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Sunday, October 2, 2011
Kelly hopes Irish maintain edge

By Matt Fortuna

Three straight wins to mask an 0-2 start have Notre Dame above .500 for the first time this season, but it's far from where coach Brian Kelly wanted to be after entering the  season ranked No. 16.

Kelly re-iterated Sunday that he hopes his players can play with the same kind of anger they carried into Week 3 after dropping two close contests, anger that they've maintained through the past two wins.

And that edge comes from the top.

"Well I think it starts with me, and I set the tone for the way our team goes to prepare each and every game," Kelly said during his weekly Sunday teleconference. "And so I'm not happy where we are; 3-2 is not what we had in our mindset. So it starts with me and our coaches and they take that lead in the way we go to work every day, so I don't see it changing. I'm certainly not gonna change."

Notes: Kelly said defensive end Ethan Johnson, who spent much of the second half Saturday wearing a protective boot on the sideline after spraining his right ankle, will be immobilized until midweek and there is a chance he could play Saturday against Air Force. ... Long snapper Jordan Cowart, who picked up a personal foul after extended physicality against several Purdue players during a second-quarter punt, broke his hand during the melee but may be able to give it a go Saturday.