Notre Dame players hungry, ready for BCS game - Chicago News and Weather | FOX 32 News

Notre Dame players hungry, ready for BCS game

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MIAMI, Fla. (FOX 32 News) -

It was dinner time for the Fighting Irish football team at Fogo De Chao in Miami beach Thursday night, where the players are hungry and ready to go.

On the menu is 15 different kinds of meat, garlic mashed potatoes, cheese bread, and yes, even a salad. Each player will consume 32 ounces of beef says the restaurant manager, Leadro Dal Poppo.

"We make about two pounds per person.. without salad, without side dishes..just meat, is two pounds," Dal Poppo explains.

The Notre Dame players were too busy eating to talk, but their parents are bursting with pride over the team's trip to Miami.

Augustin Rabasa's son is linebacker Anthony Rabasa--number 56--who is actually born and raised in Miami.

"Very excited, very excited for him. Very proud of him," Augustin says of his son.

The Nichols family--father David, mother Annie, and sister Alexa--are from northern Kentucky. Tate, number 64, is an offensive lineman.

"I am so excited. Never in my wildest dreams. I'm elated," Annie says of the upcoming game. "I just can't even tell you how excited we are. It's magical. Here come the Irish. That's all I can say."

"It's the excitement of seeing him run around the field and the whole season and just being a part of it," David says.

On Friday, with the title game quickly approaching, linebacker and Heisman trophy candidate Manti Teo and teammates got together for a moment of relaxation and Irish-style barbecuing.

It's all business from here on out, as the team will soon be on the biggest stage they've ever been on.

"Well, you have to understand. Playing at the University of Notre Dame, every opponent you come in contact with is like a bowl game, so, from my perspective, it's not some place these kids haven't been or felt the pressure before," Joe Theismann says.

Heisman contender, Super Bowl winning quarterback and Notre Dame graduate, Joe Theismann, knows a thing or two about playing under pressure.

FOX 32's Patrick Elwood caught up with him outside the team's hotel. He believes these guys will rise to the occasion for the big day. After all, Notre Dame plays big games on national TV every week.

"I'm stoked. I was at the USC game. I was in Southern California when we secured the opportunity to be able to come and play in the BCS. I was in the locker room with the kids," Theismann says. "The one thing that jumped out at me is, this is a group of kids who really like one another."

Not as famous but just as confident, are a few guys who spent the day collecting autographs.

Like the sculpture on the beach, a Notre Dame win isn't written in stone, but it certainly is carved in sand and that's as good as it gets.

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