Brian Kelly lost his cool with a reporter following Notre Dame’s 20-19 home loss to No. 13 Georgia on Saturday, telling a reporter to “get to the question” after a long lead-in.
Not exactly a great moment for a guy whose temper has gotten him in trouble in the past.
“I get it, but you can’t do it,” CBS Sports college football analyst Aaron Taylor said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “There’s a reason there’s a cooling-off period and that sort of thing. The reporter’s question was an appropriate one. I think the lead-in was too long, and he was getting frustrated. I think the question could have been asked a little bit better, but even so, give an answer and just move on. You don’t have to lose your composure that way.”
The reporter was trying to ascertain why Notre Dame often loses close games. The Irish went 4-8 last year, losing six games by seven points or fewer, including four games by three points or fewer.
Ironically, Kelly’s outburst may be the problem.
“I think that may be a microcosm of kind of what happens in the big moments,” said Taylor, who starred at Notre Dame in the early ’90s. “Notre Dame needs to learn to keep its cool – and that includes the head coach, Brian Kelly. But he was frustrated – and rightfully so. The way the question was asked, it would have frustrated me as well. (But) you’re the head coach. Answer the question and move on.”
Taylor was a consensus first-team All-American at Notre Dame and won the Lombardi Trophy in 1993. The Irish, however, haven’t won a national title since 1988 and have finished a season ranked in the AP Top 10 just twice since 1994.
Perhaps that’s one reason why there was a sea of Georgia red inside Notre Dame Stadium on Saturday.
“That’s a sad reality of the modern state of Notre Dame football,” Taylor said. “We saw that with Nebraska many years ago. I don’t know what it is with these red teams that travel, but Notre Dame hasn’t done a very god job (recently of) being teams in one-possession games. You don’t win the close ones. We haven’t beaten a team that’s finished the season in the top 18 since the 2012 national championship game. We did it once, and that was against Michigan State in 2013 – the next year after we went to the national championship – and they finished third. But other than that, it’s been tough times tightening the belt strap and eating the leather for Irish fans.”
The Irish (1-1) play their next two games on the road – at Boston College (1-1) and at Michigan State (2-0) – on Sept. 16 and 23, respectively. They return to South Bend for a home game against Miami of Ohio (1-1) on Sept. 30.