Nov. 17, 2001

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Notre Dame Head Coach Bob Davie Quotes

On the game…
“We have better players than Navy has, but they do a heck of a job.”

On Notre Dame Offense…
“On offense, it’s not who you play, it’s how you play… Today, we were really playing ourselves on offense. I think we played okay, but not as well as we’re going to have to play in the next couple of weeks.”

On Notre Dame Defense…
“We had a frustating day on defense. A lot of things went wrong today, particularly at the safety position, and wound up giving them some big plays. But give credit to their quarterback, Brian Madden, he’s a heck of a player.”

On Navy…
“I think that Navy is probably the most improved football team in the country from their first game. I’ve watched all their games a couple of times and, as a coach, I really appreciate how hard they have worked and I continue to be impressed by their improvement.”

On Terrance Howard…
“We have a lot of character on this football team, and I think Terrance Howard (senior tailback) is a great example of that… He had to overcome a lot of things during his career. Howard practiced better than Grant (freshman tailback) this week and we thought he deserved a chance to play.”

On the seniors…
“I am really happy for our seniors. They get to walk out of Notre Dame Stadium with their gold helmets held high. They’ve invested a lot in this football team, they get to walk out of here feeling positive and being with the people they love.”

Notre Dame Player Quotes

Sophomore quarterback Carlyle Holiday
On the three first-half Irish turnovers
“I feel we can correct those mistakes. But we just cannot turn the ball over, especially in the red zone.”

On winning today for the seniors
“We really wanted to go out and win for the seniors today since it was the last game in Notre Dame Stadium for them.”

Sophomore tailback Julius Jones
On the significance of the victory
“Any time you play Navy, you know it is going to be tough, but today we earned a victory. If we hadn’t win today, it would have been a big disappointment for us because we had two weeks to prepare for this game. We really needed this win.”

Senior tailback Terrence Howard
On his performance this season
“It’s been a rocky season. The highs have been as high as they can be and the lows as low as they can be, but I’ve just tried to listen to the coaches and take advantage of my opportunities.”

Senior defensive end Anthony Weaver
On the team’s halftime demeanor
“We were pretty quiet and confident. We knew what we had to do. In the first half, we had some busts on defense, which are going to turn into big plays against a team like Navy. Their quarterback is a talented guy and if you give him a little bit of a crease, he is going to break one.”

Senior defensive end Grant Irons
On playing his last game in Notre Dame Stadium
“It was really emotional out there at times. I really enjoyed my time here. I enjoyed playing with a lot of great players and coaches.”

Navy Head Coach Rick Lantz

On the game…
“Our kids fought as hard as they could for a long, long time. Obviously, the Irish kids played hard, too. We wish we could have some plays back. I know I am being optimistic, but I really thought we would win this game. I know I am the only person who thought this, but I felt we were going to come in and win. This was the first game all year that I got a sense from the kids that they were ready and felt good about going into a game.”

On potential game turning points…
“Anytime you make a stop down there (deep in your own territory), those are turning points. Defense wins games. They simply took advantage of the times they came up with those types of stops more than we did.”

On field goal at the end of the first half…
“I really think momentum was on our side at that point. I wanted the kids to get something out of that drive. We thought very seriously about going for the touchdown, but we wanted to make sure we got something. I did not feel confident that we could take another shot at the endzone and possibly come away with nothing. The thinking was the same for the field goal when we were down 11. We needed to get a field goal at some point and we had to get points there.”

On the game’s significance…
“This is a big time atmosphere. Any time you come to South Bend to play it is big and you have to get up for it. I wanted the kids to pay attention as we were driving in and sense it all. I wanted them to absorb all the sights, smells, and sounds. I wanted them to realize how special this was. It is special and when Navy beats Notre Dame again, it will be special for these kids.”

Navy Player Quotes

Senior quarterback Brian Madden:
On game…
“Obviously we had some turnovers that we couldn’t have to stay in the football game. Our defense played well – the first half especially. It gave us a chance to be in the game. We really felt like we were going to come out in the second half and pull this out. We didn’t execute the way we thought we would. They had a really good defense and took me out of the football game early.”

On competing as an undersized team…
“Our guys have a lot of heart. There is a brotherhood here like no other. We’re going to be friends for life. There is a special meaning when you come into a place like this and we get up for it. Our guys have a lot of special talents and abilities.”

On Notre Dame’s fourth-quarter, goal-line stand…
“I don’t know if we gave ourselves a chance down there. We were pretty conservative. We get the linebacker blocked, we walk in. They did a good job down there and stopped us when they had to.”

Junior split back Gene Reese:
On Notre Dame’s defensive game plan…
“The defense was giving us the corner all day. Their game plan was to key on Madden and worry about the rest later.”

On past close decisions against Notre Dame at Notre Dame Stadium…
“I don’t know if it is the luck of the Irish or what, but we can’t seem to pull it out at the end. They obviously have home-field advantage and a large crowd, which is another element that we’re not really used to everyday. But one day, we’re going to put it all together and pull it out.”

Junior safety Lenter Thomas:
On defensive efforts…
“We came out with great emotion. We knew we could make plays. I think the field helped us out a lot. It was really soggy and prevented their backs from cutting.”