Personnel Points: Defensive Line

IrishEyes reviews the defensive line's effort in Saturday's 11-point victory over Purdue.

A closer look at the play of the Irish defensive line in Saturday's victory over the Boilermakers:

Ethan Johnson

Held his ground despite slight double-team block on 3rd and 1 run to his side (Fleming tackle)…Initially lost sight of the ball but recovered to pressure Marve on a roll right to his side (gain of 8 on the throw)…collapsed his blocker to help hold Edison to a two-yard gain (Smith made the stop)…showed serious hustle out of the Purdue backfield to run down the line and aid Harrison Smith on a tunnel screen tackle to set up 3rd down inside the Irish 10-yard line…allowed himself to be cut on a weak block by Dierking, giving Marve an outside running lane late in the half.

Second Half: Used a textbook swim move overwhelmed 358-pound right guard Ken Plue to record a sack on Marve…Both he and Ian Williams were controlled on a 3rd and 1 with just under 5 minutes remaining in the 3rd…Beat a one-on-one block of RT Nick Mondek to record his second sack late in the contest; a nice finishing tackle of the slippery Marve.

Observations: Earns my game ball for the position group though Williams came on strong in the second half.

Kapron Lewis-Moore

Engulfed on nearside handoff to Jared Crank but Gray bailed him out…nice pursuit on 3rd and 1 stop to help clean up the tackle…Fought through LT Dennis Kelly in pass protection to sack Marve for a 14-yard loss to open the second half; nice hand fighting then finishing ankle tackle on Marve who had spun away...Defeated his block to help stop Dierking for a loss on 3rd and 1 midway through the 4th Quarter…

Observations: Seemed a half tick away most of the day but I have few concerns about KLM going foward.

Ian Williams

Re-entered for Cwynar on 3rd and short during Purdue's second drive and collapsed the blocking scheme to allow Fleming a stop for no gain…made his second major impact on the first play of the second half, blowing through a double team block to force Marve from the pocket and into the hands of Lewis-Moore for a 14-yard loss…Stayed home as RDE and benefitted from delayed blitz up the gut by Kerry Neal to record a sack of Marve on 3rd and 21…Rejected a Marve pass at the line of scrimmage with leaping block at point-blank range…Nice hands on his second career interception, grabbing a Gary Gray deflection inside the 5-yard line…

Observations: Better in the 2nd half than first, both at the point and as a playmaker when faced with occasional solo blocks…

Backup Rotation

Redshirt-Freshman nose guard Tyler Stockton made his Irish debut, but it was the trio of Cwynar, Hafis Williams and Nwankwo that logged the bulk of the minutes.

Sean Cwynar – Entered contest in game's second defensive series and was pushed back a bit while acclimating to the contest…Hustled for a late downfield tackle…Seems out of position at nose guard, but Kelly was adamant about that placement late in August camp…

Observation: Had a rough go of it, especially in the 1st Quarter, in his rotation at nose guard. Cwynar's constant effort will pay dividends this season.

Hafis Williams – Good job in lateral pursuit to force a high throw by Marve to an otherwise open Keith Smith…failed to break down and make play on athletic backup QB Rob Henry after diagnosing the designed draw play…Showed a little better defending the boot to his side in the 3rd Quarter though might not be fast enough to complete the play…Cut down far too easily by Dierking on a designed roll late in the 3rd Quarter deep in Irish territory (Brian Smith saved him)…

Observations: Will likely receive a few pointers on setting the edge during runs and designed rolls to his side…

Emeka Nwankwo – Lost sight of the ball a misdirection toss; success in that realm will come with more playing time…Nwankwo did look quick in pursuit after shedding a block in the 3rd Quarter, firing out to the flat to chase Marve.


Line consistently showed good pursuit when initially blocked…The muddled, no-down lineman pass rush on 3rd and 8 was burned by a draw play (13 yards)…Standard 4-man pass rush understandably slowed a bit at times in the 3rd Quarter in an effort to keep Marve in the pocket...Helped limit the Boilers to 102 net rushing yards; unfortunately this is the worst running game they'll see until at least Week 11 (if not all season). Top Stories