The best stat of this young 2008 season is by far 0 – as in 0 sacks allowed by the Irish offensive line. After surrendering a NCAA record 58 last season, the Irish offensive line is off to a great start in keeping Jimmy Clausen on his feet this year.
When asked about the improvement of the line Saturday, Weis had this to say:
They’re much better in two facets in particular, much better in pass protection although Jimmy did get us out of a couple. He rolled out, and he’s learning now, he’s growing up, throwing the ball away, instead of doing something stupid, which we might have done last year so they worked together.
And in a running game you’re running against a team that’s giving up a yard a carry. This is a stout defensive front four, and they will continue to be a stout defensive front four all year long. But when they knew we were running it, and it turned into a slug fest, it showed that our guys are willing to go toe to toe with them.
Granted Notre Dame didn’t pass as much as normal Saturday because of the weather, but Michigan came into South Bend with nine sacks in two previous games and last year got to Jimmy Clausen eight times during the 38-0 drubbing in Ann Arbor. To his credit, Jimmy also avoided a couple of sacks by avoiding the rush and throwing the ball away much better than he did last year.
Still, it is great to see 0 sacks allowed so far even if the running game is not as productive as we all may like so far.