With the afterglow of a big win over Georgia Tech still lingering and a trip to Clemson on the horizon, most Notre Dame fans are looking past UMass. Mark Whipple’s MAC program is already 0-2 on the season, a lopsided loser to Colorado in their opener before having a game ripped from them by Temple last weekend.
So while most are wondering if this is the week where Brandon Wimbush makes his debut at quarterback and freshmen running backs Josh Adams and Dexter Williams give C.J. Prosise a break, head coach Brian Kelly isn’t taking anything about this weekend lightly.
“These are the games that concern me the most where everybody else thinks that they are going to be easy games,” Kelly said Tuesday. “This is going to be a difficult game.
“UMass will play very well. They have already proven that they can play with top-notch teams in Temple. I already told you, they have got a power-five win over Penn State and Cincinnati. So I know what we need to do. We’ve got to play well against them.”
Against Virginia, Notre Dame was a double-digit favorite and needed to score a game-winning touchdown in the game’s final seconds to win. The line opened with the Irish 28.5 point favorites, a seemingly easy game when you consider the expectations.
But not for Kelly.
“It’s not a breather for me and I don’t count anything,” Kelly said. “It would be nice that all those things happen, but I don’t go into the game thinking that way. I go into the game (thinking) that we have got to be prepared for everything.”