Kelly gives final debrief before Pittsburgh
Tobias Hoonhout | Friday, October 12, 2018
On Thursday, Irish head coach Brian Kelly gave some final updates to the media before Notre Dame takes on Pittsburgh on Saturday, as the Irish (6-0) are looking to go 7-0 for the first time since 2012.
Kelly gave promising news on the status of junior defensive lineman Daelin Hayes, junior corner Troy Pride Jr. and junior running back Tony Jones Jr.
“He’s looking great. His health is great,” Kelly said on Hayes. “So, yeah he’s cleared, he’s clear to practice and play.
“ … I’d say [Pride]’s OK. He’s going to probably play but we think we’ve got to use [junior cornerback] Donte [Vaughn] and him. I think he’ll see probably a couple of corners play, but he’s probably better than I thought.”
Kelly also said that graduate student offensive lineman Alex Bars had a successful knee surgery, and that sophomore defensive lineman Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa was progressing well after suffering a broken foot in the opening game against Michigan.
“It’s good,” Kelly said on Tagovailoa-Amosa. “We had an X-ray, the healing has begun. He’s getting that cloudiness over the area, so that was surgically repaired. I’d say he’s probably another month away.”
Kelly touched on the development of Hayes and junior Khalid Kareem, who both came into Notre Dame as highly-touted recruits but had to wait for their turn before making an impact. Despite their different personalities, Kelly said he was impressed with how both have matured.
“I’m proud of Khalid,” Kelly said. “You know, [he] had some rough moments that he has matured from. … I think his off-field development has really been beneficial, because it’s helped him on the field. Growing up as a young man off the field, here at Notre Dame in our community, has really helped him as a football player.
“ … So Khalid, you know, he’s kind of handled himself with adversity and progressed quickly. Daelin, he’s a young man that has definitely matured. But he’s such high energy, high-spirit guy that sometimes we just got to remind him that it’s not all going to happen today. … We have to remind him he’s making great progress. He’s a little too hard on himself at times.”
One final hurdle
With the home matchup being the final game before Notre Dame takes a bye week, Kelly said the program is looking forward to the rest and the opportunity to assess, but also didn’t diminish the matchup with the Panthers (3-3, 2-1 ACC).
“We just want to get to the bye week,” he said. “That bye week is going to give us the time to rest these guys up, and then that’s really the time that that will kind of assess where we are. But no, I think this is all-hands-on-deck this week. We’re pushing them, they’re pushing themselves. They’ve done a really good job. I’m really pleased with our guys, and they were really workmanlike and businesslike in the way they’ve handled things. No drama.
“But they know that they’ve got a break coming up after Saturday. They’ve got to play well on Saturday against a physical team in Pittsburgh, and then they know they’ve got some time off after that.”