Sept. 21, 2016
Torii Hunter Jr., Sr., WR
TORII HUNTER, JR.: I think he told us yesterday in one of the team meetings. We’re just trying to relay that as captains and leaders of this team.
Q. Is that something you guys have lacked or has it just not been to the level that you necessarily needed?
TORII HUNTER, JR.: Yeah, I think that it just needs to be raised. I think we do a good job of going out there but it definitely needs to be raised to a higher level.
Q. Coach Kelly also mentioned he wants DeShone to play with a greater sense of urgency, specifically when things kind of bogged down there in the second and third quarters against Michigan State, what was going wrong, where you couldn’t really get anything going?
TORII HUNTER, JR.: I just think that like you said, we weren’t playing with a sense of urgency. You know, guys were kind of just lackadaisical it felt like and there was no spark. You could just kind of sense it on the sideline and I think that’s kind of what kind of held us back and what slowed us down. Once we came out and made a play, made a play or two, that start kind of came back and that’s when the game kind of turned around.
Q. Looking at it maybe from the other perspective, what do you feel you guys are doing well offensively that you can build upon to help mitigate some of the negatives?
TORII HUNTER, JR.: I think that we are making plays. I think we can make plays. We’re capable of them. So I think that’s one of the things that we have done well, have as many plays down the field but it’s just the consistency thing that really needs to be up for sure but we have the ability and we have done it. I think consistency is definitely something that we need to work on.
Q. And as a captain —
TORII HUNTER, JR.: As receivers, the team is counting on us to make plays and if we are not doing what we’re supposed to do, then the offense is kind of hard for it to operate. So if we’re not making plays and the team wants to load the box, then we have to be counted on to make plays and spread them back out.
I think that’s the message to the receivers, but as far as the team goes, the offense, we just have to be more consistent and practice harder and practice with an attention to detail and make sure all of our I’s are dotted and T’s are crossed come Saturday.
Q. How did you feel physically and mentally coming back from the injury?
TORII HUNTER, JR.: I felt amazing, man. It felt great to be back out thereafter that first play. I kind of felt just a rush of energy just to be back out there and with the team. Yeah, it was an awesome experience to be back out there with the guys.
Q. You individually, your game, what do you want to build upon? What do you feel you need specifically to improve in your individual game?
TORII HUNTER, JR.: I would say, just the fact that I need to be able to always be counted on to be open. I feel like sometimes I may kind of slip up or not be as open as I should be. I need to be somebody that’s open constantly and I can be counted on that I’ll be where I need to be when the ball needs to be thrown. I think that’s one of the things I can work on in my game.
Q. Do you feel a responsibility to be this year’s Will Fuller, or do you recognize that he’s a different type player and that you just have to find your niche within all this?
TORII HUNTER, JR.: Yeah, I’m not trying to compare myself to him at all. That’s who he was. It’s a totally different receiving core this year. I was telling people at the beginning of the season, it’s going to be more distributed. There’s other guys that can make plays, as well. It’s not going to be a one-man show like it was last year. Yeah, I’m not comparing myself to him at all.
Q. How valuable would you say DeShone is to your offense and to this team?
TORII HUNTER, JR.: I would say he’s very valuable. He puts us in a great position to be successful. And he’s real smart. He’s a competitor and he’s also a great leader. He also, yeah, he just operates the offense very well, super smart and helps us out a lot and puts us in good plays.
Q. Do you see him as a future NFL quarterback?
TORII HUNTER, JR.: Yeah, for sure. I can see him as an NFL xx. He’s not afraid to take hits. He keeps his eyes down the field and he has the potential to be a great quarterback in the future.
Q. What do you see from Duke that makes them a tough opponent for your offense?
TORII HUNTER, JR.: Once again, they are going to test our receivers, and we’ve got to make plays again this week. They have got a lot of great DBs that can make plays. They have a pretty good turnover margin I think. I think they are going to be a tough opponent and we shouldn’t take them lightly, no matter if they are a basketball school or whatever you want to call them.
