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Notre Dame Football: Midseason Running Back Analysis

Some data trends for Notre Dame’s running back room through six games.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 16 Central Michigan at Notre Dame Photo by Joseph Weiser/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Irish are six games into the 2023 season and I guess it’s technically midseason. Usually we would’ve have a bye at this point or be in a soft point of the schedule to allow for some more trend reviews. That’s not the case, though, and we find ourselves barreling through a stretch of ranked and competitive opponents.

If there is one part of Notre Dame’s 2023 team that deserves a midseason look it’s the running back room. The position group came into the season with a lot of hype, mostly because of its depth. In the beginning of the season we got a chance to see a lot of that in action (to varying degrees) so now let’s do a quick check on some data trends for the group through Week 5.

Carry Analysis

Through Week 5, seven Notre Dame running backs have gotten touches. No big surprise here that Audric Estime has consistently seen the most action, game over game. He hit a season high of 20 against CMU, a low against Tennessee State and a season to date total of 95 carries.

The group is averaging around 26 carries per game and Jememiyah Love, Gi’Bran Payne and Jadarian Price comprise the bulk of the supporting cast in terms of carries.

Yards Analysis

The Irish running back group hit its peak yardage production against Central Michigan. In that 220-yard game, Estime accounted for 176 yards. Jeremiyah Price has emerged over the last two games as the solid #2 in terms of production.

Things leveled out in the Ohio State and Duke games. The lowest collective production of 136 total yards came last week against Duke and Mike Elko’s defenst. Jeremiyah Price has emerged over the last two games as a solid #2 option.

Average Yards per Carry Analysis

No real trend exists for average yards per carry. In general, Love, Estime and Price have been the most efficient from game to game.

Longest Carry Analysis

One of the most fun parts about watching this year’s Notre Dame running backs is their ability to initiate contact and still manage to beak of long runs, especially in clutch situations. In general, Estime, Love and Price have broken the longest runs to date.

Touchdown Analysis

A lot of Notre Dame’s scoring in the first half of the season has come via the air. Sam Hartman has thrown for 14 touchdowns as of Week 5. When the Irish running backs have found the end zone on rushes, Audric Estime has usually been the target. He’s tallied up two touchdown games against Central Michigan and Duke and has seven total. Jeremiyah Love, Gi’Bran Payne and Jadarian Price have also racked up touchdowns on the ground. Love scored one against Tennessee State, Payne had the clutch score against Ohio State and Price tallied up one against Navy.

Notre Dame boasts one of the most versatile running back rooms, both in terms of personnel and scheme options. The group has (knock on wood) faced some of their toughest defensive tests this season and it’ll be interesting to see how they close out the remainder of the season.