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Notre Dame Football: Brian Kelly is tired of being the nice guy and blows out poor USF


Notre Dame vs South Florida
Ian Book
ACC Media

The only drama past the first quarter in 52-0 win by the Notre Dame Fighting Irish over the South Florida Bulls was whether or not there would be a shutout. Even against bad teams, shutouts just don’t happen all of the time. They’re rare, and should be cherished.

This is the 4th shutout at Notre Dame during the Brian Kelly era, and it’s something Brian Kelly wanted — badly.

As fired up as I get at that kind of talk, it also confused the crap out of me. Does Brian Kelly think that the country thinks he’s a nice guy or does he think that he’s a nice guy?


I tried asking about it in the post game presser, and other media members did as well. Because of the way Notre Dame handles these things now because of the coronavirus pandemic, they were able to sidestep any and all questions related to Brian Kelly’s halftime talk.

On the surface, a 52-0 win over USF doesn’t seem all that surprising — except when you throw in all of the starters on defense that were unable to play today. Even when a team has ALL of their starters on the field, a shutout is still a hard thing to accomplish. It’s also something that can heavily depend upon both the offense and special teams for help.

They got that help, stepped up, and gave Kelly exactly what he asked for as the clock hit all zeros.

Back to what Kelly meant about being the “nice guy” or tired of being one... was this not his mentality for all the other cupcakes Notre Dame has played during his tenure? Did he just not care if it was a 45-6 win or 37-10 win?

I don’t know if I have an answer for that, but we’ve seen Kelly be able to shift his coaching philosophy before in the past — why not once again? In a sport where perception is king and actually determines the fate of teams, why would you ever do anything to not highlight your superiority over teams?

If Kelly is done being the nice guy, I’m down for that. Let’s go out there and utterly destroy people. On the OFD Podcast we talk a lot about villains. Notre Dame is absolutely a villain in college football — but for the wrong reasons. Let’s have more right reasons to be the biggest bunch assholes in the country. It’s an attitude and a way of doing things. If this game was the turning point for that type of thinking, then it only makes this easy and relaxed blowout shutout even more enjoyable.

Thanks USF — and you can just mail those cleats stuck up your rear whenever you get the chance.