Here is a quick look back at some of the highlights of Saturday’s depressing loss to Stanford.
It Was Over When …
Andrew Luck hit Coby Fleener for a 55 yard TD pass with 5 minutes left in the 4th quarter. It was Luck’s 4th TD of the game.
TJ Jones slipping on a slip screen on 3rd and 4 with just over a 3 minutes left in the 3rd quarter. Jones had a ton of field and blockers in front of him. It was set-up to be a huge gain for the Irish.
Three Good Stats
- 8 for 92 receiving yards — The offense was abysmal last night but playing in his 2nd to last game in an Irish uniform, Floyd did the best he good to provide some O. He continued his stellar blocking and scored the first TD of the night for the Irish.
- 28 points allowed — Giving up 28 points in never ideal but keeping a Stanford team that had scored 30 points in 13 straight games and allowing only 7 points in the second half was an excellent effort by the D. If they had any help at all from the offense, this could have been a different game
- 2 Turnovers Forced — Bob Diaco’s defense isn’t designed to generate many turnovers. But last night the D tried its best to keep the Irish in the game. Darius Fleming picked off Luck in the first half, and the D forced a 2nd quarter fumble. Unfortunately, the O squandered both opportunities.
Three Bad Stats
- 57 rushing yards — I’d blame most of that abysmal number on the offensive line. They were overwhelmed by Stanford’s D-Line all night. Constantly getting blown off the LOS, there was very little running room for any of the backs. Additionally, since in CFB, sacks are considered loss of rushing yards, all the sacks given up last night effected this number.
- 3 turnovers — After last night, we are currently 116th in the country in TO margin. Not much more can be said at this point. Just horrendous ball security.
- 10 penalties — Some of the false starts were ticky-tack but having 10 penalties on the road against a top 5 opponent is probably not the best formula for an upset.
- Michael Floyd — In his last regular season game for the Irish, Floyd put together another stellar outing finishing with 8 catches for 92 yards and a TD.
- Andrew Hendrix — Coming in for good to start the 2nd half, Hendrix provided a spark for the team leading the Irish on 2 scoring drives. He made some mistakes, took some bad sacks and threw a tipped INT but Hendrix showed a good deal of promise and brought another dynamic to BK’s offense with his running.
- The Defense — This game was lost by the offense. Despite being put in horrible situations by the offense all night, the D play admirably to keep the game close and allowed the Irish to have some hope of coming back in the 2nd half.
- While in no way an excuse for our play, Stanford’s field was horrific last night. One of the worst fields I’ve seen ND play on in the past couple of seasons.
- Floyd broke Golden Tate’s single season catch mark of 94 catches. He finished the regular season with 95.
- Theo Riddick played some RB last night finishing with 4 carries. It will be interesting to see what happens in the offseason with Riddick.
- Fleming’s INT was the 2nd of his career.
- Ben Turk’s season long improvement was evident last night. He finished with av average of 42 yards on 6 punts, dropping 1 inside the 20 and was 6″ from having one downed inside the 5.
The regular season is finished. The Irish will wait around to see what bowl games selects them. Most observers believe it will be the Champs Sports Bowl. Speaking of that bowl, they have an awesome twitter account that you should definitely follow. (@ChampsSportsBwl)