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Champs Sports Bowl 2011: Notre Dame Preparing Without Charley Molnar

As Notre Dame prepares for its Champs Sports Bowl matchup with Florida State on Dec. 29, its doing so without offensive coordinator Charley Molnar, who has accepted the head coaching position at Massachusetts.

The Chicago Tribune's Brian Hamilton reports people around the program are pitching in to help in his absence.

Charley is going to focus strictly on the job he has at U-Mass," Irish coach Brian Kelly said Monday, speaking for the last time before arrival in Orlando later this week. "It's difficult sometimes – you want to try to do both. I've been in that situation and it's not easy.

"Having said that, we've all picked up the slack. I'm coaching the quarterbacks on a day-to-day  basis and all of our staff has picked up the organization of the offense. (Ed) Warinner has a background in coordinating, so he's been of great assistance, and Tim Hinton and Mike Denbrock and Tony Alford, everybody has pitched in."

Molnar guided Notre Dame's offense to a No. 43 ranking nationally in points per game with 30.5. His offense was also ranked No. 51 in rushing yards per game at 166.0 and No. 33 in passing yards at 258.1. Without him, the Fighting Irish will be going up a stingy Seminoles defense that allowed the fourth-fewest points per game in the country at 15.2.

For more on the Seminoles, please visit Tomahawk Nation, SB Nation's Florida State blog. For the perspective from the other side, please visit SB Nation Indiana and One Foot Down, SB Nation's Notre Dame blog.

Photographs by, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.