Blue and Gold Illustrated

Oct. 17, 2016

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

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36 Oct. 17, 2016 blue & gOld illustrated ing the fact that there's three new of- fensive line starters and several new role players who come in on the extra offensive line packages." Stanford's offense has been slow to get going in 2016. The Cardinal was averaging just 20.3 points per game through four games, which ranked 114th in the country. Despite Mc- Caffrey's abilities, he hasn't had the room to run like he did in 2015. "He's put together some amazing runs, but the issue has been — and this is another point Shaw has made — he's having to break three tackles to gain five yards much too often," Ray- burn said. "It seemed like they were trending away from that after rushing for almost 300 yards against USC. "Last year, he didn't have to do that, he didn't have to break three tackles to gain five yards. He still shows his bril- liance, it's just been a struggle in some ways to utilize him in all the ways that they would like because in general the offense has been slow to develop." First-year starting quarterback Ryan Burns, a senior who took over for vet- eran Kevin Hogan this season, has had limited effectiveness through the air. Though Stanford is a run-first team, Burns' stats — completing 63.3 per- cent of his 79 passes for 546 yards and four touchdowns through four games — has plenty to do with Stanford's subpar offensive line, which allowed seven sacks against Washington. Speedy sophomore running back Bryce Love, who tallied 226 rushing yards, 250 receiving yards and three touchdowns as a freshman in 2015, has been limited by a foot injury (just 110 yards from scrimmage through four games). He's the one player that Rayburn, as well as offensive coordi- nator Mike Bloomgren, are still wait- ing to see break out. "They were just so thrilled in the offseason talking about the idea of Love and McCaffrey on the field at the same time and what that could do to opposing defenses," Rayburn said. "The fact that that has yet to material- ize and they're still waiting for Bryce to be able to do what they know he's capable of, and it's health related, and if he can come back and if he can be what everyone knows he can be on the field, then he provides a significant boost to the offense that could have a dramatic effect result on the field." Defensively, it hasn't been the same dominant Stanford as recent years. The Cardinal was allowing 359.3 yards per game through four weeks (41st nationally). Making sense of the loss to Washington, in which Stanford allowed 6.84 yards per play, is dif- ficult. "In some ways I'm not sure [Stan- ford] even knows because it was so unexpected," Rayburn said. ✦ game Preview: stanfOrd 2016 stanfOrd schedule Date Opponent (TV) Result/Time (ET) Sept. 2 Kansas State W, 26-13 Sept. 17 USC W, 27-10 Sept. 24 at UCLA W, 22-13 Sept. 30 at Washington L, 44-6 Oct. 8 Washington State L, 42-16 Oct. 15 at Notre Dame (NBC) 7:30 p.m. Oct. 22 Colorado TBA Oct. 29 at Arizona TBA Nov. 5 Oregon State TBA Nov. 12 at Oregon TBA Nov. 19 at California TBA Nov. 26 Rice TBA the cardinal's 44-6 loss to washington sept. 30 was the program's worst defeat under head coach david shaw and the most lopsided since 2006 (a 42-0 beatdown by usc). Photo courtesy 2016 nOtre dame schedule Date Opponent (TV) Result/Time (ET) Sept. 4 at Texas L, 50-47 (2OT) Sept. 10 Nevada W, 39-10 Sept. 17 Michigan State L, 36-28 Sept. 24 Duke L, 38-35 Oct. 1 vs. Syracuse* (ESPN) W, 50-33 Oct. 8 at North Carolina State L, 10-3 Oct. 15 Stanford (NBC) 7:30 p.m. Oct. 29 Miami (NBC) 3:30 p.m. Nov. 5 vs. Navy^ (CBS) 11:30 a.m. Nov. 12 vs. Army# (NBC) 3:30 p.m. Nov. 19 Virginia Tech (NBC) 3:30 p.m. Nov. 26 at USC TBA * at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.; ^ at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Fla.; # at Alamodome in San Antonio

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