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Brian Kelly addresses the 2 things the Irish really lacks

On Sunday, Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly addressed his deep concern about the mental and physical toughness of his team.

The Irish defeated 31-13 on the road at Boston College, but Kelly clearly has a sense of urgency.

Kelly said, “Mental and physical toughness, we just talked about it.  We’re in a stretch of games that we don’t have time to sit around and wait and say, ‘it’s okay.  Let’s come back.  We’ll be better next week.’”

“Notre Dame has been doing that for too long. We don’t have time to wait.  We need to get it correctedThe only way to get it corrected is the head coach addresses the issue we correct it, we challenge our players to make certain it doesn’t happen again.  And we just don’t have time to wait around. If they want someone that is laid back and that’s going to allow the process to take it’s form over time, then they have the wrong guy. That’s not the way I operate.”

“You can’t win championships, you can’t win close games, you can’t close out games, you can’t come from behind, all the things that eventually you have to do to win all of your games unless you have a physical and mental toughness.  We lack that.” 

1-3 (before Boston College) is unacceptable.  Enough is enough.  We don’t have time to give them the long story.  It’s gotta be the short story and they gotta get it done.

Notre Dame hosts Pitt this weekend.

Les and Dooley explain, Schiano takes blame, Kelly talks Irish

Les Miles embarrassed: "The multiplicity of personnel certainly created some of the issues. The back end of the game was an embarrassment to me. We have to reduce our personnel. That might help us."

“I don’t know that we can play any sloppier. I don’t know if we could have planned it any poorer. The series of downs in the back end of that game was embarrassing to me. I can only tell you that as it played out to me it was a first-and-goal at the two (yard line). We call two plays. We threw a pass. It was incomplete. We feel like we have an advantage in our goal-line personnel. We send in our goal-line personnel. The mistake was made right there. We should have called two plays with our goal-line personnel so we would have gotten two plays, or we should have called the run and the clock. That’s what should have been called, but that’s not what happened. What happened is we send that one in without the second play call. Goal-line personnel down on the goal line is awkward at times to get it all right because we substitute tackles, and we substitute a number of people.”

“We wanted to throw a ball out of a one-back personnel, so we busted our behind to get it substituted, get it called and then had a very difficult time getting it snapped. The good news is we get it snapped. The snap goes off the fingers. It’s a miserable feeling. Certainly I’m sick, but with the flag, the reason they have a difficult time is they have 13 guys on the field because they have substituted against our goal-line personnel, and we go back to three wides. They can’t get their guys off the field. Certainly we would’ve liked to have had our plays more organized and in the comfort of call. That’s not what happened. Now, the final play, again was one of those goalline plays where we felt like we had an advantage, and we win."

"Oh hell -- damn, it was a nice way to finish that game. They just called that team the winner. And then they call us a winner. I'm going to call it like it is: I'm going to enjoy that one as much as I hate to admit it."


Dooley explains last play: “Well, I am proud of our football team. I don’t know if I have ever had a loss like that. I guess we will get right to the last play. They changed personnel and ran a bunch of guys on the field. The rules are (the referee) should stand over the ball and give us a chance to substitute. I am going to have to look at the film and see if that was the case. It was a lot of chaos. Things happened fast and guys didn’t run off the field. The ball was snapped pretty quickly, and so we lose the game. I don’t know what else to say.” 


Greg Schiano explains 17-14 loss to Tulane: “It’s on me. I was unable to get our team ready to go, unable to get over a tough loss, I guess, to North Carolina, unable to get our team to realize how hard this game would be. So as the head coach, everything falls on me.”


Steve Sarkisian describes 32-31 win over USC: "I feel like I just played. That was a very cool football game to be a part of. We battled. We played with huge hearts."

Brian Kelly talks about Irish weakness after 31-13 win at Boston College: “Toughness. Mental and physical toughness. We have to build it. That's our weakness right now. We're going to continue to work on it. Guys are coming, but our ability to stay focused, locked in for 76 plays is really what we're getting. That has to be created on a day-to-day basis. And it can't be left to, ‘I'll get back to you later.' ”

(on Dayne Crist) “He's got to be a spread quarterback or he can't be a quarterback here – period. He's all in. He's 100 percent in, had a great week of practice and preparation. And we've really begun the process of developing him as a spread quarterback. He's (Dayne Crist) not there yet, but he's developing. He's showing signs and we're going to get better each and every week with him under those conditions.”


Quoting Bob Stoops: "That's what you want. To be criticized for winning. We're back to Oklahoma football."

