Oct. 9, 2004

Recap | Box Score | Notes | Photo Gallery

Notre Dame Head Coach Tyrone Willingham

On Ryan Grant’s return to the lineup:
“Ryan is not only an excellent player, but he’s an excellent leader. Having him in there was a plus not only from a leadership standpoint, but also from a playing standpoint. It was hard for him to have to be on the sidelines (due to injury) and watch the last few games. He believes he can make a difference when he’s on the field.”

On first-half defense bending but not breaking and holding Stanford to two first-half field goals:
“We found a way to make the big plays today and came up with the big stops. They aren’t going to like that title of bend, but don’t break. They want to be don’t bend, don’t break.”

On the close game:
“Yes, it was a barnburner. We weren’t trying to burn down the barn. It was hard for me because I didn’t think we were playing the way I know we can. We just couldn’t get it going in the first half. We started to make plays in the second half and got the win.”

On big catch by Maurice Stovall in second half:
“Maurice’s catch was the big play we needed to get us over the hump. It got the offense going. That play provided the spark and gave us the energy to get things going.”

On the big picture for the rest of the season:
“For me, the big picture is that we are now 4-2 with a chance to do some great things this year. Today may not have been measurable in completions or in yards gained, but it can be measured in character.”

On Brady Quinn’s play (not throwing any interceptions):
“I’ve said all along that I am very comfortable with Brady Quinn. He’s an excellent leader with a work ethic second to none. I’m very excited with him as our quarterback.”

Notre Dame Player Quotes

Sophomore C John Sullivan

On the grind-it-out nature of the game…
“It was a fight and everything else just kind of goes to the wind. You know that if you fight harder, you are going to win and we got that done today.”

On the stops by the defense…
“It’s great when their offense gets down the field and our defense can hold them to three points. If Stanford got two touchdowns instead of two field goals, it would have been a different game.”

On the return of senior RB Ryan Grant…
“Ryan is a great downhill runner and he has rushed for 1000 yards in a season. He brings so much confidence to our team and he really did a great job today.”

Senior LB Derek Curry

On Stanford’s touchdown that made it 15-10…
“Anytime somebody takes the ball and drives down the field, you get fired up. It’s definitely a challenge. It’s a matter of us going out there and trying to stop them. It lit a fire on us and we knew that this couldn’t happen in our house.”

On holding Stanford to one touchdown…
“We had a pretty good scheme against the run going into the game. The defensive coaches had us prepared. We pretty much knew what they were going to run depending on the sets they got into.”

On the defense…
“As long as we keep them out of the end zone from scoring, that’s something to be proud of. We’re excited.”

Senior LB Corey Mays
On picking up Stanford’s fumbled punt… “I just looked up and saw the opportunity to make a big play. I was so happy to be in the position to make a big play. I was on the center and I heard “ooh’s and aah’s” and I looked over and saw the punter.”

On being 4-2…
“Everyone stepped up and did there part. It’s a very huge win. It’s a big part of what we’re trying to accomplish for the rest of the season.”

Stanford Head Coach Buddy Teevens

Opening Statement: “This was a very disappointing loss. We had our chances this afternoon, but we could not capitalize when we needed to. This is a four-quarter game and you have to play every quarter to win. We did not make the plays we needed to make in the second half.”

On the Stanford team: “We have a great group of young men with some outstanding leaders on our squad. They are very dedicated, and our strength and depth has improved greatly over the years. We love to compete, and we as coaches love our players for that.”

On the game: “We just allowed a couple of big plays. The punt situation was tough, and they got into the end zone, and we did not respond when we needed to respond.”

On Stanford’s two early scoring drives: “We were moving the ball fairly well early in the ball game. We put the points on the board that the Notre Dame defense would allow us. Unfortunately, in the end we needed seven points each time instead of the three we got.”

This year’s loss compared to last year’s loss to Notre Dame: “A loss is a loss anyway you put it. They all feel bad. This year, our guys really competed, and that is really what is important.”

On Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn: “He is a very good quarterback. I was very impressed. He has a lot of poise in the pocket. He can take a hit and stand in the pocket under pressure until he can find the open man. Our defense mixed it up fairly well, and we had our opportunities to stop him, but he made the plays when he needed to make them.”

Stanford Player Quotes

Julian Jenkins, DT

Overall …
“I feel like that was an aberration today. We didn’t put together a game that we wanted to put together.”

On Notre Dame Offense …
“Notre Dame is scripted so they probably only ran about 12 plays the whole game but they did them well. And when you make mistakes on defense they are going to take advantage of that.”

Evan Moore, FL

Playing on the road …
“They are a good football team and they took advantage of the little things we screwed up on. And if you are going to win on road, especially against a good team like Notre Dame, you have to execute. It was getting frustrating at the end of the game when we were backed up against our own end zone and couldn’t execute consistently.”

On the entire offensive effort …
“Today we struggled to establish the run and in the previous games we were able to do that. If we can establish the run, that makes them play man-to-man on our receivers and I felt like every time they had to play man-to-man we made plays and had a lot of open guys.”

On only getting field goals in the first half …
“That was huge. The difference may have been not putting the ball in the end zone in the first half. If we go up 14-0 on the road that’s a whole different game.

Jay Ottovegio, P

On the fumbled punt attempt …
“It was a good snap and I just bobbled it while rushing myself a little bit to get the kick off. I never thought of running it because I had 17-yards to go for a first down.”

Trent Edwards, QB

Overall …
“It is frustrating. We had the game in our hands but you got to give a lot of credit to Notre Dame. They are the kind of team that can lull you to sleep and we got complacent and didn’t get the job done.”

On not getting in the end zone early in the game …
“Their defense came up really big in the red zone. They picked up the intensity inside the 20-yard line were they just out hit us down there and made the plays. That is one of the reasons we lost the game because you can’t settle for field goals against a team like this.”

On Notre Dame’s pressure …
“I thought there defensive line got stronger as the game went along and give a lot of credit to their coaches.”