Sept. 13, 2005
COACH WEIS: Good morning. As it relates to Michigan State, there’s several things I’d like to talk about before we get going with questions. First of all, I have a lot of respect for Coach (John L.) Smith, he ranks as the 12th winningest coach in 1A. I’ve done a lot of research on Coach (Dave) Baldwin. He worked with Rich Minter a few years ago in Cincinnati, he’s been running their offense for the last three years. Last year they led the Big Ten in offense with 460 yards a game. They were 10th in the whole country, as a matter of fact. I could see why after taking a look at this quarterback. I mean, I think this quarterback is something special, (Drew) Stanton. Not only is he one of their captains, but can he do it all. Look at last week. 21 for 26, 300 yards, three touchdowns. He’s a very special player.
The running back situation they have is almost by committee, but it doesn’t make any difference who they put in there. I know (Jason) Teague didn’t play last week, but whether they played (Jehuu) Caulcrick or (Javon) Ringer, Caulcrick rushed for 89 yards, Ringer rushed for another 80 yards. Didn’t really seem to make a difference who they put in there with the system they have going.
Last year they had five wide receivers catch 21 passes at least. One of them had been a true freshman, (Terry) Love, who is back. They still have four of them. As a matter of fact, (Jerramy) Scott and (Kyle) Brown, who both had six catches last week, and (Matt) Trannon, who is a lot like Maurice (Stovall) as far as size, he’s 6’6″, 225 pounds, they play all four of those guys and they play them on the field a lot.
Their offensive line, you know, their center (Chris) Morris is the anchor of that group. Last year they averaged 238 yards rushing per game. This year they’re averaging 276 yards rushing per game. Obviously, they got it going on offense.
Their defensive coach, also his third year as coordinator, I know he’s been a coordinator for about 22 years, I think 10 of them have been with Coach Smith. This defense is only giving up 68 yards rushing a game. That presents a serious problem. Defensive line is solid. Clifton Ryan is one of their captains, he anchors that defense.
I like all three of their linebackers, (Kaleb) Thornhill, (David) Herron and (Sir Darean) Adams, I think they’re all athletic and make a bunch of plays. They have a veteran secondary. (Greg) Cooper, (Eric) Smith and (Ashton) Watson have played a whole bunch. It’s easy to see why this team is 2 0 and has outscored their opponents by such a wide margin after two games.
As far as special teams goes, when you have one of the best kickers/punters in the country in (Brandon) Fields, the thing that worries me the most in addition to how he kicks, in the last two years, they’ve scored six touchdowns on special teams and two of them happened to be against us last year. They obviously present a lot of problems for us. We’re definitely concerned and focused on trying to address those as of today.
As far as our health, we came out of the last game, I’ll talk about Rhema (McKnight) here momentarily, we came out of this last game fairly good to tell you the truth. Rhema had a slight procedure done on his leg. Although he’s day to day as we all know, he’s going to miss this week’s game. We’ll revisit him again next week, but he’s not lost for the season like all the rumors and everything. He had a procedure done that’s going to keep him from playing this week. If you asked him how he was doing, he would say day to day anyway. I figured I’d get that out of the way for this week’s game, that he will not be playing in this week’s game. We hope to get him back as quickly as we can.
Everyone else came out of that pretty well, to tell you the truth. We had some bumps and bruises, but everyone else is practicing and ready to go.
Q. You talked about Michigan State’s linebackers, but have your linebackers become the strength of your team now?
COACH WEIS: I’d have to say you have to be pleased with their performance through two games. First of all, when you’re playing with two seniors, one who had played a whole bunch, and Cory (Mays) has been waiting in the wings, just waiting his chance, chomping at the bit, waiting till he gets out there, you are hoping you would get that type of production out of them. You have to throw Maurice (Crum, Jr.) in there, as well. I think the three of them, adding Crum with the other two guys, as a group, you’d have to be pretty pleased with how they’ve been playing.
Q. Mays timing on the blitz has been good. Is that a gift of his or something you hone?
COACH WEIS: That’s a knack. There’s some people that just seem to have a knack of, A, not only where to hit it, but when to hit it. One last quality is how to hit it. There’s a lot of times people run in there and end up getting blocked and that’s the end of it. He’s a powerful guy when he comes in there. He can put some pressure on you.
Q. You talked about the coin toss, electing to receive. Is there ever a situation where you would choose to defer if, say, your offense is struggling a little bit or your defense is your strength at that time?
