Notre Dame vs NC State: Outside of the occasional intentional grounding call or key fourth down play, the line of scrimmage – and more specifically, what goes on along it – isn’t normally a star during college football broadcasts.
That may be different on Saturday when the 14th-ranked NC State Wolfpack visit No. 9 Notre Dame (3:30 p.m., WRAL-TV).
Logan Zone: NCSU facing ‘a supreme challenge’ this week vs Notre Dame
NC State head coach Dave Doeren said he’s expecting the contest between his defensive line and Notre Dame’s offensive line to be a “heavyweight battle.”
“You’re getting to watch the sixth-ranked rushing offense with Notre Dame and the sixth-ranked rushing defense with NC State. They have four senior offensive linemen, we’ve got four senior defensive linemen,” Doeren said. “I’m excited just to watch the line of scrimmage in this game.”
If the Wolfpack expects to go on the road and pick up their seventh win of the season, they’ll need to at least slow down the Irish run game, something only Georgia, and to a lesser extent Michigan State, have been able to do so far this season.
Notre Dame has rushed for at least 300 yards in its last three games, all dominant wins over Miami (Ohio), North Carolina and Southern California. Earlier this season, the Irish ran for 422 yards against Temple and an other-worldly 515 against Boston College.
Only the third-ranked Bulldogs truly slowed down the Irish rushing attack. In Georgia’s 20-19 win on Sept. 9, Notre Dame tallied just 55 yards on 37 attempts.
The production hasn’t just come from running back Josh Adams, who is fourth nationally in yards per rush (9.21). Quarterback Brandon Wimbush averages a robust 6.2 yards per rush and has more than 500 rushing yards on the year despite missing the North Carolina game.
It’s tough for high-profile programs like the Notre Dame Fighting Irish to have success against the spread because oddsmakers post inflated numbers and Joe Square still bets them up. But with a big win and cover last week, Notre Dame is now 6-1 ATS this season. Can the Irish keep the good times rolling when they run with the North Carolina State Wolfpack on Saturday afternoon?