Blue and Gold Illustrated

Oct. 17, 2020

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

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38 OCT. 17, 2020 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED Loaded with plenty of offensive firepower — but working against a deep and talented Irish front seven — can the Louisville offensive line protect Cunningham? The Cardinals surrendered seven sacks and five quarterback hurries against Pitts- burgh that led to three interception tosses by Cunningham. If there is any positive fallout after the rotation disruptions in the Irish defensive backfield because of injuries and COVID, it's that these absences forced Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly to scroll down his depth chart and use unproven secondary players, which should help bolster on-field produc- tion and coaches' confidence moving forward. A pair of reserves — junior safety Houston Griffith and freshman cornerback Clarence Lewis — started against South Florida and combined for 10 total stops, two tackles for loss and three passes broken up. Advantage: Even NOTRE DAME RUNNING GAME VS. LOUISVILLE RUN DEFENSE In what is becoming the identity of this Irish offense, the lethal combination of Notre Dame's deep stable of running backs working behind argu- ably the best offensive line in the country is fulfill- ing a preseason projection made by first-year Irish offensive coordinator Tommy Rees, who has made good on his promise to choose run before pass. His team is averaging more than 200 yards on the ground, and through the first two games Notre Dame already had eight rushing touchdowns. The Irish can attack opposing defenses with up to five legit running backs and utilize two- and three- tight-end alignments to help clear a path. Louisville returned nine of its top 11 tacklers from last season, and it's the Cardinals linebackers who are the standouts on rush defense. Louisville's rush defense ranked near the bottom of the NCAA last season, allowing 205.8 yards per game, but has shown dramatic improvement so far this year. Senior linebacker Dorian Etheridge leads the team in total tackles and tackles for loss and is enjoying an All-ACC start to his season. Etheridge is complemented at linebacker by standout seniors C.J. Avery and Rodjay Burns, both of whom are off to quick starts in 2020. Advantage: Notre Dame NOTRE DAME PASSING GAME VS. LOUISVILLE PASS DEFENSE With the running game carrying the offensive load, the Notre Dame coaches remain unalarmed during a sluggish start this season for the Irish wide receivers. Kelly insists that as the weeks unfold and fifth- year senior quarterback Ian Book becomes more fa- miliar with his downfield targets — considering the lost spring and summer workouts because of CO- VID-19 — chunk-yardage passing plays will come. So far this season, Book has primarily targeted his tight ends and running backs. Louisville ranks above average in the NCAA pack so far this season in both sacks and pass efficiency defense, and has been one of the best teams in the country recording tackles for loss. Standout senior safety Russ Yeast headlines a Cardinals secondary that struggled last season with only seven interceptions and a propensity to give up big scoring plays that dropped them to 109th in scoring defense at 33.4 points allowed per game. The Cardinals gave up 31 touchdown passes last season. Advantage: Notre Dame SPECIAL TEAMS Other than