The Notre Dame defense will be without a big piece this weekend, both literally and figuratively.
Defensive tackle Louis Nix has not been practicing this week after suffering a shoulder injury against USC last weekend, and the school announced that Nix will not be traveling with the team for its game against Air Force on Saturday.
The senior defensive tackle has anchored Notre Dame's defensive line this season, compiling 22 tackles with two tackles for a loss this year. Nix's presence is a big reason why the Irish defense has allowed only 3.89 yards per carry this season and four rushing touchdowns through seven games.
Nix's loss could prove to be a major factor in the game, because even though Air Force is only 1-6 on the season, it's still an option team that's averaging over 54 carries a game. Not exactly the kind of offense a team wants to be facing without your starting defensive tackle plugging up the middle of the line.