Brian Kelly sees the advantage of spring game for Irish

Brian Kelly sees the advantage of spring game for Irish
April 9, 2014, 3:00 pm
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- A total of five FBS programs will not host spring games this year, with some schools opting to let fans watch an open practice and others doing away with any fanfare surrounding a final practice.

Don't expect Notre Dame to join Pitt, Oklahoma State or any of the other schools forgoing a spring game this month, though. Coach Brian Kelly said he still sees a benefit to hosting a full-contact (outside of the quarterbacks) scrimmage in Notre Dame Stadium in front of a decent gathering of fans.

"If you can get a decent crowd and create a game-like atmosphere, I definitely think it is helpful to have a game-like format, with referees and a crowd and that scenario I think is definitely one where the kids have to really focus in in a game-like atmosphere," Kelly said. "So for me, there's no question that that can be helpful. If there's only gonna be 100 people there and you don't have the facility to do it, yeah, you can just get by with a scrimmage. But I think we can really create a game-like atmosphere at Notre Dame."

[MORE: Joe Schmidt taking advantage of his opportunity]

The scoring system

It'll only be game-like to a certain extent, given the scoring system for the game. Like "Who's Line is it Anyway," everything is made up and the points don't matter. Below is the official game format and scoring system for the Blue-Gold Game:


-  The first half will have two 12-minute quarters with normal clock stoppages.
-  The second half will feature two 15-minute quarters with a running clock.
-  Clock stoppages will occur only due to injuries or timeouts.
-  No play clock
-  Offense will wear blue, while defense will wear white 
- Each team will be allowed three timeouts per half.

: Halftime will last 15 minutes.


-  Quarterbacks will not be live.
-  Each possession will begin on the 35-yard line.
-  There will not be any kickoffs.
-  All punts will be fair caught.
-  A scoring point system will determine the winner of the game.
-  There will not be an overtime period should the score be tied at the end of regulation.

POINT SYSTEM (offense)

Touchdown: 6 pointsField goal: 3 points
Extra point: 1 point
2-point conversion: 2 points
Big chunk pass (20+ yards): 2 points
Big chunk run (15+ yards): 2 points
Two consecutive first downs: 2 points

POINT SYSTEM (defense)

Defensive stop before 50-yard line: 4 points
Defensive stop after 50-yard line: 2 points
Turnover forced before 50-yard line: 7 points
Turnover forced after 50-yard line: 3 points
Forced field goal: 1 points
Three-and-out: 2 points

Odds & ends

-- Offensive lineman Steve Elmer missed Wednesday's practice due to a stomach bug that's been going around the team. Kelly expected Elmer, who's primarily played left guard this spring, to be fine for Saturday's scrimmage.

[MORE: Chemistry will have to wait for Notre Dame offensive line]

-- Expect to see "anybody with a pulse" fielding punts on Saturday, Kelly said. More specifically, he listed Greg Bryant, Torii Hunter and Amir Carlisle as three players who will get a look there in the Blue-Gold Game.

-- Kelly gave a shout-out to the Notre Dame women's basketball team, which lost to UConn in Tuesday night's championship game. Under coach Muffet McGraw, the Irish have built a perennial winner -- "That consistency is what all our programs at Notre Dame want to aspire to," Kelly said.