Chicago Sun-Times
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Notre Dame notes and quotes

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Emptying the notebook heading into tomorrow's Notre Dame home-opener against Purdue:

--- In the ramp-up to the opener in Dublin, Irish coach Brian Kelly was concerned that his team would be feeling the effects of the travel through the first three or four weeks of the season. But Kelly held a practice on Tuesday that was a little more grueling than usual, in 90-degree heat, and came away pleased with how his players had adapted. 

The players said they had no lingering fatigue, either. 

"Maybe a little bit in the afternoon the first couple of days, but that's it," said tailback Theo Riddick. 

"Feel great," said lineman Zack Martin. 

--- For the inexperienced Irish cornerbacks, preparing for any team is a challenge. On paper, it looks like Purdue is an even bigger task, because the Boilermakers will use three quarterbacks -- starter Caleb TerBush, last week's starter Robert Marve, and former starter Rob Henry. 

But Irish corner Bennett Jackson said it really doesn't matter who's under center.

"The quarterbacks, you study their tendencies and whatnot, but really, whatever quarterback is in the game, if I have my eyes on my guy, the quarterback really doesn't make a difference," Jackson said. "When the ball's in the air, I read and react on the receiver, I'm not looking at the quarterback. So it really doesn't matter which quarterback is in the game."

--- Redshirt freshman Everett Golson was pleased with his 12-of-18, 144-yard performance against Navy. But he said there was still plenty to work on, particularly with his footwork. Kelly's a stickler for quarterback mechanics, and it's something he's worked on with Golson this week.

"Obviously, footwork," Golson said, when asked what he had to improve upon. "That was one of the key things I'm trying to improve this week. I can remember many times when I was falling off my throws, or off balance. Coach Kelly has been on my mechanics very hard."

Golson also said he had no trouble getting the plays in from the sidelines -- something he had struggled with in the spring and early in camp. Kelly has made sure that the veterans on the offense -- particularly linemen Zack Martin and Braxton Cave -- have Golson's back and are looking for the signals, too. In fact, Kelly said Cave even "got carried away" by offering too much input. 

Golson will take it, though.

"It helps to have those other 10 guys out there with you," Golson said. "We're always echoing the plays. If maybe someone misses one of the hand signals, you have the other guys right there to fill it in."

--- The Irish kicking game was hardly exemplary during the Navy game. Nick Tausch missed an extra point, the snap was botched on another, Ben Turk averaged just 33 yards on two punts, and Kyle Brindza's had a weak first kickoff. But Kelly didn't sound too worried about his special teams.
 
"There's always concerns when you start like that, but I think they were more about nerves than anything else," Kelly said. "They settled in after we had (the two missed extra points) and a poor kickoff and a not-great punt. I think it was just setting in the first time. They had a good week."

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This page contains a single entry by Mark Lazerus published on September 7, 2012 6:14 PM.

Theo Riddick makes smooth transition back to tailback was the previous entry in this blog.

Quick halftime thoughts from Purdue-Notre Dame is the next entry in this blog.

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