Irish preparing to face innovative 'Pistol' offense

The Notre Dame football team will open up the 2009 season against Nevada at the Stadium on Saturday.

The Wolf Pack run the Pistol offense. If you've never heard of the 'Pistol', don't think you are alone---it's pretty new.

It's the creation of Nevada head coach Chris Ault and was first implemented in 2004.

"The Pistol is a one of a kind offense," Irish captain and senior linebacker Scott Smith says. "It's a little like Purdue runs the spread-type offense, but the Pistol is kind of like its own deal and its own kind of animal."

The Pistol puts the quarterback in shotgun formation just three yards behind the center. The running back lines up directly behind the QB.

The system works best with a quarterback that can both throw and run and Nevada certainly has that in Colin Kaepernick.

In 2008, Kaepernick became just the 5th quarterback in Division I history to throw for 2,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards.

The Wolf Pack as a team finished the season ranked 2nd in the nation in rushing offense.

"It's a tough offense," Irish linebacker Darius Fleming says. "But as long as you prepare right and do the right things, everything is stopable."

"You definitely have to practice the right things and be prepared for it. It is a tough offense to play against."