South Bend Tribune:
- Notre Dame Men’s Basketball: Scott perfect in Irish win
- Notre Dame Men’s Basketball Notes: Martin finds way to heat up
- Notre Dame Football: Martin gives ND stability on line
The numbers support that the effort has been coupled with execution. Even with a herky-jerky first half of the season factored in, the 2010 unit has allowed the fewest sacks per pass attempt by an Irish offensive line (4.2 percent) since QB Jarious Jackson was directing the Notre Dame offense in 1998.
And while the Irish running game averages a modest nation’s 77th-best 4.0 yards per carry, it’s the highest average ND has recorded over a full season since 2003. The Irish outrushed all three of their opponents in November, making them now 26-0 since 2005 when that stat surfaces in the final boxscore.
All this was accomplished by an offensive line with three first-time starters, including Martin, and a personnel group that was initially clearly uncomfortable with the conversion to a spread offense and the way first-year offensive line coach Ed Warinner went about teaching it.
Notre Dame football fans didn’t believe quarterback Dayne Crist would overcome a tear to his ACL last season in time for spring practices. But he did.
Others weren’t convinced he was the right fit for Brian Kelly’s spread offense. Crist slowly convinced Irish Nation that he could pull it off.
Now the Californian must strengthen his other knee and a surgically-repaired patellar tendon, then sway Kelly and ND supporters all over again.
Chicago Breaking Sports:
Jokes about revealing transfer destinations aside, Crist faces the possibility of never starting another game for the Irish no matter how healthy he is, as Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly has underscored the need for competition at quarterback this offseason.
In his first comments since tearing his left patellar tendon on Oct. 30, Crist said Saturday that he won’t be chased away by the notion of losing his gig for good.
“Well, then, I wouldn’t be the best man for the job,” he said. “But I’m confident in my abilities and I’m going to compete. If that happens, so be it. But I’m going to do everything in my power to not let that happen. It’s pretty much as simple as that.”