Blue and Gold Illustrated

Oct. 1, 2018

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 34 of 55 OCT. 1, 2018 35 BY BRYAN DRISKELL STANFORD RUNNING GAME VS. NOTRE DAME RUN DEFENSE Notre Dame and Stanford possessed two of the nation's best rushing attacks in 2017. The Fight- ing Irish averaged 269.5 yards per game to rank seventh nationally, while Stanford was 30th with 202.4 yards per contest. In addition, the Irish (6.25) and Cardinal (5.90) ranked third and sixth, respec- tively, in yards per attempt. Neither has been able to get the ground at- tack on track through their first three games, but Stanford has had an especially tough time. The Cardinal had just 50 yards on the ground in the seasoning-opening 31-10 triumph against San Di- ego State Sept. 1 and 137 yards in its 30-10 win over Football Championship Subdivision opponent UC Davis Sept. 15. Star running back Bryce Love rushed for 2,118 yards and 19 touchdowns last season, but he had just 29 yards on 18 attempts in the first game of the season and didn't play against UC Davis after getting banged up while rushing for 136 yards (6.2 yards per carry) in a 17-3 win over USC Sept. 8. Notre Dame has been stout against the run early this season. The Irish ranked 26th in yards allowed per game (107.0) and 22nd in yards allowed per attempt (3.0) through three outings, holding both Michigan and Vanderbilt to less than 100 yards. The Irish limited Michigan to 58 yards in the opener, but the Wolverines rushed for 505 yards in the next two games. Notre Dame held Vanderbilt to just 94 yards after the Commodores rushed for 374 yards in their first two games. Advantage: Notre Dame STANFORD PASSING GAME VS. NOTRE DAME PASS DEFENSE The Cardinal threw the ball effectively in the opener against San Diego State, with junior quar- terback K.J. Costello completing 21 of 31 passes for 332 yards with four touchdowns and one interception. Since the opener, Costello has connected on just 33 of 57 throws (57.9 percent) for 397 yards with three scores and two picks. He was intercepted twice in the win over UC Davis, but Costello was efficient in the win over USC. Senior wideout JJ Arcega-Whiteside has been Costello's top target, hauling in 13 passes for 324 yards and five touchdowns in the first three games. In addition, junior Kaden Smith (12 catches for 163 yards) has played like one of the top tight ends in the country. Costello was sacked just three times in the first three contests, but opponents did register 10 quar- terback hurries. UC Davis had two sacks and five hurries against the Cardinal. The Irish defense ranked 95th in passing yards allowed per game (251.7) through three outings, but that was due in large part to having double- digit leads at halftime of two of its victories and in the fourth quarter of each of their three contests. Notre Dame also ranked 27th in pass efficiency defense (104.67 rating) 35th in yards allowed per attempt (5.9). The Irish have picked off four passes, while giving up just two passing touchdowns. The Irish are tied for sixth nationally in passes broken up (20) and tied for 16th in interceptions. Advantage: Stanford On PaPer Junior quarterback K.J. Costello was averaging 243.0 passing yards per game with seven touchdowns and three interception through three contests. PHOTO COURTESY STANFORDPHOTO.COM GAME PREVIEW: STANFORD

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Blue and Gold Illustrated - Oct. 1, 2018