Quick Hits: Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly's NC State Week press conference
One win is a start.
Another would be a streak.
Before Notre Dame can attempt to take another step forward against NC State on Saturday, however, seventh-year Irish head coach Brian Kelly met the media on Tuesday. Here are the highlights from Kelly's weekly address.
-- Kelly is confident his young, freshmen-laden defense will continue to make positive strides against NC State. "If we're playing them, we trust them," Kelly said. "We believe in them." The seventh-year Irish head coach said he's playing more freshmen than he ever has previously because of their mental makeup. "They came here ready to play in their own minds," he said.
-- Kelly said that the two schools have been in communication with the commissioner of the ACC about the possibility of changing Saturday's noon game time if Hurricane Matthew hits the east coast. Kelly said that Notre Dame would be willing to move the game later on Saturday or as late as noon on Sunday, but the teams have not spoken about playing the game on Friday.
-- Kelly spoke about surging freshman cornerback Julian Love, who is listed as Notre Dame's starting cornerback opposite senior Cole Luke. "Early on, it was pretty clear that he was able to pick things up pretty easily and then go out and retain it later," Kelly said of Love's mental maturity.
-- Notre Dame's offense has had a clear lack of offensive balance this season, and Kelly said that's because opposing defenses have been focusing on stuffing the run and challenging the young Irish receivers to beat them. "If you let us throw the football all over the field," Kelly said, "we'll throw it."
-- Why did freshman cornerback Troy Pride Jr. go from zero snaps against Duke to a heavy workload against Syracuse? "He impressed me," Kelly said. "I really was impressed with him. I wanted to play him." He added: "His makeup speed is extraordinary."
-- Kelly applauded the energy and enthusiasm new Notre Dame defensive coordinator Greg Hudson has brought to the Irish in a short period of time. "He's jumping out of the cake at the birthday party," Kelly said. "He's that guy."
-- Despite nagging injuries, Kelly said that he expects Notre Dame starting right guard Colin McGovern to play this week.
-- Kelly said, though he trusts his defensive coaches, he plans to spend "quite a bit" of time on the defensive side of the ball in practice for the rest of the season. "I'm there to make certain the right pieces are put into the puzzle," he said.
-- Kelly said that he approached senior cornerback Cole Luke in the week leading up to the Syracuse game and Luke told him he thought he could help the team more by playing nickelback. Luke sliding into the nickelback role allowed freshmen Donte Vaughn and Julian Love to man the cornerback positions in those situations.