It's been a long time since Notre Dame played USC to book its ticket to the national championship game--and it's still another eight days until the Irish face Alabama in Miami.
No doubt--some are already in the mindset of... let's get there already.
"Yeah, absolutely, really badly," Irish linebacker Danny Spond said Saturday. "We've spent however many practices here and between going home and everything and finally getting back to work, we just want to get down there and play the game now. It's tons of preparation and tons of just anxiousness to just getting there but we will keep preparing the way we need to."
After some early practices, Notre Dame returned from a week off on Thursday. They practiced Friday and Saturday and will again on Sunday and Monday before departing for Miami on Wednesday.
"Honestly we have nothing else to do here so I mean we are using that time to prepare," linebacker Prince Shembo says. "No one is on campus---just us. It's snowing, nothing really to do in South Bend so we are just here preparing for the game taking it one day at a time."
Notre Dame is now in full practice mode.
"All of our work up to this point has had a focus towards peeking on the 7th," Brian Kelly said Saturday. "[Saturday] and [Sunday] will be really probably the two most contact days that we'll have with our football team since the USC game."