Saturday, March 12, 2011
Tonight's matchup will be one of epic proportions, as the two hottest teams in the Big East square off in Storrs. One of these two will see their conference winning streak end. Notre Dame has won five straight, while UConn has been on the winning ended seven consecutive times. A win for Notre Dame would match the best 23-game start overall and best 11-game start in conference play in eight seasons under Brey. Even though this will be the second time this season that the Irish and Huskies will play, both squads definitely come in as different teams.
Since ending their two-game losing skid (losses @ Georgetown and home to Providence), Connecticut has reeled off some impressive wins behind junior forward Jeff Adrien and Hasheem Thabeet. Adrien, the Big East Player of the Week, leads the Huskies in scoring at 14.7 points a night, while Thabeet is the defensive stopper in the paint with 93 blocks. The last time ND and UConn played, Thabeet created a lot of frustration for Luke Harangody. But tonight could be much different.
The Irish too, are coming in, winners of their last five, including two straight on the road in the Big East. Ever since inserting Zach Hillesland into the starting five, he has given Mike Brey's squad the boost it needs from the get go. Ryan Ayers has been spectacular off the bench, nearly averaging 10 points per night. The bench production has been solid with the renewed presence of Jonathan Peoples and Luke Zeller. They will definitely be counted on, as Connecticut looks to avenge their loss at the Joyce Center last month.
If the Irish are to be successful, Harangody has to keep chugging along and penetrate to the hole. Thabeet is tall, but Luke is a wide load! If the Irish can get Thabeet into foul trouble, Notre Dame will dominate down low. Also, senior captain Rob Kurz will have to keep his steady numbers intact. I swear he has the quietest 12.8 pts, 8.0 rebounds a game average in the country. He will definitely be the X-Factor tonight.
Kyle McAlarney could not possibly have another 30 point explosion in him, can he? Has Tory Jackson turned the corner this season, and regained his form that landed him on the Big East All-Rookie squad? All I know is that there are a lot of "ifs" in tonight's contest. With that said, I'm not sure if the Irish can beat the surging Huskies tonight.
Prediction: Connecticut 78 Notre Dame 76
~ The Huskies leads the series 12-6 and have won four of the last seven meetings. All 18 of the matchups between the two schools have been as BIG EAST opponents.
~ Playing for the ninth time in the state of Connecticut against the Huskies, this will be just the second-ever appearance for the Irish at Gampel Pavilion.
~ Since the starting lineup change, the Irish are 5-0 and averaging 88.2 points.
~ During the Irish's current home court winning streak, Notre Dame has shot .500 or better in 14 of 34 games. Notre Dame Opponents have shot .500 or better in 3 of 34 games.
~ The last time the Irish won three straight conference road games was during the 2000-01 campaign (Mike Brey’s first season) when that Irish squad rattled off a program-best five consecutive league road contests.
Friday, March 11, 2011
The sixth and final installment of our look back at Hawaii's 2008 season recaps the final three contests of the Warriors regular season.
After winning only their second contest on the road, Hawaii closed out the regular season with their remaining games at Aloha Stadium starting with the Warriors matchup with Idaho.
For the second straight game Hawaii got production from both sides of the ball to steamroll to its most lopsided win of the year 49-17 over the Vandals. Greg Alexander completed 14-of-24 passes for 264 yards and a career-high three touchdowns to power the Warrior offense. Malcolm Lane caught four passes for a career high 144 yards and two touchdowns, while Daniel Libre scored two rushing touchdowns.
The Warrior defense was just as impressive as they held Idaho to 219, picked off three passes, and recovered one fumble. Hawaii also set a season high in sacks with seven, as they held the Vandals to 49 yards on the ground.
Hawaii made quick use of their offensive possessions as they had four touchdown drives lasting 30 seconds or less, while another was just 68 seconds long.
Next up for the Warriors was an out of conference contest with Washington State. Hawaii got off to a quick start and despite missing numerous opportunities, won comfortably against the Cougars 24-10.
Hawaii was in complete control of the game early, though the Cougars hung around through the final quarter. The Warriors never trailed, but needed a late third quarter touchdown to help seal the win.
Once again Greg Alexander led the Hawaii attack as he threw for a career-best 315 yards on 19-of-34 passing. Wide receiver Greg Salas led a potent Hawaii receiving corps with a career-high 131 receiving yards on seven receptions. Aaron Bain (71) and Michael Washington (81) also combined for 152 yards receiving.
