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Irish Insights


Problem solving

Notre Dame gave up the most rushing yards to Navy on Saturday in the history of the series.

The Midshipmen ran for 367 yards with backup fullback Alexander Teich accounting for 210 of those yards in a 35-17 Navy win.

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly talked about how the defense struggled against Navy running a veer that it hadn’t shown before Saturday’s win.

But the coach also said it’s the responsibility of the defense to defend all forms of the option offense.

“I’ve taken a lot of time today with our staff to make sure that we are all on the same page in how we are defending and what we have to do to continue to improve in that phase,” Kelly said Sunday.

“Let me make it clear – We are responsible for option. Whether it’s mid-line, veer, speed, load, it doesn’t matter. If we run against an option football team, you’re responsible for all those phases.

“Our kids played really, really hard. They did what we asked them to do. This is accountability and responsibility that we have as coaches to make sure that our players are well-prepared. We can’t use the excuse, ‘Well we haven’t seen that before.’ We’re responsible for option. All of our coaches believe that. I believe that. We’re going to make sure that we’re going to be prepared against all forms of option moving forward.”

Correcting defensive breakdowns against an option team will be important as Notre Dame will face another triple-option attack when the Irish take on Army in Yankee Stadium on Nov. 20.

“That’s job one for us, because we still have another option team on our schedule,” Kelly said.