Sept. 14, 2002

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Notre Dame Head Coach Tyrone Willingham Quotes

On the game …
“The situation is that we are very cautious as a coaching staff sometimes. Today we tried to be a little more aggressive than we were last week. Every week we will have a standout and a let down, but in the end all that matters is whether you win or lose the game. We did not win pretty today, but we did win and I can be happy with that.”

On Michigan …
“It is a great feeling to defeat such a respected football program as the University of Michigan. Traditionally, this game is a knockdown, drag-them-out battle, and this afternoon was no different. We knew coming in that Michigan would be the toughest team we have faced this year to date, and we knew that we had to play at a higher level than we previously had played this season to win.”

On his post-game excitement …
“I save my exuberance for the locker room. I show my players how excited and proud I am of them after the game.”

On Notre Dame tailback Ryan Grant …
“Ryan Grant has progessed each and every week this season. We are extremely happy with what we are seeing from him. I expect him to continue his progression from week-to-week.”

On Notre Dame’s first drive …
“It is critical to score on the first drive. We went down and executed when we needed to and put it in the end zone. I want to score on every opening drive, but sometimes that does not become reality. Today it did and I believe that it was a tremendous boost to our offense’s confidence.”

On defeating Michigan …
“I am just into winning, and whatever it takes to win, I will do. I am just interested in winning, and that is all that matters. You do not define yourself until you play a game. This team has fought hard all season and it has paid off for us. We are 3-0 and I am very pleased with this team.”

Notre Dame Player Quotes

Senior PK Nicholas Setta

On the Win:
” It gives us a lot of confidence. It’s what you need to keep building the foundation that we have built with our first two games.”

Senior NG Cedric Hilliard

On defeating Michigan:
” To date, I have never been a part of anything like this, so I am very excited after this win. Hopefully we can go out and get another win against Michigan State next week. This is huge for me and I know that this is huge for my teammates.”

Junior CB/KR Vontez Duff

On being more physical this game:
“We pride ourselves on being physical. We want to dominate.”

Junior WR Omar Jenkins

On beating Michigan:
“Its indescribable to say what it means. I think it may have been the biggest game of this season. I felt it had to be the biggest game this weekend in college football.”

Junior QB Carlyle Holiday

On the offense being more effective:
“We just practiced. During the week, we came out and tried to be more aggressive against our defense. Today, the game plan all along was to take shots.”

On beating Michigan:
“It feels good. Nobody (on our team) has really played Michigan before. To beat a team like Michigan, ranked number six in the country, was a big win for us, the whole football program and the community around here. We just got to build on it. There will be so much more enthusiasm and energy running through the players for the next couple weeks.”

Michigan Head Coach Lloyd Carr Quotes

On the Game…
“It was a hard fought football game:a lot of turnovers:a lot of penalties. And certainly for us a lot of turnovers, and you can’t beat a good football team when you when you turn the football over like we did. There were far too many penalties, and we gave up too many plays on defense.”

On Michigan’s third-quarter rally:
“We fought back in the third quarter, and I thought the most disappointing play of the game was the long pass to start the fourth quarter. We had just taken the lead, 17-16, begun to run the football relatively well, and felt good at that stage, but Notre Dame did a job.”

On declining the penalty that led to a late Notre Dame field goal:
“I thought about that penalty, and yet Setta’s going to make that kick. I saw him before the game. I don’t think 10 yards would have made a difference.”

On Michigan’s preparation:
“I can assure you they were ready to play. This team, we had a great week of practice. They understood what this game was all about. We had another opportunity to play down here, and they were excited. We had tremendous preparation.”

On quarterback Carlyle Holiday:
“Holiday adds a very, very different dimension to offenses most people are going to see because of his ability to run. They used him early in the game on a quarterback sweep:That loosens, somewhat, your inside defense.