The first quarter may have been a little bumpy, but over all, Notre Dame came out of their match-up against Nevada looking pretty good, and the defense looked significantly better than what we saw last week against Texas. Sadly, though, we did lose a defensive starter in sophomore cornerback Shaun Crawford. Let’s take a look at the numbers and examine how the Notre Dame defense performed against Nevada.
The Notre Dame defense allowed the Nevada offense 16 first downs, and in comparison, the Nevada defense allowed the Notre Dame offense 21 first downs. The Notre Dame defense allowed Nevada’s offense 99 net rushing yards, and 201 net passing yards, for a total of 300 yards; compared to the Nevada defense which allowed the Notre Dame offense 239 net rushing yards, 205 net passing yards, for a total of 444 yards.
A week of reviewing game film and working on the fundamentals seemed to do the defense a world of good when it came time to holding their opponent. The Fighting Irish defense allowed the Wolf Pack to convert on third down 3-of-12 times, and on fourth down 0-of-1 times. In the red zone, the Wolf Pack was able to convert 2-of-3 times, for one touchdown and one field goal. Neither team had any sacks, and the Nevada Wolf Pack had possession of the ball for 26:28 minutes, and the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame had possession of the ball for 33:32 minutes.
NEV ND FIRST DOWNS................... 16 21 Rushing..................... 7 10 Passing..................... 5 9 Penalty..................... 4 2 NET YARDS RUSHING............. 99 239 Rushing Attempts............ 30 46 Average Per Rush............ 3.3 5.2 Rushing Touchdowns.......... 1 3 Yards Gained Rushing........ 116 254 Yards Lost Rushing.......... 17 15 NET YARDS PASSING............. 201 205 Completions-Attempts-Int.... 12-26-1 19-27-1 Average Per Attempt......... 7.7 7.6 Average Per Completion...... 16.8 10.8 Passing Touchdowns.......... 0 2 TOTAL OFFENSE YARDS........... 300 444
Individually here is how the Irish panned out against the Nevada Wolf Pack. Onwualu and Coney had five solo tackles and zero assists for a total of five tackles. Coleman had four solo tackles and one assist for a total of five tackles. Rochell had three solo tackles and two assists for a total of five tackles. Nyles Morgan had two solo tackles and two assists for a total of four tackles. Studstill had three solo tackles and zero assists for a total of three tackles, and Bilal had zero solo tackles and three assists for a total of three tackles.
Notre Dame ## Player Solo Ast Tot TFL/Yds FF FR-Yd Intc BrUp Blkd Sack/Yds ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 17 ONWUALU 5 . 5 2.0/10 . . . . . . 4 CONEY 5 . 5 1.0/3 . . . . . . 24 COLEMAN 4 1 5 . . . . 1 . . 90 ROCHELL 3 2 5 0.5/1 . . . . . . 5 Morgan, Nyles 2 2 4 0.5/1 . . . . . . 1B STUDSTILL 3 . 3 . . . . . . . 22 BILAL . 3 3 . . . . . . . 83 CLAYPOOL 2 . 2 . . . . . . . 36 LUKE 2 . 2 . . . . . . . 23 TRANQUILL 2 . 2 . . . . 1 . . 99 TILLERY 1 1 2 . . . . . . . 20 CRAWFORD 1 . 1 . . . . . . . 28 FERTITTA 1 . 1 . . . . . . . 75 CAGE 1 . 1 . . . . 1 . . 35 VAUGHN 1 . 1 . . . . . . . 8 SEBASTIAN 1 . 1 . . . . . . . 27 LOVE 1 . 1 . . . . . . . 94 JONES, J. . 1 1 . . . 1-5 . . . 42 OKWARA, J. . 1 1 . . . . . . . 9A Hayes, Daelin . 1 1 . . . . . . .
With multiple challenges to the roster due to injuries and other factors, there were multiple career firsts in the game against Nevada:
How did the defense feel they performed on Saturday? Here are some post game quotes from UND.com:
Cole Luke – Sr. – Cornerback
On what Shaun Crawford means to the secondary
“Shaun’s a great player. He’s just a freak of nature and one of those guys who loves the game. He comes out to work every single day. That’ll be hard to replace, but we’ll try to lock that [work ethic] in on the young guys. You never know when your last play or rep will happen, so you have to treat it like your last. We have a lot of great young guys who will step up and try to fill that role.”
On how the defense improved since last week’s loss
“As a whole, we improved. We still had some minor mistakes in the secondary, but I think the young guys did a good job. Our position is difficult because one mistake can lead to a touchdown, but they all did a great job since last week in Texas.”
Daniel Cage – – Jr. – – Defensive Lineman
On how the defensive line played today
“We still have a lot of work to do, but we came together after the first quarter. We got on each other, and we took over the game.”
James Onwualu – Sr. – Linebacker
On the red zone 4th down stop
“Last week we never really picked up on any momentum, but plays like that is what we need.”
On absolute musts to achieve next week
“We just have to play with intensity, absolutely playing with physicality and schematically playing smart.”
Jarron Jones – Sr. – Defensive Lineman
On his assessment of his hands
“I think I have great hands. These hands aren’t big for nothing. I know I can grab a ball.”
On his sense for reading screens
“I’ve just been used to reading screens. You can tell how the Olinemen attack you, if they don’t want anything to do with you and then try to go out you can tell it’s a screen. You look for the back in that scenario and luckily he was right next to me.”
So how did the Notre Dame defense really look on Saturday? I don’t think we should be awarding the defense any ‘defense of the year’ awards, by any stretch of the imagination, simply because we beat Nevada by a score of 39-10. But I do think they looked much better compared to last week. I think they made better tackles, held their opponent better, and made fewer mistakes. This is a relatively young squad, and they are going to have to mature pretty fast in order to hang in there with the opponents they have coming down the pike. Is that impossible? No. Are they going to have to work at it? Yes.
I am excited to see how they compete against a Michigan State team that only has one game under its belt, a 28-13 win over Furman. What say you?
Cheers! & GO IRISH!