Brian Kelly discusses QBs and Top-10 matchup with rival Stanford
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - With a dominant road win to move to 4-0 this past weekend, Notre Dame has cemented its place among the top teams in the country.
But now, perhaps the biggest challenge of the season comes to Notre Dame Stadium as the Irish welcome rival Stanford this Saturday.
“To have a home game against a top-10 opponent when you're a top-10 team, these are the moments that you wait for, and we're certain that we're going to be met with a great crowd.”
While a home top-10 matchup has been rare of late – the last coming in 2005 against USC – these two teams now meet year after year.
Both are undefeated thus far, with Stanford at No. 7 and Notre Dame at No. 8 in the major polls.
While the Irish are plenty confident at home, the Cardinal own a three-game win streak in the series, and Kelly says that’s a trend his team obviously wants to chance this weekend.
“We play for a traveling trophy – the Legends Trophy – which is very important to us,” he said. “We haven’t had it here in our lobby since the end of the 2014 season, so something that is very important to us. [It’s] a big game for us, but more importantly a game where we need to play our very best here.”
Of course, the biggest story this past weekend was the quarterback position, with Ian Book replacing Brandon Wimbush as the starter against Wake Forest.
That decision clearly paid off with a 56-27 rout of the Demon Deacons on the road, but Kelly maintains that the QB change isn’t necessarily final going forward throughout the season.
One of the biggest reasons the switch was such a tough call was that, despite Brandon Wimbush’s struggles in the passing game, the Irish were still undefeated with him at the helm and 12-3 with Wimbush as a starter dating back to last season.
Kelly said the move to start Book was out of a desire to see the offense move more efficiently. With Book accounting for five total touchdowns and putting up 56 points against Wake Forest, that’s exactly what they got.
But Kelly has said both Book and Wimbush have different skill sets that could fit to a certain opponent – which leaves the door open to them both playing.
Tuesday, Kelly once again declined to openly name a starter, reciting his common refrain that both will have to be ready.
“Whatever’s going to get us a win against Stanford this week,” he said of the decision. “If we feel like playing both of them every other series is the best thing to win, we’ll do it. We’re not here trying to please one group. We’re just trying to win games.”
Notre Dame and Stanford will meet at Notre Dame Stadium on Saturday night, with kickoff just after 7:30 pm.