Michigan-Notre Dame: The Numbers Game

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan played Notre Dame Saturday. Let's quantify it.

- First, there is something we need to talk about.

Since Devin Gardner became starting QB, Michigan is 29/29 in the red zone chance w/ 25 TDs. That's 6.44 points per trip - Jamie Mac (@justcoverblog)

This is, well, something. Consider that this stretch has included games against Ohio State, South Carolina, Notre Dame and just one MAC-level team. This is tres-impressive. Only 15 teams last year had red zone percentages better than 90%, and not one of those was higher than 95%. Michigan was one of those teams (3rd, 93.4%), and it certainly looks like the Wolverines will be one of those teams again. Part of that is because of another player on the roster....

- Congratulations, Brendan Gibbons, for setting the Michigan consecutive field goal record at 16. The old record, held by Remy Hamilton, was 14, and Gibbons passed it easily on Saturday, connecting on two field goals of 44 and 38 yards. He also has 110 consecutive PATs made.

- After this game, Michigan moves up to 15th in Football Outsiders Fremeau Efficiency Index (FEI). The Wolverines were 21st last week. Ohio State is the only team currently ranked ahead of Michigan, and the Buckeyes are 13th. Michigan is 26th in the S&P+ rankings*.

*(this is somewhat unrelated, but Michigan State manages to be not only first in the Def S&P+ rankings and last in the Off S&P+ rankings. Of course, the defensive ranking is so impressive (198) that the Spartans are still 3rd overall in the combined S&P+ rankings. Stats are weird, yo.)

- Michigan scored as many passing touchdowns and one less rushing touchdown than Alabama did against the Irish last year. This means absolutely nothing so don't read anything into it.

- Both teams ran 72 offensive plays. Michigan gained 6.4 yards/play while Notre Dame gained 5.7. The difference was that Michigan averaged three more yards per attempt on the ground (8.9) which was enough to swing the .8 difference in yards/carry, in which Notre Dame had the advantage.

- Notre Dame nearly doubled its yards per return on kckoffs from game one to game two, going from 20 yards/return to 38. Notre Dame also took its one punt return 18 yards. Something something fix the coverage units something.

- Michigan only had one receiver post over 20 yards, and tha twas Jeremy Gallon. The only other player to go over 20 was Fitz Toussaint, who caught one swing pass for 31 yards.

- Notre Dame doubled Michigan up in TFLs. The Irish managed 8.0 for 27 yards. Michigan had 4.0 for 13 yarrds. Each team posted just one sack.

- Raymon Taylor was Michigan's leader in tackles with 11 and 1.0 TFL. Thomas Gordon was second with seven tackles, and Blake Countess tied for third with six. The only defensive lineman with more than two tackles was Mario Ojemudia.

- Michigan was a combined 3 of 8 on third down conversions in the first, third, and fourth quarters. Michigan was 3 or 4 in the second quarter. Michigan also started its second quarter drives at an average of its own 46 yard line. The other three quarters started between the 21 and 26 yard line.

- Michigan allowed Notre Dame to convert on more than half of its third-down tries (8 of 15), but stopped both fourth down attempts.

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