Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly: 2019 Irish ‘in position to win a national championship’
Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly certainly doesn’t lack confidence where his No. 7-ranked Fighting Irish are concerned.
Kelly, who led Notre Dame to an undefeated season in 2018 and College Football Playoff appearance, said on his radio show on Thursday that this season’s team has what it takes to win it all.
“I think we’re doing all the things necessary to put us in position to win a national championship,” Kelly said. “There’s probably only a dozen teams that really, actually can say, ‘We are in a position to win a national championship.’
“There’s a lot of teams that are saying they are competing for a national championship, but there’s only probably a dozen or so that can actually do it.”
The No. 3-ranked Georgia football program is one of them. The Irish and Bulldogs will clash at 8 p.m. next Saturday in a CBS game expected to draw ESPN’s popular “GameDay” show.
Kelly said Notre Dame, like any other program, has work to do to win the national title this season.
“We can actually win a national championship, a couple of things have to happen,” Kelly said. “If you look at the Clemson (2018CFP) game, obviously one of the things that was clear was that the playmakers that they had were outstanding.
“We have to continue to work toward finding a couple of elite playmakers, especially on the offensive side of the ball, that is the quest.”
Notre Dame entered its Saturday afternoon home game with New Mexico as a 35-point favorite looking for answers at the skill positions.
Kelly said he feels good about the Irish at the line of scrimmage.
“I think we have put ourselves in position, physically, on the offensive line and defensive line to compete nationally, “ Kelly said. “We’re in a really good position in terms of all the other pieces, infrastructure, maintaining your staff, things of that nature that go to continuity.
“We need a couple of elite playmakers, we’ve got some of good playmakers, we’ve got some guys that can go up and make plays right now and can be elite.”
Kelly said it’s time for those players to emerge.
“We have to continue to develop them, we’ve got some young guys that I think can be,” Kelly said. “But we saw in the national championship game a couple of elite playmakers, (and) we’ve got to have those guys this year.
“I think we’ve got them, they’ve got to show themselves.”