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Tuesdays with BK: Bring on BC

Nov 6, 2012, 11:28 PM EDT

Brian Kelly podium

It’s officially uncharted territory for Notre Dame. For much of the past month, the Irish have been compared to the 2002 squad, Tyrone Willingham’s first team in South Bend that won thanks to a relentless defense and an opportunistic offense.

For three quarters last Saturday, it appeared those comparisons were all too familiar. Facing a double-digit underdog, it appeared the clock was about to hit midnight on the Irish’s Cinderella season, with the No. 4 team in the country read to fall to a mediocre Pitt team.

But this wasn’t your standard Notre Dame team. With their undefeated season on the line, the Irish found a way to battle back in the fourth quarter from a 20-6 deficit to send the game to overtime. Then the Irish found a way to overcome a goal line fumble by Cierre Wood to win the football game, with an assist to a missed Pitt field goal. It was the type of fortune (and a little bit of luck) that a 9-0 team creates for itself, filled with the self-belief that comes with a lot of work.

“I told the football team that they had the heart of a champion in the way that they battled through triple overtime,” Brian Kelly said Tuesday afternoon. “But now that we understand that we will fight in battle, we’ve got to have the head of a champion, too. The head of a champion understand that each and every week you’re going to get the opposition’s very best. We have to be able to understand that when we play the game on Saturday. As I mentioned, I like the way we prepared all last week. We need to play better.”

With the Irish set to play a woeful Boston College team with a head coach that seems like a dead man walking, the same trappings will face the Irish in a hostile evening environment. But with a chance to get to 10-0 staring at Notre Dame, this team has likely learned another valuable lesson without being saddled with a loss.

Kelly spent over 30 minutes with the media answering questions. While the entire video is below, here are a few segments I found interesting.


We’ve focused a lot on the freshmen that have contributed valuable minutes during the 2012 season. Kelly gave a quick update on some of the rookies who haven’t seen the field yet, praising a small handful of players.

“I would say guys that really catch my eye, C.J. Prosise. He’s a young man that is fun to watch,” Kelly said. “Gunner Kiel is whipping the ball around there. Big, physical kid on scout team. Really like watching him play. Jarron Jones is doing a great job on our scout team. Hard to block, big, long, physical kid. I would say those kids jump out at me right now. Will Mahone is doing a very good job for us as well. I’m sure I’m missing some of those guys, but those guys have jumped out at me.”

Prosise is a really intriguing athlete. He’s a guy that’s big and physical enough to be an emergency outside linebacker, but also has sprinter speed. With Zeke Motta the only member of the secondary departing, it’s going to be might competitive along the backend of the Irish defense the next few seasons.


Once again, the Irish struggled in the red zone against Pitt, with two end zone turnovers nearly costing Notre Dame the game. When asked about the difficulties of playing inside the 20, Kelly’s answer all but targeted the decision-making skills of his young quarterback.

“You have to be more accurate; you have to have precision,” Kelly said. “It’s not a word that’s thrown around very easily in our room right now. Precision is not what we have yet. You have to be so precise. I’ve had quarterbacks that were precise, could read things quickly, and then it was easy down there. It was just, you know, shooting fish in a barrel. We’re not there yet. Getting to that precision in that area is the progress that we have to make.”

To that point, Kelly was asked about what things will be like when this offense actually gets to where he wants it to be. With a fleet of strong running options still likely around next season, and a depth chart at tight end and wide receiver that should only thrive, Kelly was pretty candid about what the engine of the offense will be.

“It’ll be driven by the quarterback, by his consistent play, by his decision making, by his athleticism,” Kelly said. “Certainly if you take the last quarter in overtime, I think Everett contributed 75 percent of our offense. So that quarterback will be the one that drives it; he’ll have athleticism; he’ll have the ability to throw the football.”

Consider that a large vote for Golson and his future. Interestingly enough, Gunner Kiel possesses all of those traits as well. But for those worried that the offense was thrown too much on the back of the quarterback down the stretch, that 75% ratio didn’t seem like a number that Kelly feared.


Lastly, the offensive line has been playing better football of late, running the ball effectively while protecting Golson better. Kelly was asked about his starting left tackle, and what makes Zack Martin, a guy that’s locked down the position since Kelly came to campus, and what makes him so good.

“One word: Consistency. He’s lapping the field. He’s that good on a consistent basis,” Kelly said. “I think Coach Hiestand is grading him out in the 90s where guys are grading in the 60s and 70s. He’s just a consistent player for us at a high level, and has been that way all year.”


  1. ndfanwabashman - Nov 6, 2012 at 11:38 PM

    Regarding the red zone offense, I’ve been surprised with the lack of targets for Troy Niklas. Really thought he would be more of a focus, posting up in the back of the end zone. Luckily we have some more years for him to grow in this offense.