COACH WEIS: I would never not take the ball because our offense was struggling. I would defer if weather were so extreme that I thought that weather would be an issue in the second half of the game. That would be the only reason why I would defer, because there’s been times where you could conceivably consider in the second half when it’s your choice kicking off against the wind, choosing a goal instead of the ball so that in the fourth quarter when the game was on the line, you’d have the wind behind you. That would be the only reason I would do that.
Q. Is that the kind of thing, when you were an assistant coach, you said, “Why do people defer? If I’m the head coach, I’m going to take the football?”
COACH WEIS: I don’t think it shows very much confidence in your offense. I think if you’re saying, `We’ll defer,’ you’re basically saying, `We’re not going to score the first time we get it.’ I’d like to think that our offense, even though it’s not going to work out that way, I mean, we’ve been fortunate to do it twice, you’re not going to score every time you get the ball first. But I’d like to think that’s the way the players were thinking, because I know I’m certainly thinking that way.
Q. Has the secondary exceeded your expectations overall so far, met them? How do you feel about the way they’ve done, considering their experience coming in?
COACH WEIS: We expected them to be solid. Our expectation wasn’t the same necessarily as everyone else’s. They’re going to be challenged. This kid (Drew) Stanton, he’s something special now. He’s not just a drop back quarterback. He can run. He’s elusive. He’s got an arm, he’s got touch. He’s got a lot going for him.
They’re going to be challenged week in and week out. I think what happens is when you start growing in both experience and confidence, some good things have a potential to happen.
Q. I realize they’re two completely different situations, but the one thing Pittsburgh and Michigan have in common is perhaps the lack of second half offensive productivity. Is that a concern for you? If so, what steps do you take to alleviate that?
COACH WEIS: First of all, let me refute the second half in Pittsburgh. I recall, we got the ball, went on a 22 play drive, of which 20 counted, scored a touchdown and got the ball back with one minute to go in the third quarter and put the subs in. I don’t call that a lack of productivity. I call that completing the game.
Now, I’m more concerned with our lack of our missed opportunities that we had in the Michigan game. I would be more concerned if I felt we got our butts kicked, though. We just did not do a very good job starting with me and working through them. We need to do a better job to play a complete game of 60 minutes than we did last week.
Q. Sunday you mentioned a home game brings with it a lot different distractions than a road game does necessarily. Have you received any advice from perhaps Ara (Parseghian) or Lou (Holtz) on that or from Rick Minter and Ron Powlus, who have been around here for these kind of things before?
COACH WEIS: No. Let’s look at it very practically speaking. As you know, you know that’s how I always look at it. There are a lot of pros with playing at home. But the one con of playing at home is you get out of your normal routine that they’ve been in for the last couple weeks. Go to meetings, go to snack, go to mass or chapel, go to study, go to sleep. Whatever it is, it’s a normal routine.
We’ll get back into that normal routine about 7:05 on Friday night, because after we’ve left the pep rally and got on the buses to go to the hotel, now I’ve got it where everything is scripted until we get to the Basilica on Saturday. Everything is scripted the same as it’s been for the last two weeks.
Q. Can you talk about Jeff Samardzija? He seems to be developing a chemistry with Brady Quinn.
COACH WEIS: Well, Jeff has great athletic ability and ball skills. He’s been a perfect complement in the system, along with the other receivers we have. The combination of Rhema (McKnight) and Mo (Maurice Stovall) and Jeff, Anthony (Fasano) and John (Carlson), with (Matt) Shelton on the horizon, the combination of all these guys, when you put them all together, it gives you opportunities for guys to be singled out. You can’t really roll coverage in every direction. I think at this point Jeff has been the one who has been open based off the coverage schemes. I think Brady has done a nice job of getting the ball in his hands.
Q. When it comes to the psyche of the team, what do you think is the benefit and pitfall of going 2-0?
COACH WEIS: The easy answer to that is to say that you could fall into the trap of thinking you’re better than you are. But the reality of it is, when you’re playing a team like Michigan State, who has no fear of coming into Notre Dame Stadium, proven by the last four times they’ve been here, them coming out victorious, it’s a little easier to get their attention than if you’re playing some team that was 0 2. It would actually be harder to get their attention if you were playing a team that hadn’t won 91 28 in their first two games. Because they have, they’re averaging 45 and a half points a game, it’s even worse in the first half. I mean, before they’ve called off the dogs, it’s even been worse. Those scores could have been worse than they are. Because you have evidence on tape of how they played and the fact that they’ve come here four times in a row and won, it’s easier to get the players’ attention than it would have been if you were playing the lesser opponent.
