Chicago Sun-Times
with Mark Lazerus

Brian Kelly, Notre Dame ready to 'put it all together' vs. Pitt

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Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly thrives on preparation. In six years at Central Michigan and Cincinnati he was 10-2 with more than a week to prepare. He's won his last four openers 23-12, 47-15, 40-7 and 59-3 (and nearly upset Boston College and quarterback Matt Ryan with Central Michigan in 2006, losing 31-24).

And it works the other way, too. Twice already this season Kelly has mentioned bad film on an opponent being a factor in preparation. When Stanford surprised the Irish by rushing three defenders and dropping eight in coverage, the Irish had no response. It was something they had not seen on film.

But Kelly is never better than when he gets a bead on his opponent, which is something to keep in mind when Notre Dame (2-3) takes on Pittsburgh (2-2) today at Notre Dame Stadium.
Kelly has played Pittsburgh the last three years at Cincinnati. He lost 24-17 in his first season, but won 28-21 in 2008 and 45-44 last year. Not only that, but Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt is well-known for doing what he knows best and sticking to it. He's unlikely to rush three and drop eight today.

So take it for what it's worth that Kelly feels pretty good about the opportunity for quarterback Dayne Crist and the Irish offense to ''put it all together'' today against Pitt.

''I hope so,'' Kelly said after practice Thursday. ''I really think a lot of it is about the recognition from the quarterback. When he can recognize, then comes the right reaction and appropriate response.

''This is certainly a defense he is more familiar with. Hopefully we've been able to give im a good scouting report. He [Crist] had a good week of practice. He did some things he hasn't done on a Thursday. I'm very encouraged. We'll see what happens. ''

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This page contains a single entry by Mark Potash published on October 9, 2010 1:45 PM.

Notre Dame QB Dayne Crist gets C-plus for first 5 games was the previous entry in this blog.

10 observations: Brian Kelly speaks after Notre Dame beats Pitt is the next entry in this blog.

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