Blue and Gold Illustrated

Nov. 9, 2015 Issue

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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BY LOU SOMOGYI D uring last month's p r e p a r a t i o n f o r the USC game, Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly admitted he did something he had not previously done in his 25 years as a football program's boss: he put a red jersey on one of his running backs. Star senior C.J. Pro- sise, who was on pace to set a single-season Fighting Irish record in rushing yardage after a c c u m u l a t i n g 9 2 2 i n the first seven games, was made off limits to contact in a practice. B y t h e t i m e N o t re Dame had its bye week (Oct. 18-25) and began p re p a r a t i o n s f o r t h e Oct. 31 Temple game, Prosise was back in his regular jersey and in- volved in at least some " t h u d w o r k , " i f n o t full contact. Neverthe- less, this is the time of year where balancing physicality in practice with resting from the residual effect of an ar- duous campaign must be monitored by the coaching and medical staffs. This is especially true given that since Au- gust, Notre Dame has lost seven top players this season to injuries, most recently sopho- more guard Alex Bars during the USC game. "You have to be very careful that you don't turn practice into just a tempo walk through," K e l l y s a i d . " … Yo u have to pick your spots. You still have to play fast and physical. You just can't do it the en- tire length of the prac- tice that you are used to doing maybe earlier in the year. "You have to find out what the players really need to work on and what are the things that you have to have that case for. Then you'd b e t t e r b a n g i n t h a t period and not bang when you're running your opener, for exam- ple, or third-and-long. "When you get into November, pick your UNDER THE DOME HOME STRETCH BALANCING ACT Coaches attempt to find right mix of physicality with rest Notre Dame lost starting quar‑ terback Malik Zaire for the season due to a fractured ankle Sept. 12. He was one of five starters out for the year before the third week of the season. PHOTO BY BILL PANZICA

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