Oct. 7, 2015
Q. Coach said yesterday that Navy and Georgia Tech kind of run similar versions of the triple options, what are the similarities?
Joe Schmidt: Well, their coach, Navy’s coach, rather, worked with Georgia Tech’s head coach at one point. So I think that’s where you’ll see some of the options. Just from a general standpoint of looking down, it’s got to be a big understanding that they came from the same thought camp. Maybe there are some different things. Obviously triple option teams throw out some of the same plays, but Navy has a different — different ways they will attack you.
And then from a personnel standpoint, they’re a little bit up front and at the skill position, there’s some differences in who’s playing. I guess that’s what I think of when thinking Georgia Tech to Navy.
Q. I think coach thought when they were researching Navy from last year, they ran a play in 2009, they went that far back. What sort of a challenge is having all of this information to kind of take in in terms of the play that Navy could boil it down and keep it to 70 plays?
Joe Schmidt: That’s a cool thank about Navy. Navy is also the challenging part. You really do have to watch a lot of tape on just those teams, because there’s only six or seven teams that run the triple option pass in football. For us to get the amount of tape we want on a team, to go back years and years and years, and I really don’t know what it would be. But that makes it kind of fun. And that’s part of the challenge of playing with an offensive system like Navy.
Q. How important is it for the triple option to have is a quarterback like Keenan Reynolds?
Joe Schmidt: You feel like you can’t say enough good things about their quarterback. He does a good job, running their system, getting them in and out of the right plays. He’s careful with the football. I think I heard earlier in the week that he’s closing in on a record. So anytime you’re able to do that as a player he’s definitely done a lot of things right. Tremendous amount of respect as a player and we’re looking forward to playing him on Saturday.
Q. Coach Kelly talked about now Navy will have the Georgia Tech, Notre Dame tapes to look at and they’ll make their adjustments. Do you anticipate how they may adjust or can you not do that and kind of have to react off of their adjustments to you?
Joe Schmidt: Right. Well, with any triple action team the cool thing is, I guess the cool thing and not so cool thing would be that they always have an answer for what you’re doing. Though you have to be on top of your game and know what you’re doing to defend, how you anticipate they’re going to attack you.
And they do — they’ve seen every possible way of defending the triple action that you can do. Everybody does something different against them. So that’s what makes it a unique challenge. I think from our standpoint you have to try to think about how are we going to attack this defense, and what looks attractive to them, what are we encouraging them to do, I guess.
For me, I think about that presnap. This is what we’re doing, okay, how are they going to attack it. Maybe that gives me an advantage and prevents me from getting cut.
Q. Coach Kelly also said it was comforting to be able to go out on Monday and you guys new how you want to lineup. But as you do that, I mean you’re anticipating that what worked for you weeks ago might not quite work.
Joe Schmidt: That’s the same thing each and every week, though. If we do one thing against Clemson when USC comes here, it’s obviously not going to look exactly the same. They might have similar offensive formations, but they’re not going to do the same things to attack us. So that’s not just Georgia Tech to Navy, that’s week to week. Offenses are going to look at the tape and understand they’re going to do different things.
Q. Along those lines, in talking with Coach Kelly talking about I-discipline. I asked him, does I-discipine answer every question you have? Well, ultimately it doesn’t. How do you look at that? I know you’re reading your keys. I’m not talking about Navy, just in general, I-discipline. The keys — reading the keys can’t give you an answer a hundred percent of the time, correct? Or do you believe that?
Joe Schmidt: I’m trying to think if there’s ever a point where reading my key — I’d say over 95 percent of the time reading your key will put you in the right position. And the other 5 percent — maybe it’s one percent, maybe it’s.01 percent, maybe that’s something that’s unique.
But really haven’t — when I’m out there or when Jalen is out there, whoever it is, you have a job to do. If you’re doing your job, that’s all you need to do. And maybe you make a stellar play because you see somebody that’s at No. 1, who isn’t supposed to be No. 1. And he’s running a reverse and you make a play. Maybe that happens, but that happens once in 575 points.
Q. I’m sure that last year’s game was a big part of your tape study. You took a lead. Did they make major adjustments or were there tweaks to their game?
