Nov. 26, 2016

Recap | Final Stats | USATSI Photo Gallery media-icon-photogallery.gif

Notre Dame Coach Brian Kelly

“USC is a good team and Clay Helton has done a nice job putting together a good team on offense, defense and special teams that creates problems. I’m proud of our team. All year they’ve battled and one thing, I’m certain of this, is we fight each week. We’ve played lot of close ball games. Unfortunately today, special teams was a huge deciding factor in the game and we gave up two TDs to a talented player. The interception, any time you give scores to a good offense like USC, you’ll pay for the mistakes. Those three scores clearly put us in a huge disadvantage. I liked a lot of things we did today. The toughness I was really looking for. Josh Adams ran with a grit and toughness, 180 yards rushing against a tough defense. I like the way Chris Fink played today. I like the way our offensive line was able to at times exert their will in tough situations. I take with it some really good things. Our defense overall — if you take away the 3 TDs, they battled a good offense today. We’re not happy with the outcome but take away some good things.”

(did you think they would go toe to toe with USC ) : “I thought we could play with anybody this year. We just have not been able to sustain consistent performances for four quarters. We’ve shown a propensity for self-inflicted wounds, be it special teams or offense or defense. We’ve eliminated a lot and they’re all correctable through experience and our off-season program. Though our seniors won’t get much credit, they carried a big burden for the success of our program down the road.”

(On talking to team on the field at start of halftime) : “This is a difficult place to talk at halftime. The locker is broken up and you can’t see their eyes and talk to them. I needed to make a couple important points. I already thought about it prior to the game if I needed to make a couple points, regardless of what people thought, that gave me the opportunity.”

(On personal foul calls) : “We had the one personal foul at the end of the game. I think that was an aggressive play. I don’t think there was intent from Nico. I thought our kids played hard and physical. I want them to be focused and disciplined. I didn’t think they were out of control at any time.”

“(Was there any effects from the week following the NCAA announcement): “I think for me I’ve got thick skin. I knew what the situation was relative to the academic investigation. In 2014 I felt like I was the point person. I felt like I had been there and done that. My focus was on the team.”

(On does he want to be back as head coach): “Absolutely. I’ll be back.”

(Whether the speculation of whether he’ll get fired give him pause): “Sometimes it does. When you’ve been in the business a long time, you think you’ve got a track record of what you’ve done. But you’re also at a high profile institution like Notre Dame and expectations are high and you’ll have to answer the questions when you have a year like this.”

(On DeShone Kizer’s performance): “I thought there were some good things he did. And at times he didn’t get the support he needed. Some balls could’ve been caught, some could’ve been thrown better.”

Notre Dame Left Tackle Mike McGlinchey

“I think the fight this team has shown all year is what you hold your hat on. It’s the character of the guys in the locker room that we know we can build a program around. There’s a lot of upside to this team. We’ve had a lot of things not go our way this year but the upside without a doubt is the guys in the locker room and the position we’ll be in moving forward will be far and away better than where we are right now.”

(On the run game vs USC) : “I think we had a good game offensively. A couple bounces went the wrong way. We felt like we executed pretty well on the offensive side of the ball. It was a physical ball game and we put up a good number of offense on them but that doesn’t matter if you don’t put it in the end zone. We obviously have a lot of work to do to improve on and punch it in the end zone more consistently. But I think we held our own today for sure.”

Notre Dame Defensive Linemen Jarron Jones

(On the feelings after the loss) : “This was our last game. There’s nothing after this. I’m going to miss the guys. Our seasons over and it went by so fast. We were getting ready to play Texas and now it’s over and there’s no bowl game.”

(evaluating the play today) : “I feel like our defense played great. Besides the two TDs we let up in the second half, we came out and we fought until the very end. Despite all the odds against us, we could’ve came out and rolled over. We knew there was nothing after this, but we still kept fighting.”

(on the rumors around Brian Kelly’s job security) : “I think it’s garbage. If anything, Coach Kelly deserves another chance if people are talking about him being fired. The fact that it’s one bad season. He took us to the national championship and to the Fiesta Bowl last season. He’s a great coach and just because we have one trip up doesn’t mean he should be fired.”

Notre Dame QB DeShone Kizer

(On struggles today on offense) : “Once again it was a lack of execution. We had a great game plan. They came out and did the same kind of thing to us every play as expected. They’re confident in their DBs and we have to execute our checks and make sure the ball is getting into our playmakers hands.”

(on some of the trick plays) : “We brought everything we could to try to catch them off guard today to be successful.”

(on if he’s made a decision about the NFL) : “No I didn’t, I have no idea.”

(On the takeways this year): “To be a member of this 2016 Notre Dame team means quite a bit to me in the sense that there’s so much that’s happened this year that I can learn from. It’s pretty much priceless in the sense I can go back and go through a bunch of great games we participated in and learn from it. The experiences I had from this year will hopefully make this one of the most valuable years I’ve been a part of.”

(on the pick six) : “I wish I could have that throw back, obviously. I stepped up in the pocket and got aggressive on a ball a little late to the receiver and they jumped it and returned it for six.”