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Notre Dame Football: A Detailed Statistical Look at the Irish Offense Versus Bowling Green

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A top five quarterback performance in the Brian Kelly era

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 05 Bowling Green at Notre Dame Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish defeated the Bowling Green Falcons, 52-0, Saturday at Notre Dame Stadium.

IT WAS OVER WHEN...

The Irish played start to finish with a 100 percent win probability, according to the calculator.

SUCCESS RATE

Ian Book was 16-for-20 for 261 yards, 5 touchdowns and zero interceptions or fumbles. His success rate was 65 percent, the best of his career.

What is success rate?

“The goal of success rate is to create an on-base percentage-style efficiency measure,” ESPN’s Bill Connelly wrote last year. “Depending on a given down and distance, each play is deemed successful or non-successful:

  • First downs: gaining at least 50 percent of necessary yardage (usually 5 yards) is successful.
  • Second downs: gaining at least 70 percent of necessary yardage is successful.
  • Third or fourth downs: gaining at least 100 percent of necessary yardage is successful.”

For quarterback performances, Connelly told me to consider only downs where a pass was attempted or a sack was recorded. (He’d also suggest adjusting for opponent, which I haven’t done.)

Book’s performance was the sixth best of Brian Kelly’s tenure under this metric. The top five performances are: Malik Zaire versus the 2015 Texas Longhorns (69.6 percent); Tommy Rees versus the 2013 Air Force Falcons (69.6 percent); Everett Golson versus the 2012 Miami-Florida Hurricanes (68.2 percent); Golson versus the 2012 Boston College Eagles (66.7 percent); and DeShone Kizer versus the 2015 Massachusetts Minutemen (65.2 percent).

The Irish ran 61 offensive plays Saturday, with 38 being successful. That 62.3 percent success rate as an offense is fifth best in the Kelly era, behind the 2013, 2011 and 2012 games against the Navy Midshipmen (71.4, 65 and 63.8 percent, respectively) and the 2011 game against Air Force (63.1 percent).

BREAKING TACKLES/MISSED TACKLES

I counted nine tackles that Irish athletes either broke or where the Bowling Green player outright missed a legitimate opportunity to tackle the offensive player.

  • Book: 2 rushes, 5 yards; 1 broken/missed tackle
  • Running back C’Borius Flemister: 8 rushes, 30 yards; 1 broken/missed tackle
  • Running back Tony Jones Jr: 7 rushes, 102 yards; 2 broken/missed tackles
  • Quarterback Phil Jurkovec: 4 rushes, 42 yards; 3 broken/missed tackles
  • Wide receiver Javon McKinley: 5 catches, 104 yards; 1 missed tackle created
  • Wide receiver Tommy Tremble: 4 catches, 38 yards; 1 broken/missed tackle

YARDS AFTER CONTACT

As I used to chart games for College Football Film Room, I use their guideline to calculate based on where the ball was when contact was made. It has to be substantial contact, when the runner is either slowed or in danger of being tackled.

  • Mick Assaf: 4 rushes, 15 yards; 9 yards after contact
  • Book: 1 yard after contact
  • Brendon Clark: 1 rush, 9 yards; 2 yards after contact
  • Avery Davis: 3 rushes, 0 yards; 3 yards after contact
  • Flemister: 19 yards after contact
  • Jones Jr.: 18 yards after contact
  • Jurkovec: 36 yards after contact
  • Braden Lenzy: 1 rush, 3 yards; 3 yards after contact
  • Jahmir Smith: 3 rushes, 29 yards; 14 yards after contact

YARDS AFTER THE CATCH

Total yards minus air yards.

  • Chase Claypool: 3 catches for 61 yards; 26 yards after the catch
  • Davis: 3 catches for 39 yards; 16 yards after the catch
  • Chris Finke: 1 catch for 24 yards; 3 yards after the catch
  • Cole Kmet: 2 catches for 31 yards; 18 yards after the catch
  • Lenzy: 1 catch for 5 yards; 1 yard after the catch
  • McKinley: 27 yards after the catch
  • Tremble: 13 yards after the catch
  • Brock Wright: 1 catch for 40 yards; 26 yards after the catch
  • Michael Young: 1 catch for negative 2 yards; 0 yards after the catch

BOOK PASSING CHART

All passes attempted from the shotgun.

At or behind line of scrimmage: 6-of-6, 31 yards, 2 first downs, 1 touchdown

Throws left, 0-9 yards: 0-for-0, 0 yards

Throws middle, 0-9 yards: 1-for-2, 19 yards, 1 first down, 1 drop (by McKinley)

Throws right, 0-9 yards: 1-for-1, 6 yards

Throws left, 10-19 yards: 2-for-3, 63 yards, 2 first downs, 1 drop (by Claypool)

Throws middle, 10-19 yards: 2-for-2, 38 yards, 2 first downs, 2 touchdowns

Throws right, 10-19 yards: 0-for-0, 0 yards

Throws left, 20 or more yards: 2-for-2, 45 yards, 2 first downs

Throws middle, 20 or more yards: 1-for-3, 34 yards, 1 first down, 1 touchdown

Throws right, 20 or more yards: 1-for-1, 25 yards, 1 first down, 1 touchdown

Book attempted 17 of his 20 passes when here was no pressure from the Bowling Green defense and he was standing in the pocket. The quarterback was 14-of-17 for 236 yards, 10 first downs and five touchdowns in those instances. In the three times the Falcons managed to get in Book’s face, the quarterback went 2-for-3 for 25 yards with one first down. The incompletion was a drop.