Joe Schmidt: In the second half they had a great play. They knew what they needed to do and they starred attacking us in a great fashion. That’s the thing you’ve got to say about Navy. They have great coaches. Their players will literally never give up. And that’s why we — I think we’re talking — that’s why we have so much respect to that institution. They will play harder and longer than anybody else. And that’s our challenge, we need to match that and do everything we can to try to exceed that and that’s an incredible job for us. They did a great job with game plan, and they also just continued to fight extremely hard.
Q. I imagine it’s your goal in defense, you get up big, and you want to finish strong. Is this a perfect example, you get a four touchdown lead, and you can’t celebrate?
Joe Schmidt: I’m not going to get into having a lead at any point, they’re 5-0 and averaging 35 points a game. I won’t even get into that kind of situation just out of respect for them.
Q. You haven’t been involved in any losses here where you were playing in the game. There’s two questions, did playing Navy kind of help the whole team get past what could be a hangover from that loss, and how do you approach it?
Joe Schmidt: Are you talking about —
Q. Clemson. After Monday, when you got on the practice field Tuesday?
Joe Schmidt: Obviously we’re not happy right now. And we are using that as kind of fuel. We’re just going to continue to work hard. We’re not going to allow that game to beat us twice.
We’re living with the bad taste in our mouth. But we’re not going to think back and focus on that game. At least for me, personally, that’s giving me extra motivation to make sure that I’m working as hard as possible in these games.
Q. Joe, when you look back at that meeting with Coach Kelly where you talked about, with you and the co-captains about no margin for error. Can you take back us back to that?
Joe Schmidt: Before I do, what did he say to you?
Q. He said you guys have no margin for error anymore, and you’ve got to stay focused?
Joe Schmidt: Yeah, that’s what he said to us. He really just — he called all the captains together and just kind of — he just told us that we obviously — this is a time where we need to make sure the team is working hard. I obviously don’t want to get into the fine details of this meeting, obviously it was a captain’s meeting. He did a good job of laying it all out there for us and making our job as captains a little easier, so we can see what needs to be done. And I think that’s something Coach Kelly does a great job of and has given us a little bit of the — how would I say it — he’s giving us the opportunity to lead and he’s giving us the reins, really.
Q. You got down early in that game and I imagine as a captain on the defense that’s incredibly frustrating to have happen. How frustrating is that when you’ve put yourself in a position like that very early in the game?
Joe Schmidt: Incredibly frustrating. And that’s why we’re work go hard this week, so we can make sure that never happens again, ever.
Q. Do you enjoy playing the option?
Joe Schmidt: I love playing every game. There isn’t a snap that I don’t like playing. Actually I’ll take that back, I hate when I’m not playing well. But I still, I guess — it’s still better than not playing. And I love this game. Even the worst plays in my career I’ve been having a great time. This is really a game, and it’s a game that I love. And I’m playing for Notre Dame which is great.
Q. After a while you get tired of the term “former walk on.” This time it seems like the word being used is “cerebral” or “brains of the game?”
Joe Schmidt: You guys can call me whatever you want. I have no control over that. You guys can call me whatever. I’m not even going to give you more ammunition. I was going to give you more stuff, but that’s probably not the best idea.
Q. (Inaudible.) What do you see in your future being a captain? What do you make out of that?
Joe Schmidt: Thank you. (Laughter.)
Q. Coach mentioned, maybe last year, that (Inaudible.) Where do you think you are as far as that?
Joe Schmidt: Yeah, I believe so. I really don’t see a difference. Obviously the hand thing was no fun for a while. But other than that, it never really had an impact on my game, to a large extent. So it’s good to be — I feel — if you guys think I’m not moving well, go ahead and tell me so, but I feel pretty good about it.
Q. You mentioned a slow start. How do you go about avoiding those in the future? Obviously not an easy thing to do, but how do you go about avoiding it?
Joe Schmidt: It’s really just in preparation. I think you need to make sure you’re entirely emotionally, spiritually, physically ready to start the game and play the game. And I think we really were.
I think at times we might have been timid at the beginning of that game. And I don’t know if that was — I think that was a word used to describe it, but I don’t even know if that was it. And I think that it’s something that we’re working on in preparation this week is to ensure that there at no point is a lapse, no point is there a let down.
