Notre Dame's staff touched down in Orlando, Fla., Friday afternoon. Irish players arrived Saturday. And though the practice field did not go unattended, the holiday weekend wasn't all business with the Champs Sports Bowl days away.
Team chaplain Father Paul Doyle led a 9:30 a.m. Mass on Christmas and Notre Dame later practiced at the site of the game, the Citrus Bowl Stadium, for less than two hours in full pads in what was the equivalent of a Tuesday practice during a normal game week.
“Like all bowl games, it's a little bit of a grab-bag because you’ve been off for a month," defensive coordinator Bob Diaco said. "But that’s what makes bowl games interesting.
“It was a good, intense Tuesday practice. Our guys came with professionalism and energy. They came to work and now they get to go have fun on Christmas Day.”
Players were able to bus to Disney World afterward if they wished.
Offensive intern Scott Booker will be assisting head coach Brian Kelly through his headset Thursday with former offensive coordinator Charley Molnar having left to take over Massachusetts.
Notes: Michael Floyd's flu bug is now gone, the South Bend Tribune's Eric Hansen reports. Hansen also notes that junior tight end Jake Golic recently underwent back surgery.