Oct. 11, 2014
COACH KELLY: Lots of points, lots of penalties, lots of turnovers, lots of things to correct, but lots of resolve on Notre Dame’s part. Those kids keep playing. Sometimes it’s not perfect, but they know how to win. So the one thing that’s constant in that locker room is these guys know how to win football games. We would like it to be a little bit cleaner, certainly, but, again, when you’re dealing with an offense like North Carolina’s, which we knew was going to be problematic for us.
We couldn’t turn the football over and spot ’em 14 points. You can’t do that against anybody in the ACC, and any Power 5 conference, you can just say here’s 14 points and then go play from there.
But we managed to find a way, to battle back and get up on them. Scored 14 consecutive points late in the game and get a win. So there’s many, many things that I could delve into, but I would say that the thing, the points up for me, is that our guys know how to win football games. They found a way to win this one and that’s the most satisfying.
With that I will open it up to questions.
Q. Brian, I think you used the term it was going to be a “race for space.” Didn’t they create even more space even than you had seen on tape?
COACH KELLY: No, no, I was concerned. This was not an ideal match up for us. We just couldn’t do what we did today and turn the football over and spot ’em points.
I felt like we were going to score points. I felt like and I made it pretty clear coming into the season that there were going to be some games that we needed to outscore some people, and I felt like on the schedule this was one of them. We just spotted them some points. I thought that was the difference.
Then they knew we were in a game once we gave them 14 points.
Q. Obviously you have been emphasizing protecting the football with Everett, you’ve emphasized it now for a couple of weeks. Where do you go now to get the point home?
COACH KELLY: I think we will just continue to ask him to commit himself during the week. I usually don’t share a lot of what I say in the locker room outside of what they’ve produce for, you know, the general luncheons and things like that. But when we talk about some specific things, one of the things I did mention to him is our kids really have to be on top of some of the fundamentals, and in particular tackling, today, was one thing that we’re going to address this week, and ball security. Those two things have to be better for us moving forward and that happens during the week of practice.
Q. In the roughing the kicker call, did you see him get refused earlier in the game?
COACH KELLY: Yes. We had alerted the officials on what we thought were a couple of occasions of “overt” and made them aware of it. Actually communicated to us that they had seen it as well, and if it happened again, they were prepared to make the call.
Q. Tarean Folston today seemed to really just find the rhythm that he did last year late in the Navy game. Obviously seems quite healed, and his performance in the fourth quarter seemed to carry the day.
COACH KELLY: Yeah, and, again, that’s what we’re as we work through the three running back situation, we got into a really good rhythm with him in there, tough yardage, breaking tackles, running through tackles, and that’s what we’ve been asking the backs to do, is to run through tacklers. They’re physical, strong backs, and once we saw he was going to run in that kind of manner and demeanor, he was going to get more carries and he got the game ball today.
Q. When you said North Carolina is a tough match up, similar to Florida State, which you got coming up?
COACH KELLY: No, no. Totally different animal.
Q. Brian, any update on Austin, what happened to him?
COACH KELLY: Yeah, he had a dislocation, a shoulder dislocation. So we’ll get an MRI evaluated and see where we are once we get further medical diagnosis on him.
Q. And Cody had, what was it, an ankle?
COACH KELLY: Yeah, he’s fine.
Q. Marquise had over 300 yards passing and 100 yards rushing, what went wrong?
COACH KELLY: What went wrong?
Q. Defending him.
COACH KELLY: Nothing went wrong, he’s pretty good. I think what went right with him is I think he’s probably the guy that if there was one guy in the game that probably took it over at times, it was him.
He’s difficult to defend. Great runner, threw the ball effectively, we couldn’t tackle him. We had him two or three times where we couldn’t get him down, missed tackles. Good player.
Q. Coach, there was a time when Everett got hit after throwing a pass and got up pretty slow and Malik started throwing on the sidelines. How close were you to going to Malik when the change of possession happened so quickly?
COACH KELLY: We’re always looking to see whether our quarterback is affected medically, and so we’re immediately in communication with our medical staff, you know. If he’s at all not able to continue because of any kind of injury, we have to pull him.
That’s not my call. That’s our medical team’s. So we’re cognizant of that. So Malik has to stay ready and be ready in case we have to put him in that situation.
He felt like he was fine, there was no issues, he was able to continue to play. But Malik’s keyed in on that, to be ready to go if he has to go in right away.
Q. You talked about how this team might not have a No. 1 receiver. Do you think Will Fuller has emerged into that spot or in the process of doing that?