And that’s not just at the beginning, middle or the end, we need to be completely consistent throughout the two hour practice that we might have. That’s kind of what we’re working on this week.
And it’s great because I think that that heightened everyone’s sense, if there ever is a lapse, people are all over it. And that’s not just me on other people, it’s other people on myself. It’s coach to player, player to coach, which is great.
Yesterday I did — I made a mistake, as you do in practice, but the great part was Coach Crum came flying up to me and corrected me immediately. And it was great because that’s something that we all need and if he might say something wrong or something, we correct him immediately. And it’s something that we can work on together. I think it was really great for us to have that kind of experience.
Q. After the Clemson loss you seemed livid?
Joe Schmidt: I am livid.
Q. Is that something you see with your teammates as well, and is that something you want to see throughout the rest of the season?
Joe Schmidt: Yeah, if that sharpens your edge that much more, that’s great. And I think it’s something that we need to use, as I said, to fuel the fire, motivation, and something we can continue to build the rest of our season on. If we use this as a catalyst to play even better, that’s what we need to do.
But nobody is feeling sorry for themselves, no one is happy right now. And that’s really what I feel it should be. If you’re a guy that views himself as you want to be a champion, want to be a winner, you can’t be happy if you lose?
Q. Could you evaluate how the defense is doing when it comes to making scheme adjustments during the flow of the game.
Joe Schmidt: That would be, you’re trying to get me to critique Coach VanGorder?
Q. Yes, I guess?
Joe Schmidt: I have full faith and confidence in my coaching staff, from top to bottom, it doesn’t matter who it is. And I would take our coaches against any coaches in the entire country for any sport, any level. I don’t care if — I love my coaching staff and I support them 110 percent.
Q. Would you say it’s going more smoothly than last year?
Joe Schmidt: I think the communication is even better, because people are able to diagnosis what is able to — going on in the game, in the terminology that we use on our room, on the defensive side of the room, the terminology we use inside our room, and relay that from player to coach and then coach to coach and it’s even easier this year because we all see it the same way.
Q. There’s a lot of disconnect when it comes to the players being able to take that adjustment?
Joe Schmidt: Definitely.
Q. Coach Kelly said yesterday there are a lot of similarities between how Georgia Tech and Navy run their options. What are some of the similarities you see in those?
Sheldon Day: Just the way they run their quarterback, and the how efficient he is running the offense, and making sure they make the correct reads.
Q. How difficult is to defend an option by Keenan Reynolds.
Sheldon Day: He does things amazing, reading out and making sure that people respect the dive. And he pulls in at the last minute.
Q. Does it help with the similarities that you kind of know the key that you’ve faced an offense that has similar keys and reads?
Sheldon Day: We know each and every play.
Q. Does Navy cut block more than Georgia Tech or is it similar?
Sheldon Day: I would definitely say it’s similar. It depends on which way they’re going.
Q. When they started having success last week, last year against you, you took a 27 lead and they stormed back. What did you notice they were doing? I’m secure execution was part of it but was there something you saw different on film?
Sheldon Day: I felt like they made great adjustments. We gave them a look, and they saw how to beat that look. I felt they made style adjustments.
Q. Is it a different play in the option than other guys? You don’t have quite as many keys on the offensive line. The dive is the first and foremost?
Sheldon Day: Yeah, we probably have the easiest job.
Q. Do you enjoy playing the option that way?
Sheldon Day: For sure. For sure. Because I would say it’s more you get the hits each and every play.
Q. Talking about Reynolds, in layman’s terms, what have you found, you faced the option a lot in four years. Is it stopping the fullback, is it getting the quarterback to get the pitch out in time, is it not getting hit with a big play?
Sheldon Day: Stop the big play. Going up the middle for a lot of yards or stopping the quarter back. It’s about giving them different looks, and making sure we confuse them as best as possible.
Q. Joe mentioned that he’s still livid right now about the loss to Clemson. How much does that still in you in terms of motivation for this week?
Sheldon Day: Makes us key in and pay attention to detail. We make sure the little things don’t beat us.
