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Irish ready to face challenging Midshipmen triple-option attack

| Friday, November 5, 2021

After facing two offenses that are reliant on the pass, the Irish defense will face a different kind of test on Saturday when they go up against the triple-option attack of the Navy Midshipmen. The preparation has looked different, but senior defensive lineman Jayson Ademilola and junior linebacker J.D. Bertrand are confident that the Irish will be prepared for the different and challenging Navy offense.

Ademilola stressed the importance of the Irish paying attention to details this week and staying focused in practice.

“We’re still learning it and the preparation just started,” Ademilola said. “We are just trying to be on the details this week.”

Ademilola also expressed the need for everyone to stick to their assigned jobs against the triple-option attack.

“Doing and knowing what you have to do on every play is important,” Ademilola said. “Everybody has a different job, and everybody has to know their job and make sure that you are tackling the right way. Everything is just simplified to the details.”

Ademilola talked about the change of pace that he expects against Navy in comparison to the USC and UNC offenses that the Irish faced the last two weeks.

“It kind of slows you down because it’s a different offense that we are going against,” Ademilola said.

Despite playing Navy two years ago, Ademilola admitted that there is a lot of learning happening in practice right now.

“I feel like with the experience in the past, I have played them twice before, but I think it was two years ago we played them so everyone is a bit rusty,” Ademilola said. “We are really just watching film and going back to the details and knowing what your job is.”

J.D. Bertrand discussed the physicality and speed of the Midshipmen offense that he expects on Saturday.

“The biggest thing is being able to be more physical and to find the ball. At the end of the day, that is all that it’s about,” Bertrand said. “I have played a triple offense team before. It’s a little different trying to adjust to the speed that Navy plays with and how well and efficiently they do it. Being able to find the ball and knowing it’s going to be a physical game is going to be the key to success.”

Bertrand acknowledged that the defense will have to change ahead of the Navy game.

“It’s definitely a change. We know that we are going to have to be able to adjust to the speed of the game,” Bertrand said. “We aren’t going to exactly get that look and exact speed in practice. Through extra practicing and using things like walk-throughs is where we will pick up on that speed.”

Sophomore running back Chase Ketterer has operated as the scout team quarterback, and he has worked to prepare the Irish defensive line for the triple option attack that they will face on Saturday. Ademilola praised Ketterer for helping the defense prepare for Saturday.

“Chase ran this offense in high school, and he’s super athletic and super tough and we were hitting him today. He’s super physical,” Ademilola said. “He’s getting up there and running the offense and he loves it. He’s one of the guys that makes me happy to be out there on that practice field.”

Ketterer has been a part of a triple option offense from a young age, and he discussed the importance of the defense executing their game plan against Navy.

“I have been running triple option since I was in fifth grade, so I kind of know it like the back of my hand a little bit,” Ketterer said. “The defensive line is really going to have to get on top of the line and get through blocks.”

The Midshipmen are coming off of one of their best offensive performances of the season where they rushed for over 300 yards in a 20-17 win over Tulsa last week. The Irish defense, on the other hand, is coming off one of their worst games of the season, surrendering 34 points, over 200 rushing yards, and over 550 total yards in last Saturday’s win against UNC.

Despite this recent struggle, Ademilola is confident that the Irish are continuing to improve in practice.

“As a whole, each day everyone is learning, and everyone is striving to be the best version of themselves. Everybody is trying to be great,” Ademilola said. “We are still learning, and we are getting better each and every week. We have a bunch of guys who love each other and it means a lot to us, so we are going to go out there and strive for greatness each and every day on the field.”

Saturday will mark the 94th meeting between the Irish and Midshipmen, and Bertrand, a junior who didn’t see the field against Navy his freshman year, is very excited to play in this historic rivalry matchup for his first time.

“I think it will be really fun. It seems like a really fun game, especially at my position as a linebacker,” Bertrand said. “The tradition part is always a cool part of it. Bringing the two teams together is an exciting opportunity.”

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About Nate Moller

Nate is a junior majoring in chemical engineering. He is originally from a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota and is currently living in Siegfried Hall. Some of his passions include running, cross country skiing, and getting too worked up about Notre Dame and Minnesota sports teams.

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