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Notre Dame Football

Houston Griffith Wants Notre Dame Defense to Bring '60 Minutes of Hell'

September 20, 2020
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Houston Griffith starting for Notre Dame has been a long time coming and the junior safety stepped up on Saturday. 

The Chicago native finished second on the team with five stops and a tackle for loss in Notre Dame's 52-0 win over South Florida. 

"It feels good," stated Griffith. "It gives me confidence and allows me to continue to play fast and know there is room to improve. I can continue to work better and keep working my craft." 

Griffith was thrown into the starting lineup as the Irish were without Kyle Hamilton as he nurses an ankle injury, but the Irish defense was also down several players. 

Starting cornerback TaRiq Bracy, linebackers Marist Liufau and Shayne Simon and defensive end Ovie Oghoufo also missed the game.  

"I feel like the defense responded really well," Griffith stated. "We all prepare like we're all starters, so everybody has to be prepared when their number is called upon. We go out there and we swarm to the ball. We play great defense and we play Notre Dame football - 60 minutes of hell." 

For Griffith, he technically started at nickel as a freshman, but rotated with Nick Coleman in 2018. 

Since then, Griffith has moved to cornerback and back to safety, which is his natural position. 

"I feel like the challenges are adapting to playing a new spot, getting comfortable and understanding you are the back end of the defense," he explained. "You have to be able to control the defense as well as get guys lined up. Be on top of your calls and be accountable for everything that occurs." 

Griffith certainly held his defense accountable on Saturday as the Irish got a shutout, which was a halftime goal as head coach Brian Kelly made sure his team knew he wanted to hold the Bulls scoreless.

"It brought a lot of juice to the locker room," Griffith said of Kelly's speech. "Guys were really excited. We were prepared and ready to go out there and finish off the opponent." 

Notre Dame also extended its home winning streak to 20 games, breaking the longest streak in modern program history (19-straight from
1987-90).

The record means a lot of Griffith and the team, as the program looks to be a consistent top 10 program. 

"It means a lot to me," said Griffith. "Being a Chicago kid, you know so much about Notre Dame football. To be able to have that home field advantage and playing big at home and getting the 20th win, it means a lot to the football team. Looking forward to bringing more wins to this University." 

 
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