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Irish Insights


Staying the course

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly isn't changing a thing this week, even though the opportunity is there with the Irish on fall break.

Notre Dame players will still go through a 20-hour practice week as the No. 5 Irish (6-0) prepare to play host to BYU (4-3) on Saturday.

"We don't want to change the routine," Kelly said during his Tuesday news conference. "We bring them in. We don't want them sleeping until (1 p.m.). We go them out here right now, they will eat brunch at (11 a.m.). They have some captain led film study today. We keep them around.

"We don't want to turn it into a situation like they've got to be here like the NFL. We want them to relax a little bit as well."

But the Irish can't be too relaxed this week.

Notre Dame has a classic "trap game" in front of it in BYU after last Saturday's overtime win over Stanford and a trip to play No. 10 Oklahoma next week.

Kelly said he isn't worried about the Irish overlooking the Cougars, because he feels his players can handle a game that isn't as hyped as next week's showdown.

"I think we have all been at it long enough," Kelly said. " I think they know, the seniors know, the veterans know how to practice and prepare and do the little things the right away. So I don't think it's a one-way conversation. I think it's more about, hey, we will look at each other practice and say, all right, is this where we need to be.

"I think when you get to this point where they understand what it takes to be successful, it's more of a two-way conversation. It's never about just the head coach coming before you and saying, 'All right, you didn't practice well today; what do you guys think; was this the kind of effort necessary for us to continue to win?' And I think that's where we are at the next step of our program is that it becomes a two-way conversation with your players."

While it's a two-way conversation when it comes to preparing for each Saturday, Kelly is letting talk about the BCS standings be a one-way conversation.

When he was asked about the Irish coming in at No. 5 in the first standings, which were released Sunday, Kelly said he really doesn't care were Notre Dame is ranked at the season's midway point.

"I know all of our fans care a lot about that stuff and that's great," Kelly said. "I love seeing Notre Dame out there and having stories about Notre Dame. That's why we came here.

"But I really don't give it any thought as to positionally whether that's a better post position for us than, you know, any other. Sorry."