Between talking about the concussion Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson suffered in Saturday’s 20-13 overtime win over Stanford and what a high spot in the season’s first BCS standings would mean to the Irish, coach Brian Kelly discussed a few other players who have helped Notre Dame start the year 6-0 and rise to No. 5 in the Associated Press Top 25 and USA Today coaches poll.
Here is what he had to say:
On defensive end Stephon Tuitt, who had seven tackles, shared a sack with Kapron Lewis-Moore and blocked a field goal against Stanford: “I think if you focus on Stephon particularly, obviously the bigger the stage, the great players step up. And he played as hard as we’ve seen him play all year, just physically banging in there, putting pressure, never taking a play off on obviously a field goal situation. It says a lot about his growth as a football player.
“I think that game (against Stanford) is a growth game from him on how you play this game every snap.”
On right guard Mike Golic Jr., who was called for numerous false starts against Standford: “Well, I don’t know that Mike Golic had a lot to do with those false starts. You know, there’s a lot of other things going on out there that I’m not going to get into right now.
“Mike has made progress. Mike played against a very, very good defense, and they won some, and Mike won some. The thing with Mike, he’s such a dedicated player. I mean, he comes to practice every day; he’s purposeful. He’s not going to be first-team All-American at that position, but here at Notre Dame, he doesn’t need to be. He needs to just be Mike Golic. And we’re proud of the steps that he’s made to help our offense.”
On the development of linebacker Ishaq Williams: “Yeah, you know, he’s long, and in the pass game he covers some ground for us. Believe it or not, his length really does help us in pass coverage. He also has the ability to rush the quarterback. Here’s a guy that gives us some really flexible opportunities defensively to either rush him or drop him.”
On linebacker Prince Shembo, who had four tackles and a quarterback hurry against Stanford: “He’s a relentless player. He’s got obviously an ability to get to the edge and really force some pressures. And I think if you really look at last week (when Shembo had one tackle but two quarterback hurries against Miami) where it wasn’t his kind of game, where he was in a position where he couldn’t get the same kind of pressure that he was able to get this week. I know he was very frustrated, and you could tell just in his demeanor in practice that you could tell he was going to make sure his presence was felt. That’s just the kind of kid he is. He’s a high motor and can play all day.”