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Tim Jefferson leads the No. 3 ranked rushing offense in the nation into South Bend. The Falcons are averaging 364 yards per game on the ground and over 500 yards total offense per game. Jefferson has hit on 70 percent of his passes for 500 yards and five touchdowns. He has also rushed for close to 200 yards.
Jefferson reminds me of a little bit of former Navy quarterback Ricky Dobbs. Dobbs was a much better runner than Jefferson while Jefferson is probably a better passer. The Falcons are also putting up close to 39 points per game, although they were held to only 19 against TCU.
How will the Irish defense match up against this attack?
Last year as has been well documented, the Irish struggled badly against Navy and were very sound against Army. So which Irish defense do we see on Saturday? Notre Dame is currently 31st in the nation in total defense as they are giving up slightly over 300 yards per game. It is funny that when Lou Holtz was at Notre Dame he went 20-1 against the service academies. His only loss was an overtime loss to Air Force.
Irish fans rarely worried about the academies. That was because Notre Dame frequently featured big athletic defenses. This particular defense fits that mold. Air Force is going to get their yards on Saturday and they will score some points. However, Notre Dame will do enough on defense to minimize the very potent Air Force offense.
EDGE: NOTRE DAME