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Irish Insights


Bonus practice viewing


ND FB spring practice No. 9

Notre Dame offered a new look at practice Wednesday.

The Irish opened the gates for the last few minutes to run plays out of third-and-long scenarios and goal line situations.

Dayne Crist and Nate Montana handled the snaps in the end-of-practice sessions.

Crist's group for the third-and-long situations primarily consisted of Cierre Wood or Robert Hughes at running back, John Goodman, Duval Kamara and Tai-ler Jones at receiver, Kyle Rudolph at tight end and linemen, from left, Zack Martin, Chris Stewart, Dan Wenger, Taylor Dever and Trevor Robinson. Braxston Cave also took some snaps at center for Wenger in this group.

Montana's group consisted of Jonas Gray or Wood at running back, Barry Gallup Jr., Deion Walker and Roby Toma at receiver, Mike Ragone or Tyler Eifert at tight end and the linemen, from left, Matt Romine, Andrew Nuss, Cave, Chris Watt and Lane Clelland.

Receiver Michael Floyd was off to the side at the end of practice and didn't participate in the drills.

When the media was let in Crist ran a play in third-and-long and Montana ran the next four before Crist taking over again for the five and Montana at quarterback for the last three third-and-long situations.

The Irish didn't move the all much against the dime defense. It didn't look like any of the plays went for a first down, and the first part of the bonus practice viewing ended with what looked like E.J. Banks ripping the ball out of a receiver's hands on the far sideline.

At the goal line, the offense did a little better with Crist hitting Ragone for two touchdowns, and Armando Allen getting in the end zone twice once from about four yards out and once from the one.

But Allen did get nailed once short of the end zone with his helmet popping off.

Wood was scolded heavily by coach Brian Kelly for fumbling in the end zone on one of his plays. Wood was immediately pulled from the drill and got an earful.

The last play appeared to go wrong as Montana scrambled out of the pocket and was forced out of bounds at the one-yard line.

A good session for the defense, but the offense looks like it could still use some work.