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POSTGAME BLOG: Notre Dame 28, (14) Utah 3

POSTGAME BLOG: Notre Dame 28, (14) Utah 3

Estimated read time: 14-15 minutes

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Score: Notre Dame 28, (14) Utah 3
Putting out a missing team report - has anyone seen the Utah offense? Anyone? Since the fourth quarter against Air Force, Utah has been outscored 88-10. Notre Dame rolled all over the Utes, scoring 28 unanswered points in a 28-3 rout on Senior Day.

Utah had 10 penalties for 65 yards in the first half, and couldn't catch a break in the second. Three potential pass interferences went uncalled as the Utes lose for the second week in a row.

Utah struck first as they held the Irish on 4th down near midfield, converting the great field position into a 46-yard field goal by Joe Phillips. But it was all Irish from there.

Notre Dame blocked and returned a punt for a touchdown and had all the momentum for the rest of the game.

Time Remaining: 3:13 Fourth Quarter
Score: Notre Dame 28, (14) Utah 3

A lot of Utah fans calling for Terrance Cain - well here you go. Jordan Wynn got hit hard after completion to DeVonte Christopher. Terrance Cain it at QB for the Utes. Cain in for two plays - incompletion, and sack. Wynn back in for Utes. Utah again stopped on 4th down.

Time Remaining: 8:09 Fourth Quarter
Score: Notre Dame 28, (14) Utah 3

I would expect to see a lot of running from Notre Dame as they try to run off as much clock as possible up 25 points.

Another no call in the end zone as Irish defensive backs all over Utah receivers. Irish take over on downs, up 28-3.

Time Remaining: 3:04 Third Quarter
Score: Notre Dame 28, (14) Utah 3

Fighting Irish all over the Utes, as freshman quarterback Tommy Rees hooks up with Duval Kamara for 12 yard TD. Utah has now been outscored 88-10 since 4th quarter at Air Force.

Utah drives inside Notre Dame 10 yard line, but a no call as DeVonte Christopher gets tackled going to catch a pass gives the Irish the ball back up 21.

Time Remaining: 11:26 Third Quarter
Score: Notre Dame 21, (14) Utah 3

Utes fumble opening kickoff of the second half. Ugly. Notre Dame football deep in Utah territory on the 26. Next play, 26 yard TD pass from Tommy Rees to Duval Kamara. 21-3 Notre Dame.

Jordan Wynn completes a nice pass to tight end Kendrick Moeai over the middle, but Utes can't keep drive alive. Notre Dame all over the Utes, 21-3.

Score: Notre Dame 14, (14) Utah 3

Is it the "luck of the Irish" or the Utes still trying to recover from last week's shellacking against TCU? Notre Dame blocked a punt and has completely shut down the Utah offense as the Fighting Irish lead the Utes 14-3 at the half.

1st Half Stats

1st Downs74
3rd down2-81-6
4th down0-00-1
Total Yards11895

Utah got on the board first after stopping Notre Dame on fourth down near midfield, setting up a Joe Phillips 46-yard field goal in the first quarter.

However, it has been all Notre Dame since then. The Fighting Irish have blocked a Utah punt and freshman quarterback Tommy Rees has thrown a TD pass to Michael Floyd.

Time Remaining: 0:43 Second Quarter
Score: Notre Dame 14, (14) Utah 3

Utah will have 90 yards to go with 2 minutes to try to shake off the rust they have been playing with since the 4th quarter against Air Force. They have been outscored 74-10 in that span.

Ugh. Utes can't even get a first down and will be forced to punt. Utes 0-5 on third down after starting the game 2-3.

Time Remaining: 4:55 Second Quarter
Score: Notre Dame 14, (14) Utah 3

Utah starts the drive on their own 40 following Notre Dame kicking the ball out of bounds on the kickoff. However, two more false start penalties after the Utes move into Irish territory are too much to overcome and the Utes are forced to punt. Notre Dame will take over on their own 16 yard line up 11.

Notre Dame able to pick up one first down, but Utes hold on third and 9. Utah will have the ball on their own 33 yard line, as the Utes right now has more penalty yards as Notre Dame has offense, yet they trail 14-3.

Utah's offense is looking really bad. Really bad. Three and out and another punt. JJsportsbeat from Twitter: "TCU is beating Utah again today. #Utes have lost their confidence, swagger and focus. Suffering hangover from last week's disappointment." I completely agree.

