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Brian Kelly Talks Defensive Improvement at Tuesday Presser

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At Tuesday’s press conference Kelly fielded questions about the defense, his young players and more.

Notre Dame v Syracuse Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

The Irish defense played very well in the second half of the Syracuse game, only holding the Orange to six points. This defense isn’t anywhere close to where it needs to be, but Kelly hopes to see even more improvement this weekend against NC State. The Wolfpack do have the No.21 ranked offense, but two of their games have come against William & Mary and Old Dominion. So even though Notre Dame’s defense isn’t very good statistically, it still will be one of the toughest tests to date for NC State.

Last week Kelly said that he wants Hudson to be the guy that gets the defensive players excited and pumped up to play. We saw that on display on Saturday as Hudson showed plenty of emotion as the players came on and off the field. Kelly had this interesting analogy on Hudson.

Hurricane Matthew is expecting to wreak havoc across the southeast this weekend and it could impact the ND/NC State matchup. Kelly said that their is a “big window” of opportunity to play this weekend. Kelly said that both schools are willing to play Saturday’s game anytime between noon on Saturday to noon on Sunday. As of right now there is no talk of moving the game to Friday. He also said that there will be a conference call at 3 p.m. today to decide what direction they will go in regards to game time.

Notre Dame should have no problem of playing in a hurricane as last year’s Clemson game was played in similar conditions.

Pride is listed on the two deep at corner for this week’s game against NC State. Pride is one of the many young guys getting playing time in the secondary, and is also a reason to be hopeful about the Irish defensive backfield in the years to come.

I remember watching some highlights reels of Pride during signing day last year and he impressed me the most. He has great cover and ball skills, and on Tuesday Kelly touched on how much he likes Pride’s make up speed. Pride is going to be a very good player for the Irish in years to come.

Kelly also said he’s pleased with the play of Donte’ Vaughn, Jalen Elliot and Julian Love, all of which are freshmen.

A good number of fans are concerned about Notre Dame’s production in the run game, but they should quickly remember that this offense is still among the tops in the country. If you were told that Notre Dame would be averaging 500 yards and 40 points going into the sixth game of the year, you probably would have taken that in a heartbeat.

Other News and Notes

  • RG Colin McGovern is expected to play. The senior has been battling an ankle injury.
  • Kelly said that freshmen Julian Okwara and Daelin Hayes would hybrid players going forward. They’re currently only two on the roster, Mark Harrell and Scott Daly
  • Kelly said that he’d love to have more redshirt seniors, but thats just not how it works at Notre Dame.
  • When asked about if he’ll be in charge of the defense going forward, Kelly said he’s “in charge of everything.”
  • Kelly said he cannot remember playing this many freshman. Then one of the media members quickly chimed in saying it’s in fact a Notre Dame record.
  • 10 of the 12 players listed in the three deep of Notre Dame’s depth chart are in their first or second year of eligibility.
  • ESPN announced its 30 for 30 “Catholics vs. Convicts” documentary will air on December 10th at 9p.m ET. You can find the trailer to it right here.