Coach Kelly discusses player mindset heading into first game of the season
The 9th ranked Notre Dame football team opens the 2019 season on Labor Day against Louisville.
It's a week of firsts - the first time the Irish will play at Cardinal Stadium, the first time the team will play on Labor Day and it will be the first chance Head Coach Brian Kelly will have to learn the identity of his team.
"I think each year you kind of have a gut feeling. I don't have a gut feeling, per se, as much as I know certain players and how they'll perform. I think what I'm waiting for is what mindset the group brings. A few years ago we had a mindset that they really wanted to dominate their opponent. I think the mindset of this group kind of comes together after a first game. 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," Coach Kelly said.
While Notre Dame will play its first game on a Monday, Coach Kelly said keeping his team on its typical game week schedule will be key.
They will practice on Saturday but then they’ll be free to go and watch a full slate of college football like everyone else.