NO. 10 NOTRE DAME KICKS OFF 15th SEASON ON NBC SATURDAY AGAINST MICHIGAN STATE LIVE IN HIGH-DEF
All Notre Dame on NBC Broadcasts in HD for First Time
Notre Dame Head Coach Charlie Weis on Teaching His Players the Patriots Way: "You have to get players to buy in, to suppress their egos in making the team more important than the individual."
NEW YORK ? Sept. 15, 2005 ? NBC Sports kicks off its 15th season as the exclusive broadcaster of Notre Dame home games this Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET live in high definition as the No. 10 Fighting Irish (2-0) open their home slate against Michigan State (2-0) at Notre Dame Stadium. For the first time, all six Notre Dame home games on NBC will be broadcast in HD. In addition, UniversalHD will offer "Notre Dame Encore," high-definition rebroadcasts of each Notre Dame home game on Sunday mornings. The Michigan State game will rebroadcast in high definition on UniversalHD this Sunday at 10 a.m. ET.
Tom Hammond (play-by-play) and Pat Haden (analyst) team up for their sixth season together as the voices of Notre Dame on NBC. They are joined by sideline reporter Lewis Johnson.
NBC Sports today conducted a media conference call with Head Coach Charlie Weis, along with Haden and Hammond, previewing NBC's coverage of Notre Dame. Weis is the first rookie Notre Dame coach to win his first two road games since Knute Rockne in 1918. For a full replay of today's call, dial 719/457-0820 and enter passcode: 4384101. Highlights of the call are below:
WEIS ON WHAT HE BROUGHT FROM PATRIOTS:
"The number one ingredient to success at New England was the team was more important than the individual. And you have to get players to buy in, to suppress their egos in making the team more important than the individual. I'd say of all the things I've tried to stress here, that was number one. Number two, it was long documented about Notre Dame's academic requirements. While at the Patriots, we always tried to get smart players because we put a lot of mental pressure on them. We have a bunch of smart guys here, so the combination of the ways we handled things there [in New England], both putting the team first and putting a lot of mental pressure on people by surrounding ourselves with a bunch of smart guys, made this a logical fit."
WEIS ON DEALING WITH MEDIA AND COMPARISONS TO BILL BELICHICK:
"I don't think that the way Bill [Belichick] did it is the wrong way. I think that what ends up happening is you know that you have one voice and therefore, one party line throughout the organization. I do it a little differently, but at the same time, I've learned a lot under Coach Belichick about how to present things to both the press and to the team, and I've just kind of tweaked it with my own personality."
WEIS ON WHETHER NBC DEAL HELPS RECRUITING:
"It's significant, especially because we have a national recruiting base. A lot of these kids that go away from home go a long distance and their parents can't just come up to every game. I think the fact that you can tell them that week in and week out, they can be seen on national TV, not regional, not local, definitely is a good selling point with their families."
WEIS ON PREPARATION FOR MICHIGAN STATE:
"I took the last four times that NBC was actually doing games of Michigan State at Notre Dame. I went back to all the TV copies and cut out 15 minutes worth of telling plays where Michigan State definitely had the upper hand. We all know its well documented that Michigan State has won here four times in a row, and I think that watching the TV copy and listening to the announcers talk about them [players] getting dogged got their attention in a hurry."
"I'm more concerned with how we play than how they play. We have been spectacular at times and spotty at times and we are trying to become more consistent."
HAMMOND ON NOTRE DAME'S 2-0 START:
"The difference in the start of this team, 2-0, versus some of the other years where they have gotten off to a good start is the way they have done it. I can remember the 8-0 start of Coach [Tyrone] Willingham, you had an idea that it was not exactly a true test of the team, there seemed to be some fluke plays that sort of worked in their favor that year to help them get that 8-0 start. This year in the first game, to see the defense make the plays, see the offense make the plays, it gives you the idea that there is plenty of room for improvement on both sides of the ball and they are going to get better and better with each game."
"I was impressed most of all with the swagger, something that has been missing from the Notre Dame team the last few years. It seems to me, the expectation of expecting to win, the swagger, the 'we are Notre Dame' sort of outlook, that was evident in both their games."
HADEN ON 2-0 START:
"What struck me is this team is going to take on the personality of their coach, just a mentally tough team."
HADEN ON HD COVERAGE OF NOTRE DAME:
"Whether it's in high definition, low definition, any definition, we're happy to be doing Notre Dame's first home game this season."
HAMMOND ON DARIUS WALKER AND BRADY QUINN AS HEISMAN CANDIDATES:
"I think those individual honors, a lot of times come with team honors. Certainly Brady Quinn and Darius Walker, to me are future stars, maybe knocking on the door this year - this may be the year they break out."
WEIS REFLECTING ON RETURN TO NOTRE DAME STADIUM:
"The time will come when the game is over - and hopefully we have won. I reflect more after a game than before a game because before the game, to be honest with you, I am only worried about what is getting ready to take place."
WEIS ON INSTANT REPLAY:
"I'm a strong proponent of it [instant replay] or else we wouldn't have been using it last week because we were the ones who had the option of whether or not to use it at that game last week. The visiting team gets to make the call. I think that the way college uses it really takes the pressure off the coach and puts it just on the replay booth. But it also makes the referees a little bit more reluctant to blow a play dead because they know they have the security blanket that instant replay can always fix it."
NOTES ON NOTRE DAME'S 2-0 START
Notre Dame, in defeating Pittsburgh (then No. 23) and Michigan (then No. 3) to begin the season, has opened with consecutive road victories for the first time since 1989 en route to a 12-1 season. This is the first time the Irish have started a season defeating two ranked opponents, and Notre Dame is ranked in the top 10 for the first time in three years
NOTRE DAME ON NBC SCHEDULE (ALL GAMES BROADCAST IN HD):
Date Opponent Time (all times ET)
Saturday, September 17 Michigan State 3:30 p.m.
Saturday, October 15 USC 3:30 p.m.
Saturday, October 22 BYU 2:30 p.m.
Saturday, November 5 Tennessee 2:30 p.m.
Saturday, November 12 Navy 1 p.m.
Saturday, November 19 Syracuse 2:30 p.m.