Kelly to his team: Dont believe or fuel the hype
Posted: 09/18/2012 at 7:10 pm
By: Rachel Terlep
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Notre Dame's John Goodman, left, and Tyler Eifert celebrate Goodman's touchdown reception during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game against Michigan State, Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012, in East Lansing, Mich. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)
Notre Dame players, including Kendall Moore, left, Cierre Wood (20), Davonte' Neal (19), Theo Riddick and Chris Salvi (24) celebrate following a 20-3 win over Michigan State in an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012, in East Lansing, Mich. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)
Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson (5) manages to get off a pass as he is hit by Michigan State's Max Bullough during the third quarter of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012, in East Lansing, Mich. Notre Dame won 20-3. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)
Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly stands on the sideline during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game against Michigan State, Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012, in East Lansing, Mich. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)
It lists four simple rules:
1. Don’t believe or fuel the hype.
2. Manage expectations.
3. Avoid the noise.
4. Speak for yourself.
Head coach Brian Kelly hung the sign up last year in anticipation of the 2011 season, though that hype died out somewhere between the collapse against South Florida, Michigan and an 0-2 start.
Now the Irish are 3-0 for the first time in a decade. Now that hype is back.
“They know what that sign means,” Kelly said of his team. “And they know if they want to continue to be successful, they need to continue to do the things they are doing.”
After a dominant 20-3 victory of then-No. 10 Michigan State on Saturday — a game that Kelly called a “signature win” for the program — Notre Dame rocketed up the AP poll to No. 11.
The Irish are now enjoying their first 3-0 start since 2002 after beating their first Top 10 opponent on the road at night since 1991. Now, they’re preparing for a home game against rival No. 19 Michigan (2-1), where Notre Dame is a 5.5-point favorite.
Questions of national relevancy are suspended until further notice. Right now, it’s good to be Irish.
“My first comments (to the team) were, ‘How did it feel getting pat on the back all day? Wasn’t that a nice change to go to class and not hear how bad you are or what you should have done or what you didn’t do? They told you a lot of good things,” Kelly said. “Now, having said that, that’s a good place to be, but here is what you want to do if you want to be there next week.
“Because let me tell you what, if you don’t do that next week, you’ll be back where you were a few weeks ago.”
In 2009, Kelly led Cincinnati to its first 12-0 regular season record, finishing No. 4 in both major polls and landing a Sugar Bowl game against Florida. Much like his former Bearcats, Kelly knows this Notre Dame team isn’t accustomed to high levels of success in college football.
“We’re 3-0,” Kelly said. “We didn’t give out any rings yesterday to anybody. We got a long way to go.
“So let’s understand this. It feels good to be there, but how we got there, we need to continue to do these things. You can’t just say, don’t listen to those things. You want those things. You work for those. But you have to be able to keep it in balance and perspective.”
FENWAY RUMORS “INACCURATE”
Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick swiftly shot down talk of a Notre Dame/UConn football game at Fenway Park in Boston that cropped up Tuesday morning.
“We have work to do on our future football schedules, given the announcement last week relative to our upcoming Atlantic Coast Conference relationship,” Swarbrick said in a statement released Tuesday afternoon. “However, media reports today that we will play Connecticut in Fenway Park in 2014 are inaccurate.”
Swarbrick’s statement came shortly after Kelly was approached about the possible game during his Tuesday press conference. Kelly said he recently heard about the possibility and looked forward to the opportunity, if it was possible.
“You know me, I love Fenway Park,” said Kelly, who grew up near Boston. “I just don’t know if it’s big enough. We don’t wanna get into that Northwestern-Illinois game where the (Wrigley Field) end zone’s not big enough. So as long as they do the due diligence, and I know Jack (Swarbrick) is looking for great venues, and I don’t think they’ve played a game there in a long time. If it’s on the schedule we’re gonna play it.”
Kelly said that receiver DaVaris Daniels and defensive lineman Sheldon Day are “probable” to play in Saturday’s game against Michigan.
Daniels is still recovering from an ankle sprain sustained in Week 1, while Day suffered a bone bruise against Michigan State.
Kelly said defensive ends Kapron Lewis-Moore (calf) and Chase Hounshell (shoulder) are both cleared to play this week.