DeShone Kizer

Notre Dame quarterback DeShone Kizer will have to content with NC State and the elements this Saturday.

Julio Cortez, Associated Press

With the death and destruction caused by Hurricane Matthew so far in the Caribbean and Florida, it's a good time to put sports in perspective. 

Especially college sports. 

Notre Dame announced earlier this week that despite the threat of Matthew to the East Coast, the Irish would still play North Carolina State in Raleigh, North Carolina, this weekend. 

Kickoff is set for 11 a.m. central time. 

For those who root for Notre Dame or North Carolina State living in the path of the mighty hurricane, the hope is that Saturday's game will provide a few hours of distraction from what's going on. 

As for some greater meaning for what this game might mean for Notre Dame going forward... Who knows?

If the game is played in a torrential downpour, it's going to be hard for the Irish to get their passing game going. 

Notre Dame averages 39.8 points per game while the Wolfpack average 40 on the dot. But it could look like a junior varsity slopfest if the weather doesn't cooperate. 

Even if it does, all Notre Dame can hope for is continued offensive production with baby steps from the defense. 

Notre Dame's defensive players are so lacking in basic fundamentals like tackling that any progress they make can be seen as a positive. 

And this isn't an indictment of 18- and 19-year-old kids. That's on the coaches. 

Notre Dame will have to contend with NC State sophomore QB Ryan Finley. He's completed 72 percent of his passes this season, thrown nine TDs and zero picks. 

Maybe the Irish should pray for rain. 

The problem is that a North Carolina State run attack means a healthy does of Matthew Dayes. The senior RB is averaging 5.8 yards per carry and is also a threat as a receiver out of the backfield with 10 catches for 82 yards. 

In his fourth year as head coach at NC State, Dave Doeren seems poised to get his program to where he wants it. 

He went 23-4 in his previous stint at Northern Illinois. 

Run, Run Run

The Irish have yet to establish an identity as a team that can run between the tackles when needed. There were glimpses against Syracuse. 

At 167.6, the Irish are 70th in the country in rushing yards per game. 

Though Tarean Folston is the elder statesman among the running backs, the two clear alphas are Josh Adams and Dexter Williams. 

Rain or shine Notre Dame needs to feature both backs more.