Brian Kelly Notre Dame
September 11, 2011 by staff
Brian Kelly Notre Dame, Many who have seen the Notre Dame football team this season could legitimately say that the team is 2-0. This is because even though the Fighting Irish have lost to South Florida (23-20) and, more recently, Michigan (35-31) on Saturday, the team has beaten twice.
But as it stands, Notre Dame is officially not won in the face of Saturday
Game at Notre Dame Stadium against Michigan State (3:30 pm, NBC).
“You’re not good enough,” said Irish coach Brian Kelly. “No single person in the locker room, including coaches, who are good enough at this time.”
Against South Florida, Notre Dame dominated the Bulls statistically. Notre Dame amassed 508 yards of total offense to South Florida 254. However, Kelly’s team committed five turnovers and the end result was a season-opening defeat.
The story was much the same Saturday against the Wolverines (2-0). Notre Dame was efficient, sometimes on both sides of the ball. However, the Irish (0-2) fumbled the ball four times (losing three) and Rees (27 of 39 for 315 yards and three touchdowns) threw a pair of interceptions and Michigan was able to turn a deficit of 24-7 in a 35-31 victory in just over 17 minutes of playing time.
“We had four turnovers,” Kelly said short-change your team in a fumble. “Its turnovers.’s Sub-par plays on special teams. Is the inability to make a stop (defensive)? It’s all those things.”
Michigan beat Notre Dame 28-7 in the previous stage and accumulated 229 yards of total offense in the fourth quarter as Notre Dame exhaustion defense collapsed.
Having said all this, the Irish still had opportunities – many of them – to take the victory.
“We have to be perfect in everything,” said Notre Dame senior Michael Floyd. “We can not go out there and I think we’re going to win. We must use all our partners give us.”
Floyd caught 13 passes for 159 yards and in doing so, became the program’s all-time leader in career receiving yards (2852).
With just over two minutes into the game, Notre Dame led 24-21 when quarterback Denard Robinson of Michigan (446 meters in total offense, four touchdowns passing, rushing score) beat Vincent Smith for a touchdown 21-yard swing pass to put the Wolverines ahead 28-24. In the last two games against Notre Dame, Robinson (11 of 24 passes with three interceptions) has accumulated 948 yards of total offense.
Notre Dame answered back, however. Rees led his team down the field in four plays, covering 61 meters and hit the receiver Theo Riddick for a touchdown pass of 29 yards (Notre Dame led 31-28) with: 42 remaining.
“We were sure we moved the field,” Rees said. “There were so many emotions, but the guys did a good job of keeping us together. I was happy with the way the offense moved the unit.”
Michigan took over possession and needed to move the ball 80 yards in 30 seconds. This Notre Dame team willing and able to throw away wins, which proved no problem.
The Wolverines have a pass play of 64 yards to receiver Jeremy Robinson gallons to move the ball to the Notre Dame 16-yard line, since there was no defender anywhere near gallons.
“Michigan made several big plays in the second half,” said Kelly.
On the next play, Michigan receiver Ray Roundtree drew a defensive interference penalty from Gary Gray, but he managed to catch the touchdown pass 16 yards for the final margin. It was the second time in the game that Gray was beaten by a score (Junior Hemingway called a 43-yard score in gray in the second quarter).
“We have children that matters,” said Kelly. “We are simply not good enough. When we are better as a football team, we’ll start winning.”
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