Never would guess that this was going to be a 79 yard TD run.(Via @bubbaprog )
Here is a quick look back at some of the highlights of Saturday afternoon’s victory over Pitt.
It Was Over When …
Tommy Rees successfully made the 1/2 yard on 4th down. With Pitt out of timeouts, the 1st down conversion allowed ND to just knee away the rest of the clock.
Down 12-7, Tommy Rees goes 8-8 and leads Notre Dame down the field connected with Tyler Eifert for a 6 yard TD pass to put Notre Dame ahead for good. A successful 2 pt conversion allowed ND to go up a FG. Thankfully, ND never looked back and 15-12 ended up being the final score.
Three Good Stats
- 5 for 5 — After the short yard debacle against Michigan, ND has responded admirably. They went 5 for 5 on 3rd/4th and short against Pitt. Including Michigan State, ND has converted its last 8 short yard opportunities. This success has to give Kelly confidence in his OL and probably contributed to the decision to go for it on 4th to ice the game.
- 5 Sacks — Another dominant performance by the DL. They harassed Sunseri all day and came up with 2 huge sacks on Pitt’s final drive, forcing Pitt into a 4th and 25 which was ND knocked down. ND took the ball over and ended the game.
- 89 yards — The Irish Defense held Ray Graham to 89 yards on 21 carries. Take out his 42 yard burst and that is 47 yards on 20 carries. The Defense continues to play strong (4th Q against Michigan nonwithstanding) and they have kept ND in all of their games so far this season
Three Bad Stats
- 2 More Turnovers — That’s 15 turnovers in 16 quarters for the Irish. This is a trend that cannot continue (groundbreaking analysis right there!) As Bruce Feldman pointed out on twitter, 15 turnovers is more than several teams committed all of last season. The fumble was one of Rees’ worst turnovers as he did not feel the pressure and should have held onto the ball after the sack. The interception was both Eifert’s & Rees’ faults. Rees threw the ball late and Eifert failed to come back and help his QB out. If he attacks the pass, it is probably a knock down at worst and more than likely a completion for ND
- 5.3 YPA — 41 pass attempts for 216 yards isn’t going to cut it. This was easily Rees’ worst performance of the year. Pitt seemed to be confusing Tommy with their coverages and he either failed to adjust properly or was too locked in on his primary read and missed open receivers.
- 4 Floyd catches — I know Pitt was double teaming Floyd all day but opponents have done this before. However, Tommy didn’t even seem to look his way after the first drive of the game. It’s unclear if this was Tommy’s fault, the design of the plays or both but 4 catches for Floyd against the 119th ranked Pass D isn’t good enough. Thankfully Eifert stepped up with his 8 catches
- Jonas Gray/Cierre Wood — 26 carries for 178 yards. Both players have been outstanding for ND all season and continued their good work against Pitt. Jonas’ TD run was the longest for the Irish in a long, long time. Both also seem to be extremely improved in their blitz pick-ups which has been a huge help for the offense.
- Tyler Eifert — 8 catches, 75 yards, 1 TD, 1 two point conversion. With Pitt doing everything in their power to take Floyd out of the game, Eifert stepped up in a huge way. He made numerous 3rd down catches to keep the chains moving.
- Darius Fleming — 4 total tackles, 3 TFL and 2 sacks. After a quiet start to the season, Fleming stepped up and had a huge game for the Irish DL. The entire DL played extremely well as noted but I wanted to single Fleming out for the great job he did on Saturday.
Notre Dame is at Purdue at 8 pm. ESPN has the game and they release their coverage maps during the week so you’ll know what channel the game will be on in your area then.