Head Coach Brian Kelly Discusses Notre Dame Comeback


Brian Kelly believes DeShone Kizer is very capable

What a game! And what emotions! Notre Dame’s tremendous fourth quarter comeback, lead by second team quarterback DeShone Kizer made the Fighting Irish 2-0 for the season.

The rejoicing, of course, is tempered by the loss of starting quarterback Malik Zaire. It’s a tremendous loss, but in DeShone Kizer, the Fighting Irish have a quarterback with great potential and grit to lead the team. He showed that with the last second touchdown pass to Will Fuller. At his press conference, Head Coach Brian Kelly addressed the quarterback situation and answered questions on other game topics.

Coach Kelly mentioned that the coaching staff will change the game plans so DeShone will be comfortable with it.   DeShone is very bright and has great leadership skills and he has respect from his teammates.

Kelly said Malik Zaire had surgery Sunday morning, performed by former Fighting Irish football player, Dr. Brian Ratigan and Dr. Balint, that went well. Malik will probably be in a non-weight bearing period for about six weeks and then begin the rehab process. Malik’s surgery was similar to that of Joe Schmidt and Mathias Farley, and both returned to the team at 100%. We expect Malik to be ready for Spring practice in seven months. According to Kelly, there were no other serious injuries to the team even though tight end Durham Smythe may have a sprained ankle and he’ll be evaluated during the week.

Brandon Winbush will become the second team quarterback with Montgomery VanGorder as third team quarterback.   As far as C. J. Prosise being able to run the ball 25 times a game, Kelly said he would not want C.J. running that often right now, but possibly later in the season. He added that Josh Adams and Dexter Williams will get more rushing reps as the season progresses.

Agreeing with Kelly, the defensive front seven played especially well during the game, but the defensive backfield was not disciplined in their pass coverage and gave up too many yards and touchdowns.

In preparation for the Georgia Tech game, the coaching staff has a plan in place and the team will have to execute it. Even though Georgia Tech runs the best option system in the country, the Fighting Irish defense will have to tackle well and play within their system.

Brian Kelly mentioned the mood in the locker room was mixed, but the players have a great deal of respect for DeShone Kizer. When asked about DeShone’s personality, Kelly stated that he is more quiet than Malik, but since he is now the quarterback of the team, he will be more vocal.

The press conference with Kelly being asked about younger quarterbacks seeming to be playing more. He said that many high school players want to play early in their careers and sometimes go to schools outside the power conferences to do that. This brings parity to the game, as more non-power conferences put more resources into their football programs.

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