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Michigan v Notre Dame

Michigan v Notre Dame

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Updated: October 4, 2013 6:27AM



The X’s and O’s can wait.

For now, the buildup for Saturday’s Notre Dame-Michigan clash has centered on history.

The verbal volleying pertaining to the significance of the series continued Monday.

“It is (a historic rivalry) for us,” Michigan coach Brady Hoke said during his weekly news conference. “Everybody looks at things differently.”

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly downplayed the series during his weekly teleconference Sunday, saying he hadn’t “seen it as one of those historical, traditional Notre Dame rivalries.”

“I’ve seen it just as one of those great football games that Notre Dame has played,” Kelly said.

The matchup takes a break after the 2014 season.

“ESPN GameDay has been here six times for this football game. That’s pretty significant if they’re coming to this campus or to the campus in South Bend. So, it must have some sort of national appeal,” Hoke said.

“Coaching in a lot of places, and maybe it’s just me, but I know that whenever Michigan and Notre Dame was on TV, I was going to be watching it. I know people in Corvallis, Ore., were going to be watching it — for one reason or another.”

Kicking concerns: Notre Dame will use the early portion of this week to evaluate its kicking game after the Irish went 0-for-2 on field goals Saturday against Temple.

“On the field goal attempt by Nick (Tausch), just a bad kick,” Kelly said of a 39-yard miss. “Was thick and heavy on it and just a bad ball. Kyle (Brindza), clean kick, he just pulled it. It was a (44-yard) kick, he struck it well, just pulled it.

“We’re going to live with a miss here and there. We can’t have a technically bad kick, which we had with Nick. We’ll make a decision on where we go with that. Nick has good mechanics, generally, he didn’t have on that kick.”

Rees honored: Quarterback Tommy Rees was named the FBS Independent Offensive Player of the Week on Monday. He went 16-of23 with three touchdowns and a career-high 346 passing yards against Temple.



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