held was from Texas Tech. Joseph accumulated 80 tackles, four passes broken up, three interceptions, a sack and a fumble recovery in 2021. He earned All-America status in 2020 after notching six interceptions in just nine games, which led all Power Five players. The 6-foot-1, 192-pound safety also had 52 tackles and a couple of defended passes as a redshirt sophomore. In addition to All-America status in 2020, Joseph also was named first-team All-Big Ten and the Big Ten Newcomer of the Year. ON3'S TOP FIVE DEFENSIVE TRANSFERS FOR THE 2022 SEASON Rk. Player, Position Previous School New School 1. Ochaun Mathis, Edge TCU Texas 2. Eli Ricks, CB LSU Alabama 3. Jared Verse, Edge Albany Florida State 4. Brandon Joseph, S Northwestern Notre Dame 5. Dwight McGlothern, CB LSU Arkansas CHARTING THE IRISH NOTRE DAME FINISHES 2021 SEASON WITH 17TH-BEST STOP RATE When discussing defensive success in football, metrics such as points and yards allowed are fre- quently tossed around as measures of competency. The problem? Those statistics do not tell the full story. Instead, Max Olson of The Athletic uses a team's stop rate to explain defensive success, and he released the final stop-rate standings following the conclusion of the 2021 football season. Olson defines the stop rate as "the percentage of a defense's drives that end in punts, turnovers or a turnover on downs." The measure exists to provide clarity concerning a defense's effectiveness in a college football world where offensive schemes are rapidly changing and becoming more high- powered. If a drive ends without points, it is largely considered a success. Notre Dame came in at No. 17 with a 72.5 percent stop rate. The only team that made the College Football Playoff listed outside of the top 10 was Alabama. The Crimson Tide finished No. 19 with a stop rate of 71.7 percent. How did Notre Dame end up stopping its opponents on nearly three-quarters of their drives? The Irish forced 10 fumbles and inter- cepted 15 passes over the course of the 2022 season, while giving the football away on 16 oc- casions. Their plus-9 turnover margin was tied for 15th in the nation. Notre Dame's fourth- down defense was less impressive. Opponents tried to convert on 16 fourth downs over 13 games, and the Irish allowed the conversion on nine of them. Their 56.2 percent opponent success rate ranked 82nd nationally. Notre Dame had an above-average defense in 2021. But a stop rate of 80 percent could take the team to a new level, perhaps one involving a national championship. — Ashton Pollard FINAL FBS STOP-RATE STANDINGS Rk. School Stop Rate Percentage 1. Georgia 83.4 2. Clemson^ 80.1 3. Wisconsin* 79.3 4. Oklahoma State* 79.1 5. Texas A&M 77.9 6. Penn State 75.6 San Diego State 75.6 8. Michigan 75.3 9. Cincinnati* 75.2 10. NC State 74.1 Houston 74.1 12. Iowa 73.7 13. Minnesota 73.6 14. Iowa State 73.4 15. Louisiana 73.0 16. Boise State 72.7 17. Notre Dame 72.5 18. Pitt 72.1 19. Alabama 71.7 20. Fresno State 71.1 * 2021 ND opponent; ^ 2022 ND opponent Source: The Athletic, with data courtesy of TruMedia and Pro Football Focus

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