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Tuesdays with BK: Showdown in Oklahoma

Oct 24, 2012, 2:26 AM EDT

Brian Kelly

Brian Kelly stepped to the podium Tuesday afternoon the head coach of the No. 5 team in the nation. Ready to bring his team to Oklahoma for the biggest match-up of his career, many believe this Saturday is the one that the Fighting Irish are exposed.

To read some third-party accounts, it’s only a matter of time before Notre Dame crashes back down to earth, likely done in convincing fashion by Bob Stoops‘ team. There are just too many questions and too few answers for the Irish.

Quarterback Everett Golson? The redshirt freshman can’t possibly be ready for Mike Stoops‘ attacking defense. Notre Dame’s surprisingly stout running game? Good luck moving the chains against a defensive line like the Sooners. And Notre Dame’s resurgent front seven? Try getting through the Sooners’ offensive line. And the Irish’s youthful secondary? Get ready to meet a man named Landry Jones.

Oklahoma is a double-digit favorite, a number usually reserved for Pete Carroll teams. And while nobody felt like telling Kelly that his team was expected to get creamed, the head coach of the Fighting Irish was complimentary to Stoops and his program, while clearly excited for Saturday night.

“Our kids are certainly excited about the challenge of playing Oklahoma,” Kelly said. “It’s a great program, a great tradition. Coach Stoops is doing what we want to do here, and that’s built a program on consistency.”

Kelly spent over a half-hour talking to the media. You can watch the entire video below, or I’ll highlight some sections I found interesting.

***

In case you were wondering, quarterback Everett Golson is full go. After going through a full battery of tests and some cardiovascular work, Kelly pronounced his young quarterback 100 percent.

“It went very well. He feels great, very confident,” Kelly said. “We wanted to do that more because he hadn’t had really the opportunity to get out there and run, and we didn’t want to wait until Saturday where he’s out there and we have some setbacks. He’s good and 100percent, and he’ll start for us against Oklahoma on Saturday.”

It’s interesting to note that later in the press conference, Kelly was asked a question from a Oklahoma writer about the quarterbacking advantage on the field this Saturday. Stoops, when asked essentially the same thing yesterday, wouldn’t call Landry Jones an advantage over Golson, even though Jones has played in roughly forty more games than Golson.

Kelly was a little bit more candid.

“You would think an experienced quarterback‑‑ somebody that has been there, done that, has won a lot of games ‑‑ would have the edge over a young, inexperienced quarterback,” Kelly said candidly. “But you don’t know until Saturday hits.  And that’s the great thing about these games.
We have a lot of confidence that Everett is a great competitor and that he’s going to do what he can do to help us win football games.

“But, yeah, if you look at the match-ups and you were going down the list, you would say that that’s a positive for Oklahoma in that situation.”

***

For the second time in three weeks, Notre Dame will be playing the de facto national game of the week, with ESPN’s College GameDay on campus in Norman, the first time they’ve been their since 2008.

The distraction of seeing ESPN’s production team crawling all over South Bend will be a little less intrusive this week. But that doesn’t mean the big game doesn’t ramp up expectations and excitement levels for players.

Make that coaches, too.

“This is why you coach at Notre Dame. This is why you coach at those programs that get the opportunity to play in marquee games,” Kelly said. “There’s an excitement but there’s also a realization that that excitement only gets you so far.  You’ve got to prepare well.  You’ve got to be detailed and organized.  And so in times like these, we get that.  That’s why we want to be here at Notre Dame.”

Kelly and the Irish will have the entire day to relax and sit around, as the 7 p.m. local kick will make prep time a little bit different than against Stanford.

***

Expect Bob and Mike Stoops to turn the pass rush loose on Golson, who struggled dealing with the blitzing of Stanford, as well as Michigan’s pressure earlier in the year. Notre Dame has capable players to expose the Sooner secondary on hot reads, with human mismatch guys like Tyler Eifert and Troy Niklas, and guys like TJ Jones and Davaris Daniels, who have won their fair share of one-on-one battles lately.

