SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) -Notre Dame players are going to hear coach Charlie Weis' sarcasm all week.
``Maybe we shouldn't even go this week. Maybe we should just stay home and eat hot fudge sundaes,'' Weis said Tuesday, telling reporters what he plans to say to his team during practice.
As tempting as the sundaes might sound to some of the offensive linemen, it's Weis' way of getting under his players' skin and trying to inspire them to play well at No. 22 North Carolina (4-1) on Saturday. The Fighting Irish (4-1) are undefeated in four home games but lost their lone road game 23-7 at No. 23 Michigan State on Sept. 20.
The sarcasm shouldn't come as too big a surprise for the players. Every week, Weis comes up with a top 10 list for the Irish to focus on. This week's No. 1: Can the Irish win on the road?
be the main theme of the entire week.''
The reason for stressing the need to play well on the road is obvious with four of the next five games away from Notre Dame Stadium. The Irish have shown they are comfortable at home with the crowd cheering them on. Now they have to show they can play well before hostile crowds.
The Irish didn't play particularly well in East Lansing, especially running the ball. The Irish went into the game thinking they could run against the Spartans and were beaten soundly at the line of scrimmage, managing just 16 yards on 22 carries.
The Irish attempted just two runs in the second half.
Jimmy Clausen also threw two interceptions, including one in the end zone and one that set up a Michigan State field goal, and receiver Michael Floyd fumbled the ball away at the Michigan State 14. The Irish also missed two field goals.
``At the end of the day you turn the ball over twice in the red zone and you miss a couple of field goal opportunities in a close game, you're probably going to lose every time,'' Weis said.
But Weis believes Notre Dame's success at home has given the Irish growing confidence, something that was in short supply following last season's 3-9 finish.
there are on that list, the better chance you have,'' Weis said.
Notre Dame hasn't beaten a ranked team since the fourth-ranked Irish beat No. 19 Penn State 41-17 in the second game of the 2006 season. They haven beaten a ranked team on the road since No. 13 Notre Dame defeated No. 22 Purdue 49-28 on Oct. 1, 2005.

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