Meanwhile, the Warrior defense held Washington State to just 10 points and 196 yards of offense, both season lows for a Hawaii opponent. The defense recorded five sacks and recovered two fumbles.
Big East Champ Cincinnati rounded out the regular season finale for the Warriors, who blew a 14-pt. lead with 12:36 remaining in the game, and lost 29-24.
Hawaii trailed 10-0 for much of the first half before rallying with 24 straight points of their own which spanned three quarters before the Bearcats rally. Warrior QB Greg Alexander completed 28-of-42 passes for 275 yards and two touchdowns, and also threw one interception that ignited the Cincinnati squad.
The Warriors were not very disciplined against the Bearcats being penalized 11 times for 109 yards and gave up five sacks.
Senior Day was a downer, but a home bowl game against the Fighting Irish was looming as they try and finish off the 2008 campaign with another winning record.
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
If there was ever a good time to get a win on the road for Mike Brey and his Fighting Irish, tomorrow would be that day. Both with identical 13-4 records and undefeated at home, the Irish and Wildcats will do battle in Philadelphia at high noon. Even though the Irish haven't faired well against Villanova since joining the Big East (3-11), Notre Dame is ready to unleash the beast from within.
Villanova, which is coming off a horrible loss at last place Rutgers (80-68), is a smaller, but quick team. This game could have the same feel as the Cincinnati or West Virginia games, where the Irish dominated down low. Speaking of Cincinnati, one of the Wildcats' conference losses came at the hands of the Bearcats (69-66).
Sophomore guard Scottie Reynolds is one of the two Wildcat players averaging double figures (17.4 ppg). Forward Dante Cunningham is the other at 10.6. Cunningham also leads Villanova in rebounds at 7.6 per contest. And rebounds is where this contest will either make or break the Irish.
Rutgers collected one more rebound than the Wildcats on Wednesday night (37-36) and that’s typically a bad omen for Villanova. Jay Wright's team is 10-1(.909) this season when it wins the battle of the boards, including 2-0 in BIG EAST action. On the flip side, the ‘Cats are 0-3 in 2007-08 when they are outrebounded (they are 2-1 in games where the rebounds were even). Currently the Irish are SIXTH in the Nation rebounding margin (9.8). ND is 13-2 on the year when they outrebound their opponents and 0-2 when they have lost the battle of the boards. So look for Luke Harangody and Rob Kurz to have a big game on the boards.
The achilles heel for both teams is getting off to a quick start. In the Irish's two road losses in conference play, Notre Dame has started off cold and were hardly in the contest in the second half. On the flip side, slow starts have hampered Villanova of late, as well. On Jan. 12, Cincinnati tallied seven of the game’s first nine points in what became a 69-66 loss. In its next contest, Villanova watched DePaul score nine of the contest’s first 11 points before rallying in the second half for a 76-69 win. Then on Wednesday, Rutgers jumped out to a 16-2 advantage at the 15:07 mark and the Wildcats never held the lead in an 80-68 loss. If ND can add some pressure, dictate the tempo with some good looks to Harangody and some sharp shooting by Kyle McAlarney, the Irish will be in great shape.
The X-factor in this contest will be the play of Ryan Ayers and Zach Hillesland. Both will be counted on for some quality play and meaningful minutes. If Ayers can somehow create some shots, that will take a huge burden off of Harangody, Kurz, and McAlarney. Hillesland once again will be the spark that the Irish will infuse to get it going on both ends of the court.
This is one that could go either way, but the Irish are due a win on the road. Tomorrow will be the day, as Notre Dame will finally play a complete game on both ends of the court as they start a four game winning streak.
Notre Dame 72 Villanova 66
~ These two squads each defeated the other on their home court last season: Notre Dame 66, Villanova 63 (Jan. 27, 2007) and Villanova 102, Notre Dame 87 (Jan. 17, 2007).
~ Scottie Reynolds scored 46 points (23.0 ppg) in the two meetings
last season with the Irish, including a 27-point effort in the ‘Cats win
over Notre Dame at the Pavilion.
~ Jay Wright is 3-3 vs. the Irish.
