Brian Kelly avoiding history talk as Irish roll


Brian Kelly has talked a lot about how his Notre Dame program has handled adversity throughout his three-year campaign. But an 8-0 record and No. 3 ranking has brought a new challenge as the Irish look to handle prosperity and avoid a letdown the rest of the season.

"I think we've talked about that each and every week," Kelly said during his Tuesday news conference. "Look, you win two games, you win three, you win four games in a row, you start to worry about how you're going to handle success. So this is not a first-time conversation with our football team.

"They have handled success early in the season and they have shown that they understand if they don't prepare the right way, they're going to lose. We aren't good enough to not prepare properly, and I think they know that."

Kelly isn't delving into the history books to warn his team about the potential roadblocks ahead, even if there are a number of striking examples to point to.

The 2002 Irish squad followed a win at Florida State in front of "College GameDay" to improve to 8-0 before losing the next week at home to Boston College, the first of three defeats on the season.

Nine years earlier Notre Dame also followed a big late-season win over top-ranked Florida State with a home loss to Boston College a week later, ruining the Irish's 10-0 campaign.

"History will have no effect on how this team plays," Kelly said. "What will affect how this team plays is how they prepare during the week, and that is what I can control and that's what our players can control. So our focus is on what we can control. If we don't prepare well and we don't have a good week, then that's going to spill into how we play on Saturday.

"I think secondly for us, more than anything else, is you can prepare well but if you're not going to play a tough brand of football, mentally and physically, then you can lose every week that you play. So I go back to the two things: One is let's take care of what we can control. And two, let's exhibit the habits that we've used all week and all year to be the guy for what happens on Saturday."