    As a whole, this team will be scary good in the years to come.

    • dickasman - Nov 6, 2012 at 11:58 PM

      You have to have a QB that can get him the ball…unfortunately that plays into our QB’s weakness,identifying, reading the defense, and making progressions. But he can run the ball and get out on the edges which is 1000x better than Rees in the end zone. Having said that, I am all for “jump ball” plays which I am shocked bk has not yet employed with Niklas, eifert and/or Daniel smith, even. Can you call bk and ask him what’s up w that?

      • alsatiannd - Nov 7, 2012 at 8:23 AM

        You want jump balls? Imagine in two years when a 6′-11″ Robbinson is out there flagging em down for ND.

    • 9irish - Nov 7, 2012 at 9:59 AM

      Didn’t see him wide open down the middle in the 1st Qtr. That’s okay, Golson is still learning to see the whole field instantly. But, man, Niklas was out there.

  2. dermmite - Nov 7, 2012 at 12:13 AM

    I’m thinkin if Obama wins we loose the National Championship. Look it up! Every time a republican wins we win a champiuonship. Go Miit!

    • irishdog80 - Nov 7, 2012 at 9:35 AM

      Not a fan of political comments on sports boards. Nevertheless, Carter was the president in 1977.

      Go Irish! Beat Eagles!

    • brianmuskus - Nov 8, 2012 at 7:53 AM

      In 1966, LBJ ( a Democrat) was the President – – we won the National Championship – – I was in my ND Junior year.

  3. dermmite - Nov 7, 2012 at 12:19 AM

    I mean “almost win a championship”

  4. dermmite - Nov 7, 2012 at 12:25 AM

    I “mean sometimes we win and sometimes we loose”

    • dillonbigred - Nov 7, 2012 at 1:00 AM


    • yogihilt - Nov 7, 2012 at 6:56 AM

      Glad you cleared that up!

    • alsatiannd - Nov 7, 2012 at 8:30 AM

      Dermmite, you are the John Cage of fan forums. Bravo Maestro!

  5. mtflsmitty - Nov 7, 2012 at 12:32 AM

    (Note to EG: I know you and all the guys read KA’s articles and our comments seeking additional inspiration and ideas for the offense. But please disregard the following)

    I was really amazed at the way EG threw the team on his back and willed the team to victory last week. I for one believe that had BK given him a chance against Michigan, he would have rebounded and done the same thing. He’s really come a long way and one can see why the kid has always been a winner on turf and the hard boards.

    But, if Gunner Keil has half the intellect as he has a pin-point accurate cannon arm, we may not see EG start a single game after we win our ’12/’13 Bowl game. I can’t imagine GK sitting for two years. Maybe they split time. But as EG separates himself from Tommy, he approaches Gunner all the more quickly.

  6. dermmite - Nov 7, 2012 at 12:38 AM

    Dude “wtf”” I’m drunk (incase some kids are readong this post at 12:36, because otherwise I’d tell you I’m fucked up and cant understand shit your message says) what are you saying!

    • jpwills19 - Nov 7, 2012 at 1:01 AM

      Here’s a thought. When you’re hammered, just read and don’t post.

    • drdannddad - Nov 7, 2012 at 8:18 AM


      • NotreDan - Nov 7, 2012 at 8:45 AM

        Have some cheese with your whine

      • ibleedirish - Nov 7, 2012 at 9:22 AM

        MOM!!!!! DAD!!! dermmite won’t share his toys and he said a bad word!!!

    • alsatiannd - Nov 7, 2012 at 9:21 AM

      Apparently the difference between avant garde and embarrassing is 3 shots in 15 minutes.

    • 1notredamefan - Nov 7, 2012 at 5:34 PM

      lol… now you feel me…

  7. 1historian - Nov 7, 2012 at 6:08 AM

    I’ve been seeing the occasional post about how lucky this team is, and then how good this team is. IMO they are both. Case in point is the refs’ not noticing we had 2 players on the field with the same jersey numbers at a critical juncture in the Pitt game, and then our finally winning in the 3rd OT. I don’t see this team as NC material, but there is no question that Notre Dame is BACK.

    • tsombanj - Nov 7, 2012 at 8:27 AM

      Thanks for your post. It reminds me of wondering why ND doubles up numbers when there are available numbers. Or at least use double numbers with walk ons who rarely if ever see the field.

