Stats and Stuff

*At his Sunday press conference to wrap up the 47-21 loss to Michigan, head coach Charlie Weis pointed out a key stat. On Saturday, the offense had eight three-and-outs. When they're not on the field, the defense is doing their best to get them back out there. It was quite a contrast from the first two games. Notre Dame had one three-and-out each vs. Penn State and Georgia Tech.

To make matters worst, half of these three-and-outs came in the first eight possessions the Irish had the ball. This is a list of those drives: interception, punt (3), touchdown, punt (3), fumble, punt (3), punt and punt (3). In this time, Michigan built up a 34-7 advantage and was dominating time of possession. Through three games, Notre Dame is 96th nationally on third down conversion percentages. Last year, the Irish were 7th. Even when Notre Dame did score at the end of the first half, there was no momentum carry over.

"A perfect example is the start of the second half where we go into the locker room, I think we got things under control," Weis said. "We have a chance. We're getting ready to make a mild rally. We get the ball the first two drives of the second half. We go three and out, three and out. When that happens, it doesn't bode well for your chances of winning the game."

*Last season, Notre Dame made the biggest jump in the country in total offense. The Irish went from 81st in 2004 to 10th in 2005. With nine returning starters back, there were high expectations for this group.

The season is only three games old but the numbers don't look good. In two of the their three contests, the offense has struggled mightily to find a consistent rhythm. It could be contributed to the defenses they faced. Michigan is currently 9th in total defense while Georgia Tech is 36th.

Still, the numbers for the group should be higher. Currently, Notre Dame is 68th in the nation in total offense. It gets worse. The Irish are 102nd in rushing offense (84 yards per game), 60th in scoring offense (25 points per game), 75th in turnover margin, 68th in passing efficiency, and 88th in sacks allowed (2.67 per game). These numbers should improve when the schedule softens later in the season. But 68th in total offense is not where Weis and company expected to be after three contests.

"You don't get do overs," Weis said about his team's performance vs. Michigan. "I don't know how many times I say that in practice. You don't get do overs on Saturday. When we go and repeat a play, that's one of my favorite sayings. You don't get do overs on Saturday. Unfortunately, we don't get do overs. Saturday is gone."

*Brady Quinn is still 2-1 vs. Michigan as the starting quarterback. In his freshman season, he entered the game late in mop up time. But despite owning a winning record against the Wolverines, Quinn might be happy that he'll never have to face them again in his college career. In four appearances vs. Michigan (three as a starter, one as a backup), Quinn is 56-for-108 for 588 yards and nine touchdowns. He's also thrown seven interceptions and has a completion percentage of just 51.8 percent.

*Here's a quick look at Michigan State as Notre Dame heads into their meeting with them next Saturday night. The Spartans possess a potent attack, ranking 3rd nationally in total offense. They're led by quarterback Drew Stanton, who not only averages 225 yards through the air but 65 on the ground as well. Running back Javon Ringer is 12th in the nation in rushing yards per contest, totaling 118 a game. Michigan State averages 39 points per game, good for 7th in the country. On defense, they're middle of the road, ranking 49th in total defense. The Spartans surrender 20 points a game. A shootout could be in store in East Lansing. Top Stories