Notre Dame

Notre Dame aims to remove the unknown from Malik Zaire's game

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Notre Dame aims to remove the unknown from Malik Zaire's game

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — When Everett Golson makes a decision, good or bad, Brian Kelly said he doesn’t have to guess what his quarterback was thinking. That isn’t the case yet with Malik Zaire.

What Kelly and offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Mike Sanford want to develop in Zaire is better decision-making and communication skills, which Kelly believes largely will come with experience. While Golson has 23 starts under his belt, Zaire only has about six and a half quarters of in-game reps.

That lack of experience showed up, for example, during Saturday’s scrimmage in which quarterbacks were live.

“There’s some things like today with Malik, sometimes he’ll check into things that we’re not quite certain as to what he was thinking,” Kelly said. “Everett, there’s no doubt about where his mind is relative to what he’s seeing and what he’s thinking, like, why did you go to that, Everett? It makes total sense.

“As it relates to Malik we’re still kind of in that process of what were you thinking. We had a quick tempo play on and he got out of the quick tempo play, changed the entire formation, and you’re kind of wondering what’s going on here. So there’s still some of that processing going on.”

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It remains to be seen if Zaire’s lack of experience becomes a detriment as he competes against a guy coaches trust, at least in terms of thought process. But while Zaire doesn’t have many in-game snaps, he also doesn’t have many bad plays to his name — something Golson and his 22 turnovers last year can't say.

Zaire (and Golson) threw an interception in the red zone during Saturday’s scrimmage, which Kelly was more upset about than any thought-process growing pains with his left-handed quarterback. Kelly, too, said Zaire does have a solid knowledge of the offense — he just has to continue to learn his coaches’ expectations and be able to better communicate his decisions.

“Malik’s got a good grasp of it,” Kelly said. “Sometimes, it’s like today, having that scenario where we’re in a tempo play, it covers nine out of 10 scenarios, let’s just go run with it. And so sometimes it’s just that simple, having that experience today checks another box in his development.”

Notre Dame will play for ACC conference championship in 2020 football season

Notre Dame will play for ACC conference championship in 2020 football season

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish will compete for the ACC crown this football season.

The conference announced their updated slate of games on Wednesday, with the Fighting Irish as a de facto conference member for the 2020 season.

Included in that schedule is a marquee matchup against the defending champion Clemson Tigers, however there will be no revival of the rivalry between Miami and Notre Dame.

Notre Dame will also play one non-ACC opponent at some point this season, but that opponent has yet to be determined. Notre Dame typically plays USC and Stanford every season, but those games won’t be played since the Pac-12 previously said it will only play in-conference this season.

To go with their honorary status in the ACC, if Notre Dame wins the ACC championship game but is not selected for the College Football Playoff, they will be eligible for an Orange Bowl bid.

RELATED: Big Ten to play conference-only NCAA football schedule 'if able'


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Notre Dame - Navy football game scheduled in Dublin moved back to U.S.

Notre Dame - Navy football game scheduled in Dublin moved back to U.S.

The Navy-Notre Dame football game that was set to be played in Ireland has been relocated to the United States, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Notre Dame announced on Tuesday that the game which was originally going to take place in Dublin on Aug. 29 will “likely” be played over Labor Day weekend, either on Saturday or Sunday.

The teams plan on playing at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, which will be a first in the 94-year rivalry history. Every previous matchup hosted by Navy has been played at a neutral site.

“We are obviously disappointed not to be traveling to Ireland this August,” said Naval Academy Director of Athletics Chet Gladchuk. “But, as expected, our priority must be ensuring the health and safety of all involved.

“I am expecting that we will still be able to play Notre Dame as our season opener, but there is still much to be determined by health officials and those that govern college football at large.”

Jack Swarbrick, Vice President of Notre Dame, and James E. Rorh, Director of Athletics at Notre made a joint statement as well.

“Our student-athletes have had great experiences competing in Ireland and are very disappointed not to be returning to Dublin in 2020,” they said. “The change of venue has been a very difficult decision for our colleagues at the Naval Academy, but we are in full support of their choice. We are also grateful for everything our partners in Ireland have done to make this a smooth transition. We look forward to going back to Ireland for a game in the not too distant future.”

RELATED: Notre Dame will allow students back on campus this fall

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