Quick Hits: Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly's Michigan State Week press conference

Mike Vorel
South Bend Tribune

How good is Notre Dame, really?

We're about to find out.

On Saturday night, the Irish welcome No. 12 Michigan State to South Bend. But before that happens, seventh-year Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly met the media on Tuesday.

Here are the highlights from Kelly's address.

-- Kelly maintained that, despite Notre Dame's injuries and dismissals in the defensive secondary, he does believe the team has enough depth where it will not have to move an offensive player to defense. He noted that freshmen Donte Vaughn and Spencer Perry have both been activated and sophomore safety Nicco Fertitta has also gotten plenty of work.

-- Kelly said that his team is looking forward to the physical challenge that comes with playing Michigan State. "Michigan State has proven to be a winning football program, and they do it by being physical," Kelly said. "Our guys have to back that up."

-- Kelly is confident that his young wide receivers will respond positively against Michigan State's physical secondary. "If they want to press us, we just need to run, do what we do and we'll make enough plays," he said.

-- Kelly's expectations for left tackle Mike McGlinchey and left guard Quenton Nelson are to be efficient in pass protection and assignment-sound. There was noted improvement from both players from Texas to Nevada, he added.

-- Notre Dame's young players shouldn't be fazed by the stage on Saturday, Kelly said, because those freshmen already got their feet wet on the road at Texas. This week's focus will be on execution, not nerves or poise.

-- From Kelly's vantage point, the recent Notre Dame Stadium construction hasn't made the stadium atmosphere louder but has made the stadium's wind patterns unpredictable. 

Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly, left, and Notre Dame defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder together on the sideline during the Notre Dame-Nevada NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016, at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend. Tribune Photo/ROBERT FRANKLIN