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What to watch from Notre Dame, Week 5

Posted by ESPN.com's Brian Bennett

What to watch from Notre Dame's game against Washington in South Bend:

1. Jimmy Clausen's health: Charlie Weis insists that Clausen will be fine this week, but color us skeptical. Turf toe injuries are notoriously slow to heal, and the junior quarterback was hobbling around last week at Purdue even during his game-winning drive. Clearly, Weis just wants to get through this game and give Clausen time off during the bye. So how much does he use his star this week, and what kinds of things will he do to alleviate pressure on him? Expect to see more of Dayne Crist and the Wildcat, especially if the Irish can build an early lead.

2. Armando Allen and the running game: Allen is supposedly healed after his ankle injury, and Washington's defense has been kind to running backs. The Huskies are yielding 195 rushing yards per game on the ground. Look for heavy doses of Allen and Robert Hughes and probably even Golden Tate, who was given the ball out of the backfield several times at Purdue.

3. Jake Locker vs. the Irish defense: Notre Dame has seen running quarterbacks (Tate Forcier, Colin Kaepernick) and a pocket passer who tore it up (Kirk Cousins) this season. But it has not faced a guy yet like Locker, who can make plays with his feet and gun it down field with a powerful arm. He singlehandedly could push the Huskies to an upset victory. Yet Washington's offensive line is still very much a work in progress, so Jon Tenuta's blitzes should prove effective. The key will be containing Locker once he's flushed out of the pocket.