Blue and Gold Illustrated

Nov. 26, 2022*

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

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6 NOV. 26, 2022 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED FAN FORUM When the semifinalists for the Joe Moore Award — given to the nation's top offensive line — were announced in mid-November, Notre Dame did not make the cut. That sparked some debate on our message board at Blueand- Here is some of that conversation: Alperry: We came up short this year for the Joe Moore Award and are not listed among the semifinalists. These teams include Air Force, Georgia, Il- linois, Michigan, Mississippi, Oregon, Tennessee, UCLA and USC. We had a fantastic showing against Clemson: truly Holtzian. Not so much against Marshall, Stanford and Navy. Given our past debates on the board, can anyone with O-line coaching experience comment upon Coach Hiestand's line verses Coach Quinn's lines '18 – '21 (technique issues like hand placement, footwork, pad level, first step and punch, etc.)? Maverick 1: I didn't want HH back, and it took them a few games to get it going, but kudos to him as the unit is playing very well. They had some rough spots this past weekend, but overall he has done a great job. And Mr. Alt is proving what I said when he signed, that he would be the best lineman out of that class. … He is, and it's not even close. NJNative140: Understood but next year will bring some new younger guys into the line mix. I hope it doesn't take them that long to gel. mgormal1: Next year I'd be surprised if we don't win it. KWSUSMC: U$C on the list is a huuuuge surprise. The OL was mediocre to not good vs. O$U and Marshall. Played average to good vs. Cal & BYU. Disap- pointing vs. Tree [Stanford]. Excellent vs. UNC and Clemson, and disappoint- ing again vs. Navy with the caveats that they were put in many disadvantaged positions that game. Navy absolutely sold out to stop the run. The Irish did run enough at times, until the passing game crapped the bed in the 2nd half. KevinPS: I don't mind the OL having more motivation to play well against Southern Cal. NJNative140: I just want the line to play dominant the next three games. No regression. Has not been the best this year at times. SbbFan: This last weekend it is tough for 5 to block 7 and even 8. Navy sold out the entire second half, begging Pyne to make them pay. He gets rid of the ball quicker and hits 1 of those outside singles and Navy backs off the blitzes and the game isn't close. By the second or third sack in the 2nd half Drew looked like a deer in headlights. Slide in the pocket and throw one of our receivers open and Navy doesn't try it again. It is sad because that reflects poorly on the OL, but they did as good as could be expected in that situation when the defense just overloaded them. Irishshaned: Not entirely true. Not sure where this was lost but a great O-line power run team doesn't need to throw a single pass to beat Navy. I-formation, unbalanced line, move tight ends, the defense doesn't know which direction you are running. Traps, pulls. Stacking the box isn't new. My issue is the lack of identity on offense. The cute out-scheming freaking teams like Navy gets old, just run the ball. I'm not a Hiestand cult member, but to me he proved what his line can do against Clemson, Tommy/Freeman aren't maximizing them. Rockne1988: Funny that USC is up for the award. We've been told their OL is soft. thedew: I'm glad they're not semifinalist … seems like good bulletin board material for the rest of the season and all offseason. Bigteve79: Let's see if the 2-3 sacks Foskey will put up against that USC O-line hurts their chances. It tells me they were reaching for candidates and, for some reason, thought adding SC because Riley's offense has run up some stats was a good thing. If the ND linemen have the day I expect them to have against the Trojans, they won't be winning that award. Rushing for 40-50 yards and giving up 5-6 sacks against one of the only physical teams they played this year won't be a good look. The game balls will go to Matt Balis, Harry Hiestand and Al Washington, as well as the players who punched SC in the mouth for a 42-17 ND victory. I'm not over-confident as much as I've just watched a few of SC's games and been thoroughly unimpressed by their defense's ability to stop fairly average offenses. If Pyne plays decent to well, it won't be a close game very long without ND turnovers, and I don't see those happening. FROM THE WEBSITE .com .com The Fighting Irish were not listed among the semifinalists for the Joe Moore Award, which goes to the nation's top offensive line. PHOTO BY CHAD WEAVER

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