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Practice Report

Oct. 11, 2001

The Notre Dame football team dug itself out of a hole last weekend with a 24-7 victory over Pittsburgh. Irish head coach Bob Davie feels his team must improve to keep winning and finish the season strong.

“The big picture is to keep taking steps to where we feel good about ourselves. I’m optimistic and confident right now. I’m anxious to see if we can build on what momentum we have. We’re an improving team, there’s lots of positive things still out there.”

Winning is the Cure

The Irish have undergone tough times this year. Davie offered one way to deal with adversity.

“When you win, things start hopping a bit,” Davie said. “Things get a little easier. It’s a momentum thing. Anytime you’re ahead and winning, things get a little easier. That’s what I have seen more than anything. I hope it continues.”

Fun Times in October

As Notre Dame’s head coach, Davie has won 14 in a row and is 15-2 overall in the month of October. After Thursday’s practice, Davie offered some comic relief to members of the press on how his success in October will influence the outcome of Saturday’s game against West Virginia.

“I love October (laughing),” Davie said. “You guys probably jinx me by bringing that up. Anytime someone makes things like that public, there seems to be an adverse effect. I’m going to hold you directly responsible if things don’t go well (laughing). Otherwise, I’m not going to do much talking about that.”

Keeping Fresh

Legs get tired and injuries pile up once a season hits October. The Irish don’t have a bye week until Nov. 10. But the Irish won’t make many adjustments to the regular practice routine.

“We can’t change the schedule,” Davie said. “It’s interesting though. Pittsburgh had ten days to prepare for us. This is the first game where we have a kind of even territory with the other team in terms of normal practice time. We certainly don’t have any open dates soon. But we have enough depth where we don’t have to do much different. Yesterday we backed off a bit- no pads- because we are in mid-October. I want a fresh football team.”