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Notre Dame Football

Notre Dame LB Jack Kiser Wants Defensive Improvement & Family Bragging Rights

September 16, 2021

It's a special weekend for Notre Dame linebacker Jack Kiser as Purdue will come to South Bend on Saturday afternoon. 

Kiser was raised in a family of Purdue graduates, so while getting to 3-0 is the most important task, the in-state product will also have significant bragging rights on the line. 

"You said it, Purdue family," laughed Kiser. "Dad, brother, cousins, uncles, aunts, best friends, girlfriend - a lot of people, connections and ticket requests. It's going to be special and I hope we come out and succeed and perform, improve and be at our best." 

The 6-foot-1, 222-pounder hopes his family will cheer for the Irish this game, but regardless, Kiser appreciates the extra support this week. 

"They're definitely rooting for Jack Kiser,"  said Kiser. "They're definitely rooting for Notre Dame, but at the same time, it's hard to say that everybody is going to be rooting for Notre Dame. There will definitely be some Jack Kiser fans out there." 

And yes, Kiser expects everyone to be in Irish gear even if they secretly root for Purdue. 

"I've already warned everybody that if they wore Purdue gear, they wouldn't be allowed in," Kiser stated. "I put my dad in charge of that, which could be not the smartest decision considering he's a Boilermaker as well. We'll see." 

Kiser will also embrace the moment as it will be a chance to play against a few friends as well. 

"Knowing a bunch of guys on the other sideline, it's going to be special," said Kiser. "To have so many people in the stands who know my background, relationships with Purdue, it's going to be very surreal. I'm excited to get out there and play and hopefully, produce, perform and have success." 

To stop the Boilermakers, it starts with explosive receiver David Bell. The 6-foot-2, 205-pounder has recorded 14 catches for 255 yards and three scores and has topped 120 receiving yards in both games in 2021. 

"David is a great player," explained Kiser. "He's another Indiana guy and I have nothing but the utmost respect for David. He's going to get his plays. He's just a playmaker and he's going to make plays. That's who he is. 

"Can we contain him and can we eliminate the fatal plays that could really hurt us in the long run?" 

Containing Bell will start with the Irish defense locking in and executing this week. 

The Toledo game was a big step forward for the defense, but Notre Dame still allowed two plays over 60 yards and Kiser says it starts with players raising their level of execution.

"If you look at it and take out the big plays, we played a really good defensive game," said Kise. "It's eliminating those big plays. Make those tackles. We can't have broken tackles and just play assigning sound football. 

"If someone is outside their gap, if someone blows a coverage, Purdue is going to make us pay. We have to be on top of our assignments and deliver when the time comes." 

Kiser believes better execution starts with each player on the defense being in the right place at the right time and completing the play. 

"Do your job," Kiser said. "If you look at those big plays, it's missed tackles and missed assignments. It's not that the defensive calls are bad. It's just guys were in the wrong place and the wrong time. 

"For me, it's doing my job and doing it the right way at the right time. For everyone else, they need to do the same." 

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