Brian Kelly: We want to win badly--badly

Brian Kelly and his Irish football team are looking to rebound from its 2nd loss of the season when Notre Dame travesl to Dallas to face Arizona State Saturday night in ND's Shamrock Series game.

Notre Dame, now 3-2, is coming off a 35-21 loss to Oklahoma this past Saturday at Notre Dame Stadium.

"Nobody's happy after a loss--not one player or one coach," Kelly said Tuesday. "We want to win badly--badly."

Kelly says his group knows how to recover from a loss because after four years, the Irish understand what they have to do on a day to day basis.

"They aren't going around flashing their 12-0 rings," Kelly said. "They don't have a ring. They don't have a conference ring. What drives them is winning--they want to win games."

Kelly says the difference between 5-0 and 3-2 is just 5 or 6 plays.He rolled back a tape of highlights from last year to remind his guys at how close games were against the likes of Purdue, BYU and Pittsburgh.

"The margin last year was razor thin. The margin this year is razor thin," Kelly explained. "What we haven't done well is the ordinary things. We did the ordinary things better last year."

Kelly says the inability to take care of the football and give up big plays are what cost the Irish against Oklahoma. He says the Irish can't allow that to happen again against Arizona State.

The Sun Devils are 3-1 and are ranked 22nd after a 62-41 win over USC, that resulted in Lane Kiffin being fired by the Trojans.

"Another very talented football team," Kelly said. "Coach Graham has a done a great job energizing Arizona State. Coming off a great win over USC. A great challenge for our football team. We are very excited to play in North Texas in the Shamrock Series."

This will be a neutral site home game for Notre Dame as part of the Shamrock Series. It will be played at AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys.

The roof on the dome will be closed due to a threat of rain. Kelly says the Irish will practice this week with music to prepare properly but points out that, "we expect it to be a pro-Notre Dame crowd. We hope the noise won't be a factor."

Notre Dame-Arizona State is a 7:30 kickoff Saturday night in North Texas. You can watch the game on WNDU-TV.
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Kelly on Tommy Rees handling criticism this week
"if you are the starting quarterback at Notre Dame, if you can't handle those things that come your way after a loss--you can't be the quarterback at Notre Dame. You have to avoid the noise--good and bad."

Kelly on Andrew Hendrix
Kelly says Hendrix will continue to see time at quarterback in a compliment role to Rees to add a running threat at the position.

"He has to be more effective than he was on Saturday. We can't have two false start penalties. He can't miss a wide open receiver," Kelly said of Hendrix.

Kelly on George Atkinson
"One of the highlights for us offensively, and there weren't a lot, was watching George continue to get better---running through tackles, making better and better decisions. It's gratifying to see the development in a guy like George Atkinson against Oklahoma. Now we want to see that next stage."

Kelly on defensive lineman Sheldon Day
Kelly expects Sheldon Day to be able to go this weekend as he continues to battle an ankle injury that kept him out of the Oklahoma game.

"He's better than he was last week. We though he had a chance to play, but he didn't look good in pre-game. Lot of reasons in pre game that I don't want to get into."

Kelly on Irish Defense
"i think our defense is solid. I don't think they are spectacular and its a defense we can win with."


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