Monday, February 27, 2017
Hawaii offense vs. Note Dame defense
Even though Notre Dame is giving up an average of 4.2 yards per carry, the Warriors should have a tough time establishing the run. At 310 pounds, NT Ian Williams is big enough to clog up the middle and keep blockers off ILBs Maurice Crum and Toryan Smith. They should make it difficult for 245-pound RB David Farmer to find seams between the tackles where he's at this best. In addition, DS's Davis Bruton and Kyle McCarthy are above-average run stoppers who should prevent scat backs Daniel Libre and Kealoha Pilares from breaking any long runs. At the beginning of the season, QB Greg Alexander had the unenviable task of trying to step into the shoes of former Hawaii great Colt Brennan, who the Washington Redskins selected in the sixth round of the 2008 draft. He did not get off to a promising start, and head coach Greg McMackin benched him following the season opener at Florida. To his credit, Alexander returned to the starting lineup against Utah State in early November and played well down the stretch. That doesn't bode well for a Fighting Irish pass defense that lacks the depth at corner to match up with WR's Michael Washington, Greg Salas, Aaron Bain and Malcolm Lane. In addition, Notre Dame must rush outside in and keep Alexander in the pocket, because he's shown he can scramble for first downs when nothing is available downfield. That said, Alexander is still relatively inexperienced and locks onto receivers at times. He can't afford to make that mistake working against Bruton, who is a playmaker with above-average range.
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