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Irish Insights

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Using the 'pistol' offense

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly plans to use the "pistol" offense this season, and he went to the system's inovater to learn how best to implenent it.

Kelly said former Nevada coach and college football Hall of Famer Chris Ault came to South Bend during the offseason to give pointers on the "pistol."

"How much we use the pistol will be determined really for us in terms of game plan week to week," Kelly said Tuesday. "We just think it's another piece that we can use to get some downhill runs. I don't think we've turned into a pistol offense. We're still a shotgun offense that will operate similar to what we have in the past."

Kelly used some "pistol" in his first season with the Irish in 2010. He said one of the main reasons to use the offense this season is to help running back George Atkinson III.

"I think it fits some of the personnel that we have," Kelly said. "You know, George is a guy that I wanted to get downhill. As you know, he's got great speed and acceleration. He ran downhill very well in high school, and we felt like the pistol could fit him very well. Not just him, but we felt like it was something that could benefit us moving forward.

"Again, just another piece to our offense that gives us the versatility that we're looking for. I think week to week you may see it a little bit more than others, and some you may not see it at all. I just think it's another piece that helps us complement the players we have."