SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - For the second straight week, Notre Dame has lost a starting offensive lineman to injury.
In the first quarter of the Virgina Tech game, Notre Dame offensive tackle and team captain Robert Hainsey fractured his left ankle and is out for the season.
Last week against Michigan, offensive guard Tommy Kraemer sprained his MCL in his left knee, and a return to to the field this season is not a certainty.
Coach Brian Kelly says Trevor Ruhland and Josh Lugg will fill in, and he doesn't expect there to be a drop-off in their play.
"I think you have to go into the game with the sense that those guys can go in and get the job done," Kelly said. "We believe they can. Both of them are really good players. Lugg is a highly recruited player. His opportunity is now and we expect him to compete at a high level for us. [Ruhland] is a veteran. He'll do a nice job for us. I don't think you can ever go and say these two guys were recruited on scholarship to Notre Dame. We can't run the football because of that. We have to go in there with the confidence that these guys can get the job done."
Kelly hopes the Irish can get the job done Saturday against Duke.
Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m., and you can catch the game on the ACC Network.