Intensity The Key As Notre Dame Preps For Michigan State
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Keeping the intensity high is the focus of Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly as he preps his Fighting Irish for another road game this weekend.
"We can't afford to have some of the lapses that we've had in terms ," Kelly says. "I like our physically it. If we can keep that tuned up for four quarters. If we do that, that's the most important thing in our preparation right now."
The Irish will travel to East Lansing for face longtime rival Michigan State in the Battle for the Megaphone. Notre Dame is coming off a win against Boston College in Chestnut Hill last Saturday, where quarterback Brandon Wimbush made the use of his legs a viable weapon in rushing for 213 yards and four touchdowns.
It's a weapon that Coach Kelly says if they have to use more of, they will.
"If running the football is what is going to be the common denominator for wins, then that's what we're going to do," Kelly continued of his offense. "Clearly we have to work on out weaknesses. So wherever we feel like our weaknesses are in the offense we have to get better at those weaknesses."
Kelly is referring the Irish's ability to pass the ball, which was a struggle for them against Boston College. Wimbush completed only eleven passes of his 24 attempts for 96 yards and an interception. This is what led the Irish to all but abandon the passing game for running the ball.
Running back Josh Adams added 18 carries for 234 yards against the Golden Eagles.
This means Michigan State will present they biggest challenge yet for the Fighting Irish running attack. Kelly says the Spartans are "stingy and disciplined" on defense, especially against the run. Michigan State is coming off an early season bye week having beaten Bowling Green and Western Michigan in their first two games.
"I have a lot of respect for Mark Dantonio and what he's been able to accomplish at Michigan State," Kelly said of this week's adversary. "You know it's the Battle for the Megaphone. It's all about the Megaphone."
Kickoff for this week's prime time game is at 8:00 p.m. EDT on FOX.
(PHOTO: Jayne Karmin-Oncea/Getty Images)