But one tonic for a blitzing defense is an effective screen pass game. Kelly was asked why the reluctance to throw screens over the past few weeks.

“We’re running the football with eight, nine guys on the line of scrimmage. You’re screening into a lot of hats,” Kelly explained. “If we were spreading them out more and had some more space, you know, certainly screens have always been part of what we’ve done.  It’s just the way we’re playing the game right now.  We’ll keep them off balance with misdirection.  As you saw, we had a lot of misdirection motion.  That really took place with the screen game for us.”

That misdirection featured George Atkinson on the field at the same time as Theo Riddick or Cierre Wood, motioning into an end-around look while the hand off most likely went up the middle.

Atkinson did get the ball once around end, scoring from two-yards out on a nice move that juked a defender before he dove into the end zone. But that run game will have another added element with Golson’s legs capable of making the play a triple option, in addition to the down-field play-action chances.

It’d also be great to see throwing the ball to Atkinson on the edge of the defense, seeing if the sophomore big-play threat can make someone miss and get down the field.

***

Lastly, Kelly was asked about the senior class on this roster, the final group of players that Kelly inherited from the previous regime. After a difficult three years that saw the head coach that recruited them get replaced, and two up-and-down seasons with this staff, Kelly talked about how great it has been to help this group of seniors win.

“I’m really happy for them. They have seen the best, and they’ve seen some of the tougher times as well,” Kelly said. “And I think their perseverance, their maturity, their leadership, it’s all about who they are as individuals.

“I think what’s most gratifying for me and the senior class and those guys that are completing their eligibility, is that they have had that perseverance that you need to be successful.  And that’s why it’s a pleasure to coach them, and they’re going to be so successful moving on from here.”

***

 

  1. sinister23 - Oct 25, 2012 at 7:51 AM

    And denard isn’t special??? He’s about to break the QBS all time rushing record… Lol… Your a clown man

  2. paulhargis53 - Oct 25, 2012 at 8:02 AM

    Lost nearly every single game huh?
    like 31-15 or56-10 or 63-38?

    Denard is Terrelle Pryor light. What have they done with him at QB. Nothing!

    Michigan has been for years, and will continue to be, irrelevant.
    I was going to ask you why you’re on a,ND thread spouting off about them, but then I remembered they are NEVER. talked about on CFT……and I’m the clown.

    Get lost Sausage Wallet.

  3. sinister23 - Oct 25, 2012 at 9:19 AM

    Soon to be all time rushing QB record holder….never discussed. 900 wins…. Never discussed… Oohhhh that’s right…it wasn’t discussed because we are the FIRST and ONLY team to reach that mark.

    Michigan is the most winningest team…ever…period.

    Also…if Purdue takes you to OT, or CAL has you on the ropes…your over rated.

    What did Michigan do to Purdue? Oh yea…dominate.

    Two off topic facts:

    1. The Buckeyes will end the season with 2 or more losses.

    2. Michigan will not lose another game this year…that’s including whatever bowl they get in.

  4. paulhargis53 - Oct 25, 2012 at 10:30 AM

    Let me preface this by apologizing to all you ND fans. I didn’t realize I’d have to deal with a psychopathic Michigan fan on this board.
    1. As a QB Robinson is a great RB. As a QB? 49 yds and 39ints with a 54% comp. rate is borderline horrible.
    2.900 wins is great. You do realize for being average at 6 wins a year, for the 124 year existence equals 744 wins, right? Hooray for a bit above average!
    3._Michigan is 20-21 in bowl games. Last National title, 1997. 15 years ago-irrelevant since then.
    4. Funny that you bring up Cal and Purdue. When such powerhouses as a 4-4 MSU team lost by 2 and Air Force lost by 6 to the mighty wolverines….dope.
    5. Nebraska will hang a loss on you as well as Ohio State. Good luck in the Alamo Bowl.

