As you might have noticed, Notre Dame lost to Northwestern yesterday. And that’s got more than a few people unhappy.
While most of the noise has come via anonymous comments and message boards, that disappointment also resides in the Gug, where Brian Kelly, his coaching staff and a blunder-filled team are all feeling the pain. With everyone watching game tape and doing their best to move forward, Kelly talked Sunday about the lingering effects of a difficult overtime loss.
“I feel terrible about the loss because obviously we’re all part of it,” Kelly said, before acknowledging the back-fire of his two-point play. “If we go and kick the extra point, who knows how the game ends, right? So that’s on me.”
Digging a little deeper into that controversial decision, Kelly was asked again about his rationale on going for two. While he acknowledged the mistake after the game, especially with the conversion failing, Kelly back-pedaled a bit when it came to his rationale.
Postgame, it seemed the struggles in the snapper-holder exchange fueled the decision. But Kelly stepped away from that being the main reason he opted to keep his offensive on the field.
“That wasn’t the first thought,” Kelly said. “I think probably more than anything else, chasing the points, that was probably the first thought, and then the kicking game. I don’t think the kicking game was the first thing that came into my mind.”
While Irish fans will likely carry this forward into the offseason, the guys actually playing the game don’t have that luxury. So Kelly talked a little bit about the plan moving forward, especially with a 7-3 Louisville team coming to town next weekend.
“We’ll go over all the things that we’ve got to do better as coaches and players, and then we’ll go back to work,” Kelly said. “The reality of it is we’re seven points away from being 9 1, and very easily can correct that to get this team to two more wins. “We feel terrible about it. It’s a game that we let get away from us. Shouldn’t have happened, but we also know that we can win our last two games.”