Nov. 9, 2002

Recap?|? Final Stats?|? Notes?|? Photo Gallery

Head Coach Tyrone Willingham
“I am really proud of the way Navy played today, but evenly proud of the way we played. It would have been easy for these young men to give up but they didn’t. We continued to battle and made enough plays to win the football game. At some point, we needed to win like this and the guys did that today.”

On the turnovers:
“We don’t have an explanation for them. Those things are things we work on everyday in practice. We are just in one of those stretches.”

On playing the game at Ravens Stadium in Baltimore:
“This was a wonderful venue to play in today. The crowd was great, however I don’t think we woke up until four minutes left in the game.”

On playing Navy:
“We came in here having great respect for Navy and what Coach (Paul) Johnson has done in the past. I know he’s an outstanding coach, so we expected an outstanding effort from his yound men. Navy played one heck of a football game. They certainly played at our level of competition today.”

On why the Navy offense stopped running to the outside:
“I am not sure why they went away from it.”

On Notre Dame’s balance of using the run and the pass:
“We have an offensive style that on any given day, either the run or the pass can win the game. The offense did some good things today. I feel good about all aspects of our offense. We just need to execute each aspect.”

On whether the team’s goal at the end of the year is a BCS berth:
“I think it would be a nice ending to our season if we can win against Rutgers and then win against the next team we play. It is about the next game.”

Quarterback Carlyle Holliday

On the success of Notre Dame’s passing game today:
“We just watched the film and everyone they played, they gave up the deep ball. We tried to use the play action and get behind their safeties. It shows we can throw the ball and that we can use the pass when needed.”

On whether the team put the Boston College loss behind the team:
“I know the loss was behind us. Today was just a matter of not executing and waiting for that spark to come.”

On the comeback:
“It was all about having pride in yourself. For me, I just decided to take a leadership role and make some plays with the ball in my hands. Everything they did we practiced for all week. They tried to blitz and come from the outside.”

Wide Receiver Omar Jenkins

On the game-winning touchdown catch:
“The first thing I tried to do was just catch the ball. I preread the coverage and knew the inside release would work. I did it and got open.”

Navy Quotes

Head Coach Paul Johnson
(On what he said after the game in the locker room)
“I told the guys there are no moral victories. I was disappointed for our team. They laid it out on the field. I’ll get another shot at Notre Dame, but our seniors won’t. They deserved a better fate than this”

“We can take this game and use it as a foundation and turn our program around. When you play with emotion and that kind of intensity and that kind of effort we are a much better football team. I challenged our guys to carry that over and build on it. II saw guys sitting in there just crushed and sobbing. I haven’t seen that before. It makes me think we can turn this around. I was proud of them.”

(On Notre Dame)
“They have big-time players who made big-time plays today. That’s a good football team. That’s a great defensive football team. ask anyone they have played. They are not in the top five in every defensive category for nothing. You are not going to move the ball on them the whole game. No one does.”

(On the offense in the fourth quarter)
“We couldn’t pitch it unless the end takes the quarterback. If that doesn’t happen there is no one to pitch to. The read was to give it to the fullback. We couldn’t ever bust the fullback. We came close a few times, but didn’t do it. We called the game the same way the whole game.

Quarterback Aaron Polanco
“It was our game to have. We played with more intensity than we had all year. We were playing the number 10 team in the country and we could have won. We should have won.”

(On being nervous when he entered the game)
“I was no more nervous going in than I am before any game. You never want to see someone get hurt.

(On the atmosphere around the bench)
“Everybody had a great feeling the whole game. The defense was pumped, the offense was pumped. We didn’t lose the feeling the whole game.”

(On the feeling of the team after the game)
“You can’t be proud after a loss. Losing hurts so much, especially when it was a game we should have won.”

Linebacker Eddie Carthan
“We went out and almost did what nobody thought we could do. We showed we are good enough to compete against anybody.”

(Any changes to the defense for the game?)
“We have been playing the same defense all season against that offensive formation. We just got it into our heads they weren’t going to move the ball.”

(Did Notre Dame overlook Navy?)
“I don’t know if they were looking back or looking ahead, it doesn’t matter. We should have won the game.”

(Does this loss hurt more than the others?)
“It hurts the same as every game. When it is on tv and is a big game, everyone knows more about it. This hurts because we had a chance to make history. Everyone would have looked at us differently.”