Quick Hits: Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly's USC week press conference

Tyler James
South Bend Tribune

A win at USC (5-6) on Saturday will complete Notre Dame's undefeated regular season. The Trojans haven't had much success this season, but they can play a major spoiler role against the Irish.

Before Notre Dame heads to Los Angeles this weekend, head coach Brian Kelly spoke with reporters on Tuesday.

These are some of his notable quotes from the press conference.

• Kelly said quarterback Ian Book has made strides in two areas with regards to understanding the offense better this season: his ability to get the offense in the right pass protection and decision-making in RPOs (run-pass options).

• Kelly said the team will have Thanksgiving dinner together at the Morris Inn before flying out to Los Angeles on Thursday night.

• The first memories of the USC-Notre Dame rivalry that Kelly said he can remember go back to when running O.J. Simpson played for the Trojans in the late '60s.

• Kelly said cornerbacks coach Todd Lyght has impacted his position group in their ability to move on to the next play.

• On USC quarterback JT Daniels: "They have a freshman quarterback that's really talented, but there's some growth that goes along with that."

• On the toughness that comes from linebacker Drue Tranquill: "Our guys are gritty. Drue personifies that."

• On the impact of wide receiver Chris Finke: "He's been more than what we could have hoped for coming into the season."

• On safety Alohi Gilman: "He lights up the room when he walks in the room because he has a personality." Kelly said Gilman doesn't necessarily do that when he walks into a locker room, but he does that when he walks onto the football field.

• Kelly said defensive tackle Jerry Tillery has been a consistent worker. "He does all the little things the right way. It's amazing. He doesn't take a day off," Kelly said.

Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly talks to an official during the Notre Dame-Syracuse NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018, at Yankee Stadium in New York City.