Oct. 11, 2008
Notre Dame Head Coach Charlie Weis
On the fumble at the end of the game
“Originally, the call on the field was that it was down, so we had the ball inside the 10-yard line with what we thought was 3 seconds to go, so our intent was to go up and clock it and give us a play designed for that situation… When they went to review, they said that they thought the ball came out before he touched the ground. The guys upstairs don’t know about when the whistle is blown, so they’re not there, whether the play is blown dead or not blown dead. It’s a bitter ending, but it is what it is. They called it that way, and that’s it… I thought that he had called him down with what I thought was 4 seconds to go. I thought that he had called him down, but it really doesn’t make a difference what I thought.”
On his team
“That’s a different team (ND) than I’ve seen in the last year and change. That team (ND) today expected to win. They didn’t come here hoping to win, they expected to win, and they didn’t, and give credit to North Carolina. I’m not saying that to be disrespectful, but that team in that locker room today, it was the first time in a long time where I’ve looked in their faces against a good opponent and it was a team that really feels bad. And the reason they fell really bad is because they’re starting to get it. They are starting to get it. This is not the same team that everyone saw at the beginning of the year. This team is starting to get it.”
On going for it on 4th and 7 in the 4th quarter
“I thought we needed a touchdown. It had nothing to do with the field goal kicker (Brandon Walker). I thought we needed a touchdown. Obviously, I put the kid in before, so it’s not about him, but I thought we needed a touchdown because I was concerned that they were getting in that 2-tight formation and pounding us, and I was concerned with them being able to run out the clock. That is the only reason. It wasn’t any disrespect to Brandon.”
On the outcome of the game
“I can give you all sorts of stats, but really stats are for losers. The big thing is, did you win or did you lose, and we lost. And that’s really the bottom line. I’d like to sit here and say, “hey, Jimmy threw for almost 400 (yards), and there were a bunch of good plays out there.” But at the end of the day, the key thing is we didn’t take care of the football. Not taking care of the football ended up costing us.”
North Carolina Head Coach Butch Davis
We are excited and thrilled to have won the game. I don’t know if I have ever been involved in a bizarre a football game as what transpired tonight. It was two teams that fought hard and you’ve got to give Notre Dame an awful lot of credit. I know they hate coming out on the short end. It’s two programs scratching and fighting and trying to find a way to reestablish themselves as football programs.
I thought our football coaches and players did a phenomenal job of persevering through some tough times early in the ballgame. We got it put to us early, especially in the first quarter. They came out in the no huddle offense and an empty formation. They had not really shown much of that with Jimmy Clausen in the last two years. But everybody in this room has watched Tom Brady do that all the time. It’s a credit to their coaching staff to try and change the tempo and change the pace of the ballgame. They had us reeling. It took a while to scratch some stuff on the sidelines, to tweak some coverage’s and come up with some things that our kids could actually execute and do.
I am proud of the way our offense hung in there and had no turnovers. A great deal of success we’ve had as a football team has come from the standpoint that we have tried to protect the football and take care of it. A 5-0 turnover ratio gives you a great chance to win.
I’ve got to take the responsibility for seven of those points, getting greedy again after last week’s three blocks (punts). It was probably stupid on my part. As hard as it was for our defense to finally get some stops and then give the ball back and have them drive the ball down. Again, the players bailed me out and got me off the hook today.
Our kids have got a lot of fight and perseverance. They just keep scratching and finding a way to win. We are fortunate to have won today.
On the last play
Based on the previous experiences during the course of the game, I was not severely, overly optimistic about the potential outcome. You had to feel like there were only two true, real scenarios. Both of them should have been good for us. The way I saw the play – to credit the Notre Dame receiver – I thought for certainty that the receiver thought the time had expired and I think he was trying to lateral it to any potential teammate that might pick it up and stumble into the end zone. I saw it clearly as a fumble and I think most everybody else did. The flip side was if it was not a fumble then they were going to have run a play and spike the ball, then time expires.
North Carolina Player Quotes
We always have a chance. Always. With God on your side you never know. It means a lot. I read in the papers about Coach Davis and Charlie Wise and the match up. I’m glad we won for coach and for us It means a lot for North Carolina. Last time we went down there we played tough, but we lost in the end. It means a lot that we pulled it out this time.
That was tough. We as a football team never blame anything on the referees because weÂ¹re the ones that control the game. They got one right at the end, thankfully, and we were able to win the game.
On coming back
I think this team, thatÂ¹s what were all about. We know how to play in these types of situations. We talk about situational football. We showed that we may bend a little, but weÂ¹re not going to break. Our defense knows how to bow their neck and push guys and not let guys score. As an offense we know how to get down the field and score.
We had a freshman out there playing and we had other guys out there playing. This team really knows how to pay attention during the week. You can play at anytime. My story says it. There was no way I was playing this year, but I just kept fighting. Coach Davis taught us to fight. We pressure each other to fight.
It means a lot to this program – all of the players are fired up, the coaches are fired up. Guys really gave it their all and put it all on the line.
We knew it was coming. The coaches told us we couldnÂ¹t keep settling for field goals because they were putting up points early. We had to get it all together and make a few changes and then when we got to the red zone Ryan Houston did a good job of carrying the load.
We have playmakers on offense and defense. Bruce Carter and the linebacker core are doing tremendous right now.
The team with the most turnovers, most of the time wins the game- it takes points off the board and gives the ball to the offense more, changes field position. Turnovers are a huge part of the game.
On the atmosphere in Kenan tonight
That’s the greatest environment I’ve seen since IÂ¹ve been here.
I thought they were going to turn it over and give them another play, but I thought if they had another play, but we would have gotten the stop.
On why he thought they would overturn the play
It was going that way the whole game, so I just thought it was going to be turned over.
We knew we had to play better on defense. We had to do our coverage responsibilities better. They caught us off guard a little bit.
We had to get the offense the ball more. WeÂ¹re going to try to do that the rest of the games. I think the defense did well today. We gave up a lot of yards but we got the win. C is a great quarterback and theyÂ¹re well coached. We just beat a good football team.