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Tuesdays with Brian Kelly - Duke Week

Brian Kelly met with the media on Tuesday to answer questions from the media while his team preps for this weekend’s matchup with Duke.

Nevada v Notre Dame Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Tuesday was perhaps Brian Kelly’s longest Tuesday press conference of the year so far. He answered a variety of questions; some about last week’s debacle against Michigan State and some about this week’s matchup with Duke. So without any further ado, let’s dive in to what Coach Kelly had to say.

Kelly is not wrong here. The running game will be just fine for the Irish. Michigan State for years has had one of the best run defenses in the country, so give them credit for stopping Notre Dame’s ground game. Also Notre Dame fell behind and had to throw the ball all over the yard. The Irish running attack will be just fine, and right now should be the least of their worries.

I’m sure BVG is doing his best and working as hard he can, but with that being said it’s not producing results whatsoever.

Daelin Hayes played a really well on Saturday night. He deflected a pass that caused fellow freshman Devin Studstill to get his first career interception. Hayes has been eased into action so far. He hasn’t played much football in the past couple of years because of injury. Hayes is going to be a really good football player for the Irish and we should see more of him as the season goes on. The Irish defense has been absolutely atrocious so far and dreams of the College Football Playoff are gone, so ND has nothing to lose by playing young players.

Kelly has said he’s watched the tape and said that the Irish have been “out of control” with their tackling. He’s watched the games, he’s seen how bad the tackling has been. How can he say he doesn’t “feel the need” to teach tackling? This defense needs to get better at the fundamentals and tackling should be No.1 on that list.

Kelly kind of said this half-jokingly, but he’s not wrong. He’s realized this isn’t the best defense in the world and in order for his team to win games, they’re just going to have to flat out score teams. That’s saying a lot considering this offense is currently averaging 39 points a game.

This quote is all too true. Think of the big games over the last year; Clemson, Stanford, Ohio State, Texas and Michigan State, Notre Dame has gotten off to a slow start in almost every single one of them. They always seem not to have their best right out of the gate. It would be nice to see the Irish come out firing on all cylinders just once. Other teams do it, why can’t Notre Dame?

For those of you out there who doesn’t know who Daniel Jones is, he’ll be Duke’s starting quarterback on Saturday afternoon. The Blue Devils are without their starter Thomas Sirk, who is out for the year with an achilles injury. Over the last two games Jones has thrown the ball 96 times for 611 yards. We’re all aware of Notre Dame’s lack of ability to generate a pass rush and their thin secondary. Jones could pose some problems for the Irish defense on Saturday.

Other News and Notes

  • Kelly said they will try to expand the role of freshman receiver Chase Claypool. Claypool saw a good amount of playing time on Saturday night. He’s also seen a lot of time on special teams.
  • Kelly said senior cornerback Cole Luke is the “smartest player” on the Notre Dame defense.
  • Kelly pointed out that quarterback DeShone Kizer and defensive lineman Jarron Jones need to play with more urgency.
  • BK made a point of saying they have a freshman starting at safety (Studstill) and nickel (Julian Love). They are also starting two first year starters in Te’Von Coney and Nick Coleman.
  • Kelly also said that Notre Dame will do more “thud tackling” on Tuesday in a measure to try a improve tackling in games.
  • Kelly said that special teams has been a “mixed bag” and there are a few things they need to clean up. The Irish had two massive mistakes on special teams on Saturday night that had a major impact on the outcome of the game.