Oct. 2, 2000

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – You cannot motivate your team by walking into practice and trying to fire everybody up. This week is when you focus on going back to the basics. It is the time when you work on fundamentals and improving as an individual player. This is a week dedicated to working.

Practice this week is like a mini-training camp. The attitude and work ethic remains the same as if it were a game week, but the workouts change.

From this point forward, we really control everything that happens to us. We played four really good football teams and went 2-2. This team could 4-0, but by the same token, we could be 0-4.

From here on out, we will play a lot of good football teams but none more talented than the ones we have already played. It is obvious that we have enough talent and ability to be 4-0.

We are healthier than we were a year ago. We are a better football team than we were a year ago, and if we stay as hungry as we have been, we will control what happens from this point forward. We can really have a successful football team.

I have put it back in the hands of the players by saying that we are in an ideal situation right now because we know what we have. We have played good football teams. We are a good football team and we are good enough to win the rest of games.

The great thing about this sport is that you have the opportunity to show you can bounce back after getting knocked down. This week is about getting our feet back under us and putting in ourselves in the position to win.

We have the motivation to win the rest of games not to mention the talent.