Time Remaining: 12:25 Second Quarter
Score: Notre Dame 14, (14) Utah 3

Despite just 9 total yards by Notre Dame in the first quarter, they lead this game and will get the ball back after stopping the Utes.

After a defensive holding call on the Utes that give the Irish a first down, Jonas Gray breaks off a 36 yard run to give Notre Dame a first and goal. Michael Floyd then catches a Tommy Rees pass for a touchdown, 14-3 Notre Dame rolling. Utes with 7 penalties for 50 yards already. Irish yet to be penalized.

Time Remaining: 2:04 First Quarter
Score: Notre Dame 7, (14) Utah 3

Utah forces Notre Dame three and out. Defense playing great, now only if the offense could figure out how to hold on to the football.

On third down and 8, Wynn nearly intercepted, forcing a Utah punt. Sellwood's punt is blocked and returned for a touchdown. Can the Utes finally change their swinging gate punt formation? Please? Notre Dame 7, Utah 3.

Time Remaining: 5:18 First Quarter
Score: (14) Utah 3, Notre Dame 0

Notre Dame will start their second drive on their own 23 yard line. After rushing four straight times on their first possession, they pick up 5 yards on a Utah offsides penalty, but can't move the ball and will be forced to punt. The Utes will take over on their own 19 yard line.

Reggie Dunn takes a sweep right for a gain of six. And why not? He is the fastest player on this Utah offense. Three straight runs to start the drive and the Utes have a first down. But Utah can't keep the ball as Jordan Wynn throws behind Jereme Brooks and Harrison Smith for Notre Dame intercepts the pass.

Time Remaining: 8:31 First Quarter
Score: (14) Utah 3, Notre Dame 0

It's Senior Day for Notre Dame, and the first time these two teams have met. How will Utah's defense respond after giving up 47 points to TCU? How will defensive back Conroy Black, who was picked on a lot last week respond? How will Jordan Wynn respond? We will find that out and more as the Utes take on the Fighting Irish in South Bend.

Notre Dame will start the game on offense with freshman quarterback Tommy Rees. Notre Dame starts with excellent field position as Bennett Jackson returns the kick 35 yards to the 44 yard line. Notre Dame elects to go for it on 4th and short, and a toss to the right is stopped beautifully by safety Brian Blechen. Utes take over near mid-field.

Two false start penalties - the Utes aren't used to playing in front of 80,000 fans. Jordan Wynn made a good throw to convert a 3rd and long, but the drive stalls on the Notre Dame 29 yard line. Joe Phillips connects on the 46-yard field goal to give Utah the early lead, 3-0 over Notre Dame.

Pregame Blog

Watch "SportsBeat in South Bend", a half hour pregame show only on KSL Ch. 5 and at noon, followed by Utah vs. Notre Dame on KSL Ch. 5 (NBC).

Notre Dame and Utah meet for the first time this Saturday. Last week, TCU beat the Utes 47-7 in Salt Lake City, ending a 21-game home winning streak. Both teams went into the game undefeated, but the Horned Frogs limited Utah's offense to only 199 yards. The Irish, under first-year coach Brian Kelly, are 4-5.

Notre Dame goes into the Utah game with three starters out, all injured in the Irish 28-27 loss to Tulsa two weeks ago. Quarterback Dayne Crist, who had thrown for over 2,000 yards and 15 touchdowns, has a ruptured knee tendon. Leading rusher Armando Allen and defensive lineman Ian Williams also suffered injuries against the Golden Hurricane and are out for the season.

Freshman Tommy Rees will get the start at quarterback for the Irish, having relieved Crist in the first quarter against Tulsa. The 18-year-old threw for over 300 yards, but was intercepted three times. Replacing Allen will be sophomore tailback Cierre Wood, who has rushed for 274 yards. Michael Floyd is the leading receiver for the Irish with 55 receptions in eight games for 728 yards and eight touchdowns.

The depleted Irish defense, in a new 3-4 look, has given up an average of 393 yards in total offense. Additionally, opposing quarterbacks have hit on 64 percent of their passes against the Notre Dame defense. The Irish will be tested by Utah sophomore quarterback Jordan Wynn, who has thrown for 1,579 yards and 14 touchdowns.

