Special Teams Key to Notre Dame’s Success


Notre Dame dominated Michigan on Saturday, boosting their record to 2-0. Quarterback Everett Golson continued to shine under center for the Irish, throwing for 226 yards and three touchdowns. The Notre Dame defense was also strong, forcing Devin Gardner into three interceptions and becoming the first team to shut out Michigan in 30 years.

The biggest development from Notre Dame’s first two games may be their special teams. They were outstanding in both the kicking and return game against Rice and Michigan. Kicker Kyle Brindza is 3-for-4 on field goals and a perfect 10-for-10 on extra points. Brindza, who is also the punter, has averaged over 41 yards per punt.

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The return game has been just as impressive. Notre Dame has averaged over 21 yards per kick return, and nearly 12 yards per punt return. The Irish had just 106 punt return yards all of last season, but has been much more productive this year. They have already matched that total in their first two games, with 80 punt return yards against Rice and 26 more against Michigan.

Senior Cody Briggs has been the biggest factor in the Notre Dame return game. Briggs, a defensive back, is in his first year at the school after transferring from Florida. Briggs has returned five punts for 69 yards this season, including returns of 24 and 25 yards. He also chipped in an interception against Michigan.

Notre Dame will look to continue their success on special teams this Saturday against Purdue.