This is the place. There are only three days to go before the game that all Notre Dame fans are waiting for. Undefeated, fourth on Notre Dame against Jaggernaut, 1st national ranking of the Clemenson Tigers. Despite the fact that the gap between the two teams is small, we all know that no one outside South Bend Notre Dame gives it a chance. The fact that the 30:3 2018 university football play-off defeat is too recent in public opinion shows that Clemenson is a 5.5-point favorite, even without Heisman favorite Trevor Lawrence (he will be replaced by QB five-star recruiting yy Uiagalelei). What would Brian Kelly and Ian Book have to do to destroy Clemson? I threw down some keys to his toy plane.
Notre Dame has to pressure DJ Uiagalelei earlier and often.
We all know that the defence of Our Lady is one of the best in the country. Of the FBS teams, the Irishman ranks fourth in points per game (10.3), eighth in points per game (93.7), ninth in points per game (173.5) and fourth in the reduction of the conversion rate (24.4%). Let’s look at these figures together and come to one conclusion: balanced. Notre Dame not only has an elite guard for running or an elite guard for walking; she is superior to both by closing the door on the third floor. That is the formula that the Irish will have to repeat on Saturday if they want to include DJ Uiagalelei, and this attack by Clemson, who can boast of having weapons all over the field, even in the absence of Trevor Lawrence.
One aspect of the Notre Dame defense, which has been relatively underperforming so far, is the pressure on the quarterback. After the departure of Julian Okvara and Khalid Karim for the NFL draft, it is not surprising that this group of positions no longer leads the defense team. In 2019, Okvara and Karim were the best editors of ND and the best passing tandem in all of university football.
At this moment there are 17 bags in the DN, which is good for the T-16’s among the FBS teams. If it’s not overwhelming for most university football fans, it’s for Notre Dame. These are the expectations Clark Lee has created for this Irish defense. Access to the quarterback needs to be improved if the ND is to be recognized nationally as the best student defender in football.
The Irish defence line has a difficult task.
Make no mistake, Delin Hayes, Kurt Hinish, Myron Tagovayloa-Amosa and Adetokunbo Ogundezi did a good job. But having a total of seven sacks from the starting line of defense isn’t exactly dominant. The load of 3.5 bags of lead is a sophomore student in the suburb of Isaiah Foski. Expect him to have enough playing time and maybe even start this weekend. Winning a single game on the line of scrimmage when DJ Uiagalelei withdraws to pass is important if that defense is to keep Clemson below 20 points.
More importantly: If Notre Dame can put pressure on DJ Uiagalelei with his four down lines, Jeremy Owus-Coramoa and Kyle Hamilton will be able to use their instincts and athletics to resist Etienne’s run and play with the ball as Uiagalelei pulls away to pass. DJ Uiagalelei, the newcomer to the QB with just one start, to force quick decisions on how this explosive secondary player can make ball games and twists. If Notre Dame wants to win this soccer game, she needs a positive sales margin, because she is short of talent in this game.
Jan Buch must stretch the Klemson defence vertically
Let’s go to the other side of soccer: Ian Book and the attack. Of all the FBS-teams Notre Dame is in 71st place in passing for the race with 206,2 and 40th place in passing for the attempt with 8,0. Not only does the ND have trouble catching the shipyards in the air, but this attack simply doesn’t test the defense in the field. Is it rather because of Ian Book’s uncertainty about his deep accuracy of the ball or because Tommy Reese and Brian Kelly refuse to call defensive play a test of verticals? Honestly, I’m not sure, but if Notre Dame wants to beat Clemson, she has to get over the top. As we saw in the University Football Qualifiers game of 2018, you can’t be a one-dimensional attack and expect to beat the elite of student football.
If Brian Kelly and Ian Book Clemson’s defense can’t stretch vertically, watch Notre Dame’s offense to fight as a one-sided play-off loss in 2018 at a soccer school.
The source: USA Today
Ian Book played more football in the air against Pittsburgh than he averaged 19.5 yards per game. It was a step in the right direction and it allowed the Irish to climb 319 meters in the air. While I wrote two weeks ago that the big core of beneficiaries is the weakness of this Notre Dame crime, Ben Scouroneck and Javon McKinley have been acting as beneficiaries for the past two weeks. In the narrow section, Michael Mayer also burst into the college football scene and hit 8 traps for 88 yards and a touchdown in his last two games. Even as a beginner, he may be the most productive weapon in this crime on the air.
Notre Dame receivers must use their physical, sporting environment
The vertical test of the Tiger defense is mandatory if Notre Dame wants to score enough points to win. In 2018 Clemson knew that Brian Kelly didn’t rely on Ian Book to complete the pass on the range. They were equipped with receivers, loaded a box to stop the race, and Book dared to beat them with 15 meters and more on the field. ND was not able to do this and the result was three general points.
Although there are no perimeter explosives that have injured Braden Lenzi and Kevin Austin in Notre Dame, they have an assembly line of large bodies and physical passport traps. Ben Scouroneck, Javon McKinley, Michael Mayer and Tommy Trembl will probably not win a race at their own pace, but because of their physical strength and athletics. We saw Scouronek and Meyer win a handful of balls 50/50 in the air against Pitt.
For Notre Dame to hit Clemson, Brian Kelly and Tommy Reese have to rely on Ian Book to get into the field. Ian Book also has to make sure his bathers fall with the ball into traffic. These guys are athletic enough to switch games, as can be seen in the video above. Testing that Klemson’s vertical defense is the only way to get Notre Dame to respect Ian Book’s throwing ability will also open the game.
Brian Kelly must respect the identity of Our Lady.
As much as I want Ian Book and Brian Kelly off the field, I’m not advocating that Notre Dame release him 45 times in one game and give up trying to win 29 of the last 32 football games for them. Ian Book is not that kind of quarterback, and the ND can’t succeed that way. I’m just planting Tommy Reese so he can make enough passes on the field so Clemson has no choice but to respect the deep-pitch capacity of the book.
Once that happens, instead of seven guys in the box, there will be six. Suddenly you can count on Kieren Williams and that elite block line to dominate the attack point. In return, Jan Kniga could also do what he does best: make good decisions in football, limit his movements, play with his feet and dictate the pace of the game. Notre Dame ranks eighth in the country in terms of length of service and this trend is expected to continue on Saturday. It is extremely important that Brian Kelly understands this and sticks to the Notre Dame personality by winning the criminal line and playing football flawlessly. It’s the only way the Irish can get out of the game with a victory.
Don’t do it, Notre Dame can win on Saturday,
Although Clemenson is rightly the favorite, the idea that Notre Dame has no chance in this game is false. Do people at this school know that the Irish went to Death Valley only five years ago and lost only two points to Clemson’s team, which finished 14-1 and was six points away from the national title? Notre Dame has not only been defeated by other university football elite over the past six seasons (FSU 2014, Georgia 2017, Georgia 2019). Of course, they’ve also suffered losses. But why don’t people remember these four razor-sharp injuries? Because he does not belong to Notre Dame, he is always thrown on the big stage, the university football media make the audience swallow him up.
A quick look at the facts completely unmasks the concept. When Notre Dame finishes her game and reaches her full potential, she can win this soccer game in the last minutes. Just as often in the last half of the decade against the elite of university football.