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Notre Dame came away from red-zone possessions with points on 80 percent of its drives inside the 20-yard line, ranking tied for 79th.
But it gets uglier when we restrict our analysis to red-zone possessions that ended in touchdowns, not field goals. Notre Dame finished 53.33 percent of its red-zone possessions with six points, slotting 100th in the country.
Kelly spoke in the spring about better ball security in that area of the field. But that’s not the only problem.
At times, the Irish seemed predictable when they were in close. Developing a better mix of options should boost Notre Dame’s red-zone play.
Second-year running back Greg Bryant garnered seemingly endless praise in the spring for the power and ferocity with which he runs. Bryant could be a go-to back in short-yardage situations.
In his second season in South Bend, wide receiver Corey Robinson figures to be better able to use his 6’4.5” frame and impressive catch radius to impact the game in the red zone.
Robinson tallied nine receptions and one touchdown (a 35-yard grab) as a freshman. Of those nine catches, only two—a 17-yard play against Michigan State and a seven-yarder against Stanford—came on plays beginning inside the red zone.
All quotes obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. All statistics and rankings from CFBStats.com.
Mike Monaco is a lead Notre Dame writer for Bleacher Report. Follow @MikeMonaco_ on Twitter.