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November 30, 2013

Brian Kelly

Stanford – 27
Notre Dame – 20

COACH KELLY:  There's no moral victories.  Very disappointed we weren't able to come up with a play and win the football game.  We didn't come down here to play a close game.
We have a lot of disappointed guys in that locker room.  I feel for them.  But we obviously came up a little short today.
Stanford is a very good football team.  We wanted to get into the fourth quarter with an opportunity to win the game.  We got there, needed to make one more play.  Couldn't make the play when we needed to.

Q.  On the first interception, was he thrown off his route?
COACH KELLY:  They got collisioned.  Dropped eight.  You know, we had worked on trying to get the ball in the seam, got collisioned.  Obviously the interception.  Got another opportunity.  Again, couldn't make the play when we needed to.

Q.  (Question regarding the offensive line.)
COACH KELLY:  Gave us a chance to win really.  You know what I mean?  With Nick out, with Chris out, we were playing Steve Elmer.  We were down a lot of bodies in there.
But they battled and held their own.  It could have been ugly.  Stanford, they're a veteran team, they battled.  Gave Tommy an opportunity to make some plays.  Ran the ball when we needed to.

Q.  (Question regarding Watt's injury.)
COACH KELLY:  I wouldn't want to assess that.

Q.  (Indiscernible.)
COACH KELLY:  A little shaky in the first series.  I thought he played well after that.  Austin obviously had a very big interception for us.  But I thought they played well.  Some of our schemes we had to fit them in some of the run game.  But I thought they played solid day.

Q.  (Indiscernible.)
COACH KELLY:  He has to run consistently.  He does some really, really good things.  He's coming.  I mean, there's a lot of good things out there for him.  He does a really nice job.  He's just got to continue running his routes, and every single play is where his focus needs to be.
Yeah, that's the next level for him, is that consistency.

Q.  Talk about Fox's play tonight.
COACH KELLY:  Back‑to‑back weeks.  Just a different level of focus, a different level of being locked in to understanding how to play the game.  He's just been really, really good the last two weeks.
I'm really proud of the way he's played, taken that Mike linebacker position, which has really been a big transformation from the Will linebacker position, physical, tough, gritty.
In this instance the seniors, bowl games and all those things, do you want to play, do you not want to play.  I really can't wait to watch him play one more game.

Q.  Defense was a challenge in the fourth quarter.
COACH KELLY:  I thought they hung in there, played hard, made some plays for us, gave us an opportunity to win.  Our defense gave us a chance to win the game.
Our offense kept us in it.  God, we just needed to make another play.  We had an opportunity; we just couldn't get the ball to Will when we needed to.

Q.  Did tonight's outcome alter your post‑season destination?
COACH KELLY:  I don't think so.  I couldn't tell you for sure.  I think Jack would know better than I.  But there's going to be some opportunities for us that we'll just have to sit and evaluate and find out.
There's a lot of schools that obviously still have an opportunity to take some of those spots that are there.  We're in a unique situation this year.  We're appreciative of any bowl that would take a good, hard look at us.

Q.  Your attitude is the same in terms of leaving it in the hands of your seniors?
COACH KELLY:  Yeah.  I mean, I'm certainly going to have a say in it.  But I've already met with our seniors and our captains.  They want to play.  So we're going to play.
They want to finish out with a win.

Q.  Can you talk about how you thought Folston ran tonight?
COACH KELLY:  He did a pretty good job.  I thought he ran hard.  Tommy did a great job of double‑checking, checking.  There were some things going on out there that I thought he was masterful in a lot of the things he did today.
He had them on their heels at times and got us some really good looks.  But I thought Folston did a nice job running the football.

Q.  What did Stanford do offensively?
COACH KELLY:  Well, they got us in dime twice and brought the tight end into the backfield.  They got into three open split backs and ran the ball.  They effectively schemed us up pretty good.  We had to get out of dime personnel.
So that canceled out our dime personnel.

Q.  What is Tommy Rees' legacy?
COACH KELLY:  You guys asking this...

Q.  From your perspective.
COACH KELLY:  'Legacy' is such a big word for me.
I just love the way the kid competes out there.  He's not going to go in the College Football Hall of Fame.  You know what I mean?  He doesn't have those incredible skills.  But he just puts his heart and soul into what he does.
As a coach, what you appreciate is when somebody gives you all he has.  He threw that ball as far as he could throw it to Will Fuller.  Can't get it any further than that.  That's just Tommy.  He gives you everything he has.
I don't know if that's a legacy answer.  He just gives you all he has.  That's all you can ask for.

Q.  (Question regarding the 8‑4 season.)
COACH KELLY:  That's not where we want to be.  Losing is unacceptable.  8‑4 is not where we want to be.  We lost some tough games.
But those are all excuses.  We want to win football games.  We come to Notre Dame to win football games.  You know, we could sit here and talk for 10 minutes how we got 15 guys that are injured.  Sam getting an IV on Friday.  Those are excuses.  We got to win football games.
But, you know, it is what it is.

Q.  In some of your losses you've been pretty upfront saying you didn't play well enough or didn't deserve to win.  Was this different?
COACH KELLY:  Well, I mean, for me the markers have been pretty clear.  Turning the football over, we turned it over today, but we were able to overcome that.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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