Q. And how important is it for you guys to kind of get the energy going in the stadium Saturday? Obviously at 1-2, the fans might be in a lull in the beginning. How important is it to get the energy going?
TORII HUNTER, JR.: I think it’s very important. Everybody looks to the fans for support and energy, as well. I’m definitely a big advocate for some energy from the crowd. I’m always trying to turn around and hype up the crowd and get people to stand up. So, you know, if they could help us out a little bit, I think that would help a lot.
Q. Curious what your opinion is of Chase Claypool’s game and how you’ve seen him progressed from when he showed up in June to right now?
TORII HUNTER, JR.: Yeah, Chase has grown up a lot. I didn’t know how much of a factor he would play in this year but he’s definitely stepped up a lot. He’s grown as a football player. He’s still got some learning to do but he definitely has play-making ability down the field.
And he’s also helped out a lot on special teams. He’s definitely been a high-energy guy for us. He’s made a lot of plays, a lot of tackles, I think he’s on punt and kickoff. Yeah, he’s made a lot of plays for us and he’s helped us out a lot.
Q. Brian Kelly mentioned the competition level being such a huge jump for him and you did not have that problem coming from Texas. Is that a real thing to adjust, to the compete level at college? It’s an adjustment for everybody but in particular for him coming from Canada?
TORII HUNTER, JR.: I think you have to increase your compete level for sure because guys are really good at this level.
So you have to increase your compete level and just kind of going with the mind-set that I’m not going to let this guy beat me, I’m not going to let him take this ball out of my hands. I’m not going to let him win overall, so I think that’s something that you kind of have to grow a mind-set.
But I was always in a competitive situation where I came from. I’m not sure of anything about Vancouver football or anything like that. You definitely have to raise your compete level, though, once you get to the collegiate level and once you get to the NFL level, too.
Q. How are you feeling now? I know you said after that first play you felt amazing but now that you’ve had a few days post, how are you?
TORII HUNTER, JR.: I still feel good. It was a tough practice yesterday. I think it was tough for everybody. We’re kind of grinding out this week because we got a lot of tests. I think people are starting to have tests and stuff like that, so it’s definitely going to be a grind this week.
I think the message from all the leaders on this team is that we still have to go out here and compete and get better this week because we have a very good opponent on Saturday.
Q. I just mean because of the concussion.
TORII HUNTER, JR.: Oh, my concussion, I’m way past that. I don’t want to look back.
Q. How long did it take you to feel back to normal again?
TORII HUNTER, JR.: Yeah, after the Texas game, it took about a week for me to start feeling like myself again, so Sunday to Sunday I started feeling like myself again. And yeah, so I kind of think that I’m good now. I don’t want to look back at it and start thinking about it, but I’m feeling good.
Q. Sorry to keep asking but what was the process of the injury —
TORII HUNTER, JR.: Yeah, so the Monday after the game, I kind of came in and did a light bike work out, just to get my heart rate up a little bit. And then just increased from there.
So I went from the bike to the elliptical and then the next day I went from the elliptical to the treadmill, and then from the treadmill to the field.
And then the last Tuesday, I went out there and practiced just to see how I felt non-contact and then just increased from there. So I did not contact, a little more contact and then I was full go on that Thursday before the game.
Then Saturday I was playing, so that’s how it went.
Q. Did you have any concerns before Saturday about how you might feel or anything like that?
TORII HUNTER, JR.: No, I was pretty confident that I was going to be okay.
Q. You started out 6-0 your sophomore year before a few weeks later things unraveled from there, curious, as a young player, talking about motivation earlier, when you realized the playoffs were kind of out of the picture.
TORII HUNTER, JR.: Can you say the question again? I’m sorry.
Q. As a younger player, did you confront the disappointment of realizing the playoffs are out of the picture a little bit different than you might now, having gone through that experience?
TORII HUNTER, JR.: No, I think as a competitor, I still kind of had the same mind-set that we wanted to go out there and win some games and still prove that we need to be here.
