Preview: Notre Dame vs Duke takes a look at this weekend's game between Notre Dame and Duke

 Notre Dame vs. Duke
Fighting Irish   Blue Devils
Saturday, November 17th
Notre Dame Stadium, Notre Dame, Ind.
2:30 EST


  On Offense:

 Offense '07 Rank Per Game ND Defense '07 Rank Per Game
Rushing Offense # 119 52.90 Rushing Defense # 103 207.60
Pass Offense # 71 213.20 Pass Defense # 5 164.90
Pass Eff. # 68 125.13 Pass Eff. # 46 121.31
Total Offense # 116 266.10 Total Defense # 53 372.50
Scoring Offense # 108 19.40 Scoring Defense # 95 32.40


Anticipated Depth Chart.

  Quarterback ATT-COMP-YRD TDs/INTs Comp %
  Thaddeus Lewis, So. 165-300-2,090 19/10 55.0
  Zack Asack, So. 5-13-27 0/0 55.9

Thaddeus Lewis (6-2, 190 pounds) has started all 10 games for the Blue Devils. Lewis is a solid prospect and he now has former Notre Dame quarterback coach, Peter Vaas on campus to help him develop. Vaas is also the Duke offensive coordinator. Lewis is a pocket passer that has the agility to get outside if he gets pressured in the pocket. He isn't the type of quarterback that will kill you with his running, but he'll scramble enough to frustrate you. Lewis' 30 touchdown passes is good for fifth on Duke's all-time list. Lewis played at the same high school as Notre Dame running back Armando Allen

Zack Asack (6-4, 200 pounds) is also a solid player, but he won't get in the game unless something happened to Lewis. Asack is actually very similar to Lewis in that he is a passer first, but he has the agility to scramble if he gets pressure.

  Running Back Hgt/Wgt Rushes-Yards
  Re'Quan Boyette, Jr. 5-10, 210  84-361, 2 TDs
  Justin Boyle, Sr. 6-1, 215  54-143, 1 TDs
  Ronnie Drummer, Sr. 5-9, 185  41-106, 0 TDs

Duke does a good job of sharing carries in among the top three running backs. Boyette appears the be the most effective of the three. He has more speed than Boyle, and more size than Drummer. He leads Duke in rushing and yards per carry (4.3). They will use him in the passing game, from time to time. He has 14 receptions for 77 yards.

Boyle is a solid back. He was actually the returning starter from '06, but lost the spot to Boyette this season. Boyle isn't a flashy runner, so he'll do most of his damage between the tackles. He averages 2.6 yards per carry and has eight receptions on the season for 32 yards.

Drummer is third on the team in rushing, but he's generally the third down running back. He just doesn't have enough size to be an every-down running back. Drummer also has the third most receptions on the team with 15 catches for 141 yards and two touchdowns.

  Fullback Hgt/Wgt Rushes-Yards
  Brandon King, So. 6-2, 260   0-0, 0 TDs
  Clifford Harris, Jr. 5-10, 220  8-14, 4 TDs

King is basically a small lineman in the backfield. He doesn't have any carries through 10 game. He does have nine catches on the season for four touchdowns. King is also the second tight end, so several of those catches likely have come in the two tight end alignment.

Harris has more agility, mainly because he has 40 fewer pounds to drag around the field. Less size, less effective as a blocker. Harris does have 12 receptions for 120 yards.

  Wide Receiver Hgt/Wgt Stats
  Jomar Wright, Sr. 6-1, 200   43 rcpts/497 yds/3 TDs
  Eron Riley, Jr. 6-3, 200   35 rcpts/ 751yds/9 TD
  Austin Kelly, Fr. 6-3, 195   11 rcpts/142 yds/1 TD

Wright lead the team in receiving last season and he's turning the trick again this season. He's a guy that can get deep, but Duke appears to use him mainly underneath, with his 11.6 yards per catch. On the other side of the coin is Riley who averages almost twice as many yards per catch (21.5) as does Wright. Riley has the size and speed to hit the home run. Kelly has a handful of catches, but he won't get the call unless Wirght and Riley go down.

Sheldon Bell (6-foot-4, 200 pounds, R-Fr.) will probably get some snaps, but he only has two catches on the season.

