Under Kelly, Notre Dame will throw…and throw some more

No matter what record new head coach Brian Kelly produces in his first season in South Bend, one thing is for certain: Notre Dame will be chucking the football all over the field in 2010.

New Fighting Irish offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Charley Molnar, who will help Kelly initiate their spread offense into ND culture, was introduced to the media on January 15 at Purcell Pavilion. Molnar stated that he and Kelly “love to throw the football,” which should excite QB Dayne Crist, WR Michael Floyd and TE Kyle Rudolph.

“We are very aggressive in our offensive approach,” Molnar said of the offensive philosophy. “We are looking to score virtually every time we have the ball. Even at the end of the half, we are looking to score a touchdown if we can.”

Molnar was the passing game coordinator at Cincinnati under Kelly, where the pass-happy offense was on display every week.

“If we could be first in scoring next year and last in time of possession, I’d be a very, very happy man.”

Molnar possesses 26 years of college coaching experience on the offensive side of the ball and has been an assistant under Kelly the past three years at Cincy — where he also served as wide receivers coach — and in Kelly’s last year at Central Michigan. While Kelly plans on calling the plays this fall, as usual, Molnar will be responsible for all the remaining offensive coordinator duties.

This past season, the Bearcats ranked eighth in the country in passing yards per game and tallied the fifth-most points in the nation at 38.6 points per game.

While the passing game will be front and center of the Irish attack, Molnar insists they won’t abandon the run.

“We understand the value of a strong run game,” he said. “I would be disappointed if we went through this season without a 1,000-yard rusher at the running back position.”

Cincinnati rushers averaged nearly five-yards per carry in 2009 and tallied 23 rushing touchdowns, while the ND rushing attack ran the ball below four-yards per carry and scored just 13 touchdowns on the ground.

Despite the fact that the Irish lose Jimmy Clausen and Golden Tate to the NFL, the offense should have no problem being prolific after undergoing the necessary adjustment period to new schemes.

The question remains, however, especially after the Kelly hiring: will the Irish be able to defend?

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