September 18, 2008

Spartans need to put pressure on Jimmy Clausen

EAST LANSING - Michigan State has recorded only three sacks during their first three non-conference games. Notre Dame has yet to yield a sack during the 2008 season.

Those stats would appear to give the Fighting Irish a significant advantage in the trenches. But sometimes statistics can be deceiving.

"I think you have to look at the teams we have played," said senior defensive end Brandon Long, who started his first game at defensive end during the 2008 season last weekend against Florida Atlantic after playing a reserve role against Cal and playing primarily on third downs against EMU while recovering from an injury that sidelined him the last week and a half of training camp. "Both Eastern and FAU got rid of the ball very quickly and they had complex blocking schemes. Texas did not get a sack against them either."

California, FAU, and Eastern Michigan ranked at or near the top of their respective leagues in sacks allowed during the 2007 season. All three programs allowed fewer than 20 sacks during the 2007 season.

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