Weis Notebook 10/10

The 20-6 victory over UCLA last Saturday night gave Notre Dame their first win of the season. The Irish had been working hard week after week with nothing to show for it. The Bruins victory was the first time the effort and dedication produced a positive outcome. Head coach Charlie Weis said on Tuesday that despite the 0-5 start, his team never behaved or prepared like an 0-5 team.

Now, the Irish are 1-5 and preparation for Boston College this weekend is underway. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:43 PM and NBC will have the national television coverage. The UCLA win can also increase the team's confidence. With the Eagles 6-0 for the first time since 1942 and ranked No. 4 in both national polls, Notre Dame will need all the belief and effort they can muster to pull off the upset.

"There is more confidence," Weis said on Wednesday after practice. "Yesterday's practice wasn't one where we were worrying about their confidence. We wanted to continue the mentality and continue to improve. Anytime you get into a situation when you win a game after losing a whole bunch, obviously there's going to be a boost in confidence."

***Every time Boston College comes up on the schedule, Notre Dame fans painfully think back to two near misses. In 1993, Eagles kicker David Gordon's 41-yard field goal was the difference in a 41-39 upset victory over the No. 1 Irish. In 2002, Boston College again beat Notre Dame late in the season, this time 14-7. The Irish were 10-0 and 8-0 respectively heading into the contests but both losses ended any hopes for a national championship.

This time, Notre Dame can exact revenge. Boston College is half of a season away from a perfect year. A loss to the Irish on Saturday will doom the Eagles' chances of a national title. Weis doesn't relish the role. The Irish head coach just wants to get victory No. 2.

"You're not playing to be spoilers," Weis said. "You're playing to win the game. It's not where I'm playing to beat Boston College to ruin their chances. That's what we're supposed to be doing. We're supposed to be playing to win. I don't find any solace in putting a damper on someone's season. It's more important that we do something good for ours."

Winning will be a difficult task this weekend. Weis talked on Wednesday about Boston College being a physical team in all three facets of the game. With the hard hitting, the Eagles have developed a building confidence that in the end they'll be the ones making the plays to win.

"They expect good things to happen," Weis said. "That's one of the reasons they're sitting there undefeated because not only do they play well but they expect good things to happen. There's a big difference between expecting good things to happen and hoping good things happen. From how it looks on tape, that's what it looks like."

***At Tuesday's press conference, Weis made the comment that he has seen signs that the Irish are improving and their best ball is yet to come. There's a lot of inexperience on both sides of the ball and these players are in vital roles. But as the season progresses, the starts are adding up for these players and Weis can see the light bulbs starting to go off.

"You're seeing a lot of inexperienced players starting to play like experienced players," Weis said. "You would hope that would come along fast. But it doesn't always come along fast. Some of these guys have never played before and now they've played for six games. Or some of them have two or three weeks underneath their belts. Now, all of a sudden, you can see more guys getting it. As that happens, it becomes sort of a groundswell."

***Weis on Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan: "He gets rid of the ball quickly. But more importantly, he does a good job in reading coverages and getting the ball to the open guy. They don't have one star in the passing game because he involves everyone. He reminds me of the quarterbacks I'm used to being around. They don't create stars out of anyone as a receiver. He reads coverages and throws it to the open man. He does a very good job of that."


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