Notre Dame football practice notes 8-12
SOUTH BEND — Notre Dame practiced inside Notre Dame Stadium on Saturday morning, running through drills while the venue’s new video board bumped music and rolled through graphics overhead.
Still, in the media’s 10-period viewing window, there wasn’t a whole lot in the way of highlights.
Here are a few offensive and defensive takeaways from Notre Dame's 13th practice of fall camp.
In the practice’s opening tempo drill, the Irish offensive starters were quarterback Brandon Wimbush, running back Josh Adams, wide receivers Equanimeous St. Brown, Cameron Smith and Freddy Canteen, tight end Durham Smythe and offensive linemen left tackle Mike McGlinchey, left guard Quenton Nelson, center Sam Mustipher, right guard Alex Bars and right tackle Tom Kraemer.
The second team consisted of quarterback Ian Book, running backs Tony Jones Jr. and Dexter Williams, wide receivers Chase Claypool, Chris Finke and Miles Boykin, tight end Nic Weishar and offensive linemen left tackle Liam Eichenberg, left guard Hunter Bivin, center Trevor Ruhland, right guard Aaron Banks and right tackle Robert Hainsey.
Junior tight end Alizé Mack — who suffered a minor hamstring pull in a practice last week — rode a stationary bike and ran on the sideline but did not participate in drills.
As for those who did contribute, Wimbush was consistently accurate in both 7-on-7 and red zone drills. The junior quarterback hit Boykin along the left sideline with a pass placed perfectly between the cornerback and safety, dropping it high enough where only the 6-foot-4 Boykin could snare it.
Freshman tight end Cole Kmet was also on the receiving end of an impressive Wimbush completion. In a 7-on-7 red zone drill, the 6-6, 256-pound freshman leaped to grab a pass in the back of the end zone, displaying strong hands to secure it despite the reach of senior rover and captain Drue Tranquill.
Williams — a 5-11, 215-pound junior running back — galloped into the end zone untouched on pass from Book in a red zone drill, the result of a busted coverage.
While the skill position players were working on 7-on-7, the offensive and defensive lines pushed each other around in pass protection drills. The offense did more of the pushing.
Bars may have been the most consistent offensive linemen. He handled defensive tackles Jerry Tillery and Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa man-to-man and teamed up with Kraemer to beat defensive end Adetokunbo Ogundeji and Tagovailoa-Amosa. McGlinchey and Nelson made a couple victories look easy. Mustipher was tested by defensive tackles Kurt Hinish and Pete Mokwuah, but he didn't cede much ground. Kraemer had an uneven session with a loss to the outside against defensive end Julian Okwara and a stalemate with Ogundeji.
Notre Dame turned its focus to special teams as well on Saturday, drilling both kickoff and field goal situations. Junior Justin Yoon connected on four of six field goal tries, with both of his misses coming from 41 yards out. Freshman wide receiver Michael Young broke a nice kickoff return in the closing seconds of the media window.
Notre Dame’s defense ditched its typical warmup drill to start practice and worked through some formation adjustments against a scout team. But the Irish fielded 11-man units, and here’s how they lined up.
First team: Defensive ends Daelin Hayes and Jay Hayes, defensive tackles Jonathan Bonner and Jerry Tillery, linebackers Greer Martini and Nyles Morgan, rover Drue Tranquill, cornerbacks Nick Watkins and Julian Love and safeties Jalen Elliott and Nick Coleman.
Second team: Defensive ends Andrew Trumbetti and Khalid Kareem, defensive tackles Micah Dew-Treadway and Kurt Hinish, linebackers Te’von Coney and Jamir Jones, rover Asmar Bilal, cornerbacks Donte Vaughn and Shaun Crawford and safeties Isaiah Robertson and Devin Studstill.
After individual position work, the offensive and defensive lines matched up in pass rush drills. The majority of the time was spent working one-on-one. The drill wrapped up with two-on-two reps.
The defense struggled to put together wins consistently. But a few players flashed to beat their counterparts.
Defensive tackles Kurt Hinish and Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa saw the most action of any of the freshman defensive linemen. Both scored victories early in the drill. Later Hinish and Bonner beat offensive linemen Trevor Ruhland and Aaron Banks in a tag-team effort. Defensive tackle Brandon Tiassum overwhelmed Banks with his strength on one rep for a victory.