Blue and Gold Illustrated

Nov. 9, 2019

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

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Page 34 of 55 NOV. 9, 2019 35 One bad rushing game does not a season make, but heading into the contest against Virginia Tech the Irish ranked only 63rd nationally in rushing of- fense at 168.7 yards per game. Led by senior linebacker Koby Quansah, Duke has remained solid with its run defense, heading into last weekend ranked 49th nationally at 145.1 yards allowed per game. Quansah is on pace to record 100 tackles this season, and he ranked No. 33 in the country last week with 9.0 stops per game. In their most recent game, however, the Blue Devils allowed the Tar Heels to rack up 205 yards on 45 attempts (4.5 per carry). Advantage: Notre Dame NOTRE DAME PASSING GAME VS. DUKE PASS DEFENSE The up-and-down season for senior quarterback Ian Book continues to play out. Against bad de- fenses, he has been great. Against good defenses, he plays poorly, and against average defenses, he plays average. With a national defensive pass efficiency rating of 122.76 (42nd nationally) and an average of 206.6 passing yards allowed per game (47th), Duke best fits into the average category. Senior wide receiver Chase Claypool and junior tight end Cole Kmet have been reliable targets for Book, entering play last weekend with 52 com- bined catches and eight touchdowns. But beyond those two, the Notre Dame passing attack has featured few other options. After struggling early this season in pass defense, the Blue Devils are showing improvement in recent weeks. In the last five games, Duke allowed seven touchdowns passes but also recorded seven in- terceptions, including two picks in each of its last two games. Junior safety Marquis Waters is tied for the team lead in both interceptions (two) and passes de- fended (five), and ranks fourth on the team with 43 stops. Book entered the Virginia Tech game off one of the worst starts of his career, at Michigan (8-of- 25 passing for 73 yards), leaving Irish faithful to wonder if he is becoming the latest victim of the second-year starter jinx at Notre Dame. Advantage: Duke SPECIAL TEAMS Duke entered its Nov. 2 bye as one of only 12 teams in the country to have recorded multiple blocked punts — one of which was returned 14 yards for a touchdown — but it also had allowed a punt block. Duke's kickoff and punt coverage teams rank only 94th (22.25 yards allowed per attempt) and 74th (8.0) in the country, respectively, and two weeks ago Virginia brought a kickoff back for a touchdown. Notre Dame's special teams have been highlighted this season by the solid work of junior placekicker Jonathan Doerer, who was 6 of 7 on field goals and perfect on his extra points through seven games. But on occasion these Irish units have also been marred by mental errors that included a bad de- cision against Michigan to unnecessarily try to recover a blocked punt that cost the Irish a posses- sion, great field position and flipped the momen- tum of the game. Advantage: Duke COACHING Leading Duke to six bowl appearances in the last seven years at a school best known for its basketball program is quite an accomplishment for Cutcliffe. Before Cutcliffe's makeover job, the last time Duke had even been to back-to-back bowl games was in the 1980s when Steve Spurrier was its head coach. And from 1990-2007, Duke had more winless sea- sons (four) than bowl bids (three). For