So what drives the Irish defense at the end of those long drives? Nose guard Louis Nix III -- the sage of South Bend, the pigskin prophet -- said it's simple: thirst.
"You get sick of being on the field so long," Nix said. "Something tells you, 'Just get off.' You just get tired of it. Get off the field, you're so tired, you're ready to just go and sit on the bench and get some water and these guys are trying to score, and you have to stop them in order to get some water. If you want water, you have to stop them."
"No, you just have to want the water," Nix said. "You want the water that bad, you're going to want to get off the field."