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October 25, 2011Notre Dame lost more than a game on Saturday night against USC.
The Irish lost starting defensive end Kapron Lewis-Moore to a MCL injury, which will shelve the senior for the rest of the season. The Irish are already playing without Ethan Johnson, three weeks removed from a high ankle sprain suffered against Purdue.
Lewis-Moore will need four to six months to recover, Brian Kelly said.
Brian Kelly downplayed the lack of defensive line experience in Notre Dame's collapse, yet USC rushed for a season-high 219 yards in the 31-17 win. Lewis-Moore made six tackles against USC, all in the first half. Stephon Tuitt led the position with seven stops. Aaron Lynch made just one tackle to go with his one personal foul.
For the season, Lewis-Moore was tops among defensive linemen with 32 tackles and four tackles for loss. Tuitt and Lynch have combined for 29 tackles, working in rotation behind Notre Dame's senior starters.
With Johnson uncertain to return against Navy and Lewis-Moore out, it means the Irish could start two freshman defensive ends against a Midshipmen triple option that's upset Notre Dame the past two seasons. Navy rushed for 367 yards in last season's 35-17 win, including 210 by fullback Alexander Teich.
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