As a competitor, I don’t think my mind-set has changed much. I always want to go out there and win no matter what, no matter what the end goal is.
Even if we couldn’t play in the National Championship, I still want to win, no matter what the record is and what the record looked like. Yeah, so that’s the same mind-set I had as a sophomore.
James Onwualu, Sr., LB
Q. James, I’m sure you’re dealing with the issues and the negatives that have come up. As you move forward into Game 4, and as a leader of the defense, what do you feel good about what you guys are doing defensively?
James Onwualu: I feel good about a lot of things. One of them being just the effort and how committed a lot of the guys on our defense are right now. But I mean, you watch the film and there’s no question on effort. There’s D-Linemen running down the field, you see that play, Jarron Jones running down the field for a tackle, that’s unheard of.
So you’ve got to be proud of that. I think that’s something that you can really build off, no matter what it is. There’s some things that you can’t fix within a defense but that being — you know, that already is, like I said, something you can build off.
Q. How do you bridge that gap between effort and productivity? How do you narrow that gap?
James Onwualu: I think you just keep working on that every week and focusing. As long as that’s set in stone, that effort aspect of it, you just continue through practice to try to continue to get better, like I said. Work on the things we haven’t done as well and try and bring that and show that within the game.
Q. As a captain, your message to not only the wide backing core but the defense in general?
James Onwualu: That we’ve just got to keep working to get better every single day.
Obviously we didn’t start the season exactly how we had imagined, but a lot of guys on the team, it’s not like we’re like a lot of other teams in the country where after you lose a game or two, you just continue to go downhill. A lot of guys have high character and want to win no matter what, very competitive defense. You don’t have to really say much to them. Just have them to continue to compete and remember that we’re representing the university and our families.
Q. You individually, what would a nuance or two be, something that you need to improve upon in your game?
James Onwualu: In my game, I feel like I’ve made the plays that have been presented to me this year so far. Just continue to make people around me better and continuing to expand my game into different areas where we might be hurting a little bit.
Q. As a freshmen on that 2013 team that had two losses in September and having a captain in your unit, TJ Jones, what was the message that he gave to you guys after that second loss? And while you said you don’t really need to say a whole lot to these guys, do you relay some of that message to the freshmen and sophomores this year?
James Onwualu: After those losses, I can remember TJ Jones always being positive. You get a lot of negativity from the outside and you feel the vibe a little bit change from fans and reporters and everything like that.
But within the team, I just remember TJ being positive. I’ve tried to do the same and just be as positive as I can in the locker room, continuing to encourage guys and still give them the idea of how great a season can be, even starting out not exactly the way we wanted it to.
Q. Have things kept up positive since the Michigan State game?
James Onwualu: I think so. I mean, everybody came in, at least I can really only speak for the defensive room, but I thought the film session and the review of the game was positive and we learned a lot from it. And then continuing into practice yesterday, it was just like a normal day. We’ve moved on and are looking forward to Duke.
Q. Does it help from the younger guys — not reading into stuff from Twitter and anything like that, is that a concern of yours at this point?
James Onwualu: A little bit. I think everybody, even if you say, I never look at that stuff, you’re tagged in stuff and it pops up here and there. They are going to have some involvement here and there but just continue to focus on their own game and focus on what we’re trying to accomplish is key. Letting some of those guys know that, but they all pretty much know it.
Q. Circling back to 2013, you went out, I think it was the week after Oklahoma and beat Arizona State, beat a ranked Arizona State team. The positive leadership of TJ and Zach Martin and Bennett Jackson, some of the other senior leadership, the how did that help you guys go out and win that game the next week and ultimately win nine that season?
James Onwualu: Yeah, again, just like focusing on the next week. Trying to let the past just settle and be in the past and just taking every game as another opportunity to compete and to show your skills and show what you’re improving on and continuing to work on your game.
Q. Your defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder has been criticized quite a bit from fans and media. What’s your reaction as a player on the team when you see something like that about your coach?
