Notre Dame has regrouped after a Christmas break with coach Brian Kelly looking to add a few new wrinkles for the BCS game against Alabama.
Irish special teams have been poor all season and it appears Kelly is leaning towards starting some top players on the special team units for the national championship game.
Kelly also had a full tilt practice on Saturday, top offense against top defense.
"Just to keep the speed in the game. I don't want practices to slow down. When it becomes all scout team, it has a tendency to become a little bit slower pace," Kelly said.
Kelly says the Irish may feature some up tempo offense but it is hard to see chinks in the Alabama armor.
"There's not one of the 11 guys where you can go, 'Let's go attack him,''' Kelly said. ''Where other weeks during the year we say, 'All right, let's get No. 4.' There's not a guy in the 11 you can say, 'We're going to do this.'"
"If you go in there and say, 'All right, we're just going to play between the tackles,' you're in for a long day,'' Kelly said. ''We've got to be attacking all areas and getting the kind of matchups that we need offensively. Because we need to get big chunk plays, I'm just going to tell you right now. They know that. We know that."
Using starters on special teams might help."Maybe we can catch lightning in a bottle on a return or get a block, something to that affect," Kelly said.
The team arrive in Miami on January 2 and will have an 11 P.M. curfew every night.
"They all understand what it's all about going down to Miami. It's not about enjoying South Beach. This is about preparing for a national championship game," he said.
USS Michael Murphy, named after Irish American Navy SEAL hero, heading toward Korea