The injury to quarterback Jack Coan does not seem to be severe, as Brian Kelly establishes a new record for Notre Dame football coaching victories.
CHICAGO (WLS) — After exiting Saturday’s 41-13 win over No. 17 Wisconsin with a left ankle injury, Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly is “very hopeful” that quarterback Jack Coan will not miss next week’s game against No. 8 Cincinnati.
Coan hobbled off during Notre Dame’s second possession of the third quarter, with the score at 10-10, in front of his former club at Soldier Field.
He was escorted to the locker room after a short visit to the medical tent.
X-rays were “clear,” according to Kelly, and Coan’s injury did not seem to be severe.
Kelly said, “It’s a soft-tissue injury.”
“It’s not even acting like a major ankle sprain,” says the doctor, “so we’re hoping to see him back next week.”
On Oct. 2, the No. 12 Fighting Irish (4-0) will face Cincinnati.
Notre Dame trailed 13-10 against Wisconsin before scoring 31 consecutive points in the last 14:01, including a 96-yard kick return touchdown by Chris Tyree, to overtake Knute Rockne for the school’s all-time coaching victories record with 106.
Due to the absence of true freshman Tyler Buchner, who had only seen action in the previous two games due to a hamstring injury, second-year quarterback Drew Pyne took over and threw for 81 yards and a score.
Kelly commended Pyne for staying with Notre Dame despite Coan’s transfer from Wisconsin, but he stressed that Coan will be the starter whenever he is healthy enough to play.
Buchner is also expected to return next week, according to Kelly.
Kelly noted the Irish are still a developing squad that is coping with inexperience and attrition in some areas, but he admires the group’s commitment to preparation.
The Irish defense, which had struggled in victories over Florida State and Toledo, held Wisconsin to 13 of 14 third-down conversion attempts, including the first ten.
Notre Dame had just 60 yards in the fourth quarter but became only the second FBS team in the last 15 years to come back from a 28-point hole to win.
“Practicing is one thing, but you have to switch to a performing mentality,” Kelly added. “They have the ability to flip it.
They may prepare and then switch to performance mode, which is a great idea…
We still have a long way to go, but things are improving week by week. I’m having a great time coaching them.
“They’re far from ideal, but they’ll be better in November, and that’s the wonderful thing about it.
That’s what keeps you going as a coach.”
Kelly started his postgame press conference by apologizing for his “sticky Gatorade haircut,” which he received after the game when teammates drenched him.
he has a 106-39 record at Notre Dame, including two CFP berths and a BCS championship game participation in 2012.
Kelly remarked of breaking Rockne’s record, “I’m just happy it’s over with.”
“I’m pleased with the consistency we’ve achieved, and obviously, to win, you need great players, excellent coaches, and tremendous support… But it gives me greater pleasure to see Drew Pyne and Chris Tyree grow in there. That is why I do what I do.
Because you’re attempting to break Knute Rockne’s record, you don’t do it for 31 years.
“I don’t want to disparage Knute, but I’m just happy it’s done with so we can focus on beating Cincinnati.”
However, as part of academic misconduct penalties, the NCAA ordered the Irish to forfeit 21 wins from the 2012 and 2013 seasons.
In February 2018, the NCAA rejected an appeal. Kelly has an NCAA record of 85-39 in 12 seasons, according to the NCAA.