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Transcript: Brian Kelly, CFP Semifinal Joint Press Conference

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BGI/Bill Panzica

Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly and the other three coaches of the College Football Playoff participants held a joint news conference in Atlanta on Thursday afternoon.

Check out all of what Kelly had to say during the event.

Q: Opening statement.
BRIAN KELLY: “Well, it's certainly an honor for the University of Notre Dame to be a part of this great group of coaches and certainly teams. We're the new kid on the block. This is our first time in the College Football Playoffs, but it's something that we obviously look towards each and every year. We're certainly looking forward to an incredible match-up against a team in Clemson and a coach in Dabo Swinney who's been here four years, knows what it's like, and we'll have a great challenge. But we have a great respect for all of the coaches that are here. They've done it before. We certainly look at it each and every year as a goal for our football team. It's a difficult one but one that we all look forward to in getting to this. So again, a great honor, great to be with these coaches today, and looking forward to the challenge in front of us.”

Q: This is for all four coaches. What is the X factor you've seen in your opponent? KELLY: “Well, obviously when you talk about playing an opponent, it's the ability to close games out, the ability to know how to win, and that's Clemson. They know how to win football games. They've been winning. “I think everybody that's up here has developed and built a winning culture within their football team. You can't pin that on any one particular player. That's something that's within the fabric of the football program that's been built over time. So that would be the X factor.”

Q: Obviously the new redshirt rule has been a bit of a game changer this year. I'd just like to know how that has affected each one of your teams and if there's a player or two that you could name that you're redshirting that you think might be able to help you in the playoff.

KELLY: “Yeah, I would agree with everybody in terms of we make most of those decisions early in the year and then kind of progress relative to who's going to be redshirting, who's not. But there are some positives. We lost a good player in the first game of the year. We'll be able to get him back for this game, and then he'll have only two games and the potential to gain a year back because he wasn't redshirted.

“We played a freshman quarterback that probably we would not have played in mop-up duty, so you get a chance to get him out and get a little experience in those situations. But I think by and large, I think it's -- it really hasn't changed the landscape. It gives you maybe a little inventory on special teams here and there, but I think by and large, it's been a good rule.”

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