Turner Gill eplains 55-7 loss at Baylor: "Obviously, not a very good job by us as a coaching staff. Missed tackles. Missed execution of where they needed to be, what they needed to do."

Les Miles animated during Monday press conference

LSU head coach Les Miles was quite animated today during his press conference.  Miles accepted responsibility and also mentioned he called the touchdown play.

Listening to Miles, it seemed that the head coach was for running Jefferson on 2nd down and immediately “clocking it” if he was stopped. 

Miles said, “We used way too much time in substitution. It was a difficult scenario to get the 2 plays called in goal line personnel.”

“As it played out to me, it was 1st & goal at the 2 yard line.  We called 2 plays.  We throw a pass it was incomplete.  We feel like we have an advantage in our goal line personnel.  We sent in our goal line personnel, the mistake was made right there.   We should have called two plays in our goal line personnel, so we would have gotten two plays.  OR (loudly emphasizing) we should have called the run and the clock, that’s what should have been called.  But that’s not happened.” 

“I don’t know if we could have played any sloppier.”

“I certainly understand the responsibility of the way we manage the back end of the game is mine.” 

 “It’s difficult to operate offensively with all the multiple personnels.  I think we have to reduce personnels some.” 

“I like this team.  I think this team will come together.  I think this team will force out some of the fat and get to the leaner meat.” 

(on the last play) “I had to go ahead and call the play because I had nobody to talk to.” 

Teryl Austin, Jeff Tedfod, Rich Rod, and Dooley explain concerns

Florida DC Teryl Austin talks about Bama offense: “When you watch Alabama, they game plan like an NFL team because they’ll attack weaknesses – perceived weaknesses – of your team. Maybe a player they think they can take advantage of. […] They do what they do well, but they may attack a certain scheme, a certain player, and that’s what you see from these guys. As a coaching staff, what we made sure we did was say, ‘OK, where are we struggling? Where are we doing maybe not as well?’ And make sure we shore that up.”


Cal head coach Jeff Tedford on “what-ifs” hangover from Arizona loss: "It was a very emotional game where it was right there for the taking and we let it get away. In a game like that you lay awake at night thinking what-ifs. We have to get away from the what-ifs."


Rich Rod’s comments from Friday morning on the Tim Brando Radio Show: “We are so young defensively on defense.  I looked out there at one point last Saturday and we had 4 true freshman out there in the secondary.”

“I thought we played on our heels early on too much (defensively).”

“More and more teams are going to challenge us to throw.”


Derek Dooley’s comments from Friday morning on the Tim Brando Radio Show: “We’re going to be thin all year.  That’s just where we are.  We’re going into this game with 65 scholarship players that are healthy.”

“We have to maintain our composure and professionalism on this trip.  There’s going to be some adversity (in Baton Rouge on Saturday).”

"They have no weakness.  They have great coaching.  They just have it all.  They have absolutely stoned everyone they’ve player. There are probably some (team) as good (on defense & special teams), but I don’t know if there’s anyone better than the way they are playing.”

“You have to match their toughness.  Nothing should ever comprise how physical you play.”


Bronco Mendenhall pumped up about freshman QB Jake Heaps: "I didn't think it was possible for a player as young as he is to not only handle what he's been handling on the field... but when you're BYU's quarterback, on the field is maybe not even half, maybe a quarter of being BYU's quarterback. How you handle the campus life, how you handle the media life, how you handle the religious life and your church, how you handle going on a date and being recognized as BYU's quarterback. If you play well, everyone loves you; if you don't, they have advice."

"I think what they saw was a young man leading this football to the best of his ability. There was not one instance where I looked out there and said 'that's a freshman.' He and I and Coach Doman have an agreement now: we've all acknowledged (that he's a freshman), now he's BYU's quarterback."


Urban Meyer relieved the Gators finally know how to practice: “This Wednesday was up-and-down because the crowd noise always throws a monkey wrench in the whole thing. Defense I thought was very good, offense just wanted to turn around and knock those speakers out. But it was a really good week of practice. I think we’re over the hump of teaching guys how to practice now. Thank God. That was a learning curve for a while.”

Joker's change, Dooley's warning, and Petrino's advice

Joker Phillips says Kentucky players ask for practice change: “It was another upbeat and positive practice. Again, we are working together even more on Wednesdays, which makes it that way. We only had a 15-minute period where we were with the scouts. A couple of our leaders asked us to do it, which I respect. We went more with ones vs. twos instead of scouts. I think that definitely helped practice, especially if they think it helped practice.”


