Brian Kelly Press Conference: Stanford Week


Notre Dame is riding a four game winning streak coming into its big show down with a one loss Stanford Cardinal team. Stanford has always been a benchmark for the Irish each year and a great measuring stick for the overall progress of the current team. Against Syracuse last weekend Notre Dame did not play to the expectations that they had laid out the previous three games. This week all eyes will be on the Irish to see if they can make the necessary changes on both sides of the football.

Offensive Notes:

Clearly against we all saw that Everett Golson does in fact have things he still needs to work on and the biggest issue was turnovers. When asked if there is anything that they will do specifically this week in practice to help with cutting down those mental mistakes BK had this to say: “ I think we can spend a little bit more time taking direct snap. Although we do in pre‑practice take direct snaps; every day, we’ll take some more. I think we can work after practice a little bit more on ball security with our quarterbacks and trying to rip the ball loose.” And continuing on with things that Everett needs to work on: “So I think there’s some tangible things that we can do to make sure that those errors are eradicated and I think there’s some things that Everett is going to need to do relative to progressions and discipline within his progressions.” 

This season the young Irish receiving corp has had to grow up really fast and they have done a great job at filling in where previous upperclassmen have left. Brian Kelly mentioned two names when it came to his young group during Tuesdays presser : “They are making some plays, and I think as you make plays, I’ve always felt that that’s how you gain confidence. I think Chris Brown made some plays and you could see he gained some confidence curing the game.” Probably the biggest surprise this season has been the emergence of Will Fuller becoming the go-to-guy for Golson: “Certainly Will Fuller is gaining confidence each and every week. You know, so I just think it’s a matter of those guys continuing to make plays. “

When asked if Stanford was one of the games that his offense needed to make big chunk plays to win this game BK wasted no time in validating this fact. “Oh, no, we won’t win if we don’t get big chunk plays. But we are not going to go five, seven, ten yards and score enough points to win. No, we’ll have to find our chances. We’ll have to create opportunities and we’ll have to make some plays down the field, there’s no question. So creating those opportunities during the game, is part of what we have to prep during the week.” 

Defensive Notes:

Joe Schmidt has been one the consistent bright spots on the defensive side of the ball holding down the middle linebacker position. He was not highly recruited coming out of high school and Brian has a history of taking unheralded recruits and turning them into stars. He was asked if he saw Joe becoming this type of player: “we felt like with player development, that Joe had a chance to be successful here at Notre Dame, or we would not have invited him into the program as a walk‑on, and a lot of that has to do with Joe, as well. He’s put in his time. He’s developed physically and mentally and we’ve done a really good job of bringing him along, so I think both parties working together has gotten him to this point.” 

It has been noted that Ben Council would be used against more power running teams this season such as Stanford. In regards to his availability for rotation: “Yeah, I think he’s definitely somebody that we count on and Coach VanGorder is clearly going to employ some different defensive schemes this week. You know, Ben will be part of the rotation there. We’ll see how it plays out. But Ben’s healthy and again I think he only got one rep on Saturday, but he’s somebody that is definitely in the rotation for us.”