COACH KELLY: I think right now he’s kind of emerging as that “big play” guy. I think we’re looking toward him a lot more. But we have we have other pieces that really complement him as well. I don’t think he can stand out there by himself, you know what I mean? I don’t think you could say that’s just one guy, but he definitely possesses the skills that have put him in the position that he is right now.
But he needs complimentary receivers around him. He can’t take over the game by himself.
Q. With Fulston last week, you mentioned his pass blocking, and today he got a big reception and the guy to go to in the fourth quarter on the ground. What have you seen with him becoming a complete running back?
COACH KELLY: We’ve always liked him. He played really well today. We love the kid. We love all our guys. Today he did what he was asked to do, we ask all of our backs to do. They’ve got to block and catch the ball out of the backfield and run hard.
The one question that was posed that was the difference today in what we have been asking our backs to do is run through the darn tacklers. They are physical backs. And Farley did that today. He ran through the tacklers. He therefore got the bulk of the carries, not that the other guys didn’t do that, but when he got the ball he was running through the tacklers and that’s why he got the carries late there.
Q. Does an athletic quarterback like Williams maybe help you guys, film wise, prepare for Jameis Winston next Saturday?
COACH KELLY: Not really, because the offense is a totally different situation for us in terms of defending it. And a lot of their offense, North Carolina’s is predicated about him running the football. We tackled poorly. We executed poorly. We got to coach better. We just got to do a better job all the way around.
Q. Brian, you said you can’t give up 14 points right off the bat to a Power 5 school. That happened a year ago and the answer wasn’t the same. The easy answer is a more explosive offense. But what is the difference that this team was able to come back from that?
COACH KELLY: We scored more point. We are better offensively. We can score more points. We have more weapons. We have the ability to come back in those situations. North Carolina is a good football team, but it’s not Oklahoma. I respect what they’re doing at North Carolina. They’re going to be a really good team, but it’s not Oklahoma.
Q. The early turnovers, with Everett, how much do you think that tested his composure and how quickly do you think he sort of got it back together?
COACH KELLY: It tested him, because I tested him a little bit. I got in his face a little bit about the first interception. He’s above that interception. That’s a stick route that he’s seen a million times.
But I thought he handled it well. He bounced back and obviously put the ball on the ground again, which we weren’t too thrilled about. But he bounced back, threw the ball with authority and he was decisive, made some good decisions. But he’s learning.
I mean, he’s getting through his progress a little bit. I think some of the things that he did out there that helps me feel better about the day itself for him was the check down to the back. That was his fourth read. Early in the game, he stayed on his front side receivers and didn’t get through his progress.
So there were some things there that I feel much better about that he did later in the game and got through his progressions. So to answer your question, that whole game we saw a progression and process, and that’s a good thing. That could shut some quarterbacks down. He took the adversity and got better as the game went on.
Q. Your defense, this is the first time they’ve been on their heels all season.
COACH KELLY: Yeah.
Q. What did you want them to take away from that and the initial response?
COACH KELLY: Our experience is still there. You know, we lost Collinsworth unfortunately early on, and we started him for a reason, because we knew we needed a great communicator back there. So we were left back there with two guys that, you know, struggle sometimes communicating effectively.
Couple of occasions they were both spinning down on the same play. When one is supposed to be spinning to the high hole, both of them were spinning down on several occasions. So those are real issues that we have to continue to work on.
Communication is still there. Some young guys, playing in space, Jaylon Smith trying to figure out where the hook and curl is when the formation flips so quickly that he doesn’t know whether it’s 3 by 1 or 2 by 2, and it’s happening quickly. The game is moving quickly for these guys.
When it’s settled down a little bit and these guys can get their eyes on what the formation looks like, they’re okay. We got to get better at that. But that’s an inexperienced group that you saw out there today and they’ve got to get better.
Q. You mentioned the tackling, the turnovers. Do you feel with the young group, the confidence of this team is hurt at all going into a marquis match up next week?
COACH KELLY: No. Look, last week, and I told them, you’re going to have some of these games. You shake it off. You go back to practice, they’ve done some great things this year. They will be ready to play their very best against Florida State.
But the nice part about it is we got great film and great teaching off of another win, that’s the best thing about it.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks, Coach.
COACH FEDORA: I just left a team whose guts are ripped out of ’em right now. They came here believing they were going to win a football game, and they came up short. They fought hard to the very end and proud of the way they fought. We’ve gotta get some things corrected to be a better football team.
