As the Notre Dame Fighting Irish close down the 2011 season and head into 2012, one major adjustment looms for Brian Kelly's offense: Tempo.
This is the first in a three-part series examining the offensive tempo at Notre Dame. For this edition, we'll establish the statistical standard for what Kelly wants to achieve. We'll break down the pace of recent Irish offenses and examine a couple of points of comparison outside of South Bend.
Next week, we'll examine why tempo is so important. The following week, we'll take a look at what the Irish can do to pick up the pace next season.
This article will reference per-play statistics as a way to illustrate the efficiency of each offense. Before we get knee-deep in the numbers, let's set up a couple of benchmarks for those stats.
The best offenses in the nation will deliver around seven yards per play. Anything above six is excellent.
Points per play will vary based on the tempo of the offense, but in general, anything over 0.50 is great.
With that in mind, let's dive in.