Game 10 Notes
No. 14/15 Utah (8-1, 5-1 MWC) at
Notre Dame (4-5)
Date: Saturday, Nov. 13, 2010
Time: 12:30 p.m. (MT)
Site: Notre Dame Stadium (80,795/Natural Grass)
TV: KSL Ch. 5 (NBC)
Radio: ESPN 700
Series Record: First meeting
Kickoff Weather: Rain and breezy; Temps: lower 60s

Against TCU, the Utes never got on track and Wynn was limited to 16 completions for only 148 yards. Even after the loss to the Horned Frogs, Utah is still averaging 41 points per game while giving up only 17. Its high-powered offense is averaging 422 yards in total offense and the team's two leading rushers — Eddie Wide and Matt Asiata — have combined for 1,038 yards. Utah also boasts the nation's leader in punt returns, Shaky Smithson, who is averaging 22.8 yards per return and has scored twice.

Notre Dame's vulnerable pass defense is the question. Will the Irish be able to stop the ninth ranked scoring offense in the nation?


Keys to the Game for Utah

  • Get back in the end zone - Since the fourth quarter of the game against Air Force in week seven, the Utes have been outscored by a whopping 60-7. The Utes will obviously need to refamiliarize themselves with scoring if they want to beat Notre Dame in South Bend.
  • Put last week behind you - The last time Utah was crushed by TCU, they rebounded in a big way, scoring on four of its first five possessions and scoring 38 first half points against San Diego State. Can the Utes do that again, only this time on national TV?

MY PREDICTION: Utah 38, Notre Dame 23. Let me know what you think. Email me your predictions/questions

Team Stat Comparison for 2010-2011 Season
![](/images/team_logo/ncaa/utah.png) Utah

Notre Dame Advantage
Points For (Per Game)41.00 26.00

Rushing Yards (Per Game)175.89 113.44

Passing Yards (Per Game)245.89 288.56

Total Yards (Per Game)421.78402.00

3rd Down Conversions (Season)51%37%

4th Down Conversions (Season)75%44%

Time of Possession (Per Game)29:1426:49

Red Zone Scores (Season)90%82%

Points Against (Per Game)17.7824.89

Rushing Defense (Per Game)111.00164.56

Passing Defense (Per Game)189.00228.56

Total Defense (Per Game)300.00393.11

3rd Down Defense % (Season)33%36%

![](**Utah Miscellaneous Stats**

  • Utah ranks ninth in the nation in scoring offense (41.0 ppg) and 12th in pass efficiency offense (158.6)
  • Utah's 41.0 scoring average ranks as the second-best since 1951 and is the third-best since the school began keeping records in 1892
  • The Utes have scored 252 of their 369 total points (68%) in the second and third quarters
  • Utah is ranked in the top 15 in the nation in total defense, scoring defense, opponent first downs, opponent third-down conversions and opponent fourth-down conversions
  • Opponents are averaging just 3.1 yards per rush and five of nine have rushed for under 100 yards: Pittsburgh (82), New Mexico (69), San Jose State (94), Wyoming (67) and Colorado State (28).

Notre Dame Miscellaneous Stats

  • Saturday is the 219th straight sellout at Notre Dame Stadium. Since 1966, every home game for the Irish has been a sellout except one - a 1973 Thanksgiving Day game vs. Air Force. Notre Dame has played in front of sellouts in 267 of its last 268 home games.
  • Only six FBS players are averaging more tackles per game than sophomore LB Manti Te'o (11.1). Of players that have also played nine games, Te'o ranks sixth in the nation in total tackles (100)
  • Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly is seeking his ninth win as an FBS head coach following a bye week. Kelly's teams are 8-1 in the nine previous games that occurred from 2004-09 after a bye week.
  • Notre Dame is 19-19-1 (.500) all-time at Notre Dame Stadium in November against top-20 opponents.
  • Utah is the highest ranked opponent to travel to Notre Dame Stadium on "Senior Day" since Tennessee on Nov. 9, 1991. The Volunteers were ranked No. 13 and slipped past the fifth-ranked Irish, 35-34.
  • The University of Notre Dame football team will wear helmet decals for the remainder of the 2010 season to honor the memory of Declan Sullivan. The Notre Dame junior from Long Grove, Ill., was a student worker in the video department and died Oct. 27 in a tragic accident while filming football practice. A three-leaf clover has the initials "DS" inside it and will be affixed to the back all Notre Dame helmets

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Robert Jackson sports writer


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