Nov. 3, 2001
NOTRE DAME PLAYER QUOTES
Sophomore quarterback Carlyle Holiday
On the game . . .
“We had our opportunities during the game and we just didn’t take advantage of them. We made a lot of mistakes.”
On Notre Dame’s two fumbles in the red zone . . .
“That’s been our problem for the past few games – not being efficient enough in the red zone. It hurt us today.”
On his play . . .
“I threw the ball well for the most part, but I still feel I need to make more plays. That’s the kind of player I am and I didn’t do that today. I’ve just got to pick it up for the rest of the season.”
On the play of David Givens . . .
“He stepped up today. A lot of the time he was one of the main reads. He is a senior and I think he showed that today. He made plays and just stepped up for the most part.”
Junior tailback Julius Jones
On the team’s play . . .
“We’ve just got to go back and get some things corrected. We had a couple of turnovers that hurt us, but I thought we played well as a team. But obviously we’ve got some things to work on.”
Senior tailback Tony Fisher
On the loss . . .
“It’s a really hard loss. We thought we had this game. We felt from the beginning that we could play with them because we feel we can play with anybody in the country. Unfortunately, we had some mistakes and that killed us.”
Senior defensive end Anthony Weaver
On losing despite the team’s good play . . .
“Sometimes you get good luck, but other times you don’t. You’ve got to take the good with the bad. But you’ve got to give credit to Tennessee. They played a good game.”
Senior receiver David Givens
On the game . . .
“We went out there prepared to play, but the team just didn’t step up and make plays when we needed them. We made a lot of mistakes and you tend to lose when you do that.”
Tennessee Coach Phillip Fulmer
On the game…
“We are very proud to come here and get a win against an institution like this. I give the Notre Dame coaches and players a lot of credit. We did a great job preparing during the week and making adjustments at halftime and throughout the game. We had no field position in the first half and their offense was able to tear into us through the third quarter. We didn’t do everything we wanted to on defense, but it was there when we needed it by stopping them on their last drive and scoring on the fumble return. The offense played well, but we did take too many sacks. Still, out receivers stepped up and Casey Clausen showed how he has the heart of a lion. This team has shown all year that they can be a special team in the fourth quarter. We just need to stay hungry, take one game at a time, and hopefully we can look back at this season as a special one.”
On the play of Notre Dame…
“We did not stop the run at all. I think that is a credit to their offensive line. We were not able to do everything we wanted to do because of the types of sets they came out in with their usual personnel. It is hard to defend against the option and they run it well. (Carlyle) Holiday is clearly their playmaker. I am proud that we did not give up anything big to him.”
On Tennessee’s season…
“We haven’t had anything easy. We knew we had a tough schedule from the beginning and we have had several injuries to overcome. There have been spurts when we have not played as well as we can, but our guys come together when we need to. They are very in tune with what they need to do. Our guys have stepped it up and responded to these difficulties.”
On Tennessee’s chances for a BCS bowl berth and a National Championship…
“Our goal this year, as it is every year, is to maximize the potential of this football team. We have a lot of bridges to cross over still before we think of anything like that. We just have to keep responding to the challenges that are put before us and play as well as we have the ability to. Certainly, I think we can be there if we run the table.”
On the state of the Notre Dame team…
“Notre Dame has had a tough time this year. With the schedule they play, they have shown a great deal. They have done a great job of fighting back after losing their first three games. I feel for their coaches and players. It is hard for them and we wish them well. Like I said to their players, they are class individuals and we were honored to have had a chance to play here at this great institution.”
Tennessee Player Quotes
Sophomore quarterback Casey Clausen:
On reaction to game…
“It was special for me. It was a great win to come out and execute and make plays. They sometimes put seven, eight guys in the box to make us throw. The first half, we only ran 15 or 20 plays. They did a good job keeping the ball away from our offense. They kept our defense on the field way too much. The second half we started making more plays and really executed.”
Freshman wide receiver Kelley Washington:
On Tennessee’s season-long surge in fourth quarter…
“We know we have a really potent offense, but sometimes it doesn’t seem to go until the fourth quarter.We just keep pounding and pounding and eventually something breaks open and we bust a long pass. We just trust in ourselves, in our offensive linemen, and in Casey (Clausen).
Junior strong safety Julian Battle:
On causing second-quarter fumble, recovered by Tennessee on own one-yard line…
“He (Arnaz Battle) was running with the ball out away from his body. I was able to get my hands on it and made a big play. I knew the way he was carrying the ball I would have a good chance to strip the ball. I ran up behind him and stripped it.”
On second-quarter recovery of TB Ryan Grant’s fumble for touchdown:
“It was the work of the Lord. That was the perfect bounce. I got it and ran with it.”
Senior wide receiver Eric Parker:
On third-down catch of Clausen’s roll-out pass with just over two minutes remaining in contest…
“It was something we did in practice constantly and no one could stop it. Casey just saw the right read and hit it.”
On playing at Notre Dame Stadium…
“It is a historical place to play college football, but at the same time we play at Neyland Stadium with 100,000 people. Coming down here wasn’t a factor.”
Senior tailback Travis Stephens:
On adjustments in second half…
“We wanted to spread them out and that’s what we did in second half. They came with eight men in the box and once we spread them out we were able to get our passing game going. It was tough getting (rushing) yardage, but a victory was more important.”