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Losing hurts

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly agreed with safety Harrison Smith's assessment that winning and losing is kind of like life and death for the team right now.

"You have to operate with a sense of urgency, or it takes too long to build a house," Kelly said after practice Wednesday when asked about his safety's comments during an afternoon new conference. "I just don't like waiting that long. Our guys understand this isn't a transition year, this isn't a rebuilding year, this isn't let's feel good about everybody before we start to click. No, we have to do it right now."

A win at Boston College on Saturday sounds like it will lead to a better quality of life, at least if you listen to what a three-game losing streak does to you according to Kelly.

"At 1-3, the food doesn't taste as good," Kelly said. "It is not as enjoyable to hang around my family. I love my family. Nothing feels good when you're 1-3. That is just the life with live as coaches and players.

"We are going to a student pep rally (Thursday) night. Our students are having a pep rally for a 1-3 football team. That's one of those things where you have to go in front of your students with a 1-3 football team, nobody likes to do that. I think everybody feels that way."

Here are some more thoughts from Kelly after Wednesday's practice:

On how Tony Pike was effective in the spread offense at Cincinnati without being a running threat: "Experience at quarterback position. The ability to get the ball out of his hands. How to protect himself. He had three years of experience in the system, where he could run it better than I could call it."

On what quarterback Dayne Crist has learned about playing against a drop-eight defense: "He's progressing. It was drop eight, but there was a three man rush and we got five guys to protect. There is no need for sacks, stay alive. Those are things he is learning as a young quarterback. He sees a three-man rush today, he moved out of the pocket, kept the play alive and hit a guy down the field."

On how to prepare for freshman Chase Rettig if he is Boston College's starting quarterback: "We watched some high school film on it, if that is what you mean? He is like the other quarterbacks. He's tall, he's got a strong arm, he's got escapability. We feel like we don't have to prepare for a guy who is going to take off on us."

The Journal Gazette's Assistant Sports Editor Tony Krausz covers The University of Notre Dame. Krausz, a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and a native of St. Louis, has been assistant sports editor since October 2005. Prior to joining the JG, he worked at two papers in Mississippi covering high school and college athletics.