  Tight End Hgt/Wgt Stats
  Nick Stefanow, Sr. 6-4, 235  8 rcpts/90 yds/0 TDs
  Brandon King, So. 6-2, 260  9 rcpts/64 yds/4 TD

Stefanow is a pass catching tight end that doesn't have the ball thrown his way very often. He only had 10 catches last season as the starter and it looks like he is on the same path as a year ago. He's the best option Duke has at tight end, but he isn't much of a blocker.

  Offensive Line Hgt/Wgt Experience
  LT Cameron Goldberg, Jr. 6-6, 280  21 Starts
  LG Zach Maurides, Sr. 6-6, 290  23 Starts
  C Matt Rumsey, Sr. 6-4, 285  33 Starts
  RG Rob Schirman, Jr. 6-5, 285  22 Starts
  RT Fred Ronald, Jr. 6-8, 310  21 Starts

The entire starting unit is back from last year, but that hasn't proven to be a good thing for Duke, as they have made very limited improvement from a year ago. In fact. the stats show that the offense has regressed. Rumsey has the most experience and is probably the most consistent lineman. Ronald and Goldberg play on the edge last season, but continue to struggle protecting Lewis. Last season the offensive line allowed 40 sacks. Through 10 games this season the have matched that number. Eight came last weekend against Georgia Tech. This unit's productivity running the ball has dipped as well. In 2006 the team averaged 98.2 yards rushing per game and this year they've only produced 52.9 rushing yards per game. All this has been accomplished with an offense that returned all 11 starters.

 On Defense:

 Defense '07 Rank Per Game ND Offense '07 Rank Per Game
Rushing Defense # 78 176.90 Rushing Offense #118 56.60
Pass Defense # 100 266.00 Pass Offense #111 161.40
Pass Eff. # 113 148.93 Pass Eff. #113 101.93
Total Defense # 98 442.90 Total Offense #119 218.00
Scoring Defense #35 35.00 Scoring Offense #118 14.80

Anticipated Depth Chart. 

  Defensive Line Hgt/Wgt Stats
  DE Greg Akinbiyi, Jr. 6-2, 250   27 tackles/3.5  TFL
  DT Vince Oghobaase, So. 6-6, 310   40 tackles/9.0  TFL
  NT Ayanga Okpokowuruk, So. 6-4, 270   18 tackles/1.0  TFL
  DE Wesley Oglesby, R-Fr. 6-6 250   30 tackles/6.5  TFL

When you start talking about the Duke defensive line, you have to start with Oghobaase. He was one of the top players in the country when he came out of Houston, Texas. Everyone in the country offered him a scholarship, including Notre Dame. Oghobaase has lived up to his billing despite the talent surrounding him. In the spot next to Oghobaase is Okpokowuruk. He's solid, but still learning and growing. Oglesby and Akinbiyi are the defensive ends. Neither is really making a big impact. The injury to starting defensive end, Patrick Baliey has really hurt this unit.

  Linebackers Hgt/Wgt  Stats
  WLB Vincent Rey, So. 6-0, 255  97 tackles/ 8.0 TFL
  MLB Michael Tauiliili, Jr. 5-11, 235  89 tackles/ 11.0 TFL
  SAM Marcus Jones, Jr. 6-3, 220  29 tackles/ 2.5 TFL

This is a really solid unit, and it would be better if not for the injury to opening day starter Charles Robinson. Rey leads the team in tackles, but it is Tauiliili that is the playmaker. He's second on the team in tackles and leads the Blue Devils in tackles for loss. He has three interceptions as well. Jones is filling in for the injured Robinson. He's struggling to make an impact. Jones is a former quarterback that moved over to linebacker this summer.

  Defensive Backs Hgt/Wgt  Stats
  CB Leon Wright, So. 5-9, 165   59 tackles/3  INTs
  CB Glenn Williams, Jr. 5-10, 185   59 tackles/0  INTs
  FS Chris Davis, Sr. 6-0, 205   58 tackles/1  INTs
  SS Adruan Aye-Darko, Jr. 6-2, 210   57 tackles/0  INTs

Wright and Williams are tied for third on the team in tackles. It generally isn't a good sign to have your cornerbacks that high on team leader board. Davis is fifth on the team with 58 stops and Aye-Darko is just off the pace with 57. Wright has the most talent in this unit. He is small, but he's one of the fastest players on the team. He can make a play on the ball as his three interceptions show. Top Stories