Friday, September 21, 2012
Notre Dame Week 4: Did you know?
By Matt Fortuna
As always, a tip of the cap to ESPN Stats & Info and both of these schools' sports information departments for sharing some of these nuggets.
Through three games last season, Notre Dame led FBS schools with five red-zone turnovers (three picks, two fumbles). This year the Irish have thrown just one interception in 15 red-zone drives. Michigan has not forced a red-zone turnover in 12 drives this season, and has allowed opponents to score on 83.3 percent of red-zone chances.
Everett Golson has completed 9 of 18 passes with a touchdown and no interceptions when under duress. Denard Robinson is 5 of 20 with a touchdown and two interceptions when under duress.
Robinson has 17 touchdowns and 18 interceptions on throws of 15 yards or longer in his career. He has not improved with these throws during his career, with his completion percentage decreasing in each of his three seasons as a starter, from 32 percent (2012) to 38.1 (2011) to 45.6 (2010).
Last season against Notre Dame, Robinson was 3 of 10 on throws of 15 or more yards during Michigan's first 12 drives, averaging 16.4 yards per those completions with one touchdown and two picks. On his final two drives, however, he was 3 of 5 on those throws, averaging 21.4 yards per those completions and throwing for a touchdown.
Robinson remains on pace to gain more than 1,000 yards on designed running plays for a third straight season. He is averaging a career-high 9.3 yards per rush on such plays this year, and he has averaged 180.5 yards per game on designed running plays against the Irish in the last two seasons. Against the Irish the last two seasons, Robinson has carried the ball more than in other games (20 rushes per game to 14.7), averaged more yards per carry (9 to 6.7), averaged more rushing yards (180.5 to 99.4) and has averaged more rushes of at least 10 yards (6 to 3.1). These numbers do not include scrambles and sacks.
In his last two seasons, Robinson has taken a snap from under center on 19.2 percent of his passes. During that time period, he has thrown 12 of his 26 touchdown passes from under center. His numbers under center as opposed to out of the shotgun are better, from completion percentage (62.5 to 52.4) to yards per attempt (9.3 to 8.5) to touchdown-interception ratio (12-1 to 14-18). Against Notre Dame he is 5 of 7 under center for 107 yards with four touchdowns and one pick.
Notre Dame's defense has allowed just 103 yards and five first downs in the fourth quarter this season. Among BCS-AQ teams, that ranks in the top five in both categories.