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Alabama – Notre Dame: Inside The Numbers

gfx - by the numbersWith the countdown to the BCS Championship Game underway, we wanted to bring you a stat-by-stat comparison of Alabama and Notre Dame.  While Bama went through the SEC — a league that’s 5-3 in bowl games this season with one loss coming on a last-second field goal — the Irish did some heavy-lifting of their own.  For the season, Alabama played seven bowl-eligible teams (Michigan, Western Kentucky, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, LSU, Texas A&M and Georgia).  Not too shabby.  But Notre Dame toppled 10 bowl-eligible squads in 2012 (Navy, Purdue, Michigan State, Michigan, Miami, Stanford, BYU, Oklahoma, Pittsburgh, and Southern Cal).

So while we know a trip through the SEC gauntlet is difficult, Notre Dame’s stats are relevant, too.  Brian Kelly’s group played a collection of successful teams from all across the nation.  A head-to-head statistical comparison of the squads — therefore — should provide some insight into tonight’s contest.

We’ll start with a look at the biggest stats out there, th0se tried and true numbers that are always kicked around before a big game…

 

Scoring Defense — Advantage: Notre Dame

Notre Dame: #1 in the nation (10.3 points allowed per game… 10 touchdowns and 18 field goals)

Alabama: #2 in the nation (10.7 points allowed per game… 18 touchdowns and 5 field goals)

 

Scoring Offense — Advantage: Alabama

Alabama: #13 in the nation (38.5 points per game… 65 touchdowns and 15 field goals)

Notre Dame: #74 in the nation (26.8 points per game… 36 touchdowns and 24 field goals)

 

Rushing Defense — Advantage: Alabama

Alabama: #1 in the nation (77.7 yards allowed per game)

Notre Dame: #4 in the nation (92.4 yards allowed per game)

 

Rushing Offense — Advantage: Alabama

Alabama: #19 in the nation (224.62 yards per game)

Notre Dame: #29 in the nation (202.50 yards per game)

 

Passing Defense — Advantage: Alabama

Alabama: #2 in the nation (166.2 yards allowed per game)

Notre Dame: #21 in the nation (194.4 yards allowed per game)

 

Passing Offense — Advantage: Notre Dame

Notre Dame: #74 in the nation (218.8 yards per game)

Alabama: #79 in the nation (214.5 yards per game)

 

Total Defense — Advantage: Alabama

Alabama: #1 in the nation (246.0 yards allowed per game)

Notre Dame: #6 in the nation (286.8 yards allowed per game)

 

Total Offense — Advantage: Alabama

Alabama: #38 in the nation (439.1 yards per game)

Notre Dame: #48 in the nation (421.3 yards per game)

 

Turnover Margin — Advantage: Alabama

Alabama: #12 in the nation (plus-13 in 13 games)

Notre Dame: #24 in the nation (plus-9 in 12 games)

 

The takeaway?  Alabama has a numbers advantage in the biggest statistical categories.  The slight advantage the Irish have in scoring defense is negated — at least on paper — by Bama’s ability to put lots of points on the board.  The Crimson Tide owns a clear advantage in the run game, too.

Notre Dame’s passing offense is a wee bit better than Alabama’s, but Nick Saban’s secondary has been almost 30 yards-per-game more tight.

In overall yardage, Bama allows about 40 yards less per game than Notre Dame.  The Tide also racks up about 18 more yards per contest.  That’s a 58-yard difference between the teams in terms of per-game yardage and that’s considerable.

Finally, Alabama holds a very narrow advantage over the Irish in turnover margin, too.  UA finishes each game just about plus-one in turnover margin.  Notre Dame is plus-.75 per game.

Put simply, Saban’s team looks to be the better of the two teams squaring off in Miami tonight.  At least on paper.  But what hidden stats might hold a key for Notre Dame?  We’ll discuss those shortly.

 


4 comments
badbadhoggie
badbadhoggie

This is true, but the irish did play the powerhouse Navy, Purdue, BYU, Boston College, Wake Forrest and the mighty trojans...not exactly a Brutal schedule week to week!  And remembr against those powerhouse teams, there were to many close games/a little luck etc involed!!

Leon Despair
Leon Despair like.author.displayName 1 Like

Yeah, but Notre Dame's stats aren't padded with games against Florida Atlantic and Western Carolina.

GeoffDawg
GeoffDawg

@Leon Despair It took ND overtime to beat the same Pitt team that Ole Miss just took to the woodshed.

tbear57
tbear57

Please correct " Alabama knocked off seven bowl-eligible teams (.....Texas A&M......).



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