NOTRE DAME — Notre Dame is getting ready for what Brian Kelly says is his team's toughest opponent so far in 2021.
""They're clearly the best team we've played up to this point," Kelly said of Cincinnati on Monday. "They deserve where they're ranked."
7th ranked Cincinnati comes to South Bend this weekend, and the question most Irish fans are probably wondering is whether starting quarterback Jack Coan will be available?
It's too soon to tell. Jack Coan injured his left leg while being sacked in the 2nd half of Saturday's win against Wisconsin in Chicago and did not return to the game.
Coan's prognosis immediately following the game was encouraging. X-rays were negative according to Brian Kelly after the win.
"It's a soft-tissue injury," Kelly said Saturday. "It doesn't even respond like a high ankle sprain, so we're pretty optimistic that we'll be able to see him back next week."
Two days later, not much has changed. Kelly reiterated Monday that Coan will start for Notre Dame against the Bearcats if he is able to play. Kelly says he hopes to have a much better feel for Coan's status following practice on Tuesday.
"If Jack is healthy he'll be our starter," Kelly said. "We'll see when we get on the field tomorrow. We're not on the field today. I think tomorrow we'll make a decision on how he feels and how he looks. If he looks good he'll play. If not, Drew (Pyne) is ready to go."
Kelly also said that redshirt freshman quarterback Tyler Buchner has said he feels ready, after missing the last game and a half with a hamstring.
No. 9 Notre Dame and No. 7 Cincinnati play at 2:30 on Saturday at Notre Dame Stadium.