Vanderbilt came into Notre Dame Stadium on Saturday afternoon and gave Fighting Irish coach Brian Kelly all his team could withstand, but the Commodores fell short of pulling the upset of the No. 8-ranked team in the country as Notre Dame held on for a narrow 22-17 victory after a late defensive stand in Irish territory.
Following the victory, which moved Notre Dame to 3-0 on the season and dropped Vanderbilt to 2-1, Kelly addressed the media in South Bend to talk about how his team performed against the Commodores.
Here’s a look at some of Kelly’s post-game comments that were geared towards Vanderbilt. Transcriptions courtesy of ASAP Sports:
Opening statement to the media:
“Well, really proud of my football team and the way they competed today. You know, challenged after last week’s performance in their preparation and then how they compete. Compete every play, play physical, and they did that today. So, yeah, there’s things we’ve got to work on. It’s the third game of the season. If you’re a finished product after game three, you know, you’re destined for greatness, and we’re not there yet. We’re not destined for greatness. So if anyone wants to write that greatness column, I would tap the brakes.
But proud of their effort, proud of the way they competed. They played Notre Dame football. We’re still evolving. I mean, I’d like to say we’re a finished product, we’re just not. I mean, we’re trying to find our identity on offense. I think we’re a good defense. We’re not a great defense yet. We’ve got some things to clean up, but, boy, I really, really like our football team and the way they competed today.
Now, we’ve got to do that each and every week, right? I mean, prepare the right way, and then compete, get after it, be physical, run the football. That’s an SEC team who ran it for, I don’t know, 250 yards. I think that’s pretty good. So there’s a lot of things, a lot of positives from it. So with that, we’ll open it up to questions.”
On if running Brandon Wimbush more was part of the gameplan for the Vanderbilt matchup:
“You know, we keep going through this. Brandon is part of our running game. We want to focus on the things that he does well, and he runs the football. He also throws it, and he also is a good leader and he’s a great competitor. So some weeks he may run it more than others, but he’s one of our really good runners, so I think we all should just kind of get used to the fact that he’s going to be part of our running game each and every week. Some weeks he may get more carries than others, but he’s certainly part of it, yes.”
On repeating the wheel route to running back Tony Jones up the sideline. “Was there something you saw in Vanderbilt that that could be applicable?”
“Lot of manned coverage, so we’re getting the wheel, drive, big combination. So if you do a good job defending him, then we’re creating space on the drive route coming back, so they’re really easy complements for us versus man coverage.”
On the performance of the offensive line after Vanderbilt went without a sack against the Irish:
“Again, we had a tough week last week, and I think a lot of it fell on me, and I did a poor job preparing our football team. You know, there was a lot of movement, a lot of stunting, things that I wish that I did a better job. That’s behind us. We got back to what we do in terms of our preparation for our football team. And I was confident that we would come out and be the group that I believe we can be. We’re far from where we need to be as an offensive line, as an offensive group, as I mentioned earlier. But we’re capable of running the football with some effectiveness. And the other thing that you’re seeing is a maturation of both running backs. We saw some things today, and I’m sure you all were observant of it as well, was we were running today light much better, we saw our cuts, we were fitting much better. That’s why I say, we’re three games into this. But we had two really good opponents that have tested us, and I think you’re going to start to see that there’s much more of a confidence level starting to emerge with that group that they can be effective all year.”
On the play that resulted in a touchback after Vanderbilt wide receiver Donaven Tennyson fumbled at the 1-yard-line:
“Well, I will say this, we got caught behind the widened post, where, from a technical standpoint, inside the 20 we have to play over the top. But what I was pleased with is that it’s a drill we work on, is that we come up through the receiver try to strip. So we stayed with the play right through the whistle and got the ball out.
The ball got, as you saw, it was a rugby scrum in the end zone, and we were able to get on it. We had a play like that last year against Michigan State as well. We stayed with the play. I think that’s the key.”
Source : https://247sports.com/college/vanderbilt/Article/what-brian-kelly-said-notre-dame-fighting-irish-vanderbilt-commodores-week-3-2018-121934715/