Blue and Gold Illustrated

Oct. 17, 2016

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

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Page 28 of 55 Oct. 17, 2016 29 factor, but in both cases the fumbles were also a result of good defensive play. The first – a forced fumble by freshmen end Daelin Hayes – was a result of Hayes and sophomore line- backer Asmar Bilal showing excellent pursuit. When Hayes arrived at the runner he drove his shoulder through the ball knocking it out. The second forced fumble came as a result of junior nose guard Daniel Cage stopping NC State running back Matthew Dayes and then reaching around to knock the ball out. Unfortunately, Notre Dame's of- fense came away with no points on either drive. Freshman safety Devin Studstill also forced a fumble with a hit on quarter- back Jalan McClendon, but the Wolf- pack recovered the fumble. With the rain coming down hard, the Notre Dame defenders were look- ing to pop the ball out. "When the weather is like this, that's definitely something that we're think- ing about and going for on defense," said sophomore defensive tackle Jerry Tillery. It won't show up in any statistics, but despite the weather, the Notre Dame defense was as active and physi- cal as it had been all season. Rochell delivered a message to his teammates, and it had nothing to do with the positively trending defense or improving statistics. "What's my message to the team? It's win games," Rochell said bluntly. " … The focus has to be winning games, just to win games." OffENsE HAs tO LEArN HOw tO fiNisH Through the first five games of the season, the Notre Dame offense had put up some prolific numbers, aver- aging 39.8 points and 495.4 yards per game, and 6.9 yards per play. Notre Dame had scored at least 28 points and gained at least 401 yards in each of the first five games. Junior quarterback DeShone Kizer was among the nation's leaders in pass- ing yards, passing touchdowns and passer efficiency rating, while sopho- more receiver Equanimeous St. Brown was ranked among the nation's leaders in receiving yards and receiving touch- downs. The offense's poor performance against NC State — the Irish scored just three points and totaled just 113 yards of offense — can partly be contributed to the terrible weather and field condi- tions. The weather-related sloppiness was understandable, but Kelly was in no mood to put the blame on the weather. In the loss to NC State, Kelly again saw his offense's inability to finish off games, and come up with big plays in the clutch. "We need to make that play that we're not making," Kelly said. "If you go back and look at the games; the last drive against Duke, the last drive against Michigan State, the last drive against Texas — I want our offense to be that group that says, 'Give us the ball on that last drive." In the loss to Texas, Notre Nc stAtE vs. NOtrE DAmE QUArtEr-By-QUArtEr cOmpArisON NC State 1st Qtr. 2nd Qtr. 3rd Qtr. 4th Qtr. 1st Half 2nd Half Total Time of Possession 8:35 7:28 11:13 5:08 16:03 16:21 32:24 3rd-Down Conversions 1-3 0-4 1-4 0-3 1-7 1-7 2-14 4th-Down Conversions 0-0 1-2 1-3 0-0 1-2 1-3 2-5 Avg. Field Position ST-43 ST-20 ST-28 ST-34 ST-27 ST-30 ST-29 Notre Dame 1st Qtr. 2nd Qtr. 3rd Qtr. 4th Qtr. 1st Half 2nd Half Final Time of Possession 6:25 7:32 3:47 9:52 13:57 13:39 27:36 3rd-Down Conversions 1-3 0-5 0-3 0-4 1-8 0-7 1-15 4th-Down Conversions 0-0 0-0 0-1 2-3 0-0 2-4 2-4 Avg. Field Position ND-21 ST-49 ST-41 ND-29 ND-38 ND-44 ND-41 pLAy cHArt (NO. Of pLAys) Yards ST ND (- ) Yards 13 11 0-5 Yards 38 40 6-9 Yards 4 9 10-19 Yards 6 4 20-29 Yards 3 0 30-39 Yards 1 0 40-49 Yards 0 0 50 or more Yards 0 0 rED ZONE EfficiENcy (iNsiDE 20-yArD LiNE) No Poss. TD FG Score NC State 3 0 1 2 Notre Dame 2 0 0 2 BiG pLAys (25 yArDs Or mOrE) NC State • 1-10 ST48 Dayes rush for 23 yards to the ND29, PENALTY ND holding (Cage) 10 yards to the ND19 • 2-8 ST17 Dayes rush for 28 yards to the ST45 Photo by Larry bLankenshiP Notre Dame was only able to muster 113 yards of total offense in the horrid conditions at Nc state. Photo by Larry bLankenshiP

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