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Irish Insights


New territory for Notre Dame

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Notre Dame is at a place it hasn't been since 1988, on the cusp of winning a national title.

Coach Brian Kelly said Wednesday that the BCS championship game between the No. 1 Irish (12-0) and No. 2 Alabama (12-1) is something no one on Notre Dame's team or coaching staff have experienced.

But Kelly also said that his team should be able to handle the added pressure of a title game because of the numerous big games the Irish play every season.

"We've got some seniors and some leaders that have been through some really tough games," Kelly said. "They know what to expect when the game starts. All of the emotions and all that anxiety, it goes away after the first hit. They are a veteran group, and they know how to handle the moment."

Receiver Robby Toma said he believes the intense following Notre Dame has every year will help the team entering the championship game, but he also did admit to some nerves entering the final week before the game.

"Just having the opportunity to play for Notre Dame with all the fan support and how many people follow us, every week is a big game," Toma said. This is the biggest game, and we are ready for it.

"I'm definitely feeling a little nerves right now, but if you don't feel nerves than something is wrong with you. This is a huge game. This is what you grow up for and what you want to play for when you are young."