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Notre Dame Football

Ade Ogundeji: 'We have to do our job'

November 14, 2019

Navy might have the nation's top rushing attack, but it's more than that as the triple-option makes life difficult for defenses. 

Few teams run it and it's a tough switch to turn on, but Notre Dame defensive end Ade Ogundeji knows discipline will be crucial on Saturday.

"It's definitely different," Ogundeji said of the triple-option attack. "You have to have focus, attention to detail and the biggest thing is to do your job. It sounds cliche but it's the right thing. You have to do your job. You have to know when you have the dive, the quarterback or the pitch." 

Notre Dame will be without captain and starting defensive end Julian Okwara as he broke his fibula at Duke.

Ogundeji knows losing Okwara is a significant hit to the defense, but it also doesn't change the mentality of the defensive line. 

"Even with him, we still talk about doing your job," explained Ogundeji. "I feel like that's definitely not going change, but with him out, we have to do our job. If all 11 guys do their job, we're going to be just fine on Saturday." 

Navy quarterback Malcolm Perry is the face of the offense for the Midshipmen as he's thrown for 722 yards, rushed for 1,042 yards and scored 21 touchdowns. 

"He's definitely explosive," stated Ogundeji. "The last time we played him, he was at the slot and he was moving. He's running the offense. He's a guy who can do it all. He's fast and gets up in there and plays physical. He's going to be a handful." 

Ogundeji believes the key to stopping Perry will be flying to the football. 

"It makes it very dangerous," Ogundeji said of Perry's athletic ability. "When you have a guy who can make plays with his feet and do all things in the option, it brings a different dynamic to the option. 

"We talked about swarming to the football. We can't just get one guy on him, we have to have multiple guys coming and swarming to make the tackle." 

As for his own season, Ogundeji is pleased with how he's played. On the year, the Michigan native has recorded 19 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss.  

"I feel like I've done a great job stepping in for Khalid (Kareem) and being the leader I can be," Ogundeji explained. "I'm focused on playing the best football I can play. When it comes to being on the field, I'm doing anything I can do to do my job. 

"There's a lot of young guys playing with the injuries, so a lot of young guys are stepping up. I'm a senior. I've been in their shoes and know what they're feeling. I try to teach them and bring them along too." 

Ogundeji and the Irish want to dominate Navy this weekend, but at the same time, there is a great respect for the program. 

"I have such high respect, especially from Alohi (Gilman) and learning his story," said Ogundeji. "They sacrifice so much to get to where they're trying to get to. They aren't regular student-athletes or football players. They do much more than what we do.

"That's why it's going to be a great challenge for us on Saturday." 

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