Blue and Gold Illustrated

Sept. 25, 2017

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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Page 10 of 55 SEPT. 25, 2017 11 UNDER THE DOME SHOW YOUR SUPPORT A PORTION OF EACH SALE WILL GO TO THE ARA PARSEGHIAN MEDICAL RESEARCH FOUNDATION "e Ara Parseghian Medical Research Fund at Notre Dame is a non-profit organization dedicated to funding medical research projects to find a treatment for Niemann-Pick Type C (NPC) disease—a genetic, cholesterol storage disorder that primarily strikes children with death occurring before or during adolescence. e Parseghian Fund is named in honor of Ara Parseghian, the much beloved and well-known Notre Dame Football Coach, whose three youngest grandchildren were diagnosed with NPC in 1994. Medical research is the key to saving the lives of all those around the world afflicted with Niemann-Pick disease. You can help by donating to the Ara Parseghian Medical Research Fund at Notre Dame." PURCHASE THE SHIRT AT For the first time since head coach Brian Kelly's second season in 2011, Notre Dame is playing three true road games this year — Boston College (Sept. 16), Michigan State (Sept. 23) and North Carolina (Oct. 7) — in a four-week span. A "true" road game is defined as playing in the other team's home stadium as opposed to a neutral site. Notre Dame is 5-11 in true road games since the 2013 campaign, including a 0-3 mark last season while losing to Texas (50-47 in double overtime), North Carolina State (10-3) and USC (45-27). The two toughest road trips this year are expected to be in November, at Miami (Nov. 11) and Stanford (Nov. 25). Turning their fortunes around in this upcoming road stretch will be vital to the team psyche. "The best road teams I've had are teams that love to play, enjoy the moment, have that ability to muster up the grit necessary to win close games because you're going to have those types of games on the road," Kelly said. "You're go- ing to have to overcome adversity, the crowd and things of that nature. "The best teams that I've had have had those traits, and this group has that. It'll be a team that'll go on the road and have success. "They need to win. It's been awhile, so they need to have some success. And I think once they do they'll be in a pretty good place." Last season, seven of Notre Dame's eight losses came by a single possession. Georgia provided the same results. However, Kelly has much more confidence in his team and its ability to win the close ones this year. "It's a totally different scenario," he said. " … I stay in the present — I really like the way our team is put together. I don't think much about last year. I think about how our team played [against Georgia]. My vision and my eyes are on how that team showed grit and toughness, didn't back off. "We needed to make another play, no question. But our defense gave us three shots to win it with 8:30 and less to go in the game. "I just loved our sideline. Being able to walk up and down the sideline and sense their fight, how they felt about the game — just a different feeling for me … It's hard to articulate those thoughts and feelings right after a game. "But staying in the present, my eyes and what I hear and what I see, it's just a different team." Versus Boston College, Michigan State and North Carolina, this Notre Dame team will attempt to become the first to win three consecutive "true" road games since 2012 when it won four in a row versus Michigan State (20-3), Oklahoma (31-13), Boston College (21-6) and USC (22-13). Notre Dame Attempts To Put Road Woes Behind It Head coach Brian Kelly and the Irish are 5-11 in true road games since the 2013 campaign, including a 0-3 mark last season. PHOTO BY JOE RAYMOND

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