Chicago Sun-Times
with Mark Lazerus

Kelly addresses USC criticism

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Brian Kelly said he thought about calling timeouts late in Saturday night's loss to the USC but decided against it. He said his decision should not be interpreted as Notre Dame "quitting," as two USC players have claimed.

"I thought about it," Kelly said. "Right around the 3:30 mark is when I started to think about the potential for using timeouts. It just never felt like the right situation. We were in a number of second and shorts, and where the ball was, I don't know, intuitively, instinctively, I didn't pull the trigger on a timeout. 

"It had nothing to do with, 'Hey, we quit or we give up.' I just never felt like a timeout was something I was going to -- I thought about it, but why I didn't call the timeout had nothing to do with, 'Hey, we're throwing in the towel.'"

 First it was USC linebacker Chris Galippo who suggested the Fighting Irish gave up on the final drive of the game when coach Brian Kelly did not use timeouts to preserve the clock. Then quarterback Matt Barkley concurred during a Monday radio interview.

"I would agree with that," Barkley told ESPN 710. "I was shocked that they didn't use the (fourth-quarter) timeouts because we got on the field with ... about seven minutes left, and I thought they were planning on stopping us and saving their timeouts for the end when they had the ball." 

Barkley later added: "It seemed from our sideline and our perspective that they did give up. It seemed uncharacteristic of Notre Dame. I wouldn't have wanted to have been on that sideline."

Notre Dame trailed 31-17 when USC began its last drive with 6:43 left in the fourth quarter. The Trojans ran 10 straight running plays to the 2-yard line before time expired.

The last timeout of the game was called by USC with 2:41 left.

USC coach Lane Kiffin, who admitted Sunday that he was "shocked" Kelly didn't use the timeouts, apologized for his players' comments Monday.

"You get what you deserve," Kelly said when asked if his players were upset by the remarks out of USC. "Words don't mean much. We don't spend much time on that. We got beat, and they can say what ever they want. 

"I will say Lane Kiffin called me and apologized. I thought that was a very professional thing to do. It was appreciated. Quite honestly, it didn't affect me as much as from his end the professionalism and the way the comments were given. 

"Our guys know what happened. They got their butt's beat. They didn't play very well, and that comes with it. You get what you deserve."

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This page contains a single entry by Neil Hayes published on October 25, 2011 1:23 PM.

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