Notre Dame Football: Can Irish repeat 2017 rushing performance?

(Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /

Last season, Notre Dame football had one of the best rushing attacks in the country. Can they repeat that performance in 2018?

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish were in the top of the nation in the rushing attack in 2017. They had a bullish offensive line and a running back in Josh Adams who found the hole and burst through it. So can they repeat the numbers they had last season?

The Fighting Irish were eighth in the country in rushing yards, third in yards per carry, and tied for 15th in rushing touchdowns as a team. Josh Adams was 14th in total yards and 13th in yards per carry, and Brandon Wimbush was 25th in rushing touchdowns.

Wimbush can score with anyone on the field because he has the ability to slash, and he’s one of the fastest quarterbacks in the country. In addition to that, despite limited playing time, the expected starting running back, Dexter Williams, set career highs in yards, yards per carry, and touchdowns.

They have the from the runners’ standpoints to duplicate what they did last year. However, it’s not just the talent of the backfield that makes the running game. It’s the offensive line.

They can repeat the performance of that rushing attack if the offensive line can repeat theirs. The offensive line lost two consensus All-Americans to the NFL Draft, and it was the left side of the line. That said, if their replacements can be anywhere near where Mike McGlinchey and Quenton Nelson were in 2017, they have a chance to have one of the nation’s top rushing attacks again.

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There’s no open practices like in the NFL training cams and no preseason games. We won’t know until Michigan rolls into Notre Dame Stadium whether or not the offensive line can hold up like last year. If they can, though, it’s going to be a long season for Notre Dame opponents.