Notre Dame Football 2013 Bowl Capsule

Notre Dame Fighting Irish


The Fighting Irish could not quite keep up with their impressive 2012 campaign, but an 8-4 season is not bad for an offense that had a lot of rebuilding to do. In fact, Notre Dame was in the game against Michigan, Oklahoma, Pittsburgh and Stanford. Only the Pitt game was a bad loss.

2013 Record: 8-4
Coach: Brian Kelly
Coach Bowl Record: 3-3

Big Wins: 9/21 Michigan State (17-13), 10/5 Arizona State (37-34)
Bad Losses: 9/28 Oklahoma (35-21), 11/9 at Pittsburgh (28-21)

Once again, the Irish won games with their defense. Linebacker Prince Shembo and end Stephon Tuitt are consistent fixtures in the opposing backfield, but nobody else on the team tallied more than one sack this season. Even with just 1.33 sacks per game, the Notre Dame secondary did a superb job allowing about 200 yards per game through the air. The interceptions are not going to come in bunches, but this is a team that can keep potent passing offenses under control. Meanwhile, inside linebackers Dan Fox and Carlo Calabrese spearhead the rush defense. Fox totaled a team high 90 tackles on the year and Calabrese was right behind him with 84.

Quarterback Tommy Rees has had his fair share of ups and downs in 2013. The year started strong enough. He threw for over 300 yards in each of his first three games. Things went downhill from there. Against Oklahoma he completed just 9-of-24 passes and threw three interceptions. Wide receiver TJ Jones is Rees’ favorite target and DaVaris Daniels had a great junior year. Add tight end Troy Niklas into the mix and Rees has three proven targets who can make things happen if Rees can get them the ball. The rushing offense has had a few more setbacks than the passing game. The team as a whole rushed for just ten touchdowns in a dozen games. Cam McDaniel emerged as the workhorse, but he averages just 4.6 yards per carry. George Atkinson and Tarean Folston are decent change of pace backs who can bust the occasional big run, but there is a long way to go and very little time to improve.

Statistical Leaders:
Rushing: Cam McDaniel, RB, 659 yards
Passing: Tommy Rees, QB, 2,938 yards
Receiving: T.J. Jones, WR, 1,042 yards
Tackles: Dan Fox, LB, 90
Sacks: Stephon Tuitt, DE, 6.0
Interceptions: Bennett Jackson, CB, 2; Matthias Farley, S, 2; Austin Collinsworth, S, 2

2013 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 149.3 (80th in nation, 4th of independents)
Passing Offense: 249.5 (47, 1)
Total Offense: 398.8 (75, 4)
Scoring Offense: 27.1 (76, 3)
Rushing Defense: 175.3 (75, 2)
Pass Defense: 201.7 (17, 1)
Total Defense: 377.0 (45, 1)
Scoring Defense: 22.9 (36, 2)
Turnover Margin: -0.3 (77, 4)
Sacks: 1.33 (105, 4)
Sacks Allowed: 0.67 (2, 1)

Recent Bowl Appearances:
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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