A day after Notre Dame beat Michigan State 17-13, Brian Kelly was pleased with the way his defense stepped up its game in what Kelly knew would be a defensive battle.
The Irish defense has been a cause for concern so for this year after being one of the nation's very best units a year ago. Despite returning 7-8 starters, the ND "D" was no where knee as dominant through the first three games as it was a year ago.
"You get what you demand," Kelly said Sunday. "We demanded more from our defense. We demanded more in terms of attention to detail.What you saw this week was that we demanded our guys to do their job. We had guys who were trying to do other guy's job. Do your job."
Kelly says that may seem like a basic principal but it was something they had to emphasize over the last week to their team.
The Irish head coach liked the way his inside linebacker players, saying Jarrett Grace has "natural linebacker instincts." Kelly believes Grace is a developing leading that players already follow and trust.
Kelly also said he felt Carlo Calabrese had "his best game in quite some time" on Saturday against Michigan State.
Kelly says defensive end Stephon Tuitt continues to come along after the effects of hernia surgery in the off-season. Tuitt was noticeably more dominant on Saturday vs the Spartans.
The Irish came out healthy from Sunday's game outside of bumps and bruises with the exception of defensive lineman Sheldon Day, who was not able to do much of anything on Saturday due to an ankle injury. Kelly feels another week will give Day a very good chance of being ready to go against Oklahoma next Saturday at Notre Dame Stadium.