Q. Biggest benefit?
COACH WEIS: Confidence. Remember, this is a team, when they walked off the field last season, their confidence was rattled. I think when you start winning, your confidence grows. There’s nothing better in coaching than having players that are starting to gain some confidence.
Q. What has Rick Minter brought to this defense?
COACH WEIS: Well, there’s a couple of things. First of all, with very few exceptions I allow Rick and their staff to run the defense, I’ll say my couple of things that are big picture items. But he’s a great leader, he’s a great teacher, and he has total confidence in the scheme that he knows. He’s really no different than me running an offense. He’s had head coaching experience, so it’s not like he’s not used to running half the team. He’s used to running a whole team. You add that combination of knowledge and experience and actually having a good scheme on top of it gives you a good chance to be successful.
Q. Was coaching experience a priority when you put together your staff?
COACH WEIS: It was the No. 1 thing for me. A close second was it would have been great if I could find somebody with some Notre Dame ties. I hit jackpot there (with Minter) because I got somebody with experience and had coached at Notre Dame because I felt that coming here I wanted to surround myself with as much experience on defense as I could, to tell you the truth, because I felt my forte had been on offense, and you can’t really spend as much time on offense, you’d be negligent to the team unless you hired a very experienced defensive staff. I think between Rick and Bill Lewis and Jappy Oliver, there are three veteran guys now who have been around for a while that know what they’re doing.
Q. You’ve said special teams is the area where you can make the quickest improvements. Why is that?
COACH WEIS: Why? Because a lot of special teams, some of it’s schematic. But special teams, a good portion of it is effort. You can’t always say that with offense and defense. Effort doesn’t always get it done on offense and defense. Sometimes it’s just outright execution of plays.
But on special teams, there’s more plays made by effort than on the other two facets of the team. I’m not downplaying execution or schematics when it comes to special teams. I just believe that high effort can go a long way on special teams. That’s definitely what we got this past week.
Q. You talked a lot about developing the tougher `Jersey’ personality to this team. I’m curious if you’ve seen that yet, if you’re starting to see that a little bit in the results?
COACH WEIS: I think all you have to do is ask the players. I think they’re feeling before I answer that question, you have to understand in no way do you ever want to imply that my way of doing it is better than somebody else’s way. It’s just the only way I know. I was raised under Bill and Bill. That’s the only way I know.
What the coaching staff has been able to do is kind of get this message all the way across the board. I think the players are kind of liking it a little bit. They’re kind of liking playing like that because I don’t tear them down when they do this. I kind of bait them a little bit to be like that. I’m kind of enjoying when I watch those things come to fruition.
Q. There’s always a lot made back home about your interest in the Rutgers job. I’m curious if you ever thought what your life might be like if that had gone different for you.
COACH WEIS: I’d be hanging at the Jersey Shore, eating at Rod’s. There you go, Jack. I threw in a plug for you.
COACH WEIS: I think I’m really happy to be in the Midwest. My wife and my family love it here. They love Notre Dame. I think they couldn’t be happier. Really, when it really comes down to jobs for me, it’s not so much me, it’s a family decision. For us, you know, obviously my wife and I, we met at the Jersey Shore, but for us, being able to be somewhere where my family is happy, that’s all that’s important. They’re very happy living here in the South Bend area.
Q. What, if anything, has surprised you so far?
COACH WEIS: I think the expectations outside the program were extremely low. Everyone said they were high, but I’m talking about, for example, the media, the expectations were so low. Really, I didn’t bring most of these kids in here. Most of these kids were here already.
The number one thing was my expectations were always high, so I thought maybe I was delusional there for a while. But the fact that the team is playing more to my expectations than to everyone else’s expectations maybe hasn’t surprised me but more has validated what my thoughts were.
Q. Have you talked to or heard from Tom Brady since the weekend?
COACH WEIS: I didn’t talk to him. He had called me right after the game and left a message for me. I’m waiting to see. I’m just waiting. I’ll wait and talk to him later this week. I have a couple of issues to discuss. I want to let him worry about Carolina. To be honest with you, they’re practicing today. Tuesday is usually a day off, but they’re practicing today. Let him worry about beating the Panthers.
Q. You won’t share any of that at all?
COACH WEIS: No, that’s not happening.
