Kelly keeping weekend in perspective

October, 18, 2011
10/18/11
12:36
PM ET

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Brian Kelly entered his weekly news conference Tuesday with a camera crew following him.

"You guys all know the Republican debate is here today," he joked before taking the podium.

USC week is not exactly a political affair. And, despite what Trojans coach Lane Kiffin may have said this week about the game being the Irish's Super Bowl, a championship won't exactly be decided this Saturday, either.

Kelly understands the importance of this intersectional rivalry, but he isn't going to let it cloud his team's motive for the rest of the season:

Win out.

"We talked about that the other day. For us, we wanna get into a BCS game and we know what we have to do, and that is we gotta win each and every game we play," Kelly said. "So every game for us since going 0-2 has been that way. It's been the same focus for us. It's a huge game for us against USC, there's no question about the tradition and the rivalry. But if we beat USC and don't beat Navy, it doesn't mean much. So I think that's the perspective we take."

Notes: Kelly said Manti Te'o (ankle), Ethan Johnson (ankle) and Daniel Smith (leg) are all cleared to play Saturday, though Johnson will not be able to go every play.

Matt Fortuna | email

College Football

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