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Notre Dame Football: Going Beyond The Louisville Box Score

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A different look at Ian Book’s performance, as well as broken tackles and yards after catch stats.

Notre Dame v Louisville Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish defeated the Louisville Cardinals, 35-17, tonight at Cardinal Stadium.

IT WAS OVER WHEN...: The Irish were 19 point favorites to defeat the Cardinals, so oddsmakers believed it was over before the game kicked off.

The Irish didn’t hit 100 percent win probability until, up 28-17 in the middle of the fourth quarter, Ian Book threw a 14-yard pass to Chase Claypool. The shifty Canadian receiver zig-zagged, broke two tackles and turned it into a gain of 36 yards. The Irish scored two plays later to make it 35-17.

SUCCESS RATE: Book was 14-for-23 for 193 yards and a touchdown. But his success rate was just 44 percent, one of his worst career outings by that metric.

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.)

To put that in context, Book’s performance Monday was similar to his 25-for-35, 271 yard performance against the Virginia Tech Hokies last year. He had a 45.9 percent success rate in that game.

As for the team, Notre Dame ran 65 offensive plays. Thirty-two were successful by the metric’s standards; thirty-three were not.

BREAKING TACKLES: Claypool made three people miss on two separate plays, including the play described above. Tony Jones Jr., who rushed for 112 yards on 15 carries, also caused three missed tackles. C’Bo Flemister, who ran three times for five yards, caused two misses, while Book, Jahmir Smith and Jafar Armstrong had one each.

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.

  • Book: 14 carries, 20 yards after contact
  • Jones Jr.: 15 carries, 35 yards after contact
  • Smith: 8 carries, 22 yards after contact
  • Flemister: 3 carries, 7 yards after contact
  • Armstrong: 2 carries, 8 yards after contact

YARDS AFTER THE CATCH: Total yards minus air yards.

  • Claypool: 5 catches, 54 yards after the catch
  • Tommy Tremble: 3 catches, 20 yards after the catch
  • Lawrence Keys III: 2 catches, 11 yards after the catch
  • Armstrong: 1 catch, 15 yards after the catch
  • Javon McKinley: 1 catch, 6 yards after the catch
  • Smith: 1 catch, 9 yards after the catch
  • Chris Finke: 1 catch, 0 yards after the catch

BOOK PASSING CHART

All passes were attempted from the shotgun.

Behind line of scrimmage: 2-for-2, 11 yards

Throws left, 0-9 yards: 3-5, 25 yards, 2 first downs, 1 drop (by Kyren Williams)

Throws middle, 0-9 yards: 5-6, 78 yards, 4 first downs

Throws right, 0-9 yards: 1-2, 2 yards, 1 throw away

Throws left, 10-19 yards: 3-4, 76 yards, 3 first downs, 1 touchdown, 1 throw away

Throws middle, 10-19 yards: 0-0, 0 yards

Throws right, 10-19 yards: 0-2, 0 yards

Throws left, 20 or more yards: 0-2, 0 yards, both thrown away

Throws middle, 20 or more yards: 0-0, 0 yards

Throws right, 20 or more yards: 0-0, 0 yards

Although Book attempted 23 passes, I had him dropping back with the intention of passing 32 times. His nine scrambles went for 51 yards. (His final stat line for running: 14 carries, 81 yards.)

On 19 of Book’s 23 passes, the pocket was clean (no pressure and he didn’t scramble). He was 14 for 19 in those instances for 193 yards. He was 0-for-4 when pressured, including 0-2 with the pocket collapsing.

BOOK VERSUS HIS PREDECESSORS

The senior has now taken 917 snaps under center for the Irish. Here’s how his statistics match up to seven of his predecessors who took that many snaps for Notre Dame.

