Wednesday, December 26th, 2018

Irish Bring the Noise, Bear Down for Semifinal

Photo By: Photo by Bill Patterson/ CBAA

Notre Dame turned up the intensity Wednesday as it continued to prepare for the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the 83rd Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic.

The Fighting Irish (12-0), who are third in the CFP rankings, worked hard in full pads for two hours in their third on-site practice at AT&T Stadium. Midway through practice and again near the end, they operated with crowd noise playing through the stadium sound system. The noise was louder than some concerts the stadium has hosted and, they hope, replicated the most intense moments of a live game.

“This is a big stadium and when it’s quiet in here it’s not realistic,” Irish Head Coach Brian Kelly said. “So we just tried to create some realistic situations ... to get the guys ready for Saturday.”
Kelly is trying not to leave any detail unaddressed as he readies his team for No. 2 Clemson (13-0, 9-0 ACC). Players have responded well to the preparation load and their mental focus “has been great all week,” Kelly said.

“Their preparation since we started this journey, in terms of the playoffs, it’s not been like any other postseason that I’ve been part of in Division I,” Kelly said. “When it’s a playoff game, it’s a lot different than just preparing for a bowl game. They’ve been great. Their focus has been good. They’re here certainly to enjoy the Cotton Bowl and certainly what they have provided for the players, but this is a business trip too.”

Besides position and team meetings, players had some down time and a chance to attend the Dallas Mavericks NBA game against the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday night.

The Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic celebrates its 83rd anniversary on Saturday, Dec. 29. Live Coverage on ESPN is set for 3 p.m. CST, with kickoff slated for 3:10 p.m.

This marks the fifth consecutive year for the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic to be a part of the ESPN bowl lineup. Sean McDonough and Todd Blackledge are set to provide the call from the booth with Holly Rowe and Tom Rinaldi reporting from the sidelines.

ESPN Radio returns as the Classic's national radio partner for the seventh consecutive year. Bill Rosinski teams with David Norrie in the booth and Ian Fitzsimmons on the sidelines to describe all the action from AT&T Stadium.

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