ND defense looks ahead after Ohio State loss

NOW: ND defense looks ahead after Ohio State loss

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ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. - Keeping the number two team in the nation to just 21 points last week on the road, the Irish defense certainly made a name for themselves in Columbus.

This season, under new leadership, Notre Dame is depending on their experience and in-game communication to be a beacon for the entire team moving forward.

Defensive coordinator Al Golden has been preaching situational football since the moment he stepped foot in South Bend.

When it mattered most -- leading by 3 late in the 3rd quarter at Ohio State -- the Irish dialed up a double safety blitz, hoping to catch CJ Stroud off balance.

Stroud caught the defense and that ultimately led to the decisive touchdown in the game.

"In the midst of it, we preach one play one life," said Golden. "So you know, you don’t really think about it - you move on to the next play."

Then again in the fourth quarter -- on 3rd down -- the Irish couldn’t get their defense off the field.

Despite those 2 drives, the Irish played prepared.

The 21-points given up to the Buckeyes was the least amount of points scored by Ohio State in nearly two years.

But those two third down plays ultimately had a key role in deciding the outcome from Columbus.

"If we could go back and do it again - I wouldn’t change the call - just the execution of it,” said head coach Marcus Freeman.

The situation will present itself time and time again this season but time will only tell if this well-coached unit can make a stop when it matters most.

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