Oct. 12, 2001
By Ryan Lockwood
Nick Setta continues this year as the starting place-kicker for the Irish, as well as taking over kickoffs. Also a back up punter, Setta is an all around athlete who competes as a middle distance runner for the Notre Dame track and field team.
Setta posted 74 points last season which marked the second time in the last ten years that a kicker led the Irish in scoring. Enrolled in the Mendoza College of Business, Setta has said if he can change lives for a day with anyone, it would be hip-hop artist Jay Z.
Are you happy with your performance so far this season?
“So far I have been happy with the operation, and the line has been doing a great job. I just got to keep it up and keep improving, and make everything work.”
Are their changes being made this year to improve the special teams?
“Our focus is there just as much as last year, but we need everything to work a little better. The first couple of games we came out a little rusty with the special teams, but watching the last game’s film you could really see a change in the speed we were playing at. I think that is all it is. We need to be confidant and going out there and making the plays. In the beginning we were tentative, no one really wanted to make a mistake. But now everyone is letting it rip. “
Did the Pittsburgh game solidify everyone’s play on the team?
“I really felt it was the start of the way it was last year. We have been putting so much time into it, we just needed the mental part to get there.”
Do you think the offense is starting to click under Holiday
“I think the offense is doing a great job. They have a long way to go, just like other teams do. Their confidence is starting to get there, where they are having big plays being made. The first couple of games there were not any big plays, and I think that is what we need a lot of. It brings excitement, and it changes the momentum a lot. They are really starting to click and do well.”
What is your outlook for the West Virginia Game this weekend
“The West Virginia game is just doing everything the same way. Being confident and not having anyone leave the field with any memories left on the field like “I could have don’t this or I could have done that.” That’s all you can hope for. Everyone leaving the field knowing they didn’t leave anything out there. There is too much time to waste on things like that.”
Starting off with a 0 – 3 record there has been much criticism. How do you deal with it personally?
“I personally deal with it by doing my job. Team is a team, but individually you have things you can do as well. If you take care of yourself, if you can take care of your job, then you can worry about other people. It is hard to understand sometimes where people are like “Well, it’s a team concept.” But it is a team concept. If you don’t take care of yourself, you are not going to help the team in anyway.”
Could that concept be different because of your job as the kicker
“In a way, but even with the other guys, if I were in another position, I would still want to take care of my stuff first, then help everyone else. It is a team effort, and you want to help and improve everyone. But at the same time when you take care of yourself, you are being an example for the rest of the team.”
Talk about your kicking partner Joey Hildbold. He is currently ranked at one of the best punters in the country. How big is his contribution to this team?
“He really came out and hit some big punts and has been really consistent. And that really is the key with a long season ahead. To be consistent, and keep bettering your average, and at the same time helping the team. If you can be the #1 punter in the country, and help the team, that is the best of both worlds.”