Skip to main content

The Journal Gazette

Tuesday, September 26, 2017 1:40 pm

Brian Kelly likens facing Miami (Ohio) to playing Navy

CHRIS GOFF | The Journal Gazette

Notre Dame doesn't play Navy until November, but Irish coach Brian Kelly expects an early taste this week.

Miami (Ohio) visits Notre Dame Stadium on Saturday, and coach Chuck Martin's team reminds Kelly "a lot" of the Midshipmen.

Not because the RedHawks (2-2) run a triple-option offense -- they don't -- but because they like to shorten games and run clock.

Indeed, Miami's average time of possession through four games is 32 minutes, 44 seconds -- the 25th-highest total in the Football Bowl Subdivision.

Speaking of Martin, he'll be mentioned repeatedly this week because he was a Notre Dame assistant for four years. In 2012 and 2013, he was Kelly's offensive coordinator before leaving to take over the RedHawks.

At his weekly news conference Tuesday, Kelly downplayed their reunion, saying, "Chuck and I are not playing in the game."

More notes from Kelly's media session:

  • Sophomore wide receiver Chase Claypool, who had four catches for 56 yards in Notre Dame's last game, could be a "nice piece," Kelly said, but the coach couched his praise with a caveat. "It's one game," Kelly said. "He's a young player."
  • Speaking to the rotation at right tackle, Kelly again lauded Robert Hainsey's pass blocking and Tommy Kraemer's mauling in the run game. Kelly seemed to indicate they will continue to split playing time.
  • Asked about tight end Nic Weishar's blocking, Kelly replied, "Nic's been amazing. He will stick his nose in there."
  • Kelly's grade for Notre Dame's defensive line a third of the way through the season? A-minus.
  • Left guard Quenton Nelson, a team captain, is a man of few words when speaking with reporters. It was interesting, then, to hear how Kelly would describe Nelson's leadership style in the locker room. “Truth," Kelly said. "He’s very truthful. Take that any way you want."