It’s been said that opposing teams will always bring their best when they prepare to come to Notre Dame. With the Irish halfway through their preparation for Air Force, it’s clear that nobody on the Irish wants to supply any bulletin board material this week to an already game Falcons team coming into South Bend a double-digit underdog.
Between Brian Kelly‘s comments yesterday, the assistant coaches that spoke with the media, and the united voice of the various players, just about everybody is coming out saying something similar to what quarterback Tommy Rees said this today:
“When you play a team like Air Force, they come to play every game, and they are going to be out there playing hard and playing to the whistle,” Rees said. “The biggest thing with them is making sure you’re knowing what they are doing. They do a couple of different things and move around on defense so. You just have to stay focused and know that they are going to give you their best shot and you have to be ready for that.”
That’s what made Air Force quarterback Tim Jefferson‘s comments so interesting. When speaking with Colorado Springs Gazette writer Frank Schwab, Jefferson was pretty open about his feeling for the Irish.
“I’ve never really been a fan of Notre Dame, I’ve always hated how everybody has always loved Notre Dame,” Jefferson said. “It’s one of those things where I say, it’s just another team on the schedule.”
“It’s going to be fun, but it’s going to be another football game. We played Oklahoma last year, a Top 10 team, and took them to the wire, so we’re not afraid of going into a big-time stadium or anything, of playing a big-time opponent. We know what Notre Dame is capable of. We know we have a tall task on our hands, but we’re coming ready to play.”
You’ve got to applaud Jefferson for his honesty, but you’ve also got to think Troy Calhoun and his coaching staff don’t need any reason to poke an Irish defense that’s been really stingy against the run and has the chance to make it a long afternoon for Jefferson and the Falcons’ offense.
Jefferson probably has good reason to be confident. But if cornerback Anthony Wright starts talking about his dislike for the Irish, well — get ready for an interesting Saturday.