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Irish defense is ready to face Daniels

Notre Dame is well aware of the damage South Florida quarterback B.J. Daniels can do with his arm and legs.

The 6-foot, 223-pound junior is fourth on South Florida's career list in passing yards (3,754) and 12th in career rushing yards (1,033).

"B.J. Daniels has a lot of talent," safety Harrison Smith said during Wednesday's news conference with linebacker Manti Te'o. "He's an athletic guy, and he can throw the ball. There is always that option that he can scramble around and kind of create something. As a secondary player, that is difficult for us. When we see him scramble sometimes our eyes drift to the backfield, and we want to see if we can tackle him. But really, we need to stay on our guys and leave that up to Manti.

"Kind of staying on your key the whole play is the hardest thing about defending a guy that can create something out of a play that goes bad. Where other quarterbacks can't really get out of that situation."

Even though Daniels is able to attack through the air and on the ground, Te'o said the defense will not slow down to account for the dual threat.

"You just have to realize his strengths, the quarterback's strength, and just be aware of those," Te'o said. "By the same time, you never want to slow down. You never want to draw back. You always want to go hard every play, and just do your job and have trust and faith that the other 10 guys are doing their job as well."

While Notre Dame has face plenty of mobile quarterbacks, Smith said each one is different.

"You've got to focus on who you are facing, and this week it's B.J. Daniels," Smith said. "He's a guy that not only can he throw and run, he's a big guy too. He's not like most quarterbacks that are easy to bring down. He will fight for that extra yard. He's almost like a running back. That's another dimension that you've got to focus on."