Q. How frustrating was the start of that game, falling behind so quickly?
Sheldon Day: It was very frustrating. Made us sit back and ask what are we doing wrong, and how could we correct that.
Q. How do you determine that and figure out what you did wrong in that situation to be corrected, because it seems like it’s a difficult thing to figure out?
Sheldon Day: Specifically for the D line, I got with the guys, asked them what were they seeing, how are they feeling, making sure they read the keys the right way and got on top of their game.
Q. Do you feel this group is extra motivated this week, to get this back on track and not let anything spiral out of control?
Sheldon Day: Oh, yeah. We definitely have more focus this week, making sure we pay attention to the little things and how to clean up our game from last week.
Q. How long did it take you after the game to get over maybe that anger to move on to the next game, maybe the hope, and we can get this thing right?
Sheldon Day: I would definitely say about 24 hours. We have a 24-hour rule here, and we kind of beat that in the head all the time. I would definitely say this was kind of the one where we really had to take 24 hours and make sure we got over the loss and made sure we could focus on Navy.
Q. It’s hard not to pay attention to the ratings, did you feel slighted that you fell so far after a lose in a tough environment, close game?
Sheldon Day: I don’t know where we stand. I don’t look at those kind of things.
Q. This is a team with your backs against the wall, the margin for error has come up a lot. You know you have to win out?
Sheldon Day: For sure. Definitely our goal.
Q. Joe saying that he’s kind of livid, can you kind of take that too far? Can you take that emotion too far and can it kind of throw you off, and if so, how do you kind of maybe weigh down those emotions and just focus on what you have to do?
Sheldon Day: Depends on the type of player you are. Some players can roll with that. But I just can’t handle it. Depends on the player you are.
Q. With the young guys that you play with on the defense, have you kind of had to reel them in a little bit, this is probably their first major loss. Have you had to kind of back it down?
Sheldon Day: Making sure they stay focused on this weekend. Clemson is over with, and we have to make sure they’re all in for Navy.
Q. In this rivalry between Notre Dame and Navy, what do you play — what are your thoughts?
Sheldon Day: I love playing Navy. They always are great competitors. And they make you enjoy the game of football. I definitely love playing them.
Q. Joe mentioned the word respect, obviously for the uniforms. What kind of level of respect do you have for them as competitors and what they have to go through?
Sheldon Day: The utmost respect. They have football and naval academy team. We have respect for the grind they go through.
Q. The triple option seems to go better when you have an experience quarterback. Obviously you went through that with Justin Thomas. How comforting was it to see the success you guys had and you take some comfort in that knowing that you have to take on another experienced quarterback?
Sheldon Day: I would definitely say we do. We made a lot of mistakes on the Georgia Tech game that we can clean up. We have to make sure we clean up everything and have a successful game.
Q. Does it help to take that and you get to come back to Notre Dame stadium and get back to a comforting environment?
Sheldon Day: I definitely would say it is. Clemson environment was definitely very loud and hostile. And we definitely try to play our best, and coming home, there’s something special about playing here.
Q. The defense for a lot of the games this year has been dominant quite bit. But there’s been little lapses, against Georgia late in the game. Is there any common alternative, any reason the team has short bursts like that.
Sheldon Day: Our attention to detail. Making sure we stay in the game. Just making sure that we stay on our keys, and have focus the entire game.
Q. You’ve been featured in the Showtime series a little bit. What do you think of it? Do you enjoy doing this?
Sheldon Day: The Showtime series?
Sheldon Day: Showtime, they’re good guys. Just getting to know them, the guys behind the cameras, it’s a good experience. They’re always fun.
Q. To have somebody on the TV having a cameraman over your shoulder?
Sheldon Day: They don’t make it awkward at all. They kind of sit down and hang out with us, too, so it’s not awkward. No problem.
Q. Navy has this a good offense, but Coach said this is probably their best defense. What have you seen in terms from their proven defense from last year?
Nick Martin: They’re older. Playing the same guys four years. They master what they do and do it well. They play hard. They’re going to finish every play. They’re a team you’re not going to break, so you have to fight to the finish.
