Coach Kelly reflects on win against Duke while preparing for game against Navy
NOTRE DAME, Ind.—Notre Dame Football’s Head Coach Brian Kelly reflected on the Irish’s big win against Duke during a press conference on Monday.
It's another Top 25 match-up for the Notre Dame Football Team on November 16 as the Irish prepare to take on Navy. This is the first time in 41 years that both teams are ranked for the match-up.
Unfortunately, the 16th ranked Irish will have to face off against the 24th ranked Midshipmen without one of their key players.
Despite a 31 point win over Duke on Saturday, the team actually suffered a key loss — defensive end Julian Okwara broke his left leg and will miss the rest of the season.
The captain was an all-American candidate with four sacks, six tackles for loss, seven quarterback hurries, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and a blocked kick this season.
"I think he brought a lot of notoriety to our defensive line in terms of development and how you can develop. He came in 210, 215 pounds and developed into an explosive, powerful player," Coach Kelly said. "I think it says a lot about him and his want and desire to be the best he can be. All the credit should go to him and our staff."
Okwara is the second defensive end the Irish have lost this season. Daelin Hayes is also out with a shoulder injury.
Ade Ogundeji and Ovie Oghoufo will step up into Okwara's place.
Despite the challenge that the Navy poses, Coach Kelly says there is something special about the match-up.
"I think just the respect part of it in terms of who we're going against, leaders of our country, Naval Academy, coaching staff, players. That, to me, is what's great about this game, the history and tradition behind it. It's why this game is being played today, because the history and tradition of this game," Coach Kelly said.
The Irish take on Navy on Saturday, November 16 at Notre Dame Stadium.