solid work from sophomore placekicker James Turner and one blocked punt allowed, Louis- ville had little to report from its special teams units through three games. Turner was 4 of 4 on field goals and 11 of 11 on extra points in those contests. Heading into its matchup with Florida State, Notre Dame was solid and ranked in the top half of the NCAA in every return and defensive return category. It also had one blocked punt that ended in a touchdown against South Florida. Advantage: Even COACHING Satterfield made a big splash last season in his first year at Louisville, guiding his team to a six- game turnaround by winning eight times in 2019 compared to only two victories in 2018 under former coach Bobby Petrino. Building on that momentum remains Satter- field's goal in 2020, a season that has brought mixed reviews so far. While preparing for Florida State, Kelly faced an unprecedented in-season coaching anomaly of playing two games in consecutive weeks, then having 18 days off between games — including a 10-day total program shutdown — before return- ing to action. GAME PREVIEW: LOUISVILLE Offense Pos. No. Name Ht. Wt. Cl. WR 0 Braden Lenzy 5-11½ 181 Jr. 11 Ben Skowronek 6-3 220 5th-Sr. WR 3 Avery Davis 5-11 202 Sr. 13 Lawrence Keys III 5-10 173 Jr. LT 74 Liam Eichenberg 6-6 302 5th-Sr. 73 Andrew Kristofic 6-5 292 So. LG 69 Aaron Banks 6-6 330 Sr. 76 Dillon Gibbons 6-4 309 Sr. C 55 Jarrett Patterson 6-4½ 305 Jr. 52 Zeke Correll 6-3 295 So. RG 78 Tommy Kraemer 6-6 317 5th-Sr. 56 John Dirksen 6-5 306 Jr. RT 72 Robert Hainsey 6-5 290 Sr. 75 Josh Lugg 6-7 310 Sr. TE 89 Brock Wright 6-4½ 255 Sr. 24 Tommy Tremble 6-3 242 Jr. or 85 George Takacs 6-6 245 Jr. or 87 Michael Mayer 6-5 235 Fr. WR 88 Javon McKinley 6-2 215 5th-Sr. 18 Joe Wilkins Jr. 6-1½ 190 Jr. or 4 Kevin Austin Jr. 6-2 215 Jr. QB 12 Ian Book 6-0 206 5th-Sr. 7 Brendon Clark 6-2 212 So. RB 23 Kyren Williams 5-9 194 So. 25 Chris Tyree 5-9½ 188 Fr. or 34 Jahmir Smith 5-11 207 Jr. or 20 C'Bo Flemister 5-11 195 Jr. or 8 Jafar Armstrong 6-1 220 Sr. Defense Pos. No. Name Ht. Wt. Cl. Vyper 9 Daelin Hayes 6-4 270 5th-Sr. 29 Ovie Oghoufo 6-3 240 Jr. or 7 Isaiah Foskey 6-5 257 So. DT 95 M. Tagovailoa-Amosa 6-2½ 282 Sr. 57 Jayson Ademilola 6-3 279 Jr. NT 41 Kurt Hinish 6-2 296 Sr. 54 Jacob Lacey 6-2 293 So. SDE 91 Ade Ogundeji 6-4 268 5th-Sr. 19 Justin Ademilola 6-2 248 Jr. or 7 Isaiah Foskey 6-5 257 So. Buck 33 Shayne Simon 6-3 228 Jr. or 35 Marist Liufau 6-2 226 So. Mike 40 Drew White 6-0 227 Sr. 52 Bo Bauer 6-3 230 Jr. Rover 6 J. Owusu-Koramoah 6-1½ 215 Sr. 13 Paul Moala 5-11½ 224 Jr. CB 4 Nick McCloud 6-0½ 192 5th-Sr. 5 Cam Hart 6-2½ 207 So. CB 28 TaRiq Bracy 5-10 180 Jr. or 26 Clarence Lewis 5-11½ 192 Fr. SS 20 Shaun Crawford 5-9 180 6th-Sr. 3 Houston Griffith 6-0 204 Jr. FS 14 Kyle Hamilton 6-4 219 So. 12 DJ Brown 6-0 194 Jr. or 10 Isaiah Pryor 6-1½ 204 Gr. NOTRE DAME DEPTH CHART Pos. No. Name Ht. Wt. Cl. KO 39 Jonathan Doerer 6-3 197 Sr. 38 Dawson Goepferich 6-2 200 5th-Sr. K 39 Jonathan Doerer 6-3 197 Sr. 38 Dawson Goepferich 6-2 200 5th-Sr. P 19 Jay Bramblett 6-1½ 193 So. 38 Dawson Goepferich 6-2 200 5th-Sr. LS 65 Michael Vinson 6-2 226 Jr. 44 Alex Peitsch 6-1 208 Fr. Pos. No. Name Ht. Wt. Cl. H 19 Jay Bramblett 6-1½ 193 So. 14 J.D. Carney 5-10 180 Sr. PR 13 Lawrence Keys III 5-10 173 Jr. 32 Matt Salerno 6-0½ 196 Jr. KR 25 Chris Tyree 5-9½ 188 Fr. or 8 Jafar Armstrong 6-1 220 Sr. Special Teams

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