Fighting Irish lacking takeaways so far this season

Notre Dame has not had a lot of luck gaining turnovers this season.
Andrew Weber/Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

After five weeks of football, Notre Dame stands tied for 91st nationally in turnover margin at minus-3. 

The Fighting Irish have lost seven turnovers, including four last week in a loss at Clemson, but the bigger issue overall could be on the other side of the ball, where they have forced only four takeaways. That total is better than only six teams in the FBS. 

Head coach Brian Kelly said the dearth of takeaways is not for a lack of emphasis. 

“But you've got to be in the right place,” he said. “You've got to tackle well. You've got to do the fundamentals right first before you start getting those turnovers.

“Just being aggressive by nature doesn't necessarily mean that you're going to get the turnovers that you're looking for. I know what we do in practice. We're working at stripping the ball.” 

This year they have also done something new in practice by having defenders put a shoulder into the ball carrier during practices, something he hopes has a benefit to both sides of the ball. 

“That's something that I hadn't done in probably 15 years to prepare our backs for getting hit when we go against our defense, and so we can have good tackling and work at the next guy stripping the ball,” Kelly said. 

“So we're working at it. Sometimes you just have to have some of those play makers get in there and make those kinds of plays.

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