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

Mike Vorel
South Bend Tribune

Bring on Michigan State.

But first, bring on another press conference.

Before Notre Dame travels to East Lansing, Mich., for a prime time test against Michigan State on Saturday night, Irish head coach Brian Kelly met the media on Tuesday.

Here are the highlights from Kelly's weekly address.

-- Kelly said Michigan State (2-0) has "a lot of pride, a lot of tradition. They're very stingy defensively. You can see they're very disciplined."

-- "This is a much more athletic offensive line than Michigan State has presented to us in the past," Kelly said. Michigan State ranks 16th nationally in rushing offense (255.5 yards per game).

-- Kelly called Michigan State quarterback Brian Lewerke "highly accurate" and also praised his dual threat ability.

-- Kelly expects graduate student wide receiver Cameron Smith (ankle) to return against Michigan State. "He'll be at 100 percent this week," Kelly said.

-- If Notre Dame can't be successful in a flashy vertical offense, Kelly said, that's not what they'll run going forward. "We can't appease people in terms of what looks good as much as what we're going to be good at," Kelly said. "If running the football is what is going to be the common denominator for wins, then that's what we're doing."

-- If teams are going to play man-to-man coverage and turn their backs on Notre Dame quarterback Brandon Wimbush, "he's going to run a lot," Kelly said.

-- Kelly said, to keep junior running back Josh Adams healthy throughout the season, they monitor Adams' player load and make sure not to overuse him throughout the week. Then, on Saturday, "we let our best players play," Kelly said.

-- To beat Michigan State, Kelly said Notre Dame must avoid turning the football over like it did against Boston College, stop the run (unlike the teams' 2016 meeting), and score points.

-- Kelly, on Wimbush: "I have absolutely no questions about his ability to play at the highest level at Notre Dame and help us win a championship." Kelly acknowledged Notre Dame breaking in a new offense and only having one established wide receiver as a few reasons why Wimbush has been inaccurate at times thus far.

-- Kelly credited junior nose guard Jerry Tillery's conditioning and commitment thus far this season. "His conditioning level is really good," Kelly said. "He's worked at it. He's a different committed player."

Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly talks to a referee during the Notre Dame at Boston College NCAA College football game Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017, at Alumni Stadium in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. Tribune Photo/MICHAEL CATERINA