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Getting Defensive With Kory Minor (’99) – Temple

Sep 3, 2013, 2:47 PM EDT

Minor played with the Carolina Panthers after graduating from Notre Dame in 1999

Former Notre Dame football linebacker Kory Minor (@KMine4) will be recapping the defensive play of each game in “Getting Defensive With Kory Minor.” Minor, a four-year member of the football squad, went on to the NFL for a few years and is currently traveling the country speaking at colleges, universities and corporations on leadership and the concept of winning. Minor’s first book, “Make a Touchdown of Your Life” is due out later this week. You can order the book and keep up with Minor’s speaking at KoryMinor.com. 

The first game of the season is under our belts and we can now move on to those pesky Wolverines of Michigan. Congrats to the Irish on their victory over Temple. It’s well known that teams make the most significant improvements between the first and second games. If this is the case, I am truly excited for the Irish and for what is to come this season, especially for Notre Dame’s defense.

Here are my thoughts on the defense from the Temple game:

First off, let’s understand that the single-most important objective of the game is to win and on Saturday, Notre Dame did just that. Second, holding any opponent to just six points is a fantastic job of following the game plan. So I want to give kudos to the entire defensive and special team units.

As a fan watching on Saturday there are many instances where playing below the Notre Dame standard was evident.

We saw the unnecessary offside penalties, the lack of containment and tackling against Temple’s quarterback, the lack of coverage against Temple’s receivers and the lack of sacks from the stellar Notre Dame front. Despite these obvious areas for improvement, the Notre Dame defense started strong and finished strong, allowing a little more than three yards per play and holding the Owls to just 131 yards in the second half. The Irish play at the start of the game and in the second half is how we all expect to see our defense perform.

My biggest concern on Saturday was the lack of big plays from the defense. If you read my season preview post, I discussed how important it is to create three game-changing plays per game. In order for our defense to be superior and battle the best offenses in college football, our defense must find a way to make big plays that either puts points on the board or gives our offense great field position to work with. More importantly, a defense that can make game-changing plays week-to- week gives the following week’s opponent something to think about. A game-changing defense causes opposing offenses to be uncomfortable, to second guess themselves, to be indecisive, to slow down and to change the game mentally.

In all, I am truly excited about our defense and their playmaking ability. I am looking forward to great things from the defensive group as they have the ability to be special.

Go Irish and good luck against Michigan!