Notre Dame Defensive Tackle Isaac Rochell
The best way for the Notre Dame to beat Texas is by forcing the Longhorns into a one-dimensional team offensively. Defensive lineman Isaac Rochell could have a big impact in creating that scenario.
The Fighting Irish’s blueprint to the Longhorns last year involved shutting down the run. As a result, the Notre Dame defense forced Texas to throw the ball and commit turnovers in the process. The same strategy can be used against Texas this year.
Texas wants to run the ball because they want to take pressure off of their starting quarterback. An efficient Longhorns’ running game will keep the Fighting Irish guessing on every down.
Rochell could be a crucial factor to the Fighting Irish shutting down the Longhorns’ ground game Sun day night.
With defensive tackle Sheldon Day moving on to the NFL, the Fighting Irish need Rochell to be the run stopper of their defensive line. He definitely has the talent and skills to serve that role for Notre Dame.
He was the Fighting Irish’s fifth-best tackler with 61 total tackles in 2015, which was more than Day (45). He also picked up 6.5 tackle for loss and one sack.
Rochell battled against offensive lineman and usually held his ground well. He was able to shake off run blockers and clog up running lanes consistently. His individual statistics reflect those abilities.
If Rochell can help Notre Dame’s defense clog up the running lane against Texas, the Fighting Irish will be a good position to win. The Longhorns need a running game to open up their offense. Without it, the Longhorns’ offense becomes stagnant.
Issac Rochell is someone people should watch for because he could potential shut down the Longhorns’ biggest strength.
Next: Texas LB Malik Jefferson