Q. Coach, the big plays, the defense made a lot more plays than they had been in the recent games. But the big plays got you guys today. I think there were 16 of them at least that went 10 or more yards.
COACH FEDORA: You can’t give up big plays. If you give up big plays, you’re going to have a hard time winning. And that’s one of the things we look at is the turnover battle and the explosive play battle when we talk on Sundays, you know.
I don’t know where they’ll tell me tomorrow where it actually matches up with how many we had offensively and how many they had offensively, but they made some big plays. They got some good players over there, you know?
We’ve got to do a better job against them.
Q. Larry, what was your reaction to the roughing the snapper with Otis and how costly was that moment? COACH FEDORA: You know, I’m really better off not commenting on any of those things.
Q. Coach, did Marquise take a step forward tonight?
COACH FEDORA: I tell you what, that guy played his heart out, now. He really gave everything he had out there. I mean, it was unfortunate on that last pick, and he was trying to make a play. But he really played as hard as he possibly could. He ran hard, he threw the ball. He gave us a chance. He gave his team a chance to win a football game tonight.
Q. Which will be the decision to stick with Marquise today?
COACH FEDORA: We talked about it going into it. We were going to play it by ear and see what the feel was and Marquise had a good feel for what was going on. He was seeing everything. We had a little bit of rhythm going, so we didn’t want to interrupt that rhythm. We decided to stay with him.
Q. The last three games, score on offense. You guys actually turned the table this time jumping up 14 0. How big was that for you to start that way as opposed to recent games and it kept you in the game as you went along.
COACH FEDORA: We talked about it as a team, we needed to start fast. Whatever we needed to do, we needed to start fast. So the way they practiced this week, I was, again, very proud of the way they practiced. They came out on Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday with great attitudes. They practiced hard, they flew around and they believed they were going to win a football game.
I think a lot of that had to do with why the way we started. We started fast, and we gotta continue to do that to be a better football team.
Q. Larry, did your player tell you anything about the penalty, the roughing the snapper?
COACH FEDORA: He did.
Q. What did he say?
COACH FEDORA: You know, he just said that, “I don’t think I hit him too early.” His head was up and he knows he hit the center. That was part of his job there. But he said, “I know his head was up, I know I didn’t hit him too early,” but didn’t get called that way.
Q. Coach, where do you think the biggest difference was in this one?
COACH FEDORA: Well, I mean, I would say you’re going to have to talk about the big plays. We gave up too many big plays and we didn’t make enough big plays. But we had some guys that made some competitive catches out there tonight. We had some guys that ran hard, you know?
But, I mean, we turned the ball over down there on their end and give ’em an easy seven, and that hurt us.
You know, there is a play here, just like in every game, you got three, four, five plays that are always the difference in the game. You never know which one they’re going to be. You gotta play every one like it’s going to be the most important play.
But I would say the big plays that we gave up and not making enough of ’em.
Q. Coach, were you more involved in the play calling tonight?
COACH FEDORA: No more than normal. I mean, I’m involved every series, but Seth and those guys are running it. In between series we’re talking about what we want to try to do on the next series, but I was no more involved than normal.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Coach.
Notre Dame Player Quotes
Q. (No microphone.)
EVERETT GOLSON: Come in here and talk, I got it cleared up, things like that. Right now I’m going to (Away from mic.)
Q. What can you do to try to alleviate the problem?
EVERETT GOLSON: Change it around, stop the bleeding. I understand it’s (Away from mic.) Like I said, it’s up to me.
Q. How excited are you about the opportunity for next Saturday night?
EVERETT GOLSON: Very excited, very excited. It’s going to be a big game.
Q. How do you regain composure after being down 14 0, the way it happened?
EVERETT GOLSON: Just having that faith, and not believing that we were going to lose this game, that we were going to find a way to pull it out somehow.
I think my teammates are doing a good job of keeping their heads up. Sometimes you (Away from mic.) We definitely have a great group of guys, high character guys and that’s what it takes to win.
Q. (No microphone.)
EVERETT GOLSON: Yeah, like I said, I think to me it’s just if you take away those three turnovers that I had, the score looks a little bit more (indiscernible). Like I said, I will do better for sure.
Q. Everett, reflecting on the game and then on practice this week, what will you work on?
EVERETT GOLSON: Just continue to try to have a better delivery, try to make an effort to take care of the ball.
Q. You took a good hit after you fumbled the ball and then you guys ended up getting it back. You were on the sidelines and how close were you to not coming back in?
