Notre Dame Fighting Irish football head coach Marcus Freeman held his weekly update with journalists Thursday. Following Notre Dame’s 21-14 victory against the Duke Blue Devils, the coach talked injury updates, the threat of the Louisville Cardinals and bringing it back to the fundamentals.
Freeman got things started with an update on wide receivers Jayden Thomas and Jaden Greathouse and tight end Eli Raridon and said, “All three will play.”
On the aggression of Louisville corners Jarvis Brownlee, Jr. and Quincy Riley and the Irish response, Freeman said, “I think they’re really good defenders. They’re physical, they have really good length, and they’re aggressive, right? You don’t see many balls caught on them, so we’ve told our wideouts it’s going to be a great challenge for us. We’re looking forward to a good battle with those guys, but they are well-coached and really good football players.”
On the challenge of Louisville running back Jawhar Jordan, Freeman said, “Jordan is a home run threat. We’ve shown our defense the multiple explosive plays that he’s had. He has elite speed and ability. I’ve seen him break tackles and do some things like that. We have to tackle... they got a talented running back room and you’ve seen them have a lot of success running the ball. Our challenge is to make sure, again, that they become one-dimensional. We have to stop the run. That’s going to be so important…. We gotta tackle, and we really gotta limit their explosive plays.”
On translating tackling basics into in-game execution, Freeman said that in practice, “The actual live tackling… tackle guys to the ground, you can’t do that. Especially going seven weeks straight… fall camp, we have to be smart in terms of the way we practice, but you know, there’s fundamentals to tackling. It’s not just live tackling, and we are constantly working on it and looking at new ways to continue to attack it in practice. We’re always trying to improve as a tackling team. There’s no perfect tackling teams in the country. One missed tackle’s too much, so how do we continue to work on the fundamentals of tackling? Is it a tracking issue? Are we tracking in the right way? Is it a footwork issue? Is it an actual leverage issue? All those different things that we see from the game, we have to continue to attack in practice and continue to work on it, but we’re constantly improving. It’s not perfect, but we are definitely addressing it in practice.”
Follow me on Twitter, or X, I guess.