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Notre Dame Football

Ian Book: 'It’s about what we do'

September 18, 2019

All eyes will be on No. 7 Notre Dame and No. 3 Georgia as the two powerhouses will meet in Athens for a primetime showdown.

Georgia is a double-digit favorite to win the contest. Depending on where you look, the Bulldogs are expected to win by as many as 14 points.

Notre Dame quarterback Ian Book is aware most people are writing off his team, but he and the Irish aren’t paying attention to it.

“I don’t think anyone is too worried about what anyone is saying outside of this building,” Book stated. Coach (Brian) Kelly just got done saying that at practice. It’s about what we do, our preparation and our process. Honestly, we don’t care at all what anyone says.

“If we’re supposed to lose by double-digits, it’s kind of a chip on our shoulder and we’ll use that as motivation. It’s great. The pressure isn’t on us. We’re going down there to do what we have to do. We believe in ourselves. Everyone in this family knows we can do it. We know our potential, so we’re not worried – we’re confident.”

The Irish offense got on track over the weekend by racking up 591 total yards of offense and scoring 66 points on New Mexico.

No one is saying the Lobos are Georgia, but it served as a much-needed confidence boost for the offense and the youth looking to step into more significant roles this fall.

“I think it was huge not just for me but for everyone to make those plays as an offense to get everyone’s confidence up to show we can do that for ourselves,” explained Book. “We can start to prove our identity as an offense. It wasn’t just the starters making plays. We were able to have some younger guys go in there and make plays. That was huge and we need that the whole season. It raised the energy for everyone and this offense.”

Book threw for 360 yards and five touchdowns, but was quick to give credit to his playmakers who tallied most of the yardage after the catch on Saturday.

“I’ve been working with those guys since January once the Clemson game was over,” Book said. “We’ve been working on the chemistry with all of them. Whoever is out on the field when I’m out there, I completely trust them to make the play. I couldn’t ask for anything more as a quarterback.”

It’s not a secret Georgia will be the toughest opponent Notre Dame has faced this fall as the Bulldogs are giving up just 243 total yards per game over the first three games. Now, it’s worth noting Georgie hasn’t faced a team equal to Notre Dame, but Book knows Kirby Smart’s defense will make life tough on Saturday night.

“They have a great scheme and they have some athletes,” Book explained. “They have some guys who can fly around. They have a lot of speed on the field. For a quarterback, it makes the windows smaller and challenges myself to give our guys a shot.”

Sanford Stadium has added extra seats, fans are calling for a ‘Blackout’ and the Bulldogs have a sweet fourth quarter tradition with lights, but will it bother Notre Dame?

“It’s going to be a bigger stage,” Book stated. “A lot of people are going to be really loud. We’ve played in a couple of those environments like that. A lot of guys know what it’s like to travel to a hostile environment. You really have to embrace it and have fun with it. Those are the reasons you come to Notre Dame.

“I think our team is ready and we have a lot of guys who have been to those environments. We have to go there and we have to win. Some of the guys I believe are prepared and the guys who aren’t, we’ve done a good job of this week getting them prepared for what it’s going to be like down there.”

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