Q. You mentioned the Jersey attitude. Is that the nasty..
COACH WEIS: When I tried to clarify that, I Nasty, I’m sticking by that point. But there’s a difference between having a chip on your shoulders undeserved and a chip on your shoulders when you’re trying to prove something. I think that that’s what these players are trying to do. They’re trying to prove that they’re better than everyone thought they were.
But this is a what have you done for me lately business. They can sit there and talk about it after the first two games. I want them to be able to talk about it after the third game. That’s what we’re talking about. I mean, you have to play like that all the time.
One of the things I had talked to them about when I went into the locker room the first day of spring ball was, `Play Like a Champion Today.’ My answer to them was they should play like a champion every day because you should always practice and play with a chip on your shoulders, where you’re trying to prove to everybody you’re better than you are. The only way you do that is by showing it. You can’t talk about it.
Q. The other part of the attitude you talked about was the Patriots team first attitude. How do you coach that? Do you think the team is starting to adopt that?
COACH WEIS: You practice that. You watch those players after a good play, you don’t see any of these guys showboating, do you? You see them turning around and partying with their teammates. Nothing makes me happier than when I see a whole pile of people celebrating after a play. I don’t mind a little hot dog. I can live with that. I just want it with their teammates, not humiliating or embarrassing their opponent, A, and B, not playing up to the crowd.
Q. Is one of the ways you show that, frequently on TV during broadcasts, they show the one on one conversation with the coach. You haven’t had one of those that I’ve seen. By staying out of the limelight, you have these press conferences, but you haven’t had as much press coverage as you could have. Is that a message?
COACH WEIS: Yeah, but that’s a good thing, ’cause if I’m on there, usually something bad’s happening (laughter). That’s the way it is.
Q. But the pregame interviews?
COACH WEIS: They get mad at me because when they want to come in and talk to me, whether it’s NBC or ABC, I say, “If you want somebody on air, go get the players.” I mean, I give them information. It’s not like I don’t give them information so they can do their jobs. I just don’t believe that game day is supposed to be about the coach. Game day is supposed to be about the players.
Q. The issue of flying to the ball was one that Rick (Minter) brought up pretty early in camp. How do you evaluate how the players have taken that philosophy and run with it?
COACH WEIS: We put in a drill from the first day of training camp, an interception drill, where everyone had to get to the end zone. They weren’t very good at celebrating, by the way. We obviously have some guys that don’t have any steps when it comes to dancing. Even though it might look like a corny drill when you’re putting it in, eventually when they really get to make a big play and you see a bunch of guys high fiving each other, you start believing they want to be a part of it, they want to be around the ball, they want to be able to celebrate with their teammates. You can do that in every facet of the game. Once you do that, you get more people playing with enthusiasm and excitement, the chances of something good happening are greater than if you don’t play that way.
Q. On the offensive side the ball without Rhema McKnight, talk about if the dynamic of what you can do changes at all without him?
COACH WEIS: Next guy goes in. That’s all that happens. It’s always been that way. It’s the only way I know. Once again, I hate to keep on going back to the past, but I’ve always come from systems where one guy goes out, just plug the next guy in. That’s it, let’s go.
I have confidence in all the guys we’re playing. If I didn’t have confidence in them, they wouldn’t be playing.
Q. The next guy goes in, is that a mentality you have to coach up in your players?
COACH WEIS: No, I don’t think the players have any concerns that the next guy’s not going to come in and make plays. They have confidence. If they didn’t have confidence, those guys wouldn’t be in there. I’d use a different group of guys. There’s other guys to choose from.
I would not put guys on the field that the players didn’t have confidence in.
Q. (Matt) Shelton, is he pretty much close to a hundred percent right now?
COACH WEIS: He was close in the first game. Just the game didn’t force me to get into that situation. But I’m glad he’s sitting there waiting in the wings and chomping at the bit. He’s chomping at the bit. He just bit.
Q. Chinedum Ndukwe started as an offensive player here. Can you talk about his development, his nose for the ball that he seems to have?
COACH WEIS: He’s a very physical player. Everyone knew that. I think what’s happened here is I think him playing next to Zibby (Tom Zbikowski) helps, too. Zibby is such a confident person out there. There’s very few communication problems. If you’re playing next to a lesser experienced guy, it would present a few more problems. But what happens now is, as you start playing a couple games, you start gaining some experience yourself. When you start gaining some experience, your confidence starts to go. A lot of this team is about growing confidence.
