ND FOOTBALL PREVIEW: Irish return to motion Saturday towards Florida State | Sports activities
SOUTH BEND — The final time Notre Dame took the soccer subject, they regarded like probably the greatest groups within the nation in dismantling South Florida, 52-0, at Notre Dame Stadium.
That was three weeks in the past, although. Which makes Saturday’s recreation for the No. 5 Preventing Irish an attention-grabbing one towards Florida State (7:30 p.m., NBC).
Prior to begin of the USF recreation on Sept. 19, seven gamers on the Notre Dame depth chart have been dominated out for the sport. The next Monday, there have been seven optimistic COVID-19 exams on the group, forcing the shutdown of this system in the intervening time to do extra testing and get in touch with tracing.
A complete of 39 gamers on the Irish roster have been pressured into both isolation or quarantine, with 25 of these testing optimistic for coronavirus. The Sept. 26 street recreation towards Wake Forest was postponed to Dec. 12, and Oct. 3 was an already scheduled off week for Notre Dame.
That makes Saturday towards the Seminoles the primary time the Irish have performed a recreation in 21 days. They’ve been practising since final Wednesday and held a group scrimmage this previous Sunday in preparation to getting again to recreation velocity.
Whereas he was nervous in regards to the group’s conditioning at the start of the week, Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly is assured in his gamers
“On the finish of the day, if you don’t play for a few weeks, you are concerned about timing, execution, issues of that nature,” Kelly stated. “I’m much less involved about it as we undergo the week as a result of we’ve gotten our legs again and gotten right into a soccer routine.”
IRISH OFFENSE LOOKS TO GET GOING
One of many weaker positions for Notre Dame in its first two video games was broad receiver. The unit has solely produced 12 receptions and one landing. The truth is, that landing is the one one senior quarterback Ian E book has thrown all season.
Accidents to gamers like redshirt sophomore Kevin Austin earlier than the season, redshirt sophomore Braden Lenzy in coaching camp and graduate senior Ben Skowronek in week one hasn’t helped issues. Fortunately, all three gamers can be suiting up for the Irish on Saturday.
Austin offers the vertical risk that the Notre Dame offense desperately wants. He can be restricted, nevertheless, as he’s nonetheless making an attempt to get totally again from ankle surgical procedure.
“We need to watch out; he’s solely going to be about 11 weeks submit (surgical procedure),” Kelly stated. “Not that we’re placing him in a weak place, however we now have to watch out. He hasn’t performed full-speed soccer in an extended, very long time, so I believe we need to air on warning when it comes to his snaps this week and we’ll go from there.”
Whereas the receivers have struggled, the working backs have been a vivid spot. With all 5 guys which can be on the depth chart producing proper now, Kelly stated that how the sport is flowing will decide who will get the majority of the carries every week.
“I believe having that versatile working assault has allowed us to go deep on the working again aspect of issues,” Kelly stated. “We’re dedicated to all of these guys and anticipate to all see them contact the soccer. However I do consider the video games will nonetheless dictate how these carries pan out.”
Notre Dame can be with out two key defensive gamers this week, together with one starter. Beginning defensive sort out Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa and redshirt freshman linebacker Jack Kiser are each out this week. Kiser made an emergency begin towards South Florida as a result of COVID-19 outbreak, totaling eight tackles in his debut. He earned recreation ball honors from Kelly for his efficiency.
Tagovailoa-Amosa had 5 tackles and a cross deflection within the two wins over Duke and USF.
Fortunately, sophomore security Kyle Hamilton is again after struggling an ankle damage in week one towards Duke. He didn’t play towards South Florida, however was in line to play towards Wake Forest earlier than the postponement.
ABOUT FLORIDA STATE
The Seminoles are in rebuild mode underneath first-year head coach Mike Norvell. They’re 1-2 on the season, together with a 52-10 blowout loss to No. 7 Miami on Sept. 26. Final week, Florida State trailed Jacksonville State within the second quarter earlier than rallying to a 41-24 victory.
The final time the Seminoles paid a go to to South Bend, Notre Dame demolished them, 42-13, on a chilly November evening in 2018. Whereas this system is struggling, Kelly is aware of the expertise remains to be there on the Florida State roster.
“In very brief order, (Norvell) can have Florida State again in an excellent place, nationally,” Kelly stated. “They did some good issues [last] weekend (towards Jacksonville State). Florida State could be very gifted.”