Photo by Rick Kimball/ISD
Notre Dame Football

Kraemer & OL Preparing For Exotic UVA Defense

September 27, 2019
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A lot was made this week about Notre Dame’s captains calling a team meeting before the Irish got into preparations for Virginia on Monday afternoon. But, it might not be as rare for those outside The Gug may think as the veterans of the team have made sure to make them consistent over the last few years. 
 
“We have meetings like that all the time,” stated senior offensive lineman Tommy Kraemer. “The older guys calling guys together and making sure we’re all accountable. The message from the captains was to have a great week of prep to get ready to take on Virginia. Guys were flying around and it was an awesome practice.”
 
For Kraemer and his offensive line, Saturday’s game at Georgia had many positives, but also a few negatives. The Irish did well in pass protection, but penalities and inconsistencies in the run game hurt. However, Kraemer doesn’t believe there are drastic changes needed for the run game to get going.

“We have to keep doing what we’re doing every day,” explained Kraemer. “We don’t have to be superheroes or change everything. We have to trust our technique, fundamentals and play physical.”
 
Notre Dame’s offensive line also went back a few years to get some inspiration this week.
 
“We went back and after the Georgia game in 2017,” said Kraemer. “We played Boston College and Michigan State. I think we broke the rushing record against Boston College. We’re just as focused as we were then and we’re excited to get after it this week.”
 
As for Virginia, Kraemer and the other four offensive linemen will need to bring their A-game and then some as the Cavaliers lead the nation in sacks. The 3-4 scheme brings pressure from everywhere and the majority of Virginia’s sacks have come from linebackers and safeties.
 
“They’re a very good defense,” Kraemer stated. “They throw a lot of stuff at you. They are physical and they play hard. It’s going to be a great challenge and we’re going to be up for it.”
 
Notre Dame proved it could hang with college football’s elite last week, but this week is a different statement. Notre Dame needs to prove it can bounce back, but also handle business after an emotionally charged game.

“Georgia has nothing to do with it,” said Kraemer. “As a team, we’re so close. As an offense, we all love each other and we’re brothers. It’s the same thing with the defense. It had nothing to do with Georgia, but the love for each other is special.
 
“We showed we’re tough and physical. We’re ready to bring that on to Virginia this week.”

 
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