With the Irish set to face-off against USC, Brian Kelly went on the Dan Patrick Show this morning to discuss the rivalry. While Kelly interestingly talked about playing USC’s Fight Song during the week to get his team ready for their annual battle for the Jeweled Shillelagh (a word I’m still struggling to spell correctly on my first shot), he had an revealing give and take with Patrick about the state of his football team.
When asked point blank how good his team was, Kelly was remarkably candid.
“It’s a lot better than it was earlier in the year,” Kelly said. “We really have needed the time to figure out who we are as a football team. Offensively, defensively. Emerging new leaders and voices. It was a rough six weeks.
“We played a tough schedule, but we’ve come out of it as a better football team moving forward and I’m really excited about the second half of the season for us.”
Kelly’s candor doesn’t take the sting away from two early season losses, but it doesn’t put into perspective some of the grinding that was taking place behind the walls at The Gug throughout the season’s early weeks.
As we saw in Kelly’s very measured response after the loss to Michigan, it was clear that this team was still figuring itself out.
Here’s the complete interview with Dan Patrick: