Blue and Gold Illustrated

Oct. 3, 2016

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

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Page 15 of 55

16 OCT. 3, 2016 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED BY MATT JONES F or the second time this season, Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly had to publicly defend his defensive coordinator fol- lowing a loss. In what is becoming a common oc- currence, the seventh-year Irish boss went to bat again for his much ma- ligned coordinator Brian VanGorder, whose defense allowed 501 yards in a 36-28 loss to Michigan State Sept. 17. "Absolutely. Without question," Kelly said when asked if he's con- fident VanGorder is the right man to run the defense. "That's not even part of the conversation." Like he did in his postgame ad- dress to the media after the discour- aging defeat to the Spartans, Kelly Man Under Fire Head coach Brian Kelly comes to the support of beleaguered defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder Through three weeks this season, VanGorder's unit ranked 103rd nationally in team passing efficiency defense (145.38 rating), 102nd in total defense (439.3 yards allowed per game), 99th in rushing defense (198.7 yards allowed per game) and tied for 94th in scoring defense (32.0 points allowed per game). PHOTO BY BILL PANZICA

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