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Irish Insights


Sounding off

SOUTH BEND – Every college football team does it.

When a team is preparing to play on the road music is blared throughout practice in the days leading up to the game to get players used to dealing with the crowd noise.

It was no surprise that No. 14 Notre Dame (1-0) used this method during its practices as the Irish prepared to play at No. 17 Michigan (1-0) on Saturday night.

But how much does cranking up music at practice work?

"It's definitely a different sound from having Aerosmith on to 114,000 loud voices screaming at you," Irish left guard Chris Watt said Wednesday. "I guess the biggest thing it does, it doesn't allow you to hear the person next to you on the line as much. You really have to concentrate on yelling during practice and getting those calls over there and make sure we are all on the same plays."

Irish junior center Nick Martin, who was at Notre Dame's game at Michigan two years ago but didn't play, will be starting his first road game on Saturday.

Martin said the blaring music has been helpful for him to get ready.

"Obviously, it is hard to recreate that many people, but they really blare it," Martin said. "It is hard to hear people next to you out there, so it helps.

"You got to make sure you are talking loud. You have to point a lot more. … You've got to really trust (your fellow offensive linemen), which we do. I'm lucky to be playing between two veterans in (right guard Christian) Lombard and Watt. I can trust they are going to be where they need to be each play."

And while the music helps prepare for a loud environment, Watt said it is important not to get caught up in the music.

"I try not to at all when I'm out there on the field," Watt said. "Maybe when I take a couple of plays off and the (second unit) is going, I'll take a little listen. It's a good tool for us. Every school does it. It is definitely a good tool for going on the road."