August 14, 2006 // Notre Dame Football

(Scoring) Defense (Still) Wins Championships

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Why are we so worried about how the pass defense will stack up in 2006? According to the past five years of college football national championships, scoring defense still seems to be the most important category, with total defense, rush defense, and then pass defense ranked by overall importance. USC won a national title with the #110th ranked pass defense, while Ohio State won the title with the #95 ranked pass defense. It’s more important for us to improve our scoring defense (read: continue to improve on red zone defense and give up fewer big plays, force turnovers and make them settle for field goals) than improve our pass (yardage) defense. Still, compared to the past five years, we must make some tremendous strides on defense to compete for the title in 2006.

(1) 2005 National Champions Texas Longhorns (13-0): #33 Rush Defense, #8 Pass Defense, #10 Total Defense, #8 Scoring Defense

(2) 2004 National Champions USC Trojans (13-0): #1 Rush Defense, #34 Pass Defense, #6 Total Defense, #3 Scoring Defense

(3) 2003 Co-National Champions LSU Tigers (13-1): #3 Rush Defense, #18 Pass Defense, #1 Total Defense, #1 Scoring Defense

(4) 2003 Co-National Champions USC Trojans (12-1): #1 Rush Defense, #110 Pass Defense, #30 Total Defense, #17 Scoring Defense

(5) 2002 National Champions Ohio State Buckeyes (14-0): #3 Rush Defense, #95 Pass Defense, #23 Total Defense, #2 Scoring Defense

(6) 2001 National Champions Miami Hurricanes (12-0): #40 Rush Defense, #2 Pass Defense, #6 Total Defense, #1 Scoring Defense

Last five (six) national champions average defensive rankings: #14 (rush defense), #45 (pass defense), #13 (total defense), #5 (scoring defense)

Notre Dame 2005: #34 (rush defense), #103 (pass defense), #75 (total defense), #53 scoring defense)

Go Irish Go

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