Beating Michigan, check.
Beating a top ten team at home, check.
winning an away game against a ranked opponent, a resounding check.
I have been critical of Kelly before and even questioned if he should remain the coach of Notre Dame. ( Should Brian Kelly Stay Head Coach at Notre Dame ) Last night showed Kelly and this team have turned a serious corner.
Kelly has struggled in big games throughout his career and went into Blacksburg last night with a 3-10 record vs ranked opponents away from home. The game was filled with hints of the Irish we had become so accustomed to over the last few seasons.
Notre Dame scored on the first drive of the game and things were looking like they have here in 2018. Then, Book started to struggle and the rushing attack was non-existent. At one point the Irish had -3 yards at half time. The offense disappeared and the Irish kept letting Virginia Tech hang around. It felt all too familiar.
Then, this happened.
DEXTER WILLIAMS: LONGEST ROAD RUN IN ND HISTORY ☘️☘️☘️ pic.twitter.com/ONLwsMlWMr
— Barstool Irish (@BarstoolIrish) October 7, 2018
There was no looking back after Dexter Williams went into the history books. While a great moment for Williams, this was even better for the Irish as a whole. With the game changing momentum and Notre Dame pulling away, it showed a true change.
Kelly has been silencing his critics one game at a time. He struggles in big games but beats Michigan. He was 3-7 vs Stanford and rolls them in a big top ten match-up. Now he goes on to improve his 3-10 record for away games against ranked teams with the VT beat down.
The season is long but I am buying in more every day with this Irish team and what Kelly has them doing. I also saw some complaints about Book having a “bad game” because he didn’t put up the eye popping numbers he has. But he still had a 71% completion percentage and is one of the best in the nation in both completion percentage and QB efficiency.
Looking ahead, Syracuse was looking like real threat but ended up losing to Pitt and USC doesn’t seem to be as a team to fear like they use to be. Kelly needs to continue to buck the trend of playing down to his competition and run through the rest of the schedule with the toughest games behind him.
Here’s to adding another “check” to Brian Kelly’s improving resume. Go Irish.
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Started Saturday Tailgate in 2018. Covering all things college football and talking Notre Dame on Twitter.