Evidently Maura Weis did allow her husband to watch some college football on Saturday. Charlie Weis got to see half of the Irish's opponents, but he wasn't watching the games to scout the opposition as much as he was checking out how the new rules will affect officiating.
"It was interesting because six of our opponents were on TV yesterday, so I watched sometimes bits and pieces of them and some of them extensive parts of games. Like obviously the Michigan State game, which was later in the day, as long as I could keep awake I could see most of that," Weis said. "There was so many teaching things that came out of that day while at the same team being able to watch your opponents. I ended up spending a good portion of the day making mental notes, not so much about the X's and O's of who we're going against because I know the kids are sitting there watching the game, so more about what exactly was happening in those games."
Weis was able to take a couple of incidents from the Virginia Tech-East Carolina game and show them to his players.
"There's several things I took out of yesterday from our opponents and situational football from all of the games that were on because there were all sorts of things that happened. Think about some of the things that happened yesterday a blocked extra point where they picked up the ball and ran it back for two points that could have been the difference in the game and in the same game a blocked punt to win the game at the end of the game," said Weis. "Think about the Illinois-Missouri game where Illinois takes the lead and now there's a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown that changes the momentum of the game. Think about the Michigan State-Cal game where just when Michigan State looked like they were mounting a big comeback, a first down run into the boundary a guy goes 81 yards for a touchdown."
Weis also used a crucial call from the Bowling Green-Pittsburgh game to educate his team even though he didn't agree with the call. Bowling Green won the game 27-17, but as the Panthers were trying to make a comeback in the fourth quarter, a third-down sack appeared to finish one Pitt drive before a Falcons defender was called for a celebration penalty giving Pitt a first down.
"Probably one of the best teaching moments of the day will be a defensive lineman from Bowling Green who makes a big play in the Pitt game toward the end of the game and for a couple of seconds (celebrates) and next thing you know he's getting a 15-yard penalty which obviously was borderline," Weis said. "I thought that was really borderline, but who am I to critique? But it does show how a mild celebration, this wasn't like a flagrant taunting now, how a mild celebration could put winning and losing, the outcome of the game in jeopardy in a close game like that.
"We addressed it in the locker room yesterday. Yesterday we had our practice, that was one of the things that we addressed yesterday, that very thing. I think that it will be a good teaching tool to show our players how little you could do and still be hit for a 15-yard penalty."
That creates a fine line for the Irish as Weis has been trying to get them to play with more emotion during camp. But Weis believes that if his team does it the correct way there should be no problems.
"I'm counting on what the officials are looking for is for the players to be partying with teammates, that's what I'm counting on. My interpretation is that they don't want isolated celebrations to put attention on themselves," he said. "Because I'm going to expect our guys on offense, defense and special teams to be celebrating with their teammates when a big play is made, because I think if you're doing it with your teammates I can't see how it could possibly be viewed as taunting."
One rule change that had an impact on a number of games this weekend is the elimination of the five-yard facemask.
"Probably the one penalty that showed up to me more than it's ever done, now that every facemask is a personal foul penalty, every time you turned around it seemed like there was a coincidental, just kind of grasping the facemask, but there all 15 yards now," said Weis. "I think that that showed up time and time again yesterday, knowing that there is no 5-yard penalty anymore, it's 15 every time."
Eleven of Notre Dame's 12 opponents were in action this weekend with Purdue having a bye like the Irish. Notre Dame's future foes went 5-6 in week one, but that doesn't mean much to the Irish.
"No, it means something to (the opponents). But to us, we're just getting ready to play San Diego State," the head coach said. "This is one of those rare weeks where you could be worrying about other opponents, but in reality you're now into a gameweek. All they're focused on is San Diego State, they can't be worrying about any of those other teams right now."
The Aztecs lost 29-27 to Cal-Poly of the Football Championship Subdivision, but Weis isn't putting too much stock in that either.
"I don't think that you have to worry about our team having any overconfidence. First of all, Cal-Poly they're a good football team, they might be a lower division program, but they've been a good football team for awhile," he said. "In this game, having watched two-thirds of it so far, there's plenty of evidence of things that we have to worry about, there's plenty of evidence. Be it their quarterback throwing the ball up and down the field, I'm not going to get too much into that game yet. But their kickoff coverage team, all of a sudden there's one guy blowing up everything there, you watch it on special teams. Then you watch it on defense, them creating turnover-turnover, making a critical stop toward the end of the game when they had a chance to put the game away. There's plenty of evidence on the tape for our players to realize that they need to get to work."
While Weis is confident in the way his team has performed throughout training camp, he admitted that there are some things that cannot be known until Saturday.
"I think that there's certain things that I'm counting on and certain things that I'm going to have to wait until I see it. You have to wait until you see visual evidence, I'm counting on them to be positive, but you still have to see it first," he said. "I'd have to say that there are some things that you still have to wait and see because you need to be objective not subjective."