Kelly noted that before coming to Notre Dame three years ago, he had coached a lot of teams with high-powered offenses. Sometimes they ran up lots of points, but on their off days, they gave up more than they scored.
"The blueprint here is to not to try and outscore people and turn it into a track meet. It's to control the line of scrimmage, play great defense and be solid in the special teams. It's just a choice in the way I want our program to evolve."
He praised the work of his defensive coordinator, Bob Diaco.
"Think about what Coach Diaco has had to defend in the five weeks: An option offense (Navy), a run-first with a quarterback in Purdue, Michigan State with a grind-it-out great running back. It's been an outstanding performance to date. We've seen it all, now we just need to build on it."
ESPN's College Gameday will come to South Bend Saturday for the Stanford matchup.
While Kelly is cognizant of the need to shield his players from the noise and hype, he likes what the national attention means.
"You want to be in that group of football programs that have College Gameday on your campus," he said. "You want to be that program that appeals to the audience that we're out recruiting. You want to be in that 'in' crowd. You don't want to be on the outside looking in.
"We're excited about the spotlight being here in South Bend and for our program, and I'll just work real diligently this week to keep our guys on task."