Kelly, Notre Dame Make Final Preparations For Music City Bowl


The Fighting Irish made final preparations for their game against Louisiana State on Monday. Again, WatchND featured coverage of all of the team’s activities.

Notre Dame Head Coach Brian Kelly announced that he would start Sophomore Quarterback Malik Zaire against LSU. He prefaced this statement with the notion that both Quarterbacks will play against the Tigers.

“We’re going to start Malik Zaire. He’ll start for us tomorrow. We’re obviously going to play both Quarterbacks. We think that tomorrow is about 2014. It’s not about 2015. Our focus is on winning tomorrow’s football game. So, we think playing both [Quarterbacks] gives us the best chance of winning tomorrow,” said the 5th year Head Coach at the bowl press conference.

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The crew caught up with Defensive Coordinator Brian VanGorder who offered his keys to the game. His first key was Notre Dame being able to stop the run. VanGorder said, “We got to be prepared to play tough football. They like to run the ball. [LSU] is very efficient at it.” Additionally, VanGorder said the Irish needed to prevent LSU from making big plays on the outside. He said, “We need to prevent explosive plays, primarily through our secondary.”

Offensive Coordinator Mike Denbrock also met with WatchND for his keys to the matchup. Denbrock said Notre Dame needed to run the football against a talented LSU Defense. Additionally, Denbrock said the Irish need to “control the game from the Offensive side of the ball as much as we possibly can.”

Although not stated by any of the Notre Dame coaches, the selection of Malik Zaire as starting Quarterback may only be game plan specific. Zaire is adept at running the zone read, a play that gives any Offense an added dimension. If Notre Dame is attempting to dictate on the Offensive side of the ball with their running attack, Zaire would be the logical choice.

Notre Dame faces Louisiana State University today at 3:00 p.m. in the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl.