Quick Hits: Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly's Texas Week press conference
Football season is back.
So, too, are Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly's weekly press conferences. The seventh-year Irish head coach met the media on Tuesday to preview the season opener on Sunday at Texas.
Here are some of the highlights from Kelly's address.
-- Kelly noted that both teams are young and talented and was curious about how his group will react to playing on the road in a hostile environment. "I think what I'm most interested in is how we handle the adversity the first time," Kelly said.
-- Kelly said he hasn't "figured out" which quarterback, Malik Zaire or DeShone Kizer, will start in Sunday night's game.
-- The four players that were arrested in Fulton County on Aug. 19 -- running back Dexter Williams, wide receiver Kevin Stepherson, linebacker Te'von Coney and cornerback Ashton White -- are available to play against Texas on Sunday, Kelly said.
-- The team will award the No. 1 jersey to a deserving player prior to Sunday's game, Kelly said. The No. 1 jersey will rotate from week to week.
-- Sixth-year senior Avery Sebastian will start at free safety ahead of freshman Devin Studstill, according to the Irish depth chart released Tuesday. Kelly noted that Studstill's hamstring injury in fall camp put him behind in preparation. "He's assignment correct," Kelly said of Sebastian. "He makes very few errors."
-- Kelly said that Notre Dame has a "very rigorous" drug testing policy, when asked about the marijuana arrests of five of his players. He added that the program's policy is both punitive and educational. Kelly said that he knows who owns the handgun that was found in his players' car in Fulton County, though he did not elaborate further.
-- Facing a new offensive scheme and tempo, Kelly said his team has been preparing to counter Texas' speed. "It's fast. This is going to be North Carolina fast," Kelly said of Texas' offensive tempo. "This is going to be a fast, fast tempo."
-- Sophomore linebacker Te'von Coney has been cross-trained at weak side and middle linebacker, Kelly said. Kelly said Coney could realistically play both positions.
-- Senior Colin McGovern separated himself from sophomore Tristen Hoge with pass protection ability and balance, Kelly said. He added that he does see Hoge playing in some fashion on Sunday.
-- Kelly's offensive philosophy on Sunday? "No matter what happens, we're running the football," Kelly said.
-- Notre Dame will wait two more weeks before taking an x-ray on junior cornerback Nick Watkins' injured arm, Kelly said. Watkins had surgery to stimulate bone growth early in fall camp.