EVERETT GOLSON: No, I told him I wanted to come back in. I was not going to let I’m you a competitor, I’m not going to let (Away from mic.) I remember telling him “I’m good. I’m going back in.” Q. (No microphone.)
EVERETT GOLSON: Yeah, you know, I think he does a great job, I don’t want to say taking advantage of it, but just coming out on top against his opponents. A couple of throws I missed for sure. I got to get the ball up to him more. Instead of 15 yard penalties, we should be getting touchdowns, and that’s on me. Like I said, I got to be more crisp and utilize more series.
Q. (No microphone.)
EVERETT GOLSON: Right.
Q. Talk about his ability to make plays.
EVERETT GOLSON: He’s definitely a playmaker, and we have a lot of them on our roster, on our team. Him and Greg Bryant and Tarean did a good job tonight, and a lot of people that we have and it makes me relax, to be honest. I understand I don’t have to do it all. I can give the ball up to them on a screen, and he takes it to the house and gets the job done.
Q. (No microphone.)
EVERETT GOLSON: Yeah, I think he closed the day for us, to be honest. He came in at a big moment, so my hat is off to him. I think a couple of runs that he had, like the one where he kind of slipped through there and stayed in bounds when he was running out to the right, I think he did a great job all night, really.
And I think what makes Tarean himself is he’s a very patient runner and he’s also powerful. I think he ads another dimension to our offense.
Q. (No microphone.)
EVERETT GOLSON: I’m definitely excited. Definitely excited.
Just it goes back to me. I just got to prepare. I think the game is big, but this week is going to be big in how we prepare and how we kind of take care of our business.
Q. (No microphone.)
EVERETT GOLSON: Yeah, I’m going to do a better job, for sure. I think I said it earlier, but I come in here kind of every week for the last couple of weeks saying I have to do a better job. Right now, it’s time for me to stop saying that and time for me to put my words into action and actually do that.
Q. Coach Kelly said he was pretty tough on you. How do you negotiate that?
EVERETT GOLSON: Just kind of, you know what you’re going to get with Coach Kelly. (Away from mic.) I knew what I was going to get. I understand the severity of it. You can’t turn the ball over, especially in that type of field position. I got to do a better job. I think I have to be patient.
Q. Everett on Tarean’s touchdown and catch there in the fourth quarter, you looked up and he was wide open. Did he come back and say something to you?
EVERETT GOLSON: No, it was a different play. I think I try to take advantage of my match up on the play before (Away from mic.)
EVERETT GOLSON: Didn’t turn out how we wanted it to turn out, and I actually look over to him and I thought (Away from mic.)
Q. (No microphone.)
EVERETT GOLSON: I had a conversation with him. But I saw him over there. I saw nobody was over there. I just asked him, you know, (Away from mic.)
Q. How good was he off the line today?
EVERETT GOLSON: I think we did some good things, got to clean up a lot of stuff. And that comes with me, too. I’m in charge of setting protections and things like that, but I got to do a better job. Just got to do a better job.
Q. 50 points, what a great balance of rushing and passing the ball. With that kind of balance, how dangerous can this offense be?
EVERETT GOLSON: Definitely dangerous. Adds that element, if I don’t turn the ball over, I think we have something pretty special going. Like I said, I have to do a better job, and we definitely got some pretty good throws.
Q. Red zone tuck talk about the success there.
EVERETT GOLSON: That was big, turning it into points. I think we did a great job of that all night, goes back to playcalling and our guys executing and just having that will to win.
Q. When you think about Will emerging as a “go to” guy of sorts
EVERETT GOLSON: He has some special talents and he does a great job of winning against his opponent. (Away from mic.) taking advantage of times where he’s open. I definitely got to do a better job of getting the ball to him.
Q. (No microphone.)
EVERETT GOLSON: More aggressive. I think at times, we I also feel it’s a little more balanced to be honest. We kind of put it together as far as having to like I said, rushing and (Away from mic.) That’s what makes it dangerous. Both dimensions obviously, passing the ball and running.
Q. (No microphone.)
EVERETT GOLSON: I think it definitely does. DB, that’s hard to cover. 15 second, whatever it may be, definitely hard to cover, especially these guys. Definitely hard to cover ’em. I try to do what I can and let guys get open.
Q. Is the playbook expanded?
EVERETT GOLSON: Yeah, for sure.
Q. In what areas?
EVERETT GOLSON: Just different things. We learned two tight end sets, two back sets, you can do a lot more. And that’s what makes it hard to prepare for us, because we do so much out of different formations.
