Quick Hits: Brian Kelly's Georgia Tech Week press conference

Mike Vorel
South Bend Tribune

New quarterback, but same old routine. 

Sixth-year Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly met the media for his weekly press conference on Tuesday, three days after junior quarterback Malik Zaire was lost for the season with a fractured ankle and sophomore DeShone Kizer led the Irish to a last-second win over Virginia.

Before No. 8 Notre Dame (2-0) prepares to host No. 14 Georgia Tech (2-0) on Saturday afternoon, take a look at the key points from Kelly's address.

• Notre Dame confirmed on Tuesday that starting tight end Durham Smythe suffered a torn MCL in his right knee late in the fourth quarter of the win over Virginia on Saturday and will miss the remainder of the season. Smythe, who had recorded two catches and a touchdown through two games, underwent successful surgery on the knee as well as a right shoulder procedure on Tuesday morning. Sophomore Tyler Luatua was listed as the starting tight end on the depth chart released for the game against Georgia Tech, followed by Alize Jones, Nic Weishar and Chase Hounshell — all of whom remain on even footing. "I think you'll see them all play, no question," Kelly said.

• Kelly has won the last seven games in which his quarterback was making his first career start, going all the way back to his time at Central Michigan. But the sixth-year head coach didn't hesitate to address how sophomore quarterback DeShone Kizer needs to play in order for the Irish to outscore a high-powered Georgia Tech team. "DeShone's got to play his butt off," Kelly said. "He's got to play really well."

• Considering that Notre Dame is now down to just two scholarship quarterbacks on its roster, Kelly confirmed Tuesday that freshman quarterback Brandon Wimbush will "definitely" play this season. The coaching staff is preparing Wimbush this week as if he's going to play on Saturday.

• A less noticeable change to the depth chart this week came in special teams, where starting kickoff returner Amir Carlisle was joined by CJ Sanders and CJ Prosise as potential starters. Kelly said that the primary concern, however, is shoring up the blocking with that unit, and personnel changes have been made. "We just don't feel like we were getting the blocking necessary," Kelly said.

Notre Dame Head Coach Brian Kelly stands on the sidelines during second half of Fighting Irish's win over Virginia Saturday, September 12, 2015 in Charlottesville. SBT Photo / BECKY MALEWITZ