Brian Kelly was a very happy man on Monday after his team’s success at the weekend. LSU took care of business against New Mexico with a dominating 38-0 win over the Lobos. The Tigers looked good on both sides of the ball as they continued to develop following a slow start to the season in some areas of the field.
Kelly gave his thoughts on the previous weekend’s performance during his Week 4 press conference. He also spoke to the media about the injuries his team sustained on Saturday, the current depth chart, his quarterback situation and the upcoming scrap with Auburn.
Here’s what Kelly had to say about the state of the LSU program heading into Week 5:
What Brian Kelly said about Jayden Daniels in Week 4 press conference
Kelly opened up the afternoon speaking about the tough opposition left on the calendar. The Bayou Bengals have gotten through the relatively easy opening part of their schedule with a 3-1 record. Some of the best teams in the country still await the Tigers, but the LSU frontman said his team isn’t afraid of a challenge. That begins with a trip to Jordan-Hare Stadium before the Tigers take on teams like Tennessee, Ole Miss, Alabama, Arkansas and Texas A&M.
Kelly spoke on the Auburn QB situation and mentioned that his team will have to prepare for either quarterback to start—that includes former LSU quarterback T.J. Finley. Meanwhile, Bryan Harsin’s squad will be preparing for Jayden Daniels.
Daniels came out of the New Mexico game with an injury in the second half. However, Kelly noted that his QB1 will be ready to go for Tuesday’s practice. He was later asked about the Arizona State transfer’s development thus far, and he had this to say:
Daniels has been one of the SEC’s best quarterbacks through four games. This remained true against the Lobos as he finished with a stat line of 24-for-29 with 279 yards passing. Despite his 37 rushing yards, the veteran quarterback dialed it down a bit on the ground and focused a lot on his passing progression. Kelly obviously took note of this growth.
Elsewhere, it’s mostly good news on the injury front for the Tigers. Safety Jay Ward is ready to suit up on Tuesday and running back Armoni Goodwin is day-to-day. Unfortunately, Major Burns will be out three to six weeks with a neck injury. Joe Foucha, who returns from suspension, will help out at safety down the stretch during Burns’ absence.
Kayshon Boutte will also return against Auburn after the birth of his first child.
Kelly emphasized that he is ready for the challenge of coaching at Jordan-Hare Stadium. He also believes his team is ready, despite the obstacles they’ve already had to overcome this season. Nevertheless, LSU will continue to face adversity. A lot of people—including the Tigers themselves—will find out what kind of football team Kelly has in the coming weeks.
The first-year LSU coach spoke on the challenges that lie ahead for his squad:
"“We’re going to find out now (about LSU as a team). They have followed a process, now [they] will have to apply it to the SEC. That’s a step up. Next month will be good and bad days, we’re going to have to trust and keep going.”"
It became evident when the former Notre Dame Head Coach was speaking that he has a lot of confidence in his young team. The Tigers are in a better place right now than many people expected coming into the season. Yet, the next couple of games will make or break the season. It’s up to Kelly and the players to step up against SEC opposition.