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No. 8 Notre Dame wants to avoid doldrums against Vandy


No. 8 Notre Dame wants to avoid doldrums against Vandy

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15 Sep 2018, 00:01 IST

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — The ho-hum victory over Ball State per week in the past used to be a wakeup name for No. 8 Notre Dame, which does not plan to hit the snooze button once more for Saturday’s talk over with from Vanderbilt and gifted quarterback Kyle Shurmur.

“I just think it starts with respecting your opponent and it carries itself into the way you practice,” Fighting Irish trainer Brian Kelly mentioned. “This is a good opponent coming into Notre Dame Stadium. We’ll have to play well.”

Especially at the offensive line, which struggled against the Ball State — a 34½-point underdog that wound up shedding simplest 24-16. Notre Dame (2-Zero) averaged 2.nine yards on 41 carries and surrendered 4 sacks. Now comes an SEC opponent in Vandy (2-Zero).

“Our execution was off,” mentioned captain Alex Bars, the 6-foot-6¼, 315-pound left guard who grew up no longer some distance from the Vanderbilt campus in Nashville, Tennessee. “We were making mistakes we shouldn’t have made. We’re working very hard to make sure it doesn’t happen this week.”

Notre Dame’s line had to substitute first-round NFL draft possible choices Quenton Nelson (Colts) and Mike McGlinchey (49ers) and has a brand new trainer in long-time Kelly affiliate Jeff Quinn. Last yr, the unit completed 7th nationally in speeding offense (269.three yards a recreation) however is solely 104th (124.five yards) via two video games, together with the opener against Michigan.

“I’ve been in it long enough to know where the red panic button is and it’s not even near my desk,” Kelly mentioned. “But there’s work to be done. You can’t be standing around on game day waiting for things to happen. If you prepare the right way, then you shouldn’t be thinking on Saturdays, you should be reacting.”

Vanderbilt trainer Derek Mason, whose 14½-point underdogs have surrendered a mean of simply 75 speeding and 272 general yards in two victories, is blunt in his expectancies.

“Notre Dame is going to try to run the ball right down our throats,” Mason mentioned. “This is going to be a physical ballgame. That’s who they are. They beat teams up. They wear teams down.”


After shedding all-time Vandy speeding chief Ralph Webb (Four,178 yards, 32 TDs), the Commodores changed him with 4 avid gamers: Khari Blasingame, Ke’Shawn Vaughn, Josh Crawford and Jamauri Wakefield. All have reached the tip zone. Vaughn (130 yards), who had 93 yards on 11 carries in closing week’s 41-10 victory over Nevada, can have the threshold on Wakefield (99 yards), Blasingame (80) and Crawford (38).

Notre Dame’s Tony Jones Jr. (106 yards) and Jafar Armstrong (101) percentage the Irish operating tasks and feature totaled 5 touchdowns. Jones, who had TD runs of 31 and 1 yards against Ball State, averages Four.8 in keeping with elevate. Armstrong, a transformed receiver who’s averaging three.6 yards in keeping with elevate, totaled 127 yards (66 speeding, 61 receiving) closing Saturday.


Kelly is cautious of Shurmur, a four-year starter and son of New York Giants head trainer Pat Shurmur. The 6-Four, 225-pound senior has finished 67.three p.c of his passes this season for 428 yards, 4 TDs and no interceptions.

“He (has) play(ed) a lot of snaps in the SEC,” Kelly mentioned of Shurmur, who figures to surpass the college information of Jay Cutler if he remains wholesome. “He’s a guy that’s going to come in here with a lot of confidence.”

Last week within the win over Nevada, Shurmur hit 23 of 32 passes for 258 yards. Kalija Lipscomb stuck a career-high 10 passes for 85 yards and two TDs, whilst 6-Four, 255-pound tight finish Jared Pinkney had 4 receptions for 98 yards.

Notre Dame cornerback Julian Love thinks Shurmur has equivalent skills as Ball State’s Riley Neal, who threw for 180 yards on 50 makes an attempt because the Cardinals ran 97 performs to Notre Dame’s 72.

“They’re very similar — big frames, big arms and smart,” Love mentioned, “and the guy from Vanderbilt, he’s a competitor.”

Mason sees an bettering QB in Notre Dame senior Brandon Wimbush in spite of his 3 interceptions in a career-best passing effort of 297 yards against Ball State.

“If he looks up and there’s an alley, he’s going to take it (and run) as any good quarterback should,” Mason mentioned. “The place where he’s probably improved the most to me is his ability to be accurate down the field.”


Vanderbilt protection Zaire Jones, a 6-foot, 190-pound redshirt sophomore, returns after a two-game suspension following his arrest for bumping an off-duty police officer together with his automobile Aug. 23 prior to a Beyoncé and Jay-Z live performance in Vanderbilt Stadium. … Notre Dame is 9th nationally in penalty yards assessed with simply 60 in two video games. . Notre Dame’s Justin Yoon used to be the country’s No. 1 placekicking prospect in 2015 popping out of Milton (Mass.) Academy, however he performed hockey and football earlier than making an attempt soccer at Harding Academy in Nashville.

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