The most poignant, insightful and clearest big picture soundbite from Brian Kelly following his team’s 52-17 trouncing over Miami of Ohio related to the Notre Dame run game. Kelly has been known throughout his career known as a pass first head coach, and as one who doesn’t like to delegate to the play-calling abilities much.
Given his situation entering this season, and the personnel on the current roster, he had commit fully to the run.
“You know, maybe I just woke up one morning, hit my head and came to my senses and said, let’s go to our strengths and run the football,” Brian Kelly said jokingly in response to a query on this topic.
“We’ve got really good players that we want to feature, and commitment that I made to change the focus of the offense towards a much more physical approach to running the football. Making sure that we utilized our strengths, and our strengths are we’ve got two guys on the left side that are going to be playing on Sundays as well as a very good center, right guard, and our right tackles are coming along, as well, five tight ends and physical backs.”
It was a long time coming, but hey, better late than never.
The Irish ended up with a 333-115 advantage of the RedHawks in team yards rushing yesterday. Notre Dame ranks seventh nationally in rushing (301.4 yards per game). They are 14th in scoring (41.4 points per outing).
Kelly is highlighting the offensive line as the strength of this team, an attribute they shared with the 2012 and 2015 teams. Left tackle Mike McGlinchey and left guard Quenton Nelson are two sure fire, very high NFL Draft picks.
Junior tailback Josh Adams leads the Fighting Irish ground attack with 658 yards (131.6 per contest) rushing. He had 151 yards on the ground in just the first eight minutes of the game yesterday, before having to leave with ankle injury. He didn’t return, but Brian Kelly said he could have played.
Adams, who is averaging 9.01 yards per carry, and ranks fourth nationally in rushing, met the media and let everybody know that he’s fine and full go. He’s not getting any national media hype though, and Kelly pointed that out.
“He’s a stud,” said Kelly.
“I mean, look, Barkley is a great player at Penn State, but you know, Josh has got to start to get some kind of national recognition for the kind of season that he’s having. He is a load.
“He’s a big, physical runner who gets in the open and then runs away from people. So this is a special back who’s having a special year.”
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now and Minute Media. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and Chicago Now.
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