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Drive Charting: ND vs. Michigan

Sep 24, 2012, 12:13 PM EDT


The Notre Dame 13-6 victory over Michigan was punctuated by an incredible defensive effort that forced six Wolverines turnovers and kept them out of the end zone throughout the night. Michigan made five trips to the red zone on Saturday and came away with only two field goals on those five possessions.

Last week, we highlighted the Irish defense and their ability to keep Michigan State out of the red zone altogether, only the second time ND had accomplished the feat in more than ten years. On three other occasions since the start of the 2002 season, Notre Dame kept an opponent from scoring a single point on drives that ended at or across the Irish 20-yard line:

  • 2002: Rutgers 0-for-1 (fumble)
  • 2009: Nevada 0-for-2 (downs, fumble)
  • 2010: Utah 0-for-2 (downs, downs)

Aside from those games, Notre Dame’s defensive effort against Michigan on Saturday night yielded the fewest points per red zone opportunity in the last decade, as illustrated in the chart above.

Brian Fremeau (’99) is a college football writer, stats analyst, and data visualization designer. His work regularly appears at ESPN Insider, ESPN the Magazine, Football Outsiders, and on his own site, BCF Toys. He develops and publishes numerous possession-based statistics including the Fremeau Efficiency Index (FEI), a college football rating system based on opponent-adjusted drive efficiency. Follow Brian on Twitter.

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