Blue and Gold Illustrated

Sept. 18, 2021

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

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30 SEPT. 18, 2021 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED NOTRE DAME HEAD COACH BRIAN KELLY … On Notre Dame's defensive struggles: "We know why it's happening. We are transitioning defenses. We have new players on the field, younger players, inexperienced players that are going through some growing pains. "We still have to get the ball on the ground. We have a chance to do things and we're making them worse by not doing some of the fundamental things in terms of turning plays that are 10, 12, 15 yards — you might have those occasionally — we're letting them turn into 60-, 70-yard runs." On the two-point conversion play after Notre Dame's go-ahead touchdown: "It was going to be a pass back to [quarterback Jack Coan] from Avery Davis. They picked him up, did a great job, so Avery stopped and we have the tight end on the backside. He made a great play, stopped, redirected, and we have never seen that in the play. "He has either kept it and run out the front, because you cover the quarterback, or he has thrown it to the quarterback. So just a great play by Avery." On being back in Notre Dame Stadium with fans in the stands: "It was great atmosphere. I thought that they helped us a lot, the home crowd, especially when you need that jolt, which we did. "It helps to have that home crowd, and [Toledo] had a num- ber of false start penalties that affected their management. They had to burn a timeout or had a 10-second run-off. So the home crowd definitely helps in those kinds of situations." On lacking an edge at first: "The biggest thing on me is we lacked intensity coming out. You have to play this game with some intensity. I did not like the way we came out. I thought we lacked intensity, and that's on me and my preparation. "I obviously didn't do a very good job preparing them. I thought they played with more intensity in the second half, but you don't want the circumstances to have to dictate that they have to play with more intensity." NOTRE DAME SOPHOMORE TIGHT END MICHAEL MAYER … On a lack of intensity: "I think when the game starts, we come out with intensity. We came out and scored right away. We have to keep that same intensity. We can't let up after the first series, after the second series. "We have to keep that throughout the entire game. I think that's what we're going to work on this entire week." On playing in front of fans at Notre Dame Stadium: "Awesome experience. I was really pumped for it. Everybody showed out. They were loud on third down. "It was awesome. It was awesome. I'm excited to play in front of those fans for the next two years." On the Notre Dame offense: "I think the first few games in the first few weeks, we're definitely still trying to find how this offense is going to roll. I think that's very critical this week in preparing for Purdue. "This week is definitely going to be very critical in finding our offense." NOTRE DAME SOPHOMORE RUNNING BACK CHRIS TYREE … On his role in the offense: "I think I'm very comfortable with my game so far. My focus so far has been just taking it one play at a time and just adding all the pays together to make a whole game. "Just staying focused, staying consistent. That's my focus right now." On Notre Dame's struggling running game: "I think we just need to stay patient. Stay consistent on our reads. We know the big plays will come. We're not really worried about it. "We know that the game will come. I think it's important for us to keep each other up on the sideline." On playing in two close games to start the season: "It's a good start to the season for us. We're 2-0. But we know we have a lot of things to work on. A lot of things to go off of. That's the good part about it. "We have to build off what we have right now. We have more games to play." FROM THE LOCKER ROOM Sophomore running back Chris Tyree caught a 55-yard touchdown pass from freshman Tyler Buchner in the fourth quarter. PHOTO BY CHAD WEAVER

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