Notre Dame Head Coach Brian Kelly Says Game Against Canes As Big As National Championship Game

Jeff Stoutland certainly knows how to open a press conference on a light note. Yesterday, the University of Miami interim football head coach was late to his Q&A session alongside Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly to talk about their teams meeting for the first time in 20 years at the Hyundai Sun Bowl in El Paso on New Year's Eve. Stoutland explained his plane was delayed due to mechanical troubles.

 "As I was negotiating how to get on another plane," Stoutland relayed, "I look out the window. From underneath the plane I see a worker. He has a Notre Dame ski cap on and waving at me. I said to myself, 'You've got to be kidding me.'"

The roomful of reporters erupted in laughter. With that, Stoutland gave the floor to Kelly, who noted the excitement surrounding the Hurricanes-Fighting Irish's upcoming skirmish, even throwing in a little hyperbole. 

"You can arguably say that this game will have as much appeal as the national championship game," Kelly remarked. "I can tell you our kids are excited. When you have an opponent like the University of Miami, it keeps the attention of our players. I think we are going to be able to to put on a great show."

You can watch the entire press conference below:

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Francisco Alvarado was born in Nicaragua and grew up in Miami, giving him unique insight into the Magic City and all its dark corners. An investigative reporter with a knack for uncovering corruption, Alvarado made his bones as a staff writer at Miami New Times and remains in dogged pursuit of the next juicy story.