Blue and Gold Illustrated

Nov. 27, 2021

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

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 27 of 55

28 NOV. 27, 2021 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED NOTRE DAME HEAD COACH BRIAN KELLY … On when he knew the game could turn into a blowout: "They were really loose, and there was a lot of talk about cre- ating their own energy this week, playing for the love of the game itself and not carrying too much baggage, whether it be playoffs or Senior Day. It's, 'Why do you play?' "One of the narratives that was kind of interesting is that the players always had to push back when they were young. They played because they loved to play. That's why they played this game today. We kind of used that as what this week was about — that they love to play. "They went out there, played fast and free, and it showed itself." On where he sees his team right now: "It's an improv- ing team that continues to do things the right way. From an offensive standpoint, the quarterback is effective and ef- ficient. You've seen that we keep our throws in the low 20s, high completion percentage, push the ball down the field. We have one of the best tight ends, if not the best tight end, in the country, an effective running game, and a defense that hasn't given up a touchdown in three games. "When you're really looking for teams with that kind of résumé, of staying power, of control of a game. We've been in control of games. Even the Virginia game, people talk about their quarterback didn't play, but if you watch that game we were in control of that game from the start to the finish. That's what I like about this team." On graduate student quarterback Jack Coan's perfor- mance: "He moved the ball around. There were a couple of key third-down situations, one in particular he found [running back] Kyren [Williams] on a drive route. We had just put that in with Kyren on the drive, and he could have been the fourth eligible receiver on that play. "It was just his patience and going through his progression. The two sacks, we got exposed a little bit on those two plays, but we made a couple of corrections on them later. But his poise, his confidence, his vision, it has been really good." On freshman quarterback Tyler Buchner playing the second half: "What [offensive coordinator Tommy Rees] and I decided at halftime is we wanted to run the entire offense. We didn't want it to be hokey. This was an important half for him to continue to develop. We were just talking about where the ball needed to be dropped down. Deion Colzie was coming underneath. They had carried the seams, and it was the natural progression for him to drop it down. "We need to continue to coach and develop during those times, and these are really, really important times for him because he's still growing as a quarterback for us. Again, he's such a really good player, but he needs those moments as well." JUNIOR DEFENSIVE TACKLE HOWARD CROSS III … On graduate student Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa's lead- ership: "One of [defensive coordinator Marcus] Freeman's biggest philosophies is 'led by the strong.' Myron, being here for five years, he's definitely one of those people, taking every- one under his wing and telling everyone what to do. "Being a great role model for every single person, even now for me, and all the freshmen coming in." On why the defense hasn't allowed a touchdown in three games: "I think the biggest thing is communication, we preach that every single day. If you watch that from the beginning of the season, someone will just yell 'automatic' or 'pressure.' One person yells it, and the entire defense yells it on the field. And just thinking strong, making sure everyone has technique. "We are in the locker room at halftime and Coach Freeman says, 'I do not care about the score, I care about everyone do- ing their technique, everyone doing the right thing. Everyone getting to the ball.'" JUNIOR DEFENSIVE END ISAIAH FOSKEY … On junior rover Jack Kiser's 43-yard pick-six he set up: "I didn't even know he got the ball. I just tried to wrap [the quarterback] up, and I just hear the crowd going and you know something is definitely happening, like a fumble or in- terception. "That was a cool experience to see Jack Kiser running into the end zone. It was fun that I contributed to that." On shutting out Georgia Tech: "The defense always wants to pitch a shutout. The past two weeks, we had field goals, so we didn't have the complete shutout. "We finally got the shutout. That was a fun feeling at the end of the game." FROM THE LOCKER ROOM Junior defensive tackle Howard Cross III set a career highs with 2.0 sacks and 2.0 tackles for loss against Georgia Tech. PHOTO BY CHAD WEAVER

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Blue and Gold Illustrated - Nov. 27, 2021