Kyle Brindza hadnt missed multiple field goals in a game through the first six contests of his college career. But on Saturday, the sophomore kicker missed on his first two tries from 28 and 40 yards, leaving six points on the board in a game that wound up being decided by three.
Notre Dame was able to withstand those two misses, which were uncharacteristic for someone who has been pretty good in his first year aiming between the uprights. Coach Brian Kelly said Sunday, though, that he isnt concerned about the two misses turning into a trend.
He was just off on his line a little bit, Kelly explained. It's such a skill that you have to be right on. He's got a great makeup, mentally he's a tough kid. He's not afraid of the big moment. And those are all the things that I'm concerned with the most. I never saw a crack there at all.
He was a little off on his technique, and he knew it, and he'll work hard on it in terms of correcting it this week. He's got the makeup to be a guy that you can keep rolling out there.
Under the circumstances, though, Kelly wouldve preferred Brindza didnt even attempt those two misses. Obviously, any coach would rather see a drive finish in the end zone than with a field goal, but for Notre Dame, reliance on field goals has developed into a larger issue in the last few weeks.
Two missed field goals, those conversions -- those have to be touchdowns on those drives, Kelly said. We can't settle for field goals. I look at it and make assessments as to what we did on those drives. We had a snap infraction that put us in a third and nine situation, and then we come back and miss the field goal. Then we come back again with a great drive and a big run and we can't convert a couple of runs.
As we go through it, what we're looking for is how we can put more points on the board. Settling for field goals has really been my focus here the last hour (on Sunday) because, again, we just finished up with all of our breakdowns ... I'll go back and say we left too many points out there. We've got to put more points on the board.