Brian Kelly Talks Beating Purdue, Getting Better

Brian Kelly addressed the media last night following Notre Dame’s 30-14 victory over Purdue and talked a lot about the need to get better during the bye week. His tone was that of a coach who genuinely believes that his team’s best football is still ahead of them. With a daunting October slate of games, that would be good news for fans of the Fighting Irish. Here’s what Kelly had to say along with some notes and highlights.

Note: the audio in the video embdedded below was not working until the 1:00 mark of the video at time of this posting.

  • Kelly was pleased with the way Notre Dame responded to some adverse conditions – injuries, ejections, etc.
  • Kelly clearly wasn’t pleased with the play of his offense stating that every aspect of the offense has to play better.  He said Everett would probably end up taking most of the blame and that Golson himself knows he has to play better, but at the same time it was the offense as a whole that needs to play better.
  • On the offensive line, Kelly said that the line is mainly not sustaining their blocks.  “It’s nothing big, but it’s everything.” Kelly seemed confident that the line will get their, but it’s a lot of little things right now that are adding up into bigger problems.  My take – Harry Hiestand is going to light a fire under the OL during the bye week.
  • Kelly clearly wasn’t happy about the penalties Notre Dame sustained because of the type of penalties.  “Knucklehead” penalties as Kelly described them mainly referring to the taunting penalty and the offside that negated a third down conversion.
  • Kelly was very pleased with the play of Drue Tranquil after he was thrust into a prominent role last night following the ejection of Max Redfield and the injury to Nicky Baratti.
  • Notre Dame worked to install a pressure package specifically for Jaylon Smith this week in practice.  They had not put any of that on his plate previously as he adjusted to the inside backer position he has been playing.
  • Kelly didn’t think that the team was flat but that they just missed a lot of plays in areas where they are still learning.
  • On the injury front, Kelly said that Amir Carlisle’s injury was a MCL, Cole Luke suffered a neck injury, Andrew Trumbetti had neck injury from last week, and Nicky Baratti’s shoulder slipped out again.  Kelly will likely have more injury updates at his Sunday presser.  We’ll throw some updates up then.
  • The game has slowed down for Everett Golson from two years ago.  Kelly noted that he still missed some big plays that could have changed the course of the game quite a bit.
  • On playing in Lucas Oil Stadium, Kelly heaped some praise on the facility and

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  1. The day may come that one of our running backs gets to the point of 20-25 carries a game and 150 yards… but it is going to take more than just 3 games into a new season to do so.

    I see Kelly using these first 3 games as a way to establish his players, options, and weapons in his offense.
    In doing so he has won his games and moved his team into the top 10.

    Perhaps we should put ourselves in the shoes of the opposing defensive coordinators on our schedule who will have to prepare for ND before we balk.

    First, ND has at least shown the ability to be able to run the ball, and while consistency has become a bit of an issue of late, there is little doubt that the ability and talent is there.

    Having 3 active and capable backs, forces opposing defenses to devote time to prepare for all three.

    Then there is Golson.

    He has had a few designed runs such as QB draws and even some option.
    These are big money plays that must be accounted for by the defense.
    Add in his ability to scramble, escape, and throw so well on the run puts even greater pressure on even the best defense.

    Against Michigan I saw ND throw more to the slot receivers than at time since Kelly has been head coach and with excellent results.

    Add the pure speed in Brown, Fuller, Prosise, and Carlisle, who all can stretch a defense and have the ability to get behind them.
    Those, as we have seen, are big plays if a defense isn’t properly prepared, positioned, or fully committed.

    In this latest game, ND got their Tightened involved again, incorporated passes to the running backs, established the screen pass, and were able to exploit their size and matchup advantage with Robinson.

    Now consider getting the possibility of getting players back like DaVaris Daniels and Tori Hunter and you begin to realize that there is only so much time available for opposing teams to prepare.

    The greatest way to prevent transfers and improve recruiting is by winning, and winning is a proven formula for success.

    For anyone who says that ND should go with a feature back at this time, I’m willing to bet that every Defensive coordinator out there on our schedule overwhelmingly agrees!

    1. As a life long n.d. fan I hope for a swift decision on the fate of these suspended athlete. I believe that these young men have suffered enough due to the gross moral tardiness shown by this committee. Enough is enough. Please make a rendering and do it soon. Thank you

  2. With the injuries we did fine except for one glaring thing. OUR RUNNING
    ATTACK IS TERRIBLE!. It will continue to be so as long as BK keeps running
    by committee. All great running back get better as the games go on. The
    timing with the offensive line etc comes into play. No top team just keeps
    rotating running backs. ITS going to be hard to recruit them if this keeps
    up. RUN BRYANT as the featured back.

