Quick Hits: Brian Kelly press conference 12-19-15

Mike Vorel
South Bend Tribune

Notre Dame's final game is also its most anticipated.

Before CFP and AP No. 8 Notre Dame (10-2) meets CFP and AP No. 7 Ohio State (11-1) meet in the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 1, however, Irish head coach Brian Kelly previewed the game on Saturday.

Here are the key points from the sixth-year head coach's address.

• Saturday's practice was the first one in bowl preparations that included live tackling, Kelly said.

• Senior nose tackle Jarron Jones continues to improve in practice as he comes back from a torn MCL, Kelly said. Jones' practice reps have increased every day and there have been no ill effects on the knee. Jones will help the Irish against Ohio State, as will recovering tight end Durham Smythe, Kelly added. "Jarron, I think, has done a really good job."

• In more injury news, Kelly said that senior running back C.J. Prosise continues to recover but is not taking meaningful practice reps yet. "He's been moving around. He's not at full-go yet," Kelly said.

• A difference in bowl preparation between this season and the 2012 season, in which Notre Dame lost in the national championship game, is that the Irish are able to scrimmage their top offense against their top defense, Kelly said. An improved level of depth has allowed Notre Dame to have more freedom in the way they practice, even at the end of the season.

• Kelly cited freshman wide receiver Miles Boykin as a player in practice who has continued to prove himself throughout the season. "He's long. He's athletic. He attacks the football," Kelly said. He also added that sophomore cornerback Nick Watkins has come on strong at the end of the season and should be a consistent contributor in 2016.

• Kelly said that he's pleased with the way Showtime portrayed the team and the season, as well as the impact the show had on recruits and fans. "I think it definitely was a positive thing for us," he said.

Notre Dame Head Coach Brian Kelly walks along the sidelines during the second half against Pitt at Heinz Field Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015, in Pittsburgh. SBT Photo/BECKY MALEWITZ