Offensive line shuffle tests Notre Dame's depth

Offensive line shuffle tests Notre Dame's depth
October 26, 2013, 9:15 pm
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Notre Dame already lost starting right guard Christian Lombard before Saturday's game, and then lost starting left guard Chris Watt to a strained knee in the second quarter.

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That meant Notre Dame -- which hadn't replaced a starting offensive lineman since Braxston Cave's season-ending injury in 2011 -- had its offensive line depth tested.

Steve Elmer began the game at right guard, but replaced Ronnie Stanley at right tackle in the second half. Matt Hegarty replaced Elmer at right guard while junior Conor Hanratty took over for Watt at left guard after his injury.

With the second-team unit in, Bruce Heggie played right tackle and walk-on Kevin Carr saw his first action for Notre Dame at right guard.

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Tackle Zack Martin, who's started every game of the Brian Kelly era, couldn't remember a game in which he worked with so many different players. But for the most part, he and Kelly thought all those different players looked fine against Air Force.

"By and large, they were fine," Kelly said "…We were moving pieces around a lot there today."