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Phase 1 complete

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly told reporters Friday that the first stage of preparing for a bowl game was complete.

The Irish finished Friday's practice with a 30-play scrimmage with their younger players, and now Kelly said the focus will be turned to the upperclassman.

Saturday's practice will have scrimmages against first-team offensive and defensive players, and it will be the final tackling day before Notre Dame plays Miami.

"It will be lively tomorrow," Kelly said.

The Irish will then use Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday next week to focus on their game plan to play Miami in the Sun Bowl at 2 p.m. Dec. 31 in El Paso, Texas.

"Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of next week will be all football for our guys," Kelly said. "It will be kind of like an NFL day. We will meet in the morning, we will have walk throughs and we will have practice in the afternoon."

Kelly said nose guard Ian Williams, who is returning from a knee injury, and slot receiver Theo Riddick, who is returning from a foot injury, have continued to look better at practice, and he expects both of them will start against Miami.

Linebacker Brian Smith, who began the season as a backup outside linebacker, will remain at one of the inside spots for the bowl game.

Smith, who moved inside when Carlo Calabrese missed two games with an injury, had 46 tackles, a sack and an interception this season.

"He had the best game of his career against USC," Kelly said of the senior's five-tackle performance in a 20-16 win over the Trojans on Nov. 27. "He's a guy as the season has progressed; he has developed as a football player."

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