Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly held his weekly Sunday teleconference following his team’s 40-7 victory over Boston College.
Junior defensive tackle Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa went down against Boston College and did not return to action. According to Kelly, his availability for Saturday’s contest against Stanford will be determined later in the week.
“Nothing that is of concern. Myron has an MRI scheduled at 2:15. We're not expecting anything of great consequence, but we want to make sure. We'll have more information on him at the presser tomorrow (Monday). He's been day-to-day really. It's been that mid-foot sprain that for receivers is a tricky injury. He has felt good, but he hasn't been explosive and at that position, you've got to have some explosiveness. We'll have him back out on the field on Tuesday and see what he looks like. If he feels like he can contribute, we'll have him out there. If not, we won't."
“… We'd like to take precautionary follow-up imaging on players that are obviously key players and ones playing a lot of football. We want to make sure that we're not missing anything. We don't think we are, but we want to make sure in this instance with Myron."
Sophomore defensive tackle Jayson Ademilola did not play against Boston College after injury his ankle the week prior against Navy. According to Kelly, Ademilola should be back next week against Stanford. With Ademilola out, other linemen got an opportunity to shine.
"Jayson didn't look great in warmups. We worked him out today and our training staff was pleased with what they saw with him today. They think he can help on Saturday against Stanford. In our coordinators meeting, in talking with Clark (Lea) and Mike Elston this morning, they were very pleased both with (Ja’mion) Franklin and (Jacob) Lacey. They felt that they played very well … Some of the young guys stepped up nicely for us.”
LACEY COMING ALONG
Despite batting a shoulder injury for much of the year, freshman defensive tackle Jacob Lacey has been a key rotation player at defensive tackle for the Irish. Lacey has been especially impressive in the last two wins over Navy and Boston College.
"It starts with being assignment-correct. He's so smart as a football player. Very rarely does he make a mistake in terms of his alignment in his assignment. Obviously, he was a very talented player coming in and a lot of these guys usually are, but some of the things that they can't translate early on is the complexity of what we're doing, moving the fronts, lining up correctly, he's impeccable as it comes to all of the assignment related things that the defensive line has to do, and we had to do a lot yesterday. You could not be in the wrong set, you could not line up wrong, we had to check out of a lot of things based upon alignment and there's a there's a lot of trust with Jacob Lacey, as it relates to his position."
FALSE START WOES
Notre Dame’s offensive line was called for three more false starts in the win over Boston College, one of the many issues that has plagued the unit this season. Kelly addressed that:
“I think we just need to do a better job of being in a better emotional state and better control and better focus. They were moving the front, but everyone moves the front around. Our guys were not on their best. If you were to ask them, the would tell you that there is no room for that and they've got to be better."
NOT A GOALS-ORIENTED TEAMS
Kelly was asked about what his team was playing for now that the ultimate goal of a Playoff berth is off the table. His answer was, well, interesting.
"We're not a big goal setting team, but we did talk about them after the Michigan game. Each week we had something we needed to focus on and the first was to reestablish our identity, who we are, and our character, especially after the way we played and coached against Michigan. That was a primary focus.”
“The big picture goal, internally, was to win the month of November. We knew we had five games in November and it's unusual to have five games. Our focus was to win each game in November, all five games, and we're four-fifths of the way through it. That goal is still out there, it's tangible and one we want to achieve. We're trying to work through that each and every week with kind of a different step along the way that we wanted to get to. Each opponent has presented a challenge that we wanted to work on internally and we've been able to do that."
"The development of your football team is ongoing because you're developing 19-21 year olds. As I've said to you many times, when you talk about graduating champions, you're not talking about getting a degree and a ring, you'r talking about developing these guys for the rest of their lives. So, you're dealing with failures and how you overcome those, and you're establishing who they're going to be when they leave here as well. Those challenges that are put in front of you, you want to see them grow from them. Those challenges are part of the game, so you play it as a game and it gives you these opportunities to grow and that's what we've been focused on.”
ON KEVIN AUSTIN
Sophomore wide receiver Kevin Austin has been out all season with an unofficial suspension. Kelly has never addressed anything beyond stating that Austin was still on the team, but Sunday he updated how Austin has been doing in recent weeks.
"He's been outstanding. Our defensive coaches feel like he's the best player over there and he's been outstanding in everything that we've asked him to do, every challenge that has been put in front of him, and he's had numerous, and I repeat numerous challenges placed in front of him. He has succeeded at each one of those challenges. Good things on the horizon for him."