Notre Dame Football 2015 Bowl Capsule

Notre Dame Fighting Irish


Notre Dame had a great season, but they fell just short in their two biggest games of the year. Back on October 3rd, the Irish lost to Clemson 24-22. With wins against the likes of Navy and USC along the way, Notre Dame entered their season finale at Stanford with playoff hopes still alive. But another two point loss put an end to those dreams. Still, this is a team that has proven that they can compete with anybody in the country and considering the injury problems this team has had, Coach Brian Kelly has put together a great year.

2015 Record: 10-2
Coach: Brian Kelly
Coach Bowl Record: 5-3

Big Wins: 10/17 USC (41-31), 10/31 at Temple (24-20)
Bad Losses: 10/3 at Clemson (22-24), 11/28 at Stanford (36-38)

We have seen better Notre Dame defenses over the last few years, but this group is pretty good in their own right. Linebacker Jaylon Smith seems to be everywhere and he tallied 113 tackles on the year. With Joe Schmidt by his side, the Irish have a solid rush defense. The front line is led by Isaac Rochell, Romeo Okwara and Sheldon Day. Okwara has turned into the team’s sack specialist, while Rochell and Day are both tough linemen who can control the line of scrimmage. By the numbers though, it is the secondary that is the defenses best attribute. They have allowed under 200 yards per game through the air. Max Redfield will come up and help out the run defense, while KeiVarae Russell and Cole Luke have done an admirable job at the corner spots.

The offense was supposed to be led by quarterback Malik Zaire and running back Tarean Folston. Zaire only played in two games, while Folson had just three carries before an injury ended his season. At quarterback, DeShone Kizer took over and threw for 2,600 yards and 19 touchdowns. His nine interceptions have been an issue though. C.J. Prosise took over at running back and netted 1,032 yards and 11 scores during his ten games. He missed the Stanford contest with an ankle injury, but should be back and ready to go come bowl season. Josh Adams is a fine change of pace back and has averaged 7.3 yards per carry this season. Kizer is a good quarterback and can make things happen with his legs too, but the unit as a whole lacks experience. They have certainly gained some throughout this year, but they have fallen short in those big games and their lack of experience has not helped. However, to be fair, against Stanford the team committed no turnovers. Kizer may not have been efficient, completing just 13 of his 25 pass attempts, but he did avoid mistakes and gave his team a chance to win the game.

Statistical Leaders:
Rushing: C.J. Prosise, RB, 1,032 yards
Passing: DeShone Kizer, QB, 2,600 yards
Receiving: Will Fuller, WR, 1,145 yards
Tackles: Jaylon Smith, LB, 113
Sacks: Romeo Okwara, DL, 8.0
Interceptions: KeiVarae Russell, CB, 2; Cole Luke, CB, 2

2015 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 214.8 (24th in nation, 2nd among independents)
Passing Offense: 256.7 (38, 2)
Total Offense: 471.5 (25, 1)
Scoring Offense: 34.8 (32, 1)
Rushing Defense: 166.5 (65, 3)
Pass Defense: 195.9 (28, 1)
Total Defense: 362.4 (39, 2)
Scoring Defense: 22.4 (36, 2)
Turnover Margin: -0.42 (97, 2)
Sacks: 1.92 (74, 2)
Sacks Allowed: 1.83 (57, 2)

Recent Bowl Appearances:
2014    Music City Bowl    LSU (31-28)
2013    Pinstripe Bowl    Rutgers (29-16)
2012    BCS Championship    Alabama (14-42)
2011    Champs Sports Bowl    Florida State (14-18)
2010    Sun Bowl    Miami (33-17)
2008    Hawaii Bowl    Hawaii (49-21)
2006    Sugar Bowl    LSU (14-41)
2005    Fiesta Bowl    Ohio State (20-34)

*all team stats through 11/30


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