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Notre Dame Football

Notre Dame DL Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa Believes DL Will Be Key On Friday

November 25, 2020

No. 2 Notre Dame will travel to No. 19 North Carolina on Friday afternoon and this game is all about the trenches. 

The Fighting Irish offensive line will be without two starters in center Jarrett Patterson and right guard Tommy Kraemer. 

On the other side, Notre Dame will be facing one of the most explosive offenses in the country and will rely on its defensive line to slow down the Tar Heels. 

"Sam Howell is definitely an elite QB," stated Notre Dame defensive lineman Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa. "We have to keep him contained in the pocket and really disrupt his RPOs that they'll be doing." 

North Carolina has quietly produced a ground attack that's one of the best in the country. 

The Tar Heels have two running backs over 800 yards rushing and it will be an excellent matchup for the Irish as Notre Dame only gives up 85.1 rushing yards a game. 

"It comes down to a game on dominance and depends who is going to be the most dominant front," explained Tagovailoa-Amosa. "For us as a defensive line, it's a challenge we like to take. It's probably going to be one of the bigger offensive lines we face, but as a defensive lineman, we definitely love the challenge up front.

"It's really going to come back to resetting the line of scrimmage, affecting the QB and affecting the throws he makes."

Notre Dame's defense will need to win first and second down on Friday. It will be critical to put Howell in situations where the Irish know what's coming and it starts with the defensive line. 

"We try to look for indications of pass, whether it be light stances or offensive linemen leaning back," Tagovailoa-Amosa said. "One of the things we try to hone in on is little keys we can pick off on first and second down. Everybody knows when it comes to third-down., it's pass rush time. When it comes to being effective on the QB, the defensive line has to realize and take advantage of pass rush on first and second down opportunities. That's what we've been focusing on this year - really find those tendencies and moments where he can find out if it's run or pass.

"We've been really honing in on our rush land and integrity. That's why I guess you could say there's an improvement on our pass rush on first and second down."

The Hawaii native had one of his best games against the run the last time Notre Dame stepped on the field against Boston College. Tagovailoa-Amosa was slow to give himself credit as there is more he can do. 

"There's definitely a lot I can improve and work on," stated Tagovailoa-Amosa. "In the run game, I've been OK here and there. As far as it goes, I definitely want to get my pressure on the QB up. I want to affect the QB more and be an overall leader on the field."

Tagovailoa-Amosa came up with a big fourth-down stop against Boston College, but he also excelled in taking on double-teams, which has been a focus in practice. 

It's not flashy, but he's more than happy to do his job for Clark Lea's defense. 

"In practice, we get it almost every other play, but for some reason in a game, we probably get a double-team four or five times throughout the game," said Tagovailoa-Amosa. "That's just the sacrifice you have to make. We're playing one of 11. I have to do my job and trust my brothers have my back and doing their own jobs.

"There's really no frustration there to a point where I get that selfish feeling where I want to do more. Everyone wants to do more and make a play, but when it comes to playing the game football, you're not going to make every play. As a three-tech and interior guy, that's something we understand. Sometimes we have to take on those double teams and sacrifice the play to get the scheme correct. It comes down to really doing our job."

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