“You just can’t think like that,” Minihan said. “You’ve just got to be ready to put your best foot forward every week. And if you’re in a place where you’re feeling sorry for yourself, or you just don’t want to do this anymore, you shouldn’t be here. That’s all I’ve got to say for that.”
Minihan will take motivation in the challenge that awaits him from the Notre Dame defensive line, an experienced group that last year helped limit Tech to a season-low 88 rushing yards in the Jackets’ 31-13 loss at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Minihan played Fighting Irish defensive end Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa in high school in Hawaii. Minihan said it is “absolutely” a challenge that he is anticipating.
“Just being competitive and just trying to be the best competitor possible,” he said.
The Jackets may have to play without their full complement on the offensive line, a situation they’ve been in frequently this season.
“It’s frustrating, but at the same time, I think we’re in a good position to handle that together,” Minihan said. “We all work well together, and when one person goes down, the next person’s ready to step up.”
Defensive end Kyle Kennard spoke of persistence and simply wanting to improve.
“These last two games can help us get better for next season or just help us work on what we need to work on overall,” he said.
Cornerback Zamari Walton finds motivation in a desire to honor the team’s seniors.
“For me, personally, I want to win,” he said. “So I’m trying to do everything I can for the team right now, especially for the seniors that’s probably going to leave. I want to make sure I go out with a bang for them. Anything I can do, I’m going to play for them.”
Walton acknowledged the wide toll that injuries and bruises have taken on his team. Walton himself came to the Wednesday media session with his left thumb wrapped.
“Everybody’s just kind of picking each other up, trying to be there for one another,” he said. “It’s about to be the end of the season, so everybody’s kind of banged up and trying to push through and finish these last couple of games.”