Blue and Gold Illustrated

December 2015 Issue

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

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Page 41 of 92

STANFORD RUNNING GAME VS. NOTRE DAME RUN DEFENSE Sophomore running back Christian McCaffrey en- tered the contest averaging 140.5 rushing yards per contest and with nine straight 100-yard efforts on the ground. However, Notre Dame controlled the line of scrimmage, limiting him to a hard-earned 94 yards on 27 carries, or only 3.5 yards per attempt (a long gain of 11). The Irish also were able to contain fifth-year senior quarterback Kevin Hogan (eight carries for 18 yards) on the zone read. Freshman running back Bryce Love (three carries for 33 yards) was used effectively on a reverse and jet sweep, but Notre Dame's work on the edge and interior was consistently stout, with Stan- ford's 153 rushing yards falling 75 short of its average. ADVANTAGE: Notre Dame STANFORD PASSING GAME VS. NOTRE DAME PASS DEFENSE The one area where the run still aided Stanford's attack was the Fighting Irish still had to honor it enough to where it could get burned with the play- action passing. The savvy Hogan achieved that while completing 17 of 21 passes to eight different receiv- ers for 269 yards. Used most effectively with his 6-4, 227-pound frame was fifth-year senior Devon Cajuste (five catches for 125 yards), who won a third-down jump ball in the end zone, caught a 42-yard deep ball to set up another touchdown, was the beneficiary of a bad pass interference call downfield, and snared the crucial 27-yard slant in the closing seconds to set up the game-winning field goal. The Irish took away McCaffrey for the most part and put the onus on Hogan to beat them, and he did with a remarkable performance, showing excep- tional accuracy several times while under duress. ADVANTAGE: Stanford NOTRE DAME RUNNING GAME VS. STANFORD RUN DEFENSE Undersized along its defensive front, Stanford was overwhelmed by Notre Dame's offensive line that propelled a rushing attack that produced 299 yards and 8.5 yards per carry. Freshman running back Josh Adams' and sophomore quarterback DeShone Kizer rushed for 168 and 128 yards, respectively, especially emphasizing speed to the flanks and misdirections on the inside. ON PAPER REVISITED BY LOU SOMOGYI Junior guard Steve Elmer and the rest of the Irish offensive line helped Notre Dame average 8.5 yards per carry and rack up 299 rushing yards. PHOTO BY BILL PANZICA

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