Brian Kelly spoke with the media yesterday to recap the South Florida loss. Here are some notes from what Kelly had to say related to, among other things, the starting QB spot, the punting game, and the punt returner.
- Kelly didn’t have a decision on who would start at quarterback as of yesterday but said a decision was likely to come today.
- The decision at QB will be made primarily based on what the staff sees on film from the game and not necessarily anything that happens at practice today.
- On Rees, Kelly said that he is able to come into a game and not feel anxious or overwhelmed and that has always been a strength of his.
- The weather delay at half time gave Kelly and staff more time to spend with Tommy Rees to prepare him for what USF was doing and what they wanted him to do.
- The staff was pleased with the play of Stephon Tuitt and Aaron Lynch – both of whom played throughout the game. Two other freshman defenders – Troy Niklas and Ishaq Williams – only played in the first half because the staff wanted more experience at OLB with the game on the line.
- Kelly said that Ben Turk needs to punt in games like he does in practice because in practice he is clearly the best punter the Irish have. Turk has struggled with consistency throughout his career so Mike Elston is going to need to do a great coaching job here.
- Kelly was pleased with the performance of the defense saying that there are some specific areas he wants cleaned up such as penalties, but that there weren’t any “far reaching issues” they needed to address.
- Kelly was comfortable with the play of both lines noting that the offensive line held up even when South Florida knew Notre Dame had to pass on every down and in the first half they allowed the offense to have great balance with their run blocking.
- Theo Riddick is going to stay in as a punt returner according to Kelly. Kelly mentioned that in practice they had Riddick catching punts with 1 arm and he only dropped one over the last five practices.