Blue and Gold Illustrated

Sept. 17, 2022

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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30 SEPT. 17, 2022 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED NOTRE DAME HEAD COACH MARCUS FREEMAN … On how close Notre Dame is to the physical iden- tity he wants: "We're not close enough. If we can't stop the run or get after the quarterback when it's crunch time, or you can't run the ball or protect the quarterback when it's crunch time, we're not where we need to be. "If we want to be the program we all aspire to be, we're going to have to be an O- line- and D-line-driven program. That's not going to change. We're not where we need to be." On the Irish's leader- ship: "I challenged the leaders. I challenged them. Right now is going to be a difficult time. There are two situations that are going to happen, right? You'll have people say you aren't good enough. You guys aren't a good enough team. And there are going to be people who say it's OK. You did your job. Neither of those things contribute to our culture. "We have to stay together, look internally and say; 'What do we have to do as individuals?' It's not that I did my job or that I'm not good enough. It's about what we have to do as individuals improve and to be in a position to execute on Saturdays." On if Tyler Buchner is being asked to do too much at QB: "We'll assess that. I can't tell you right now. I felt really good with the game plan going in. We didn't pro- duce the results we wanted to. We've got to look and see. "We have to say, 'Is there too much on his plate? Are we asking him to do too much?' That has to be a part of what we do." On the play of the Notre Dame offensive line: "I'm not going to sit here and say it's the offensive line's fault. It's from offensive line from quarterback to running back to wideout to tight end — there are multiple different lev- els of lack of execution. "But again, we are an O-line-driven program. It starts up front. Every position has to improve. The O-line, too." SENIOR DEFENSIVE TACKLE HOWARD CROSS III … On Marshall QB Henry Colombi: "Every good quar- terback is a scrambler and can throw good passes out of the scramble. There were a lot of times he came free, and he was a good quarterback. He made good shots. "Even when he was scrambling, he made the shots that counted. That's what happened." On the loss to Marshall: "They had a good season last year and the year before. We can't undermine Marshall. They're a good team. They're going to do well this year." On not stopping the Marshall rushing attack: "We were focused on passing a lot because they have a good pass game. Their running back was a five-star transfer. They have a really good running back. He was all over the field. "We really emphasized ripping the ball out, but he had a good handle on it the whole game." GRADUATE STUDENT SAFETY DJ BROWN … On the importance of veteran leadership: "The older guys need to step up and keep everybody together. Times like this are hard. "Division in the team is probably the worst thing that could happen. Try to keep everybody together and keep a positive energy." On Marshall's success running the ball: "They have a pretty good running back, and we didn't dominate the line of scrimmage like we needed to. That was one of our goals going into the game — stop the run. "They did a good job, and they out-executed us." SOPHOMORE WIDE RECEIVER LORENZO STYLES … On not being on the same page with QB Tyler Bu- chner: "We've been working really hard at that every single day. We just got to work to get better at it and see it in the game." On the offense's repeated sputtering: "Of course, we are going to feel a little bit of frustration. We just have to try to stay levelheaded and never get too high or too low there in the end." JUNIOR TIGHT END MICHAEL MAYER … On the outlook after losing to Marshall: "We have a long season ahead. I think people know that. Our goal is to win out the rest of this season. Obviously a very, very tough loss. Nobody wants to lose, ever. "So, we're going to go in, watch the film, coach is going to coach us up, and we have to get ready for Cal. There is really nothing else we can do." On Tyler Buchner being in the spotlight: "He's a humble dude. He worked his tail off today. He did what he could. Obviously, the injury is horrible. I haven't re- ally talked to him about that yet. He went out there and he worked his tail off. "I don't think we could ask for anything more from him." Marcus Freeman was searching for answers after he became the first Notre Dame head coach to lose his first three games. PHOTO BY CHAD WEAVER FROM THE LOCKER ROOM

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