Oct. 13, 2001

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Notre Dame Coach Bob Davie

On Game
“I think we saw just about everything that can happen in a football game today. It was real bizarre out there at times… I think we had three or four fourth down conversions, several third downs that we threw the ball and completed it, we had an onside kick that was successful, we had some big plays on offense.”

On bizarre occurances
“I thought I saw something today that I’ve never seen in college football… I swear there was a towel that hit that ball on that field goal. Somehow a towel was either thrown up in the air or something on that field goal… What’s that? No, it’s not legal.”

On Offense
“I thought overall our offense did an outstanding job… when you can rush the football for 345 yards, you will probably win the football game. I think our offensive line did a good job. We had some big plays, you don’t get that kind of yardage without some big plays.”

“If our offense doesn’t control the ball the way they controlled it today, if they don’t have these long, time-consuming drives, I’m not sure we can win this football game based on the way we played defense”

On West Virginia’ Offense
“When I look at the statistics, its hard to believe they only had 270 yards of total offense. Is that accurate? It seems like a misprint to me. It seems like they were running up and down the field on us.”

On Quarterback Carlyle Holiday
“I think our quarteback (Carlyle Holiday) has got a chance to be a really good player. Explosive guy on the field, I thought he threw the ball well, I thought for the most part he made really good decisions… he looks like a guy whose played a little more football than he has.”

Notre Dame Player Quotes

Sophomore quarterback Carlyle Holiday
On his play . . .

“I felt confident. I just tried to play within the offense this week and execute and play mistake-free.”

On coming from behind to win . . .

“We felt we had this game and we didn’t want to let it go. We knew we were in it the whole time. We just felt like we needed to make some plays to get the momentum to swing our way. There was no panic at all.”

On the offensive line . . .

“They were coming off the ball fast. They were hungry today to pound the ball. They love running the ball and they came out today and proved we can do that when we want to.”

On the option game . . .

“That was very helpful because we are a good running team. We pass the ball, but not that much, so today we were able to utilize what we do best — running the ball. That not only helped us, but also the defense.”

Senior running back Tony Fisher
On Notre Dame’s 345 rushing yards . . .

“When it starts raining out there, you know your passing game is going to be limited. We came out there knowing that. The offensive line established a great tempo for the game and then Julius (Jones) set the tone with his first touchdown run.”

On coming from behind to win . . .

“For us to be able to bounce back and win shows a lot about our football team. It really shows how mature we are. At the beginning of the season, a lot of people were doubting us, but we never doubted ourselves. We knew what we were capable of doing. It was just about going out there and executing.”

On the offensive line . . . “I think our offensive line is playing great right now. They are opening holes for me, Julius (Jones) and Carlyle (Holiday). We are just trying to take advantage of every opportunity.”

Senior free safety Justin Smith
On his interception . . .

“I come into every game with the mentality that I am going to have to play a lot. Today I was just fortunate that I got a chance to make a play.”

Junior kicker Nicholas Setta
On a towel deflecting his fourth-quarter field goal . . .

“I kicked it and then I looked up and all I saw was a towel. I was kind of discouraged because I thought it was blocked or something. At first, I didn’t think the towel hit it, but then I saw the towel fall and the ball go. It seemed like the towel took the rotation of the ball. As long as it gets through those uprights, I don’t care how it happens.”

West Virginia Coach Rich Rodriguez

On West Virginia’s offense
“We made some passes. We definitely ran the ball real well with the help of our offensive line holding most of their blocks. The offense did not play as sound in the second half. There were more poor passes, the passing routes were not executed as crisp, and the offensive line made some blocking errors. Overall, we made some mistakes, but I am not disappointed in the offense’s performance.”

On third down performance
“We allowed them to convert too many times. This not only allowed them to continue running the ball, but it hindered our offense. By not stopping them on key third downs, that allowed them to control the clock the way that they did. It seemed like we did not have many opportunities in the second half because of poor field position and not being able to stop them on third down. We did not force them to give the ball up and that kept our offense from having many chances. Offensively, we did not do so well on converting our third downs either.”

On the Notre Dame offense
“There is no question that their offense played well. Holiday ran the option real well for them. They had a veteran offensive line that allowed them to run the ball on us. I am not surprised at all by how successful they were at rushing the ball. We knew coming into the game about their rushing capabilities and the talent that they had in the backfield.”

West Virginia Player Quotes

Sophomore tight end Tory Johnson
On third-quarter touchdown reception to give West Virginia a seven-point advantage…

“It was a bootleg play to the right. I saw Brad before the play and told him I would be open because the safeties were playing back deep and left the middle of the field wide open. He made a nice throw and we scored a touchdown.”

Junior wide receiver AJ Natashi
On FS Justin Smith’s fourth quarter interception of QB Brad Lewis’ pass…

“The ball came out funny. It might have slipped and sailed. I was coming in and it sailed over my head. I don’t know what happened to it, but we were on the same page. I thought it was going to be down and away because usually that ball is down and inside if anything.”

Senior free safety Rick Sherrod
On WVU’s trouble handling the option….

“I think guys get confused. Some guys don’t know if they should take the quarterback or the pitch. That’s what’s going on with us right now.”

On towel deflecting K Nick Setta’s fourth quarter field goal…

“I didn’t throw any towels up. I probably lost it on that play because I was looking for it and couldn’t find it. I was just jumping up.”

Junior defensive end James Davis
On seven third-downs converted by Notre Dame…

“It wore on us mentally. We came to the sidelines and kept talking about it. You’ve got to just keep fighting.”

Senior quarterback Brad Lewis
On loss and game conditions…

“We did really well, especially considering the weather conditions. We showed a lot of heart bouncing back from last game. Our defense stopped them when we needed them to. We drove the ball early on in the game. We just didn’t capitalize when we needed to.”

Junior split back Avon Cobourne
On difference in the game…

“We didn’t step in the fourth quarter like we should of and they did. I thought that we played well. But we didn’t make big plays, when they did, and that’s what hurt us.