Kelly says he won't know the mindset of his team until after Game 1

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WNDU) - Brian Kelly says going into most season openers, he has a gut feeling about how good or bad his team will be in the upcoming season.

But for this 2019 season, Kelly doesn’t have a gut feeling.

Obviously, the Fighting Irish are coming off of one of the best seasons in the Kelly era at Notre Dame, as the team made its inaugural appearance in the College Football Playoff.

But 2019 is a lot different than 2018. Kelly has said throughout camp that he does feel like the team has improved significantly and has plenty of leaders on both offense and defense.

However, Kelly says he really won’t know how good this team can be until after Monday night's game with Louisville.

“I think the mindset of this group kind of comes together after a first game,” Kelly said. “I'm not sure what that is right now. Are they going to go in and kind of hang in there? Are they going to go in there and exert their will? Do they have to come out and feel it out? That kind of unfolds when the group plays. I think Ian Book is a really good player. I think Julian Okwara is a really good player, Alohi Gilman is a really good player. I think those guys we know about are going to play at a high level. Then I think by and large our system, our process will take care of itself. But you really don't know about your football team in terms of their mindset until you play the game.”