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With goal to dominate, Lenzy makes the most of his opportunities

| Thursday, October 24, 2019

When the play call’s for Braden Lenzy, the receiver doesn’t waste the opportunity.

Despite having the ball in his hands just seven times this season behind four receptions and three carries, the redshirt sophomore already has two scores in his debut year.

Lenzy’s latest display of his offensive efficiency came in the form of a 51-yard breakout touchdown against USC two weeks ago; with the run, he helped Notre Dame take an early second quarter lead and eventually bag a 27-30 win.

Erin Fennessy | The Observer
Irish sophomore wide receiver Braden Lenzy celebrates a touchdown against the Trojans during Notre Dame’s 30-27 win over USC on Oct. 12.

With Tony Jones Jr. deep behind center in singleback formation, Lenzy, who started on the line on the right side, swept left behind Ian Book after the snap. The quarterback pitched it back to the speeding receiver, who bubbled wide past Trojans end Christian Rector — and that was all she wrote.

“Right when I was past [Rector], I knew it was a touchdown,” Lenzy said of the play.

Before the call, he said he was “just trying to stay calm.”

“I knew that the play had the opportunity to go big because we hadn’t run it before,” he said. “When I lined up, got the ball and ran, [I] hoped I could outrun everyone, and it worked out, so I’m very happy.”

In his first active season for the Irish, Lenzy is looking to contribute in any way he can, be that on the field or off.

“I’m very happy to help out the team and do whatever I can,” he said.

For Lenzy, a large part of his team’s success this season can be attributed to the preparation that happens in the days, weeks and months leading up to games; the team that shows up in practice is the one that will show up in games.

“[Offensive coordinator Chip] Long he always says, ‘I want to take the team that’s there with us every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.’ And I think that’s very true to who we are. We practice hard,” Lenzy said.

He also noted the importance of the right mentality week in and week out, regardless of who’s on the other side of the gridiron.

“Whether it’s Bowling Green or whether it’s USC, it doesn’t matter to us,” he said. “Our goal is to dominate every week. That’s really set the tone for us this year, and you can see that in the results.”

Lenzy believes he and the Irish can continue that trajectory in this week’s highly-touted, top-25 matchup against Michigan. He noted how critical having a bye week was, in addition to noting the importance of using the extra rest to his team’s advantage.

“The mindset is heal up a little bit right now and then get ready for Michigan. We try to think one week at a time,” he said.

Personally, with the return of Michael Young, Lenzy’s rise as a consistent piece of the Irish offense has been continually delayed, but in spite of his presence as a role-player, the sophomore feels his team is poised for success heading into Ann Arbor on Saturday night.

“We’re in a good place right now,” Lenzy said.

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