Weis Notebook 10/11

After Notre Dame scored a touchdown to go up 13-6 in their win over UCLA, the Irish players were jubilant on the sideline, so much that head coach Charlie Weis had to remind his team that there was still more than a quarter to play in the contest. After earning their first victory of the season, the question was how were the players going to respond to success and prepare for Boston College.

The Eagles come into Saturday's game 6-0 and ranked No. 4 in both polls. Kickoff at Notre Dame Stadium is at 3:43 PM and NBC will have the national television broadcast. Weis said that Tuesday's practice, which included hitting, was a transition for the team between the thrill of finally winning a contest and putting in the necessary work to get ready for Boston College.

"(Wednesday) was a big turning point in a positive direction," Weis said. "Tuesday was a little bit of an emotional roller coaster. Thank god we hit on Tuesday because it brings you back to reality. The last two days of practice have been very, very good."

The good practice on Wednesday led into Thursday, where Weis saw a mood from the players he hadn't seen in awhile.

"They were kind of loose today," Weis said. "I can't remember the last time this group was loose. It was kind of fun to see."

***Wide receiver David Grimes sat out last weekend's win over UCLA with an ankle injury. The junior got hurt in the loss at Purdue and hasn't played since. Grimes did make the trip to Pasadena but did not get to see any action. While Weis said the junior wideout is a lot closer to playing this week than last week, Grimes still has a slight limp and the decision will be made on Saturday.

"He still doesn't look full speed to me," Weis said of Grimes, who is third on the team with 15 receptions. "I think he can play in the game. I'm still going to have to wait until game day. If he doesn't look close to 100 percent, I'm just not going to play him. He's right on the cusp."

***Through six games, 11 of the 18 players in the freshmen class have got playing time. Some have made an impact. Outside linebacker Kerry Neal has ascended to a starter while wide receiver Golden Tate had a 100-yard day with a touchdown against Purdue. Although Weis avoids the word "redshirt," it's almost to the point of deciding whether or not to use the seven freshmen who haven't played. These seven would be able to apply for a fifth-year.

"We're right on the cusp," Weis said. "You have two weeks before you have to make any decisions like that. But right now, you try to beat Boston College and then you have one more game before the bye. Then you have time to look at personnel decisions, development and where we are heading. We have a couple of big games before we get to that."

***Weis and the players have talked this week about how physical Boston College is as a team. The Irish head coach said it's evident not only on offense and defense but special teams as well. The Eagles are a tough bunch to run against, ranking third nationally in rush defense while the offense is 23rd in points scored. Weis knows Notre Dame has to be up to the physical challenge that will be presented to them on Saturday afternoon.

"Your goal is always to take it to the team you're going up against," Weis said. "You never set the goal to be even. You always set it to be more physical. But the first thing you better do is to get it to even or you're going to have a major problem."

***Weis on the top two items on his weekly top-10 list: "The first concern would be to take the emotional high and using it as a pro rather than a con. That was No. 1 on the list. Obviously, we have to match their physicality. That's the style they play. If you don't, you're going to get roughed up."

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