~ Saturday’s contest marks the third ranked opponent the Irish have faced this
~ Notre Dame’s last win against a ranked opponent on the home floor of that opponent
was against Alabama (78-71) when the Crimson Tide were ranked 22nd in the
Associated Press ranking and 19th in the ESPN/USA Today poll.
Monday, March 7, 2011
I know I usually don't write anything about professional sports on here, but I felt compelled to vent about what took place last weekend in Indianapolis and what has transpired this week out of Green Bay. For these actions, I have dubbed the following my Jackasses of the Week:
1.) Philip Rivers. Not only did I not like you when you beat the Irish in the Gator Bowl with North Carolina State, but I really loathe you for your "Tough Guy" antics this season. Why does he pick fights with opposing fans? Last Sunday watching the Colts-Chargers game, I really didn't care who won. Well actually I didn't mind seeing San Diego win, because my best friend is a Colts fan and they beat my beloved Bears last year. Anyway, after Peyton Manning and the Colts turned the ball over on downs at the end of the game, I saw where Philip was jawing with several Colts fans. Dude, act like you've been there before. No reason to be a little bitch!
Winners walk the walk, and you sir, are not a winner. HEE-HAW, HEE-HAW!
2.) Fox 11, WLUK-TV (Green Bay). It has come to my attention that Green Bay's local Fox affiliate, WLUK, Channel 11, will not be airing the popular Seinfeld episodes on Saturday. You might be asking yourself, why is that jackass worthy? Well, Weisgipp, is going to tell you why. I guess it has become popular knowledge that New York Giants QB, Eli Manning's favorite show is indeed Seinfeld. Since the Giants and Packers don't play till Sunday, and New York will be having some down time in their hotel, Channel 11 felt it would be an advantage to not air the regularly schedule Seinfeld episodes on Saturday.
Ok, I understand the psychological warfare they are imposing on young Eli, but do you really think that is going to stop him from seeing Seinfeld? Hello, TBS, cable television? Wow, Fox 11, you really got Eli, didn't you? YADA, YADA, YADA! HEE-HAW, HEE-HAW!
3.) Colts Fans. Karma's a bitch, isn't it? If we rewind the Colts-Chargers game at the half, you'll notice the winners of the annual Punt, Pass, Kick competition were announced on CBS. Each winner is represented by a certain NFL team. Well when it came down to announce the 14-15 year old winners, I was shocked. Anna Grant of New Hampshire was booed in front of a national television audience. Why was she booed? Well it was because she was wearing a New England Patriots jersey. Yes, I know that you hate the Patriots, but DAMN, show some class. You fans are giving the rest of the Hoosier state a bad name.
Maybe Philip Rivers was shouting to the Colt's fans to pick on somebody their own size. I guess what comes around goes around! HEE-HAW, HEE, HAW!
Thursday, March 3, 2011
What a long strange trip it has been this season for the Fighting Irish as they came away even at 6-6 for the 2008 campaign. Other than who will be Notre Dame's head coach next season, the question now is where will the Irish be playing this postseason?
Sun Bowl (Dec. 31st)
This game will be signed, sealed, and delivered, if Louisville beats Rutgers this Thursday night. Currently the Scarlet Knights are a 10 and a half point favorites at home.
Possible Sun Bowl Opponent: Oregon State (8-4)
This is definitely not a matchup any Irish fan or alum wants to see Notre Dame play. All oneself has to do is remember the Fiesta Bowl and the Insight.com Bowl with the Beavers.
Texas Bowl (Dec. 30th)
This Houston-based bowl game will not be a fan favorite either because this contest will be aired by the NFL Network. Unless you are a subscriber to this channel, most Irish fans will be watching this game at their local sports bars!
Possible Texas Bowl Opponent: Rice (9-3) or Houston (7-5)
Whichever squad the Irish could possibly face in this game will definitely have the backing of the home crowd as both schools are just a stone's throw away from Reliant Stadium.
Both Rice and Houston are two of highest scoring teams in the nation averaging a little over 41 points per game. Houston has the second-best offense in the country with a 575 yard output, while Rice is 10th averaging 472 yards. The Owls also have one of the better receiving tandems in Division I in Jarrett Dillard (102 ypg) and James Casey (101 ypg).
So if the Texas Bowl becomes a reality, the Irish could have their hands full with these explosive offenses.
