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Notre Dame Seeking A Jumpstart Against Alabama In CFP Semi

SOUTH BEND, Ind.: Brian Kelly isn’t holding again on one of many main objectives for Notre Dame within the College Football Playoff semifinal towards Alabama on Friday.

We need to run the ball, we have to run the soccer, Kelly mentioned. Based upon who we’re and the way we have now operated this 12 months, we must run the ball extra successfully that we did the final time we performed.

The final day out was a 34-10 loss within the ACC championship to No. 2 Clemson, a bitter be aware for the Fighting Irish heading into the showdown towards the top-ranked Crimson Tide. The laundry listing of what improper was lengthy 44 speeding yards on 30 carries, six sacks of quarterback Ian Book and simply three of 12 on third-down conversions.

Next up is the high-powered Alabama offense led by a pair of Heisman Trophy finalists in quarterback Mac Jones and vast receiver DeVonta Smith with rugged operating again Najee Harris pounding away for a group that averages 49.2 factors via 11 straight victories.

The greatest technique to cease that, Kelly believes, is by maintaining the offense on the sideline. Notre Dame’s offense is averaging 33:57 minutes of ball management per recreation (eighth nationally).

Were cognizant of the truth that that is an electrical offense that scores bushels and bushels of factors, Kelly mentioned of the Tide. Our offense has historically been a ball-control offense. We cant come into this recreation and alter who we’re. Thats sort of been our DNA this 12 months. We cant be three-and-out. We need to maintain on to the soccer.

After eking out a 12-7 victory over Louisville Oct. 17, Notre Dame went on a six-game successful streak throughout which it gained the time of possession battle in every recreation whereas averaging 217 speeding yards, 279 passing yards and greater than 40 factors per recreation. Included in that stretch was a 47-40 double-overtime victory over then top-ranked Clemson throughout which Book completed with 377 yards in complete offense and operating again Kyren Williams had 140 speeding yards, one in every of his six video games over 100 yards throughout a 1,061-yard debut season.

The fourth-ranked Irish will probably be with out junior heart Jarrett Patterson, the vocal chief on the offensive line with 21 consecutive begins earlier than season-ending foot surgical procedure in late November.

Jarrett is the very best heart within the nation, if Im being trustworthy, insisted second-team Associated Press All-America deal with Liam Eichenberg. We miss one in every of our greatest gamers.

The Irish have began first sophomore Zeke Correll, who suffered an ankle sprain late towards North Carolina, and now senior Josh Lugg in Pattersons place. But the road hasnt been the identical due to some poor execution Correll and Lugg every have had snap points and has surrendered 10 sacks of Book within the final three video games.

We need to focus one play at a time, particularly on third down, Book mentioned. Its the way you win video games. We need to win that third-down battle. And thats what we plan to do.

Book has been electrical at instances this season extending performs along with his toes. If that avenue is closed down, it might imply extra quick passes to tight ends Michael Mayer and Tommy Tremble and presumably screens using Williams.

That might assist open the speeding lanes towards an Alabama protection that options All-America cornerback Patrick Surtain II and linebackers Dylan Moses, Christian Harris and Will Anderson Jr., a freshman who led the Southeastern Conference with seven quarterback sacks.

First-year offensive coordinator Tom Rees, a reserve quarterback on Kellys 2012 Irish group that misplaced 42-14 to Alabama within the BCS championship recreation the final time the groups met, doesnt imagine Book must put all of it on his shoulders.

I dont suppose theres something heroic he must do thats going to single-handedly win us the sport, Rees mentioned. For us (its about) being extra constant on first and second down … not getting behind the chains and placing ourselves in third-and-long conditions.

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