As we discussed briefly earlier in the week, Notre Dame and Marshall don’t share much of a connection in terms of history together. They’ll meet for the first time ever on the gridiron Saturday and the most interesting link between the two is that Randy Moss wound up at one after having signed his national letter of intent at the other.
Charles Huff is in his second season as Marshall’s head coach, looking to improve on a 7-6 season last year that culminated with the Thundering Herd falling to Louisiana in the New Orleans Bowl.
Huff held his weekly press conference on Tuesday ahead of Marshall’s visit to South Bend and here is what he had to say about the Fighting Irish.
What comes to mind when he thinks Notre Dame
Knute Rockne, Notre Dame football coach, instructing football players, 1925. (AP Photo)
“Well, a couple things. [autotag]Rudy[/autotag], no disrespect. [autotag]Knute Rockne[/autotag]. I’m a football historian, so those things stand out to me. And then again just the overall history and tradition of how Notre Dame football has been played. It’s always been played with class, it’s always been played with really good, upstanding men and coaches. I think it stands for what truly is the core of college football…”
On Notre Dame's defensive line
Adam Cairns-USA TODAY Sports
“…when you look at them defensively, they’ve got a really good front seven. Really good. Two good defensive ends. The inside guys are quick. Short, stocky, but quick and powerful. On the back end they play with speed. Obviously, coach Freeman has done a good job of being the defensive coordinator. You can tell those guys know where they’re going and why. I told the team they are probably going to play faster than you think they are because they know where to go, they can anticipate, they’re physical, they’re tough.”
On Notre Dame's offense
Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports
“On the offensive side, their tight end is real. He’s probably going to win the Mackey. Let me say this, he’s probably going to be in the running for the Mackey. No disrespect to the other tight ends in the country. Their quarterback does a good job of managing the game. He’s elusive enough that he can run. I think you saw that a little bit Saturday night. The receiver that they lost was a big piece, but they do have some really good skill guys around him. [autotag]Chris Tyree[/autotag], their running back, I recruited him. Actually, his first offer was Marshall out of high school. He went to Thomas Dale high school. I recruited him for three schools as I was kind of moving around. He’s really, really fast. I think when you really look at them, they’re a complete team and as I told my team, they’re a really good team, a complete team in all three phases, but that doesn’t mean they’re perfect, just like we don’t have to be perfect to win the game.”
Bigness vs. importance of playing Notre Dame
Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports
“Obviously from the outside perspective, this is a huge game. Everyone is excited. From the historical piece of it of the place we’re going, all that’s great. The reality of it is that this game has no bearing on what our ultimate goal is and our ultimate goal is to play really well in the Sun Belt. Yes, every game the goal is to win, but if you focus on just winning you’ll never get to where you want to be. Because what happens if you don’t? What we focused on is how can we prepare each week with the same intensity and focus so we can prepare with the same consistency. If last week wasn’t big, but this week is big, but the next week isn’t — if you have that mindset as a player or coach, you’ll have ebbs and flows and peaks and valleys in your performance. When you do that, you’re riding the wave of luck…”
Having a few former Florida State players who have played against Notre Dame
Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports
“If you know they have a connection or they were roommates with a guy or went to high school with a guy, but there’s just so much time in between. It’s tough to ask them or put them on a spot compared to asking a coach. Usually you just let them play and let them prepare in realm. They don’t remember what they had for lunch yesterday let alone what happened last year at times.”
Notre Dame-Marshall Preview Links:
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