October 2, 2008

Confident Marinelli ready for Irish

Playing at Notre Dame is usually a special memory for players and coaches alike. Many of the Stanford Cardinal have respect for the history and tradition for the home of the Fighting Irish.

Chris Marinelli isn't one of them.

The Cardinal right tackle did praise the improved Notre Dame team. One that beat Stanford last year 21-14 in a sloppy, error-filled game.

"They are vastly improved from last year," Marinelli said. "Which is tough for us because we didn't win that one."

The Stanford team knows the blitzing Irish defense will not change. New coordinator Jon Tuneta has brought his attacking style from Georgia Tech to South Bend.

"They are going to bring a great deal of blitzes - on first down, second down, third down, every down. All kinds of guys and they bring it a bunch of different ways," Marinelli said.

But the junior expects the Cardinal offense to be able handle whatever the Irish throw at them on Saturday and was very candid in his prediction.

"We'll be ready, we've seen a lot of tape (on them) and it is a good challenge for us," Marinelli said.

"But on the same token it's going to go bad for them at one point and we are going to gash the (expletive) out of them, I promise you that. So, keep bringing it, keep bringing it. They have one sack all year on 200 blitzes."

Marinelli's confidence wasn't lacking when talking about going against the pressuring Irish defense. Marinelli, with 22 career starts, is part of a veteran offensive line that has a combined 87 career starts.

"They can keep bringing all the stuff they want", Marinelli added. "We can pick up blitzes. Our defense, blitzes more than anyone in the country, too. So we are ready for that. That's no big deal.

"We've seen everything they've shown on tape. We've seen it before, it's nothing new. They are very disciplined with what they do, which kinda makes it nice. Sometimes when they screw up, it works out better for the defense. We aren't too worried about, we are a uniform group and we'll slide right in there."

Marinelli is not impressed with the Notre Dame field and stadium. He saw action as a redshirt freshman late in the 2006 game that the Irish won 31-10 in South Bend.

"I hate it, playing up there," Marinelli said. "The field, excuse my language, the field sucks. The stadium sucks. I think the area sucks."

The 6'7, 297 pound tackle from Boston, Massachusetts didn't stop there.

"I grew up with a bunch of Irish and Italian Catholic people back home. And all the Irish Catholic people, all they talk about is Notre Dame this, Notre Dame that. And they've never even been there, ya know. So I hate those guys, I hate that school.

"We are going out there to mash them up and that's all there is to it."

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