Irish stress fundamentals

Well-trained to be courteous but brief, Notre Dame players held their ground Tuesday in South Bend as they faced questions about their former coach, Tyrone Willingham, who will work the opposite sideline Saturday in Seattle. Most players praised Willingham but said their attention is on the present, not the past.

"There are no benefits to looking back," Fighting Irish senior center Bob Morton said.

The Fighting Irish's loss to Michigan State removed them from the Top 10, but the setback might actually have helped in the preparation for a game filled with potential distractions.