Photo by Rick Kimball/ISD
Notre Dame Football

Ian Book: 'The juice is good'

September 1, 2019
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Ian Book isn’t one to show too much emotion, but you could feel his excitement to get the 2019 campaign rolling earlier this week.
 
The Notre Dame quarterback is the face of the program and Monday night could be the start of a big year for Book and his Irish.
 
“The juice is good,” stated Book. “Everyone is excited. You can just tell it’s been fun playing our own guys, but we’re ready to play someone else. We can’t wait for Monday and play a good team in Louisville. To be able to see how excited the guys are and have the coaches put us in the right spot.
 
“We have a good game plan. It’s been a long time coming, but it has come fast. We’re ready to go.”
 
Notre Dame practiced on Saturday and will leave for Louisville on Sunday, but it also gave the Irish the chance to see what happened across the landscape of college football.
 
The elite teams made statements over the weekend and Book wants to make a statement on Monday night.  
 
“I feel like every game at Notre Dame is a statement game,” explained Book. “We have a big target on our back. There are a lot of haters and doubters. There is a lot of talk about not being in a conference and winning every game.
 
“We know that. We try to treat every game like a playoff game. We definitely want to go 1-0. That’s what we’re thinking about and focused on.”
 
The chance to watch football might have been a little weird for Notre Dame over the weekend, but the California native also believed it could be a positive thing.
 
“I don’t think it will be hard,” Book stated. “We just want it to come that much faster. I’m excited to have college football back. I think it will get us more amped up. We’ll be the only game on Monday and everyone will be watching. It will be a great opportunity for us.”
 
Louisville is coming off a 2-10 season in 2018, but a new coaching staff, a night game to open the season on Labor Day will have the stadium electric and that’s exactly why Book decided to come to Notre Dame.
 
“That’s why you come to Notre Dame,” stated Book. “You want to play in those big games. To get that opportunity to play on a Monday, we haven’t done that. To be the only game on is huge. We have a lot to prove and we’re excited.”
 
As for heading into the season as the starting quarterback, Book has kept the same mindset that gave him a chance to take the job a year ago.
 
“It’s a little different,” said Book. “I get to start the first week where last year I didn’t. I’ve been saying it since I’ve been here. I’ve been preparing every day like I’m the starter. It’s my job when I go out there on Monday. I have to prove that every day. I have a great quarterback group and quarterback coach pushing me every day.
 
“It makes me work that much harder.”

 
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