Q. You went back and watched the film, what made Clemson so difficult to run the ball on Saturday?
Nick Martin: They put it more in the box.
Q. Coach Kelly said that the communication there was a bit of an issue at times on Saturday. What do you guys do to fix that going forward?
Nick Martin: Luckily we’re at home.
Q. Is that a concern when you go back on the road again, necessarily, you have three weeks to fix it before Temple, is that a focus?
Nick Martin: Yes.
Q. Coach said DeShone has been good about getting himself protected and in the right protection. What’s allowed him to be able to do that only three starts into his career?
Nick Martin: Smart football player, understands the game.
Q. Is that surprising at all when a guy comes in with such little experience and able to do that?
Nick Martin: Not at all. He has great coaches.
Q. Have you seen that from him in practice, maybe running the third team during spring or second team during August, where you noticed he had a command of the protection concepts?
Nick Martin: Yeah, absolutely. He was confident in what he does.
Q. Nick, I know you guys have the 24-hour rule, so can you maybe take us back to that 24-hour period and how upset you guys were over the loss?
Nick Martin: Yeah, anger, you know. It was definitely not easy to lose. But you win a game, you lose a game. You sit down, watch the film, learn from mistakes. Go on and get ready for Navy.
Q. Joe said he’s still livid at this point. Where are your emotions at as you head into this game, maybe trying to get back on the right track?
Nick Martin: Definitely have a chip on the shoulder. But I put it to rest after Monday. We move to Navy and just got to prepare and play the way we play.
Q. Did you guys gain — I know you’ve been very confident in DeShone, but did you gain more confidence seeing what he was able to do in a hostile environment so young in his career and what does that say about a player that’s able to do that so quickly?
Nick Martin: He’s calm in hard situations. Like you say, he’s continued to do that. And he puts confidence in us.
Q. Is there kind of a feeling on this offensive line that this week is a chance to prove that the struggle to run the football was kind of a fluke and that you guys still have that ability to get a lot of push and run?
Nick Martin: Yeah, absolutely. You try to get the push every week. Some weeks are harder than others, no doubt about that. Just action if you have a down week doesn’t prove who you are.
Q. Was it frustrating to see Jay struggle, obviously he had been tearing it up like gangbusters up to that point, was it a struggle to know that he just couldn’t seem to find the hole?
Nick Martin: Yeah, it’s definitely not easy, but we played this game a long time and you know you’re not going to be able to rush for 200 yards every game, that’s not reality.
Q. How about the rivalry between you guys and Navy. Obviously it’s one of the oldest ones in college football history. How much respect do you guys have for this game and Navy as an institution?
Nick Martin: A ton. It’s hard to put into words. It’s a fun game. It’s an all out war, it’s a battle up front. Always is. You have two teams that are going to fight to the finish each play, it’s fun.
Q. You are a guy that’s always been pretty candid about his love for the game of football. They have kind of a different perspective an this. Talk about just them in general, and just what they have to go through and how much respect you have for that?
Nick Martin: Yeah, to them, probably it’s an outlet to get a way. Obviously what they do is unbelievable, and the respect we have for them is the utmost. When you get out there it’s they’re trying to out work you every play and it pushes you.
Q. You mentioned a little bit now you’re back at home, how comforting is that after a tough loss to come back in familiar surroundings, where you can get some of the guys on the line back used to playing in Notre Dame stadium?
Nick Martin: Obviously. It’s a great fan base. There’s no secret they’re awesome. It’s comforting, and it’s our favorite.
Q. Can you ever let that anger, that emotion, kind of boil over? Can it ever be too much where it kind of like throws off your preparation or how you prepare for the game?
Nick Martin: No, that’s why we have the 24-hour rule. Obviously you can use it, use it to your advantage. But you try to learn from it and move on.
Q. You guys over came so many things, dropped balls, turnovers, and you came up close. I know you don’t want to be known as the team that we are close. Talk about overcoming things, and never giving up until the final second?
Nick Martin: It’s not a surprise, this team’s characteristics are their togetherness, they’re going to fight. They know that’s not an excuse. That’s nothing new. We knew we were going to fight to the end and not give up. But you’ve got to come out and get a win.
