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Bagpipe Monday: A Rush To Judgement For Notre Dame Football

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So... I thought Notre Dame had the best offensive line in college football?

NCAA Football: Notre Dame vs Navy Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

The offensive line for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish was touted as the BEST offensive line in college football back in July. We (and by “we” I mean every single Notre Dame fan) ate this up and pointed to the impressive offensive line recruiting hauls under Harry Hiestand and the NFL draft results of Ronnie Stanley, Nick Martin, and Zack Martin.

Bagpipe Monday The wonderful @phillykelly

Somehow, Harry Hiestand, would be able to have this unit plowing fields for the proletariat, and Notre Dame wouldn’t miss the three starters from last year. Did you forget? Not only did Notre Dame lose Nick Martin and Ronnie Stanley to the NFL draft, they lost a would be senior that had started since his freshman year in Steve Elmer.

Notre Dame loses three starters on the offensive line and somehow they are better than teams like Alabama, LSU, Ohio State, and the rest of the college football elite.

Man we’re so damn naive. Take a look at last years rushing totals:

2015 Rushing Totals
via ESPN.com

A few things stick out to me.

  • The longest rush by two players is over 90 yards.
  • 7.1 and 6.6 yard per rush average for Adams and Prosise.
  • Your top 3 leading rushers are the QB and two RB’s.
  • Looks fairly productive.

Now here are Notre Dame’s rushing statistics this year:

2016 Rushing totals through 9 games
via ESPN.com

Now, there are four less games with these stats, but I think there are things that are pretty telling.

  • DeShone Kizer is on pace to be somewhere around his totals from last year.
  • Josh Adams needs over 250 yards in his next 3 (or 4 lol) games to best his 2015 total with a ton more carries.
  • Folston is the 2nd leading rusher as a running back with just 215 yards.

What in Sam hell is happening here? I though this line was awesome sauce? Last year the top two running backs had 290 carries between them. This year, Notre Dame would need 121 carries in their final games to match that.

Notre Dame isn’t even trying to run the ball with their running backs, and when they do, it really isn’t that great either. Maybe there is a correlation here between trusting your running game or just using it as a placeholder for the next pass?

Last year, Notre Dame was 8-1 after 9 games and this year they are 3-6 after 9 games- and last years schedule was twice as hard as this years (probably harder).

Yes, Notre Dame’s defense was awful in the first half of the season, but their defense wasn’t all that good last year. The difference really is in how many times they run the ball and the people they are doing it with. The offensive line is a HUGE problem, and rests squarely at the feet of Kelly and Hiestand.

I got nothing else here for you. This is a “this crap sucks ass” post and I’ll just leave it at that.

Your pipes: