Brian Kelly’s fiery speech should fuel Notre Dame football

Notre Dame football

This past weekend, Notre Dame football saw a different side of Brian Kelly. Despite having a slow start to the season against Duke, Notre Dame lived up to its expectations against South Florida. Beating the Bulls 52-0, the Irish stood their ground. Before halftime, Notre Dame put up 35 points, which was impressive to many viewers watching. Although this was a major improvement from Week 1, Kelly was looking for something more. During halftime, Kelly gave a speech that has made headlines.

He expressed to his team how he did not want to be looked at as the nice guy anymore. He wanted the Irish to maintain complete domination in the second half. He claimed the team needed to score on every opportunity given. Can Kelly keep the Irish on their toes? Is this what the Irish need this season in order to maintain a spot in the AP Top 25?

Quick History

Kelly is not foreign to coaching college football. After his four-year collegiate career at Assumption College, he went on to coach at the school for a few years. Kicking off his coaching career at Assumption, Kelly continued to develop an impressive resume. He coached at Grand Valley State, Central Michigan and Cincinnati before being noticed by Notre Dame in 2009. Now, Kelly is starting his 11th season with the Irish and his contract has been extended to 2024.

Highlights of Kelly’s Coaching

During his time with the Irish, Kelly contributed to the Irish’s national attention several times. In 2012, the Irish were undefeated during the regular season and made a trip to the national championship to take on Alabama. They came up short, but nonetheless, it was an incredible run. Kelly led an impressive run in 2018, completing an undefeated regular season and claiming a spot in the Cotton Bowl to take on Clemson. The Irish have not won a national championship during Kelly’s era, but in the last decade, Kelly has continued the Irish legacy in a way that has pleased Notre Dame fans across the nation.

Future of Kelly and the Irish

The charisma that was seen on Saturday’s game against South Florida is what the Irish need to continue an impressive and dominant regular season. Notre Dame needs to shut out weaker programs to gain national attention and stay in the Top 25. Although Kelly received backlash for being harsh, this speech was necessary. Kelly provided a strong sense of leadership, which is especially necessary as head coach. Being supportive, yet strategic and focused, Kelly will be able to keep the Irish a good headspace leading into the rest of the season.

This season is like no other. Mentality and determination are essential. Kelly is going to have to continue to use this fire to ensure the Irish do not get comfortable in the ACC. With wildcard teams such as Louisville and North Carolina, there should be no room for mistakes. Kelly needs to ensure his players do not get comfortable after a well-performing weekend. One win does not predict the rest of the season. I hope to see Kelly’s charisma continue through the season.

Photo by Chris Collins | The Observer