Irish Keys Fail in Champs Sports Bowl

Prior to Notre Dame's game against Florida State we identified several keys for the Irish to secure victory in the Champs Sports Bowl. Our review is inside...

Notre Dame's 18-14 loss against Florida State proved the Irish did not have the right keys to unlock a much needed victory in the Champs Sports Bowl.

PRESSURE THE QUARTERBACK

The Irish defense did their part very well in the first half of the game. However, the lack of pressure in the final quarter played a major role in FSU leaving Orlando with the victory. The Irish posted five sacks on the night to go with five quarterback hurries. KEY: Turned More Than Halfway

RUN THE FOOTBALL

Cierre Wood rushed for 60 yards on the night and was joined by Theo Riddick and Andrew Hendrix with a combined 62 yards. However, the yardage loss by Tommy Rees took off 28 of the overall yards leaving the Irish with only 93 net rushing yards and a 2.7 average. Not using Hendrix in more running plays hurt the overall play of the offense. KEY: Turned Halfway

MAKE A BIG PLAY ON SPECIAL TEAMS

We felt the Irish needed to make at least one big play on special teams. Michael Floyd looked to have done that with his 41 yard punt return and the Irish punt team looked to have also chipped in trapping the Seminoles on the one yard line when it was needed most. However, Irish special teams also gave up a 77 kickoff return to L Joyner. KEY: Turned Halfway

REDUCE THE NUMBER OF PENALTIES

The Irish committed five penalties for 39 yards on the night. Coming into the game the Irish averaged 5.8 yellow flags a game so they did not improve in this area. KEY: LOCKED

HOLD ONTO THE FOOTBALL

The downfall and thing that will be remembered most about the 2011 season played a role in the final game as well. The Irish tossed three interceptions with each hurting the Irish on one side of the scoreboard or the other. KEY: Locked & Frozen

CLEAN CENTER TO QUARTERBACK EXCHANGES

The overall play of Mike Golic Jr. when it came to keeping exchanges clean on the night was solid. However, this might have been the easy key to unlock overall. KEY: Unlocked


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