Chicago Sun-Times
with Mark Lazerus

This bowl trip no day at the beach for Notre Dame

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A bowl game is a chance to reward players for their hard work all season, a chance to escape the cold and go somewhere warm, to act like tourists, to stay out late, to have a good time, and to eventually play a football game.

But for Notre Dame, its impending trip to South Florida will be no day at the beach.

"This is not a bowl game," Irish coach Brian Kelly said. "You're playing for a national championship."

So you can forget that 2 a.m. curfew Kelly has imposed in the past for the first couple days of the bowl trip. Doors close at 11 p.m. every night once the team arrives in sunny Florida on Jan. 2.

And you won't hear the players complaining. The Champs Sports Bowl was fun. The national championship game against Alabama is all business.

"You get the feel we're here for something more than going to Disney World and playing in a nice game," lineman Chris Watt said. "We're here to win a national title."

Watt said that goes for everyone, and that the veterans will keep the younger guys in line.

"Some of the guys who won't play might feel the need to go out," he said. "But we're going to need everyone for this game -- at all the practices, we're going to need everyone at 100 percent giving great looks. Curfew's real important. It reminds us that we're playing in a big game -- not that we need to be reminded; every day we hear about it. It's good for us."

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This page contains a single entry by Mark Lazerus published on December 30, 2012 5:58 PM.

Returning Watt, Martin to bring continuity to Notre Dame line in 2013 was the previous entry in this blog.

Special circumstances for Notre Dame special teams is the next entry in this blog.

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