Photo by Rick Kimball/ISD
Notre Dame Football

Tagovailoa-Amosa Preparing For The Cold & USC

October 10, 2019

Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa might not have grown up around the Notre Dame-USC rivalry, but the junior defensive tackle has been well aware of it for quite some time.

The Hawaii native was relaxed on Tuesday when discussing Saturday’s game and was looking forward to playing some friends when the Trojans arrive in South Bend.

“Everyone knows this rivalry is a huge game,” Tagovailoa-Amosa stated. “For me, the fact I get to play against a team that has more Polynesians. It’s always good to play against your own kind I should say.

“Going against familiar faces is what makes it special for me.”

Notre Dame has won the last two games against USC and a significant factor in those games has been the play in the trenches. The 6-foot-3, 285-pounder knows the Irish defensive line will have to rise to the occasion, and that's something defensive line coach Mike Elston has challenged his room to do each week.

“We always try to go out with the mindset to dominate our opponent,” explained Tagovailoa-Amosa. “We’re focused on our process of knowing we have to set the tone. Coach Elston always emphasizes we have to out physical any opponent we play.”

The Irish defense has recorded 14 sacks in 2019 and would love to see that number rise on Saturday night as USC will start true freshman Kedon Slovis.

Despite facing another freshman quarterback, Tagovailoa-Amosa knows they can’t look at his lack of experience heading into the game.

“Watching film, he doesn’t play like a true freshman,” said Tagovaila-Amosa. “He’s someone who can have a 10-game winning season. We try not to focus on experience, but we’re focused on tendencies and little stuff like that. We know if we dive into that process of him being a freshman, he can come out and put up some points.

“We try not to be complacent with our thoughts and focused on our own process.”

Saturday will be Notre Dame’s only night game of the year and Tagovailoa-Amosa has already started preparing his body for something he’s still not used to coming from Hawaii.

“Probably a cold one,” Tagovailoa-Amosa laughed when asked about what Saturday will be like for him. “I’m going to be really cold. I’m trying to get used to that during practice.

“It’s going to be exciting. I feel like night games are always a different atmosphere.”

The Irish will head into a bye week and Tagovailoa-Amosa knows a win would be huge for the program. 

“It definitely has a positive vibe,” said Tagovailoa-Amosa. “Anytime you beat a rival, it’s a different type of happiness. We’re playing for the shillelagh. We want to keep that here.” 

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