  3. Academic investigation beginning to look like the Oscar Pistorius fiasco. You ask the players if they had someone else do papers for them Yes or No Then you ask who did the papers and that takes FIFTY DAYS?? Please. Mt Rushmore could move quicker then this. My real concern from last two weeks is if a guy from Central Michigan can run for 160 yds on 30 carries why does Kelly have 3 top college running back running less then 10 times each vs this UNDERWHELMING DEFENSE?? Bryant and Folson at this rate will be looking to transfer in 15′ if they are going to sit on the bench and run 6-7 times a game. Pick one guy and give him the ball 25 times if he does nothing try another until you have THE GUY and then RUN the ball. Every time we get down by 3 pts Kelly goes panic stations like he has done for last 4 yrs and goes pass crazy. We are fortunate that at least now we have a guy who can avoid the rush and scramble if needed and can throw more then 15 yds downfield. To be a realistic NC contender in this day and age you have to establish a running attack. To date I don’t see that happening vs some very mediocre opposition. Stanford/FSU/ASU won’t let Golson scramble and complete 70% of his passes. Somewhere in next 3 wks we need to establish a running game.

    1. Purdue did return two of their top defenders this weekend from suspensions (see-decisions are possible!), and kudos to former ND LB turned DC for Purdue Greg Hudson for his scheme, shutting down our running game turning us into a very one-dimensional offense
      ( as in See EG!) As for EG scrambling so much, that’s on a very underwhelming OL . Without EG’s remarkable mobility
      you could have added 10 sacks from the previous two weeks to the four sacks this week. It’s sad when their slower less mobile QB was less harrassed than ours whose name is no longer Tommy.
      Elmer seems to be a much better guard than a tackle at this point.
      The development of the OL has 3 weeks ’til Stanford and five until FSU.
      What we have at this point won’t cut it then.

  4. I too was frustrated with some of Coach Kelly’s play calling. When it is 1st and goal from the 2 and 3 yard line, let the hogs line up and play mash mouth football…forget the motions and formation shifts. Also, when the teacher is confused, the students become confused. We need to get the next play call in with some conviction. It should be rare that a play call is being completed by coach Kelly with 20 seconds left on the clock…this should not be the norm. With respect and Irish Love…lets get better coach. At 55 years of age I want to be doing many push ups for every point scored this season. Other than that, I am excited about what Coach K is doing with this young team.

  5. I thought actually his play calling was pretty good. The problem was the penalties and dropped passes. I like the screens that were called and the quarterback read option and draws. All work very well for big gains

  6. Kelly should take a good look in the mirror. Some of his play calling left me wondering what in the heck he was thinking.

    1. I think the play calling was fine last night. Failure to execute was more of the problem. Once again, receivers dropped passes, OL missed or did not sustain blocks, running backs missed lanes or ran into their own men, missed 50 yard field goal, PENALTIES and a turnover.

      I am not crazy about the running back by committee but I don’t think this one was coaching as much as it was poor execution by the players.

  7. “Kelly clearly wasn’t pleased with the play of his offense stating that every aspect of the offense has to play better. He said Everett would probably end up taking most of the blame (WHAT???), and that Golson himself knows he has to play better, but at the same time it was the offense as a whole that needs to play better.”

    Ditto for the offensive game plan, Coach. You can and have to do better as well. Get back to work.
    EG’s consistent quick decisions on the field are the antithesis to the administration’s embarrassing indecisive ambivalence off the field regarding the academic limbo we remain mired in. As of Thursday, according to a So. Bend Trib reporter, all 5 suspended athletes have not even had a hearing yet. The football program and, more importantly, the futures of these five athletes, remains held hostage while the so-called honor committee’s ongoing indecisive ambivalence drags on.
    All I hear from ND haters is that “ND is no better than anyone else re: coddling their athletes in the classroom.” That’s completely contrary to the truth, as we know. Quit playing the “image” card re: how tough we are on our athletes. Does that really impress alumni? Not deciding is a coward’s path. But before you do, don’t overreact like with EG. The longer ND remains indecisive and non-committal the more ridiculous ND looks. I am not impressed! Time for Swarbick and Jenkins to step up; obviously, Coach Kelly can’t.

    1. The archangel has hit it on the head as usual. The righteousness of the hypocritical committee who holds these young men’s futures in their hands is as filthy rags. Make a decision and don’t forget to balance the decision with compassion and mercy.

      1. I have heard some suggest that maybe there are “reasonable doubt issues” that have them paralyzed. Makes sense, otherwise, what would possibly be the impasse to resolution?

  8. I liked that Notre Dame won the game, but where has the running game been for the last two games. Perdue was supposed to be a team that one could run at will. I did not see that this week.I also did not see much of a pass rush. There were too many open receivers for Perdue. I hope they can work on all phases of the game for the rest of the season. There will be some pretty tough games coming up and I hope they will be ready for them.

    Any way, I still love the Irish. Goi team.

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