Brian Kelly: I needed all 20 years to be the HC at Notre Dame

During Friday’s Irish kick-off luncheon, Brian Kelly said he is glad to have coached 20 years before coming to Notre Dame.  Kelly also talked about the importance of “defending our home.”

Kelly stated, “I came prepared, but I can tell you that I needed all 20 years of my experience to be the head coach of Notre Dame.  It’s a fish bowl.  You’re under a great deal of scrutiny, but our players are as well. That’s why we’ve really identified with each other.”

When asked about his goals for this season, Kelly responded, “Let’s thing about this for a second.  How about ‘Win the all.’  (Applause)  Any other answer would not suffice anyways.  I think we go into each year with some specific goals relative to offense, defense, and special teams.  The big thing we talked about is ‘defend our home.’  Defend Notre Dame.  Win our home games.  Let’s start there.”

Notre Dame hosts Purdue on Saturday at 3:30 EST.  You can see the entire Week 1 TV Schedule right here.

Friday Coaches Quick Hits

Some interesting quotes from around the country:


Former LSU athletic director Skip Bertman admits Tigers were close to hiring Butch Davis: "Nick (Saban) had told me before Christmas he was leaving. And I had started looking before that. So I called Butch Davis, spoke to him myself not long before Christmas. He had just been fired by the Browns. I knew him personally. I remember finally reaching him at his home. He said, 'I'd love to coach LSU, but I promised my wife I wouldn't take a job for at least a year.'"

"It was too bad. I would've taken Butch in a heartbeat."


Interesting quote from Colorado State head coach Steve Fairchild: "What I'd like to think is when I come to work every day, my job's on the line, and I've got to work accordingly. I'd like to think the person down the hall is doing the same thing; he's working like his job's on the line, like we've got to get football to succeed.”

"When you get that type of culture, you've got a chance. Without it, you have no chance."


Gary Patterson on stopping the Rogders brothers at Oregon State: “Number one we’ve had a lot of time to do.  One of the ways is your offense stays on the field.  We have to play great gap control defense and be able to run the ball.”


Quoting Ralph Friedgen: "Probably the biggest complaint or criticism of me [in the past] is that I push them too hard. I only know one way. I have done it that way for 40 years now."


Kyle Whittingham talks about calling back-to-back ‘Freeze the Kicker’ timeouts:  “It was might fault.  Worked the first time, probably shouldn’t have called it the second time.”


Quoting Navy head coach Ken Niumatololo:  “I think this year we’ve gotten some recognized that we haven’t gotten in the past.  Hopefully, we can handle it.  Hopefully, it doesn’t change who we are and our identity.”

“The administration has been very supportive. Our AD has been very supportive. The continuity on our staff, a lot of us have been together, so we know what kind of kid will survive in this environment.”


Brian Kelly on whether he would watch football on Thursday night: “It's either that or The Food Channel.”

Thursday night post-game quotes

Some interesting quotes following the Thursday night games:


Quoting Lane Kiffin (USC defeated Hawaii 49-36): "It seems like we gave up 1,000 yards. I know we won and all that, but we can't play like this."

(on hearing the night before the game that Hawaii would be using “The Pistol”) "So we spent all morning changing things and preparing for it. I guess that shows we should never watch the news, because the preparation didn't do any good."


Quoting Steve Spurrier (41-13 win over Southern Miss): “I do like the call the play at the line of scrimmage stuff. I don't think either team huddled all night. When has that last happened at Williams-Brice Stadium. Y'all may have seen a first. I don't think either team huddled out on the field. I sort of like that. It gives you extra time. As long as you have your signals down and code words, it works pretty well. It's a good way to go because it gives you time. The games may be four hours long, but it worked out time wise very well.”

“Our guys are in shape. Our strength coach Craig Fitzgerald got a game ball. Our guys are in excellent condition and played fast and so forth.”


Quoting Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads (27-10 win of NIU): “We are very fortunate to come out with a victory to start the season. We had too many foolish penalties and we did not tackle to the standards of an Iowa State football team, but we are thrilled to come out of this game with a victory over a very well coached team that played its tail off for 60 minutes." 


