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Oct 12, 2010

A Year's Difference: '09 vs. '10 Irish

We looked at eight major statistical categories to chart ND’s similarities and differences relative to a year ago against the same six opponents. Some opposing teams have changed for better (MSU, Michigan, Stanford) and others for worse (Pitt, BC), but let’s assume those variations even out within reason.

Through six games, the stats tell the same story that’s pretty obvious watching the games: the defense is better than a year ago and the offense has taken a step back.

Most upsetting is that ND hasn’t been able to run the ball better. Perhaps most surprising is the downgrade in turnover margin, especially considering it’s been lost fumbles rather than interceptions.

Improvement against the run (.53 yards per carry) is the biggest reason to believe Kelly is building from the ground up. Putting aside aspirations of 5.0 yards per carry on offense or even an improvement at the same rate as the defense, I’d like the 2010 Fighting Irish to outdo the 2009 Irish in terms of yards per carry against the remaining two opponents from last year (USC, Navy).

Dayne’s growing experience means almost automatic improvement, but increasing yards per carry would be about as accurate a predictor for late-season wins against teams that beat us last year. The Kelly-Longo focus on mental and physical toughness gives these trends more likelihood of improving over the course of a season.


  1. Can you profile the pass defense?

  2. The number of missed tackles compared to last year would be an interesting comparison

  3. how can you call the offense "disappointing"... we lose a 3 year starting QB, 4 year LT, and best receiver to the NFL.... install an entirely different system and you are disappointed with the numbers above.... come on

  4. I'm w/ anonymous. GT was the best WR in college football, JC had talent and experience, and we are still transitioning to a new offensive scheme. Our progress on defense is very encouraging. Just give our offense time...

  5. This is a terrible post. Stanford D was much better than last year, and many other opponents have changed, too. Also, look at the YPC by the top running backs and you will see about the same stats as last year. Out running game hasn't regressed, its likely that we have just gotten sacked more.

  6. Stanford's defense is much better, you are correct. I'd estimate though that a significantly worse Pitt defense compensates for this. Similar to how Michigan's improved offense compensates roughly for BC's worse offense. I didn't do the numbers on the opponents though. Just rough ideas.

    The sacked allowed through the Purdue, Michigan, MSU, Stanford, BC, and Pitt game is 12, the same as last year against those teams.

    Armando is averaging 4.8 yards per carry this year against 5.45 last year against Michigan, MSU, BC, and Pitt (he didn't play against Stanford and Purdue last season due to injury). Armando definitely looks better and is running harder than ever. But the stats show that the run game has slightly regressed. Again, I think there's good run for improvement in this area over the second half of the year.

  7. Regarding the comment about "disappointing," I didn't use that word in the post. I called the rush offense "upsetting," and it is. We returned both starting guards, a junior center offered by Florida as a high school senior, and the starting senior halfback. Furthermore, Kelly said in August that the run game would be a strength of the team, and he had a 4.99 YPC average at UC in '09 to back up that talk. I really thought we'd be rushing for at least four per pop.

    As far as the offense in general, I wouldn't quite say disappointing. Dayne-O has done a good job. I would put red-zone offense in the disappointing category, though. And obviously that goes hand in hand with the run game.

  8. I concur. My esteemed colleague tendomer knows what he is talking about.

  9. Sure, I just looked up the pass defense numbers. Here's the breakdown vs. those six teams:

    2009 ND: 269 yards per game
    2010 ND: 252.17 yards per game

  10. Rob, missed tackles would be an awesome indicator. We'll estimate about 10 per game from last year haha. Even within this season, it's gotten better. Manti had one last game, strange enough, which I believe was his first missed tackle since the long third down at MSU. The corners are really tackling well. Love this improvement.

  11. One of the biggest signs of change since our new coaching staff arrived has been in our secondary's ability to make solid form tackles.

  12. tendomer knows his sht better than 2girls1cup. period.


2012 Notre Dame Football Schedule

2012 Notre Dame Football Schedule
DateOpponent / EventLocationTime / Result
09/01/12vs. Navy Dublin, IrelandW, 50-10
09/08/12vs. PurdontNotre Dame, Ind.W, 20-17
09/15/12at SpartyEast Lansing, Mich.W, 20-3
09/22/12vs. SkunkbearsNotre Dame, Ind.W, 13-6
Shamrock Series
10/06/12vs. Da UChicago, Ill.W, 41-3
10/13/12vs. TreesNotre Dame, Ind.W, 20-13 (OT)
10/20/12vs. BYU Notre Dame, Ind.W, 17-14
10/27/12at Oklahoma Norman, Okla.W, 30-13
11/03/12vs. Pittsburgh Notre Dame, Ind.W, 29-26 (3OT)
11/10/12at Backup College Chestnut Hill, Mass.W, 21-6
11/17/12vs. Fake Worest Notre Dame, Ind.W, 38-0
11/24/12at U$C Los Angeles, Calif.W, 22-13
1/7/13vs. AlabamaBCS CHAMPIONSHIP
(Miami, Florida)
L, :(