Notre Dame starting nose guard Kurt Hinish will miss Wisconsin game

Tyler James
ND Insider
Purdue linebacker Jaylan Alexander (36) blocks Notre Dame defensive lineman Kurt Hinish (41) during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021 at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend.

CHICAGO — Notre Dame will have to slow down the nation’s 10th-best rushing offense without its starting nose guard. 

Graduate senior Kurt Hinish will not play in Saturday’s game against No. 18 Wisconsin (1-1) in Chicago’s Soldier Field (12 p.m. EDT on FOX). He was announced as unavailable by the team 90 minutes prior to kickoff with no further details.

The 6-foot-2, 300-pound Hinish started the last 28 games for the No. 12 Irish (3-0) spanning back to the beginning of the 2019 season. In the first three games of the 2021 season, Hinish recorded five tackles and one sack. 

Junior nose guard Howard Cross III will make his first career start in Hinish’s absence. The 6-1, 275-pound Cross tallied three tackles while playing in a rotation with Hinish in the first three games of the season. According to Pro Football Focus, Hinish totaled 124 snaps in the first three games. Cross played 112 snaps. 

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Junior Jacob Lacey (6-2, 275), who also plays defensive tackle for the Irish, will likely work as Notre Dame’s backup nose guard. Sophomore Aidan Keanaaina (6-3, 310) should also be available to play nose guard.  

Hinish is one of Notre Dame’s seven captains this season.

Sophomore left tackle Michael Carmody (ankle injury) went through warmup drills, but he did not line up with the starting or backup offensive line. Fellow Tosh Baker, who also started last week against Purdue, appears in line to make his second career start at left tackle.

Follow ND Insider Tyler James on Twitter: @TJamesNDI.