Irish gearing up for rivalry game Saturday night against Stanford
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - The Fighting Irish football team will try to win its fourth-straight game Saturday night when the team hosts its rival Stanford in the first game under the lights this season at Notre Dame Stadium.
And since it’s a rivalry game, there’s some hardware up for grabs!
Since 1989, the Legends Trophy has been passed back-and-forth between the winner of Notre Dame and Stanford’s annual matchup. The trophy features a Dublin crystal bowl – made in Ireland – on top of a three-tier Redwood base.
Head Coach Marcus Freeman may have only experienced this rivalry once during his time on the sidelines at Notre Dame, but he’s no stranger to rivalries. Freeman did play in the Ohio State-Michigan rivalry, known as “The Game,” while he was a member of the Buckeyes football program.
Freeman spoke about pulling from that experience to get his team ready for Saturday night.
“I played in one of the greatest rivalries in all of sports,” Freeman said. “And that’s the one thing that Coach (Jim) Tressel always used to do. We respected the rivalry. We have to make sure (the players) understand what the rivalry is about, what we’re playing for, and then respect their opponent. When you say embracing a rivalry, it’s about respect for your opponent. And how do you respect your opponent? It’s about the way you prepare.”
Freeman also touched on the identity of this Fighting Irish football team now that it’s riding a three-game winning streak after starting the season 0-2.
“Hopefully we’re o-Line, d-Line driven, and what does that mean? Is that you’re a team that can run the ball with some consistency, which hopefully entails the ability to throw it, and the ability to make the defense be aggressive in terms of stopping the run and open up some zones in the pass game.,” Freeman said. “Defensively, it still starts with stopping the run. And it’s not a yardage, it’s not a how many yards does the offense gain while running the ball. It’s a mentality of ‘Hey, we cannot let a team just run the ball down our throats.’ We have to stop the run and then in terms of trying to make them throw the ball to have success against us.”
Kickoff at Notre Dame Stadium Saturday night is set for 7:30 p.m. The game will be available to watch right here on WNDU, as well as NBC’s Peacock streaming service.
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