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Irish Insights


Talking about practice

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly has scaled practice back to make sure his players are ready for the season opener against Purdue on Sept. 4.

On Wednesday, the Irish practiced for an hour, and Thursday's practice was done in about an hour and 20 minutes.

On Friday, the players will have another short practice day in Notre Dame Stadium before getting a little more of a break over the weekend, Kelly said.

But Friday's short practice will not be short on learning experiences.

Kelly said the team will work on about 49 different scenarios that can occur during the game.

"I was telling the team, when I first started back at Grand Valley, I had about 16 scenarios," Kelly said. "Between 16 and 18, and now, we worked our way up to 49. I don't know if that says a lot about my experience of dealing with different things in a game, or the obsessive of a coach trying to cover every scenario that may never occur. But you want to be covered any way."

Kelly gave a couple of examples of the scenarios the team will be working on

One came from a game against West Virginia when Kelly was at Cincinnati, in which the Bearcats a double-digit lead with a little more than a minute remaining in the game.

Kelly said he had to decide to take a safety late in the game or punt. And out of that situation came a punt play used to burn time off the clock.

"We put in what we call turtle punt now, which kills approximately six to eight seconds and you can hold," Kelly said. "We have the entire team just hold, because we don't care if we get a penalty in that situation, but we have to get eight seconds off the clock. Imagine that scenario was a learning experience, because if we had taken off a few more seconds in the West Virginia game, they wouldn't have had a chance to tie that up and send it to overtime.

"Turtle punt was an experience two years ago, and I think it is No. 47 on the list. We add them as we go and experience things that occur during the season."

Another scenario will be calling a timeout when the team is going for a two-point conversion.

Because of the way the officials are situated on the field, Kelly said it is impossible to call for a timeout from the coach's box.

"We've added a 49th (scenario), where I get to run out of the coach's box, which is really fun, where I get to run out on the field and call a timeout," Kelly said.