Quoting Tulane head coach Bob Toledo (27-21 win over SLU): “Last night I talked about `no penalties, no turn-overs, and work on field position' and those are the things that got back and hit us. So maybe I shouldn't mention those things in the future. Anyway, those are the things that we've got to clean up. We are 1-0, it's been since 2002 since we've been 1-0.” 


Quoting Minnesota head coach Tim Brewster (24-17 win over MTSU): “I loved their style of play. We held the ball for almost 46 minutes, we ran the football just the way we want to run the football, didn't turn the ball over and had very minimal penalties. It was a good performance by our football team."


Quoting Rick Stockstill (24-17 loss to Minnesota): The biggest difference in the game was we could not tackle consistently.


Quoting Larry Fedora (41-13 loss to South Carolina): “They obviously were the better team tonight, they made the plays that needed to be made and we didn't make very many plays in all three phases of the game. We were down in the red zone six times offensively and we went 2-for-6 down there and that's just not good enough to win ball games.”


Quoting Northern Illinois head coach Jerry Kill (27-10 loss to Iowa State): "I thought we were shell-shocked in the first half," Kill said. "Defensively, we were scrambling and overall we played like a nervous football team. They had us on our heels and had us thinking. In the second half, we settled down and played better. We bounced around and played with a sense of urgency. I think we know we've got to come out of the gate quicker."

"We didn't handle sudden change or adversity very well, we have to get better at that.”

Sarkisian explains Huskies style of practice

Steve Sarkisian described the Huskies’ practice style during an interview with John and Hans on 1280 The Zone (Utah).

Sarkisian said, “It’s pretty intense.  I think the first thing we pride ourselves on is the tempo and urgency that we practice with. There is quite a bit of energy on the practice field.  We listen to music all day and everyday on the practice field. I like it upbeat.  I like it energetic and it is very intense.” 

“We’ve got intense coaches.  Our players get after it.  We do not practice very long. We make it a point to be on and off the field everyday in 2 hours at a maximum, but we do have a lot of fun.  I want to keep the guys interested and going, without beating them down and wore out by the time game time rolls around.”

“I try to think like our kids and what is going to keep them motivated, keep them entertained, keep ‘em going, wanting more.   The first thing I despised as a player is when you are out there 3 or 3 ½ hours.  My feet hurt, my back got sore, I was bored.  That’s not what I want.”

(on returning to his alma mater) “I don’t think I can say this is just any other game.  Obviously there is some meaning to it. I’ll reminisce a little bit on Friday when we get into town.” 

Washington vs. BYU kicks-off at 7 pm EST on Saturday. 

Lane Kiffin: This is the real me

Lane Kiffin coaches his first game as the USC head coach tonight at Hawaii. 

In an interview with ESPN’s Arash Markazi, Kiffin explained, “This is the real me. If you study me overtime, outside of my one year at Tennessee, this is how I’ve been. At Oakland you didn’t hear me say the things I did at Tennessee. When I was an assistant here [at USC] you didn’t hear me say the things I did at Tennessee. This is me. Do I tell people what they want to hear? No. But am I attacking other people to enhance our program and get our name out there? No because you don’t need to do that here. This is the best way to describe myself. I don’t change what I do. I’ve always prided ourselves on working extremely hard and putting in long hours in recruiting and football. So I don’t need motivation. I don’t need to say, ‘Well, this guy wrote this about me’ or ‘This person said this about me,’ to motivate me to all of a sudden work.”

(on if winning big will change his perception) “I don’t know. I can’t change it. Whatever I do there’s going to be people that are going to try and twist it and find a way to make it negative no matter what it is. I wore sunglasses on an 85-degree day in Southern California at Pac-10 Media Day and that meant that I was arrogant and hiding things. If anyone else wears them are they getting that? That’s the daily stuff I get.”

Kick-off tonight is set for 11 pm EST on ESPN. 

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