LSU’s defensive line is going to have its work cut out for them on New Year’s Day when the Tigers take on No. 14 Notre Dame in the Citrus Bowl.
Notre Dame boasts one of the top offensive lines in the country and that’s something the Tigers are very well aware of.
“They certainly like to run the ball,” LSU defensive end Christian LaCouture told reporters on Wednesday. “Probably one of the best offensive lines we’re going to see all year long. Great technicians.”
One of the best offensive lines LSU will see has a pair of All-Americans on it as well. Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson was a unanimous first-team All-American and tackle Mike McGlinchey was named a consensus All-American after being named a first-teamer by four of the five outlets recognized by the NCAA and a second-teamer on the other squad.
McGlinchey and Nelson start at left tackle and left guard respectively and have been stout protectors of Notre Dame quarterback Brandon Wimbush all season long.
According to Notre Dame, McGlinchey only allowed three sacks, two quarterback hits and nine quarterback hurries in 825 snaps this season while Nelson didn’t allow a sack or QB hit all season and allowed just two pressures.
LaCouture plays primarily on the other side from the two Fighting Irish All-Americans but he still knows how formidable the duo can be.
“They are going to be on the other side but I know in some packages I’ll definitely be going against them,” LaCouture said. “It’s a great challenge. Those guys are very good. That whole offensive line is very good. I know those two working together is some of the best in the country.”
Behind the two anchors of the left side, Notre Dame rolled to one of the top rushing offenses in the country in 2017. The Fighting Irish rushed for 279.1 yards per game, the seventh-best total in the country.
Notre Dame running back Josh Adams rushed for 1,386 yards and nine touchdowns while rushing for 7.3 yards per carry. Wimbush also proved to be effective with his feet as he rushed for 765 yards and 14 touchdowns, tied for the fourth-most in the country by a quarterback.
“They have a great running back and a quarterback that can throw and run,” LaCouture said. “We feel like they are going to try to run the ball and try to establish physicality but we know we have to bring that as well and try to match that physicality and know what’s going on. It’s a great team. Top-15 matchup. We’re definitely excited for the challenge.”
Adams poses a challenge for many defenses at just over 6-foot-2 inches tall and 225 pounds.
LSU coach Ed Orgeron said the team is going to use a unique method to help prepare for tackling Adams.
“We’re going to have to put some big backs back there in practice; we’re going to practice tackling defensive lineman to simulate that, that’s what we do,” Orgeron told reporters on Tuesday.
“It’s going to be a challenge. He’s going to make some yards. We’re going to going to have to gang tackle him. The defensive line is going to…