Oct. 6, 2001

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Notre Dame Coach Bob Davie

On the game:

“Today was the first time we really followed the plan. Nothing is going to come easy for us, so we really have to follow the plan. I think we did that today.”

On Notre Dame Offensive Strategy:

“We’re probably not going to throw the ball all over the field like Pittsburgh did today, but I think we spread it out, threw the quick game well, Carlyle (quarterback Carlyle Holiday) ran the option well. We were a little more multiple today.”

On Irish Defense:

“For us, it’s all about forcing turnovers. We’ve played solid defense, I think we’ll continue to play solid defense. The offense has been taking most of the heat, you know the defense deserved some heat because they weren’t generating any turnovers.”

On Defensive End Anthony Weaver:

“He broke lose today, made some big plays. Big sack, big interception. Good player.”

On Significance of Victory:

“Very significant. It’s not as significant for me as it for these kids. You know they get to walk out of here today feeling good. It’s a lot easier to preach a message of perseverance when you get some breaks going your way.”

On Confidence:

“I think with the confidence we gained today, we have the capabilities to do some things. When you been grindin’ like we been grindin’, hopefully it gives us a little more room to be grindin’.”

On Strategy:

“I love this game. It’s a great x-and-o game. They’re calling all the offensive plays and we’re calling all the defensive plays. It’s a chess game.”

Notre Dame Player Quotes

Sophomore quarterback Carlyle Holiday
On his 67-yard touchdown run

“We stretched the offense out and I cut back and thought I was going to get tackled, but I just kept my feet going and busted out of there. It caught me by surprise, but it was my first touchdown so it felt good.”

On the importance of the win
“It is a big win, not only for our football team, but for the community. It gives us a big boost and takes a lot off our shoulders. We needed this to keep us going — for something to build on. We didn’t want to get used to losing.”

On being the team’s leader
“I have to be the leader out there and I feel that I am the leader. I’ve got to take the team with me. I’m no longer a freshman so I’ve just got to take this team and try to lead it to victories.”

Senior split end Javin Hunter

On quarterback Carlyle Holiday’s play
“We didn’t pass the ball much, but I thought Carlyle played well. He didn’t turn the ball over. He was calm and collected and that allowed us to get some momentum and score some points.”

Senior linebacker Rocky Boiman

On Notre Dame’s performance

“At a place like this where the standards are so high, we expect a lot out of ourselves and a lot is expected of us. We wanted to show that we’re not dead and we want to come out and win the rest of these games.”

Sophomore safety Abram Elam

On his turnovers
“The coaches have been saying we need to make plays to turn this season around. I was just trying to show emotion to get everybody fired up and ready to go out and win this game.”

On the defense
“The defense knew its job. We knew we needed to go out, stop them, not give up big plays and play hard.”

Senior flanker David Givens

On quarterback Carlyle Holiday
“He is an exciting runner and a pretty efficient passer. It is obvious watching him play that he is a great athlete. Our team has a lot of confidence in Carlyle as our quarterback and it paid off today because he led us to a victory.”

Senior defensive end Anthony Weaver

On the defense
“Defensively, I think we just came out and ran to the ball. When you run to the ball, you can’t help but make plays. When someone wraps up the ballcarrier and someone else knocks his head off, he’s going to fumble the ball sometimes.”

Pittsburgh Coach Walt Harris

On the game

“This was a hard fought football game. When you are playing against an evenly-matched team, you need to make the most of your opportunities. In a road game like this one, you cannot win by committing five turnovers and allowing 99-yard drives. We beat ourselves today.”

On Pittsburgh quarterback Rod Rutherford and his interception

“Rod did well when he was in. As the game progressed, it became difficult to use him as much as we would have liked, due to the nature of the plays designed for him. On that play (the interception), he simply should not have thrown the ball. He did not have his legs under him to get a balanced throw off and he did not even put enough strength into the throw. When he got to the sidelines, I just told him not to forget what happened so that he can learn from it.”

On Notre Dame quarterback Carlyle Holiday’s performance

“He clearly is a great athlete who made some good plays today for them. He has a lot of talent and ran the offense well for a young guy. We hit him hard today, but he showed how tough he is and that he could come through for his team.”

On the game’s turning point

“We came right back very strong on the drive after Notre Dame took the lead on their field goal. We were feeling good and moving the ball. However, we still found ourselves coming up short. Notre Dame turned it up. We did not answer the call and the momentum went to them. We still had opportunities when we were down 17-7, but we were knocked around a bit and they continued to turn it up when they needed to. We simply could not take advantage of the opportunities we had in this close game.”

On the meaning of this loss

“I feel real bad for the 14 seniors, of course. The team paid a big price by not staying disciplined and executing what they have been taught to do. You cannot win if you do not do what you are instructed to do. It simply comes down to the team who makes the fewest mistakes, wins the game. We need to learn from this experience and learn to be more responsible to each other. Our goal will be to keep this in mind and to keep our guys in a good frame of mind. I know these players will work hard to correct our mistakes and to improve as a football team.”

Pittsburgh Player Quotes

Senior split end R.J. English

On third quarter fumble recoverd at Notre Dame 1-yard line

“I am not even sure what happened. I turned around, saw no one there, and thought I was going to score. I forgot about the fundamentals and didn’t tuck the ball away. I don’t know if someone hit me or not, but I just lost it.”

Junior flanker Antonio Bryant

On apparent shoulder injury suffered in third quarter

“I was just a little bruised from practice and that’s about it.”

On sputtering Pittsburgh offense

We were clicking and everything, but we just didn’t finish our plays. The turnovers slowed us down.”

Senior quarterback David Priestley On 1st quarter interception by SS Abram Elam

“The first pick I threw I think I was trying to be too aggressive and the wind just totally ate it up.”

On 4th quarter interception by DE Anthony Weaver

“The second one, the DE didn’t rush and didn’t drop out of coverage. I just wanted to dink the ball over on top of him. You don’t account for those guys. He just made a hell of a play. I’ve got to give him credit. I couldn’t believe it when it happened.”

Sophomore quarterback Rod Rutherford

On two-quarterback system

“It was kind of hard coming in for a couple of snaps, and then coming right back out. I think we played fairly well in the first half. It’s not rough on me. It’s given me a lot of opportunities to see what college football is all about. I’ve got two years out here to play, so I see it as an advantage to improve myself at the position.”

On fourth-quarter interception by LCB Shane Walton

“It was a trick play. Antonio (Harris) was supposed to run an out instead of a post and RJ (English) was supposed to run a post. The one safety wasn’t supposed to be there.”