Blue and Gold Illustrated

Oct.10, 2016

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

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Page 36 of 55 OCT. 10, 2016 37 BY BRYAN DRISKELL NC STATE RUNNING GAME VS. NOTRE DAME RUN DEFENSE NC State has run the football well the last two seasons, averaging 203.3 yards per game on the ground. Through its first three games of the 2016 season, the Wolfpack remained a quality rushing offense. NC State has rushed for at least 210 yards in five of its last six contests dating back to the end of the 2015 season. Senior running back Matthew Dayes paces the Wolfpack run game, which was averaging 210.7 yards per game and 5.0 yards per carry. NC State has already rushed for 11 touchdowns, which ranks 14th nationally. Dayes led the Wolfpack with 312 yards (6.1 per carry) in the first three contests. Listed as a tight end and fullback, junior Jaylen Samuels is a legitimate threat to run the foot- ball with handoffs and getting the ball on shovel passes, which are essentially run plays. Samuels leads the team with three rushing scores while chipping in 62 yards on 12 attempts. Notre Dame has been abysmal when it comes to stopping the opposition's ground game, giving up 201.0 yards per game to rank it 96th in the country through four weeks. Opponents were going for 4.4 yards per attempt and had already reached the end zone 10 times in Notre Dame's first four games. Stopping NC State from gashing it with the rush- ing attack will be the primary key for the Irish defense in this match. That will surely be the focus for new defensive coordinator Greg Hudson. Junior linebacker Nyles Morgan has paced the Notre Dame defense with a team-leading 37 tack- les in four contests. His 26 solo stops ranked sev- enth nationally heading into October. Advantage: NC State GAME PREVIEW: NORTH CAROLINA STATE On PaPer Heading into October, junior Jaylen Samuels led the Wolfpack in both receptions (13 for 135 yards and three scores) and rushing touchdowns (three). PHOTO BY KEN MARTIN

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