Column: Notre Dame Football's Offensive Line Can Take The Irish A Long Way
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Column: Notre Dame's Offensive Line Can Take The Irish A Long Way

SOUTH BEND – Maybe Ian Book simply forgot he said it, but no one would blame him for placing emphasis anyway.

Twice in the span of a one-minute answer, the grateful quarterback offered some glowing praise.

“I feel like we have the best O-Line in the country,” Book said, before wrapping his answer with those same 11 words again.

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Notre Dame's offensive line helped propel Kyren Williams (23) to 185 rushing yards.
Notre Dame's offensive line helped propel Kyren Williams (23) to 185 rushing yards. (ACC)

Awarding those superlatives to any unit in college football is a bit premature at the moment, but the Notre Dame (3-0, 2-0 ACC) front five’s three-game audition tape sure is a strong indication the Irish can stake claim to the honor.

A 42-26 win over Florida State (1-3, 0-3 ACC) was 60 minutes of manhandling a defensive front that has disappointed but nonetheless possesses some future NFL draft picks. And furthermore, it was evidence Notre Dame’s presumed biggest strength heading into the season is in fact something it can ride all year.

The Irish didn’t just maul Florida State up front. They stole the Seminoles defense’s soul. Snap. Push. Punish. Again and again and again. All night long. No reason to change it up, even with Book putting forth his most impressive passing effort this year.

“When you’re able to run like we were tonight, why would you want to stop something that’s working like that?” Book said.

All told, Notre Dame ran for 353 yards and 8.4 yards per carry, its ninth-highest rushing output in a game since 2000. Only four times this century has it averaged more yards per rush. Those are numbers expected from triple option attacks. Or passing averages for Air Raid quarterbacks.

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