    I’m done with you. Why is it again that a Michigan fan is so well known on a ND thread again. What a loser you are.

  5. sinister23 - Oct 25, 2012 at 10:45 AM

    Robinson vs Nebraska

    400 yards himself…. 4 TDs

  6. paulhargis53 - Oct 25, 2012 at 11:04 AM

    Nice comeback. Go lay by your dish. You were just owned. Good doggie.

    Anymore response from you is just embarrassing yourself further. You should quit while you have a small shred of dignity left.
    You won’t though, if there is one thing about people like you, its that you just don’t know when to quit.
    Move along junior. you’re out of your element.

  7. sinister23 - Oct 25, 2012 at 12:15 PM

    Paul….your punk A$$ BETTER come back to this thread after this wknd…wonder what your excuses will be

  8. paulhargis53 - Oct 25, 2012 at 12:44 PM

    Thanks for proving my point!

    I’ll be here. I will be happy.

    I won’t be here to rub it in to the ND fans though. I will be looking for you.
    Nebraska win over Michigan, Oklahoma over ND.

    You’ve never answered why you ate on a ND being a Michigan fan…….why?

    I really hope you’re not ignorant enough to post another reply- but I bet you are…

  9. sinister23 - Oct 25, 2012 at 4:29 PM

    U wanna know “why I ate on ND?”
    Hahaha…no comment?

  10. paulhargis53 - Oct 25, 2012 at 5:30 PM

    I knew you were ignorant enough to reply again, thanks for proving it.

    And then, you have to come back with a typo on my part? That also proves to everyone that the debate is over.

    How does it feel to be completely schooled and have no response to,any of my points? Sad that a typo is all you got.

    • seadomer - Oct 25, 2012 at 5:36 PM

      Take it easy Paul,

      Please come back if OU scores anywhere near 48 and I’ll eat so much crow that it will be on the endangered list

  11. paulhargis53 - Oct 25, 2012 at 6:25 PM

    sea: I’m not angry. Just trying to figure out what this moron Michigan fan is doing here.

    I’ll be here to take my medicine IF OU. loses. I don’t see it happening, but I’ll be here either way. What does crow taste like?

  12. sinister23 - Oct 25, 2012 at 9:29 PM

    Dudes a Pathetic, Asinine, Uneducated Loser….
    Also, this is an Application on my phone…that’s why I’m here.

    Who’s Paul’s favorite team? I’ll bet it changes every NC.

  13. paulhargis53 - Oct 25, 2012 at 11:44 PM

    My team has never changed. Oklahoma all the way.

    I cannot believe you keep posting sausage wallet. Do you understand how stupid you’re making yourself look?

    You’re frothing ay the mouth over someone you don’t even know.

    God, you’re a dunce.

    Here’s where you reply again, can’t just cut your losses cam you?

    If you reply, it just means I’m in your head and I’ve won. Have at it junior, dazzle me.

    What a doofus.

  14. dmac4real - Oct 26, 2012 at 10:15 AM

    Why is there an OU vs UM argument on a ND board…..

  15. paulhargis53 - Oct 26, 2012 at 12:39 PM

    Sorry that my “opinions” don’t jibe with your and your fellow fans “facts”.

    ND has not yet faced a powerhouse team such as OU. It’s pretty simple “why” he’s going to carve them up. I’m sorry that your bias doesn’t allow you to see it.

    No matter what I give you for facts, you’re just going to tear it down, right?

    Uff. A lot of you ND fans don’t want to hear anything other than ND is great, its sickening.

    By the way, sausage wallet there, he’s the one that wanted to keep it going. At least my team is playing yours, there is no reason for him to still be posting.

    You go ahead and think Texas is worse than Michigan. The Big 10 is a powderpuff conference. They prove it every year in bowl games.
    You’ll see the athletes on Saturday night.

    Oklahoma in a blowout….it won’t be close.
    At least you guys SHOULD come back to earth then.

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