Q. (Anthony) Fasano, talk about your impressions of him, your hopes for him.
COACH WEIS: First of all, Anthony is a really, really good football player. He’s multi dimensional. He can block, he can run, he can catch and he’s tough. He’s the type of guy playing at the next level that we’re always looking for because he’s not one of those tight ends that can just block or he’s not one of those tight ends that can just catch. I can’t tell you how many times you sit in a draft room and people say, What kind of tight end is he? There’s very few guys that can block and catch. There aren’t that many of them. You just look around the NFL today and tell me how many of them can both block and catch. You can count them on one hand, the ones that can do both.
Q. It’s the big anniversary for Notre Dame stadium. Do you have a particular moment from when you were a student in this stadium that you could share, any fond memories?
COACH WEIS: I’d say without a doubt it was the game against USC my senior year. I couldn’t figure out Digger (Phelps) at the pep rally on Friday night telling everyone to call us the `Green Machine’ when we wore blue and gold. I just didn’t get it. I was a little slow on the pickup.
I remember at the pep rally, going back to my dorm saying, “Digger doesn’t know what’s hell he’s talking about.” Of course, Digger had some inside scoop that I didn’t have. Here one of my closest friends and suite mates was Terry Eurick (phonetic). He didn’t tell me either, and he knew, too, because he was of the captain of the offense. He figured I had too big a mouth and I would have told the whole campus.
I remember watching the warm ups that day in regular jerseys, coming out in the green. Took a couple seconds for everyone to figure out what was going on, then just going out and swamping them that day. It was probably of all the games at this stadium I went to easily by far the most memorable one for me. I don’t recall everything, but I’m pretty sure there were like back to back blocked punts in that game. I think the first one they blocked, there was a penalty on Notre Dame. They came back on the next play and blocked for a touchdown. I don’t remember exactly, so I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure that happened that day. That was a great day.
Q. Could you talk about the time of the home games. These things can drag on forever.
COACH WEIS: More than three hours’ time?
Q. Much more than three hours.
COACH WEIS: I’m used to teams running it a little bit more than some of these teams do. I watch some of these games, 3 hours, 50 minutes. One positive about the length of the game is that these TV timeouts are forever. I’m used to going 30 seconds or 60 seconds on these timeouts. The timeouts are a lot shorter than I’m used to. You have to work faster during a timeout. Here they’re 90 seconds or 120 seconds. I mean, minute and a half or two minutes, having another minute during a timeout, that’s a lot more work you can get done during that time.
Halftime is another thing. I’m used to halftime being 12 minutes total. Here you walk in, say you have 19 minutes. 19 minutes? You can talk to your coaches, talk to the team, write openers, come back and talk to your team again, then go out. There are some of the times that I feel are very good. But when teams are throwing it 50 times a game, the game is going to be prolonged.
Q. The Friday night pep rally, that’s going to be something different. You did it as a student. Is that a positive? Can that be fun for you guys?
COACH WEIS: It will be a little interesting. When I was here, they were at the Stepan Center. They weren’t at the basketball arena. I’ll be interested to see how that goes. I think that opportunity where you can kind of get everyone a little fired up, say a couple words. But really it’s more to connect the football team with the student body. That’s a good thing. A lot of times these players are put on a pedestal and kind of they’re there and the students are here. That’s not really the Notre Dame way. The Notre Dame way is for these students to be a part of the student body, not to be above and beyond the student body.
If there’s one thing I am looking forward to as relates to the pep really is creating that connection. That I’m looking forward to. Other than that, I’m looking forward to getting on the bus and getting over to the hotel and getting to work.
Q. Bob Morton, you talked about in the pre season what a nice kid he is, but you quickly added in there that sometimes the nice kids don’t always make the best football players. Bob has really stood out some this year. Did you feel he was one of the players maybe that might have needed that mentality of nasty or toughness that you’re trying to put in?
COACH WEIS: You’re trying to learn your football players when you first get here, too. He is a nice, polite kid, devout Christian, big in FCA. You really don’t know people’s temperament when they’re a player.
It’s really funny and unique watching how people off the field and people on the field are often not the same person. This kid is as nice a kid as they come, but on a football field, he’s a very, very tough competitor. I like the way he plays.
Q. I asked this morning about Carl Grimes and his development. Can you talk about Carl’s brother David and what he’s doing for you on special teams, your expected development for him?
COACH WEIS: I’m trying to ease him in here to make sure I don’t throw him to the wolves. I think David has great, great ball skills and make them miss ability both as a receiver and returner. The important thing is when you put somebody in as a freshman, you have to make sure you don’t put him in a situation where you could rattle their confidence.
