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The Journal Gazette

Tuesday, September 05, 2017 1:00 pm

Kelly expects 'old-fashioned' affair against Georgia

CHRIS GOFF | The Journal Gazette

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly conducted a news conference today to preview Saturday night's home game against Georgia. Here's a roundup of Kelly's main points:

  • Kelly expects heavy rotation on defense to continue. He said the Irish had 24 players see at least 10 snaps over the weekend in the season opener, a 49-16 rout of Temple at Notre Dame Stadium.
  • Georgia coach Kirby Smart runs defenses that "morph from week to week," which Kelly said offers the Bulldogs (1-0) a lot of creativity from week to week. Notre Dame expects variation in the number of defensive linemen and linebackers on the field at any given time.
  • Tight end Durham Smythe, who was placed in concussion protocol after leaving the Temple game and never returning, is doing "quite well," Kelly said. The senior could go through non-contact drills today and progress to full contact Wednesday.
  • With two teams that appear capable of power running attacks, Kelly said, "It's going to be an old-fashioned (game where) you find out who is going to find that grit and determination." He said Georgia has two "elite" runners in Nick Chubb and Sony Michel.
  • Alohi Gilman, a transfer from Navy, appealed to the NCAA for a waiver to be immediately eligible to play for Notre Dame. The initial ruling denied the safety 2017 eligibility, but the Irish appealed that decision, and Kelly said Tuesday the appeal was also denied. All avenues are closed. Gilman will make his Irish debut in 2018.
  • Georgia's starting quarterback, Jacob Eason, will not play against Notre Dame because of a knee injury. Kelly praised fill-in Jake Fromm, a freshman. "If we give him one look all the time, he's more than capable of hurting us," Kelly said. "I really like Jake Fromm. People say he's a freshman. I'm not an expert, but he's got a presence about him."