Irish won't be pushed around by Stanford - Fox 2 News Headlines

Irish won't be pushed around by Stanford

Posted: Updated:

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) -- Notre Dame's offensive linemen want to prove something against No. 17 Stanford after being pushed around by the Cardinal the past two seasons.
 
   Stanford (4-1) held the Irish to a total of 101 yards rushing in those two meetings, winning both games by two touchdowns or more. The Fighting Irish (5-0) are ranked No. 7 now, off to their best start in a decade, and are eager to show times have changed.
 
   Left tackle Zack Martin sees the game against the Cardinal as an opportunity.
 
   "We've watched the tape against us the last two years and everyone they've played, and they've just beaten them up upfront," Martin said. "It's an opportunity for us to go out and prove to everyone we're a tough, physical line that can be consistent and not get pushed around. That's what we're shooting for."
 
   The Irish have been inconsistent in the run game this season. They rushed for 293 yards against Navy in the season opener and for 376 yards against Miami on Saturday, their best total in 12 years. But the Midshipmen were undersized and the Hurricanes have one of the nation's worst rushing defenses.
 
   The Irish managed just 52 yards rushing against Purdue, 122 against Michigan State and 94 against Michigan, numbers that aren't going to sway anyone into thinking the Irish are a dominant running team. But the Irish have come up with big runs when they've needed them.
 
   Coach Brian Kelly said the Irish were making some fundamental mistakes along the line and tailback Cierre Wood wasn't being patient enough to let the play develop. He believes the Irish are correcting some of those problems and are ready to go against a Stanford squad that ranks sixth in the nation in rushing defense, giving up 77.2 yards a game and just 2.66 yards a carry.
 
   "I think we're stronger physically across the board.  We're a mature football team. We have veterans on defense. From an offensive line standpoint, we can handle ourselves better," Kelly said.
 
   The Irish use three running backs: Wood, Theo Riddick and George Atkinson III. Riddick has the most carries, Wood is averaging the most yards a game (71), and Atkinson is averaging the most yards a carry (9.3). Three backs allow the Irish to keep a fresh player on the field, but it also makes it hard for a ball carrier to find a rhythm.
 
   The Irish changed their blocking schemes this season, going from a line that blocked gaps to a team that blocks zones, meaning linemen are responsible for blocking an area, not a particular player.
 
   "It's all about working together, working with the guy next to you," Martin said.
 
   Stanford defensive end Ben Gardner said the change in philosophy is evident on film.
 
   "They are much more physical and downhill than a year ago. They come off the ball and want to hit people," he said.
 
   The Irish added another dimension last week when they allowed quarterback Everett Golson to run the ball more often, as he carried six times for 51 yards. Kelly said he was hesitant to let Golson take a bigger role in the run game because he was worried about turnovers.
 
   Kelly is now counting on Golson to be able to recognize when he should run.
 
   "He doesn't have to run every down, but when we're trying to block effectively and we've got to leave a guy unblocked, he's got to be able to make the right reads and take it or give it out given what he sees," he said.
 
   The Irish linemen say playing against Stanford should give them a good indication of how far they have advanced.
 
   "They're a really intense team, really physical," left guard Chris Watt said. "So being able to match that intensity is going to be really important in terms of our success out there on Saturday."

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Share Your Sports Photos & Video

Submit Your Sports Photos
  • Notre Dame Fighting IrishMore>>

  • Notre Dame pulls away, beats Arizona State 84-67

    Notre Dame pulls away, beats Arizona State 84-67

    Monday, March 24 2014 11:12 PM EDT2014-03-25 03:12:38 GMT
    Natalie Achonwa had 25 points and 11 rebounds, and top-seeded Notre Dame pulled away in the second half for an 84-67 victory over ninth-seeded Arizona State on Monday night.
    Natalie Achonwa had 25 points and 11 rebounds, and top-seeded Notre Dame pulled away in the second half for an 84-67 victory over ninth-seeded Arizona State on Monday night.
  • Patterson leads Pitt to 85-81 OT win over Irish

    Patterson leads Pitt to 85-81 OT win over Irish

    Saturday, March 1 2014 10:23 PM EST2014-03-02 03:23:23 GMT
    Pittsburgh overcame making one basket in the final six minutes of regulation to beat Notre Dame 85-81 in overtime.
    Pittsburgh overcame making one basket in the final six minutes of regulation to beat Notre Dame 85-81 in overtime.
  • McAdoo leads UNC to 73-62 victory over Irish

    McAdoo leads UNC to 73-62 victory over Irish

    Saturday, February 8 2014 11:01 PM EST2014-02-09 04:01:31 GMT
    James Michael McAdoo scored 18 points, Marcus Paige added 16 and North Carolina dominated inside after a slow start to defeat Notre Dame 73-62 Saturday for the fifth straight victory for the Tar Heels.
    James Michael McAdoo scored 18 points, Marcus Paige added 16 and North Carolina dominated inside after a slow start to defeat Notre Dame 73-62 Saturday for the fifth straight victory for the Tar Heels.
Powered by WorldNow

WJBK-TV | Fox 2
16550 West Nine Mile Rd.
Southfield, MI 48075

Main Station: (248) 557-2000
Newsroom: (248) 552-5103

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices