We had a drill that we did on Thursday that told me that our football team had moved to that next phase in its development. And we just played. We were excited about competing, and that's what happened today.
You saw it today was a football team that didn't have on their shoulders the traditions and reputations and all the things that you have to worry about sometimes being a football player at Notre Dame, and they just flat out played.
We'll continue to build on that to play the game. Because it is just a game. And today you saw a team ?????? and Utah is physically and mentally a tough football team ?????? and today we were able to beat them at their game.
Physically on the line of scrimmage we were able to run the football in crucial times. We were able to control the line of scrimmage against a team that runs the ball very well, our defensive line in particular played very well against the run. And that's the kind of football that you have to have as a winning program. You have to out???physical your opponent and be mentally tougher, and today. Questions?
Q. Tough as you said it was to describe that moment, would catharsis be a good word for it, relief? What adjectives would you use to describe it?
COACH KELLY: I think our kids were just the consistency of our approach since we got here is starting to obviously move through the entire program. That message that is consistent on a day???to???day basis.
I could feel it. I could feel it last week that finally we were ?????? I don't know what it was. It's hard for me to describe. We were taking a huge load off our shoulders and going back and just being college students and football players. And not carrying all the burdens of everything that goes along with being a Notre Dame football player and the great tradition and championships.
I could see it coming in practice. We were just playing. We're back to playing the game of football the way it needs to be played. I think that's probably closer to that definition.
Q. That drill on Thursday, what did it entail, if you can give us details?
COACH KELLY: Generally what happens on a Thursday the kids want practice as quick as possible to get to the weekend. They want Friday, Saturday, Sunday off. Thursday was a three on three drill. In that three on three drill you had a quarterback, you had a running back, and you had three offensive players and three defensive players. Skill, big skill and power.
So you had three wide receivers against three DBs with a quarterback and running back, and you've got to get ten yards. It was competition at its best. We had seniors in there. We had guys that were injured that we had to pull out of there that wanted to go.