Highlights from the Head Coach

NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Following Notre Dame's 48-17 win over Rice, head coach Brian Kelly met with the media.

Opening comments:

"We didn't play with a lot of hesitancy and that was really what we were looking for today is play to their athletic abilities and not let thinking get involved, too involved in what they were doing today. And I know that sounds counterintuitive of what the game is with, but I wanted our guys to play fast today, don't get out there and try to think too much. Rely on their instincts and rely on their techniques and to play fast and I thought they did that. I was really proud of their performance in that respect.

It was pretty clean, too. Only two penalties on the offensive side of the ball and defensively, very clean as a team, only two penalties and an opener. Didn't turn the football over. Pretty good balance. There's things that we've got to get better at obviously. Our communication in the back end of our defense was at times a problem which resulted in some big plays."

But, you know, we had great communication. Joe Schmidt does a great job of communicating. He's an extension of Coach VanGorder on the field and it was great to see Joe. He did a great job there.

Obviously, the story of the day was Golson was electric. He kept his eyes downfield. Knew when to run, knew when to throw it, and those are things we really talked about. We didn't want to over coach him in that we were going to allow him today to get outside the pocket and be a football player, and just naturally go play the game. And I thought he did that today extraordinarily well. He came back today and I think really showed the kind of player that he can be."

On Collinsworth's injury:

"We were in a two minute drill on Thursday, and we threw a ball in the end zone and two guys went up for it and he came down awkwardly. He played the next play and it just tightened up on him. He's got a grade two ligament. MCL. So those are usually two to four weeks depending on how guys respond. So we don't expect to have him this week. There's a chance we could have him for week three, but again, he had a PRP treatment on the weekend, so we'll see what happens.

But you know, we're hopeful three weeks, but it could be Purdue; it could be bye week, so we'll definitely get him back for the Syracuse game."

On Golson's touchdown rush that was supposed to be a handoff to Bryant:

"I'd rather not tell you who went the wrong way. We're going to say that's a trick play. (Laughter)."

On the rotation of the running backs:

"Yeah, we are trying to figure that out, as well. We don't have an exact science. I wish I could be that smart. But we are really trying to figure out how to get them the carries that they all deserve, and also keep them in the flow of the game.

So we're really trying to sort that and figure that out, as well, because they are all deserving of carries. We all believe that they bring something to the game and that's what we kind of felt like that was the best way to start this game and that process that you've just outlined."

On kick and punt return today:

"It was driven by personnel and it was driven by you know, again, wanting to improve in that area. I think we had 70 something yards in punt returns, and I think we only had 100 some the entire year last year. I think we've improved there. We need to do it consistently. Cody Riggs was gassed and we had to take him out. He had not played that much football at Florida I think in a couple years. But Greg Bryant is fearless and does not know what a fair catch is (laughter). So all those people wondering why he was catching the ball, he came up with the, 'I can't hear you, my earplug is in.'

So we have got guys back there that are fearless, that will catch the football and stick their foot in the ground and get north and south, and that is absolutely crucial."

On Michigan coming to town next week:

"Well, it counts the same as the Rice game. So we've already talked about, avoid the noise. We've got a good locker room. The guys are focused on getting better. They know who they are playing. But it's not going to get them any more ready by being distracted. They have got to focus on getting better and we'll stick to our routine and our preparation and we'll let y'all get excited about that game. But our guys, they want to play and it doesn't matter who they are playing. It's a pretty big group."

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