2011 Notre Dame Season Recaps It is exactly halfway through the season for the Irish as they look to take on rival Michigan this week in South Bend. The season has been filled with offense yet again, as well as the defense beginning to come together. Let's take a look at the results so far Game 1 - Notre Dame 30 Alabama 16 Game 2 - Rice 7 Notre Dame 45 Game 3 - USC 40 Notre Dame 54 Game 4 - Minnesota 10 Notre Dame 63 Game 5 - Notre Dame 59 Iowa 3 Game 6 - Notre Dame 52 Illinois 33 The Irish have opened up with a 6-0 record outscoring their opponents 304-115. The defense struggled in 2 games but have been dominant in the other 4. Many Irish faithful aren't too surprised by the Illini's ability to move the ball as the Irish always struggle with their offense as well as the fact that the players may have been looking ahead to this week's matchup. Season Stat leaders Passing Dayne Crist - 247.8 rating 81-113 1584 yards 20 TDs 0 INTs Crist has led the Irish offense despite being forced to leave 2 games prematurely with an ankle sprain. James filled in on both the USC and Iowa wins admirably, putting up solid numbers as only a redshirt freshman. Crist leads the NCAA in passer rating and is tied with several players for lowest INTs, obviously. He is also 3rd in TD throws. Rushing Jonas Gray - 116 carries 812 yards 7 TDs Gray has had a strong year leading the Irish rushing attack, and had big games against Alabama and Iowa. He has been grounding defenses and wearing them down setting up the play action well for the ND passing game. He is currently 2nd in the Big Ten in yards and 4th in TDs. Receiving Kyle Rudolph - 30 Receptions 694 yards 11 TDs Michael Floyd - 37 Receptions 649 yards 7 TDs Michael Floyd and Heisman hopeful Kyle Rudolph have led the Irish offense in the receiving game. Floyd has stepped up and has already surpassed the yards he got in all of 2010. Rudolph is looking to not only repeat as Mackey Award winner but also be the first TE to possibly win the Heisman. Rudolph is currently tied for the NCAA lead in receiving TDs, and the astonishing part is how much of a big play threat he has been. He is currently 2nd among NCAA players in yards per catch. Both players are averaging over 100 yards receiving per game as well. Defense Stacey Davis - 72 tackles (15 TFL) 3 INTs 1 Forced Fumble Kapron Lewis Moore - 25 tackles (8 TFL) 6 sacks 1 Forced Fumble The 2 stars on defense have been Moore and Davis. Moore has provided consistent pressure on the line and Davis has been all over the field so much that he currently has the lead in tackles of any player in college football. The defense together is all the Big Ten leader in interceptions and 3rd in fumble recoveries. Davis is looking to lock up the Thorpe after McCarthy received it for the Irish last year before going pro. Recruiting Stats 2 Five Stars have committed, they are listed below: Name - (POS #) Height Weight 40 Bench Squat Marco Mills - (ATH #3) 6'3" 194 lbs, 4,42, 259, 280 Jamar Henley* - (FS #1) 6'1" 201 lbs, 4.42, 378, 395 * indicates JUCO transfer The recruiting as progressed more slowly this year than in most, but that may be because it remains to be seen if Coach Noknee can utilize the talent it has to repeat as Big Ten Champs. The Irish have 4 other soft commits and are now giving a hard look to Five Star Guard Kris Slaughter who would be a great steal from rival USC. The Irish have gotten off to a great start and became bowl eligible with their last win. If they're able to knock off Michigan and then beat a talented Ohio State in a few weeks they may be playing for the national title. All of this talk however is premature as the focus now is on the Wolverines, who the last 2 years have battled the Irish to OT both times. And while the Irish were able to get the win last year, they don't want to see it be that close this year.