If this was Brian Kelly's attempt to stir up the emotions of his players to make them play better, his tactics may have backfired.

In the week after Notre Dame's 31-17 loss to USC, the Fighting Irish coach openly criticized certain players. He took the highly unusual step of naming particular players who underperformed and implied he wasn't responsible for the poor play of players he didn't recruit.

"You can see the players that I recruited here," Kelly said Thursday. "You know who they are. We've had one class … that I've had my hand on. The other guys here are coming along."

The players know "who they are," and it threatened to cause a rift between the players recruited by Charlie Weis and Kelly. Tweets by many players suggested dissension within the team, the Chicago Tribune reports.

"Playin for my bros and that's it!!!!" junior linebacker Manti Te'o reportedly tweeted.

All the players' tweets about the episode have been deleted.

Notre Dame (4-3) plays Navy on Saturday, and is in danger of an unprecedented third straight loss to the Midshipmen.