Blue and Gold Illustrated

Nov. 9, 2019

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

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Page 32 of 55 NOV. 9, 2019 33 BY TODD D. BURLAGE DUKE RUNNING GAME VS. NOTRE DAME RUN DEFENSE Junior running back Deon Jackson has yet to record a 100-yard game this season, but he has shown consistency with a 60.9-yard average that can be penciled in essentially every time out. Against North Carolina Oct. 26, Jackson enjoyed his best game of the year with 91 yards and 4.8 yards per carry. Dual-threat fifth-year senior quarterback Quentin Harris adds 51.0 rushing yards per game and leads the Blue Devils with six rushing touchdowns to effec- tively complement Jackson in Duke's ground game. Heading into November, Duke ranked 70th nation- ally with 166.1 rushing yards per game. For the Irish, stopping the run was an area of steady improvement until that ill-fated night at Michigan. In their 45-14 rout of the Irish, the Wolverines gashed the Notre Dame rush defense for 303 yards on 57 carries in one of the worst run stoppage efforts since Irish head coach Brian Kelly arrived here 10 seasons ago. The unexpected performance dropped Notre Dame to 81st in the country with an average of 175.3 rushing yards allowed per contest. Advantage: Even DUKE PASSING GAME VS. NOTRE DAME PASS DEFENSE Somewhat surprisingly, a Duke program that has forged its identity the last 12 years on the high-powered offenses designed by head coach David Cutcliffe has struggled moving and scoring the football this season, both on the ground and in the air. Through eight games, Duke ranked only No. 63 nationally in scoring at 29.5 points per game — this from a team accustomed to scoring well into the 30s under Cutcliffe. Junior running back Deon Jackson rushed for a season-high 91 yards and 4.8 yards per carry at North Carolina Oct. 26. PHOTO COURTESY DUKE ATHLETICS GAME PREVIEW: DUKE On PaPer

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