You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.

Irish Insights


Offensive line issues

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly will have a better feel for the health of his offensive line after Tuesday's practice.

Center Braxston Cave (ankle), right tackle Taylor Dever (hamstring) and left guard Chris Stewart (contusion) were nicked up Saturday's win over Boston College.

On Sunday, Kelly said Dever's injury was the one that concerned him the most, but on Tuesday, he also talked about concerns about Cave.

"You are always concerned with an ankle on your center," Kelly said. "He told me this morning that he would be fine. We'll get him out there today, and I will have a better feel."

While Kelly expects all three linemen to be able to play this weekend against Pittsburgh, he is also comfortable with using backup linemen Chris Watt, Mike Golic Jr., Matt Romine or Andrew Nuss.

"We've got some great flexibility," Kelly said. "I feel pretty good about the offensive line. If we had two or three guys missing at some other positions, I would probably be a lot more concerned."

Cave answered some of Kelly's concerns about his development at center against Boston College.

Going into the game, Kelly said Cave was tipping when he was hiking the ball and that the hikes needed to be more precise.

Against the Eagles, Cave cleaned up his hikes and even got some offside calls against the BC defense.

"He is doing a lot more as a first-year starter than any of those guys," Kelly said. "There is a lot on his plate. He is making great progress."

Another first-year starter making good progress is left tackle Zack Martin.

Kelly said the sophomore is grading out as the top lineman so far this season, and that Martin has shown a good ability to learn from game to game.

"There are things happening each week that he has never seen before," Kelly said. "All of the other things that he has seen, he has developed and has gotten better each and every time. When you look at Zack Martin as a first-time starter, each week he sees new things, and maybe doesn't handle it like a veteran starter. But those things that he has encountered already, he is playing at a high level."