Notre Dame QBs through 917 Snaps, 2000-2019

Category HOLIDAY QUINN CLAUSEN REES GOLSON KIZER WIMBUSH BOOK
Category HOLIDAY QUINN CLAUSEN REES GOLSON KIZER WIMBUSH BOOK
Run plays 660 487 458 439 496 490 567 505
Yds gained from run 2644 1984 1181 2240 2308 2547 3417 2357
Yards per run attempt 4.0 4.1 2.6 5.1 4.7 5.2 6.0 4.7
Runs by QB (excluding sacks) 203 42 46 25 104 144 160 121
Yds gained from run by QB (excluding sacks) 987 134 126 33 540 811 1175 704
Yards per QB run (excluding sacks) 4.9 3.2 2.7 1.3 5.2 5.6 7.3 5.8
Pass plays 257 430 459 478 421 427 350 412
Yds gained from pass 1466 2570 2847 3330 3224 3785 2429 3271
Completions 128 209 270 306 255 271 176 274
Completion % 49.8% 48.6% 58.8% 64.0% 60.6% 63.5% 50.3% 66.5%
Yards per comp 11.5 12.3 10.5 10.9 12.6 14.0 13.8 11.9
Yards per attempt 5.7 6.0 6.2 7.0 7.7 8.9 6.9 7.9
Total yards gained (run & pass) 4110 4554 4028 5570 5532 6332 5846 5628
3rd Down conversions by pass 42.5% 39.1% 47.3% 39.0% 42.7%
Non-penalty first downs 194 205 202 277 282 273 246 273
First downs by pass 67 109 121 162 158 161 104 154
First downs by QB run 44 17 15 7 31 38 48 32
% of 1Ds accounted for 57.2% 61.5% 67.3% 61.0% 67.0% 72.9% 61.8% 68.1%
% of 1D runs accounted for by QB 34.6% 17.7% 18.5% 6.1% 25.0% 33.9% 33.8% 26.9%
Touchdowns 25 31 29 52 42 63 49 55
Touchdowns thrown 5 14 21 30 19 32 17 24
Touchdowns thrown % of all TDs 20.0% 45.2% 72.4% 57.7% 45.2% 50.8% 34.7% 43.6%
Touchdowns run 20 17 8 22 23 31 32 31
Touchdowns run by QB 4 1 2 0 10 15 15 5
% of total TDs that were run by QB 16.0% 3.2% 6.9% 0.0% 23.8% 23.8% 30.6% 9.1%
TDs by QB (arm or legs) 9 15 23 30 29 47 32 29
TDs by QB as % of total TDs 36.0% 48.4% 79.3% 57.7% 69.0% 74.6% 65.3% 52.7%
Interceptions 9 19 14 18 6 12 10 11
Interceptions per attempt 3.5% 4.4% 3.1% 3.8% 1.4% 2.8% 2.9% 2.7%
Fumbles 25 16 25 15 17 17 8 13
Fumbles lost 14 6 13 7 9 9 5 5
Fumbles by QB 17 6 8 7 10 5 8 6
Fumbles lost by QB 8 3 4 5 5 2 5 3
QB carries (including sacks) 203 59 87 33 126 170 188 147
Fumbles lost per QB carry 3.9% 5.1% 4.6% 15.2% 4.0% 1.2% 2.7% 2.0%
Sacks 33 18 41 8 22 26 28 26
Sacked per pass attempt 12.8% 4.2% 8.9% 1.7% 5.2% 6.1% 8.0% 6.3%
Negative yardage plays 119 93 118 77 79 94 100 95
Negative yardage plays by QB 65 24 46 14 29 39 44 35
Explosive pass plays (20+ yards) 16 28 36 46 47 53 46 48
Explosive run plays (12+ yards) 59 56 29 65 50 60 75 55
Explosive plays total 75 84 65 111 97 113 121 103
Explosive plays by QB run 29 5 0 1 11 18 28 14
Explosive plays by QB arms/legs 45 33 36 47 58 71 74 62
Explosive % generated by QB 60.0% 39.3% 55.4% 42.3% 59.8% 62.8% 61.2% 60.2%
First Down success rate 57.0% 53.3% 47.8% 36.6% 49.7%
Second Down success rate 45.6% 52.7% 48.6% 29.1% 45.3%
Third Down success rate 43.1% 39.3% 45.1% 35.5% 43.1%
Fourth Down success rate 66.7% 50.0% 60.0% 40.0% 66.7%
Overall success rate 49.8% 49.4% 47.5% 34.1% 47.3%

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