SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Notre Dames new defensive philosophy is to do less with more.After three seasons using a complicated scheme that depended heavily on a core of players under defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder, coach Brian Kelly has changed things up after firing his long-time friend. He has simplified the defense, requiring fewer play call changes. He also gave more players opportunities to get on the field in a 50-33 victory win over Syracuse, a game where the Irish held the Orange to six points in the second half.That might not seem like a major improvement, but for a team with the nations 106th-rated defense that is giving up 461 yards and 33.4 points per game, any sign of progress is welcome. The next challenge for the struggling Irish (2-3) is a game Saturday at North Carolina State (3-1), which has the nations 21st- rated offense at 505 yards a game.The Irish have allowed six straight teams from Power Five conferences to score at least 30 points and the Wolfpack is averaging 40. Irish players are confident that the new simpler scheme, using more players and the enthusiasm brought by new defensive coordinator Greg Hudson will lead to better play.We knew we had to change something, because obviously what we were doing wasnt working, defensive end Isaac Rochell said.With Kelly making the decisions on defense, the Irish reverted to using more three-man fronts -- the style they used before VanGorder arrived with his 4-3 scheme -- and defensive backs played more conservatively. Irish players said they were able to play faster because the scheme was simpler.I would say its not overly basic, but its not overly complicated, Rochell said.Defensive end Jay Hayes said players felt comfortable.So guys were playing loose, playing free, running around with a lot of energy, he said.The Irish used five freshmen defensive backs against Syracuse and had four of them on the field at the same time. The Irish have played 13 freshmen already this season, the most ever in Kellys seven seasons as Irish coach.Kelly had said last week that he couldnt take a player who hadnt played in game yet and suddenly put them in for 70 plays. But he came close with freshman cornerback Troy Pride Jr., who was on the field for about 60 plays after not playing previously.I wanted to play him, and I thought we should have played him. So Im making those personnel decisions, Kelly said. We played him a little too much, quite frankly.Irish players said playing fewer plays as they rotated in and out allowed them to play with more energy.Its great for us. If we wouldnt have rotated, I would have played 90-plus plays. Its counter-productive. So its great. I love the rotation, Rochell said.Kelly believes the way the Irish played in the second half against Syracuse built confidence.I think that there was that sense of, this is going to work out pretty good. So I think there is a bigger trust and understanding and knowing that go were going to be in pretty good shape defensively, he said.Its been a while since the Irish have been able to say that. Cheap NFL Jerseys China . Nine days before the opening ceremony, organizing committee chief Dmitry Chernyshenko said Wednesday that Sochi is "fully ready" and will deliver safe, friendly and well-run games that defy the grim reports that have overshadowed preparations. 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MIAMI -- A woman performing the national anthem before an NBA preseason game in Miami on Friday night did so while kneeling at midcourt, and opening her jacket to show a shirt with the phrase Black Lives Matter.The singer was identified by the Heat as Denasia Lawrence. It was unclear if she remained in the arena after the performance, and messages left for her were not immediately returned.Heat players and coaches stood side-by-side for the anthem, all with their arms linked as has been their custom during the preseason. Many had their heads down as Lawrence sang, and the team released a statement saying it had no advance knowledge that she planned to kneel.We felt as a basketball team that we would do something united, so that was our focus, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. Throughout all of this, I think the most important thing that has come out is the very poignant, thoughtful dialogue. Weve had great dialogue within our walls here and hopefully this will lead to action.The anthem issue has been a major topic in the sports world in recent months, starting with the decision by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick to not stand for its playing. Kaepernick cited racial injustice and police brutality among the reasons for his protest, and athletes from many sports -- and many levels, from youth all the way to professional -- have followed his lead in various ways.All I can say is what weve seen in multiple preseason games so far is our players standing for the national anthem, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in New Yorkk earlier Friday, at a news conference following the leagues board of governors meetings.ddddddddddddIt would be my hope that they would continue to stand for the national anthem. I think that is the appropriate thing to do.The NBA has a rule calling for players and coaches to stand during the anthem.Heat guard Wayne Ellington often speaks about the need to curb gun violence, after his father was shot and killed two years ago. He had his eyes closed for most of the anthem Friday, as per his own custom, though was aware of Lawrences actions.At the end of the day, to each his own, Ellington said. If she feels like thats the way she wants to stand for it, then more power to her.Making a statement in the manner that Lawrence did Friday is rare, but not unheard of in recent weeks.When the Sacramento Kings played their first home preseason game earlier this month, anthem singer Leah Tysse dropped to one knee as she finished singing the song.Tysse is white. Lawrence is black.I love and honor my country as deeply as anyone yet it is my responsibility as an American to speak up against injustice as it affects my fellow Americans, Tysse wrote on Facebook. 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