James Onwualu: You know, I don’t really look too much into it. I mean, people say that the defense is too complicated and that he does too much, too exotic and it doesn’t work. But you know, as a player, you know, I respect what he does and I think that his system is one that I have enjoyed playing in.
It’s important to me that I have a coach that’s going to continue to give me as much information as possible and give me the opportunity to do as much as I can in the game, and I think that he does that.
So obviously, you know, there’s things on every team that you can fix, and the players have to execute certain things no matter what defense it is. So those are things that you can clean up, but overall I love playing for Coach VanGorder.
Q. When you look at last week, Cole struggled a little bit against Michigan State. What do you see to a guy like that that you know has the ability, maybe some words that you have to say to him to get him back on track?
James Onwualu: Not really. I mean, Cole is a veteran guy. He’s played in much more defense than I have. He knows, you know, he’s hard on himself, just like any coach would be. I’m sure he’s been on the film and correcting those things.
Unfortunately some guys have off days. He had the ball in his hands on the first play in what could have been a pick in the end zone. So just executing a little bit more and just making that play would be important for him. But he knows what he’s got to do. I mean, as a good friend, I don’t think I really need to say much to him.
Q. Saturday night when you got home or maybe Sunday afternoon when you sit down and you realize you guys are 1-2, what crossed your mind? Was it anger or disappointment? What went through your body?
James Onwualu: It’s never a good feeling. Obviously it’s not exactly how I imagined starting off the season, my senior season, and obviously a team that I’m trying my best to lead.
I know we have a lot of games ahead of us which is exciting and I have a couple more games that I get to play at Notre Dame Stadium. There’s so much more to come from this season and so much more I can learn and my whole team can learn. You know, you look past those games already and you take what you can from those and learn from those experiences. But just really trying to look forward and focus on these games that we can get some great wins in.
Q. You gave up 50 points against Texas, 36 against MSU, as a defense, do you feel like you let down your team?
James Onwualu: I wouldn’t say we let down our team. All the units have their own job to do and obviously the defense has struggled a little bit. We’re trying to correct those things and play the best ball we can, and I think that like I said, comes with consistency and just working to do a better job with that.
You know, we don’t feel too much heat from the offensive side and special teams, I think we do a pretty good job of all working together and knowing that it takes every unit.
So I mean, the defense is obviously going to have to continue to improve each week, but I don’t feel too much pressure from the other units.
Q. And then what do you guys see from Duke as their offense, as you prepare for them this week?
James Onwualu: You know, very well-coached. They have their different concepts. They are a very conceptual offense, so just trying to just understand their concepts and get a good idea that it can come out of a few different things. Younger quarterback, but he’s a pretty good player and has some sets that he can really use. Just trying to get a good understanding of their offense and play some good ball.
Q. What are the biggest challenges that younger players face this season?
James Onwualu: I think the biggest challenge is just trying to understand the whole concept and really get — I mean, sometimes you can focus in on what my job is. But it gets difficult sometimes when you don’t know exactly how all the pieces around you are working. So trying to, you know, share knowledge with the people around you is important in our room.
Q. Have you seen the other guys who are obviously getting a lot of playing time getting a hold of it quickly, or are they struggling with it? What do you see? We obviously see it within the game but what are you seeing?
James Onwualu: Yeah, I mean, it’s just more — there’s more to it than just understanding the playbook. These guys have put the time in to understand the playbook but I mean, these offenses are throwing more at us than they have ever, you know.
The offensive game in college football is continuing to evolve, and like you see in Michigan State, they were throwing new stuff at us all throughout the game. Usually you get maybe a 15, 20-play script in the beginning of the game, trying to see what we are trying to go against their motions and their different types of offense.
But MSU gave us a bunch of stuff throughout the game, so it’s difficult for a guy who does a great job of studying but really putting our concepts and trying to match them into new looks throughout a game.
Q. And when that happens, like on Saturday, what are you guys, the veterans, telling the younger players, so they don’t get frustrated and make mistakes?
James Onwualu: Yeah, I think it’s important. Sideline talk becomes very important, sharing information at that point. Coach does a great job of getting the white board out and explaining what happened on the last series and talking through that with some of the guys and making those corrections.
