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Spirited practice

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly told reporters that Wednesday's practice was different from any practice he has had since taking over the program.

Kelly said the team had some live situations on a rainy day in South Bend in part to prepare for the physical No. 15 Michigan State, which comes to Notre Dame Stadium on Saturday, and in part to prepare for some game situations.

"We went live today for the first time since I've been here," Kelly said. "We had some live tackling. It was a pretty physical day for us. There was some high energy out there for us today.

"I think I've said this a number of times, I really like the way we practice. Our problem has been Saturday, taking care of the football, attention to detail as it relates to specific assignments throughout the game. We've been hard on them this week, really. It's probably the hardest I've been on the guys during the week in terms of attention to the smallest of details. Because those are the things that are getting us beat."

One thing Kelly won't blame for losing is playing at home.

Notre Dame went 4-3 at home last year, and after the season-opening loss to South Florida is now .500 at home under Kelly.

"We've just haven't been very good. We got to play better," Kelly said. "I don't believe it has anything to do with a malaise or we are in mass too long or, you know, anything like that. I just don't think we've played as well as we should. I've looked at our schedule. We've pared it down. There's plenty of energy and time for our guys to be prepared to play the best they can. Our last game that we played before this season, we played pretty good. That was the Utah game. We had a lot of energy. We started that way against South Florida, obviously, we just didn't play clean."

Kelly also said nose guard Sean Cwynar is regaining strength in the hand he broke a bone in, and that should help the center of Notre Dame's defensive line.

"He has much better strength in his hand and can lock out," Kelly said. "That's going to help Louis (Nix) to keep him fresh."