Q. How do you feel like the cameras you guys installed have worked?
COACH KELLY: Outstanding. Outstanding. Peace of mind, but also very high end relative to its technical capabilities. We can get all the film that we need at all of the angles.
Q. Sometimes we have a tendency to feel guilt or blame ourselves whether or not we are to blame. Did you deal with any of that, wrestle with any of that? If I would have done this or not, you know, it was on you.
COACH KELLY: Yeah, I think this has been talked about and revisited. It never leaves you. We lost a young man. You never forget about that. Obviously this week and the memorial out front of The Gug is a daily remembrance of that.
Blame is not a word that we feel is appropriate. We never thought in those terms. We thought in terms of loss and making sure something like this never happens again.
Q. You mentioned last week about preparing differently if the quarterback is injured and you’re not sure who will play. Kriss Procter hurt himself last week. How are he and Trey Miller different and how does that change your approach?
COACH KELLY: Procter is a lot more experienced, but Miller threw the ball very well and very effectively and led his team back. They’re going to run their system and plug in the next guy and run the same system, so for us it doesn’t change anything.
This is one system where you don’t go in and go, If quarterback A plays we do this, and if B is coming in then we got to do that. So there is no difference as it relates to the two quarterbacks. The skillset is the same. There’s a little bit more experience with Procter. Great question, by the way. So keep that up.
Q. You mentioned plugging in the guy and working their system. Last year they had so much success. Actually the year before it was a different fullback. What it is that (indiscernible) does to kind of isolate their fullback?
COACH KELLY: Well, we’ve seen every scheme. They’ve seen every imaginable scheme. So when your system is set up, what you want to do against three down, four down, all the different variations and coverages. You know exactly what you want to do, so there is nothing that they haven’t seen.
So they’re running their system, and they’re very, very aware of how to block each and every front they see. At the end of the day, you still got to get off blocks, defeat blocks, and obviously it starts with it from the option standpoint inside out with the fullback.
So if you can’t get off blocks and you can’t defeat, he’s going to carry the ball a lot.
Q. It’s an option week, but as you mentioned obviously your defense hasn’t changed from Army and Navy last year. Is there anything you can go back to?
COACH KELLY: No, there’s a lot of carryover. Yeah, there’s carryover from Army; there’s definitely carryover from Air Force.
The game and how you manage the game changes. We managed the game against Air Force because we had exchanged 7 for 3 and we got some separation. We were okay keeping with ball in front of us. You just never know how the game is going to be played out.
But as I said earlier, we’re very much more familiar our own terminology and how we’re going to defend the option.
Q. Into that game management, how important is it for you to reestablish the running game this week to try to give your defense a little bit of rest off the field knowing that they’re going to grind on you?
COACH KELLY: I think it’s important every week. We got down 14 nothing and then got down after the turnover 24 10 and got us out of we got behind schedule.
So it’s very important that we get off to a good start. If we get off to a good start, then our running game is gonna be part of what we do. We don’t want to be in a situation where we don’t run the ball enough, because it makes it more difficult for us to throw the football obviously. So it’s very important to get off to a good start.
Q. With Teich as a fullback, as you take a look at him, what are the attributes that he brings that concern you?
COACH KELLY: He’s extremely athletic. He’s not a guy that just drops his head and runs up inside. He’s extremely athletic. So you’ve got a big, physical kid. He’s got a heart of a lion. I mean, he’s just a competitive kid. He makes it very difficult to defend, because inside out, they’re very, very dangerous.
Q. Against Air Force you were able to take away the fullback pretty well. You also stopped the quarterback. When you face a program like that, is it almost having to chose your poison and sacrifice one area and take away the most important element?
COACH KELLY: Big plays; keep the points down. Big plays, minimize, take away the big play, and keep the points down. Don’t care about yardage. When you play an option team, you’re going to give up yardage. You can’t give up the big play, because you’ve got somebody with their eyes in the backfield and now here comes the slot on an arc release and he’s running three down the middle of the field.
So when you play option teams, the yardage is irrelevant. It’s all about minimizing big plays and keeping the points down.
Q. Without Kap, maybe without E.J., looking at perhaps three guys that are true freshman.
COACH KELLY: Correct.
Q. That front line controlling and beating the blocks, what is the point up there with so many young players? Is it more of a discipline scheme? Is it an attack?
COACH KELLY: It’s both. I mean, like I said, you can’t sit back and not be aggressive. You still got to whip the guy in front of you.
But no question there’s a lot more discipline involved. You have to be disciplined to be effective in it. We’ve got some coaching to do. There’s no question. But those are our guys. We’re going to play ‘em, and we’ll get ‘em ready.
