NOTRE DAME -- A wise man once said "those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

For Notre Dame, that past includes a couple of undefeated Irish teams suffering big letdown games -- in 2002 and 1993.

And though Irish coach Brian Kelly said he wouldn't give his team a history lesson this week, they ended up getting a lesson anyway.

"I told them that they have to understand that everybody they play against will play their absolute best," Kelly said. "Next week, BC will play out of their minds against us, and Wake Forest will. And they can't just highlight certain teams on their schedule, because they will play their very best. I think that's a lesson learned for our football team."

A lesson the team has certainly heard before, but apparently one it needed to hear again. A lesson that, thankfully for the Irish, they didn't have to learn the hard way.

"For us to come out with a victory after that," Irish linebacker Manti Te'o said, "it shows us that we always need to be on our toes."

"Especially us being undefeated, people want our number," ND tackle Zack Martin said. "So we have to do a better job of preparing and not taking teams lightly, which, I don't think we're taking teams lightly. Just know that they're gonna give us their best shot every week."

"We prepared the same," running back Theo Riddick said, "Just, unfortunately, we started off slow again. I think that's a trend in all our home games, and that has to change also. But from here on out, it's a lesson learned, that every team is going to play their best. And we really have to understand that to continue on winning."

Needing three overtimes to beat Pittsburgh certainly won't curry any favor with the voters -- voters Notre Dame might end up needing to impress to get into the national title game.

But it sure beats the alternative.