Notre Dame receiver Will Fuller races to the end zone for a 66-yard touchdown. Notre Dame defeated Texas 38-3. (RODOLFO GONZALEZ / AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

Football

One year later, Charlie Strong rethinks the focus on Notre Dame opener

Posted June 22nd, 2016

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Charlie Strong may have stripped Shawn Watson of his offensive play-calling duties after last year’s loss to Notre Dame, but Watson wasn’t the only Texas coach Strong was unhappy with.

Strong said Wednesday that he was upset with himself for overemphasizing the game’s importance to his players, who went out in the opener and got shelled, 38-3. That forgettable evening in South Bend sapped whatever momentum had been established in training camp and set the stage for a 5-7 season.

Hoping to learn from his mistake, Strong said he’s downplaying the Sept. 4 rematch in Austin.

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“I told our players I didn’t think I did a good job last year with that game because I just made too much about it early,” Strong said. “So now, we’re just approaching it like any other game. They’re gonna hear so much about it (anyway). There’s not much that needs to be said.”

The Irish, who have yet to pick a quarterback between DeShone Kizer and Malik Zaire, figure to open the season in the top 15 after winning 10 games in 2015.

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