Notre Dame has one victory in its last eight games, dating back to last season.
And after three consecutive losses to drop the Irish to 1-3 this season, coach Brian Kelly said the team is past the feeling that it needs a win to feel good about the direction of the program.
“I think after the Michigan game we needed a win,” Kelly said Sunday. “I don’t know that anybody around here goes around here going, ‘Don’t worry, it’s OK. Be patient.’ We are at that point now that there is no question we need a win.
“I’m going to tell you right now, our players are going to continue to show up and work the way we need them to get better each and every week. But we need to win. There is no question about that.”
Although the results are not showing up in the win-loss columns, players talked about feeling the team is going to be OK and that wins will come.
Kelly said that confidence is stemming from things that people do not see in games.
“There are so many things that go on outside the game,” Kelly said. “I know everything is evaluated on wins and losses. I understand that. I think some of the answers that you are getting relative to improvement have to do with other things in the program as well. I’m not trying to put a nice glow to this. Sometimes those answers that they are giving you is they see some things that they haven’t seen before that get them believing that we are making the right progress.”
Kelly said that progress is seen in a locker room that is united and players showing they care about each other.
In players coming to work every day trying to get better and trusting the coaching staff is asking them to do things that will make the team successful.
“It is outside … catching and tackling and blocking,” Kelly said of the confidence that the team is heading in the right direction. “It’s more about the day to day. It is getting stronger in the weight room. It’s their nutrition and diet, and how they look and feel physically. It’s the training room. All of those things are how you put together a successful program.”