When asked how to avoid a trap game between the victory versus Stanford and the inevitable clash against Oklahoma in two weeks, Kelly responded that he had already talked to his players about this very subject.
“We’ve already talked about it with our team, and we’ll make sure that we do everything to prepare the right way.” Coach Brain Kelly stated in his weekly Media Press Conference.
Senior Linebacker and All-American Manti Te’o seems equally confident. Te’o said, ” I think it’s only a trap game if you’re dealing with a young team, a team that is not focused on one singular goal, and that’s to take that day by day, week by week.”
Notre Dame is familiar with this concept. The last time Notre Dame was undefeated they had trouble with this exact same situation. In 2002, after defeating Florida State, Notre Dame traveled home to face Boston College. In an infamous game, Notre Dame committed several turnovers including one that was returned for a touchdown by the Eagles. Then Starting Quarterback Carlyle Holiday was injured and replaced by backup Pat Dillingham. Notre Dame fell 14-7. Before that, Notre Dame dropped another game against the Eagles on a last second field goal in 1993 after beating #1 Florida State the previous week.
But, if the Irish can avoid the trap, they will play in a monumental game against the Sooners in Norman in two weeks. However, since the Irish are undefeated, the next game is the most important game. This is a difficult concept to get across to a team that is looking for the next challenge. However, BYU is not a team to be taken lightly.
“It’s another physical football team that plays great defense. They have won a couple of close games this year on the backs of their defense,” praised Kelly. BYU enters the contests with 4 wins and 3 losses. Two of BYU’s losses came by a total of points. Another loss came to a Top-10 Oregon State team. BYU will not come into South Bend and just go quietly.
“Offensively, they have got some big bodied wide receivers, a quarterback who is a senior who can certainly make plays, well coached, and certainly from our end, we’ll have to play well or we’ll get beat.” uttered Head Coach Brian Kelly.
Notre Dame needs to come out quickly and establish themselves or they could quickly find themselves in a tighter game than they anticipate. Even though, Notre Dame is favored by two touchdowns. The Cougars do have enough weapons to pull off an upset against the Fighting Irish. The words of Manti Te’o are important. This is a Senior led team that has been through these situations before. The leaders of this team will not let them relax. If they do, Notre Dame’s season will go from January-bound to December-bound.