Q. The way you performed in the second half, the way you came out and kept going, is that something you take in for the rest of the season that we can’t give up, we’ve got to keep pushing, even though our backs are against the wall?
Nick Martin: Absolutely. You’ve got to start with it. You can’t come out in the second half. It’s a four quarter game.
Q. DeShone, how quickly do you feel like you picked up the protection concept, was it during spring practice, was it during your freshman year, two weeks ago?
DeShone Kizer: Protection is something that is really essential to our fast game. Everything is put on the quarterback in terms of protecting themselves. You have to quickly adapt to that. I took a lot of pride in the first couple of months of my freshman year to understand it. Didn’t take too long for me to get down the basic concept of it. So far it’s been about mastering the exotic looks that different teams give you.
Q. What was it when you first got on to campus. Were you able to take reps on it to work on it or was it almost mental reps, film study?
DeShone Kizer: It really was mental reps. I did get reps and basically being the defense doesn’t give anything too crazy to me to get into crazy great protection, it was the most basic steps, if I had to make any. It wasn’t until spring that I felt the pressure from some elite guys, and Coach VanGorder’s crazy looks, that I was able to master protecting myself.
Q. How does that help taking confidence in the Georgia game, where you know you can protect yourself?
DeShone Kizer: When you have offensive line that you have, it’s hard to make a mistake. So that is never a worry for me. It’s more about the passing game, being able to throw the ball and get the ball into the best players’ hands. The protection thing was never a true worry for me with the offensive I’ve got.
Q. I think there’s a point against Clemson where there is an unblocked blitzer coming from the field side and you evaded him and took off for like a 20 yard run or something. What does you see on that play, did you see the blitzer, did you know you were going to have to evade him?
DeShone Kizer: It was a run pass option. I tried to squeeze one in. He came down pretty hard, and it was time that pass kit wasn’t a successful play for us, I guess it’s part of the game. It was probably a mistake on my part more than a success in terms of the execution.
Q. Who maybe helped you when you were taking those mental reps? Who was the big influence on that?
DeShone Kizer: As a group we do a good job of understanding how important it is in being protected. Without us protecting ourselves and giving us time to run a play, it’s really hard to obviously get things rolling. But as a group we spend a lot of time talking about it. It has to do with protections and understanding how to give yourself a little extra time to make the plays you want to make.
Q. Is that part of the recruiting process, when you talk about protection?
DeShone Kizer: Yeah, that was something I spent time with my high school coach, being able to attack the game and understand that. At the high school level things are very dry and straight forward. My high school coach did a good job of using the offensive line to be able to run college style protection. I was able to understand those before I got here, which turned over pretty well once I got here.
Q. DeShone, did it take you long to have chemistry with Torii, and his ability to play all the wide receivers. Talk about his evolution and he is strengths?
DeShone Kizer: Torii Hunter is one of the best athletes I know. Basketball, baseball, whatever you throw at him he’s amazing whatever he does. He’s a sure handed guy. He has the quickness of a slot, but the size and the ability of any of the outside receivers.
So that being said he can find himself on the field many different ways, as well as most wide receivers here, he’s as elite as they come. It’s about getting the ball in his hands and being able to read a defense and get him in a position where he can make a play.
Q. Your ability to escape the pass rush, is that something, can you learn that? Is that something that comes natural to you, do you have peripheral vision better than most people? You seem to be able to escape, no matter how fears the rush?
DeShone Kizer: Yeah, I believe that throughout my high school career in every sport that I’ve played, I have a good feel for understanding what’s going on around me.
And with that being said, I understand the weaknesses in the protections. I understand that if they slide to one side, most likely the backside is going to be something I’ve got to be aware of.
With that being said, it’s all about feel. I did a pretty good job against Clemson when things broke down to really feel what was happening. It’s slippery out there, wet, a lot of those plays I ended up making that wouldn’t necessarily be made all the time. And I got away from a couple of mistakes that I made on my own, and makes me look like a hero and it really was my mistake.
But with that being said, I do believe that my peripheral vision and really understanding everything that’s going on on the other side in the line of scrimmage really allows me to feel where the pressure is coming from.
