Those were the last words Temple head football coach Matt Rhule told his team before they boarded a flight to Notre Dame this week.
Those will probably be the words Rhule uses before the Owls take the field tomorrow (3:30 p.m., NBC-TV, Channel 10, 97.5 The Fanatic).
If there’s one advantage the Owls have, that’s it.
They will be the team playing fast and loose with nothing to lose. Notre Dame has everything to lose. The Irish are 29 1/2-point favorites. That line is probably skewed by Notre Dame’s national reputation on one hand and Temple’s 20-year-long college football nightmare prior to Al Golden’s revival of the program on the other.
The Owls are playing with house money. Sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn’t.
Ask the Towson University kids. The Tigers were facing a similar situation Thursday night at UConn. No one expected them to win or come close against the Huskies, yet they won, 33-18.
A packed Rentschler Field at the beginning of the game had about 100 fans there over the last five minutes when UConn attempted a feeble comeback. This was the same UConn program (if not team) that won at Louisville last year.
Anything can happen in college football.
It’s football, not rocket science. The keys to winning against Notre Dame are the same keys to Temple beating, say, South Florida: Limit turnovers , protect your quarterback and put the other guy on his backside. In those areas, there is some promise for Temple. The Owls have made a priority out of fixing their offensive and defensive lines in the offseason are in good shape there. If they can get pressure on turnover-prone Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Rees, they can even the playing field in a hurry.
The task facing the Owls is daunting. Notre Dame gets four- and five-star recruits that it can pick and chose from. Temple has to recruit out of its mind to get three-star recruits.
With Rhule that’s changing but it’s an evolving process.
Still, everybody has the same amount of stars when they take the field and that’s the approach the Owls will have to take. The Fighting Irish are 57-12-1 against teams making their first visits to Notre Dame Stadium but three of those victories have come in the past four seasons: Connecticut in 2009, Tulsa in 2010 and South Florida in 2011.
Notre Dame fans had to feel just as confident leading up to those games as they do now.
Temple is going to try just as hard as those Wyoming kids tried in the New Mexico Bowl.