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Defense Overcoming Doubters – Kory Minor (’99)

Oct 8, 2013, 10:54 AM EDT

Kory Minor (Notre Dame Media Relations)

Former Notre Dame football linebacker Kory Minor (@KMine4) recaps the play of the Irish defense each week. 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” was just released a week ago. You can order the book and keep up with Minor’s speaking at 

How great does it feel to be part of the Irish nation today? With so many disbelievers and doubters this past weekend it makes the win that much more special.

The game of sports presents multiple challenges of adversity, whether in a single game or throughout an entire season. How you bounce back and regroup from adversity determines a lot about a team’s will and character? I think it’s safe to say that our Irish team has tons of character and great will on Saturday night/

I want to tip my hat to the coaching staff for devising a game plan to be successful in such a hostile environment against a darn good Pac-12 Arizona State team. It was wonderful to see the team show so much resolve and dedication to doing the little things right to secure a win. I want to also give a high-five to the Notre Dame offense for taking advantage of opportunities and putting points on the board. This was a total team effort.

I have said this since day one: to be an elite defense, it is mandatory that you create game changing plays. On Saturday night our defense reminded all of us of the 2012 Irish and just how special and great they could be.

Again, the game of football is really simple, it’s about field position and match ups. That is really it. We exploited their matchups to create big plays on the defense and in the special teams department. The defense really came to play and it was evident in a crucial statistic that has been hurting the Irish defense all season. Arizona State was only four-of-13 on third-down conversions. Getting teams off the field on third down has been trouble for the Irish but not on Saturday.

Another needed quest for our defense was to get pressure and quarterback sacks. We finally rose to the challenge. Our big time defensive ends responded well with pressure and recorded six sacks against ASU quarterback Taylor Kelly and ASU with Prince Shembo recording three of them.

Creating sacks not only gives great field position to your offense but it also wreaks havoc in the minds of the opposing quarterback and his offensive lineman.

Big-time players make big time plays, especially when the world is watching; and for both (Matthias) Farley and (Dan) Fox who each recorded an interception, it’s the little things that bring about Greatness. We all have seen many highlights when a player drops an interception and the next play a teams scores. But Farley and Fox took advantage of the opportunity that presented itself and they were able to change the game. How wonderful was it to see Fox grab a pic six after relieving Jarrett Grace who suffered a severe leg injury.

A team can never be dynamic with out having dynamite special teams. Not only were the return yards and the punting impressive but also to recover a fumble on the punt team is huge. Again, football is about field position. By recovering a punt we automatically put our offense in a position to be successful and not have to drive the ball fifty or sixty yards down the field.

In all, this was a great game dominated by Notre Dame! Will there be adversity in each and every game? Of course. The team that can respond and weather the storm will usually prevail.

We now have a week off to get rested and healthy, and then we do battle with a another good Pac-12 team. USC may be facing tremendous adversity of its own but we will be geared up for a win at Notre Dame Stadium.

Until next time….

Go Irish!

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