Quick Hits from Brian Kelly's Clemson Week press conference
How good is Notre Dame, really?
We're about to find out.
But before the Irish travel east to meet Clemson in Death Valley on Saturday night, head coach Brian Kelly addressed the media on Tuesday.
Here are the key points from the sixth-year Notre Dame head coach's press conference.
• Kelly said that the environment Notre Dame stepped into when it played at Florida State last season will be similar to what Clemson will be like on Saturday. "I think our team was well prepared for Florida State," Kelly said. He added that, because many of those players from 2014 return, the Irish shouldn't be as fazed by Death Valley. "Most of these kids played in that game, so we'll have a lot of carryover."
• Sophomore tight end Tyler Luatua, who missed the UMass game with a concussion, will participate in Tuesday's practice in a non-contact manner, Kelly said. If he handles it well, he'll be cleared for full practice later in the week. Junior wide receiver Corey Robinson, who missed last weekend's game with a knee sprain, had a cortisone shot and will practice fully on Tuesday.
• As he has since Malik Zaire went down against Virginia, Kelly praised sophomore quarterback DeShone Kizer's composure and command on Tuesday. "Every day he comes out there, he takes control of that offensive unit," Kelly said.
• Kelly said he has never taken a team to Death Valley, but he expects a raucous atmosphere on Saturday night. Even so, there may be an antidote to that noise. "I think if you play well, you tend to quiet crowds down," Kelly said.
• Junior safety Max Redfield will return to his starting spot at free safety this week, Kelly said. Matthias Farley had started the previous two games at that position, though Redfield also logged considerable reps against UMass. "He's getting to where we need him to be," Kelly said of Redfield.
• Kelly was very complimentary of Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson. "The quarterback, obviously, is a big threat here. He's a game-wrecker," Kelly said. Watson has passed for 641 yards with seven touchdowns and three interceptions through three games.