Blue and Gold Illustrated

Oct. 31, 2016

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

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Page 38 of 55 OCT. 31, 2016 39 passer efficiency rating, the 10th-best mark na- tionally, and opposing quarterbacks completed just 54.3 percent of their passes. Senior safety Rayshawn Jenkins and senior cornerback Corn Elder have been Miami's pass defense standouts through the first five games. Elder has played with a great deal of confidence, producing a team-high five passes defended in the first five games. The Hurricanes thrive at pressuring quarter- backs, ranking eighth in the country with 19 sacks through the first six weeks. Miami's top pass rusher is former Rivals five-star defensive end Chad Thomas, who was tied for the team lead with 3.5 sacks during the first five games. Miami's pass defense stats are a bit inflated thanks to a pretty weak schedule. Its first four op- ponents ranked between 94th and 125th nationally in passing offense. Only Florida State (40th) ranked in the top 50 in passing offense, and the Seminoles threw for 240 yards and a pair of scores while hand- ing the Hurricanes their first loss of the season. Despite a 54-yard performance against North Carolina State in the middle of Hurricane Matthew, the Irish still rank among the country's best pass offenses. Notre Dame's average of 282.2 yards per game ranked 30th nationally. The Irish also were 10th in the land for yards per completion (15.4) and 17th in yards per attempt (8.8). Kizer has put up outstanding numbers, emerging as one of the nation's top quarterbacks statistically. The Irish signal-caller ranks 20th in the country with 1,621 passing yards and a 156.1 passer ef- ficiency rating. He also ranks 15th nationally with 14 passing touchdowns and 25th at 13.8 yards per completion. Sophomore wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown is without question Notre Dame's top tar- get in the pass game. After six contests, he ranked 15th nationally in receiving yards (571), 17th in yards per catch (20.4) and ninth with six receiving touchdowns. Advantage: Notre Dame SPECIAL TEAMS For the most part, Miami's special teams were solid during the team's first five matchups. The Hur- ricanes ranked 42nd in the country in kick return de- fense and 49th in kick returns, while junior punt re- turner Braxton Berrios ranked 11th nationally with a 13.4-yard average. Miami punter Justin Vogel was productive in the early going as well, ranking 22nd in the land with an average of 44.0 yards per punt. Notre Dame's special teams have been highly erratic the first six weeks, giving up a 96-yard kick return against Duke, a 74-yard punt return against Syracuse and allowing a blocked punt for a score against North Carolina State. The lone bright spot has been sophomore C.J. Sanders, who ranked 31st in kick return average (25.7 yards per runback). In addition, he would rank seventh nationally in punt return average (16.0) if he had enough runbacks to qualify. Advantage: Miami COACHING Richt returned to his alma mater this past off- season after spending 15 years as the head man at Georgia. He accumulated an impressive 145-51 record in Athens, Ga., winning five SEC East titles and two SEC championships. Georgia finished the season ranked in the top 10 of the Associated Press poll seven times during his tenure. Prior to landing the Georgia job, Richt was con- sidered one of the nation's top offensive coordina- tors. He went back to his roots at Miami, taking over play-calling duties in his first season. Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly is in the midst of arguably his worst season at Notre Dame. Unless the Irish can run the table, this season will mark the worst regular season record during his tenure in South Bend. Advantage: Miami INTANGIBLES Miami has played with a great deal of confidence in the early part of Richt's tenure. The Hurricanes throttled their first four opponents, and competed to the very end in its loss to Florida State. It has what good teams need to win tough road games: a top quarterback, the ability to run the football and a quality defensive line. Notre Dame has dominated Miami in its last two meetings, both with Kelly at the helm. The Irish throttled Miami in the 2010 Sun Bowl, winning 33- 17 in a game that was not nearly as competitive as the final score shows. Two years later, Notre Dame rolled Miami 41-3 in 2012 on its way to the BCS National Championship Game. The Irish will certainly be up for this game, and its home-field advantage should help overcome whatever confidence advantages Miami might have. Advantage: Even GAME PREVIEW: MIAMI Offense Pos. No. Name Ht. Wt. Cl. WR-Y 3 Stacy Coley 6-1 195 Sr. 31 Malik Mayweather 6-0 185 R-So. LT 73 Trevor Darling 6-4 320 Jr. 78 Tyree St. Louis 6-5 305 So. LG 52 Kc McDermott 6-7 308 Jr. 62 Hayden Mahoney 6-5 295 R-Fr. or 79 Bar Milo 6-6 300 R-Fr. C 68 Nick Linder 6-3 305 Jr. 67 Alex Gall 6-5 305 Sr. RG 63 Danny Isidora 6-4 305 Sr. 74 Tyler Gauthier 6-5 300 So. RT 66 Sunny Odogwu 6-8 325 R-Jr. 54 Hunter Knighton 6-5 300 R-Jr. TE 23 Chris Herndon IV 6-4 253 Jr. 86 David Njoku 6-4 245 R-So. or 5 Standish Dobard 6-4 252 Sr. WR-Z 8 Braxton Berrios 5-9 185 Jr. 9 Malcolm Lewis 5-10 190 5th-Sr. WR-X 82 Ahmmon Richards 6-1 192 Fr. or 80 Dayall Harris 6-3 200 R-So. 81 Darrell Langham 6-4 230 R-So. QB 15 Brad Kaaya 6-4 215 Jr. 12 Malik Rosier 6-1 215 R-So. HB 1 Mark Walton 5-9 205 So. 2 Joe Yearby 5-9 200 Jr. or 7 Gus Edwards 6-1 230 R-Jr. FB 36 Marquez Williams 6-1 280 5th-Sr. 41 Wyatt Chickillo 6-1 235 R-Jr. Defense Pos. No. Name Ht. Wt. Cl. DE 9 Chad Thomas 6-6 265 Jr. 31 Demetrius Jackson 6-3 265 R-So. DT 7 Kendrick Norton 6-3 305 So. 91 Gerald Willis 6-4 285 R-So. DT 80 R.J. McIntosh 6-4 290 So. 94 Ryan Fines 6-2 295 R-Fr. Viper 33 Trent Harris 6-2 250 Jr. 99 Joe Jackson 6-5 250 Fr. Sam 53 Zach McCloud 6-2 230 Fr. 34 CJ Perry 6-1 230 So. Mike 55 Shaq Quarterman 6-1 240 Fr. 57 Mike Smith 6-1 230 R-So. Will 56 Michael Pinckney 6-1 220 Fr. 58 Darrion Owens 6-3 245 R-So. LCB 29 Corn Elder 5-10 180 Sr. 28 Michael Jackson 6-1 200 So. FS 26 Rayshawn Jenkins 6-2 210 5th-Sr. 4 Jaquan Johnson 5-11 190 So. Rover 6 Jamal Carter Sr. 6-1 215 Sr. 20 Robert Knowles 6-1 195 R-Fr. RCB 25 Adrian Colbert 6-2 205 5th-Sr. 22 Sheldrick Redwine 6-1 195 So. MIAMI DEPTH CHART Pos. No. Name Ht. Wt. Cl. PK 15 Michael Badgley 5-10 180 Jr. 98 Diego Marquez 6-1 200 R-Jr. P 16 Justin Vogel 6-4 215 Sr. 43 Jack Spicer 6-3 225 R-Fr. KO 15 Michael Badgley 5-10 180 Jr. 98 Diego Marquez 6-1 200 R-Jr. H 16 Justin Vogel 6-4 215 Sr. 12 Malik Rosier 6-1 215 R-So. LS 39 Jordan Butler 5-9 190 So. 55 Frank Gabriel 6-3 218 5th-Sr. Pos. No. Name Ht. Wt. Cl. SS 55 Frank Gabriel 6-3 218 5th-Sr. 39 Jordan Butler 5-9 190 So. PR 8 Braxton Berrios 5-9 185 Jr. or 29 Corn Elder 5-10 180 Sr. or 3 Stacy Coley 6-1 195 Sr. KOR 9 Malcolm Lewis 5-10 190 5th-Sr or 8 Braxton Berrios 5-9 185 Jr. or 3 Stacy Coley 6-1 195 Sr. Special Teams

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