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Kelly reflects on Pitt, looks ahead to Georgia Tech

| Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Notre Dame head football coach Brian Kelly spoke to the media on a Zoom call on Monday after his team’s 45-3 victory over Pitt. Kelly and his team are looking forward to another road game next weekend when they meet Georgia Tech at Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta. 

Kelly shared his immediate thoughts following the victory in Pittsburgh. 

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport
Irish junior placekicker Jonathan Doerer kicks a field goal during Notre Dame’s 45-3 victory over Pitt on Saturday at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.

“Certainly coming off an improved performance, we want to build on that against a Georgia Tech team going on the road for a second week in a row,” Kelly said. “We certainly learned about the procedures necessary to have an effective road game during this pandemic, so we feel a lot more comfortable certainly being able to take our team on the road after going through it last week at Pittsburgh.”

Last week was the first time the Irish have hit the road this season, as their first scheduled away game against Wake Forest was postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak within the locker room.

Now it seems the Irish are getting into the groove of a season, even if it is a season different than any other. The Irish are looking to keep the ball rolling following one of their most convincing wins of the year against Pitt. Kelly looked ahead to the team’s next competition at Georgia Tech.

“[Georgia Tech head coach Geoff] Collins has done a great job of transforming a triple-option team into a pro-style offense in a very short period of time,” he said. “He’s got some of the bigger offensive linemen that we’ve seen. And we’ve thought we had big offensive linemen. But these are so different than what Georgia Tech obviously has had in their program. Now he’s got some transfers from the SEC, some big physical offensive linemen, he’s got a young freshman who is going to be an incredible talent at tackle. So he’s recruited very, very well and making this transition to a pro-style offense. It should be a great football game and one that we need to continue to ascend and play at the level that we played at last week against Pittsburgh.” 

One question that Kelly may not have been expecting to field after his first resounding win was one he has been being asked all year, about his wide receiving corps. 

“I’m not here to make apologies, there are no excuses — you gotta be ready to play with what you have and the fact of the matter is no one really cares, so we weren’t going to sit up here and complain about what our situation was, we were gonna deal with the situation that was at hand,” he said. “A lot of them were because of injuries and not having the continuity, but you know everybody has problems and you deal with it and you work through it. We’re gaining some continuity and I said it many times — I believed in this group when we got continuity within the offensive structure and particularly the passing game, it would look better and it would get better and Ian would feel a lot more confident getting the ball out on time. We’re getting there and we’re getting better. We have another level that we need to get to and we hope to continue to work on that in practice so when we get to Georgia Tech this weekend we see another level that we get to.” 

Kelly was also asked about the progression of sophomore punter Jay Bramblett, who played quarterback at Hill Crest high school. 

“There were times last year that he did too much because he wasn’t used to not being fully engaged in a practice setting, he was used to being a starting quarterback,” he said. “There were clearly some times where he punted his leg out and coming into a Saturday he was tired. I just think the maturation, the understanding of how to prepare himself is being to show itself.”

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About Jimmy Ward

Jimmy is a senior at Holy Cross College, where he studies English and sports management. He is originally from Westfield, Indiana. Currently, Jimmy serves as an associate sports editor at The Observer. You can find him at @jimmyyward on Twitter.

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