Nov 14, 2012, 2:36 PM EDT
The Irish are 10-0 after defeating Boston College last Saturday, and both the offense and defense made solid contributions in the game. Notre Dame’s offense scored a touchdown on three of its first four possessions, but methodical drives by both teams kept the overall drive count in the game low. The defense kept the Eagles out of the end zone all night, and recorded four sacks, a fumble, and an interception.
The story of the season has been defensive dominance, as we have documented in our Drive Charting posts all year long. The chart above illustrates one of Notre Dame’s most remarkable defensive stats, preventing opponents from driving the length of the field to the end zone. On 93 opponent drives started at or inside the opponent’s 40-yard line, the Irish have given up one touchdown. That 3-play, 75-yard scoring drive by Navy occurred on the sixth opponent possession of the year. Notre Dame hasn’t given up a 60-plus yard touchdown drive in 87 straight opportunities since.
How impressive is this particular stat? Consider the following:
- On average, FBS teams have given up 21 touchdowns apiece on drives started at or inside the opponent’s 40-yard line. The second-best teams by this measure so far in 2012 are two Irish opponents, BYU and Michigan, who have given up eight 60-plus yard touchdowns apiece. (The Irish offense actually recorded two of those eight against BYU).
- Notre Dame has given up a total of only 46 points on these drives (one touchdown and 13 field goals). That total is fewest in the country by a wide margin. BYU ranks second having given up 71 points on drives started at or inside the opponent’s 40-yard line, followed by Rutgers (73), Alabama (80), and Florida State (84).
- The Irish are giving up an average of only 0.49 points per drive started at or inside the opponent’s 40-yard line. That’s the best mark this year, and from 2007 to present, only the 2011 Alabama national champions recorded a better mark (0.41 points per drive).
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.
About Strong and True
ND Football on YouTube
- The grind never stops. Take a look inside our 25,000-square foot weight room. #IrishStrong 💪 https://t.co/o3Jweb2ZkG 2 days ago
- RT @SInow: Harrison Smith, the NFL’s most anonymous star, prefers to fly under the radar (by @Ben_Baskin) on.si.com/2dO5RnT https://t… 2 days ago
- RT @ELITHEMAN1: 🚨🚨I HAVE MADE MY COLLEGE DECISION !!!🚨 🚨 Shoutout to @TomLoy247 for putting this video together for me https://t.co/rbp5gw… 3 days ago
- RT @CoachBrianKelly: #WeAreND 3 days ago
- RT @CjHo1mes: Champions Wanna Play With Champions ☘️☘️... Lets Keep Growing! #IRISHELI17E 💪🏾 3 days ago
- W. Rowing. Club Four Claims Third At Head of the Charles
- M. Ice Hockey. Gross Leads #3/4 Irish To Comeback Tie
- Swimming & Diving. Strong Start for Fighting Irish in Day 1 of Dual Meet Against No. 22 Georgia Tech
- M. Soccer. #4 Irish End Road Trip With 2-1 Defeat In Double Overtime At Duke
- M. Tennis. Irish Impress In First Rounds Of ITA Regional Play
- W. Volleyball. Irish Sweep Pitt in Strong Performance on the Road
- W. Tennis. Irish Stand Tall At ITA And IU Regionals
- Swimming & Diving. No. 14 Ranked Notre Dame Swimming & Diving In Atlanta for First ACC Meet to Face Georgia Tech
- Football. University of Notre Dame 2016 Shamrock Series
- W. Soccer. Double Overtime Not Enough To Break Scoreless Tie Between #14 Irish, #25 Hokies