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Irish Insights


Looking forward to physical play

SOUTH BEND – Notre Dame junior Jarrett Grace rotated through the middle linebacker positions behind fifth-year seniors Carlo Calabrese and Dan Fox in last Saturday's 28-6 victory over Temple.

It is a rotation that will likely used again this week when the No. 14 Irish play at No. 17 Michigan.

Fox finished with a team-high 10 tackles for his first double-digit tackle total of his career, and he recorded one tackle for loss. Calabrese had nine tackles, and Grace had seven against a Temple team that utilized short passes against Notre Dame, forcing the middle linebackers to be in coverage more than attacking a running back.

Grace said Wednesday the middle linebackers are looking forward to Michigan's more straight ahead, physical brand of offense.

"Being inside linebackers, we like running down hill and hitting in between tackles," Grace said. "That wasn't the emphasis of the game for us (against Temple). We were running around a little bit, and kind of felt we were defending a whole lot of pass, which we were doing. It's like this is weird. It doesn't seem like football, more like just basketball, I guess.

"We are excited this week."

For more on Grace and the middle linebackers, read Thursday's The Journal Gazette or return to after 3 a.m.