    • 1notredamefan - Nov 7, 2012 at 5:38 PM

      I see your point and can’t really disagree, but some people….inc. me think and see the same thing as to what happens on the field when the cards are on the table…. I’d say whoever we play in a Bowl game as long as we can keep it close through 3 quarters…. We could be $$$

  8. yaketyyacc - Nov 7, 2012 at 7:21 AM

    let’s see.BC lost to Wake Forest, who lost to Raleigh South Highschool. Spaziani is fighting for his coaching career. Realy tough to get excited and intense about this game, right? Dead Wrong! A game like this is where you put the pressure and determination to win on yourself.
    the Notre Dame offense has to put up 50 points, with Golson passing to receivers he hasn’t been able to “see” in prior games. The offensive line has to be more determined in holding blocks. The runnning backs have to move even more stealthely and not go down at the first attempted tackle, to gain that extra “inch” without surrendering the ball, to learn to turn a five yard gain into a touchdown.
    the defense’s goal: not one first down and no points scored.
    Then, MAYBE, you “losers” “quiters” and “giver uppers” can be worthy to play the GREAT USC!
    The IRISH are coming!

    • joeschulz - Nov 7, 2012 at 9:59 AM

      The great USC, South Carolina, isn’t on the ND schedule. If you are talking about the “other” USC, they already have 3 losses and, playing virtually without a defense, will allow Golson to improve his season statistics.

      • ndirish10 - Nov 7, 2012 at 11:47 AM

        sc will more than likely have 4 Ls before playing ND. Here is what I see happening: If sc loses to UCLA, they will be demoralized because of the 4 Ls, this is a team who was projected at the beginning of the season to play against Alabama in the NC with (at the time) the Heisman front-runner at the helm. They won’t even play for pride. IF they win they will be emotionally drained to follow up with a win v our Irish and their vaunted D, elusive EG, stout RBs and great TE. Additionally, sc can’t tackle. By the way, UCLA destroyed Arizona (66-10) who defeated sc (39-36). The sc v UCLA game will be at the Rose Bowl, hopefully UCLA will bring out their LA Nights uniform (v Arizona) for this game, pretty nice color scheme.

      • 1historian - Nov 7, 2012 at 11:06 PM

        Don’t even THINK like that, much less talk.

        How many out there remember the SC game in 1964? I do. USC will be totally ready for us when we get to LA, Barkley will want to put a hurt on us, all the stars and the wannabes will be on the sidelines – if there is anything USC would like more than ending our unbeaten season I sure don’t know what it is, and I don’t think anyone out there does either.

        Golson is getting better with every game, BK’s decision to bring Rees in in relief has worked so far, we’re 9-0.

        My brother-in-law and I have bet $20 on the BC-ND game for years. He won’t bet this week.

  9. ctfivula - Nov 7, 2012 at 9:36 AM

    Headed up to Boston this weekend. How’s the atmosphere at Alumni Stadium? I’ve seen the Irish in Happy Valley and Ann Arbor. I’m guessing it will be a lot less frenzied so to speak. Anyone ever been there?

    • 9irish - Nov 7, 2012 at 10:05 AM

      I know that they travel well to South Bend, to my chagrin. It will be a madhouse….this is their season-maker. The Irish need to get off to a fast start…stop fiddle-farting around.

      • 1historian - Nov 7, 2012 at 11:10 PM

        I heard a story from the Weis era – BC was entertaining ND and before the game the BC coach asked “How many of you were recruited by Notre Dame?”

        Not a hand went up.

        BC 17, ND 0.

        Every team left is going to give it their all and MORE.

      • 9irish - Nov 8, 2012 at 12:56 AM

        you bet they will. Just like Navy, alot of them are attracted to go there because they can play Notre Dame (well, the Naval Academy is a little more complicated than THAT).

        But I am always wary of them.

  10. dudeacow - Nov 7, 2012 at 10:02 AM

    We’re going to cream BC because of one reason: it’s away from home. ND seems to have a “if it’s not ND stadium then you’re going to win field advantage.” Only one more home game!

    I finally jumped on the ND bandwagon after the OU game. Then ND almost lost to Pitt. To save ND and fans everywhere from having to deal with ND losing, I am officially off the bandwagon.

    • ndirish10 - Nov 7, 2012 at 11:50 AM

      Thank you!!! LOL!!!

      • dudeacow - Nov 7, 2012 at 12:13 PM

        I did the math, and away from home we beat the opponent by an average of 28 points, but at home we beat them by only 4.6 points on average.

      • ndirish10 - Nov 7, 2012 at 12:34 PM

        Let’s blame it on the no jumbo-tron and turf thing. HAHA!! GO IRISH!!! BEAT THOSE eagles!!! ONWARD TO VICTORY!!!

    • 1historian - Nov 7, 2012 at 11:11 PM

      Your sacrifice is duly noted and appreciated.

  11. ndirish10 - Nov 7, 2012 at 11:54 AM


    Where are you? What do you think, trap game? Just kidding. LOL!!!

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