Brian Kelly had his weekly meeting with the media leading up to this Saturday’s SEC Championship Game against Georgia.
“Obviously it’s exciting to be able to play for a conference championship,” Kelly said. “We certainly feel like we’ve earned the opportunity to be here by the play on the field, and we’re excited about the opportunity to represent SEC West and playing the No. 1 team in the country.
“Georgia has, again, proven themselves to be the best team, and we’re excited about that challenge. We know it’s going to be a tough challenge, but we’re certainly up for this chance to win the SEC. That’s what you play it for. I know our guys are excited about it.”
Kelly continued to pay respect to the Dawgs. Georgia is, after all, the defending national champs, have won 26 of its last 27 games, and have won the SEC East in five of the past six seasons.
“Again, it’s an outstanding football team. There’s so many superlatives, whether you go on offense and talk about Stetson Bennett or you go defensively and you talk about some of the biggest defensive linemen and most active linebackers with Johnson and certainly inside with Carter and Beal. This is just a well-coached, consistent football team.
“But our guys have had the opportunity to play the best, and this is another opportunity for us to be challenged. We’re excited about the opportunity.”
Kelly then turned his attention to his own football team and provided updates on two key Tigers: corner Jarrick Bernard-Converse and quarterback Jayden Daniels.
Of Bernard-Converse Kelly said he’ll practice Tuesday (which is non-contact). His status for the rest of the week depends on how he manages practice.
“If he gets through that non-contact practice, then he’ll be fully cleared, so we’re expecting that he’ll be back for us.”
And of Daniels, Kelly said “yeah nothing more.”
“He’s been evaluated. He’s in a walking boot. We’ll keep him in that boot today, and then tomorrow he’ll go in for his exam. Really this is about strength. He’ll go on the altered G today so he’ll run with no obviously force and keep him conditioned even through today, which is a weight training and film study day.
“Tomorrow he’ll go through a manual exam where effectively he’s got to be able to get up on his toes. If he’s able to do that, then we’re ready to go for Tuesday.”