I counted 22 instances when Book dropped back with the intention of passing. He rushed for five yards on those two instances when he dropped back, but didn’t throw.

TARGET COUNT (SEASON)

Targets in the 2019 Season

Receiver Virginia Tech Duke Navy Total
Receiver Virginia Tech Duke Navy Total
Chase Claypool 14 7 9 83
Cole Kmet 9 5 2 43
Chris Finke 9 6 3 42
Javon McKinley 2 3 0 20
Tommy Tremble 1 1 1 17
Thrown away 7 1 0 21
Lawrence Keys III 1 1 2 16
Tony Jones Jr. 0 2 1 15
Michael Young 0 0 0 9
Avery Davis 3 1 0 11
Braden Lenzy 2 0 2 11
Jafar Armstrong 5 3 2 15
Brock Wright 0 0 0 3
Jahmir Smith 0 0 0 3
Kyren Williams 0 0 0 2
C'Bo Flemsiter 0 0 0 2
Joe Wilkins 0 0 0 2
George Takacs 0 1 0 1
Batted pass 0 1 0 1
Total 53 32 22 317
@ndjrs / Twitter

BOOK VERSUS HIS PREDECESSORS

The senior has now taken 1,120 snaps under center for the Irish. Here’s how his statistics match up to six of his predecessors who took that many snaps for Notre Dame.

Notre Dame Quarterbacks Through 1,120 Snaps, 2000-2019

Quarterback HOLIDAY QUINN CLAUSEN REES GOLSON KIZER BOOK
Quarterback HOLIDAY QUINN CLAUSEN REES GOLSON KIZER BOOK
Run plays 787 596 551 539 592 601 592
Yds gained from run 3045 2302 1471 2543 2696 2992 2781
Yards per run attempt 3.87 3.86 2.67 4.72 4.55 4.98 4.70
Runs by QB (excluding sacks) 228 52 53 27 126 170 138
Yds gained from run by QB (excluding sacks) 1042 153 143 42 634 947 801
Yards per QB run (excluding sacks) 4.6 2.9 2.7 1.6 5.0 5.6 5.8
Pass plays 333 524 569 581 528 519 528
Yds gained from pass 2062 3378 3533 4012 4052 4590 4331
Completions 173 259 329 372 318 320 351
Completion % 52.0% 49.4% 57.8% 64.0% 60.2% 61.7% 66.5%
Yards per comp 11.9 13.0 10.7 10.8 12.7 14.3 12.3
Yards per attempt 6.2 6.4 6.2 6.9 7.7 8.8 8.2
Total yards gained (run & pass) 5107 5680 5004 6555 6748 7582 7112
3rd Down conversions by pass 42.8% 39.3% 43.4% 41.2%
Non-penalty first downs 235 257 246 331 339 329 331
First downs by pass 87 145 150 198 196 193 191
First downs by QB run 46 21 16 8 38 44 37
% of 1Ds accounted for 56.6% 64.6% 67.5% 62.2% 69.0% 72.0% 68.9%
% of 1D runs accounted for by QB 31.1% 18.8% 16.7% 6.0% 26.6% 32.4% 26.4%
Touchdowns 33 41 33 57 53 72 72
Touchdowns thrown 8 18 24 32 27 36 36
Touchdowns thrown % of all TDs 24.2% 43.9% 72.7% 56.1% 50.9% 50.0% 50.0%
Touchdowns run 25 23 9 25 26 36 36
Touchdowns run by QB 5 3 2 0 10 17 6
% of total TDs that were run by QB 15.2% 7.3% 6.1% 0.0% 18.9% 23.6% 8.3%
TDs by QB (arm or legs) 13 21 26 32 37 53 42
TDs by QB as % of total TDs 39.4% 51.2% 78.8% 56.1% 69.8% 73.6% 58.3%
Interceptions 9 20 18 22 10 15 13
Interceptions per attempt 2.7% 3.8% 3.2% 3.8% 1.9% 2.9% 2.5%
Fumbles 35 21 27 16 22 23 14
Fumbles lost 20 8 14 8 14 12 5
Fumbles by QB 21 8 8 8 14 7 6
Fumbles lost by QB 9 3 4 6 9 4 3
QB carries (including sacks) 228 77 99 43 151 206 170
Fumbles lost per QB carry 3.9% 3.9% 4.0% 14.0% 6.0% 1.9% 1.8%
Sacks 40 26 46 16 25 36 32
Sacked per pass attempt 12.0% 5.0% 8.1% 2.8% 4.7% 6.9% 6.1%
Negative yardage plays 146 107 132 98 95 116 106
Negative yardage plays by QB 75 34 51 22 37 52 39
Explosive pass plays (20+ yards) 27 40 45 54 60 68 71
Explosive run plays (12+ yards) 66 60 34 70 58 69 65
Explosive plays total 93 100 79 124 118 137 136
Explosive plays by QB run 30 5 0 1 15 21 15
Explosive plays by QB arms/legs 57 45 45 55 75 89 86
% of explosive plays generated by QB 61.3% 45.0% 57.0% 44.4% 63.6% 65.0% 63.2%
First Down success rate 38.3% 53.5% 51.9% 48.7% 49.8%
Second Down success rate 35.4% 46.2% 53.0% 47.7% 45.0%
Third Down success rate 29.5% 42.9% 38.9% 41.2% 41.3%
Fourth Down success rate 36.4% 66.7% 50.0% 33.3% 63.2%
Overall success rate 23.7% 48.4% 48.8% 46.1% 46.6%
2019 success rate 44.2%
@ndjrs / Twitter