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September 17, 2016

Brian Kelly

South Bend, Indiana

Michigan State - 36, Notre Dame - 28

BRIAN KELLY: Obviously a tough loss, guys battled real hard. You know, got too far behind and certainly when you get yourself in that kind of hole it's hard to dig out against a really good team. Michigan State, give them great credit they came up with more plays today than we did, and obviously from the start of the game we have a kickoff return called back, and then we muff a punting situation. Two big plays there.

Go to the half and obviously put ourselves in a position to do some things in the second half and then give up too many big plays defensively, and offensively never got anything going until a little later in the third quarter and obviously got into a pretty good rhythm and just came up a little short.

Obviously from our perspective we've got to do a better job coaching. That's on me, starts with me, and obviously offense, defense, and special teams has got to be better to win games against good competition.

Q. (No microphone.)
BRIAN KELLY: I mean, we threw the ball virtually every down. We obviously tried to run the football, we had some success early and then got behind the chains. We missed some pressures, missed some protections. It just wasn't clean. Never got into a good flow. Got into a better flow when we started to throw the ball on first down.

Q. (No microphone.)
BRIAN KELLY: Well, you know, we still had two timeouts. We had gotten a couple of stops defensively and felt like they certainly were going to run the football. We got them into a good third down situation, and we don't do a very good job on two vertical and give them an easy completion. We put ourselves bang in a position even after that situation with another timeout. We make a stop there, and looks like a pretty good decision.

Q. Brian, you've seen your fair share of quarterbacks over the years?

Q. After seeing Tyler O'Connor on tape and watching him tonight what's your take?
BRIAN KELLY: I think he will do fine. I think he manages what he's asked to do. He threw the ball down the field. I think he'll do fine. He's a smart kid, got a couple of games under his belt, obviously the competition was ratcheted up a lot for him. He had some big games for them, so I think he's going to be fine.

Q. (No microphone.)
BRIAN KELLY: I mean, we had a lot of missed fits, safety fits were poor, we missed some fits with our fronts.

Again, we gotta coach better. This means communicating what we want to our players and then our players have to execute them.

Q. (No microphone.)
BRIAN KELLY: Yeah, I mean, obviously, you know, we had great situation there late to make a couple tackles, and we just simply didn't make it. Those are the guys we have. We can't trade em, they're not getting cut. We recruited them, so I don't want to hear anybody-- I told our staff: Those are our guys, so we've gotta get 'em better. We've got to put them in better position to make plays. Those are our guys. Give Michigan State credit, they broke through some tackles, and they deserved to win today.

We missed the tackles, and those are our guys that are going to be out there next week against Duke, and they're going to have to make some tackles the following week against the next opposition. So we can cry all we want about what we didn't do, but we gotta start doing it.

Q. (No microphone.)
BRIAN KELLY: It would take too long. We would have to have a clinic. We're in a position we gotta make that play, obviously. They got two verticals, pretty standard deal, corner's trying to midpoint two vertical, we buzz it with the underneath coverage guy, and we're not in good position. That's poor coaching. We're not coaching it well enough. Obviously if our players can't execute a simple two vertical corner sitting over the top and the safety coming underneath, that's on me. That falls on my shoulders, and we're not getting that done. So we're either not capable of running that coverage or we're not coaching it well enough, one or the other, so I gotta do a better job.

Q. The way your defense has performed this season, do you sort of look at your offense now as DeShone is going to have to carry the load?
BRIAN KELLY: No. Those are the typical questions that you get when, you know, after three games, we give up some points.

Look at college football. Defenses give up points all over. What we have to do is clean up some things and we're going to continue to work on it, but, no, DeShone Kizer is not going to be asked to carry us. The entire football team, and my coaching staff in particular, is in a position where they have to coach better. I've got to coach better. We've got kids that fight and have resolve.

We've been down twice big against two really good football teams, and we put ourselves back in a position to win both games, and we couldn't because we made too many mistakes. We're sloppy as a football team. There is not a referendum on who's got to carry who, the defense can't do that, we're too sloppy overall as a football team. If you were listening I just told you about two huge mistakes on special teams and the difference in the game was 8 points. So we gotta clean up the whole deal!

So this is everywhere, and this is on me. We gotta clean up everything. We are a sloppy football team.

Q. The time out before the punt were you weighing whether you wanted to go for it?
BRIAN KELLY: No, we left our offense -- it was pretty clear that we were going to punt the football, but no sense of showing punt there. I kept the offense right there and sent the punt team out after.

THE MODERATOR: Anything else? Thank you.


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