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Irish Insights

  • Irish get more watch list honors
    Three more Notre Dame players were named to watch lists.
  • Brindza on Lou Groza watch list
    Notre Dame's Kyle Brindza was named to the preseason watch list for the 2014 Lou Groza Award. The Lou Groza Award is given annually to the nation's best placekicker.
  • Two more Irish land on watch lists
    Notre Dame center Nick Martin was placed on the watch list for the Rimington Trophy, given annually to the nation's best player at that position.

No overlooking Western Michigan

Western Michigan is the first Mid-American Conference team to play Notre Dame since the league was formed in 1947.

But it is not the first time the Irish (3-3) and Broncos (2-3) have played. Notre Dame defeated Western Michigan in 1919 (53-0) and 1920 (41-0)

Though this is the first team the Irish will play that is not from a BCS automatic qualifying conference, coach Brian Kelly said his team cannot afford to over look the Broncos.

"I told them yesterday, we are not that good to think about anybody else but our next opponent," Kelly said Tuesday. "We can't roll the ball out and expect to win football games. Western Michigan, in particular, is going to play their very, very best. I'm not that concerned about the focus of our football team. They understand what's expected of them at the University of Notre Dame."

Kelly has experience matching wits with Western Michigan coach Bill Cubit. The two have coaches against each other when Kelly was at Central Michigan and Cincinnati.

"One thing Bill has done is he's always had his football teams ready for BCS opponents," Kelly said. "I think his history shows that; at Iowa, Illinois, played a Florida State team really tough. We know that his team is going to be prepared to play its very best here at Notre Dame."

Notre Dame will also have to be ready for a Western Michigan defense that has forced plenty of turnovers this season.

The Broncos have 15 take aways in their first five games.

"Their third down package is pretty good. They bring pressure. They are not afraid to bring pressure in those situations," Kelly said. "I think their corners break very well on the ball. And you know, I think the combination of pressure and corners that can, you know, attack the football, has been really their one area that I think concerns a lot of teams that play them, and it concerns us, as well."