Independence Bowl (Dec. 28th)
There are a lot better places to spend your holidays than Shreveport, Louisiana, but this game could be the streak breaker if the Irish land there.
Possible Independence Bowl Opponent: Louisiana Tech (7-5) or UL-Lafayette (5-6)
Both the Ragin' Cajuns and Bulldogs are a run first team as they rank 5th (273 ypg) and 27th (195 ypg) nationally. On the flip side, both squads are giving up a lot of yardage to their opponents. Louisiana-Lafayette is yielding 431 yards, while Louisiana Tech is giving up 379 yards.
If there's anything close to a sure bet win, place your money on the Irish if they go to Shreveport.
Hawaii Bowl (Dec. 24th)
The most ideal vacation spot could be the most hostile environment. Notre Dame has not been on the Island since Bob Davie's first season as head coach, and the Irish barely survived.
Possible Hawaii Bowl Opponent: Hawaii (7-5)
The Warriors are not potent as they were when they had Colt Brennan and June Jones running the show, but are still and dangerous squad when they play at home. Would it be worth the price to play in paradise for such a risky bowl game? that's the three-quarter million dollar question the Irish could be asking themselves.
Poinsettia Bowl (Dec. 23rd)
Another beautiful vacation spot (San Deigo) with a lot of bad scenarios for the Irish.
Possible Poinsettia Bowl Opponent: BYU (10-2)
Once considered a BCS buster, BYU is settling for Poinsettia Bowl appearance which doesn't make the Cougars much happy one bit. Besides playing a squad that feels jolted in not playing a better bowl, the Cougars are a dangerous team that the Irish would have a hard time with.
This is the most likely of destinations for the Irish, and definitely one of the worst matchups for the Notre Dame.
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
ESPN won't let it go. They got the first word, and now, they definitely want to have the last in the Dana Jacobson saga. During last Friday's press conference, Coach Weis let his thoughts be known to the media about the Mike and Mike Roast in Atlantic City:
"Well, I'll just say three things, okay. I was both personally and professionally offended by her comments. And if the situations were reversed, and that were me saying them, two things would have happened. I would have been the lead story on SportsCenter, and I would have been fired. But other than that, the University has issued an official response, and I think it's best to leave it at that."
Fair enough, end of story, right? Well today, ESPN in their infinite wisdom released this diatribe from their Ombudsman, Le Anne Schreiber. The former New York Times sports editor and author will critique decision-making, coverage and presentation of news, issues and events on ESPN television and other media. Here are snippets of her explanation of Mr. Ed's and Jim Kerry's Love Child's remarks.
On Jan. 12, The Press of Atlantic City ran a story that included a description of Jacobson's drunken behavior the previous night, saying she had made "an absolute fool of herself" on stage, "mumbling along and cursing like a sailor as Mike & Mike rested their heads in their hands in embarrassment." In the wake of that report, ESPN issued a statement saying, "Her actions were totally inappropriate and we have dealt with it." Dana Jacobson issued a personal apology.
Then, on Jan. 18, Deadspin.com posted a report by an anonymous "tipster" alleging that what the Press of Atlantic City had only called mumblings included a string of crude expletives directed at Notre Dame, its famous "Touchdown Jesus" mural and Jesus. Other Internet sites picked up that report and repeated the tipster's account, but as far as I can determine, there has been no corroboration by anyone who attended the roast that she did more than crudely insult ESPN's Mike Golic, a former Notre Dame Football player, by crudely insulting Notre Dame's football program and its famous mural. On Jan. 24, Scott Cronick, who attended the roast and wrote the article for Press of Atlantic City, told Thebiglead.com, "I never heard Dana Jacobson say F--- Jesus. That's why I never printed it. I also talked to people who were there who also said that they did not hear her say it either." He reiterated that statement in a Press of Atlantic City story the next day.
Here comes the most interesting part of this situation:
"ESPN has a video of the roast, which I asked to see. My request was denied, but during an extended conversation with ESPN vice president of communications Mike Soltys, who has reviewed Jacobson's remarks on that tape many times, I was repeatedly assured that her obscenity-laced insults to Golic were directed entirely at Notre Dame's football program, not at Golic's religion and not at Jesus."
