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Irish Insights


Notre Dame's secondary looks to bounce back

Notre Dame's secondary didn't have a good performance in Saturday's 41-30 loss to No. 11 Michigan.

Michigan receiver Jeremy Gallon had eight catches for 184 yards with three touchdowns. Quarterback Devin Gardner threw for 294 yards with four touchdowns, with his one interception coming at the hands of defensive end Stephon Tuitt.

Notre Dame's secondary was also flagged for pass interference twice on Michigan's final scoring drive. Cornerback Bennett Jackson had an interception negated when he was called for it on third-and-12, and safety Matthais Farley was flagged on third-and-5.

Coach Brian Kelly said he is confident that the secondary, especially cornerbacks Jackson and KeiVarae Russell, will grow and get better from what happened against the Wolverines.

"They have got to play the game the way they can play it," Kelly said. "In other words, more confidence. They have got to go out there and compete, and they have got the ability to do it. We've got to get it out of them. And so we've got to compete in practice and we've got to carry that over to Saturdays.

"And so (cornerbacks coach Kerry) Cooks is going to make sure that those guys are competing in practice, and we are going to get that carryover. KeiVarae Russell is a young guy and he was in a big stage, and he's going to have to use that learning experience from Michigan. He's going to have to carry that over, and he's a very smart, competitive kid, and he's going to use this as a great learning experience, and I think he's going to benefit from it. Bennett Jackson is a captain for us, and he has a responsibility to come back and bounce back from not playing his very best. We are all confident he'll do that. The key is to not make it two games or three games or four games; it's to take this game, and play at a higher level and I'm pretty confident that they will."