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Everett Golson leading Irish offense to level not seen since 1943

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Brian Spurlock/USA Today Sports
Notre Dame QB Everett Golson has seven TD passes and four TD runs in three games so far in 2014.

Notre Dame senior quarterback Everett Golson hasn't received all that much help from his rushing attack, but he still has the Irish's offense humming.

How prolific has Notre Dame been? IrishIllustrated.com points out that for the first time since 1943, the Irish have scored at least 30 points in each of their first three games.

The Irish beat Rice 48-17 in their opener, hammered Michigan 31-0 in their second game and eased past Purdue 30-14 this past Saturday. The 109 points is the highest point total for the Irish since that same 1943 season -- one that ended with a national title.

Golson (6-foot-0, 200 pounds) has thrown for 780 yards and looks extremely comfortable -- extremely, extremely comfortable, especially considering he missed last season because of an academic issue -- in coach Brian Kelly's offense. Golson already has seven TD passes and four TD runs; in 2012, when he guided the Irish to the national championship game, he had 12 and six, respectively. He also is the unquestioned focal point of the offense and has succeeded despite a relatively lackluster rushing attack.

At first glance, Notre Dame's per-game average of 158.0 rushing yards per game looks OK. But that's largely because of the 281 yards rolled up against overmatched Rice; in the past two games, the Irish have rushed for a total of 193 yards, and no one is going to confuse the defenses at Michigan and especially Purdue with championship-caliber units.

Kelly is worried about his rebuilt offensive line.

"Quite frankly, we've got to find a little bit more push inside, and that's what we're going to try to come up with," he told reporters Sunday during his weekly teleconference.

Golson's high-level play has overcome the line issues, but even with his mobility, he has been sacked six times already. The Irish allowed only eight sacks last season.

NFL Media analyst Bucky Brooks wrote after the Michigan game that Golson is "going to be an interesting prospect to monitor."

Although Golson's size won't necessarily excite scouts, Brooks wrote that "Golson is a strong pocket passer with enough athleticism to make plays on the perimeter. With Russell Wilson emerging as a force in the NFL, evaluators could view Golson as an intriguing prospect due to his unique skill set."

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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