Notre Dame Fighting Irish head coach Brian Kelly was back on the air Thursday in a prerecorded segment to update fans on Notre Dame’s recent victory against the University of South Florida Bulls and provide an idea of where the team will head going forward. Note Kelly recorded his broadcast before the decision to postpone Notre Dame’s matchup against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons.
On the USF Game
As for ways the Irish can learn from the most recent game, Kelly said “Continuity in our passing game needs to continue to grow.” He went on to address a “revolving door at the wide receiver position” and the importance of “building that relationship with Ian Book” and other members of the coaching staff. The coach also explained the importance of fostering the growth of newer corners, especially considering their impactful performances in the USF game.
On the team’s 52-0 standout showing, Kelly said, “Defensively, you still have to play with a demeanor and a mindset and a physicality regardless of the opposition… our standard did not dip or deviate based upon who the competition was… A couple years back.. The Ball States and the Bowling Greens… we didn’t play with the same kind of pressure… and grit, and we showed that against South Florida.”
8 players wearing the gold and blue sat out of the USF game, but the setback provided the opportunity for some of the team’s youngest talent to make an impact. For example, linebacker Jack Kiser led the squad in tackles in the USF game. Kelly explained, “To see a guy like Jack Kiser come in and be given this opportunity and then get the game ball, that’s what it’s all about.”
Ian Book set the tone against the Bulls early on, and scored the first Irish touchdown within the first three minutes of the game. On the Irish QB, the coach said “I thought Ian did a nice job, I thought his pocket presence was so much more improved than the week before… calm in the pocket, settled in the pocket.”
After Braden Lenzy chalked up three receptions against the Bulls, Kelly highlighted Lenzy’s promising recovery from a hamstring injury and said “he sold it very well, got good separation.” Kelly explained Lenzy is playing around “90 percent.”
The coach went on to give C’Bo Flemister a shout out. Kelly said, “He took advantage of his carries and put himself in a really good position moving forward.” Flemister had ended the game with 127 rushing yards and 13 carries.
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