Notre Dame Notebook: Brian Kelly Talks Injuries, Quarterbacks, Cincinnati

News and notes from head coach Brian Kelly's game week press conference
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News and notes from head coach Brian Kelly's game week press conference.

On which quarterback plays against Cincinnati on Saturday

"The quarterback situation is such, and I think I mentioned it after the game, if Jack (Coan) is healthy, Jack would be our starter. Tyler (Buchner) felt really good yesterday at treatment, so he declared himself feeling really good, so that that's good for us. That allows us to get him back into the mix. We'll see when we get on the field tomorrow. We're not on the field today, so I really can't give you an assessment of how (Jack) is relative to throwing the football. I think tomorrow we'll make a decision on how he feels and how he looks. If he looks good, he'll be our starter and Tyler Buchner will play like we had before we went into this game. If he can't, then Drew (Pyne) is ready to go and it appears that Tyler is going to be in pretty good shape to play for us. So, the two-quarterback situation, it just depends on what two from that standpoint."

On offensive tackle Michael Carmody’s status

"The offensive line is what it is. We're hoping to get (Michael) Carmody back. At Sunday check-in, he felt like he was about 95%. So, if we get him closer to 100% through the week, that makes us a better football team. So, again, I think that you're going to see the rotation with (Andrew) Kristofic in the guard position. I think you're going to see, hopefully now with Carmody and (Joe) Alt, you'll see four tackles playing. That's what have on the offensive line. Those guys will continue to work together and continue to work to get better."

On playing Cincinnati

"I think I've got games scheduled with Central Michigan as well coming up. Just wanted to give those schools an opportunity, if there was an opening on our schedule to play Notre Dame. Usually, those schools are wanting to do that. When Jack (Swarbrick) and myself and Ron Powlus sit down to talk about openings, I just thought it would be, for me, an opportunity to give those schools that gave me an opportunity, a chance to play Notre Dame."

On playing against Mike Denbrock, who was an assistant at Notre Dame.

"I think he's done an incredible job at Cincinnati. He has maintained a high level of offense at Cincinnati. If you look at where they are, Mike has been part of that ascent. Certainly, they played really good defense and Marcus Freeman has been obviously allotted for that but Mike Denbrock has done an incredible job on the offensive side of the ball, as well. Maintaining that over a longer period of time, I've got a ton of respect for Mike. We're great friends and we stay in constant contact, but we're great competitors, too. He wants to beat us and I want to beat him and he wouldn't want it any other way."

On defensive lineman Jayson Ademilola

"He's playing at a high level. There's no doubt about that. He is extremely active. I think the one thing that you probably noticed more than anything else is his, and I want to use the right word, but his ability to just play with such a high motor. He is running to the football. There is no play-off for him and that kind of play, for a guy that plays inside, it's unmistakable. You see it. Those big fellas running around and chasing down plays, when they arrive to the ball carrier, they make an impact and it is felt. So, you're right to point out his play, but I think what's been even more impressive is the incredible extra effort that he's bringing to each and every snap."

On the defensive line play

"We knew what we had with Howard Cross and he was very difficult to block on Saturday. He was a guy that they had to double team him all day, and that freed up Jacob Lacey. He was difficult to block and you're playing without arguably one of your best inside guys in Kurt Hinish. I just think that the depth there, Rylie Mills was outstanding, Justin Ademilola was really, really good, Alex Ehrensberger got some playing time. There's a lot of depth there and they play smart, they play to their traits and Mike Elston does a really good job of keeping those guys ready to play. I'll give you an example, Alex would be down with us on the scout team for maybe 15 to 20 plays and then there'd be a runner coming down to get him because he's got to get work on some pass rush or some third down. It's a really good system that's in there that Mike is keeping those guys ready.”

On the incident with Kyle Hamilton on the punt

"Yeah, we had it pretty clear. When two guys take a run at somebody, I guess that's not targeting somebody. But if you try to stop somebody from going in the end zone, that's targeting. We just don't have it right yet. Your eyes should tell you what's going on in the game, but sometimes we hide behind the rulebook. It just wasn't officiated in the manner that I thought it should have been. So, they thought that because I went three feet out on the field, that I should get a flag for them not officiating it correctly."

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