Trying to stay positive on the sideline, even though some mistakes may occur, and fixing it for the next drive.
Mike McGlinchey, Sr., LT
Q. Mike, as an offense through three games, what do you feel good about, what do you feel you can build upon?
Mike McGlinchey: I think that we have done an unreal job with putting points on the board and having those plays that can show that we are the best in the country, we are one of the best in the country on our offensive side of the ball.
Definitely want to improve on the consistency of doing so. We don’t want to have lulls in games and times where we don’t get our jobs done and I think that that’s what we are constantly working towards is that ability to play the same way at all times throughout the course of a game. We’re getting there.
Obviously we have some things we need to clean up and we’re going to get there. But like I said, we are really — we have done a good job of executing our plays for the most part and it’s just that consistency that needs to build.
Q. Obviously once you guys fell behind by four touchdowns, you had to take a different offensive approach, but just in general how would you summarize the reasons for the difficulties in the ground game?
Mike McGlinchey: In terms of the Michigan State game?
Q. Yes, sir.
Mike McGlinchey: I don’t think we had too many difficulties at all when we came and watched the film against Michigan State in the ground game.
Early on, we were pretty solid in what we did and how we executed. Yeah, there was obviously a couple plays here and there where we didn’t execute to our best ability, and obviously that’s not the goal of ours but for the most part I thought we played pretty well, up until the point where we got behind and just couldn’t put the rushing yards on the board like we normally want to.
Q. As an offense, as a leader of the offensive line, as a leader of the team in the offense, what message have you been trying to give to that side of the ball this week?
Mike McGlinchey: Well, Coach has preached on it all week, Coach Kelly, he’s given us the sense of urgency mantra for this week, and I think it’s something we all need to buy into.
There is a sense of urgency around our program right now, especially on the offensive side of the ball, to get your jobs done at all times no matter the circumstances and bring that attitude to practice and constantly work on improving and becoming what we’re really capable of being, because we’ve fallen short of that at times this season so far.
It’s that sense of urgency that we need to bring to our improvement individually and then as a team, as well.
Q. As you look at your game individually, and as you go into this week of practice, what are one or two maybe specific things, real specific things of offensive line play that you want to improve upon?
Mike McGlinchey: I think the biggest thing for me is just not worrying about things that I can’t control and I think that has gotten in the way of my play a little bit this season. Football is a game, and it’s a game that we put our entire lives into, but at the end of the day it is a game and you have to go out and recognize that and have fun with it.
You saw from our offensive line and myself individually in the second half of that Michigan State game, when all bets were off, it was just time to go play. There was nothing really we could do. We were behind a couple scores. It was, all right, let’s go play football and see what happens.
We had a blast doing it. Watching the game on TV, I’m sure you saw us jumping up and down and celebrating and being the first guys to the ball, and that’s the kind of energy that you need to have at all times. It’s something that I need to continue to focus on and get back to is that just stop worrying about things. I have to trust what I do. I have to go back to work each and every day, trust the process and not worry about the end result and I think that’s where I’ll have the most of my success.
Q. Is that something you’ve always had to battle?
Mike McGlinchey: I think so. I’ve always had that kind of edge where if I’m not doing it right, I always kind of get in a lull of things and always — it’s hard not to focus on the end result of things.
Q. How does it negatively impact the way you play? Do you angry in that?
Mike McGlinchey: It’s not anger. It’s more of a spreading-yourself-too-thin kind of thing. It’s one of those things where I have to focus on what I need to do and what I need to do is recognize in the lineman across from me, see what he’s doing and then play ball.
That’s one thing that I wasn’t doing as well as I would have liked and I’m starting to improve that. It’s like one of those A.A. meetings; you have to admit the problem and keep working on it.
Q. More of a micro focus, as opposed to a macro?
Mike McGlinchey: Absolutely.
