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Depth chart moves: Hughes into the two-deep

Sep 28, 2010, 8:30 AM EDT

Tulsa v Notre Dame Getty Images

An injury to Jonas Gray and the inability of Cierre Wood to make an impact in the backfield have given Robert Hughes his chance to ascend into the two-deep at tailback.

Hughes has been the odd-man-out in the running back rotation, but looked very good when given playing time during the fourth quarter against Stanford. The 5-11, 245-pound running back could add a little power into the rotation behind Armando Allen, as the Irish prepare jump-start a running game that’s set to take on the No. 4 rated run defense in Boston College.

We’ll have more after Brian Kelly’s press conference, but here are are few other moves on the depth chart:

* John Goodman finds himself staying put as the starting punt returner for Brian Kelly, taking the  job away from Armando Allen, who dislocated a finger against Michigan State and was beaten up pretty badly against Stanford.

Goodman also swaps spots on the depth chart, backing up TJ Jones this week, flip-flopping spots on the two-deep with senior Duval Kamara, who now backs up Michael Floyd. Goodman had his best day of the season last week in the lost to Stanford, and Kelly and the offensive staff seem to be showing more confidence in Goodman.

* While he made his first noise as a gunner on kickoffs, Brian Kelly is looking to improve his mediocre return game by trying speedster Bennett Jackson on kick-off returns.

Jackson is listed as the second option along with Theo Riddick to join Cierre Wood back deep on kicks. Last weekend was a disappointing one for Irish returners and Jackson certainly has the speed needed to break a big kick.

* For the second week in a row, the defensive depth chart is unchanged, with Jamoris Slaughter starting opposite Harrison Smith at safety again and Zeke Motta and Dan McCarthy backing them up. Darrin Walls and Gary Gray are starting corners, with Robert Blanton the third cornerback in and Lo Wood rounding out the two-deep at cornerback.

Anthony McDonald got significant time playing opposite Manti Te’o at middle linebacker, but Carlo Calabrese is listed as the No. 1 at the Will. Carlo has been one of the great surprises on the defense, playing tough run support in the middle, and even holding his own against the pass.

  1. TLNDMA - Sep 28, 2010 at 10:12 AM

    Big game for the D-line and LB’s. BC HAS to establish the run to have any chance against ND. Breaking in a new QB, they don’t want to be stuck in too many obvious passing situations.
    On offense, though ND doesn’t have to run the ball well to win. It would be a good sign if they could. BC’s front seven are pretty good. Establishing the run against them would give the O-line some much needed confidence, as well as open up the passing game for Dayne Crist.
    ND must win this game. If not, any thoughts of a decent bowl game are lost.

  2. R Irish - Sep 28, 2010 at 11:21 AM

    Look for something really good to happen in the BC game. Notre Dame has already taken a lot of hard lumps and it is high time to break that cycle. Expect a productive ground game coupled with an aerial attack.

  3. ugetwutuask4 - Sep 28, 2010 at 1:30 PM

    I’ve got a feelin’ that if Cierre doesn’t get it together soon Coach Kelly might be looking to move him to the defensive side of the ball and try him at corner, which I think wouldn’t be such a bad idea. Although I do question whether he has the toughness and will to play the cornerback position the way the coaches want them to play which is a physical style of play. I think it’s either that or a transfer situation if he doesn’t breakout soon, that’s just my opinion. Any thought’s on that situation Mr. Arnold?

  4. ugetwutuask4 - Sep 28, 2010 at 2:13 PM

    Just saw B.K.’s press conference and he answered my question’s on Mr. Wood, so I guess he’s going to be afforded the time needed to develop.

  5. WES HOLTZ - Sep 28, 2010 at 4:34 PM

    Hughes WILL do the job.

  6. BrianM - Sep 28, 2010 at 6:47 PM

    Cierre will develop just fine. He waited around while he was red-shirted, getting valuable practice time but with a year away from the game field, it could take some understandable time for him to really start producing. He’s not transferring, and he’ll be the #1 back next year. Kelly just needs the #2 to be someone who’s ready to produce NOW, and Cierre isn’t quite there yet.

  7. Mr Obvious - Sep 28, 2010 at 11:02 PM

    Harrison Smith is too slow to play safety. I’m sure he is a great kid but he has no lateral quickness or closing speed. Really should be playing special teams only. A poster child for whats wrong with ND defense.

  8. irish ed - Sep 29, 2010 at 2:02 AM

    I am pleased with the progress of the program, believe me kelly is the man for the job his tenure and the way he carries himself says it all remember attitude reflects leadership and he is one hell of a leader. Moving Hughes to number 2 is great I have always enjoyed him there is a bond with him similar to matt james, when hughes lost his brother the whole irish family stuck together and thatsd what we need to do. Hughes has the best average yards per carry and seems to electrify the team him and teo are similar in that they did not come to nd to get thier ass kicked, I will never forget Hughes wrestling the sc player to the ground that was twice his size in the mid game brawl. Thats who we are ruff tuff young men and fans that dont take no sh** a family and thats just the way it has to be. All for one and one for all. The only advice I have is at times to use multiple backs in formation as a linebacker I always loved one back in the bacfield it was always 2 on 1. When there are multiple backs one backer has to stuff and the other has to read believe me it keeps backers honest and guesing. And as for c wood leave the kid alone he reminds me of r watters and needs are support quit beating these kids up let them develop let them know they are loved and let them know they are wanted at nd. Its time for us to put on our ralley cap get behind the coach. the kids and the program. If all you want to do is bi*** because you are not getting instant self gratification then you are not a nd fan go to hell and pick another team.

  9. BOB - Sep 29, 2010 at 1:08 PM

    amen IRISH ED!! AMEN!!!

  10. Mark - Sep 29, 2010 at 2:27 PM

    YES….what Bob said about what Irish Ed said.

  11. unluckyluck2 - Sep 30, 2010 at 11:59 AM

    buddyyer: where u at . need ur picks. and check this thing out it will help u . . one of my professors told me bout it. bye

  12. frank b. - Sep 30, 2010 at 10:13 PM

    ed, a shame you couldn’t get arnold to post this to the masses! one back is okay, but lets spice it up a little, it makes the passing game even more potent. GREAT POST!

  13. ugetwutuask4 - Oct 1, 2010 at 4:09 AM

    NO. Obviously Mark, Bob, and Irish Ed got my post all confused and think I’m beating up on poor Cierre Wood. Woops, my bad, I’m sorry if you guys felt like I was attacking the kid personally. All I was saying is that he needs to stop tip-toeing his way through blocks on the kickoff return and if he can’t pick up a blitzing LB at the line of scrimmage than we need someone in there who can. If true freshman across the country can get the job done than I expect a sophomore to make a better effort at getting the job done, period. If Marcus Lattimore can get the job done at South Carolina, in the SEC might I add then why not Cierre. And if you can’t comprehend what I’m saying then you obviosely don’t know what it takes to play big time college football. I’m not ripping him but he needs to step up to the plate and make a play like he was making in the Purdue game.
    Go Irish none of you so called “bloggers” will make me stop bleeding ND blue and gold or from speaking my mind, peace out!!

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