Everett Golson’s Success Through The Air
Golson continued his on the field success Saturday. Most of his success was through the air. Golson went 21-for-31 for 289 yards and 1 touchdown. More importantly, in two games, he has only thrown 1 interception in the first two games. In comparison to last year, Tommy Rees and Dayne Crist had thrown five interceptions at this point. Notre Dame can feel much better about their Quarterback than last year at this point. It is the difference between the 2-0 record and the 0-2 record. Two differences have also been seen between Golson and his predecessors. He has an ability to escape the pocket, while keeping his eyes down field, and make plays in the passing game. In addition, Golson has demonstrated great arm strength on several occasions. This has opened up the Offense significantly.
Continued Emergence of the Defensive Line
Louis Nix and Stephon Tuitt continue to emerge as playmakers along the Defensive Line. Nix broke up several passes in Saturday’s game. He also clogged up the center of the line which was key to Notre Dame holding Purdue to 90 yards rushing.In addition, Nix recorded 1.5 sacks. Stephon Tuitt made several plays rushing the passer. He recorded 2 sacks and 2 Quarterback hurries.
Surprising Play of the Secondary
Notre Dame’s Secondary held up well on Saturday against the Boilermakers. Is it because of the excellent play of the Defensive Line? Possibility. However, the Irish Secondary acquitted itself well. Bennett Jackson had 2 interceptions on Saturday. One of the interceptions was “gimme” at the end of the game. However, the other was an excellent move by Jackson to cut the route and make a play on the ball. KeiVarae Russell played much better than last week. Freshman Elijah Shumate made a great play to swat a ball away earlier on in the game.
The Turnover Margin Trend Continues
At this point last year, Notre Dame had committed 10 turnovers. This year the Fighting Irish have committed 2 turnovers. That is a drastic difference. The turnover margin last year was one of the worst in the country. The margin was -1.15. This season, the turnover margin is +2 per game and +4 overall. The difference is 3.15 per game. This may need up being the difference in Notre Dame’s season.
Kicking in Pressure Situations
After two missed PATs against Navy, Notre Dame’s kicking was there when it needed the most. Kyle Brindza hammered home a 27 yard field goal in a pressure packed situation. Ben Turk got the snap down properly. Brindza put the ball right down the middle for the win. The kick was never in doubt. On Saturday, Brindza went 2/3 on field goals and 2/2 on extra points. Will this trend continue? Hopefully. Notre Dame fans were spoiled over the last few years with David Ruffer’s excellent kicking ability.