With a victory on Saturday afternoon against the Stanford Cardinal — which would be their first on “The Farm” since the end of 2007 — the Notre Dame Fighting Irish will clinch their third consecutive 10-win season and the fifth under Brian Kelly.
It’s been a hell of a bounce-back from the nightmareish 2016 season that ended with four wins in 12 contests, as the Irish are trying to win their 32nd game in the last 38 contests, dating back to the start of the 2017 campaign.
On Monday, Kelly stepped to the podium for the final time for a pre-regular season game press conference about the upcoming clash with the rival Cardinal, an update on lost offensive lineman Tommy Kraemer, and ... his favorite Thanksgiving side dish.
Without any further adieu, and to end the suspense of Kelly’s favorite side dish for the upcoming weeks, here’s some of the bigger talking subjects from Kelly on Monday, starting with some Stanford bullet points.
Stanford has won four of the last six meetings in this rivalry (and seven of the last 10)
BK on Stanford: "A football team that certainly is dangerous. They're playing in their last game."— Michael Whitlow (@couldbelikemike) November 25, 2019
It’s hard to call the 101st-ranked offense in America dangerous, but what’s interesting is that Stanford has frequently used two quarterbacks (due to a plague of injuries), which puts Notre Dame at the slightest of disadvantages not knowing who Saturday’s starter is.
Still, that problem has a solution and it’s a simple one:
Kelly doesn't know which QB will start for Stanford this week. "Both are outstanding. We can't change what we're doing. Both can throw the football." Will prepare for both.— Mike Berardino (@MikeBerardino) November 25, 2019
Chase Claypool’s rise to stardom wasn’t an easy one, but it’s been a welcoming site for Irish fans
BK on Claypool's breakout over the last couple seasons: "I think once he was going to get an opportunity to be featured, that was going to give him a chance to break through."— Michael Whitlow (@couldbelikemike) November 25, 2019
Claypool has gotten his chance at Notre Dame and he’s ran with it until he can’t anymore.
Up to this point in the season, Claypool has 56 catches for 828 yards and 10 touchdowns. Not bad for a dude that’s played with three dislocated fingers at one point or another this season.
Brian Kelly’s favorite side dish is ...
BK's best Thanksgiving side dish: "For me, I would have to go with ... it's a toss-up ... but I'm gonna go with squash."— Michael Whitlow (@couldbelikemike) November 25, 2019
All of the exhilaration and excitement surrounding one simple question: what is Brian Kelly’s favorite side dish at Thanksgiving? The answer miiiiiight surprise you.
Kelly took ... squash.
(God, he’s so damn weird.)
A new addition to the defensive line depth chart
Kelly has Isaiah Foskey on the depth chart at defensive end to help with the pass rush against Stanford. Held him out of a couple games to save him for this one.— Chuck Freeby 46 Sports (@46Sports) November 25, 2019
It’s been a struggle for the Irish up front in the trenches on defense to maintain their strong depth and production after losing Julian Okwara for the season in the win over Duke a few weeks ago.
Reinforcements have arrived on the depth chart in the form of Isaiah Foskey, a 6-foot-4, 250-pound freshman defense end from ... Concord, California.
Brian Kelly says he’ll be out recruiting after the Stanford game, hints he’ll be going west of the West Coast.— Pete Sampson (@PeteSampson_) November 25, 2019
There’s a reason why USC and Stanford are two of the bigger games on the Notre Dame schedule every year.
California is a hot bed for superstar prospects across all sports and it brings various recruiting battles between the Irish, SC, Stanford and others every season, so getting a win in one of these games goes a long way even after the season concluded.
Oh, another injury update this week
BK on Tommy Kraemer: "I think he's someone we expect to be doing something in the spring."— Michael Whitlow (@couldbelikemike) November 25, 2019
Kelly notes that he won't play in a postseason game, but is progressing well in his rehab since the injury.
If you’d like to watch Kelly’s press conference in full, you can tune in below here: