Notre Dame Football: Key Offensive Matchups vs. Vanderbilt

Jafar Armstrong(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Jafar Armstrong(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
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Notre Dame football
SOUTH BEND, IN – SEPTEMBER 08: Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly watches as his team takes on the Ball State Cardinals at Notre Dame Stadium on September 8, 2018 in South Bend, Indiana. Notre Dame defeated Ball State 24-16. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Notre Dame football is back in action this week vs. Vanderbilt. After last week’s rough offensive performance, there will be a few interesting matchups to watch for when the Irish have the ball.

Okay, we are done discussing Ball State. I’m tired of it, you’re tired of it, it’s time to look forward to Vanderbilt. This week will be the first gut check for the Irish, after admittedly over-looking Ball State last week, Notre Dame football can’t afford to repeat this mistake vs. a 2-0 Vanderbilt squad.

Vanderbilt is coming off a disappointing 5-7 season from a year ago with a defense that gave up almost 400 yards and 30 points per game, but have started 2018 hot. Defensively, Vandy held their first two opponents — Middle Tennessee State and Nevada — to just 17 total points and less than 600 yards of offense combined. They have also forced six turnovers after forcing only nine all of last season. 


New defensive coordinator Jason Tarver has a lot to do with the sudden improvement. After spending the last three season as a senior defensive assistant with the 49ers, Tarver is reunited with Vanderbilt head coach Derek Mason from their days as co-defensive coordinators at Stanford.

A confident Vanderbilt defense riding on the back of a new defensive coordinator makes for some interesting matchups this Saturday. Here are the best ones to watch for.