49.0 Percentage of plays on which Notre Dame has passed in the first quarter, compared with 44.3% overall.
0.0 Yards difference in average gain per play between Notre Dame (7.3) and Alabama (7.3) in the first quarter.
ALABAMA'S OFFENSE HAS TENDED TO RUN ON FIRST DOWN IN THE FIRST QUARTER OF ITS GAMES THIS SEASON, BUT THE CRIMSON TIDE HAS BEEN REMARKABLY EFFECTIVE WHEN THROWING EARLY.
NOTRE DAME 6
Alabama's ground game picks up in the second quarter. With the backfield double threat of Eddie Lacy (left) and T.J. Yeldon behind an offensive line that excels at run blocking, the Tide has gained 6.2 yards per carry this season, fourth best in the nation. It faces a Notre Dame rush defense that has allowed 4.3 yards per carry; the Irish's rank of 16th in the nation in this category is surprisingly mediocre for a defense that is known for its front seven. Though Notre Dame has allowed only two rushing touchdowns all year, it has not seen the likes of Tide offensive linemen Barrett Jones, Chance Warmack & Co. After a long drive Lacy easily scores to put Alabama up 14--6.
The Tide adds two field goals in the second quarter and kicks off three times, its coverage team pinning Notre Dame deep in Irish territory each time. After kickoffs from the 35-yard line, Notre Dame has started at the 24.9 yard line on average this season, 87th in the nation. Burdened with poor field position against Alabama, the Irish's offense sputters. Notre Dame tries to run the ball only to be stuffed by the Tide's top-ranked rush defense. Nosetackle Jesse Williams is a one-man wrecking crew in the middle.
BY THE NUMBERS
7.1 Yards gained per rushing attempt in the second quarter by Alabama this season.