Charlie Weis held his weekly Tuesday press conference previewing this weekend’s matchup with Michigan State. Here are a few notes on what Weis had to say.
- Injury update – Armando Allen and Michael Floyd should be OK, but James Aldridge is still doubtful for the game.
- There is a plan in place for improving the run defense after getting torn up on the ground last week. Weis wouldn’t elaborate, but did say that run defense would be a point of emphasis in practice this week. There was a period of practice of full speed offense vs. defense aimed at improving the run defense. Weis mentioned there could be some shuffling along the defensive line as well as a different distribution of playing time.
- The captains did a good job rallying the troops after the loss to Michigan with more players than normal checking in yesterday on their day off. Weis said there were players anxious to watch film and have groups meetings on their own.
- Weis is well aware of Michigan State’s streak of 6 straight wins inside Notre Dame Stadium and will make it known to the players this week. He said that he might not have used streaks as a point of emphasis in the past, but considering MSU is coming off a loss to Central Michigan he’ll use it to grab the players’ attention so they don’t overlook the Spartans.
- Kapron Lewis-Moore has settled down some after being nervous in his first start two weeks ago, but hasn’t played much because of all of the nickel defense that Notre Dame has been playing. With Notre Dame playing more base defense this weekend, we should see more of KLM.
- Freshman running back Cierre Wood is getting closer to playing, but the success of Armando Allen is making it tough on the coaches to take carries away from him. Weis mentioned that Wood did travel with the team last week and he wouldn’t have if Weis wasn’t comfortable playing him.
- Weis said roughly the same about freshman linebacker Manti Te’o. Senior Toryan Smith has been playing well in the middle and has a better understanding of the defense. Te’o is going to be playing more and more each week though according to Weis.
- Weis got feedback on the plays that he sent to the Big 10 for review from the Michigan game but said it was a private matter and didn’t discuss details.
- Notre Dame plans to address the problem with holding calls last week the same way they plan on fixing the run defense – practice.
- Weis credited Tate Foricer’s scrambling ability for the reason the secondary gave up some big plays in the passing game Saturday. He said that Corwin Brown is one of the toughest graders on the team and that he fully trusts Browns assessment on how much of Michigan’s success was due to Forcier’s scrambling and busted coverage by the secondary.
- Weis was impressed with the play of Barry Gallup as a kick returner. He said he did a good job as a communicator on Theo Riddick’s first return and did a good job of making people miss.
- Jonas Gray got more carries in practice Tuesday to help build up his confidence after fumbling against Michigan.
- Punting snaps will be split in practice again this week. Eric Maust had a really rough game against Michigan and Weis said that just because Ben Turk hasn’t played yet, it doesn’t mean he won’t this year.
- Weis said that Ethan Johnson is continuing to grow as an inside defensive tackle, but that some of the players might be getting a little frustrated since the first two games have been more assignment football with the offensive schemes used by Nevada and Michigan.
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