Quick Hits: Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly's Northwestern week press conference
November is coming for Notre Dame football. The Irish hope to finish the season stronger than last season starting with a road matchup at Northwestern on Saturday.
Before heading to Evanston for the 7:20 p.m. EDT kickoff later this week, head coach Brian Kelly hosted his weekly press conference.
These are the important statements from Kelly.
• Kelly said linebacker Drue Tranquill isn't ready to return to full practice yet, but he's no longer wearing a boot for his ankle injury. Kelly labeled him as questionable for the Northwestern game. "We're definitely optimistic that we can get him back," Kelly said.
• Linebackers Jordan Genmark Heath, Drew White and Asmar Bilal are all options to play in Tranquill's spot if needed, Kelly said.
• On cornerback Julian Love: "Julian doesn't have to be out there making interceptions to be considered one of the top corners in the country."
• Kelly said he's not concerned with where Notre Dame lands in tonight's first College Football Playoff rankings release. "I want to pay attention to the last one," Kelly said.
• Tight end Alizé Mack, who didn't play in the second half against Navy, is dealing with a head injury and has entered concussion protocol.
• "We probably played him a little too much," Kelly said of running back Jafar Armstrong. He was tired after making his return to the lineup against Navy.
• On offensive coordinator Chip Long's dedication to the run: "We're not going to abort the run game as an offense. But we're not going to run the football into a situation where we don't feel like we have a chance to be successful."
• Kelly said Book's high completion percentage has been a product of his accuracy as a thrower and his understanding of which receiver will be open within the scheme.
• On how left guard Aaron Banks played in his first career start: "He was physical, he moved his feet well. We were pleased with his first starting performance."
• Kelly named freshmen Ovie Oghoufo, a linebacker, and Luke Jones, an offensive lineman, as guys who have developed physically behind the scenes. He compared Oghoufo to defensive end Julian Okwara.
• On why he's confident this November will be better than some previous seasons: "A lot of those guys went through it last year, so they know what we can't do."