If she didn't say it, why won't they let their own Ombudsman see the video? Wouldn't you want everyone to know that your TV personality didn't say these things, than rather cover it up and say she didn't say those things? Something does not add up here. But anyway, Ms. Schreiber, gives her bogus answer about why her company won't release the video:
"After meeting with ESPN executives on Jan. 25, Christian Defense Coalition leaders continue to demand that ESPN release the roast video to satisfy doubt about Jacobson's exact words. ESPN believes releasing an obscenity-strewn video, audio or a transcript of Jacobson's remarks, which would doubtlessly find a permanent worldwide home on the Internet would only aggravate and compound the original offense. They deem unsatisfied doubts a lesser offense.
My own thoughts: I share the view that the offense was one of crass language and behavior from a woman under the influence of alcohol, not hate or religious bigotry. I think ESPN personalities would be wise not to speak at roasts, which often become occasions for offensive and crude insults delivered and received under the influence of excessive alcohol. I think we all need to be more cautious about information that comes from a single anonymous source, whether we get the information from ESPN, other outlets of the mainstream media or Internet blogs."
Schreiber then goes on to say,
"I wish I could offer first-hand confirmation of ESPN's characterization of Jacobson's remarks. However, I respect ESPN's right to withhold the video; of what was a private event not intended for wider broadcast, from me as well as others who have requested seeing it. Based on my past and current conversations with Soltys, I personally trust his assurances to me.
Finally, no one at ESPN asked me to issue this or any reply. Viewers and readers did."
I wish you could offer first-hand confirmation too! All we want is the truth. Unfortunately, ESPN can't handle the truth! Duh, Na, Na, Duh Na, Na!
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Catch up on the latest Buzz Around Team Camps for this Monday, December 15th:
San Diego St. via http://www.signonsandiego.com
San Diego State has hired Ball State head coach Brady Hoke as its new head football coach, sources close to the situation said. An announcement of his hiring could come as soon as today, after Hoke informs his players of his decision this morning.
Hoke, 50, was one of three finalists interviewed last week, along with UCLA defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker and former Texas A&M coach Dennis Franchione. Sources said Walker didn't have the best interview and that Franchione has been notified he is not the choice.
Michigan via http://www.mlive.com
Fred Jackson realized that Sam McGuffie was struggling long before the University of Michigan freshman running back decided he wouldn't return for his sophomore season. Even before what turned out to be his only campaign in Ann Arbor began, McGuffie admitted he was homesick.
The News confirmed a Rivals.com report Friday that McGuffie had been granted his released, allowing him to transfer to a school closer to his home in Texas, ending speculation the speedy tailback wouldn't return.
Jackson, Michigan's running backs coach who talked to McGuffie nearly on a daily basis, wasn't surprised.
"(His issues) have been going on since he got here," Jackson told reporters at halftime of Michigan's 91-60 basketball win over Eastern Michigan. "It's just difficult. "The kid wanted to be here, but he just had things happen with family that weighed heavy on him. And because of those things, he couldn't concentrate."
McGuffie, who sustained two concussions during his freshman year, ran for 486 yards and three touchdowns on 118 carries in 10 games.
"He did the best he could," Jackson said. "I commend him for what he did - but there were a lot of things that happened that affected him. "When a kid's heart is in something else, it's going to be hard for him to help us."
Michigan St. via http://www.freep.com
The heat was on the Michigan State football team today. The Spartans practiced in hot conditions inside the Duffy Daughtery indoor football facility in preparation for their Jan. 1 Capital One Bowl game against Georgia in Orlando, Fla. Coach Mark Dantonio also had crowd noise and music blaring over loudspeakers.
Some might question the value of working out in an artificial environment with the belief it will get the players prepared for what they'll face on game day. But, quarterback Brian Hoyer said it worked last season when MSU played in the Champs Sports Bowl also at Citrus Bowl Stadium.
The difference is, the Champs Bowl was played in the evening while the Capital One will kick off at 1 p.m., although Hoyer didn't recall anybody having trouble with the heat during mid-day practices.
"It feels pretty hot in here and it probably won't even be as hot in Florida so we'll be prepared for it," Hoyer said. "I guess they assume that six days here in the heat will get us acclimated. I remember the first day we got down there last year it was real hot, but we gradually got used to it especially after practicing up here where it's about 80 degrees.
North Carolina via http://tarheelblue.cstv.com
University of North Carolina wide receiver Hakeem Nicks, linebacker Mark Paschal and linebcker/tight end Ryan Taylor were named the Tar Heels' Most Valuable Players at the 2008 senior football banquet Friday evening.
