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Notre Dame Football

ND Vs - NC State DE Bradley Chubb

June 14, 2017
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It will go down in history as a game that never should have been played. That's how people will remember Notre Dame playing NC State in 2016.

The hurricane game. The game that made people feel bad for calling Clemson a monsoon. The game where Notre Dame threw the ball 26 times and dropped back to pass even more than that. And it all happened in a hurricane on a day that both teams shouldn't have been playing football.

I think we can safely say that the rematch between the Wolfpack and the Irish this October will have better weather. Hopefully they get to play actual football that day and it should end up being an entertaining match up. A big reason why is that Notre Dame is projected to have one of the best offensive lines in the nation and NC State's defensive line is set up to be one of the best as well. A big part of the latter unit is senior defensive end Bradley Chubb.

The cousin of star Georgia running back Nick Chubb, Bradley had a monster junior season that included 10 sacks and 21.5 tackles for loss. He's an All-American candidate and one of the top players Notre Dame will face in 2017. They are strong across the defensive line at NC State, but the Irish coaching staff may have to specifically game plan for Chubb because he's that talented.

A versatile pass rusher


There is no doubt that Chubb can get after the quarterback. The double digit sacks kind of give that away. What makes Chubb such a dangerous player, though, is the fact that he can win in more ways than one.

He is a big, strong dude, but he has a really good first step and can bend around the edge and finish at the quarterback like he did here against Miami (right end versus the left tackle).

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If you play with a soft shoulder against him, this is what will happen. You don't see Mike McGlinchey getting beat like this often if at all, but Tommy Kraemer did get beat this way in the spring game. If a tackle stops his feet, it's over versus Chubb.

A tackle can't jump out too quickly and be too light with kick step either, though. If he does, then Chubb can convert speed to power and win with a bull rush like he does here against Wake Forest.

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The key against him is balance. Don't over commit one way or the other and a tackle won't get embarrassed. They also need to watch out for an inside move from him because he has great lateral quickness.

Let's just say that the less 3rd and longs Notre Dame is in the better it will be versus NC State. If they give Chubb enough opportunities, there is a good chance he will hit home at the quarterback at some point.

Have to be smart with how they plan to block him


If I had to give an edge to one part of Chubb's game over another, I would say he is a better pass rusher than he is versus the run. But it's close. He's really strong playing the run too.

This is about as impressive as it gets when it comes to setting the edge. He blows up Miami's tight end and the H-back at the same time. The ball is forced to come back inside for a short gain.

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That gave me flashbacks of Notre Dame playing Clemson and Shaq Lawson wrecking Alizé Mack and Nic Weishar. From what I have seen, Chubb is too good to be single blocked by a tight end. They are going to need to give that tight end help.

Some teams are even foolish enough to have a tight end try and pass block him. Let's hope Chip Long doesn't think Notre Dame can pull it off or this might happen.

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I really think Chubb will be a tough player to option as well whether it is an RPO or a traditional zone read. The Irish might want to think twice about it when they are doing it to his side. I haven't seen too many ends like him that are as aggressive when it comes to attacking the mesh point and getting hits on the back or the quarterback.

On this play it wouldn't have mattered whether DeShone Kizer handed it to Dexter Williams or kept it like he ended up doing. Chubb was up the field so fast that he was going to blow this up no matter who had the ball. Most ends play this more cautiously when they are unblocked. Not him, though.

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On the list of games Notre Dame fans are worried about this season, NC State is probably about fifth. That's not giving the Wolfpack enough credit in my opinion. They are going to be a really good football team with 17 returning starters and everyone returning on what was a great defensive line. Chubb is the leader of that line and he is going to again be a disruptive presence this fall.

Chip Long, Harry Hiestand, and the offensive line and tight ends are going to have to bring their "A" game against him on October 28th. He might be the defensive player they have to face all season.
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