Blue and Gold Illustrated

Oct 9, 2021

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

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30 OCT. 9, 2021 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED NOTRE DAME HEAD COACH BRIAN KELLY … On why Jack Coan started at quarterback: "Jack pro- gressed to the point where we felt that he was at 100 percent, and he didn't do anything to lose his job in the Wisconsin game. He got hurt. So we felt like he got the first shot at it. "Tyler [Buchner], as I had mentioned, was going to be part of the rotation. Then, obviously, we got behind and felt like we needed to make a change and a spark there, and that's why we went with Drew [Pyne] in the second half." On Notre Dame's defensive performance: "There were some good things, but when we needed those big stops [we didn't get them]. Obviously, I didn't feel good about the touchdown we let off right before the half. "We had them in the black zone, and we were in some zone coverages and just didn't find the ball. Our coverage wasn't tight enough. We missed a couple of curls, and they were able to get the ball down the field." On Notre Dame's wide receivers losing matchups: "When we do a press conference like this, it's easy to look the game and go whose fault was that? Why didn't he get open? Why didn't he get him the ball? "Some of them might be exactly Cincinnati did a really good job, but we watched a lot of film on Cincinnati and we thought we had some matchups." On if he thought about bringing Drew Pyne into the game in the first half: "No, there wasn't a conversation about Pyne at that point as much as what was there going to be more Buchner in terms of the run and the offense that we had put together with him, or were we going to stick with Jack and give him enough of an opportunity to lead the offense? "Because [Coan] led it very effectively when he was in there, in particular the first drive. He made a bad decision obviously [on the interception]. So I don't think there was much consid- eration. But as we got to the half clearly we thought that we needed to shift course quickly, and we did." NOTRE DAME GRADUATE STUDENT LINEBACKER DREW WHITE … On Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder: "I thought Ridder played well. He was able to make some ex- plosive plays. He was a deep ball threat. He could use his feet a little bit." On Cincinnati's red zone scores: "Down there it was just a lack of execution. We held them to a field goal the second time they were down there. The first time, we got to be better. "Held them to third down, and they were able to do a pop pass which we practiced all week. We were prepared for it. We just got to execute." On his message to the team as a captain: "I told the guys it's the 24-hour rule. Same as a win. We've had a lot of wins. We celebrate them for 24 hours and then we're back to work. That's exactly how we're going to handle this loss. For 24 hours the guys are going to be down. "We're going to be watching film. We're not going to feel good about it. But coming in Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, we're going to be ready and prepare for Virginia Tech. They're going to try to beat us, too. We can't let one game define the rest of our season. We need to continue to battle and come back." NOTRE DAME SOPHOMORE TIGHT END MICHAEL MAYER … On how Cincinnati defended Notre Dame's passing game: "They were switching it up a lot. We knew coming in they were going to play a lot of man, but they also played a decent amount of zone, too. "I think sometimes they tricked us a little bit. I'm not sure. I don't know. But when those plays are there to make, you got to make them." On improving the Notre Dame offense: "I think it's about stacking good practices together. I'm not saying we had a bad week of practice. We had a great week of practice. We had some good plays in scheme-wise. We really did. "I just think it's a matter of executing them. That's really what it comes down to." On his groin injury: "I got it hurt a little bit in camp and on and off in the first four games. I kind of tweaked it pretty bad again today. I should be good to go for Virginia Tech. "Just get in with the trainers, get healthy, and should be good to go. … I'm a little beat up. I'm going to figure out what's wrong with me." FROM THE LOCKER ROOM Head coach Brian Kelly's team lost at home for the first time since September 2017, snapping a 26-game winning streak in Notre Dame Stadium. PHOTO BY CHAD WEAVER

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