What to watch from Notre Dame: Week 12

November, 18, 2010
11/18/10
10:30
AM ET
What to watch from Notre Dame in the Irish's game against Army at Yankee Stadium:

1. The House that Rudy Built?: Fans with no rooting interest in this game will likely still tune in just to see the sight of a football game being played in one of the most famous addresses in sports (even though the actual, 2-year old building has no real historic value). If nothing else, seeing a field goal head toward the center field bleachers could cause some disorientation. This is the first football game at the new Yankee Stadium, and it will be interesting to see if there are any unforeseen logistical problems. For historians who treasure the old Notre Dame-Army series, it will provide a nice bit of nostalgia.

2. Defense optional: Obviously, the story of the game is whether the Irish can defend the triple option any better than they did against Navy. Brian Kelly hasn't given away any secrets on things his defense may do differently, but you can bet there will be a much different game plan. Simply seeing it for a second time in a month should help the Irish players adjust. If not, they'll have another long day at the office.

3. Conservative approach?: Last week against Utah, Kelly kept the game plan simple, running the ball more so as not to burden true freshman quarterback Tommy Rees with too much. It worked to perfection. Will Kelly keep things close to the vest this week, or will he be tempted to do more now with Rees, especially given the talent disparity between Notre Dame and Army players? We know that Army will play with more focus and discipline than the Utes, who seemed like they were still thinking about their loss to TCU the previous week. Notre Dame should be able to take advantage of an Army defense that gave up 42 points to both Tulane and Air Force, but Rees and the offense need to capitalize on what might be limited opportunities since the option shortens the game.

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