Notre Dame's three-game losing streak is not new for the program.
The Irish closed last season with four consecutive losses, leading to the firing of Charlie Wise and the hiring of coach Brian Kelly.
Notre Dame had two losing streaks of two games in 2008, and the Irish suffered five- and four-game losing streaks in 2007.
But safety Harrison Smith said the current losing streak is different.
"We've gone through stages like this before, but it feels different this time," Smith said Wednesday during the defensive news conference. "I know 1-3 is not where you want to be, and no matter how you put it, that's where we are. The mentality of all these guys and the way we are dealing with it now is different than it as been. Where everybody is still excited and ready to come out and practice."
Smith took his comments of dealing with losses a step farther, expressing an urgency for victory that isn't always common among players.
"It's kind of like life or death when hit comes to winning, and that's how it has to be," Smith said. "If you really like to compete that's what it is like because losing feels like the worst thing in the world. You don't want to do anything after a loss. You want to play the next game as soon as possible to move on."
Smith said the feeling isn't new for the team, but he is feeling it from more players.
"After some of the losses that we've had, you can see it in everybody's face," Smith said. "Not that we are actually dying, but that is what it is like. The next week, instead of giving up and backing off and taking it easy, everybody has ramped it up. It has gotten more intense every week.
"We are sick of it, and we've got to start winning."
Linebacker Manti Te'o said nobody is more frustrated by Notre Dame's record more than the players and coaches.
"If you were in our locker room, especially this past week, nobody talked," Te'o said. "I think it is the closest thing to dying. It does not feel good. It doesn't feel good at all."