This Saturday night the Irish will take on a very talented and very fast Arizona State offense. Last weekend the Sun Devils hung 62 points on USC on their way to a 62-41 victory. Those kind of numbers have some Irish fans concerned about how the Notre Dame defense will handle ASU this weekend.
Before the year started some people were predicting this years defense would be as good if not even better than they were in 2012. Through the first five games that has certainly not been the case. Last season the defense only gave up an average of 12.8 points a game. This year they are averaging 23.8 through the first half.
While the defense has struggled at times they have also been able to keep games close and give themselves a chance to win late in the game. In their two losses they have given up 41 and 35 points, but in each of those loses they were within 7 points in the fourth quarter.
That is why last weak head coach Brian Kelly showed his team a video of last years games in which the Irish were just one or two plays away from losing the games they won.
"He was just trying to remind us that the difference between last year and this year, and something we need to get back to, just finding a way to win," Irish nose tackle Louis Nix III said. "In a couple of games we were behind but we ending up winning. That could have happened against Oklahoma. It was 27-21 and we had a lot of mishaps with the other team scoring, but it was still a close game."
Nix said he hasn't been happy with the way the defense has played so far this season and it has been motivating them to get better.
"We are not happy with ourselves and we know we can be a better team and that is why we are out here now trying to work on it," Nix said. "I know me and my team are coming out every week and trying to play hard. We have brain farts here and there and that is why coach Kelly preaches about being disciplined and being a better team." He added "We are getting better every week. It might not look like it but we are. We have just got to keep working."
Irish fans can look for improvements this Saturday night when the Irish take on Arizona State kickoff is set for 7:30.