Dooley warns team LSU fans “out to hurt us” : "I tell them that they've got to be ready for Mike (LSU's live Tiger mascot) standing there waiting for us when we run out of the visiting locker room. That's always the first shock of the opponents. Our crowds here have been phenomenal (102,455 capacity in Neyland Stadium), but they've helped us. The crowd that we're going to is going to be out to hurt us."


Bobby Petrino says Hogs need to learn from Bama game: “When you have a situation like this, you can either have an excuse for the rest of your life, or it can be the most motivating factor ever, and that’s what we’re trying to use it as, a motivating factor to come out and practice and get better this week in practice.”


Mike Locksley says he’s the “luckiest guy in the world” : "I'm the luckiest guy in the world, developing and working with young men. Adversity is fuel for you to work hard. Life lessons. I've gone through it my whole career."

"It takes time. You want to put it in the microwave and pop it out a minute later. But I've been through this at Maryland and Illinois. It takes time. I've become accustomed to that. It could start this week, but typically it takes three years.

"It's a process. We're trying to win this year, trying to go to a bowl game and we still have enough games to do it. We're fighting uphill, but that's always the goal."


Sonny Dykes talks about building a program: "That's part of growing as a program. You have to change the culture. It's the hardest thing to change. If you're worried about bad things that are going to happen, bad things are going to happen. You can't coach that way; especially offensive football.”

"There are two different ways to build a program. You can win like Alabama does, on defense. They recruit the best defensive players in the country year in and year out and say, 'We're going to win on defense and on special teams because our talent is so much better than yours. Our young players are going to be better than yours and we're going to be more explosive than you and just try to get by on offense.  If you do that and you're at Alabama that makes a lot of sense. We need to build our program differently."


Larry Porter says Memphis needs a play-maker: ''We've got to have a consistent playmaker. It's not about showing up for a game, it's about showing up every game. That's something we have to establish within our wide receiving corps.''

''When you look at the way our running backs are starting to play, if we can get at least one of (the receivers) we can rely on every game, we can make (this offense) work as coaches. When we call their number, they must be able to respond.''

''I'm done with flashes. I want consistency. They've got to understand there's a certain level of energy that comes with it as well, an energy that propels you to (a higher) level.''


USC quarterbacks coach Clay Helton talks about Matt Barkley: “The kid has incredible vision.  He's made throws throughout his career that baffle us.  As you progress as a quarterback, you start to learn that there's another guy that's going to be open in the offense." 


Dave Wannstedt talks about scheduling: “I don’t mind playing a strong schedule. My only complaint since day one is like, the entire conference, let’s all play top 25 teams. That’s fine with me or let’s not. The parity in (non-conference schedules) has always been my stance on this thing. The schedules... you’ve got to play them.”


Willie Taggart talks about bye-week plans: “This off-week’s going to test the character of our football team. I’m going to get emotionally hijacked if I come out here and see someone take a day off of practice. We’re not doing that around here. We’re going to work, and we’re going to get better.”

“We haven’t done anything yet. We haven’t done anything but get better, and like anyone else, we want to win. And we have to continue to work to get there.”

Paul Johnson: We were like 2 rabbits peeing on a bunch of cotton

Over here at FootballScoop headquarters, we were just listening to Atlanta sports radio when the show re-aired a sound bite from Paul Johnson’s radio show from Wednesday night.

Johnson, obviously disgusted with the way his team performed against NC State, said, “I knew at North Carolina, we were ready to play.  In pre-game we were knocking the snot out of each other. The other day (in pre-game against UNC) we were like 2 rabbits peeing on a bunch of cotton.” 

Georgia Tech travels to Wake Forest this weekend.  We wonder what practice was like this week at Tech following the 85 missed assignments against NC State.

Remember, you can follow us on twitter @footballscoop

Richt's warning to team, Gary Patterson's new policy, and Saban's mistake

Mark Richt warns team “it could get worse” : “We are where we are. We’re going to have to get better or it’s gonna get worse. It’s not going to stay the same. I told the players, you think it’s bad now; it could get worse.”

“We’re not gonna lose our poise, we’re not gonna lose our integrity. We don’t want to take our frustrations out on anyone, except maybe Colorado. … We just have to keep working hard and keep together. We must stay together.” 


