Blue and Gold Illustrated

Preseason 2020

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

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 42 of 67 PRESEASON 2020 43 BY TODD D. BURLAGE DUKE RUNNING GAME VS. NOTRE DAME RUN DEFENSE With a No. 79 national ranking last season in rush- ing (150.3 yards per game), the Duke ground game doesn't pop off the page. But the Blue Devils will re- turn their leading rusher from the last two seasons in third-year starting tailback Deon Jackson. The 6-0, 215-pound senior managed 641 yards and six touchdowns on the ground as a junior last season, a marked production drop from his sopho- more year in 2018 when he rushed for more than 800 yards and was a second-team All-ACC selection. Jackson didn't record a 100-yard game in 2019 — his season best was a 91-yard effort against North Carolina — and Notre Dame held Jackson to just 52 yards on 14 carries in a 31-point Irish road rout of Duke last November. With a No. 60 final ranking last fall in rushing defense (153.1 yards allowed per game), Notre Dame was adequate but not terrific in this cat- egory, though it steadily improved throughout the season and demonstrated its most consistent and best work during the last six games of 2019. Senior Irish linebackers Jeremiah Owusu-Kora- moah and Drew White both return after tying for the team lead in tackles last season with 80, giving the Irish defense a notable advantage in this category. Advantage: Notre Dame DUKE PASSING GAME VS. NOTRE DAME PASS DEFENSE Needing a big boost after a miserable showing here last season, Duke head coach David Cutcliffe welcomed in graduate transfer quarterback Chase Brice this offseason from national power Clemson. Brice was never able to claim a full-time starting role at Clemson, but the former four-star recruit was steady as a backup. He threw for 1,023 yards and nine touchdowns behind All-American starter Trevor Lawrence in 2018 and 2019. Constraints this preseason from COVID-19 and a push to graduate and become eligible in May com- plicated Brice's acclimation process with his new team and may delay his push to become the starter. Junior Chris Katrenick took most of the first-team snaps during the early part of Duke's training camp. Senior running back Deon Jackson was a second-team All-ACC selection in 2018, but managed just 641 yards and six touchdowns on the ground last year. PHOTO COURTESY DUKE ATHLETICS GAME PREVIEW: DUKE On PaPer

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Blue and Gold Illustrated - Preseason 2020