The Fighting Irish are not the only unit adjusting to first-year coach Brian Kelly’s new up-tempo offense.
NBC, Notre Dame’s flagship network partner, announced plans to adjust its commercial break structure, opting to go with five shorter breaks per quarter rather than its usual four longer ones.
Less commercials, more action. Everyone’s happy, right?
Not so much—or at least not the visiting teams at Notre Dame Stadium. They will be praying for any sort of break from Kelly’s no-huddle scheme.
Coach Kelly’s offense tortured Big East defenses during his three-year stint at the University of Cincinnati. According to USA Today, the Bearcats used an average of just 2 minutes, 19 seconds per scoring drive. That’s 11 seconds less than the advertising time allotted per commercial break during NBC broadcasts last season.
The ability to perform at such a high tempo and keep the chains moving is a testament to the work of strength coach Paul Longo, Kelly’s right-hand man since 2004. Longo, who is now the director of football strength and conditioning at Notre Dame, has already been working the Irish hard, prepping them for the intense action ahead.
Kelly’s high-powered offense is fueled by the receiving corps. The off-season goal for the corps was “to build up the level of endurance where (the receivers) can really concentrate on their skills and fundamentals and the techniques of their route-running,” says offensive coordinator Charley Molnar. “When we pass the baton to Coach Longo, he’s never let us down.”
Now that Kelly is with a different team, will his Fighting Irish be able to trounce their opponents in similar fashion this year? With the same intense training, courtesy of Longo, it’s likely. Watch their game (with shorter breaks) and find out.