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Kelly wraps up Purdue

Sep 5, 2010, 7:40 PM EST

Before we dive into a certain team from Ann Arbor that happens to be traveling to South Bend next weekend, let’s kick the tires on the 23-12 victory over Purdue one more time.

Head coach Brian Kelly got on the phone this morning with the media and answered a few questions on yesterday’s game. Here are a few highlights:

* BK discussed the missed tackles by Manti Te’o, which were surprisingly plentiful in the first half.

“He’s all over the place. He swung and missed a lot out of the strike zone, which was
uncharacteristic for him,” Kelly said. “He was in great position so many times. I just
think in the first game, maybe a little bit too excited. He’s got to
slow down a step. He was in great position, got our checks down very
well. He just missed uncharacteristically some tackles that I’m very
confident he’s going to make in the future.”

Listening to Kelly, you can tell he wasn’t too worried about Te’o, who seemed to find his rhythm in the second half and made quite a few nice plays as well. I get the feeling that he’s about as worried about Te’o’s tackling as he is about Michael Floyd’s fumbling.

* Good news on the injury front, as Kelly seemed rather optimistic about everyone that missed time on Saturday, including safety Jamoris Slaughter, who sprained his ankle yesterday.

“Slaughter had an ankle sprain and it looked good today. We’ll probably
keep him out until Tuesday or Wednesday and see how it goes from there,” Kelly said.
“We’re much more encouraged. You always fear high ankle sprain when it
first occurred. It doesn’t appear to be that way.”

Zeke Motta filled in admirably for Slaughter, but with only four safeties on the depth chart, the Irish can’t afford to lose a guy like slaughter, who was playing solid football in the first half before getting hurt.

* Having not seen a lot of Brian Kelly on the field during games, I was actually surprised to see how fiery he is. Kelly certainly comes across as a guy that seems to take a business-like approach to his job when he deals with the media, but it was great to see just how excited he was after winning a football game. He’ll never be mistaken for a guy like Pete Carroll, but there certainly was a festive atmosphere among the coaches and the players after the game, and Kelly addressed that point this afternoon.

“It’s hard to win. I don’t care who you’re playing, the other team is going to prepare as well,” Kelly said. “Our guys need to separate two things. The satisfaction of winning has to take precedent over all the things we have to get better at.”

That’s a wonderful statement, and I think something that got lost in the chaos of last season. Even in Irish victories, there was always a feeling that there was work that needed to be done.

If you’re looking for a clue into the celebration after the game, UND.com has your fix.

I’m pretty impressed those guys knew all the words to the opening verses. I’ve got a feeling that the guy in charge has some catching up to do.

  1. TLNDMA - Sep 5, 2010 at 11:31 PM

    I get the feeling from watching that, that these kids want to win and think this guy (Kelly), is going to show them how to. I think they’re ALL in. Can’t wait for next saturday.

  2. terry - Sep 6, 2010 at 9:01 AM

    They started fast, were on the verge of a blowout until Floyd’s fumble, let Purdue back in the game (or it could be argued that Purdue forced their way back in,) and when push came to shove in the 4th quarter they reasserted themselves – they WON the game in the 4th quarter. A bit sloppy but this was the first game of the year, there were lots of new starters, including freshmen, it was Kelly’s first game as head coach. They won the game – A good win.

  3. Art Vandelay - Sep 6, 2010 at 6:43 PM

    @Terry……agree with you that we were on the verge of a blowout if MMF made that TD reception. They would have been down 27-3 and would have been in the tank emotionally. I also agree with somebody who said we haven’t see but 1/3 of the BK playbook. Expect a lot more passing down field against UM. I think Crist will be a little steadier in the pocket and not so quick on the check downs after Kelly has had a week to work on him and we should see a completely different gameplan designed to exploit UM’s weaker secondary. There will be fireworks. GO IRISH!

  4. ndndndnd - Sep 7, 2010 at 1:58 PM

    yo bra, check this new thing http://sportscomplainer.com my boss forwarded me. till tom man..

  5. MouthOfTheSouth - Sep 7, 2010 at 6:39 PM

    Art, being an importer/exporter does not necessarily make you a football expert. I’m just cutting your onions, but all kidding aside, Crist completed 73% of his passes for almost 9.5 yards per completion. I think he was pretty crisp. Look at Florida’s and Texas’ first time starters by comparison. Purdue is good enough to kill the teams that Texas and Florida played.
    There’s nothing wrong with taking the check-downs. Armando said that the tight coverage on our playmaking wide-receivers opened up opportunities in the run game. I would think it also helped the short passing game.
    That said, I agree that despite putting forth a stellar outing for a first-time starter, Crist could have shown a little more poise.
    I agree, though, that we’ll see more downfield passing this weekend. Floyd will be looking to make Cissoko look like a pretty princess for the third year in a row.

  6. Art Vandelay - Sep 8, 2010 at 12:59 AM

    @MouthOfTheSouth- I think Crist acquitted himself admirably in the season opener. I think he’s a very capable QB and did not mean to imply otherwise. My only point was just wait until he has that composure and poise fully on his side. I think within the next 3-4 games, we may not even notice any perceptible drop off from Clausen. He may even get better over the long haul. Can’t wait to see them pick Michigan apart.

  7. Joe - Sep 11, 2010 at 7:34 PM

    GO BLUE

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