Brian Kelly used words like gritty and tough to describe his team’s effort in Saturday night’s 24-17 win at Wake Forest. He told the media, just like he told his players in the locker room, that coming from behind to win a tough game on the road meant they were on the correct “trajectory.”“We’re playing for a consistent performance,” he said. “We have a sign that says ‘Play Like a Champion’, and to play like a champion you have to play consistently. You can’t have spurts. Tonight was a great step in that direction. Playing on the road, against good competition, down at halftime, come back a couple times, that’s resolve. That’s tough. That’s gritty. We’ve been trying to build this and it’s starting to come and you can see it. I was proud of my guys tonight.”When questions dwelled on what the Irish didn’t do, Kelly’s temper grew short.First, he was asked (not by me) about his team playing lethargic in the first half when it trailed 7-0, 10-3 and, finally, 17-10 at the break.“We talked about it at halftime,” Kelly said. “They were playing hard and competing . .. Obviously they got off to a quick start. After that quick start we played really well. I can’t tell you we played lethargic. I disagree with you. I thought we competed. We just played better than they did in the third quarter.”When Kelly was asked (again, not by me) about inefficiencies in the passing game, he was clearly frustrated. “Is there a negative to everything? We just won a football game on the road,” he said. “Really, what kind of question is that? Really, what do you want me to say? What’s the answer. We won 24-17 against a good football team and you want to know what’s wrong with the passing game. You know what’s wrong with it? The coach doesn’t call good plays. How’s that? There’s nothing wrong with it. We’re fine. We just won a good game.”Notre Dame’s 166 passing yards was its second-lowest output of the season.
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