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Back and forth

When Notre Dame opened the end of Wednesday's practice to the media, the defense stepped up its game.

Playing in dime and goal-line packages, the defense stymied the offense during the final session of practice.

While the defense was impressive, linebacker Brian Smith said the sessions matching the offense and defense are not always as one sided.

"It goes from period to period," Smith said. "Sometimes the offense will have the hand on us, and sometimes we'll have the hand on them. It's just a real competitive atmosphere out here. We try to keep that up every day.

"We feel really good about the things going on around here on both sides of the ball and special teams."