Sean O'Shea by Sean O'Shea
Pittsburgh familiar with Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly's offense
Posted on Saturday, October 09, 2010 at 05:53 AM
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Pittsburgh veteran players are familar with Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly's offense and will be using this knowledge to their advantage for their upcoming game this Saturday. Kelly coached against Pitt for many years when head coach at Cincinnati
Most players compare his signature spread offense and quick plays to a run-and-gun basketball team that features full-court pressure and fast breaks. It's design aims to spread out defenses and keep the pressure on by not huddling, assuming the line and snapping the ball.
The Pittsburgh Panthers play Notre Dame at 3.30pm this Saturday in South Bend, Ind.
Jabaal Sheard, the Panthers defender is no stranger to Notre Dame's tactics and admits his team will be under pressure.
"[The offense] gets us tired," Sheard said. "It kind of slows us down a little bit, those quick passes and everything, it just tires you out because you are working your motor so much. And then they screen you, so I'd say it slows you down and you get mad and tired but you have to keep working every play and play for four quarters and try to get the job done," he told the Pittsburgh Gazette.
Pittsburgh Panthers coach Dave Wannstedt said his team studies some of Kelly's previous games with Cincinnati and he thinks the Notre Dame coach is using the same format.
"We went back and looked at the films and it looks like he is doing some of the same things that they did the first and second years at Cincinnati when he was there. Last year they were just so much more advanced in the tempo of the game and the plays that they ran, that if you compare the different years you do see some differences. But that is just because as the players grasp the system, you can add more," Wannstedt told the Pittsburgh Gazette.
The fighting Irish are averaging 24.6 and 404 yards per game so far this season. Quarterback Dayne Crist has been the shining offence star thus far. He has completed 113 of 194 passes with an impressive 10 touchdowns and four interceptions.
Speaking about Crist's development Wannstedt said his force combined with Kelly's Irish skill position plays make them dangerous opponents for Saturday's game.