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Notre Dame Football

Finke Focused On Drowning Out The Noise

September 19, 2019

Georgia came to Notre Dame two years ago and left with a 20-19 win. Notre Dame receiver Chris Finke remembers it. The Fighting Irish had a chance to win the game in the fourth quarter and fell short. 

“I remember we didn’t win,” stated Finke. “I remember some plays that I didn’t make that I thought I could have. I remember all of it. We know the last time we played them it didn’t go the way we wanted. Every year is a new year and I’ve been saying no matter if we play Louisville, New Mexico or Georgia, we’re not thinking about what we did two years ago when half the team wasn’t even here. We’re thinking about goals which is week by week to win and prepare.

“If we do that the right way, then we think we can take care of things.”

Notre Dame is used to playing in big games, but No. 7 traveling to SEC Country to meet No. 3 is just about as big as it gets. 

Finke and the other six captains have made sure to press the right buttons this week in practice as the hype is unavoidable, but perspective is also crucial during the week’s preparation.

“We know the magnitude of the game, but we’re preaching on not getting distracted by the noise,” explained Finke. “There is an energy about it. We’re trying to fly around at practice with an aggressive speed. When you boil it down, the field is the same length, width and it’s still football even though we’re playing down there with College GameDay and all that.” 

Is it easy to keep the noise out?

“No, it’s not,” said Finke. “I’ve been here a while and we have a lot of veterans who have been through things like this. We’ve done it and we’re used to it. As leaders, we’re trying to get the whole team on that wavelength and guys have responded well. We had a good practice today and we’ll try to put a good one out there tomorrow.”

Notre Dame will need all the juice it can get on Friday and it got a spark last Saturday from two guys the Irish need to make plays. Senior receiver Javon McKinley scored two touchdowns and Avery Davis scored on his first play since moving back to offense last week.

“I was ecstatic for those guys,” Finke said. “It put the biggest smile on my face. Javon scored twice and Avery scored moving from quarterback to running back to cornerback and back to running back. Braden got in there. C’Bo (Flemister) and (Lawrence) Keys made plays.

“Guys get in there and make plays. That brings their confidence up and their playmaking up another level. It adds to the amount of people we can count on to help the offense out.”

The Irish will need plays from those players mentioned if Notre Dame is to pull the upset on Saturday and despite being double-digit underdogs, Finke couldn’t be less worried about it.

“That’s not the fuel for us,” said Finke. “We’re fueled by our goals which are to win a National Championship. The way that goes is to win every week. We’re preaching this week that it’s not about proving anything to anyone. We know who we are. It’s about preparing and being precise in our preparation.”

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