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Las Vegas may be a major distraction for Notre Dame fans, but the head coach of the Irish Marcus Freeman does not expect such a problem from its composition. First, Notre Dame will arrive in Las Vegas late enough on Friday to avoid distractions before meeting BYU No. 16 (7:30 a.m. ET; NBC).

The Irishman would then make a quick visit to Allegiant Stadium before wrapping up the night, with Freeman himself making sure everyone on the team ended the night, as he does every Friday before a game.

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“They have a head coach who will be doing bed coaching at 8:30 a.m. PT Friday night,” Freeman said Monday. “So I’m not really worried.

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Freeman has often argued that games outside the home are actually less of a distraction than at home, which is often heard from college coaches. Generally speaking, more family members come to every home game, not to mention friends at typical college parties. On the way, the players arrive in the city, perhaps inspect the stadium, and then head to the hotel for the night.

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Losing the comfort of sleeping in your bed is universal; Notre Dame has been staying at the hotel for decades before home games.

“The Shamrock Series is what makes Notre Dame unique,” ​​Freeman said. “This is one of our differences. The chance to play a home game in Las Vegas is a very exciting opportunity.”

The Irishman will be left without a senior midfielder JD Bertrand for the first half after a well-aimed penalty resulted in his ejection in the second half in North Carolina. Notre Dame challenged Bertrand’s half suspension but did not win the appeal.

The Irishman must have both safety juniors Ramon Henderson and DJ Brown, a safety fifth, returned to the lineup after suffering ankle and hamstring restrictions nine days ago.

“This morning, our head athletic coach wrote to me that they both looked very good today, expect them both to go and work out…,” Freeman said. “I expect both of these guys to be ready to go.”

Whether they are or not, junior Xavier Watts will be part of a safe rotation and only a safe rotation. After Avery Davis tore his cruciate ligaments in the preseason, leaving Notre Dame with just six healthy receivers, including five-year-old former player Matt Salerno, Watts was doing double duty. The former wide receiver played both sides of the ball in at least one pre-season scrimmage.

But Freeman said that Watts is now only working on security, despite the fact that he moved to this position less than a year ago.

“He’s getting better, he’s got a lot of natural ability, we have to keep training and shaping,” Freeman said. “… He is safe now. We just felt that his defensive role was more important to our team than going forward and fighting for playing time. In terms of defense, we knew he already had a game plan.”

Most of the injured players wander on the sidelines on Saturday, but the sophomore quarterback Tyler Buechner has been in the coaching booth since he injured his shoulder against Marshall on September 10. Freeman said it was more than learning the system from above and helping coaches scheduling games, it was a precautionary measure.

“We didn’t want him to be in danger,” Freeman said. “He was fresh, two or three days after the operation. We wanted to get him away from any place where he could be in danger.”

Freeman doesn’t rule out Buechner moving to the touchline this season, where he and the junior starting quarterback Drew Pine could discuss the situation more actively, but for now Buechner is likely to remain at the top.

After the shocking firing of the Wisconsin head coach Paul Christ On Sunday, surprisingly since it will now be a poster child for early-season layoffs, Freeman was asked what he thought of the pressure and how it might affect his assistants. None of them fit any of the current job openings (six in total), but the concept has enough merit to be discussed.

“We have work to do every week,” Freeman said. “Anything that will distract us from doing our job, we do not need, but I will always be in a position where I want to make sure that I help every person that surrounds me. achieve your goals.”

That way, Freeman wouldn’t stop the assistant coach from talking about the opening sooner than usual. Consider it unlikely right now and too abstract to think about in the future. Of the six vacancies, the interim UAB coach has a real chance to keep the job, while the Irish offensive coordinator Tommy Rhys better not pick up the phone if Georgia Tech calls, not that Rhys is at the top of many coaching lists this year.

Defense coordinator Al Golden expected to excel at the student level for a few years before landing another head coaching position while coaching runners Deland McCullough bluntly said that this is his goal, he has not proven himself enough to be considered as a contender for any job in the Power Five, and these are five of the six open now.

Aside from this hypothetical situation, Freeman is well aware of the reality of a coach being fired and the frustrations that come with it. Almost everyone in the coaching industry does this, and so they feel a lot of empathy when discussing such moments.

Freeman felt it in 2016 as defensive coordinator at Purdue when the head coach Darrell Hazell was fired after six games. Current Irish tight ends coach Just Parker was interim coach of the Boilermakers in the final six games of the year, going 0–6.

“It’s tough. You sympathize with the guys in your profession,” Freeman said. you never want to see it.

“People with families – this applies not only to the head coach, but also to all their assistants.”

Perhaps for the first time, Notre Dame’s hopes for the entire season are lower than those of its opponents in a Shamrock Series matchup. BYU’s No. 16 (4-1) can still hit nearly every goal in front of him at the start of the season, although it might be too difficult to make it to the playoffs. At least the Cougars can finish their final season as independents in the New Year’s Six bowl.

But the Irish, most likely, will have to upset (3-2). To get a feel for BYU heading to Las Vegas (7:30 AM ET; NBC), let’s talk to Jared Lloyd of Daily Herald in central Utah.

DF: BYU remains intriguing from a national standpoint, despite perhaps playing a bit with its food against the states of Wyoming and Utah. None of the games in the second half were in doubt, so the possible lack of attention certainly didn’t cost the Cougars. Did you get that feeling? Or were these games just a lot more competitive than expected?

AL: Both Utah and Wyoming came in well prepared and really had nothing to lose and pushed BYU harder than Cougar fans expected. BYU wasn’t very quick to make adjustments, but when it did, he was able to break away in the second half of both games. The reality is that this Cougar team has not played at the level that I expected to see over the past three weeks, making a number of mistakes caused by unpreparedness and indiscipline. The BYU coaching staff are working to eliminate them, but I think it’s too much to expect them all to leave for this week’s game.

I was hoping for this preseason game that Notre Dame and BYU would come in with no more than two overall losses. The Irish failed; Cougars have been delivered on this front. But let’s focus on this loss, a 41-20 slump in Oregon. The Ducks took a 10-0 lead in the first quarter and a 38-7 margin by the end of the third quarter. It was shellac. Oregon has a strong offense in the rush, averaging 6.3 yards per throw outside of this game, but still scoring 212 yards on 44 carries could be a role model for Notre Dame. And this was not characteristic of the Ducks; Utah State gained 204 yards on 49 carries, averaging 4.16 yards per rush, notably better than his 3.56 average in his other four games.

Introduce me to this dynamic, as I was very much looking forward to BYU having a strong defensive front this season, a team that excelled in the trenches in its final years of success. Was it not enough? Are offenses sold on the run?

Oregon, Wyoming, and Utah made adjustments to attack the defense of Cougar’s runners instead of relying on what they had done in previous games with varying levels of success. I noticed that BYU struggles to remove blocks early in the game and then…


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