Sunday Drive-Thru (Defense)

Irish Eyes breaks down the highs and lows of each Notre Dame drive on Saturday, including coining MVPs, unsung heroes, drive killers, and key plays.

1. Start: Own 24

Key play – On 3rd and five out of the dime, Tranquill and Hill blitz off the edge, Tranquill overcorrects to the outside, but Smith spies on Gardner and closes down scramble to prevent 1st down yardage

Worth remembering – Farley defends screen pass perfectly for a loss of 4 on 2nd down

MVP – Farley


2. Start: Own 25

Key play - Shumate breaks up pass on 3rd and 7 to force punt

Worth remembering – Funchess picks up 1st on an end-around after Notre Dame brings Smith on blitz off edge and Okwara can’t make the play in coverage

MVP – Shumate

RESULT – Missed 48-yard field goal

3. Start: Own 9

Key play – On 3rd and 10 out of the dime, Tranquill and Hill blitz off the edge, Tranquill drops into coverage but still manages to combine with Hill for the sack

MVP – Tranquill


4. Start - Own 25

Key play – Gardner fumbles and Okwara is credited with tackle for loss

Unsung hero – Jones, who had the pressure on Gardner

MVP – Okwara


5. Start – Own 25 with :34 seconds remaining in half

Worth remembering – Good prevent defense from entire unit, including deep coverage from Riggs and pressure up front from Jones

RESULT – Half (prevent)


6. Start: Own 25

Key play – Smith tackles Gardner for loss of 3 on 2nd down

Unsung hero – Trumbetti, who combines with Smith to tackle Gardner on 1st and 10

MVP – Redfield

RESULT – Redfield interception out of the dime on 3rd and 7, returns it to Michigan’s 38-yard line

3. Start: Own 1

Key play – Utopo blows up the line on 1st and 15 and Shumate registers the tackle for a gain of 1

MVP – Day, who registers three tackles on this drive, including one for no gain and brings the rush on 3rd and 8 to force incompletion by Gardner

Worth remembering – Tranquill opens first two plays of drive at safety for Redfield


4. Start: Own 16

Key play – Schmidt provides the hit on a scrambling Golson, who fumbles, Rochell recovers

MVP – Schmidt

Worth remembering - Funchess beats Riggs on go route for gain of 30

RESULT – Rochell recovers Gardner fumble

5. Start: Own 20

Key play – Riggs jumps the route and picks it off in Michigan territory

MVP – Riggs

RESULT - Riggs interception

6. Start: Own 25

Key play –Jones stops a Gardner scramble from behind for a gain of three on 1st down

Unsung hero – Farley, who has a great tackle in space on Funchess to force 3rd down

MVP – Jones

Worth remembering – Day brings the pressure on 3rd down to force Gardner incompletion

RESULT – PUNT Top Stories