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October 25, 2017

Brian Kelly

Greensboro, North Carolina

BRIAN KELLY: Playing arguably one of the hottest teams in college football right now. North Carolina State has won six in a row. Dave Doeren has done a great job with this football program.

Extremely balanced is the thing that stands out to me. Offensively, top 25 in a number of categories. Incredibly no turnovers on offense. Ryan Finley has done an incredible job this year. He's got great weapons in Samuels and Hines. On defense, Chubb, Hill, sixth in rushing. A great challenge for our football team coming up this Saturday.

Q. Over the course of your coaching career, have you seen a difference in pure results from your team when they're coming off of bye weeks?
BRIAN KELLY: Generally yes. I mean, I think, generally speaking, there's a mental advantage coming off a bye week more so than the physical. Everybody needs that break physically, but I think there's also a lot when it comes to college. We're playing so many more younger players, the break really helps from a mental perspective in allowing these kids to kind of reset and really focus on just one thing, and that's football.

I'd say that is probably the one thing, especially here at Notre Dame, the bye week really helps you.

Q. Obviously both teams are coming in under fairly unique circumstances. As a coach, which way do you prefer, the bye that NC State has or the momentum you have coming off of last week?
BRIAN KELLY: You know, I think I would have preferred that North Carolina State played a very physical game against Clemson maybe (laughter).

In all seriousness, really for us it's more about our preparation. We know what we're going to get from North Carolina State. They've shown it. I think once you win six in a row, you've shown who you are as a football team. So we know what we're going to get there. Maybe a little bit more creativity on offense, a couple of wrinkles here or there. But they're going to settle into who they are, just as they know we're going to settle into who we are.

Again, I think from our perspective, the break was great for us for the USC game. Having now played, I think both teams know what they're going to get regardless of whether there's a bye or not.

Q. Can you provide an update as far as Martini, if he was able to practice, and Dexter Williams?
BRIAN KELLY: Greer was able to practice yesterday, full contact. He was involved in all of our team activities. He is a go. Looked good. He was also activated on special teams, as well. Feel really good about his being really just kind of seamlessly working his way back right into where he was.

Dexter looked good. I mean, I think to say he's 100%, I wouldn't. I would say he could impact the game for us. He's ready to play on Saturday.

Q. I know your team has gotten a lot of attention, particularly your offensive line this year. Talk about the progress they've made this year for you.
BRIAN KELLY: I think we came in with a lot of people knowing about Mike McGlinchey and Quenton Nelson, the left tackle and left guard. I think the progress has been that the unit all together with Sam, Alex, then playing two freshmen at right tackle, that going very well with Robert Hainsey and Tommy Kraemer.

I think the unit together, all five, probably has been the most satisfying. Not having to rely on two players, that's really probably the biggest thing for us in having the effectiveness of running the ball.

Q. You have had a lot of success on the ground game this year. NC State has been great against the run. In preparation, that's been sort of an emphasis, I imagine?
BRIAN KELLY: Oh, there's no question that we can't change who we are. Certainly they didn't all of a sudden not get strong and physical, be who they are. Something's obviously going to give there.

We have to have some balance to our offense. When we have the opportunity to throw the football, we've got to be more efficient. Again, it's like anything else, I mean, we're going to establish the run, we're still going to be run first, but when we have opportunities to throw the ball, we have to be more efficient and throw it at a higher completion rate, there's no question about that.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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