Q. Why did you think things were off in the first half on Saturday?
Mike McGlinchey: I think just a couple things, a couple plays that didn’t go our way, and I don’t think we were necessarily off. Going back on the film, we played a pretty good game offensively. I think that obviously there’s some things like missing a call or turning the football over or some things, a bad bounce here and there that kind of threw us off a little bit and stopped the drive or things like that.
But for the most part, I don’t think that we were off on Saturday. It’s just one of those things that they executed more plays than we did and that’s the way football shakes out sometimes.
Q. How valuable would you say DeShone is to your offense and to your team?
Mike McGlinchey: I think that kind of speaks for itself. DeShone, he’s our guy. He’s everything to us. Yeah, there’s no words that describe how valuable DeShone Kizer is to this offense and to this football team.
Q. What makes him so special?
Mike McGlinchey: His ability to just be the same guy every day. His ability to stay cool, calm and collected under pressure. I mean, it’s not every day you see a quarterback that gets down three scores or something like that in two games that we’ve had already this year and somehow figured out a way in the fourth quarter to come back and give our team a chance to win the football game and he’s done that twice now.
Unfortunately we didn’t finish like we wanted to but it’s not just on him; that’s on everybody else. DeShone is such a special player. He’s a special talent and he’s a special kid and that’s what makes him so special. It’s the combination of who he is, how he plays and his position on this football team; it’s huge for us.
Q. When you got home on Saturday night or maybe Sunday when you had a chance to think about things, when you realized, we’re 1-2, what went through your mind? Was it anger? Disappointment? What kind of emotions were you feeling?
Mike McGlinchey: I mean, obviously there’s a little disappointment that we haven’t won the games that we wanted to win. But at the same time it’s not something that I’m trying to dwell on. There’s nine games left on that schedule up there and that’s what we’re focused on, and that’s what I’m focused on is getting better each and every week and that’s the only thing you can do as a football player. If we start focusing on what happened in the last three weeks, we’re probably going to hit a pretty big wall here in the next nine games.
Q. What is the motivation now for the next nine games knowing that the playoff is probably out of the picture; what motivates you as a player, as a team?
Mike McGlinchey: I think it’s got to be self and team pride. It’s the constant battle to become the best person and player you can be each and every day. And along with that, comes the best team we can be every day. That’s the motivation is just become better and do better and continue to work for that, and everything that we do is about that and that’s the fun thing about what football is.
It’s such a process and there’s never, ever going to be a time where one team or one man has it mastered. There’s always something to work on and there’s always something to see differently and that’s why we keep coming back to this game that we all love is because of the challenge that it presents and our team is ready for that challenge, and just going back to work yesterday at practice, you can see it.
Guys are ready to work again and they are hungry and that’s what we need and that’s the only thing that we can focus on is the next nine weeks ahead and obviously starting with Duke. It’s a special characteristic of our football team to be able to do that and obviously we have some great leadership in our coaches to make us do that and help us focus on that.
Yeah, the motivation is just be better.
Q. And what do you guys see from Duke that make them a challenging defense to prepare for?
Mike McGlinchey: They move a lot. They will blitz a lot and that’s nothing we haven’t seen before. Every defense brings their own challenges challenge and Duke will certainly do that. They are a good football team. They are well-coached and they have a lot of experience.
But like I said, a lot of it comes down to what we do and that’s the way football is, especially on the offensive side of the ball, is executing what you need to do and what your job is. Doing that against a look that is in front of you, that’s the great thing about playing offense, especially offensive line, is a lot of it is in your control. You just have to be able to see what’s happening in front of you and trust the guys next to you to get the job done and that’s what’s going to happen.
Q. Coach Kelly talked about like having a better sense of urgency yesterday. That seems like kind of a nebulous thing for someone outside of the program. For you guys, what does he mean by that? What do you guys need to do to have that sense of urgency, I guess?
Mike McGlinchey: Well, it means that things that haven’t gone our way this season and the only thing we can do about it is bring a sense of urgency to the way we work. And there’s a certain attitude that you have to bring each and every day to practice that we need to constantly uphold now, and not that we didn’t before, but there’s even a little bit more riding on it now that we have two losses.
