QB switch doesn’t faze Notre Dame defense
By LaMond Pope 713-2691 or email@example.com September 22, 2013 9:16PM
Matthias Farley, Bennie Fowler
Updated: October 24, 2013 6:31AM
SOUTH BEND — Michigan State made a switch at quarterback late in Saturday’s game against Notre Dame. The Irish’s stingy defense didn’t blink.
Andrew Maxwell replaced Connor Cook with 2:11 remaining. He threw incomplete passes on the first two downs. After two penalties pushed Michigan State back 10 yards, Maxwell had another incompletion. Forced to run on fourth down, Maxwell came up well short of the first-down marker to essentially wrap up Notre Dame’s 17-13 victory.
The Irish limited the Spartans to 254 yards of total offense.
Notre Dame goes from facing one of the lowest-rated offenses in the country to one in the top 25 in Oklahoma.
“Who is going to show up now is really going to be what we’re asking,” Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said of the defense Sunday. “Are we going to see the group that showed itself against Michigan State consistently or the group that we saw the last couple weeks that played hot and cold? We’re going to look for that consistency now from our defense.”
Oklahoma is No. 24 in total offense, averaging 490.3 yards per game. The Spartans are No. 104 (340.8 yards per game) after Saturday’s game.
“We did what we were supposed to do,” linebacker Carlo Calabrese said Saturday. “We didn’t have a lot of mistakes.”
Calabrese tied for the team high with eight tackles. He has 26 tackles this season.
“One of his better games that he’s had in quite some time,” Kelly said. “He’s been playing solid football for us.”
That was the case for the entire unit Saturday.
“We didn’t reinvent any defense,” Kelly said. “We didn’t create any new schemes. We just demanded more and expected more from our players, and we got it on Saturday.”