1. Kelly has a lot of respect for Charlie Strong as a coach, but “more importantly” in his ability to build solid football programs.
“I think we saw that last year with Louisville. A very good Louisville team came here last year under Coach Petrino, but we know a lot of that was (Strong’s) work; his fingerprint was on that team. He’s a great program builder and I think he will do the same thing at Texas. I already see it taking shape, in particular in the recruitment of a very good, young football team.”
2. In watching the spring game, Kelly thinks the Longhorns new offensive scheme is a much better fit with Tyrone Swoopes’ skill set.
“Tyrone now is much more comfortable at the position, he can throw the ball, and in particular, I think he does a great job pushing the ball down the field. He has a strong arm, and I think the offense suits him very well. I think they’re in the kind of offense that takes advantage of his skill set.”
3. Key notes on the Longhorns defense
- Lost some talented players but returns a lot of athletes
- Big and physical, with guys who can run
- Veteran backfield
- Well coached, Vance Bedford puts the guys in the right position
- Won’t hand opponents anything, Notre Dame’s offense has to earn every play
4. The Notre Dame coaches have spent the last eight and a half months preparing the Irish for the 2015 season, and did not put much focus on Texas until recently.
“We were preparing ourselves, our football team, mentally and physically, for the season, and not just this opponent. We really didn't dial in on Texas in particular until probably the last 10 days. And that's when I start to really focus in on, you know, staying within yourself and staying focused on the task at hand and not getting outside of the things that are most important, and that is the next play.”
5. Due to the Longhorns scheme change, the only film Notre Dame has of the Texas offense is from the spring game. The Irish are preparing to face the following:
- Spread, tempo offense with skill players
- Swoopes throwing the ball
- Jerrod Heard running
6. Overall, Kelly believes his team will be more than prepared to take on Texas Saturday evening.
“I'm very confident that we've prepared our football team to play on Saturday. I think we need to, you know, like anybody else, we would like some Texas time, a little bit more focus on some of the exotic things that they do with some short yardage and special circumstances. But I feel really good.”