Eye in the Sky: 3rd Quarter

Our 3rd Quarter film review of the Irish offense vs. the Cardinal.

Stanford 16 ND 6

Key Personnel: LT Zack Martin; LG Chris Stewart; C Braxston Cave; RG Trevor Robinson; RT Taylor Dever; TE Kyle Rudolph; TB Armando Allen who was spelled late by Jonas Gray; WRs Michael Floyd, Tai-ler Jones, and Theo Riddick were joined later by John Goodman. QB Dayne Crist.

3rd Quarter Running Game Notes

Following a 10-play, 49-yard Stanford drive that culminated with former Irish kicker Nate Whitaker's fourth field goal, Notre Dame took over at their own 24-yard line, trailing 19-6.

Notre Dame's first play of the second half is a 9-yard carry over the left side by Armando Allen, who followed a Chris Stewart cut block in space and a nice seal on a crack-back by Michael Floyd; Allen did the rest, running through several arm tackles to gain an additional 7 yards; Zack Martin won with a seal at the point and Trevor Robinson secured his block for the duration of the run…Allen follows the effort with an 8-yard sprint on a toss left but the play is called back due to a sloppy holding penalty on Kyle Rudolph (who's man made the tackle nonetheless); Floyd had pushed his defender downfield and Martin had executed a nice cut block at the second level. Allen had some room had Rudolph executed…

Facing 2nd and 10 on the opening drive, Allen is smothered for a 3-yard loss at the Stanford 44-yard line. Chris Stewart and Braxston Cave were overwhelmed by NT Sione Fua on the play while Rudolph and Martin both took down the same defender, allowing Owen Marecic a clear run at Allen on the left side…

Following a beautiful Cardinal punt saved at the Irish 1-yard line, Allen is limited to one-yard on an inside carry. The Irish senior injures his knee on the play, but returns in the final period (Allen referred to the injury post-game as "a sprain" and "no big deal").

3rd Quarter Passing Game Notes

A poorly executed screen to Allen gains just three yards (good for a first down on 2nd and 3); Allen's convoy of slow-moving blockers were late and set too close to the line of scrimmage as Allen caught the ball…Crist hits a wide open T.J. Jones for 21 yards on the right sideline; Jones was wide open from the outset thanks to a sprint-option fake handoff from Crist to Allen moving left; the freshman gained 10 yards after the catch though a downfield block would have helped turn the gain into a potentially huge play…

Crist misses an open Floyd badly with a low and inside throw on a comeback route; just a missed pass by the junior QB…Facing 3rd and 13 from the Cardinal 47, Crist is dropped in the pocket vs. a 3-man rush; that's a coverage sack and an error by Crist, who held the ball far too long, and should have escaped the pocket to buy (plenty) of time. The Irish were forced to punt, trailing 19-6…

Following a Darrin Walls interception, the Irish continue to struggle vs. Stanford's mixture of delayed blitzes and Drop 8 coverage. Crist appeared thoroughly confused in a three-and-out effort with three incomplete passes immediately following the turnover. To his credit, head coach Brian Kelly took the bulk of the blame for the passing attack's tough afternoon:

"I take a lot of the responsibility for not preparing our guys adequately enough for Drop 8/Cover 3. We spent a lot of our time – based upon the film that we had – on Cover 1. We got them out of Cover 1 real early; to their credit, their response was Drop 8 and we did not handle ourselves well. That comes back on my preparation in particular, the quarterback."

Miscellaneous

Rudolph played his worst game of the season and likely since late in his freshman year when he understandably wore down as the team's only tight end at 18 years old…Crist looked a little better rolling (or at least moving) to his left Saturday, completing two balls and having two other on-target tosses short-armed/dropped…Jonas Gray's groin injury occurred on what appeared to be a face... The Irish gained 11 yards on 6 carries and completed just 3 of 7 passes in the 3rd Quarter.

3rd Quarter Score: Stanford 19 Notre Dame 6


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