Notre Dame, Brian Polian and "Fair Catch U" Criticism

Notre Dame was accused of being "Fair Catch U", something special teams coordinator Brian Polian pushed back against
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Notre Dame fans have been frustrated with the lack of explosiveness, and perceived high volume of fair catches during the Brian Kelly era, something that was true long before Brian Polian returned as the special teams coordinator.

When Polian was asked about Notre Dame being called "Fair Catch U" he pushed back against that. Polian talked about how the game has changed since he was around with Tom Zbikowski returning kicks. In our latest show we talk about how Polian is correct, the game has changed. We defend those comments by Polian, and use stats to also back up his claim, but that is followed by criticism of Notre Dame's lack of aggressiveness in the punt return game.

Here are the stats we used in the podcast, and we looked at the rankings and numbers from Polian's two stints at Notre Dame

Number of punt returners to average at least 10.0 YPR from 2005-09:

2005: 35
2006: 31
2007: 37
2008: 38
2009: 28

Number of punt returners to average at least 10.0 YPR from 2017-20:

2017: 20
2018: 20
2019: 17
2020: 13

Number of coverage teams to hold opponents to less than 5.0 YPR from 2005-09:

2005: 6
2006: 13
2007: 8
2008: 8
2009: 13

Number of coverage teams to hold opponents to less than 5.0 YPR from 2017-20:

2017: 31
2018: 24
2019: 24
2020: 34

We used graphs to back up our point in the video.

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