Kelly's Keys to Victory: NC State edition


Notre Dame's defense is a work in progress, and with Greg Hudson still getting his feet wet, the Irish face another tough test against NC State.

The Wolfpack feature many weapons on the offensive side of the ball including tight end Jaylen Samuels.

"We don't even consider him a tight end and you can't treat him that way," Notre Dame Head Coach Brian Kelly said. "We have to play him like a receiver and not get into any unfavorable matchups."

Wolfpack sophomore quarterback Ryan Finley is not someone the Irish have to worry about putting 500 yards against them, but he is someone who will use his smarts and be efficient.

"You can't just line up and play a vanilla defense against this team," Kelly said. "If you do, he [Finley] will dink and dunk all day against you. You can't just line your ducks up in a row and expect to play defense against these guys."

The Wolfpack, like Notre Dame, are averaging 40 points a game, so the Irish defense doesn't get a breather in what's been a tough year for that unit.

Now, Notre Dame's offense versus NC State is another thing. The Wolfpack have the 21st ranked defense in the nation coming into this week but Notre Dame's offense has not met anyone who has come close to stopping them.

"If you let us throw the ball all over the field, we're going to throw," Kelly said.

And he's right, Notre Dame has allowed their young WR corp to blossom this year, putting up great numbers through the air, but so-so numbers on the ground, but Kelly doesn't care.

"We're averaging 40 points a game and 500 yards a game," Kelly said.

The weather is not supposed to be great Saturday, but Kelly's team proved last year against Clemson that they have the ability to move the ball in any conditions and Saturday should be no different.

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