Kelly previews Stanford


For the final Tuesday of the regular season, Brian Kelly hosted his weekly opponent preview press conference. And it’s clear that the Irish head coach understands the challenge that No. 8 Stanford presents.

The Irish have played some good teams this season. But Kelly made it clear that he thinks Stanford is the best one he’ll face this season, praising David Shaw’s team to open his remarks.

“We play our fourth Top‑25 team this weekend and our most difficult competition in that Stanford is a veteran football team, well‑coached, plays physical on both sides of the ball,” Kelly said. “I think more importantly, you know, plays with a confidence and a swagger that is apparent when you win as many football games as they have over the past half a dozen years.”

Of course, with two losses, the Cardinal aren’t perfect. They lost to a USC team the Irish beat and a Utah team that’s gone a staggering 1-7 in conference play.

Kelly talked about the similarities between the two teams, pointing out that the Irish also fell to (at least) two teams that on paper seem surprising.

“I think you can make that case for us, as well,” Kelly said. “I think sometimes, it’s not evident in terms of tactically, but simply sometimes just not making enough plays.

“You watch them on film and it’s just a play here or there.  Stanford has won a lot of close games.  That game, there wasn’t anything there that you would watch in Utah and say, well, they can’t do this or they didn’t do that.  I just think that they didn’t make enough plays, didn’t get a couple crucial plays to go their way that had gone in some other games.”

A year after the Irish won a game where every yard was fought for, Kelly talked about the similarities between the two programs, who are fighting for some very valuable real estate. 

“Both teams want to be the smartest, toughest football teams in the country,” Kelly said. “Stanford right now is ranked eighth in the country. We are ranked 25th. We get a chance to decide it on the football field. Last year we were able to get Stanford. Now we’ve got a chance to settle it again on Saturday. It’s a great rivalry.” 

You can watch all 35 minutes of the press conference below.

Even with heavy rain in forecast, kickoff stays in primetime

Post & Courier via Twitter
Post & Courier (via Twitter)

With rain falling and the forecast expecting much more, Notre Dame and Clemson are kicking off in primetime anyway.

College GameDay was on campus this morning, showcasing the soggy conditions and the mud-covered campus. And while some wondered whether or not the kickoff would move up to earlier in the day to take advantage of a slight lull in the conditions, kickoff is remaining at 8:22 p.m.

“We’ve been in constant communication with state and local law enforcement and have monitored weather throughout the week and today,” director of athletics Dan Radakovich said in a statement Friday night. “I’ve spoken with campus leaders, State Highway Patrol, and Governor Nikki Haley, and feel confident we can play the game as scheduled. We ask our fans to be conscientious arriving and departing from our campus as we will have some limitations due to this ongoing weather event.”

Ball security will be key this evening, and during an interview with Tom Rinaldi this morning Kelly mentioned the punting and kick game as concerns in these conditions. The Irish came to Clemson prepared for miserable conditions and if the forecast holds, they’ll get just that.

Irish get commitment from 2017 TE Cole Kmet

Cole Kmet

Notre Dame’s tight end recruiting keeps rolling. The Irish received a commitment from Illinois tight end Cole Kmet, who adds a third piece to Notre Dame’s 2017 recruiting class.

Kmet is a 6-foot-4, 230-pounder, joining fellow blue-chipper 2017 tight end Brock Wright in next year’s recruiting class (they won’t sign until February 2017). He had early offers from plenty of the top programs around the country, but picked Notre Dame over finalist Ohio State, a nice recruiting victory for Scott Booker and Brian Kelly.

Kmet talked about the decision with Irish 247 who broke the news:

“I think it was just a gut feeling knowing it was Notre Dame,” Kmet to Irish 247. “I didn’t want to pass on playing for that program and attending that university. It’s always been the school I wanted an offer from and Ohio State made it really close, but I just couldn’t pass on Notre Dame.”