The Notre Dame Fighting Irish won their 23rd straight regular season game against an ACC foe with a 28-3 performance over the Virginia Cavaliers. For the second game in a row, the Irish defense did not allow a touchdown, which is the first time the Irish defense has done that since 2012. The win improves Notre Dame’s record to 9-1 on the season.
BRIAN KELLY POST GAME
Notre Dame Head Coach Brian Kelly Quotes
“The guys are excited about the victory. We had a lot of things that we had to look at - injuries, illness. We were on the road at night which was not easy, and another team that had the week off , but our guys did terrific. They had a mindset that with all that, that this was the challenge that they wanted. They took this and took it as a challenge and that they were going to have, and they thought right about it. They didn’t think about it in the sense of, wow, why all this? They took it as, you know what, we’re going to play our best football, we’re going to play together. They did some really good things tonight, so I’m really proud of them. To get a victory on the road this late in the season and to have some individuals step up and play their best football was even more impressive.”
On the receiving performances of Michael Mayer and Braden Lenzy:
“[Michael Mayer] is targeted, we targeted him. Now, you know, they doubled him on a couple of throws; we went to Kevin on the touchdown. That was a third down and they ran in and out coverage on him, doubled him, so our read was to go to Kevin in the one-on-one and Kevin comes up with a great play. But yeah, he was targeted, we were trying to get him the ball and obviously he makes that great catch over, you know, takes it off the guy’s helmet. That’s just the kind of player he is. Braden Lenzy got a lot of recognition from us. He was gritty tonight. I mean that that was a gritty performance from him as a senior. The reverse, he finished that run strong. The touchdown catch launching him into the endzone, even the PI fighting back for the football. Those are gritty catches and I use that word in the sense that you can easily give up on those plays, but he got himself dirty tonight and that goes a long way to winning football games, and he was a heavy contributor for us.”
On Riley Mills playing in a new role:
“Riley Mills was on every kickoff. As you saw we had on the kickoff because we wanted to break their double team and he certainly did that, he caused a penalty, a personal foul because they couldn’t block him. Then we had the smart idea of moving him to defensive end today and getting the three sacks. Myron [Tagovailoa-Amosa] being out really shorthanded us, so we kicked him out to the end position and he responded with three sacks. I think he’s probably earned his right to stay there.”
On preparing for a game where Brennan Armstrong would not play:
“We felt like if they could play [Armstrong], they would, but we had to prepare for Wildcat because that was going to be option number two. We knew the backup quarterback and that they could run their offense through the backup quarterback, but we had to prepare for Wildcat. So, once we were able to check into the defense’s that we needed, you saw they got out of it. They didn’t try to get back into it because we had a plan for it. It’s when you don’t have a very good plan for it that they’ll stay in Wildcat and we had a good plan for it.”
Defensive back Ramon Henderson and wide receiver Braden Lenzy spoke with the media after the game.