Notre Dame X-factor: The Irish pass rush has been virtually nonexistent this season, failing to record a single sack until the fourth game of the season and tallying just six on the season, which is tied for 125th nationally (and the worst among Power 5 teams).
At 6-foot-4 and 230 pounds, he has the build of an National Football League quarterback and that has scouts watching his every move, on and off the field.
Actually, the 6-foot-5, 315-pound NY native first reached that level of play in the Stanford game. During their three-game losing streak, the Hurricanes have been unable to establish the run or adequately protect quarterback Brad Kaaya. He has 1,775 yards and 14 touchdowns to go along with 285 rushing yards and seven more scores. Defensive end Jarron Jones had six of them. Leading the group, is wide out Stacey Coley. Look for Hurricanes coach Mark Richt to emphasize the power game this week against what has been a passive Irish defense. "Three straight [losses], four straight would put us at.500. It ends up capping off a tackle where we got an unblocked safety, we make him miss, he gets a little bit of us, we're breaking through a tackle, maybe spit for a touchdown, but a guy that should have been blocked wasn't blocked well enough or long enough and that thing could have spit big".
Who's back: F V.J. Beachem, who put his name briefly into the National Basketball Association draft, was third on the team with 12 points and 3.9 rebounds and was at his best in the NCAA Tournament, averaging 17.5 points; G Steve Vasturia, who averaged 11.4 points and 3.2 assists; and F Bonzie Colson, who averaged 11.1 points and 6.7 rebounds.
MSU has one more game in the Hoosier State this week, facing No. 10 in in the Spartans' Big Ten finale on Sunday, Oct. 30 at 1 p.m. Michigan State is now second in the B1G standings looking to host a Big Ten Tournament game for the first time. Two weeks ago, Brian Kelly and the Fighting Irish found themselves on the wrong side of the scoreboard once again.
DeShone Kizer fumble recovery on Notre Dame's final drive.
Notre Dame Prep broke through in the early minutes of the second half as William Grubbs' header off Bryce Baringer's cross gave the Irish a 1-0 lead.
The success of "The U" and its 2014 sequel encouraged ESPN to greenlight another Hurricane-centric documentary, although this time Notre Dame will co-star in the film titled - what else? (5 yards) and Equanimeous St.
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Similar to the defense under ousted coordinator Brian VanGorder, the Fighting Irish offense simply has too much scheme to play fast, sound, confident football. "If you don't beat Notre Dame, it's a failure", he said.
Kaaya threw for 288 yards along with a touchdown and an interception. "We've got to turn the page", said receiver Braxton Berrios, who caught his first touchdown of the season last week in Blacksburg on a 25-yard pass from Kaaya. Albeit, one was in a monsoon at North Carolina State and the other against offensively challenged Stanford.
During the Hurricanes three game losing streak the offense has averaged just 16 points.
Prior to this win, the Fighting Irish had not been getting many positive results. "We had the lead towards the end of the game, I think".
"[Our players] are being told that at Miami, you get judged by whether you beat Notre Dame or not".
"Their offensive video is not 2-5", he said. Both teams are struggling mightily and are in desperate need of a victory. He can sling the ball down the field, has wonderful touch on long or short routes, and shows extreme poise, even with coach Brian Kelly in his face, which is often enough. And with Miami coming off a game in which its quarterback was sacked eight times - albeit against Virginia Tech - perhaps there's something for the Irish defense to build on here.
The Miami defense is thin and an inspired effort from the offensive line is the talk this week.