Chicago Sun-Times
with Mark Lazerus

Defense shines despite lack of depth

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Notre Dame's defense has allowed one offensive touchdown or less in the past nine games and has not allowed a touchdown after the last nine offensive turnovers.

The Irish have also only allowed two rushing touchdowns in their past nine games dating back to last season. Both were quarterback sneaks from the 1-yard line.

"That's what we're trying to build," Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said. "We knew our success was going to be linked toward building a defensive philosophy. I've looked at 15 years of recruiting at Notre Dame. The skill players will find their way here. We're going to get them. We have to continue to develop our defense. We're building a mentality and confidence level that needs to continue to grow." 

The one thing Kelly's defense needs is improved depth. He recently praised the play of weak-side linebackers Carlo Calabrese and Dan Fox. The problem is, he doesn't have that kind of depth at other linebacker positions.

"Manti [Te'u] is playing too many snaps because we have to," he said. "It's important we develop the depth we have at 'Will' at other positions on defense."

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This page contains a single entry by Neil Hayes published on September 29, 2011 1:43 PM.

Kelly on 'Will' linebackers, freshman backs was the previous entry in this blog.

Kelly: Shorter practices keep Irish fresh is the next entry in this blog.

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