Notre Dame players ready for physical Wisconsin game
The stage is set for the biggest game of the 2021 season to date for Notre-Dame. On Saturday morning, the No.12 Irish face No.18 from Wisconsin in Chicago at Soldier Field as part of the Shamrock Series in a clash that was originally scheduled for Lambeau Field in 2020.
ESPN’s College Gameday and FOX’s Big Noon Kickoff shows will both be on-site, just testifying to the scale of the showdown. A win for Notre Dame would make the Irish head coach Brian kelly the most successful coach in the history of the program. Here’s how the Notre Dame players are preparing for a big clash with the Badgers.
Fifth grade linebacker Drawn white knows it will be a battle on Saturday.
“It’s going to be a physical game, I think that’s what it’s going to come down to, and then the discipline,” said White. “Being in your gap, being their duty. Wisconsin does a great job just opening up the creases and the running back is really good at finding those creases, so whoever isn’t in position, they’ll charge you.
White is not wrong. Wisconsin’s offense averaged 266 rushing yards in the first two weeks, including a 180-yard performance against Penn State in Game 1 of the season.
While there is no doubt that the atmosphere will be incredible at Soldier Field on Saturday morning, White is not interested in anything that happens outside of the white lines.
“It’s going to be an electric atmosphere, and I don’t want to be mean when I say that but it’s really for the fans, it’s for the media, it’s for everyone: have a good time”, said Whit points out. . “When I’m done playing football I’ll be excited for that too, but we have a job to do and the job doesn’t change. We’re up against an opponent who’s going to try to knock the ball down our throat and we’re going. have to stop them. I think the focus and attention on that aspect and the type of outside noise limitation is going to be really important. “
Likewise, the fifth-year right tackle Josh lugg believes that each week’s preparation should be the same regardless of the opponent.
“I think every week we have to expect a physical game and we have to be more physical in our preparation so that on Saturday we are performing with high intensity,” Lugg said. “We treat our opponents like faceless opponents, I don’t know how they see us, but we still look at our defensive lines which we go against like a faceless opponent and if we execute our fundamentals and get back to the basics at a high level. , then we’ll be good for Saturday.
Lugg is well aware of his responsibility and that of the offensive line.
“If we want our team to be successful, they have to start with us up front and do our job consistently, not just one game here and one game there, but all five being able to perform at a level. high, ”Lugg said. .
The Irish offensive line has taken a step in the right direction against Purdue, but it will be tested throughout the game against a physical defensive front from Wisconsin.
This game will be particularly memorable for the safety of seniors Houston griffith, a Chicago native who last played Soldier Field when he was making his first college debut as a freshman in high school. Griffith also has a familiarity with Wisconsin, since his father Howard griffith, two-time Super Bowl champion with the Denver Broncos, is a college football analyst for the Big Ten Network. So Griffith also expects to be tested on his own turf.
“[They’ve] has been a program that I respect a lot, it’s a team that knows how to really run the game, how to control possession of the game, ”explained Griffith. “They’re tall, they’re smart and they play aggressive, and that is a testament to the success they’ve had in the past.
“It should be a good game, it will be a physical game and we just have to hunt,” Griffith continued. “At the end of the day, we’ll have to hunt. We took a big step last weekend, so we’re just trying to keep working on that and take another step this week.
It is clear that the Irish are aware of what it takes to be successful and are focused on achieving.
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