Blue and Gold Illustrated

December 2019

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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Page 28 of 47 DECEMBER 2019 29 NOTRE DAME HEAD COACH BRIAN KELLY ... On winning at Stanford for the first time: "Maybe ear- lier when I was here with teams, maybe we didn't have enough firepower to win some of those games. But the last couple — 2015 in particular — they kicked the field goal late, and we felt like our team should have won those games or were very capable of winning those games. "It leaves kind of a bitter taste and so now we can move on and just say, all right, just prepare your football team and when you come here you can win football games." On defensive coordinator Clark Lea's in-game adjust- ments: "What he really does well is adapt in-game to situ- ations. There's a lot of good teaching that goes on, really good communication. That is one of his strengths. "As I listen to the communication, I think it's clear and concise and can be replicated back to the young men." On if senior quarterback Ian Book is calmer than he was last season: "He's a different person now. He was re- ally in a great place. He found a stillness to him that he's never had before. And he plays the game differently now. "His calmness is really about his confidence now and what he can do. I thought the big play was the one out of the end zone where he finds Braden Lenzy. That's a big turning point in the game. And they dropped eight, but he showed patience in the pocket. "We wouldn't have seen that earlier in the year. But I think it just goes to his mindset, his stillness that he has found, and the way he plays the game now. It's been re- ally fun to watch his growth throughout the year." On if freshman defensive end Isaiah Foskey had flashed on special teams in practice: "We weren't using him at all. But if we're going to use him up in the fourth game, we were going to use him everywhere we could. We felt like there were some areas in their special teams. Their punter is a new punter and his times [in getting the ball off] were, we felt, a little off that we could get there. "We actually had another one where we went right past the punter and could have had another one. But [Foskey is] so long and we felt like we could get one with him in, and that's why we had him on punt." NOTRE DAME SENIOR DEFENSIVE END ADETOKUNBO OGUNDEJI … On their ability to shut Stanford down in the last 40 minutes of the game: "They made some plays, made some throws down the field on us in the first half. And then we had to adjust in the game, during the halftime and make some adjustments. "We went out there, we understood the game plan, saw our mistakes, and then went out there and played." On if they were able to wear down an inexperienced Stanford offensive line: "Yeah, absolutely. We knew they had some freshmen in there and they had some injury is- sues like us, but we knew we could take advantage of it. "We got some senior guys who stepped up and some younger guys who stepped up. … We knew we had to step up and make some big plays." On how the blocked punt energized the team: "It was definitely a game changer. Special teams, we just talked about it, special teams was a big thing for us this whole game. "Foskey played a great game. John Shannon was in- credible. All those guys were just balling for us, so special teams definitely got a spark for us in that first half." NOTRE DAME JUNIOR TIGHT END COLE KMET ... On the offense gaining its footing after a slow start: "I feel whenever we play Stanford, it is always like that. We are trying to get something going. "We obviously wore them down throughout the game and we were able to start hitting stuff as the game went on we started executing better." On what three-straight 10-win seasons mean to the program: "It shows where we've come from. I came in here after the 4-8 season and guys, like in Ade's class, they stepped up and showed us the way and how to do things. "I think that's really shown throughout the weight room in the offseason and then obviously leading into the season." — Andrew Mentock and Vince DeDario FROM THE LOCKER ROOM The Fighting Irish won their first game at Stanford Stadium since 2007 and gave head coach Brian Kelly his first victory versus the Cardinal there in five tries. PHOTO BY SPENCER ALLEN

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