Kelly, these final four November games will tell everything about the psyche of his team, and frankly, the health of his program. Notre Dame had everything to play for heading into the Michigan game. Now, just keeping the troops motivated to play with passion looks like Kelly's primary mission. Advantage: Even INTANGIBLES With a ranking of No. 17 in red zone defense, Duke has been stingy this season when opponents get close. Twenty-seven times teams have traveled inside Duke's 20-yard line, and seven times they were turned away with nothing, while another six times, opponents had to settle for a field goal. Meanwhile, Notre Dame entered play last week- end as the only team in the country to remain perfect offensively inside the red zone, going 24 of 24 with 21 touchdowns and three field goals. Duke (4-4) has played five of its eight games on the road this season and is 2-1 at home. It's also coming off a bye week. Notre Dame has been traditionally fine under Kelly at beating unranked teams on the road. The last time the Irish dropped a true road game to an unranked opponent was in the 10-3 loss at North Carolina State during Hurricane Matthew on Oct. 8, 2016. Advantage: Notre Dame GAME PREVIEW: DUKE Offense Pos. No. Name Ht. Wt. Yr. QB 18 Quentin Harris 6-1 200 5th-Sr. 15 Chris Katrenick 6-3 215 R-So. RB 25 Deon Jackson 6-0 215 Jr. 21 Mataeo Durant 6-1 195 So. WR 11 Scott Bracey 6-2 205 R-Jr. 85 D. Philyaw-Johnson 6-1 170 R-So. WR 5 Jalon Calhoun 5-11 185 Fr. or 19 Jake Bobo 6-4 200 So. WR 81 Aaron Young 6-4 210 5th-Sr. 3 Darrell Harding Jr. 6-4 210 Fr. TE 87 Noah Gray 6-4 240 Jr. 89 Mark Birmingham 6-4 250 R-Jr. LT 78 Casey Holman 6-4 295 R-Fr. 66 Jaylen Miller 6-3 315 R-Jr. LG 69 Zach Baker 6-4 315 5th-Sr. 71 Maurice McIntyre 6-2 310 R-Fr. C 50 Jack Wohlabaugh 6-4 305 R-Jr. 55 Will Taylor 6-3 285 R-So. RG 67 Rakavius Chambers 6-3 315 Jr. 65 Julian Santos 6-3 325 Sr. RT 63 Jacob Monk 6-3 305 Fr. 77 Robert Kraeling 6-7 300 R-Jr. Defense Pos. No. Name Ht. Wt. Yr. DE 51 Victor Dimukeje 6-2 265 Jr. 96 Chris Rumph II 6-3 225 R-So. DT 54 Derrick Tangelo 6-2 285 Jr. 95 Trevon McSwain 6-6 285 5th-Sr. DT 92 Edgar Cerenord 6-1 305 5th-Sr. 53 Tahj Rice 6-2 320 So. DE 59 Tre Hornbuckle 6-4 255 Sr. or 86 Drew Jordan 6-2 260 Jr. MLB 49 Koby Quansah 6-1 230 Sr. 41 Xander Gagnon 6-3 235 R-Jr. WLB 32 Brandon Hill 6-3 235 R-Jr. 42 Shaka Heyward 6-4 230 R-Fr. CB 33 Leonard Johnson 6-1 200 R-So. 9 Isaiah Kemp 6-1 175 Fr. or 13 Tony Davis 6-2 195 Fr. CB 31 Josh Blackwell 5-11 175 R-So. 39 Jeremiah Lewis 6-0 185 R-Fr. S (B) 10 Marquis Waters 6-0 205 Jr. 27 Damani Neal 5-10 200 R-So. S (S) 26 Michael Carter II 5-10 185 Jr. 30 Jalen Alexander 5-11 165 Fr. S (R) 16 Dylan Singleton 5-11 180 Sr. 23 Lummie Young IV 6-1 210 R-So. DUKE DEPTH CHART Pos. No. Name Ht. Wt. Yr. K 48 AJ Reed 5-11 185 R-Jr. 44 Charlie Ham 6-1 185 Fr. H 37 Jackson Hubbard 6-3 180 Jr. 45 Austin Parker 6-1 190 5th-Sr. P 45 Austin Parker 6-1 190 5th-Sr. 37 Jackson Hubbard 6-3 180 Jr. SS 57 John Taylor 6-2 200 Jr. 58 Ben Wyatt 6-1 240 R-Jr. LS 58 Ben Wyatt 6-1 240 R-Jr. 57 John Taylor 6-2 200 Jr. Pos. No. Name Ht. Wt. Yr. KO 48 AJ Reed 5-11 185 R-Jr. 44 Charlie Ham 6-1 185 Fr. KOR 26 Michael Carter II 5-10 185 Jr. or 2 Javon Jackson 5-11 190 R-Jr. or 25 Deon Jackson 6-0 225 Jr. or 33 Leonard Johnson 6-1 200 R-So PR 31 Josh Blackwell 5-11 175 R-So. 11 Scott Bracey 6-2 205 R-Jr. or 5 Jalon Calhoun 5-11 185 Fr. Special Teams

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