SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- First things first: DeShone Kizer is still Notre Dame's starting quarterback.
While Brian Kelly answered the first question Tuesday about his quarterback's job being in jeopardy by saying that Kizer's standard of play is not where it needs to be, there will be no change in the signal-caller's status come Saturday.
Elsewhere? It could get more complicated, with the Irish coach saying his defense needs to show its depth more in light of the firing of coordinator Brian VanGorder and promotion of analyst Greg Hudson to that post.
"We're going to play with enthusiasm, we're going to play with the passion I said was missing," Kelly said. "(We) made changes accordingly to bring that back. That will begin to show itself. You're going to see a lot more players playing. There's going to be some depth, some camaraderie. We need to get that morale up on defense, and we'll do that with a lot more players involved in what we're doing on a day-to-day basis."
Kelly reiterated that morale and attitude starts with him as the head coach, but he did not think he was too hard on his players in his postgame news conference Saturday after a loss to Duke. And he said he thinks he hasn’t been as demonstrative on the sideline as he could be, adding that he will try to turn up the intensity a notch on game days, because that’s who he is.
"I don't know that I was that tough on the roster as much as I was tough on my coaches," Kelly said. "I think when you tell your coaches that they're on a job interview for the rest of the season, that seems to be tough, moreso than saying there's a standard of play at a particular position. You guys can interpret it anyway that you want. I don't think I'm too tough on them. ... It still falls on me, this team's not playing well. It's my fault. I have to find solutions to it. After a game when you're frustrated with the play, everybody is on notice, I made that pretty clear."