Blue and Gold Illustrated

February 2014 Issue

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

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Page 55 of 111

ON PAPER REVISITED BY LOU SOMOGYI RUTGERS RUNNING GAME VS. NOTRE DAME RUN DEFENSE The best running play for Rutgers was when senior quarterback Chas Dodd broke containment on 19- and 11-yard runs in the first half. In the fourth quarter, leading rusher and redshirt sophomore Paul James (10 carries for 48 yards) found his best rhythm when he carried four times for 22 yards during a drive that resulted in a field goal drive and cut Rutgers' deficit to 19-16. Otherwise, Notre Dame controlled the line of scrimmage. ADVANTAGE: Notre Dame RUTGERS PASSING GAME VS. NOTRE DAME PASS DEFENSE After 6-6, 220-pound redshirt junior wide receiver Brandon Coleman caught a 51-yard pass and then a 14-yard touchdown during Rutgers' lone touchdown drive that knotted the game at 10-10, it appeared the Scarlet Knights had found a mismatch they could exploit. Yet those were the only two catches for the NFL prospect. Dodd missed several huge completion opportunities, most notably an open redshirt junior fullback Michael Burton in the flat on third-and-goal from the 1-yard line, forcing a field goal. In the second half, Notre Dame's pass rush asserted itself on the opening series with its first sack of the game and harassed Dodd (10-of-28 passing for 156 yards with three interceptions) into several other incompletions. Sophomore cornerback KeiVarae Russell was stellar, highlighted by an interception at Notre Dame's 1-yard line on a halfback pass late in the first half. ADVANTAGE: Notre Dame NOTRE DAME RUNNING GAME VS. RUTGERS RUN DEFENSE The Scarlet Knights were ranked fourth in the country against the run (94.6 yards allowed per game) mainly because opponents could pass at will against them. Still, Rutgers kept the Irish at bay in the After catching only 10 passes during the regular season, sophomore wideout Chris Brown snatched a career-high five (all of which resulted in first downs) for 54 yards against Rutgers to aid Notre Dame's 29-16 victory. PHOTO BY BILL PANZICA first half with the aid of poor field conditions, which made traction treacherous and cutbacks almost impossible. Running more of a downhill, power attack (especially to the left side) in the second half helped the Irish dominate the final 30 minutes. Freshman running back Tarean Folston had seven carries for 15 yards in the first half, but in the second his 10

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