Friday, November 29, 2013
Notre Dame at Stanford: Did you know?
By Matt Fortuna
As always, thanks to ESPN Stats & Info and sports information departments for these nuggets.
Stanford QB Kevin Hogan is completing 50 percent of his passes thrown 25 yards or longer this season, an increase of 20 percentage points from last season. His 11 touchdowns on such passes lead the Pac-12 and ranks third among AQ quarterbacks behind Bryce Petty (13) and Tajh Boyd (12).
Since the start of last season, Stanford has an FBS-high 91 sacks, including 67 when they send four or fewer pass rushers. Last season against Notre Dame, Stanford had three sacks when sending four or fewer pass rushers.
Last season, Stanford running back Stepfan Taylor was stopped on two consecutive rushes from the Notre Dame 1-yard line in overtime, resulting in Notre Dame’s 20-13 victory. In the last 10 seasons, teams scored a touchdown on 85 percent of their drives that reached the opponent’s 1-yard line.
Notre Dame gave up an FBS-low four yards on goal-to-go situations last season, including just three yards in a goal-line stand against Stanford in overtime. This season, in such situations, Notre Dame ranks 10th in yards allowed (37) and tied for 10th in touchdowns allowed (9).
Hogan has targeted tight ends on just 6 percent of his pass attempts this season, down 42 percentage points from last season. That means that his wide receivers are getting more targets; Hogan has thrown 76 percent of his passes and 17 of his 18 touchdowns to wide receivers this season.
Tommy Rees is completing 65.6 percent of his passes and averaging 11 yards per attempt when targeting TJ Jones. When targeting any other wide receiver, Rees is completing 47.9 percent of his passes and averaging 7.7 yards per attempt.
Stanford is looking for its fourth straight 10-win season. Prior to that stretch, the Cardinal had only three 10-win seasons ever.
Notre Dame enters with three losses, but has had some impressive wins. Notre Dame is the last team to beat Arizona State, Michigan State and USC, three of the hottest teams in FBS. Those three teams are a combined 18-0 since losing to Notre Dame.
Stanford has won 15 straight home games, tied for the second-longest active streak in the nation with Ohio State (South Carolina has won 17 straight at home).
Stanford’s Tyler Gaffney has proven a workhorse for the Cardinal. Of all rushers with at least 175 carries this season, he’s had only 23 rushes for zero/negative yards. That’s the second-fewest in FBS behind Auburn’s Tre Mason (20).
The Cardinal have nine wins this season, but haven’t been too opportunistic. Of the 24 teams with at least nine wins this season, only Stanford (0) and Cincinnati (-5) have turnover margins of zero or worse. But the Irish haven’t been effective in that category either. Notre Dame is -3 in turnover margin this season, including -5 over the last three games.