Brian Kelly Talks Michigan State Week

Brian Kelly met with the media on Tuesday to discuss this weekend’s contest with Michigan State as the Irish look to extend their home winning streak to 10 against the nation’s top ranked defense.   Video and notes below.

  • Kelly talked about a lot of teams using multiple backs across the country – specifically in the SEC – saying that most teams don’t have one back that fits all of their needs.  When it comes to the Notre Dame running back rotation, Kelly said that they haven’t been in the right situation to play all five how they would like.  He specifically mentioned wanting to get the freshmen in the mix more. 
  • In terms of Notre Dame bringing more pressure this year, Kelly said that defensively they are still trying to find their identity and that could change as they see what they can and can’t do.  I read this this as Kelly basically saying they felt they could play more man coverage this year and blitz more but they haven’t been able to.  Hopefully this means a return of more zone coverage.
  • Notre Dame opens very practice with their tackling circuit and Kelly dismissed that as a reason for the Irish struggling in the tackling department this year.
  • Sheldon Day has an ankle sprain and was in a walking boot today, but that will come off on Wednesday and Kelly was optimistic that he would be able to practice Wednesday.  Not exactly a ringing endorsement that Day would be available but he also did not rule him out either.
  • When asked about how being a captain has changed Bennett Jackson, Kelly conceded that Jackson may have been playing with a little pressure on him and said that he was happy to see him make a big play against Purdue since Jackson had been pretty hard on himself.
  • Kelly is pretty happy with the pass protection that his offensive line has given Tommy Rees so far this year and gave Rees credit for getting the Irish in the right protections 9 out of 10 times.  Kelly also credited the success of his first time starters – Nick Martin and Ronnie Stanley – on facing Stephon Tuitt and Louis Nix in practice every day.
  • Kelly praised the consistency and trustworthiness of Austin Collinsworth as he’s played more.
  • Kelly was non-commital on Cam McDaniel being a go to back for the Irish despite his success in the fourth quarter.  Kelly reiterated that they would continue to use more than one back.   Kelly did say that he likes the way McDaniel attacks the line of scrimmage and the level of passion he plays the game with.
  • When asked about the frustration Louis Nix has experienced due to all of the double teams he’s been facing, Kelly said that Nix has done all that the coaches have asked of him and that he’s been stout against the run.  Kelly mentioned that Notre Dame held a Big Ten team to just a single rushing first down last weekend – the fewest total for a Notre Dame Big Ten opponent since 1969.
  • When asked about how far along DaVaris Daniels is “two quarters” of the way there and that to reach his ceiling, he needs to improve his mental approach and play that way for all four quarters.
  • When asked about his freshmen backs, Kelly said that Greg Bryant is a physical runner and gets downhill quickly.  When he first arrived, Kelly said Bryant was doing a little too much dancing, but now he gets from point A to point B.  Folston meanwhile is very smooth and catches the ball well out of the backfield.
  • Kelly said that Keivarae Russell hasn’t lost his confidence and that he graded out better this week than he did last week against Michigan.
  • When asked about Notre Dame’s current 9 game home winning streak, Kelly talked about improving the team’s focus by rearranging some of the activities for the team and improving the environment in the stadium.  Kelly has done a lot to change the home game schedule and atmosphere since arriving at Notre Dame and it has paid off so far.

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  1. Hey Chris and Chris J take note. First Chris 28 vs Temple (not 30) and this Juggernaut lost to Fordham last week (did not even know Fordham had a football team). Vs Mich. Brindza 9pts Tuitt 6 so Turnover and his offense put up 15 (not 30) last time I looked kicking was part of special team production not the offense) Vs Purdue Brindza 3 and Jackson 6 so Turnover and his power house offense (7pts up till end of third qtr) put up 22pts (not 30) so that makes an avg of (21.6pts per game for the offense if you count the 10 PAT’s as part of the offense if you don’t Kelly and turnovers Powerhouse Offense is in fact avging 18pts a game (a long way from YOUR 30.) Not sure 18 a game will get it done vs Stanford and ASU fellas. Re Hendrix Chris J he looked fine to me in his cameos vs Air Force and Stanford in 2011 and of course it would be hard to judge his POTENTIAL since Kelly has given him so many opportunities to show what he can do. Will come back on this topic after then next 5 games with a Follow Up when we see how Heisman Hopeful Tommy Turnover performs. If by then we find Irish with 3-4 losses I think I will have lots of support for the removal of your boy TR.

      1. gadzooks! Yikes! Frank Leahy was the coach at Fordham WHEN Lombardi played there. Yep, Frank Leahy was the offensive line coach of the “Seven Blocks of Granite”

        Some guy named Rockne coached the four Horsemen…….

  2. Tommy gets us into the right protections, Tommy shows leadership, Tommy is doing a great job settling down the offense, yaddah,yaddah,yaddah. Tommy is obviously the greatest QB in ND history in BK’s eyes. If Hendrix, Golson, Crist had the first half Turnover did he would have been left in THE ROOMS after half time. But not old Turnover. He comes out vs a team that Akron would beat and put up a few Hail Mary’s vs a pass defense that would get beat by high schools in Texas, Florida, and California and PRESTO we have the second coming of Brett Favre.4 yrs of this clown stumbling around and winning games vs teams like Pitt two yrs ago on a run by Wood and blowing games vs Tulsa and stumbling around for an entire half on Saturday and you would think Kelly has him in the running for a HEISMAN. The kid should be on the bench. Another wasted year for ND fans with this clown stumbling around to get wins by 6-7 pts vs cream puffs and we should all be thanking the football heavens for sending him to us. I am over him. Bryant and Folson can play right now and McDaniel should be carrying the ball 20 times but NO KELLY knows best so we get more of GA dropping passes, Carlisle rushing straight ahead into 8 man fronts and Turnover “sneaking for a first down). Just put the kids on the field for God’s sake and quit sticking with your favorites while we SNORE through another 12 games trying to scratch out last minute victories vs teams we should be beating by 30 if the right guys ever managed to get put on the field for more then ONE PLAY A GAME eg Hendrix vs Michigan to throw a Hail Mary and then Kelly chews him out for doing something wrong on his ONE PLAY.Would love to see what guys like Stanford and Northwestern coaches could do with our talent. Wrong Kelly went to Eagles.

    1. D-Train, what the hell have you been watching? Our offense is averaging over 30 points a game. I’m pretty sure that is better than last year. If you score 30+, you better be winning football games. Rees has done a fine job so far and you’re just mad at the world if you don’t see it.

      1. ChrisJ,

        I think he’s mad because Kelly refuses to use 3 or 4 very important regular season games as an experiment in which to see if Andrew Hendrix can win games by 40 points which Kelly already knows he can’t because he has seen him in practice every day for the last 4 years and knows that he would be lucky to win even 1 game and then he would be open to fans who would YELL and SCREAM for him to be fired as soon as possible!…. I think.

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