Quick Hits from Brian Kelly's UMass Week press conference
SOUTH BEND — The depth chart changes, but the routine never does.
After his team took care of No. 14 Georgia Tech inside Notre Dame Stadium on Saturday, Irish sixth-year head coach Brian Kelly met the media on Tuesday afternoon, previewing this weekend's home match up with Massachusetts.
Here are the key points from Kelly's press conference.
• Kelly will lean on his leaders, he said, to make sure his team prepares for UMass with the same intensity with which it prepared for Georgia Tech, and with which it will prepare for Clemson on Oct. 3. "If we play very well," he said, "we're capable of beating anyone in the country." The key for Notre Dame, in a game in which it will be a heavy favorite, is to make sure it is prepared to play well on Saturday.
• Junior free safety Max Redfield is slated to start against Massachusetts, Kelly said. Redfield did not start against Georgia Tech, in part because the cast on his broken thumb has hindered his tackling ability. Kelly said they will test him repeatedly in practice this week.
• The primary area of improvement for sophomore quarterback DeShone Kizer, Kelly said, is ball security, where Kizer held the ball a little too loose for Kelly's liking against Georgia Tech. Kelly also pinpointed accuracy and cadence as other areas Kizer will continue to focus on going into the UMass game.
• Despite banking in one extra point and missing another in the win over Georgia Tech, Kelly voiced his support in freshman placekicker Justin Yoon. "I'm not concerned in the least bit," Kelly said.
• The tight end position produced mixed results against Georgia Tech, Kelly said. Alize Jones and Nic Weishar's youth was apparent at times, specifically in assignment mistakes. Both players also showed positive flashes, however, and they will continue to be counted on moving forward.
• Kelly lauded left guard Quenton Nelson, who had added a nastiness and physical presence to the offensive line. "He's 340 pounds," Kelly joked. "He can bench press a truck. He's physically strong, and he moves his feet."