Q. If you say feel for it, it’s really an understanding of where people will be positioned around you?
DeShone Kizer: Exactly. Exactly. Understanding where my the one-on-one, pass pro opportunity is going to be, and where the best defenders are on the defense, and it goes back to preparation and understanding where you can see how the defender is. We understood going into Clemson that they had some very heavy and very agile defensive ends. I knew that if there were one-on-one situations with a tight end, trying to be around those guys, you have to understand that there might be a little extra pressure and you have to be able to feel it rather than look at it.
With that being said that was one of my issues, there were a lot of open plays I could have made that I ended up peaking down a little too early o n. Ended up being pretty successful scrambles. But it’s a goal in my mind to really use more of a 6th sense and feeling the pressure rather than peaking down and losing the opportunity to throw the ball on the outside.
Q. Your scrambling ability, your ability to gain yards, often led you being rushed. I think most people on the outside look at you as a bigger guy. You’re not surprised by your ability to snap off a 20 yard run? These situations you’ve been in the last couple of weeks?
DeShone Kizer: Yeah, in high school it was part of the game. Never really wanted to be a run first guy, never will be a run first guy. But I’m a guy who believes that each play is never over. There’s always going to be a new opportunity for something good to happen in the play. I need to really be able to learn how to get the ball away and really to understand the speed of the game and the speed of the linebackers and defensive line coming at me, to be able to throw the ball away when I need to. When it comes to taking advantage of having will the guys who are backing up and not respecting our run game, I’ve got to be able to take advantage and get the yards I needed to move the change and continue with the drive.
Q. I find it interesting a couple of weeks ago, I mean at least some comments you made on Showtime, that you didn’t expect everything that came with being starting quarterback at Notre Dame, you’re a couple of weeks removed from that, and now it’s like you’re starring in your own reality show on a weekly basis. How have you compartmentalized that and how has that been for you?
DeShone Kizer: I quickly became very comfortable with it. It happened so quickly, but I believe that I believe that I’ve been in so many situations in the three short weeks I’ve been in this position, I’ve been able to learn very quickly how to go about the media, all the extracurricular stuff outside the field that quarterback at Notre Dame has. And it’s really allowed me to sink into my shoes well. And hopefully I’ll continue to move forward and understand things going on outside me and be able to perform week to week and on Saturdays.
Q. You’re followed on camera basically everywhere you go?
DeShone Kizer: You don’t even notice it anymore. It’s part of the season. They’ve Donnie a good job respecting when it’s time for you to have your own time or when it’s time for them to use film for TV. They do a good job staying out of your way, while still being able to show the fans how we go about the week to week process.
Q. Speaking of comfort and maybe confidence, how much more comfortable are you now on field having experienced the games as you were heading into the Georgia Tech game when you were making your first start?
DeShone Kizer: The last weeks I’ve seen quite a bit in my young career here at Notre Dame. I’ve been down and had to bring the team back in my first showing. I started against a top 15 team at home, and started against a top 15 away. We’ve won a game we were supposed to win. We’ve done quite a bit within these past couple of weeks with me as the starting quarterback that allows me to really feel it all. And now I get to take some past experiences of my own to be able to translate into next week rather than looking to other people to help me out with that, which I think is key for me. I have to learn as much as I can as fast as I possibly can, so this season can turn into the success story I want it to be.
Q. What can you take away from the Clemson game that will help you moving forward?
DeShone Kizer: Quite a bit. Playing in the environment we played in. Those feelings, those emotions are something that will always be there now. The xes and o’s side of things. I’ve got to really be able to understand how people are going to react to having one of the best receivers in the country out there and how they’re going to cope and how they’re going to go about that and really feel the weaknesses in their defense because of the extra attention towards that side. And from there I hopefully progress into a guy that can anticipate the ball a little more and get to the receivers when I need to.
Q. I want to ask you about Corey Robinson, who I know is a guy everyone on the team respects greatly, but has been struggling. How much do you feel for him with what he’s been going through the last couple of weeks?
DeShone Kizer: Corey Robinson is a great player. He’s one of the best athletes I’ve ever been around. He’s tall, he’s long, he’s athletic, he’s as brilliant as any man I’ve ever been around.