Q. (No microphone.)
EVERETT GOLSON: I don’t really remember. I think I just kind of knew what I was going to get when I came to the sideline. But basically the conversation was, between me and him, I told him, we gotta go deep (Away from mic.) Kind of one of those things where (Away from mic.) That was definitely competition. We got to go deep.
Q. Did they fluster you at all? I think it was the first time you kinda got pushed all season.
EVERETT GOLSON: I don’t know if they flustered me. I said I have to get out of my own way. Like I said, I have to stop turning the ball over, things like that. Once I do, I got to forget about it because the game still goes on.
Q. (No microphone.)
EVERETT GOLSON: I think it’s definitely developed. Not as much as I want it to, to be honest. He does a great job of getting open and I haven’t taken advantage of that as much as I want to.
So I think it’s definitely something that feels good in progress, but I got to do a better job.
Q. (No microphone.)
EVERETT GOLSON: Just ready to go, not even just Oklahoma (Away from mic.) Just ready to go, anxious, just ready to start getting prepared on a pretty dominant team in college football right now, in Florida State. So just anxious and ready to go.
On having success running through tacklers…
“We watch a lot of film. It’s just a part of the game that me, myself and the whole running back corps had to do better. I just kept my feet moving and made plays.”
On his performance tonight…
“I feel like my performance was pretty good. I still have to get better at some things-pass protection, a little bit of stamina, and staying humble while knowing that there is always something to work on.”
On developing a rhythm…
“It definitely did feel like Navy from last year. But, like coach always says, let’s talk about today and the present. I don’t like looking back into the past. But today I definitely feel like I got into a rhythm.”
On the message at halftime…
“It’s 0-0. It’s a new half. What happened in the first half is done and you can’t really look back on that because it’ll affect you later on in the game. You have to come out and play our ball, which is what we did.”
On the defense and being confident after some of its first big hits…
“It’s all about bouncing back really. We did take a few hits in the beginning. But this is what we like. We like being with our backs against the wall. Tough games are fun and it’s really all on the defense. Offense did great this game, too. It’s just something that we’re kind of used to.”
On facing such a talented quarterback…
“It’s really nothing new for this defense. We face so many tall quarterbacks-Syracuse, Michigan-who have speed with them. It’s nothing new for us.”
On coming back after a slow start…
“We just had to make a play. At the receiver group, we think that we are the guys that got to get it going. So were just talking on the sidelines saying we got to make a play.”
On whether he becomes a number one receiver and how important it is to him…
“We all have a role, so I’m just going to keep playing my role. If he keeps giving me great opportunities, I’m going to take advantage of them.”
On how it feels to get a win and score so many points…
“It always feels good to get a win, it feels even better that we put up 50 points. That’s great.”
On how much confidence this game gives the Irish for next weeks game against Florida State…
“It gives us a lot of confidence but we got to go about every week the same. So I think we have to prepare a little better for Florida State, they’re a great team.”
On the key to getting yardage after catches…
“Just making people miss after I catch the ball…I think I’m doing a little better job especially during the screens and making people miss, so I got to keep that up.”
On wearing the suspended players numbers on his towel…
“It’s just kind of in respect for those guys. Obviously we love all the players, we’d hate to lose any player. We obviously think it’s really unfortunate what happened to them. We want them on our team of course and we won’t forget about them. They’re still our friends. They’re still our brothers, and it’s unfortunate they can’t play with us.”
On next week’s matchup against Florida State…
“It’s obviously going to be a heightened awareness of who we’re playing. We need to increase intensity, increase focus, increase execution, communication, all that kind of stuff. Florida State is a great team. They’re obviously ranked number one, and we know it’s going to be a challenge and we love it.”
On whether today’s offense was a good test for what Notre Dame will face next week…
“It was good to see a higher tempo offense like that. We haven’t seen that all year. So it was good to further prepare us for the rest of the season if we see it again. Obviously, we don’t like the way we played today, too many points on the board. We understand that it doesn’t affect our confidence, so we’ll still come out and play the same way we play every day.”
On how much better equipped the whole secondary unit is at week six without Austin Collinsworth…
“Obviously, chemistry grows anytime you play together for an extended amount of time. With Austin or without Austin, our confidence still stays the same. We still need to communicate and execute the same.”
On his initial thoughts of the game…
“I thought we played as a team, definitely. Certain games you gotta rely on your offense and defense. You know, we didn’t help the defense out early, giving them two early turnovers. We really just spotted them 14 points, but I thought they responded well. And offensively, we drove the ball, put up points, and got the ‘W’.””
