Close Games Don't Concern Lombard

Christian Lombard has been impressed with the improvement the Irish ground game has shown over the first three games of the 2009 season. The offensive lineman from Fremd High School (Palatine, Ill.) was on hand last weekend as the Irish rushed for 133 yards in their victory over Michigan State.

While many Notre Dame fans were concerned that the Irish didn't dominate Michigan State last weekend, Christian Lombard (6-foot-5, 280-pounds) believes the Notre Dame will be a better team for winning a close game.

"I thought it was good that they had a game like that and they came out on top," Lombard said of Notre Dame 33-30 win over the Spartans. "If they have a big loss or a huge win they don't go through the type of in between games where they have to fight with their backs against the wall. So, it was a good game for them. I think it showed their true character.

"I thought the offensive line looked pretty solid, and they did a good job of meshing together. Obviously having coach Verducci there, he knows what it takes and it's very encouraging to see them do well when things are going tough. I think coach Verducci did a good job of scheming them. I know Michigan State had a really good middle linebacker and I thought that they did a good job of getting out there and not letting him get to the ball.

"I thought the whole offense did a good job," Lombard said. "They spread them out and I thought the ‘Wildcat' formation was pretty smart on their part as well. I think they faked them out a little bit, so I think they did a great job."

With his high school practice Saturday morning, Lombard didn't have a chance to take in all the gameday festivities, but he had a chance to get to know some of his classmates.

"I glot to meet all the committed players that were there, so it was good to meet them for the first time," Christian said. "It was good, because those are the guys that I'm going to be playing with for four years. I was with Tommy Rees and Alex Welch most of the time, but I was talking to all of them and hanging out with them. It was good and I think we all got along pretty well.

"I got to talk to a couple players. The two guys that I'm kind of cool with are Trevor Robinson and Sean Cwynar, so I hung out with them a little bit. I watched the team warm-up and come out of the locker room. It's just crazy thinking that I'm going to be there next year… it was real exciting for me."

Lombard plans to return to Notre Dame October 17 when the Irish host USC.


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