September 13, 2014 - Shamrock Series: Hoosier Edition

The hangover of shutting out Michigan quickly subsided as the sixth Shamrock Series game got underway. This year's edition was played in Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis versus Purdue. Thirty years earlier, ND and Purdue helped open the Hoosier Dome (in a game that saw Purdue beat #8 ND 23-21 and freshman Tim Brown fumble the opening kick). Notre Dame had won the five prior Shamrock Series games as well as the last six verse Purdue. As new tradition has shown, the team wore special one-off uniforms for the game. Further, for the first time ever, Notre Dame wore the interlocking ND on the sides of their helmet (along with a silly blue stripe down the middle). Perhaps the most interesting feature of the helmets was the mimicked pattern of the Dome outlined as well.

Notre Dame received the opening kick and Amir Carlisle promptly returned it 47 yards to the Purdue 45. Golson quickly moved the offense the rest of the way: Folston 12 yard run, Folston 16 yard reception, Carlisle 7 yard reception, Folston 4 yard run, and Fuller caught the 6 yard TD pass. Six plays into the game, ND 7-0. The defense forced a three-and-out, but a series of miscues on the next offensive possession asked Brindza to attempt a 50-yard field goal. He had made longer and the game was indoors, but the kick went wide. Purdue's next possession saw a 28 yard pass after some poor tackling. Several plays later, touchdown. After the first quarter, Golson was 9/9 67yds 1 TD and threw to 6 different receivers.

With the game tied, ND went a bit pass heavy to move down the field. An end around by Greg Bryant gained 16 yards. The team had first-and-goal at the Purdue 3 and then ran three rushing players. Ultimately, Brindza made the 19 yard field goal. Purdue would have a 33 yard return. The Purdue ran for five yards and a late slide on his knees drew Max Redfield into a helmet-to-helmet targeting call that saw Redfield ejected for the remainder of the game. This would be Redfield's second costly penalty on QBs in as many games. Purdue would get into the red zone but fumble at the 4 and ND recovered. ND did nothing backed up against their goal line and punted away. The defense stopped Purdue short on 4th-&-1 and ND took over at the ND 28. On 3rd and 22, Golson threw a short pass to Koyack and after 10 yards fumbled the ball. Two plays later, Purdue took the lead after their second touchdown. Relying on the empty set, Golson had 4 completions (including 32 yards to Robinson), 2 scrambles, and a sack. McDaniel also had one run in there. The second scramble, instead of throwing to the open receiver, happy feet returned and Golson ran 15 yards for the go-ahead touchdown. ND led 17-14 at halftime.

In the third quarter, ND against used the empty set early. Coupled with a weaker offensive line (Purdue would have 4 sacks), Golson would make quicker decisions and start dancing a bit more than he had in prior games. Notre Dame was also constantly facing 3rd and long situations After converting a 3rd-&-7 with a 24 yard pass to Prosise and then a 3rd-&-8 with a scrambling 17 yard pass to Bryant, Corey Robinson caught his first touchdown of the season. ND 24-14.

The fourth quarter was made up of essentially two drives by ND and one by Purdue. The first interesting drive for ND results in a made 48 yard field goal by Brindza. A penalty negated a 16 yard pass and then Golson was sacked. 3rd & 15 the pass was overthrown, FG. On Purdue's next possession, Devin Butler recorded his first career interception. The offense went for the home run ball, it was well placed but ultimately broken up. A penalty negated a large run, Golson threw it away on 3rd & 8, and Brindza made a 39 yard field goal that bounced through off the right upright. This would be Brindza's third of the evening and 49th career field goal. He now sits all alone second all-time behind John Carney's 51. Down 30-14, Purdue would put together a pass filled drive down the ND 13. Jaylon Smith would record a 13 yard sack on second down. The next play, Joe Schmidt caught an interception at the ND 5. Another redzone turnover. After ND punted, the final play of the game saw a gang tackle sack on Purdue. After trailing 14-10, Notre Dame then scored the next 20 unanswered points.

                1  2  3  4   F
    Purdue      7  7  0  0  14
#11 Notre Dame  7 10  7  6  30

What Worked?

