Today’s loss was very tough to watch because for the first time in a while the Irish lost a game that they could have and most likely should have won. Whenever you lose a game by less than a touchdown whiling turning the ball over five times, it’s safe to say that you had a pretty good chance of winning the game if you just took better care of the ball. Unfortunately the Irish did turn the ball over all of those times though and did lose the game. While the loss is indeed tough to swallow, there were some positives out of the game.
- Duval Kamara. Kamara was MIA the past couple weeks after a very tough start to the season. Saturday he had a bit of a resurgence with 5 catches for 58 yards and made a great play on a tipped pass to prevent an interception. Now, contrast that to the beginning of the season when Kamara was involved in a couple plays where he helped contribute to an interception and it’s nice to see him getting back on track.
- Armando Allen and James Aldridge. Both Notre Dame running backs averaged more than 5 yards per carry by combining for 83 yards on 15 carries. The success both backs had running the football makes it even more curious as to Weis and Haywood abondoned the run in the second half even though UNC never led by more than one possession.
- Brandon Walker. Walker only got one field goal attempt, but he connected on it from 42 yards out. Walker came into the game just 1 for 7 on the season so making a 40+ yarder on the road is a good sign that he may be able to get back on track this year.
- Third Down Offense. Notre Dame was 10 of 16 on third downs Saturday for a conversion rate of 62.5%. Converting third downs at a rate that high will generally lead to a victory.
- Golden Tate and Michael Floyd. Both standout wide receivers were at the top of the their games this weekend. Tate went over 100 yards for the third time this year and is on pace for a 1,000 yard season. Floyd just missed out on his third straight 100 yard game with 93 yards on 6 catches, but he did reach the end zone for the fourth time this season. Floyd is on pace for just over 850 yards and 8 touchdowns this season. After a slow start the first two games though, Tate has had at least 86 yards each of the last four weeks and those projections could very well prove to be conservative.
- Youth is being served. This offense has the ability to be scary good by the end of the season and if not then by the start of next season. In looking at the starting lineup, LT Michael Turkovich is the only starter the Irish will lose this off-season and after Floyd and Tate scored two of the three Irish touchdown to give underclassmen 18 of 21 touchdowns this year. In fact, James Aldridge’s touchdown run was the first touchdown scored by a junior this season.
- QB sneaks are working again. Remember last year when we couldn’t execute a QB sneak to save our life? Well, that seems to be something else we left back in 2007 since Clausen was extremely effective on the sneak again this week.