Gary Patterson will not talk about future: "I said a little of 'In the future' last week and you can see how well it worked out for us. We're going back to the Gary Patterson philosophy of the seven-day window. We're only talking about the people we need to talk about. I tried to find a way to motivate them after an emotional game against Baylor and changed my philosophy a little bit; and it's kinda like trying to get an extra 10 minutes at the driving range when I was supposed to be doing something else. It just didn't work very well. So we're just going to worry about  Colorado State this week." 


Nick Saban on mistake of not hiring Urban Meyer when he was at Toledo: "Obviously one of the biggest mistakes I've ever made. I really kind of messed that one up. Terry really interviewed him, that's my wife.'' 


Mike Stoops says USC made everyone better: "They made everyone better. They made everyone commit to be all in or you're going to get behind. … They raised the bar quite a bit."



Dabo Swinney talks about key to Miami (FL) game: "We’ve got to just try to not give up big chunks of plays. They like to get their offense in chunks. They’ll throw it up and they got really talented wideouts that we’re going to have to do a great job with. The biggest thing is just getting pressure on the quarterback. We’ve definitely got to affect him, not let him get comfortable in the pocket. He likes to be in the pocket. We have to make him get on the run, so to speak.”



Quoting Gene Chizik: “The last 3 weeks have all been different scenarios how we’ve won.  We are a beat up football team right now.  It’s been a few weeks of physical football. I think Ted has done a great job on defense with our guys.  We are knocking balls loose.  We are making tough interceptions with the game on the line. We’re putting our money on our d-line.  There’s no question about it.  If you are really good there, it gets easier on back.” 



Houston Nutt talks about his running backs: “You gotta break glass.  Gotta run downhill.  You gotta hit it, unless you got a little Dexter McCluster in you. We’ll let him bounce around a little bit, but other than that, you gotta hit it.”


What Lane Kiffin and Derek Dooley have in common

Derek Dooley and Lane Kiffin take special teams’ preparation to the extreme. 

Dooley, who served as Nick Saban’s special teams coordinator at LSU, takes as much pride in special teams as any coach in the country.  Just listen to his press conferences.  Better yet, watch the Vols practice or watch Dooley’s sideline reaction to poor special teams execution.  It kills the guy.

Kiffin, when hired at Tennessee, went out and hired arguably the best special teams coordinator in the country, Eddie Gran, who had served as Auburn’s special teams coordinator for years under Tommy Tuberville.  When Lane took over at USC, Gran had already joined Jimbo Fisher’s staff at Florida State, so Kiffin turned to former Fresno State special teams coordinator John Baxter.

On the day of Baxter’s hiring, Kiffin said, "Hiring John Baxter is something that I thought could probably never happen, so this is a great day for USC. Having him here will be huge for our team on and off the field. He put together a 13-year run of special teams at Fresno State that were better than any in the country.”

Shortly after August practice began at USC, Kiffin said, "We hired the best guy in the country by going out to get John Baxter and his resume proves that. I can already tell a difference in the emphasis and in our players and their response. We're going to need to be good on special teams as we look at [the team] in the long run if we're going to be limited scholarship-wise with these penalties.”

The Trojans have been terrific on special teams thus far under Baxter who said yesterday, "You get what you emphasize. A special teams meeting here is not like anywhere else.  We've got a lot of music and creative energy and we jump up and down.  It's fun."

This week, Dooley returns to Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, a place where he once coached arguably the most dominant special teams unit (2003) in the last decade.  Dooley and Saban offered no lip service about playing the best players.  In fact, All-SEC wide receiver Michael Clayton and BCS Championship MVP Justin Vincent ran down on kick-off coverage just to give you an idea.

The challenge against LSU on special teams in enormous.  Dooley’s team at Tennessee, without question, doesn’t have the depth on special teams he would like due to attrition. 

Not only outmanned personnel-wise, but LSU play-maker Jai Eugene says the Tigers are feeding off the home crowd during kick-off coverage.  Eugene told the LSU student newspaper,  "The more the crowd gets into it, the more we get into it ... the more sense of urgency to run down the field and try to take somebody's head off and try to make a big play for the team. The coaching staff, the whole team knows [that] if you're on kickoff team here, it's a lot of pride."

It also put the Vols at a disadvantage when #7 is returning punts for the Tigers.  Dooley said on Monday, “If we serve one up to him (Patrick Peterson), it will be the fastest 6 points you’ve ever seen. I promise you.”

Not to say that Tennessee is going out-play LSU on special teams, but the Tennessee faithful should be happy knowing they have a head coach that will die trying.  Should be fun watching his plan.