Stanford offensive lineman Chris Marinelli's disparaging comments about Notre Dame have not made it to the Fighting Irish bulletin board…yet.
Marinelli said that he ‘hates' playing in South Bend and that the field and the area ‘suck.' Marinelli also said that the Cardinal offense will not fear Notre Dame's pressure defense and that Stanford will ‘gash the (expletive) out of them.'"
On Thursday, Maurice Crum was asked if he knew who Marinelli was and simply said, "an offensive tackle." Judging by Crum's face, the first he heard of Marinelli's comments came from the media.
"For me, I mean, it's not that much of a deal. I could care less what goes on in the papers and what's said in the papers," said Crum. "That's not where the game is played. Ultimately, it doesn't really matter."
"I'm not affected by offensive linemen anyway, so I'll just sit back and we'll see what happens on game day," said David Bruton.
Still, the comments will probably receive a lot of play within the team over the next couple of days.
"I'm sure at some point in time they will probably post it somewhere in the locker room," Crum said. "For most of our guys, I mean, it doesn't really matter to us, because all we really care about is this Saturday."
Crum said that he will not be looking to rub it in to Marinelli should he get the chance.
"I think if you're up by (21) and the game is going our way or something, they should already feel bad," he said. "Because you already like put it out there or whatever. So now it's different."
Bruton was not as straightforward in his response to possibly getting a chance to say something to Marinelli at the end of the game, but ultimately said, "If we're up by three touchdowns, I believe that says enough."
What the Irish defense is really worried about right now is shutting down a Stanford offense that can present different problems.
"They bring an athletic quarterback, somebody who can run, and also throw on the run," Bruton said of Tavita Pritchard. "So we have to keep him contained. He scrambled pretty well against us last year and we just have to make sure we get him on the ground and stop him from using his feet."
Stanford has become a solid running team since Jim Harbaugh took over.
"They have three good running backs. They have (Toby) Gerhart, they have Stewart, they have (Anthony) Kimble, they've all brought a different mentality to their running game," said Bruton. "You have one who is a better jumper, one who is a heavier back that can get the extra yards putting his shoulder down. They've just shown the ability to get the tough yardage and bounce it outside and the O-line has created holes from what I've seen."
Crum has also seen the improvement in the guys up front.
"I think any time when it comes to running the ball, that's where it starts," he said. "Obviously the backs can't do much with the ball if there's nowhere to go. So again, you have to give credit to the offensive line."
The threat of Pritchard as a runner makes the Cardinal ground game that much more formidable.
"You've got the different running backs, so essentially that's four different guys you've got to worry about carrying the ball," Crum said.