SOUTH BEND – Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly pointed to a failure to do the simple things for the reason the Irish are 3-2 as they get ready to play No. 22 Arizona State (3-1) on Saturday in Arlington, Texas.
"What we haven't done well, quite frankly, is the ordinary things, and last year we did the ordinary things much better," Kelly said Tuesday. "We have to do the ordinary things much better. We have got to stay above the cut in Cover‑3. We've got to run routes better. We've got to pick up protections that are day one protections, we've got to pick those things up. We've got to complete easy balls. And those are the little things that we've got to do better."
Left guard Chris Watt shed some light on Wednesday at what doing "ordinary things" means to him as an offensive lineman.
"I would say slide protection, keeping your eyes in the gap, as well as in power run blocking, as far as technique with getting your hands up on guys quick," Watt said. "Just doing things that we've practiced and (offensive line coach Harry) Hiestand emphasizes every day. Just doing those things better will be beneficial for the team."
Nose guard Louis Nix III shared what "ordinary things" means to him as a defensive linemen and how he also feels that not doing the simple things has held this year's team back in games.
"It has been those ordinary things that we haven't been doing right," Nix said. "Like staying in your gap, staying outside when you are supposed to and bounce back in, things like that. Or you know, playing cover-3 the right way, not cheating on your coverage and stuff. We are not doing those ordinary things.
"That is kind of preventing us from winning. We are the guys that go out there, we are the ones that hit and tackle and stuff. We just got to go out there and do our jobs."