Notre Dame football: Banged-up Irish take week off from practice

BOB WIENEKE
South Bend Tribune

SOUTH BEND - A BCS bowl out of its grasp, Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly said the focus for his team, as it is every week, is on the next opponent, in this case BYU.

"It's still about week to week at Notre Dame," Kelly said Tuesday, three days after his team lost 28-21 at Pittsburgh. "It's really about the next game and winning the next game."

Notre Dame, 7-3, is off this week and doesn't play again until Nov. 23 when the Cougars visit. The Irish, who are not practicing this week, continue to battle injuries.

Kelly sounded hopeful that injured outside linebacker/defensive end Ishaq Williams and defensive lineman Kona Schwenke can play against the Cougars.

Additions to this week's injury list are defensive linemen Isaac Rochell and Jarron Jones. Kelly also said that center Nick Martin played the game with a broken hand, his snapping hand, that he broke in the first quarter. Kelly said the fracture is at Martin's knuckle and that the junior wants to continue to play.

Kelly also discussed the controversial targeting penalty on star defensive end Stephon Tuitt, who was ejected in the second quarter. After discussing the call three times, Kelly shook his head.

"You know where I fall on this one," Kelly said. "I am for player safety. ... We don't have it right yet. We need to get it right. Hopefully we'll be able to get it right."

After hosting BYU, Notre Dame closes its regular season with a trip to Stanford on Nov. 30.