Kelly confident in Notre Dame's focus as senior week begins

Kelly confident in Notre Dame's focus as senior week begins
November 17, 2013, 10:00 pm
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JJ Stankevitz

Notre Dame's had a week off to chew on its third loss of the season, but the focus now shifts to beating BYU on Saturday and sending Irish seniors out with a win.

Aside from Notre Dame's fifth-year seniors — Zack Martin, Chris Watt, Dan Fox, Carlo Calabrese, etc. — it's a class that hasn't seen a senior day loss. Brian Kelly has won all three of Notre Dame's final home games since coming to South Bend and has beat a message home to his team: Don't let the senior day emotions get to you.

"Being enthusiastic about it and understanding that it's your last game, but letting emotions get in the way of playing a good football game is counter-productive to the memories of what you want to carry with you," Kelly said last week. "You do not want to be carrying a loss with you in your last home game.

"But they've heard that from me, pretty confident they understand that."

[MORE: Notre Dame not yet setting its sights on 2014]

Notre Dame didn't practice last week, the product of a depth chart severely thinned out by attrition in recent weeks. But with practice starting back up this week, Kelly has his eye more on the guys coming back to Notre Dame in 2014 — he sees it as a given that his seniors will give a complete effort over the next week.

"We need our seniors to play their very best. I'll worry about the rest of the guys," Kelly said. "My eyes will be on everybody else. Because if they're not 100-percent playing and they're returning, they'll have to deal with me. Our seniors need to just make sure they are playing their very best in their last home game."