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3-2-1: Observations, Questions, Prediction Of Notre Dame Vs. Duke

Notre Dame fans should still have a bitter taste in their mouths after the last time their team played Duke. The Irish lost 38-35.

While Notre Dame is certainly playing better than they did during the disastrous 2016 season, this is still a game the Irish could absolutely lose.

USA Today
USA Today

But what makes the Duke team so dangerous? Where are they vulnerable?

Coach DeDario and I take a look at the Blue Devils and provide three observations, two questions and a prediction for the upcoming Irish matchup.

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THREE OBSERVATIONS

Blue Devils have a Fearsome Front Four on Defense

Unlike many of the Irish opponents from this season, Duke has a potent pass rush that is largely generated from the defensive line. Duke ranks just behind Notre Dame in sacks per game at No. 36.

Of the team's leaders in sacks, five of the top six come from defensive linemen and each of the top four. This creates a deep defensive line rotation on par with Notre Dames.

It also allows the Blue Devils to pressure the quarterback without exotic blitz packages and keep their defensive backs in pass coverage.

This group is led by defensive end Victor Dimukeje, who has 6.5 sacks on the season. He is undersized at 6-feet-two-inches, but he's fast and powerful.

Chris Rumph II has three sacks and is of a more traditional size at six-feet-four-inches and nearly 260 pounds.

With a banged-up offensive line, how Notre Dame handles the Duke defensive line will play a significant role in this game.


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