Notre Dame football fans would like to forget about the drubbing the Fighting Irish took at the hands of the Miami Hurricanes last November. But the coaching staff not only remembers, the beat down has inspired a new drill at Notre Dame practices this spring.
Stephen Books of The Goshen News reports there is a new practice session called “chaos period” at Notre Dame football practices. In this drill, which begins unannounced, all the players must drop everything and begin playing a full 11-on-11 scrimmage.
But this isn’t just a typical full scrimmage. The Fighting Irish play their 11-on-11 drill with air-raid sirens blasting at high decibels in the background. Sounds of explosion, helicopters, glass breaking and revving engines follow the air-raid sirens in a soundtrack loop that is meant to simulate hostile crowds.
Notre Dame lost 41-8 at Miami on Nov. 11, which ultimately ended the Irish hopes of making the College Football Playoffs. The Hurricanes badly outplayed the Fighting Irish, but the loud crowd noticeably flustered the Notre Dame. That led Notre Dame into multiple mistakes and turnovers, including a pick-six towards the end of the first half that made the score 27-0.
Irish coach Brian Kelly is doing all he can to avoid that scenario again.
“Find a way to win. Overcome those obstacles and get back to doing what you do every day,” Kelly said according The Goshen News. “So just creating that based upon preparing our team to go to Blacksburg, Virginia, going to hostile environments. That’s really the crux of it.”
In addition to Virginia Tech, Notre Dame will face a tough opponent in USC on the road the final week of the regular season. The Fighting Irish will also play Wake Forest and Northwestern in traditional road games.