College football: Notre Dame looks to make strides on offense
By LaMond Pope firstname.lastname@example.org/@lamondpope April 17, 2013 7:48PM
Brian Kelly, Everett Golson
When: Noon Saturday
Where: Notre Dame Stadium
Updated: May 19, 2013 7:52AM
SOUTH BEND — Ever envision a Notre Dame triple-option backfield of defensive linemen Louis Nix III, Stephon Tuitt and Tyler Stockton?
“That was most of the practice today,” Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly joked Wednesday. “Hopefully, this goes across the country and Temple (the opponent in the season opener) is able to pick up on this stuff.”
Kelly met with reporters for the final time before Saturday’s Blue-Gold game. The event, which marks the end of the team’s spring camp, begins at noon at Notre Dame Stadium.
Nix taking shotgun snaps probably won’t be a high priority for the day.
“We will try to create a game-day atmosphere, especially for a lot of the young guys,” Kelly said. “I want them to go through pregame, I want them to go through the tunnel. I want them to go through a game-like atmosphere.”
The format will be offense vs. defense, with no live special teams. Kyle Brindza will get in some punting.
“Hopefully I’m standing here next year with a full stock of offensive linemen and defensive backs and wide receivers. That’s really holding us back from splitting the squads up into a true Blue-Gold scrimmage,” Kelly said.
The Irish will be without seven players. Linebacker Dan Fox, safety Nicky Baratti, cornerback Bennett Jackson and defensive lineman Chase Hounshell are out with shoulder injuries. Running back Amir Carlisle is still recovering from a broken collarbone. He has participated recently in non-contact drills.
Wide receiver Corey Robinson has a hyperextended elbow. Running back Tyler Plantz is also unavailable.
Kelly wants to avoid some of the mistakes of last year’s spring game.
“Last year, I thought the offense was sloppy, the ball was on the ground, mistiming for handoffs. I want to see a clean game from the offensive perspective,” he said. “And there’s a lot of guys that are going to get the chance to compete for the first time in a longer format defensively, especially — you’re going to take a look at (safety Elijah) Shumate, you’re going to take a look at (safety) Eilar Hardy, you’re going to take a look at (linebackers) Jarrett Grace (and) Ben Coucell.
“There’s a lot to look at individuals defensively. And offensively, I want to get out of it feeling that we’ve really made that next step from an offensive standpoint in terms of continuity and execution.”
Kelly, who was born in Everett, Mass. and raised in Chelsea, Mass., addressed Monday’s bombing in Boston.
“We were obviously devastated with the news as everybody else was,” he said. “After a few hours of making calls and making sure all family and friends were safe, our next thought was to the victims.
“Terrible day, especially being from Boston and growing up with Patriots Day being kind of our holiday, if you will, as a Bostonian. So not only the tragedy of the loss of life and the injured, but it shakes you when that kind of private holiday that is so much Boston is shattered. It’s going to be hard. A lot of people are going to (need) some time to get over this.”