Irish run game comes alive against a top rush defense

How impressive was Notre Dame's run game in the 17-14 win over BYU on Saturday?

Well, the Cougars entered the game with the 3rd best rush defense in the country giving up less than 100 yards a game. Notre Dame almost tripled that total--amassing 270 yards on the ground.

George Atkinson III rushed for the go ahead touchdown in the 4th and Cierre Wood had 114 yards on the ground, but it was Theo Riddick that set the tone.

Riddick rolled to a career high 143 yards on 15 carries, dragging defenders along the way on a number of 3rd down plays. None bigger than in the 2nd half where Riddick appeared to be down in a pile only to come out of it and burst 55 yards for a first down.

"He has run really hard and physical for us," Irish coach Brian Kelly said of Riddick. "Last year, we had Jonas Gray, who was that big physical back. Now I'm not comparing him to Jonas, because he's not; he's half his size. But running up between the tackles -- it gives an energy to the entire team when you see backs running that physical. And those linemen, they want to start blocking for you."

"You gotta go north and south," Riddick explains of his smash mouth style. "Once you boot your foot in the ground, you can't dance too much because of that's when you allow the other defenders to catch up."


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