Coach Brian Kelly may be focused on rebuilding Notre Dame during his first year at South Bend, but he's well aware that most Irish fans are just impatient for him to win games.

What has obviously improved in the last few weeks is the teams confidence; although Notre Dame isn't physically in the same league with teams like Stanford yet the Irish have nonetheless made impressive plays at Michigan State and they held Pittsburgh down defensively as they doggedly clung to the lead.

Critics say they now need to find that killer instinct when the momentum is on their side. All those flubbed turnovers in the red zone and those drive-killing penalties have to end. And no one knows this better than Kelly, of course.

The good news for the Irish is they can work through each of these things while playing Western Michigan, Navy and Tulsa in the next three games. At that point, their record this year should start to look less like that of a team in transition, and more like a team coming into their own.