Notre Dame Football: 5 Players who need to step up in the second half
Coming into the year, cornerback was the obvious weak point on an otherwise strong defense. Early on, things were ugly as the defense allowed a bunch of chunk plays through the first two weeks of the season.
Cam Hart has been coming on strong, though, and now he’s the clear top corner for the Irish. In the second half of the season, he’ll need to step up further and use his unique size for a corner to dominate.
If Hart can step up in run support, while maintaining his coverage of the top receivers on the teams Notre Dame plays, then the defense can go from very good to dominant. In particular, this will help All-American safety, Kyle Hamilton. With Hart stepping up, this would make it so that Hamilton doesn’t have to focus on both sides of the field and can be more dynamic on his half.
It would also help make quarterbacks hold the ball for an extra second, benefiting the pass rush and players like Isaiah Foskey.
This all amounts to more tackles for loss, more turnovers forced, and fewer big plays allowed for the Irish defense. Marcus Freeman’s defense is reliant on his corners stepping up in coverage and locking down receivers for this reason. It will help create chaotic plays without allowing as many.