Notre Dame Notebook: Brian Kelly Talks Victory Over Virginia Tech

Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly discussed a number of topics following his team's 32-29 victory over Virginia Tech
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Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly discussed a number of topics following his team's 32-29 victory over Virginia Tech

On whether Tyler Bucher was only in the game temporarily

“This was we got to have a running game. We’re going to run the football. We had to have a different mentality about the way we’re doing things. So, Tommy (Rees) and I talked a little bit. I told him, ‘He’s playing. Just commit yourself to the play sheet for him. He’s playing and he’s not coming out. Call the game that way.”

On who might be the quarterback going forward

“I know you guys are interested to write a story about it. I can’t in all good conscience sit here and go, ‘He’s the starter, he’s the starter. You know where we’re at. We’re stringing this together the best we can.”

On Jack Coan’s slow starts and why he's better at the end

“It’s a combination of things start to slow down a little bit. Guys get a little tired. You know he sees the game a little differently. He settles down a little bit. You still have to make those throws. You still have to be decisive. You watched what I watched. He was decisive, the ball came out of his hands, the reads were correct and it looked like it was shooting fish in the barrel with the timeliness of the ball coming out of his hand compared to where it was earlier.”

On pulling Coan for Tyler Buchner

“He did some nice things but you saw. He’s young. He’s going to be really good but you know, we’re trying to figure this out too. I’m just proud of the guys that hung in there. I wish it wasn’t this hard but right now it is. We’re battling through it.”

On Buchner’s overall play

“He did some really good things and then he did some things that are inexperienced. You don’t throw the ball into boundary versus cover eight without knowing that the corner is not squatting. There are technical things he is still not seeing. A trap corner to the field. He knew it was a trap corner. He pitched the ball out there. They should’ve picked that ball off. He’s getting there but he’s not there yet. The maturation process continues but man, is he a gamer. Tough, fast competitive, and unflappable too. He just keeps coming back. Glad he’s on our team.”

On the offensive line improving as the game progressed

“There is no doubt (it got better). (Joe) Alt helps us a lot. He makes a big difference. (Andrew) Kristofic played virtually the whole game. That size in there. They (Virginia Tech) were 285 and 286 on the left side. We got bigger. Alt is 306 and Kristofic is 305. We’re bigger and more physical. That’s where we got them.”

On getting experience for young players like Joe Alt, Mitchell Evans and Lorenzo Styles

“On the road in this environment, we were poised to get them this experience. We needed them to get it. And this is what we talked about this week. We’re reaching the halfway point. We’re going to be who we are. We have to get these guys in the game if we want to win the rest of the games. They have to feel it and be a part of it.

On the field goal by Jonathan Doerer

“My gosh, I don’t know if he’s got blood in his veins. I was trying to get the guy to stop with the laser. Finally, John says, “Coach, let’s just kick this. I was like, ‘Okay, I don’t know why I’m here. He’s done that time in and time out. The moment is not too big for him. He just loves those opportunities and he’s been really good at it. “

On running the football

“Today was like a coming out party for us. The offensive linemen in there are pretty happy. Kyren ran with an edge today. You saw him run and break through on the second touchdown. That was the beast mode for him. He had an edge about him today.

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