Notre Dame Offense Breaks Down Wolverines


Sep 6, 2014; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback Everett Golson (5) throws in the second quarter against the Michigan Wolverines at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Notre Dame’s play on the field Saturday night sent a few echoes across the college football landscape with a dominating beat-down of Michigan 31-0. The Irish continued a balanced attack with 34 pass attempts and 31 rushing attempts, still without a turnover.

On the ground, Irish backs only averaged 2.4 yards per carry, but with Everett Golson’s accuracy, the unit could continue to tote the rock keeping the Wolverine defense honest. On the opening drive of the game, Tarean Folston ran on three consecutive plays and moved the chains setting the table for the balanced attack. Cam McDaniel caught two passes out of the backfield with other receivers making big impacts.

Will Fuller and Amir Carlisle had career highs with nine and seven catches respectively, with Carlisle hauling in his first two career touchdowns and Fuller also finding the endzone off a 24 yard connection from Golson. Carlisle really stood out in this contest catching screens, deep-crosses and out-routes giving Brian Kelly’s offense his first real threat from the slot-receiver position since arriving in South Bend.

"“I thought that we had a plan, that we capitalized on, and really made the best of a very aggressive defense that Michigan has.” – head coach Brian Kelly"

The offensive line continues to be the enabling factor for success. Golson generally has time in the pocket to go through his progressions to get the ball to the right-read on the play. Golson stayed sharp through the game completing 23/34 passes with three touchdowns. When he needed to escape the pocket, he did; and when he needed to throw the ball away and move on the the next play, he made the right decisions and did not look to force the issue.

With these type of performances, fans and opposing teams may start to expect the Irish offense to put on a show every weekend.

Unsung Offensive Player of the Game:

Running Backs

Amir Carlisle was my “Unsung Offensive Player” last week against Rice, so it was great to see him breakout against Michigan. Although the three running backs accounted for only 61 yards, it was enough to keep the Wolverine defenders stacked in the box to open up Golson’s passing lanes down the field.