Marcus Freeman wants Notre Dame to ‘control the noise’ ahead of Ohio State game

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For Marcus Freeman, his message to Notre Dame ahead of its meeting with Ohio State Saturday is not changing.

The Fighting Irish coach said his goal for the team remains the same, to “do what we do and do it better.” This week, with all of the hype and attention surrounding Ohio State vs. Notre Dame, Freeman reminded his players to stay locked in on this mantra.

“This week, it’s probably a little bit noisier because of the opponent, ‘College GameDay,’ ‘Pat McAfee Show,’ all these different things going on here,” Freeman told reporters Thursday. “The biggest thing is control the noise. Turn it down. Focus on the moment. Focus on today’s practice and what we’re doing now. This is what will give us the best opportunity to perform at a high level on Saturday.”

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When Ohio State opened the 2022 season against Notre Dame, Freeman said there was a bit more outside noise, especially focused on him having played for and coached for the Buckeyes.

In 2023, heading into the fifth week of their season after wins against Navy, Tennessee State, North Carolina State and Central Michigan, Freeman said the focus seemingly feels solely on the primetime matchup itself.

“I think it’s just a different approach for everybody,” Freeman said. “We’re going into Week 5 for us and Week 4 for them and we got two good teams. That’s the focus. It’s not about where I was or where I went to school or anybody else. It’s about preparing your team to face a really good Ohio State team. I’m sure, on the other hand, Ohio State has the same mentality. That’s where the focus should be and that’s where I think it will stay.”