Notre Dame players not downplaying MSU rivalry
For a program as storied as Notre Dame, it's nearly impossible for players not to learn about the history. A big part of that history are the numerous rivalries that Notre Dame shares with other schools.
This week brings Michigan State and the 79th battle for the Megaphone trophy, and the Fighting Irish players want it back.
"We've got a long history and rivalry with them," said offensive lineman Mike McGlinchey. "They know us. We know them. It's challenging. Michigan State is one of those schools that's just a huge fan base, a Big Ten school, a rowdy group and their team reflects it."
Notre Dame and Michigan State are no strangers. Though the teams may be different year to year, each game has seemingly fit the same profile.
"They're just a tough, physical football team," said rover Drue Tranquill. "It's what you come [to Notre Dame] to do. They're a perennial big Power Five school. A great program, it's always a great game, so we always look forward to playing teams of that caliber."
Notre Dame showed its ability to be physical with its standout rushing performance last weekend, but the offense hopes to treat this game as a new test.
"There's going to be a lot of energy," said running back Josh Adams. "It's a rivalry and they're at home. They're going to bring their best game like any other team and they're going to come out hard and bring stuff we haven't seen. Our best way to prepare for that is to continue to improve as an offense."
For the defense, improvement has been a constant each week this season, breeding new confidence every time the unit has hit the field.
"It's a great confidence boost to have big plays and come up with big plays at big times in the game," said linebacker Greer Martini. "I think as a defensive unit, it shows us that we can change the momentum and that we can come up with big plays."
Those big plays will be necessary against the Spartans, because even though coaches want every game to be treated the same, that's not always the case inside the lines.
"Coaches always say it's not a big game," said Martini. "But as a player, you know it's a bigger game, and the atmosphere there is going to be great. It's just an opportunity for us to go out and beat a good team."