top of page

Can ND's D-Line Hold Up?

By Mike Stacey ⏐ Writer ⏐ Twitter (X): @MikeStaceyIT ⏐ IG: @mikestaceyit


Photo Credit: Notre Dame Athletics


Notre Dame defeated Central Michigan 41-17 in another convincing, yet sloppy performance by the Irish. Similar to the prior week against NC State, the Irish ended up winning by a wide margin but had trouble getting separation until the 2nd half. In this game, we saw the Irish defense give up some big runs, which certainly had something to do with JD Bertrand being out and Jack Kiser having to play out of position. Regardless, against an opponent like CMU you would like to see the Defense be a bit more dominant and be able to adjust to being down one man on that side of the ball. You can certainly argue that they may have been looking ahead with OSU coming to town next week, and with JD possibly returning next Saturday this should not be an issue. These would be valid points. Am I worried about Notre Dame's linebacker play for next week? Not so much. I think it is a strength on this team and will be more assignment correct against the Buckeyes. However, there is a unit on the defense that continues to give me concern going into the OSU game, and that is the Defensive front. The Irish came away with 2 sacks yesterday, but not one of them came from a Defensive Lineman. This has been a theme so far this season.


Now don't get me wrong, it's not that the Defensive Line has been bad by any means so far this season. In the first 4 games this unit has contributed to holding the opposition to 137, 84, 89 and 126 Rushing Yards, respectively. They have mainly been very stout against the run, but my concern is if they will be able to affect the passing game the way they will need to next Saturday. So far, this unit has accounted for 4 sack in 4 games, and one of them came from Donovan Hinish in garbage time against NC State. (That being said, very excited about his future) This is not going to be good enough against Ohio State, even with how good our secondary is. The Irish are going to have to be WAY more disruptive up front if they are going to slow down the incredible talent the Buckeyes have at Wide Receiver.


Marvin Harrison Jr is the best receiver in the country, Emeka Egbuka is a 5 star recruit, Julian Fleming was the #1 Receiver out of high school and their tight end, Cade Stover, is currently second on the team in receptions. They also tout highly coveted freshman receiver Carnell Tate, who Irish fans will know for all the wrong reasons. Simply put, you can not give the quarterback time with these targets on the field or they WILL get open and it could be a very long night for the Irish.


This Saturday should tell us a great deal about what we have on the D-Line. Although the numbers haven't been impressive, it may not all be due to a lack of execution. Navy is not going to give you many opportunities to get to the QB due to their option style offense and limited pass attempts. NC State's Brennan Armstrong is most effective outside of the pocket and I do believe the Irish game-plan was to keep him in check and not force him out of the pocket, a game-plan they executed very well. So although there is some cause for concern, I think it is still premature to claim this unit has an issue getting to the QB. My hope is they will be coached up and put a major emphasis this week on getting more pressure and sacks. The crowd (As long as ND fans don't sell their tickets, but I digress...) will hopefully be an added boost that will get the juices flowing and add some extra intensity and energy. We will need to hear Botelho, Jean-Baptiste, Mills, Cross and whoever else wants to get involved names early and often over the loud speaker in Notre Dame Stadium if the Irish are going to win this one. If not, this could be another big game that the Irish were unable to take advantage of, but if they can be disruptive and put McCord on his back, it may be a historic night in South Bend, Indiana for Marcus Freeman and his legacy.


GO IRISH!



Comentários


Like Our Content?
Enjoyed This Article?
Share Below
The Irish Tribune
The Irish Tribune
Enjoyed This Article?
Share Below
The Irish Tribune
Enjoyed This Article?
Share Below
The Irish Tribune
The Irish Tribune
bottom of page