Blue and Gold Illustrated

Sept. 26, 2016

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

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Page 38 of 55 SEPT. 26, 2016 39 Senior Breon Borders is an experienced cover man with 10 career interceptions and 34 career passes broken up. He is joined on the outside by junior Bryon Fields, a 16-game starter who missed all of last season with a knee injury. With Fields out last season, DeVon Edwards was moved to cornerback, where he excelled. The fifth- year senior is now back to safety, where his speed and toughness can have the biggest impact. Edwards does a little bit of everything for Duke. He has five career interceptions and 22 career passes broken up. He also has registered 231 ca- reer tackles, and had 13 tackles and a pair of sacks against Wake Forest. Duke tallied nine sacks in its first two games, with Wolf and his three sacks leading the way. Put- ting pressure on Kizer will be key to Duke having a chance to keep down the Irish pass attack. Notre Dame has the speed and length on the outside to give the Duke corners some problems. Sophomore Equanimeous St. Brown has been Notre Dame's best receiver through two games, with 11 receptions for 160 yards. The return to health of senior Torii Hunter Jr. gives Notre Dame a pair of speedy and gifted outside pass catchers. Duke will need to have a plan for sophomore slot man C.J. Sanders, who was second on the Irish roster with eight receptions for 101 yards after two games. Sanders has yet to catch a pass more than six yards down the field, which means all of his work is coming after the catch. With Duke struggling to slow down the opposi- tion run game, its safeties run the risk of trying to come down in support. If they don't keep track of Sanders, he will shred their secondary. Kizer has been highly efficient through the first two games, completing 71.4 percent of his passes and putting up a 195.9 pass efficiency rating with seven touchdown passes through the first two games. Kizer ranked fifth nationally in pass ef- ficiency and 15th in completion percentage after two weeks. Advantage: Notre Dame SPECIAL TEAMS Duke had a highly successful special teams unit in 2015, ranking fourth in the country according to the Fremeau Efficiency Index. The Blue Devils led the nation in kick return efficiency thanks to the dominant return skills of Edwards, who ranked fifth nationally with an average of 29.2 yards per return last season. Senior wide receiver Ryan Smith is manning the punt return duties this season, and his 14.3-yard average ranked 17th in the country through two weeks. Notre Dame's coverage units should be up to the task. In their first two games, the Irish held opponents to just 14.0 yards per kick return, which ranked 11th nationally. Notre Dame can match the Devils return game, at least it has through two games this season. Sanders has been dynamic, with his four longest returns resulting in touchdown drives for the Irish offense. Sanders ranked fourth nationally with an average of 25.0 yards on his three punt runbacks, and he has added another 112 yards on five kick returns. Advantage: Notre Dame COACHING His overall record of 49-54 at Duke might not seem impressive, but head coach David Cutcliffe has worked wonders in Durham, having led the Blue Devils to four straight bowl appearances (2012-15) for the first time in school history. Duke has posted a winning record in each of the last three seasons, something it had not done since 1960-62. Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly has gone 56-24 while in charge of the Irish program. He has taken Notre Dame to six straight bowl games, the only coach in program history to have done that in his first six seasons. Duke draws an even matchup here thanks to its ability to get the most out of its players. Notre Dame has certainly produced a dynamic offense in recent seasons under Kelly, but its defense has largely underachieved. Duke, on the other hand, continues to overachieve. The Blue Devils went 27-13 the previous three seasons but have produced just three NFL Draft picks from those teams. Notre Dame has gone 27-12 during the same stretch, but did so with a roster that produced 16 NFL Draft picks, including three first-rounders. Advantage: Even INTANGIBLES Notre Dame has all the intangibles working in its favor in this matchup, but they don't necessarily dominate in this department. Duke has been a good road team the last three years, having gone 13-3 in that stretch. That somewhat counters Notre Dame's 15-3 home record the last three seasons. The Irish have speed, size and talent advantages across the field. Where Duke is good — special teams, coaching and pass defense — Notre Dame is equally strong or even better than its counterparts. Duke will not be overwhelmed by playing in Notre Dame Stadium, but ultimately the Blue Devils don't have the talent or depth to hang with the Irish. Advantage: Notre Dame GAME PREVIEW: DUKE Offense Pos. No. Name Ht. Wt. Cl. WR 83 Anthony Nash 6-5 200 5th-Sr. 82 Chris Taylor 6-1 180 R-So. WR 5 Johnathan Lloyd 6-0 190 R-So. 19 Quay Chambers 6-3 220 R-Jr. LT 76 Gabe Brandner 6-6 285 R-Jr. 70 Christian Harris 6-6 295 R-So. LG 69 Zach Baker 6-4 295 R-Fr. 65 Julian Santos 6-3 315 Fr. C 50 Austin Davis 6-4 290 R-Jr. 63 Zach Harmon 6-3 285 R-So. RG 79 Tanner Stone 6-6 300 5th-Sr. 63 Zach Harmon 6-3 285 R-So. RT 71 Casey Blaser 6-5 290 5th-Sr. 78 Sterling Korona 6-7 290 R-Jr. TE 88 Erich Schneider 6-7 240 5th-Sr. 80 Daniel Helm 6-4 240 R-So. or 81 Davis Koppenhaver 6-4 230 R-So. or 85 Dan Beilinson 6-5 255 5th-Sr. WR 3 T.J. Rahming 5-10 165 So. 8 Aaron Young 6-2 200 R-Fr. QB 17 Daniel Jones 6-5 210 R-Fr. 12 Parker Boehme 6-2 220 R-Jr. RB 25 Jela Duncan 5-10 215 5th-Sr. 29 Shaun Wilson 5-9 180 Jr. Defense Pos. No. Name Ht. Wt. Cl. DE 51 Dominic McDonald 6-2 240 R-Jr. 56 Danny Doyle 6-1 215 R-So. DT 93 A.J. Wolf 6-4 280 5th-Sr. 95 Trevon McSwain 6-6 265 R-Fr. or 97 Quaven Ferguson 6-2 305 R-So. DT 99 Mike Ramsay 6-2 295 R-Jr. 92 Edgar Cerenord 6-1 300 R-So. DE 91 Marquies Price 6-6 245 So. 59 James Hornbuckle 6-4 235 Fr. MLB 34 Ben Humphreys 6-2 215 So. 43 Tinashe Bere 6-1 230 R-So. WLB 44 Joe Giles-Harris 6-2 220 R-Fr. 24 Zavier Carmichael 6-0 220 Jr. or 49 Koby Quansah 6-1 220 Fr. CB 14 Bryon Fields 5-11 180 R-Jr. 9 Jeremy McDuffie 5-11 170 So. CB 31 Breon Borders 6-0 180 Sr. 28 Mark Gilbert 6-2 170 Fr. S (B) 33 Deondre Singleton 5-11 180 Sr. 13 Jordan Hayes 6-0 180 R-Fr. S (S) 26 Corbin McCarthy 5-10 200 5th-Sr. 30 Brandon Feamster 6-3 210 R-Fr. S (R) 27 DeVon Edwards 5-9 180 5th-Sr. 21 Alonzo Saxton II 5-11 180 Jr. DUKE DEPTH CHART Pos. No. Name Ht. Wt. Cl. K 48 AJ Reed 5-11 175 Fr. 43 Danny Stirt 5-10 180 Sr. KO 42 Austin Parker 6-1 180 R-Fr. 48 AJ Reed 5-11 175 Fr. or 47 Will Kline 6-1 190 Jr. P 42 Austin Parker 6-1 180 R-Fr. 43 Danny Stirt 5-10 180 Sr. Pos. No. Name Ht. Wt. Cl. LS 57 Thomas Hennessy 6-3 235 5th-Sr. H 42 Austin Parker 6-1 180 R-Fr. KOR 27 DeVon Edwards 5-9 180 5th-Sr. 23 Joseph Ajeigbe 5-9 215 R-Jr. PR 10 Ryan Smith 5-7 170 Sr. 29 Shaun Wilson 5-9 180 Jr. Special Teams

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