Blue and Gold Illustrated

Oct. 21, 2013 Issue

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

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Page 39 of 108

on paper revisited Arizona State Running Game Vs. Notre Dame Run Defense The Sun Devils were relatively patient trying to establish the run to set up play-action looks, but other than an 11-yard sweep by Marion Grice they were held in check by the Irish front wall led by senior By lou somogyi nose guard Louis Nix III. The read-option with Taylor Kelly was stuffed the entire evening, and the quarterback's lone big run was an ad-lib 16-yard scramble. Freshman Dog linebacker Jaylon Smith had an impact outing with a team-high nine stops (six solo), 1.5 tackles for loss, a forced fumble and a pass broken up. A half-dozen sacks helped limit ASU to 65 yards on the ground. Advantage: Notre Dame Arizona State Passing Game Vs. Notre Dame Pass Defense When not harassed by the Irish front, quarterback Taylor Kelly (33-of-47 passing for 362 yards) was accurate and efficient, but for the most part it was a vintage Bob Diaco defense in keeping everything in front of them — other than the 36-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-four with less than two minutes remaining in the first half (when delay of game should have been called) and a third-and-20 conversion in the fourth quarter. Take away those two completions and the other 31 averaged only 9.5 yards. Slight edge to ASU because it had to rely almost completely on the pass to stay in the contest. Advantage: Arizona State Notre Dame Running Game Vs. Arizona State Run Defense Freshman linebacker Jaylon Smith notched one of Notre Dame's six sacks in the 37-34 win over Arizona State. photo by Bill Panzica The three previous ASU opponents tore through for approximately 240 yards rushing per game against its defense, so holding Notre Dame to 145 yards and 3.9 yards per carry was somewhat of a moral victory. Junior George Atkinson III (18 carries for only 54 yards) on occasion reverted to too much east-west running when the Irish needed yards between the tackles. Notre Dame settled on mainly a one-two punch with Mr. Outside, Atkinson, and Mr. Inside, junior Cam McDaniel, who rushed for a career-high 82 yards on 15 carries. The ground attack wasn't consistent enough to take over the game, but it was a

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