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ND's Success with the No-Back Formation

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Bill Connelly at Football Study Hall breaks down 15,504 plays out of the no-back formation in 2012, assesses their effectiveness, and how defenses best react to them. Notre Dame not only did it more frequently than most teams, they did it really, really well; they also defended it effectively. An excerpt: "Really, the team that combined no-back frequency with effectiveness the best might have been Notre Dame. The Irish were known mostly for their defense, but even against the strong defenses listed in the above sample (Michigan State, Stanford and Alabama), they were tremendously effective from the no-back set. Quarterback Everett Golson was just 14-for-32 passing for 178 yards overall versus Michigan State, but from the no-back he was 9-for-14 for 122. (That means he was 5-for-18 for 56 otherwise.) In the first half versus USC, Golson was 7-for-13 for 115 yards from this look. Hell, even against Alabama, he was more successful in the no-back (5-for-8 for 71) than he was in other formations (16-for-28 for 199)."