Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly’s Monday press conference focused on his team's 41-38 overtime victory over Florida State, their upcoming opponent Toledo, quarterback Jack Coan’s performance against FSU and more.
On the victory against Florida State
“It certainly was an enjoyable victory when you're on the road. After getting a chance to look at the film, Florida State has an infusion of a number of veteran players on their football team and they had them playing very well last night," Kelly said. "We started fast. We have a mantra here about four quarters of football and one of them is starting fast. As you know, we got off to a great start, defensively as well. I think six out of the first eight possessions, other than the two big plays, we had them pinned down. We really needed to finish off the first quarter better than what we did. That was really pivotal. We had three or four missed conversions offensively that we needed to execute better. If we do that, we're in a different game.
"So, again, I thought we started fast. Then I think the other takeaway would be that it's a gritty group," continued Kelly. "When you're up 38-20 on the road and you give that lead up, many teams do not get out of there with a victory and our guys hung in there. We came up with the big stop when we needed it defensively. We were able to win it for the first time I think in the history of Notre Dame since we've gone to overtime on the road. They just showed the metal and the grit necessary.
"As I said, last night, I really like this group. We got a lot to do, a lot of work to clean up. Our defense caused havoc. We had the sacks, we had the interceptions, but we gave up big plays. We're transitioning from a different mindset in the way we need to play defense and you cannot let your guard down for a moment or you're going to give up a big play. So, we've got some work to do there. Marcus Freeman will get that done and our players are committed to that end. So, all in all, we were happy with the win. We know we've got a lot of work left in us to really get better going into week two.”
On Saturday’s game against Toledo
“We're excited to be home. We've got our 24 game win streak on the line. We're playing a really good football team in Toledo. This is, in my estimation after watching some of their film, this is probably the finest MAC team that we've brought into the stadium since I've been here at Notre Dame. So, we're going to have to be prepared and we're on a short week. It was a physical game. We're really going to have to rely on getting the right preparation and rest to play our best this weekend.”
On quarterback Jack Coan’s play against Florida State
“I think what was impressive was he pushed the ball down the field. I loved his demeanor on the sideline. He’s a great communicator. It's all the things that we had surmised with a guy that's been in it before and the moment wasn't too big for him obviously. You go on the road in that kind of environment, you worry about how you're going to handle it and he did a terrific job.
On whose going to backup Michael Carmody at left tackle if Blake Fisher is out
“Tosh Baker and Joe Alt will definitely be the next two. We have confidence in both those guys that they can come in and play at a high level for us."
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