Saturday will be historic in Notre Dame Stadium as Tennessee State becomes the first HBCU and FCS program to play in the venerable stadium. Former NFL star Eddie George brings his Tennessee State program to South Bend to take on an Irish team led by fellow Ohio State alumnus Marcus Freeman.
Here’s what Notre Dame’s second-year head coach had to say about playing TSU.
Relationship with Eddie George
“We’ve met each other many times throughout my time at Ohio State. And so he’s always been a first-class individual, great family man and someone who I’ve really looked up to.”
Preparing for Tennessee State
“We don’t need some type of false narrative, some type ‘of don’t overlook anybody’ like…we don’t need… let’s talk about what really matters and that’s what winning the day. Right. And that’s going to take care of Saturday if we win this Monday.
It’s a challenge. You have to learn from the last game. Good that you learn from it. Now, as we get ready for our opponent, the second hour right. Study the heck out of it. Let’s learn the game plan. What are our thoughts? Okay. And then we’ve got to go out there and have a great 45 hour minute hour walkthrough or jog through.
And that’s got to be on folks like, let’s see, it’s us versus Tennessee State today. That’s our mindset. They’re getting. They got a day of meetings and practice the game. We have meetings and practice today. Who’s going to have the better meetings and practice? If we can motivate them to just win these moments, Saturday will take care of itself.”
Playing in Notre Dame Stadium
“You got a little taste of it in Dublin, Ireland, because it truly it was a home game for us. But they’ve never played in Notre Dame Stadium. And so I want them to embrace it. Right. Embrace the moment, embrace being in this special place. But that has nothing to do with you doing your job and that’s the common theme is that you’ll hear me say that we had a chance to come back into the stadium with our great fans, with our students in what I believe would be just a packed great stadium.
But with all that being said, embrace it, enjoy it pre-game. But once the foot hits the ball, you focus on one thing. That’s when you focus on just doing your job on that play and nothing else matters.”