Notre Dame quarterback Jack Coan shuts out all the noise and criticism. For him, it’s about the process and enjoying football.
If it was redemption day for Coan after he led the Irish to a 31-16 victory over USC on Saturday, he wasn’t showing it.
Coan was unflappable, and unexciting in his post-game press conference on Saturday. In other words, it was classic Coan. He let his play do the talking. Coan finished 20 for 28 passing for 189 yards with one touchdown pass.
The offense was the star of this game and Coan was in charge of it.
There will be no conversation this week about who is going to start against North Carolina on Oct. 30. It’s going to be Coan until further notice.
Even though Coan doesn’t pay attention to his detractors, it’s safe to say there won’t be any this week. At least any with credibility.
“To be honest, I don’t listen to any of the criticism,” Coan said after the win over USC. “Or anything on social media or anything like that. I just don’t hear anything that goes on. I just focus on what my teammates and my family and friends and what they say. I know they have my back. I just have fun playing the game.”
Coan has struggled with slow starts in every game except Florida State and now USC.
The Irish (6-1) might have found the key to unleashing the Coan that led Notre Dame to game-winning touchdown drives against Toledo and Virginia Tech.
The Irish started with its hurry-up offense on the first drive, and they played with tempo for most of the time when Coan was in the game.
Coan said he was comfortable playing fast early.
“I think it just gets me into a little bit of a rhythm,” Coan said. “It gets me rolling a little bit. Also, the defense sometimes has trouble getting lined up and stuff. So that helps.”
Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said he and offensive coordinator Tommy Rees worked during the bye week to figure out how to make Coan more effective from start to finish.
Kelly said that Coan is an experienced quarterback that is an accurate passer with a good arm who can make throws in tight windows.
He just needed to find a way to use him properly.
“We as coaches needed to put him in a position that he felt most comfortable,” Kelly said. “It was better that he didn’t have a structured offense that slowed him down. We put him in shotgun. I know that sounds crazy because he grew up in more of a direct snap play-action (system). We felt it wasn’t the best version (for him). When we started our self-scouting, we put together an offense that was much more tempo for Jack.”
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