  • Second Half Adjustments - The first half was not good, see below. For the first time all year, ND was trailing 14-10. The offense would retake the lead before halftime. Both sides of the ball cleaned their play up, there were only 2 penalties in the second half. The tackling was also improved, as the yards after catch dropped and rushes were stuffed behind the line. Two more takeaways aided the defense in shutting out Purdue for the second half allowing the offense to score 20 unanswered points.
  • Plugging Holes on Defense - Between the academic suspensions and pre-existing injuries, ND has already been short-handed in the secondary. After Redfield was ejected for a targeting call, Baratti stepped in. Then he was injured so Cole Luke stepped in. Then Luke was injured so Butler stepped in. The next man in philosophy worked as players that had taken no snaps at that position ran onto the field and got the job done.
  • Golson Being a Leader - A number of receivers spoke of Golson rallying the team in the huddle. The most noted improvement was on the sidelines. Two years ago against Michigan, Golson was pulled and sitting by himself on the sidelines. Golson said he just needed to clear his head and Kelly told him to be with his guys. This time after a drive stalled, Kelly and Golson were engaged on the sideline in a conversation. Golson was explaining what he saw, his progression, and steps. The receivers were right by his side and it was much more of a team.

What Didn't Work?

  • Penalties - After having 5 penalties for 30 yards across the first two games, ND had 7 penalties for 43 yards in tonight's game. The penalties were costly: a targeting helmet-to-helmet, numerous false starts, four players in the backfield, holding, plus a few others that were declined. The offensive penalties aided in setting up 3rd and long situations (as the 4Q started, average third down distance was 5.4 for Purdue and 7.1 for ND).
  • Tackling - In the first half moreso, missed tackles and broken tackles led to many yards after contact for Purdue. Several times what should have been a short play were turned for another 5 yards or more. This allowed Purdue to keep many drives alive, break big plays, and score both of their touchdowns.
  • Turnovers - Notre Dame was +2 on turnovers (+8 on the season) but had their first giveaway on the season. After stopping Purdue on a 4th & 1, ND had a penalty and then a sack. The next play was a short pass to Koyack which led to a fumble and turnover. Purdue then turned the short field into a go-ahead touchdown. When ND had a takeaway, it did not lead to much. ND had a red-zone takeaway by recovering a fumble. A series of penalties put the ball at the ND 1. Three plays later, punt. Later in the 4Q, Devin Butler recorded his first INT, but a stalled drive led to a made 39 yard FG. Joe Schmidt had another INT in the red zone to ice the game. The +8 turnover margin is great, but they need to be converted to points. After three games, 9 takeaways have led to 13 points (1 TD, 2 FG).

Quick Hits

  • For the second time in three years, ND started the season 3-0 (2012 & 2014). Before then, the last 3-0 start was in 2002. The last time ND would have two 3-0 starts in three years would be all four years of 1987-1990.
  • For the first time since 1964, ND has gone 3-0 while scoring 30 or more points in each game. Since the AP poll started, ND has scored 30+ in their first three games only four times (1943, 1964, 2009, 2014). The only time ND has started a season with more than three games of 30+ points was 1943 when the first six games saw 30+ points.
  • Notre Dame has played Purdue 86 times (2nd most of any opponent) and every year since 1946. ND leads the series 58-26-2 (0.686) and won the last seven. The two teams will not meet again until 2020.
  • Notre Dame is now 6-0 in Shamrock Series games (which now retroactively includes the 2009 Washington State game in San Antonio).
  • Notre Dame now sits alone for #2 on the all-time wins list:
    1. 911 - Michigan
    2. 877 - Notre Dame
    3. 876 - Texas
    4. 867 - Nebraska
  • Update on all-time winning %:
    1. 0.7336 - Notre Dame (877-305-42)
    2. 0.7326 - Michigan (911-321-36)
    3. 0.7200 - Oklahoma (844-312-53)
  • Golson's Stats Through 3 games:
    Rice:   14/22 295yds (27.1 avg) 2 TD 0 INT / 12 rushes  41yds 3 TD
    UM:     23/34 226yds ( 9.8 avg) 3 TD 0 INT /  3 rushes -14yds 0 TD
    Purdue: 25/40 259yds (10.4 avg) 2 TD 0 INT / 14 rushes  56yds 1 TD
    Total:  62/96 780yds (12.6 avg) 7 TD 0 INT / 29 rushes  83yds 4 TD

Keywords: football, purdue, shamrock series, lucas oil stadium, indianapolis, hoosier dome, tim brown, amir carlisle, everett golson, tarean folston, william fuller, kyle brindza, greg bryant, max redfield, ben koyack, corey robinson, cam mcdaniel, john carney, jaylon smith, joe schmidt, nicky baratti, cole luke, devin butler, brian kelly, washington state

Posted On: by IrishTrpt07


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