Blue and Gold Illustrated

Oct. 3, 2016

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

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12 OCT. 3, 2016 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED UNDER THE DOME Irish student-athletes excelling on the field and in the classroom Danielle Aragon — Cross Country The fifth-year senior from Billings, Mont., finished in second place indi- vidually while helping Notre Dame take first as a team in the 37th annual National Catholic Sept. 16 at Burke Golf Course. Aragon — who did not compete for the cross coun- try team last fall after an All-ACC junior cam- paign in 2014 — recorded a time of 17:24.3 in the 5,000-meter race, just behind sophomore teammate Annie Heffernan (17:22.1). Kyle Fiala — Baseball The senior infielder from Carmel, Ind., was named one of two team cap- tains for the upcoming sea- son Sept. 15. Fiala has appeared in 150 games for the Irish and is a career .269 hitter. He had his best season during his sophomore year, hitting .301 while starting all 60 games and adding 28 RBI. He had a 47-game on-base streak — the lon- gest in the ACC. Michael Hearne — Baseball On Sept. 15, the fifth-year senior left-handed pitcher was named a team captain for the upcoming season. After just two starts in 2015, Hearne underwent Tommy John surgery. He re- turned in 2016 to go 8-2 with a 2.13 ERA in 13 starts. Opponents hit just .223 off Hearne in 80 innings in 2016, and he pitched two complete games. Heading into his final campaign, he boasts a career ERA of 2.51. Jemma Yeadon — Volleyball The freshman outside hitter from Mercer Island, Wash., was the spark the Irish needed in their Sept. 17 matchup with De- Paul. She posted a career- high 14 kills and four aces to help secure a 3-2 victory. Ten of Yeadon's 14 kills and three of her four aces came in the third set and later, helping Notre Dame when it needed it most. She also had five digs, two blocks and an assist in the performance. TOP OF THE CLASS ✦ GIMME FIVE The 36-28 loss to Michigan State Sept. 17 marked the 17th time in head coach Brian Kelly's seven seasons that Notre Dame finished with less than 100 rushing yards in a game. The Fighting Irish are 6-11 in such contests. Two of the wins occurred during the 12-0 regular season in 2012, when the defense was able to bail out the team in a 20-17 victory versus Purdue (52 rushing yards) and a 13-6 conquest of Michigan (94 rushing yards). Last year, the Irish finished with at least 100 rushing yards in every game. The lowest output was 111 yards at Clemson, a 24-22 defeat. In years past, the low rushing total against Michigan State would be the feature topic of discontent. For now, the continued woes of the Irish defense are on center stage. Here are the five lowest rushing totals during the Kelly era, and the result: Game (Season) Carries-Yards Result 1. Alabama (2012) 19-32 L, 42-14 2t. Arizona State (2014) 38-41 L, 55-31 2t. USC (2011) 14-41 L, 31-17 4. Stanford (2010) 23-44 L, 37-14 5. Purdue (2012) 36-52 W, 20-17 Getting To Know … SENIOR DEFENSIVE LINEMAN ISAAC ROCHELL Major: "Political science." Favorite food: "Hamburgers." Favorite movie: "'Hotrod.'" Favorite TV show: "'Shark Tank.'" Favorite musician: "Kid Cudi." Favorite music: "Everything." Best player you've faced: "[Former Irish offensive lineman and current Dallas Cowboy] Zack Martin." Fav o r i te p ro fe s s i o n a l sports team: "FC Cincinnati. My friend's brother plays there." Favorite part about playing for Notre Dame: "My teammates. I think the reason I didn't go to other schools is because I didn't think I would fit in the locker room. I fit in this locker room, and I love these guys." How it feels to play in Notre Dame Stadium: "I'm thinking about how blessed I am to be there. Even during games, I'll stop and tell myself and the other guys to look around and really realize where we are." CHARTING THE IRISH NOTRE DAME'S THIRD-DOWN DEFENSE Michigan State had very little trouble converting on third down during its game against Notre Dame Sept. 17. Overall, the Spartans converted on 50.0 percent of their third-down attempts, including multiple backbreaking conversions. On MSU's final possession of the game, fifth-year senior quarterback Tyler O'Connor found freshman wide receiver Donnie Corley for a 28-yard completion on third-and-seven, a conversion that helped drain the clock. "We got them into a good third-down situation, and we don't do a very good job on two vertical and give them an easy completion," Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly said. Several plays later, senior wide receiver R.J. Shelton took a third-and-three end-around pitch to put the game away. Notre Dame allowed the Spartans to convert on 9 of 18 third-down attempts. Overall, O'Connor — a game manager with limited experience — was 7-of-11 passing for 103 yards on third down, pick- ing up six first downs. Michigan State's success on the money down il- lustrated a continuing trend for the Irish. Through three games, Notre Dame ranked 89th in the 128- team Football Bowl Subdivision in third-down defense, allowing opponents to convert on 41.7 percent of their attempts. It was a problem against Texas in week one, too. The Longhorns converted on 8 of 18 attempts (44.4 percent). It improved for Notre Dame in week two, as an outmanned Nevada team moved the chains on just 3 of 12 attempts (25.0 percent). Notre Dame is on pace to have its worst third-down defense in Kelly's seven seasons. In his previous six years, opponents have converted on better than 40 percent of their attempts just two other times (41.7 in 2013 and 41.2 in 2014). The best mark of the Kelly era was in year two, when his defense — led by second-year coordinator Bob Diaco — limited opponents to a 34.1 percent conversion rate, which ranked 20th in the country. MOVING? Let us know! Call 1-800-421-7751 THIRD-DOWN OPPONENT CONVERSION RATES UNDER BRIAN KELLY 2016: 41.7 percent (20-48), 89th 2015: 35.3 percent (66-187), 34th 2014: 41.2 percent (79-192), 81st 2013: 41.7 percent (80-192), 85th 2012: 36.5 percent (65-178), 36th 2011: 34.1 percent (63-185), 20th 2010: 36.5 percent (74-203), 28th

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