Nicks earned team MVP honors for the second consecutive season after setting school records for most receiving yards in a season (1,005) and career (2,623). A junior from Charlotte, N.C., Nicks tied the single-season record with nine touchdown receptions and was named first-team All-ACC. He enters the Meineke Car Care Bowl game vs. West Virginia, needing just four receptions to tie the school's all-time mark for catches.
Paschal started 11 games this year before a spine injury in the NC State game ended his career. He finished the season with 103 tackles, ranking fourth in the league in tackles per game. He also had 6.5 tackles for losses, two sacks, two interceptions and two forced fumbles. The Charlotte, N.C., native played in 47 consecutive games until the injury.
Taylor graded out as Carolina's top special teams player with 18 tackles. Against NC State, he became the first Tar Heel in several years to play offense, defense and special teams in the same game.
Washington via http://seattletimes.nwsource.com
The Washington Huskies are expected to announce a handful of new assistant coaches in the next day or two. And Sunday night, it was confirmed that Jim Michalczik will become the offensive coordinator for Steve Sarkisian's staff.
Michalczik has been the offensive-line coach at California the past seven years and was also the Bears' offensive coordinator in 2007. He is a Port Angeles native who played guard at Washington State from 1984 to 1988, playing alongside current Cougars coach Paul Wulff on the 1988 Aloha Bowl champs.
Michalczik told the Contra Costa Times Sunday night that "professionally, it was an offer I couldn't turn down."
While Michalczik will be the offensive coordinator, Sarkisian has said he will call the plays for the Huskies.
UW's defensive-coordinator spot is still uncertain as USC secondary coach Rocky Seto has yet to decide if he will accept an offer.
Boston College via http://bceagles.cstv.com
Sophomores Anthony Castonzo and Thomas Claiborne and true freshman Montel Harris were each honored by College Football News for their performances this season. Castonzo was a 2008 CFN All-Sophomore First Team selection while Claiborne was put on the second team. Harris was tabbed an honorable mention among the freshman class.
With Castonzo at left tackle and Claiborne at right guard, the BC offensive line has paved the way for two true freshmen running backs and a pair of first-year starters at quarterback. The Eagles have allowed just 21 sacks of QBs Chris Crane and Dominique Davis. They rank 49th in the country in sacks allowed (1.69) and 25th in tackles for a loss allowed (4.77).
The line also blocks for Harris and classmate Josh Haden. The duo is the second-best true freshman running back pair in the country, averaging 105.9 yards per game.
Harris has established new BC freshman rushing records with 832 yards and five 100-yard performances. He broke Shelby Gamble's 1976 record of 776 yards. Harris ranks third in the country in rushing among true freshman at 69.3 yards per game.
Syracuse via http://www.syracuse.com
Syracuse University head football coach Doug Marrone has been turned loose from his remaining duties as offensive coordinator with the New Orleans Saints in order to turn his full attention to his new position with the Orange men.
The Saints and Marrone mutually agreed to let him out of the final two games of the NFL season. Marrone had planned to finish out his duties with the Saints. The two sides made the decision on Saturday.
Marrone said he will be in Syracuse on Sunday after finishing packing up his belongings from his New Orleans coaching office. On Saturday, he said his goodbyes to players and coaches with the Saints.
"Today was a hard day," Marrone said. "Going into New Orleans ... these players that I've had ... they were so happy for me. It made it a lot easier."
Southern Cal www.latimes.com
Junior running back Stafon Johnson said he submitted paperwork Friday for an evaluation of his possible NFL draft position.
"I just want to know where I'm at, what I need to work on," said Johnson, who has 642 yards and nine touchdowns in a team-high 123 carries. "For the most part, I'm here to stay and that's my mind-set right now. After the Rose Bowl, we'll see what happens."
Linebacker Rey Maualuga and safety Taylor Mays were selected to the Football Writers Assn. of America and the cbssports.com All-American teams. . . . The Trojans will not practice again until Thursday.
Hawaii via http://warriorbeat.honadvblogs.com/
The Warriors are going to use the extra practice days as a mini camp, giving work to the redshirts and developing players. This will give them a boost for spring ball. Starting Wednesday, the Warriors will focus solely on Notre Dame.