Notre Dame is still undefeated after another convincing 45-23 win over No. 24 Virginia Tech inside Lane Stadium.
This marks the seventh time since 1980 that the Irish have amassed a 6-0 record. Legendary Head Coach Lou Holtz was able to guide three teams to 6-0 records while Ty Willingham did it in 2002, his very first season in South Bend. For current Head Coach Brian Kelly, this is the third time in his nine seasons he’s been able to guide a team to the half way point of the year with a perfect record.
The goal for Notre Dame, now?
To keep it that way, and play for a National Championship.
All three of Holtz’s teams ended up in that mix for the National Title, winning the championship in 1988 and finishing in second in the other two seasons. Willingham’s 8-0 start proved to be nothing but a mirage as his team closed that 2002 season with three losses. So far, Kelly is 1-1 in this position.
The Fighting Irish played in the BCS title game in 2012, falling to a powerhouse Alabama team 42-14, the first of Crimson Tide Head Coach Nick Sabans six National Championships. The other time a Kelly-led team was in this position was in 2014, starting 6-0 with wins over Michigan and Stanford. However, that team ended the season at 8-5 with losses at home to Louisville and Northwestern.
Brian Kelly believes when you start losing focus on the task at hand and get wrapped up with the possibility of perfection, that is when you have a similar result to that 2014 season.
“Once you start to get outside of your process and your day-to-day, then that’s where things can obviously come apart.” said Kelly, “I’m sticking with what our preparation has been, and the guys have done a really good job because it’s really how you reach the group you have in front of youright now more so than thinking about what the group was about back in 2012.We’re going to stick with the group we have and keep working on what we’re doing now.”
The next step in Notre Dame’s pursuit of perfection is Pittsburgh. The Panthers bring a 3-3 record into this match-up, but are coming off of maybe their biggest win yet over Syracuse 44-37 in Overtime. The Fighting Irish and Panthers will kick-off at 2:30 pm EDT on Saturday at Notre Dame Stadum. You can see full highlights and post game reaction from the Irish on WSBT 22 News 10:00 pm and 11:00 pm.