With that being said, I threw a couple of high balls to him. I learned quickly after watching the film that there were a lot of balls that were quote, unquote, dropped, were my fault. A couple of balls that sailed high on me, unfortunately a couple more to Corey, he ended up getting the negative stuff of it. I’m taking the responsibility on those.
Corey will come back, just like he always has, and have a great season. You’ll going to hear a lot more coming up in these next games, I guarantee that.
Q. How do you process a loss? Is it anger, is it trying to learn, do you put it away right away?
DeShone Kizer: I’ve had a pretty successful career in most games that I played in the high school level, and now they’re at Notre Dame. I think I’ve done a really good job of taking all losses as learning experiences. There’s a lot of great film in the Clemson game, that you never really understand, most people their mindset is when they won a game, tend to just throw the negative plays away and focus on the positive. When you lose a game you put so much emphasis on those negative plays that you can learn from. That would be huge in my development as a quarterback being able to go back and seeing those situations in which I could have won the game for our team or I could have put my team in a better position to win the game.
With that being said, I’ve done a really good job, I believe, in cleaning up some of the mistakes that I made at Clemson and hopefully make me a better quarterback overall.
Q. I imagine that goes hand and hand, you were 14 and 1, still won a state Championship. I bet you think back to that one loss, and maybe you’ll do that with this past one?
DeShone Kizer: Yes. Even though we didn’t play to the best of our ability, but that translates pretty well in relation to our game this past week, when we went and played a game that we believed we were the better team going into it. And came out with a loss. I remember those times talking to people, dealing with the media, dealing with all the negatives that come with a loss with a team that is expected to be undefeated, and it was — it is going to be a learning process. Obviously it’s a much bigger scale, but I believe those experiences I experienced in high school will translate well into taking a tough loss and making a great season out of it.
Q. You know we’ve asked a lot of people if they’re surprised by the amount of poise you have in this position. Do you ever surprise yourself with the kind of poise that you have when operating as the quarterback at Notre Dame?
DeShone Kizer: A hundred percent. I don’t look at myself saying, wow, you’re some crazy, comfortable, poised guy. It’s not something — this is something I just — it’s just a reaction, it’s natural. And I surprise myself all the time, going back and understanding the situations and remembering how I felt during the time and kind of shocked that I didn’t feel the nerves or the emotions that I should have felt at the time.
And I think it’s a blessing that I can be put in some situations and react the way I do. I’ve got to make sure that I continue to go that way, and that one big situations doesn’t break everything that I’ve done in my past.
I’ve got to continue to move forward and learn from all the experiences that I’ve had and hopefully I can continue to be more comfortable and be more poised and keep the rep that I’ve created as the quarterback here.
Q. Is it comforting to get the chance to — obviously all last weekend was about atmosphere, atmosphere, how do you handle it — is it nice to come back to Notre Dame stadium where you can get back to your normal routine?
DeShone Kizer: Each game comes with its own set of difficulties, in a sense. And last week it was all about the atmosphere, the rain, the hurricane, all that good stuff.
Now this week it’s going to have its own set. Playing against a team who is as disciplined, who is as experienced, who is as good as Navy is, it’s going to bring its own set of difficulties and its own set of issues, quote, unquote, that we’re going to have to deal with.
I’m really happy that we’ll be able to communicate better, and that won’t be as much of a worry with us. But we’re going to have to put emphasis on that we didn’t have to in Clemson that we will in Navy to make sure that we come out more successfully than last week.
Q. Coach talked about Navy’s defense, probably the best one they had in quite a while. What do you see from them, I know you mentioned their discipline, what kind of challenges do they present to you?
DeShone Kizer: They’re very smart. They’re very heavy. They understand their positions, these guys, they don’t make a lot of mistakes when they play. They give us specific looks and they have an identity, they have strength that they know they have and that they’re not going to come out and give you a crazy different look, or unexpected, at least, or something that is not them. They have an identity that they’re going to go about. And with the experience that they have and with the discipline they have, they’ve been very successful this season, and they’re going to try to continue that against us.
It’s up to us now to go head-to-head and heart-to-heart and understand what they’re doing, and be able to still overcome the experiences and the strengths that they do have.