Saturday night’s loss to USC had very few highlights for the Irish. Instead the game was highlighted by offensive ineptitude like we haven’t seen for a while. Even though the Irish got on the scoreboard Saturday night, unlike they did in Boston three weeks ago, the Irish offense could barely move the ball.
Notre Dame gained just 91 total yards and collected just 4 first downs. In fact, the first 1st down of the game came on the last play of the 3rd quarter. Let that sink in for a bit. It took almost 45 minutes of game time for the Irish offense to gain a single first down.
In the last two meetings with USC, Notre Dame now has just 14 first downs and 3 points. Who ever thought that would be the case after the 2005 thriller in South Bend?
Here are a few more sobering offensive stats from tonight.
- Clausen completed a respectable 50% of his passes (11 of 22) for a mere 41 yards. That’s 1.87 yards per attempt.
- Thanks to sack yardage, Notre Dame ran 27 times for 50 yards – a 1.9 yards/carry average. Even without the sack yardage, Notre Dame gained just 79 yards on 23 attempts – a 3.4 yards/carry average.
- Notre Dame had almost as many turnovers (3) as first downs (4).
- The Irish were just 2 of 14 on 3rd down.
- Notre Dame never reached the red zone.