Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly says his team is looking to achieve one of its goals Saturday by finishing the regular season undefeated at home. It’s something Notre Dame hasn’t done in 14 years.
The 10-0, 3rd ranked Irish host Wake Forest in the home finale Saturday at 3:30 at Notre Dame Stadium. Kelly says he talked to his team about an unbeaten home season and what a stepping stone that would be for their program on Monday.
“It’s a point season where you know what to expect and how you get you get yourself to Saturday,” Kelly said of his team.
He also expressed an extreme amount of confidence in what his team can do. After all, he did vote them as the #1 team in the country in his latest poll.
“It’s very high,” Kelly said of his confidence in his players. I think they will win every game they play. I believe no matter what the situation is during the game, if we just keep playing, we will find a way to win.”
Saturday also marks Senior Day, which can always be an emotional time. The Irish have 26 seniors who could be playing in their final game ever at Notre Dame.
“There’s a lot o work to do,” Kelly said in terms of what is left to play for in the season. “The most important thing is for them to get the proper prospective. What you will remember the most is whether you win the game. Let the emotion be after the game.”
Of course, the senior everyone wants to talk about the most is captain, linebacker and Heisman contender Manti Te’o. But Kelly isn’t ready to discuss Manti’s legacy just yet.
“A great story but its not fully written,” Kelly said of Te’o. “When those books are written, they are about championships. He’d be the first to tell you, this story is not over yet.”
“He’s a unique player,” Kelly continued. “The one thing that stands out--all things that happened off the field with All-America, Heisman talk, he gets better each week. He goes to class, handles all this [media], and then plays really well on Saturday. That’s very unique to any player I ever coached.”
“He lives his life the right way. He's all that you would want as a young man, as a college student and representative of Notre Dame.”
Te’o of course could have left for the NFL after last season but choice to return for his senior campaign. Another player who also choice to do that was tight end Tyler Eifert.
Kelly says Eifert has done an incredible job of learning the game each and every week.
“Sometimes at the tight position, you get labeled as a pass catcher or run blocker. He’s broken the mold,” Kelly said of Eifert. "This isn't about numbers this year. This is about a guy developing as a complete tight end. If you asked guys at the next level, they don’t really care about how many balls he caught."