I love the way he’s competed during training camp and I’m trying to ease him into the mix. As the year goes on, I think I’m hoping to use him more and more.
Q. Have you noticed Carl at all when you watch the films of Michigan State?
COACH WEIS: Yeah, I’ve noticed him. One of the reasons is because if I didn’t, I’d have to listen to David for not noticing him. Any time there’s a brother connection like that, you always like to pay a peek and see what the other kid’s all about. It makes it kind of intriguing.
Q. About Michigan State’s running game, there’s still some question about whether Jason Teague will play this week. Ringer was averaging 8 yards a carry, then Caulcrick was averaging over a hundred yards a game.
COACH WEIS: Between the two of them, I think Caulcrick had 89 yards and Ringer had another 80 yards. I don’t think they were crying that Teague didn’t play. I think you have to be ready for all three of them playing. It wasn’t like who ever they put in there, they were going to get production out of. I think in the first two games, they’ve done a nice job running the ball. That’s why they were averaging 276 yards a game rushing.
Q. When a team can do that, seems like no matter who they throw in, is that a commentary on their stable of running backs or is that more a commentary on their offensive line?
COACH WEIS: I think it says a lot for both. The offensive line obviously is the trigger to production. You can throw the tight ends in there, too, because Coach Baldwin is also the tight end coach. Between Woods and Davis, he has a couple more guys he can get in there to be involved in those blocking schemes.
I think there’s three facets. They have confidence in all the running backs. Offensive line and tight ends do a nice job. I think they have a nice scheme, to tell you the truth.
Q. Ringer has been described more as a make a miss kind of player. Caulcrick is straight ahead. How do they differ style wise?
COACH WEIS: You mean how about size? Caulcrick, he’s a big man now. I watch him on tape of the he’s a big man. When I see that No. 30, you notice him. He’s sort of like a fullback playing halfback. It’s pretty obvious when you’re looking at different guys, you look at their running style, but you definitely look at their size, there’s a difference in size.
Q. Were you preparing at all or expecting to see any option this week from Michigan State? They haven’t busted it out too much in the first two games.
COACH WEIS: I’ll tell you what, every time Stanton hands off and starts to roll out, that concerns me because he does a pretty good job of ball faking after he hands the ball off. We prepare for it. To be honest with you, that kid, the way he throws the ball, I’d do all I could not to get him hurt. That’s one of our concerns because he’s so athletic, you always have to be concerned with him pulling the ball down, coming down the line of scrimmage and doing that. There’s a lot of things I’m worried about with that offense. That’s just one of many.
Q. Have you noticed No. 27, Adams? Plays the bandit position, hybrid safety linebacker. What do you think of him and that position?
COACH WEIS: It’s kind of interesting because I’ve watched him, how they’ve gone back and forth with a couple of these strong safeties in the spring, flip flopping them between the strong safety, the bandit, back and forth. I’m a little aware of how they’ve done that.
One of the problems that presents when you’re dealing with a guy that’s in the range of him, which I believe he’s about 220, right off the top of my head, somewhere in this range, you get this ‘tweener, undersized linebacker, oversized safety, they present a whole bunch of problems because they’re a jack of all trades. You can’t really take advantage of any one deficiency because they’re good enough in what they do and they present a couple unique problems that most linebackers don’t do.
Q. How much have you used the history of Notre Dame since you’ve been there as a motivational tool?
COACH WEIS: Look at this week. Look at this week. This is a pretty easy one. You just come off an emotional high like you did in Michigan. If it wasn’t a school with a great reputation against Notre Dame like Michigan State, I think it would be a little tougher for me. Michigan State has owned Notre Dame recently, especially here at Notre Dame stadium, historically has beaten them 11 times. I think you have to use the facts are the facts, that’s what they are. We’re trying to make it so that Michigan State hasn’t won five times in a row.
Q. Were Quinn’s lower numbers in the second half at Michigan because of lower efficiency or an excess of caution to sit on the lead?
COACH WEIS: Well, I mean, I’m calling a play action pass with 2 minutes, 11 seconds to go with the game on the line. I don’t know how much caution that is. The drive before that, went on that infamous sack/no sack play. There was another play where I put in multiple tight ends and throwing a down the field shot play that never matriculated. I think it was a combination of cause, production and efficiency. I think it kind of hit the trifecta on that one right there.
I’ll do my best to improve on that this week.