Q. Obviously we all know the talents of Aaron Lynch and his abilities. He has had several personal fouls called against him. Facing a disciplined team like this, does that become a concern?
COACH KELLY: Well, we address it differently in the sense that first of all it’s unacceptable to put your team in a situation like that where you give up 15 yards. He’s maturing. He’s learning how to handle his emotions. He’s growing up as a young man.
We have to expect him to continue to progress and be the kind of complete player that we want him to be. He’s a really good athlete right now. We need have to him mature into a complete player. That takes time. He’s 18.
But by no means am I excusing him from personal fouls. I am not. But we’ve got to develop that young man, and we’re working hard on that.
Q. Aggressiveness seemed to be his strength, just the fire in him. How did you temper that? You don’t take it away, but also be able to not get involved and take away with a 15 yeard penalty.
COACH KELLY: That’s why I’m in this business. Because I don’t have the answers. We’re working with this young man every day. We’re trying to reach him, trying to reach our young guys. We’re communicating. We’re having dinner ‘em at 5:00. You know what I mean? We’re talking to them in the hallways.
That’s what we do. We’re trying to reach him to get to be the kind of complete player he needs to be. There’s no easy answer for that.
Q. Talk a little bit about Xavier Murphy and how you are remembering him?
COACH KELLY: Well, as you said, we had on our helmet last game a shamrock with the X on it. That was our way as players and everybody associated with the program to celebrate his life. There will be a memorial mass this week, which many of our players maybe not all but many of our players but most importantly or support staff. Ryan and Adam and our staff, our equipment staff, obviously were very, very close with him. All of our managers. So that will be this week.
But he’ll be with us. He was a special young man.
Q. And the players have dealt with the loss?
COACH KELLY: I think each individual deals with loss differently. I don’t think there is any one particular way. Others have been very affected. Some didn’t know X at all. But we’ve also allowed them the opportunity we’ve had professionals available for our players and our support staff if needed. Again, we’ve had that dedication to his family, which will happen this weekend.
I think we do a tremendous job of marshaling all the forces in very tough times.
Q. What do you think of Mark Emmert’s proposal?
COACH KELLY: Is there a right answer? If anybody’s got it, let me know what it is. At first glance and I have not spoken anybody, so this is just the head football coach talking it seems reasonable. It seems like it allows for those incidentals that are not covered. That’s my first reaction to it.
I’ve seen some comments that it’s the haves and have nots that it’s set up for. I don’t necessarily agree with that. But I would say that at first glance, it looks to be a reasonable proposal. But I’m sure there will be more officially from the university, from Jack Swarbrick, if it’s ever presented to him. He has better information than I do.
Q. How much are you involved with Swarbrick, if at all, on we want this on third down or we want as the head football coach are you involved with that?
COACH KELLY: I’m involved in all of that.
Q. Was there even any discussion about that?
COACH KELLY: No, no. As you know, Tommy went down; boom, Dayne went in the game. He’ll be our No. 2.
Q. You mentioned on Sunday it’s up to him to react.
COACH KELLY: Absolutely.
Q. How did he react?
COACH KELLY: He’s good. I mean, he’s disappointed. Look, nobody wants to for us, it’s never about blaming anybody. It’s the circumstances. Did we coach you well enough in that circumstance? We all look at it that way.
But certainly he’s disappointed. He’s got to get through that and bounce back and be ready if he’s called upon to come out and play. Dayne is a big boy. He’s 22, 23 years old. He’s got to shake that off and come back and be ready.
What I saw yesterday, I liked. He came back with, Hey, this is not going to stop me from competing.
Q. On Sunday you talked about the red zone being a problem. What are you doing to address that this week?
COACH KELLY: We’re trying to be more effective, as you know, with the connection between Mike and Tommy. That’s really what we’re trying to do a better job of, and being on the same page when Mike is double teamed to come to the other receiver. That’s some growing pains there.
We’re spending a lot of time, but a lot of it is not conceptual as much as the individuals hooking up at the right time and the right place. That’s what we’re working hard on.
Q. How does the running game factor into that whole big picture thing?
COACH KELLY: Oh, absolutely. And I felt like in the red zone the opportunities to run the football, we took our chances and ran the ball. We had some pretty good plays set up against what they like to do down there. We didn’t execute. We had a wide open tight end.
Tyler Eifert misfired there, which obviously was a touchdown that we feel like we should have had. And then we fumbled the football. So, running the ball helps us in everything that we do. But in particular, we’ve got to do better with hooking up with our playmakers down there.