Quick Hits from Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly's USC Week press conference

Mike Vorel
South Bend Tribune

The bye week is over, and you know what that means.

Another press conference!

That's right. Before No. 13 Notre Dame hosts No. 11 USC on Saturday, eighth-year Irish head coach Brian Kelly met the media on Tuesday. Here are the highlights from Kelly's address.

-- Kelly acknowledged the significance of this rivalry game, but also said that his team's approach this week can't change. "You get great opportunities like this at Notre Dame," he said.

-- Notre Dame junior quarterback Brandon Wimbush will start against USC after missing the North Carolina win with a mild ankle injury. "There are no questions about his health, so I think we can put that to rest," Kelly said. "He's 100 percent."

-- Kelly said that sophomore wide receiver Kevin Stephenson's role should increase in the second half of the season. "He's had a really good off week and this week you'll see more of him," Kelly said.

-- Junior kicker Justin Yoon is still handling the team's kickoff duties over freshman Jonathan Doerer, Kelly confirmed.

-- Kelly was very complimentary of sophomore defensive end Daelin Hayes. "He's been really good," Kelly said. "His ability to play fast has impacted the entire defense, because you have to pay attention to him."

-- Defensive tackle Elijah Taylor (foot) will not play this season, Kelly said. He did add that running backs Dexter Williams and Tony Jones Jr., who have been hampered with ankle injuries, will be available against USC.

-- Senior linebacker Greer Martini injured his knee in practice, Kelly said, and he's a "day-to-day situation" moving forward.

-- Kelly said that they won't be able to protect his safeties schematically against USC. That group will have to play well in its biggest test thus far. "They're going to have to play the ball in the air and they're going to have to tackle in space against a dynamic group," Kelly said.

Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly runs off the field after the Miami (Ohio) at Notre Dame NCAA football game at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017. Tribune Photo/MICHAEL CATERINA