Players prepare to open season against Temple
Elizabeth Greason | Thursday, August 31, 2017
Irish players are feeling prepared and ready to go in anticipation for Saturday’s season opener against Temple, which will be the first with junior quarterback Brandon Wimbush under center and the first in the newly-renovated Notre Dame Stadium.
Notre Dame junior running back Josh Adams said the entire squad is excited to show off all the preparation that the team has put in during the offseason.
“Obviously we have a few more days until we get there, but every guy is excited, and we’re eager, and we’re just ready to play,” Adams said. “We’re ready to see all the work come forth, all the preparation that we’ve done, the time that we’ve sacrificed. We’re ready to see that pay off, and it’s just exciting. Every first game you’ve got the jitters, but it’s just amazing. It’s an amazing feeling. We’re definitely ready to go play.”
Adams added that the changes to the offense will yield results this season, as the entire offense is holding itself to a higher standard this season. New offensive coordinator Chip Long has high expectations for all his players.
“We have made some adjustments to our playbook, but I think regardless of a new or old offense, I think that the guys definitely have a new attitude approaching this year,” Adams said. “We’re going to continue to work hard. We’re going to continue to perfect our craft. We’ve made a great adjustment. Every guy has really bought into playing at a high level and playing to that standard we know we have set for ourselves, so it hasn’t been too hard of an adjustment, but every guy has been doing great in that area. The offense, of course, with Coach Long is a faster paced offense, and I think that with our conditioning and with our workouts and everything, we’ve done a great job of transitioning to that.”
Graduate student offensive lineman Mike McGlinchey said the offense is feeling confident approaching the first game of the season.
“I don’t think the confidence level is any different from the start,” McGlinchey said. “I think each year you kind of always believe and have the confidence that you can pull it off as an offensive line. The five of us up front want the game on our shoulders. We want to be able to have Coach Long call run play when the game is on the line. I think that we’re very capable of doing that. I think we have great players up front, not just [senior Quenton Nelson] and I, but [senior Sam Mustipher], [senior Alex Bars], [sophomore Tommy Kraemer] and [freshman Robert Hainsey], whoever winds up playing there. It’s going to be exciting for us up front because we have an offensive coordinator now that trusts us and means what he says when he says we’re going to put the ball in your hands or — not physically the ball for us, but the game in your hands, and we know he means it, and we know he wants that himself.
“We’re really confident in our abilities. We’ve worked really, really hard for the last nine months into giving him the confidence in order to do that and giving ourselves the confidence in order to do that, and I think that it just comes down to execution, and when the play is called, we’ve got to do our job just like everybody else does, and we’re confident that us doing our job is better than everybody else. That’s pretty much it.”
McGlinchey said the atmosphere of the game in the game at Campus Crossroads is going to be exciting for the team to play in.
“I think it’s going to be awesome. Our new stadium is as good as it gets in the country, I think,” McGlinchey said. “I think that [director of athletics Jack] Swarbrick and whoever else was involved in making that possible did an amazing job, and it’s certainly going to add a different element to what you normally see at Notre Dame Stadium. It gives a little life to the stadium. I think that it’s going to be easier to follow the game a little bit when you can see a replay or see something that’s going on. Certainly for us, I know [assistant head coach Mike] Elston likes having the because you can get a full replay of what’s happening on the field and doesn’t have to rely on our word as much as he used to, so it’s going to be fun. It’s an incredible atmosphere. The stadium is state-of-the-art, and we’re really excited to put on a show for the Notre Dame fans.”
He also added that the new stadium could potentially provide a distraction on gameday, so it will force the squad to buckle down.
“I’m sure [the atmosphere] can [help], but I mean — yes and no, I think. I think it can also be a distraction if you let it,” McGlinchey said. “I think that this new stadium is going to bring a lot of energy. It’s going to bring a lot of hype. It’s going to bring all that and a matter of focusing — it’s a matter of focusing on what you need to focus on, getting your job done and everything else will take care of itself, and I think it’ll be a lot more play to play reaction, I think, than just one touchdown every now and again.”