On 4th quarter OL improvement…
“Yeah, absolutely. We’re all about playing together, seeing things out of one set of eyes. You have to have five guys on the same page every play. With 10 minutes left, we drove the ball down, ate up a lot of clock. You know, 10-play drive for 80 yards, that’s big time.”
On seeing Tarean Folsten break out on runs…
“It was awesome. After that, you knew every time we called a run it was going to be a big gain. It’s just fun. It’s fun for him and also fun for us, because we put in the work and he runs the ball and gets yards.”
On having Everett’s services this year…
“I think more chunk plays. When you give Everett time, he’s going to make a play. He can just explore the field and really extend plays.”
On learning lessons from this game…
“Yeah, a lot of learning. They have a bunch of great players. We have to do a much better job next week. A win is a win, but at the same time you have to say great job to North Carolina. They put us in a lot of compromising circumstances. We just need to make sure we’re making plays, and we’ve got to be better next week.”
On key to success for defense at next week’s game…
“We have to make sure we’re right emotionally and come ready to play. I’m not saying we didn’t do that today, but we didn’t start very fast and that’s something we have to make sure we’re ready for. It’s going to be a big week of preparation. Obviously, we’ll take the next 24 hours to get healthy and make the corrections. We have to come back strong for next week because they’re an amazing opponent.
North Carolina Player Quotes
On the mood in the locker room following the game…
“Disappointment. But we know we can play at a high level. That is the number five team in the nation and we competed with them and honestly should have won the game. We know second half of the season if we play like that we will win out.”
On the start of the game…
“You can tell when we score first and we are really going and Shaw had the pick six and you can see everybody’s energy up. You can tell that is going to go the whole game. Just like San Diego St. or Liberty, when we are up and everybody feeling good and have energy we play really well.”
On team’s attitude after mishaps in 3rd quarter…
“It is hard to deal with that because we got the two off-sides on them and backed them up and we have all this energy and then we get that and they get the first down and go score. We have to learn to bounce back from something like that. Can’t have our heads down like, ‘Oh they got the first down and that’s the end of the game. That is something we have to work on.”
On the atmosphere of the stadium…
“It was exciting. I was pumped up all week to come here – all the history that’s been on this field. It was amazing to come out here. It was a good crowd for a football game.”
On keeping up with Notre Dame…
“We fought. Coach said we could win that game and we believed it and we fought our hearts out. We never gave up.”
On Marquis Williams’ performance…
“He played phenomenally today. He did it all: running, catching, and throwing. And I appreciate his effort. Of course [we felt comfortable with him playing the whole game]. You saw the Florida game – we never stopped, we faced adversity, he looked it in the face and kept playing.”
On how this game will affect confidence for the rest of the year…
“It’s always going to boost our confidence. That was the number five team in the nation and it wasn’t that big of a difference. We’ve seen that we can do it now and we know that we can do it, we just have to keep believing.”
On preparation during the week…
“The offense, during practice, we stepped it up. I feel like this was probably our best week so far of practice. Guys stayed after practice working one-on-one, working whatever they needed to get their mind ready for the game and it showed in this one.”
On what was asked of him and how it went…
“Well, I didn’t really take that many hits. That offensive line, I mean, they did a phenomenal job. That three fifty plus in the front seven is unbelievable. I think the offensive line did a heck of a job. I mean, I found some running room in the weak lane and you know, I think they did what they needed to do. They were pop, pop, pop. But, you know, my running game comes when I’m in passing down–in that cover to cover down and they leave that big gap open.”
On how he feels about the lost…
“Yeah, I mean it’s frustrating. I mean, we’re that close man, like I said we’re that close. But, we are striving in a positive way and the offense is going to be fine. You know, defense did an excellent job today and it’s just certain things we just, the little details we missed out during this game, it costs us the game. But, we are going to come back. We are going to bounce back strong and I think we can get better each week.”
On how the team felt during the game, especially the offense…
“It felt good. You know I felt good. I was going with the flow and the guys were behind me and you know, everybody comes to me to look to me to lead and you know, it felt good…I just did what I needed to do to win the game and you know, I just came up short. We saw they [the defense] like to run a lot of quarters… and we felt like, you know, if we ran a shake route, they would leave the one on one, but I guess they didn’t really respect the receivers on the outside. They come down making plays, but you know I mean we just seen some gaps, I mean some throws that can be squeezed in there and I did what I needed to do. You know, that’s a heck of a defense man, all hats go off to Notre Dame and I’m excited to see what they continue to do.”