Quick Hits: Brian Kelly's Pittsburgh Week press conference

Mike Vorel
South Bend Tribune

Better hope the Notre Dame football team isn't sick of the state of Pennsylvania.

A week after escaping Philadelphia with a 24-20 victory over Temple, the Irish head east again for a matinee game against Pittsburgh on Saturday.

Here are the key points from head coach Brian Kelly's weekly Tuesday press conference.

• As he has many times this season, Kelly opened the press conference by praising his team's resilience. "Our guys have that unique ability to really bear down for four quarters, overcome things and find a way to win," he said. Notre Dame has earned comeback fourth quarter victories against Temple and Virginia on the road.

• When asked to compare sophomore quarterback DeShone Kizer to another sophomore Notre Dame quarterback, Everett Golson in 2012, Kelly said that "(Kizer's) confidence is the big difference between the two." He also added that Kizer's leadership and command is beyond where Golson was at the same point in 2012.

• Despite the targeting penalty that will keep Elijah Shumate out of the first half of the game against Pittsburgh, Kelly said it would have to be an "emergency situation" to use freshman safety MyKelti Williams and negate his extra year of eligibility on Saturday. Matthias Farley is listed as the starter at strong safety, and both Nicky Baratti and Nicco Fertitta are slated ahead of Williams on the depth chart.

• After his two rushing touchdowns against Temple last week, Kizer flapped his arms in celebration in the end zone, in what he said later was a tribute to the celebrations of Philadelphia Eagles players in the past. However, it could have been construed as a slight at the Temple Owls, and Kelly addressed that on Tuesday. "Totally unacceptable," Kelly said. "Totally unacceptable." Kelly added that it won't happen again.

• With the initial College Football Playoff rankings being released on Tuesday night, Kelly assessed his team's current resume. "I think our last four games have been as good as anyone that's played in the country," he said. Kelly also acknowledged that his team does obviously have a loss and has plenty of work to do going forward.

• Kelly again addressed the confrontation on the sideline between he and assistant strength and conditioning coach David Grimes during the game on Saturday. "I wish the situation never occurred. I regret that it happened," Kelly said. He also added that he has met with Grimes, they have moved past it and that Grimes is a valuable member of the staff.

Notre Dame's Notre Dame Head Coach Brian Kelly and Brandon Wimbush (12) watch the Fighting Irish offense from the sidelines during the first half against Temple, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015, at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. SBT Photo/BECKY MALEWITZ