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Notre Dame Football News and Notes: Stock is Up on Dexter Williams

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Brian Kelly was very pleased with the play of Dexter Williams on Saturday. Here is a look of the best of Kelly’s Sunday presser.

NCAA Football: Notre Dame vs Syracuse Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve all heard how much Kelly has loved the on field play of Dexter Williams, but we haven’t heard much of how Williams has been doing off the field after being arrested weeks before the season. Kelly assured the media on Sunday that he loves the progress of Williams on and off the field. Williams looked pretty impressive against Syracuse on Saturday as he carried the ball eight times for 80 yards, including a 59 yard touchdown run.

Folston did not see any action against the Orange on Saturday and now we know why. The senior back rolled his ankle in practice on Thursday. Kelly did say he should be ready to go against NC State this week, but with the emergence of Williams who knows how much we’ll actually see Folston going forward.

There has been much speculation over whether this would happen, and Kelly finally told us that cornerback Nick Watkins will be out for the season after needing additional surgery for an arm injury he suffered over the summer. He will get a redshirt and will look to compete at one of the corner positions next season.

While the defense was a little bit better, it’s still a work in progress. The goal on Saturday was to simplify things and try an limit the points. They did that in the second half as the Orange only tallied six points.

The answer to this question shows that Kelly will probably be looking outside the program this offseason for a defensive coordinator, rather than promoting someone like Greg Hudson.

Last week it was great for Notre Dame to play a noon game and stay out of the spotlight. It’s probably even better that the game is at noon this week considering NC State will be a bit tougher of an opponent than Syracuse and the game will actually be on an on campus site. The Wolfpack have the 21st ranked defense and have only given up one play of 50 yards or more this season (Notre Dame had four plays of 50+ last Saturday). So the Irish offense will be tested against NC State.

The fact that this game is at noon rather than 8 p.m. should play into Notre Dame’s advantage. NC State’s fans won’t have all day to tailgate, so it should be a less rowdier crowd. Being out of the spotlight once again should bode well for the Irish.