Recap?|? Final Stats?|? Notes


Notre Dame Head Coach Tyrone Willingham Quotes

On Willingham’s assessment of the game:
“We showed improvement in some areas, but we still have areas that we need to work on. You can’t put it all on the offensive line. The offensive line did some good things to day. We need to improve in all areas.”

On quarterback decision for Purdue:
“We will make that decision as we get later into the week.”

On sitting Carlyle Holiday out and then bringing him back into the game:
“I thought that by sitting him out for awhile, it would give him a chance to see things better. I thought it worked to some extent. The first series was four-and-out, but we moved the ball the next series.”

On Michigan State quarterback Jeff Smoker playing:
“His presence made a difference. It gave his entire team a lift. He’s a quality quarterback and did some great things for them. We prepared for him to play this week.”

On team’s determination:
“I think we played determined the entire game. They fought all the way to the end. Losses hurt. They hurt players. They hurt the coaches. We’ll bounce back.”

On quarterback Brady Quinn:
“His progress has been tremendous since he’s gotten here. He gets better and stronger each day.”


Notre Dame Player Quotes

Senior DE Kyle Budinscak

On the loss
“This loss is a real hard one to describe. We came out with the right mind-set today. We forced some turnovers, but I guess we, as a defense, did not completely do our job. A lot of people are going to be pointing fingers, but the bottom line is that everyone on the field did not play well enough to win.”

On the Michigan State offense
“Besides the one big play, I thought we did a nice job shutting down their run today. As far as their passing game, we needed to get more pressure on the quarterback from our front four. The most disappointing thing for our line is that we are not getting enough on our pass rush.

On next week
“We just need to play like we know how to and step it up a notch against Purdue. We just need to work on everything this week to get ready to go.”

Sophomore OT Jamie Ryan

On the game
“Losses always hurt and as a competitor, this one is really going to stick for awhile. As a team, though, we just have to move on and put today behind us. All great teams have to rebound from games like these and we just have to improve.”

Senior OG Sean Milligan
On comparing the two Notre Dame losses this season “Every loss hurts and no loss hurts more than another. The only thing we can do is put these games behind us and do what we need to do to be ready for Purdue. The season is still not over.”

On the reasons for losing today’s game
“You win as a team and you lose as a team. There is no one reason or one person to point at and blame for the loss today.”

Senior RB Julius Jones
On positives from the game “It is really hard to point to any positives from today’s game. I think everyone is feeling the pressure now.”

On using two quarterbacks
“There really is no difference on offense for the rest of the guys. Both quarterbacks can throw and hand the ball off. We just all have to improve as an offense.”

Michigan State Head Coach John L. Smith Quotes

“Notre Dame is a special place and the bottom line is that this win means a lot to our players. I’m proud of our kids but I told them that we still have to come to work tomorrow and be ready for Big Ten play next week. This is still the same team that lost to Louisiana Tech last week.”

MSU defensive play

“Our defense came to play today and while we made mistakes, we are making fewer and fewer each week. They certainly contributed to our win.”

“I’m a believer in blitzing and for that to be successful, it depends on our secondary playing well and we made few mistakes back there.”

Smoker and injury coming into today

“I don’t think he was totally healthy. If I had to say how healthy he was, I’d say he was about 90 percent when the game started.”

Running Game (and Hayes’ 71-yard TD run)

“Our running game is getting better and better each week and we are continually taking steps to get better. To look at Jaren’s [Hayes] touchdown is a big boost for our running game down the road.”

Taplin INT return for TD

“I was hoping he wouldn’t stumble and fall. I’m proud of that kid and where he has come from. At that point in the game we needed a big play and we definitely got one. That play was a nail in the coffin.”


Michigan State Player Quotes

Senior RUSH Greg Taplin
On his 40-yard interception return for a touchdown “It was a good play.”

“I was kind of surprised to see the ball coming my way, but we work a lot on catching drills (in practice). I just caught it and ran as fast as I could to the end zone.”

“Before the game, I was praying for something special. I guess it happened. I thought I could do something special and I did.”

Sophomore RB Jaren Hayes

On his 71-yard touchdown
“It was a zone play and I read it pretty good. I got pretty good blocking from our receivers, and I found a hole and ran for the end zone.”

“I was just trying to redeem myself for the fumble I had earlier; I was a little mad inside. I wanted to make a big play, and I did.”

On the win
“This is a great win. It’s a big win any time you beat Notre Dame.”

Freshman P Brandon Fields

On his 79-yard punt
“I was under a little pressure, but it was a good snap, and I had enough protection. I was able to get it off and have it be a good one.”

On the importance of field position in the game
“Field position plays a big role in games like this. Dave Rayner did a good job kicking off, and I punted well today. It’s hard for offenses when they have to start on their own 20-yard line.”

Freshman QB Drew Stanton
On recovering the onside kick in the fourth quarter “It was just like what happened last week. They lined up looking like they might do an onside kick. I figured they would kick it to me because they may have thought I wasn’t mentally in the game. But I was fortunate to get the ball, and the outcome was good.”