It’s that sense of urgency to just never — don’t fall into a lull because, oh, people are saying that our playoff shot is over. It’s that sense of urgency that yeah, we are playing football. There’s still nine games left to be played and we have to get better. There’s a lot of things that we need to work on and it’s that sense of urgency that you need to bring individually to work on them.
Q. In 2013, you had two losses in September and you had a captain in your group in Zack Martin. What was his message after the loss to Oklahoma that effectively knocked you out of the championship race that year?
Mike McGlinchey: I think it’s the same message. I think that’s always the message when you’re in times of trial is to put your head down and keep working. It’s what Coach Kelly is talking about each and every day now, is the sense of urgency to bring an attitude and a work ethic in terms of making us better and a more disciplined and highly-functioning football team.
Q. Do you point back to 2013, after losing to Oklahoma State, you went on to beat Arizona State the week after. Can you take a lesson from that week of preparation that maybe can apply going forward here?
Mike McGlinchey: Trying to remember, that was a long time ago. There’s a lot of football in between then.
Yeah, I think that — it’s not like we’ve never lost before. It’s not like — we’ve been in this position before where we have to bounce back from a tough week and a tough couple weeks. It’s a time that, like I said, it tests a lot of character, and I think it’s what we’re about on our team is we’ve got the guys that are willing to do that and willing to come into work each and every day, no matter what the outcome of the last couple games have been, and it’s because of that mentality that we have in our leadership and across the board on our football team.
Q. Everybody knows the defense is struggling; how much pressure does that put on the offense, knowing there’s not much margin for error, and that you have to score a lot of points it seems like to win games.
Mike McGlinchey: I don’t think we look at it that way at all. Like I’ve said before, or what I said to Tim about my individual struggle of trying to focus on what’s important is exactly what we need to do in terms of our offense and across the board individually, is focus on things that you can control.
I can’t control whether our defense stops them, and they are going to, because they have got the right guys on our team and the right coaches in place.
But like I said, I can’t focus on whether or not Isaac Rochell is going to have a couple tackles for loss, or if Nyles Morgan is going to command everything out there. I’m not worried about that, because I trust those guys that they are going to get their jobs done and they will do that.
At the same time, I’m focused on the next play going out on the drive. To be honest with you, I can’t remember a time where I’ve watched a full defensive drive in my time playing at Notre Dame because I’m always on the sideline with the five other guys up front trying to work on what we saw the last drive and if we see it again, how are we going to do better.
Can’t focus on what I can’t control and we are going to do our job each and every play, each and every drive and as the season continues, that will be the best way to do things for us.
Q. You literally a lot of times don’t even know what has happened on the field with the defense.
Mike McGlinchey: To be honest with you, I don’t. Until they tell me it’s your time to go, I’m not really worried about them — not that I’m not worried about them because I obviously care that my teammates are going to do well. But I can’t really focus on what they are doing because they need me to do my job. I can’t do my job if I’m not worried about somebody else doing theirs.
Yeah, we sit on one side of the sideline each and every week with five chairs, center, guards, tackles, Coach E. stands right in the middle trying to figure out what’s happening. Obviously I’ll check up and see what down and distance situation it is, because then it’s time to start getting prepared to go out and play again. But other than that, yeah, I don’t really see a whole lot until I hear a reaction from the crowd.
Q. DeShone and the two offenses played pretty well but after the game he put the loss on himself. As an offensive lineman, when you hear something like, how do you react to that?
Mike McGlinchey: It’s not on him; it’s on everybody. Obviously being the quarterback and the face of our football team, he’s going to do that because he’s a man and that’s who he is; and he’s going to put the blame on himself that everybody else can try and do better.
But we all know it’s not on DeShone. It’s not on any one particular man in this program, one particular player. It’s on everyone. It’s our job to execute. I’ve got to block better. Guys have to catch balls better, run harder, tackle better, whatever, whatever it is. It’s on everyone to do their job and their part into winning football games, and it’s the only way you can win is with a full team effort.