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Irish practice puts focus on Hurricanes

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly didn't waste any time getting his team to refocus after the bye week.

Kelly said during his Tuesday news conference that the team had a two-hour practice in full pads Monday to get ready for Saturday night's game in Chicago's Soldier Field against Miami.

"(Monday), I thought was probably the most important day of the week, secondary, obviously, to the Saturday game against Miami," Kelly said. "We needed to get our guys back into the speed of the game. … I though we accomplished a lot of the goals I was looking for."

Kelly said the Monday practice got the No. 9 Irish (9-0) refocused on the Hurricanes (4-1), who have won their last three games and the last two by coming from behind.

"(They've) exhibited a mental toughness and a conditioning element in winning their last three games late in the fourth quarter," Kelly said. "It tells you a lot about a football team, and the way they win games."

Notre Dame won its first four games with defense. The Irish are third in the nation in scoring defense, giving up only 9 points per game.

But Kelly said Notre Dame has to be able to score more points. After opening the season with a 50-10 win over Navy, Notre Dame has averaged 17.7 points in its last three games.

"We need to score more points, there's no question about that," Kelly said. "We're not scoring enough points."

The Irish, who defeated the Hurricanes in the 2010 Sun Bowl 33-17, may need to score a lot to win Saturday.

Miami has put up more than 600 yards of offense and scored a combined 86 points in come-from-behind wins over Georgia Tech and North Carolina State.

Miami has put up more than 600 yards of offense in each of its last two games, scoring a combined 86 points in those wins over Georgia Tech and North Carolina State. Hurricanes quarterback Stephen Morris threw for a school and ACC single-game record 566 yards in Saturday's 44-37 win over N.C. State.

While Kelly wants more from his offense, he also knows he can't push things too much, even though Miami's defense gave up 1,083 yards and 73 points in it's last two games.

"We ran it fast last year, and you saw what happened. We got a lot of speeding tickets," Kelly said. "Clearly, we want to be more of an offense that can have big play capabilities. But as you can see, we are going to be careful with the football.

"Until we're ready to amp it up, we are going to be careful with the football."

Kelly also said defensive end Chase Hounshell will have shoulder surgery this week and will not play this year. He also said quarterback Everett Golson has a nagging shoulder problem, but the sophomore was able to heal during the bye week.

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