Nov. 13, 2004

Recap | Box Score | Notes

Notre Dame Player Quotes
Senior WR Matt Shelton
On the season… “I didn’t know what to expect from this year. I have been fortunate to be able and go out and help this team a lot and that’s all I can ask for.”

Senior WR Carlyle Holiday On the season… “It’s been kind of an up-and-down season. We beat some great teams and we lost to some teams we thought we could beat, but at the same time I have probably gotten closer to this group than any team in the past five years. It’s definitely been a learning season. The numbers don’t show it but it has been a success.”

On Brady Quinn… “I just tell him to keep on moving forward. He’s got a long way to go and he’s already showed signs of being a great player. I think he realizes that this is going to be his team next year regardless of what year he is. I think he is doing a great job of keeping his head up and trying to lead this team the way they want to go.”

On what’s next for the team… “We’ve just got to get focused next week and work hard to go and beat USC in the Coliseum. I think they are beatable, and that’s the goal we have to right now.”

Senior LB Derek Curry On the reason for his team’s loss… “This game was about missed opportunities. We had opportunities to make plays but we didn’t step up and make them.”

On the team’s inconsistency… “Football is all about how you execute. If you execute one week and not the next, it can turn out like this.”

Senior LB Mike Goolsby On closely-fought games… “The thing with football that I’ve realized more and more is that there are certain plays that are unfortunate that you can’t control and other plays that you can affect and cause to play out differently. You can’t put your finger on any certain play today but we just didn’t make enough plays.”

On Pittsburgh’s big gain on their final drive… “Going into the series I was telling the defensive backs to play aggressive and not play scared, and I was thinking the same thing to myself. They threw an out to the tight end and I had the ball in my hands, but then he ripped it out. I tried to strip the ball and then I couldn’t make the tackle.”

On the play of the defense in the first half… “I think some guys weren’t focused on the game because of all the hoopla surrounding it, and that’s a poor excuse for a bad game. The offense kept us in the game and we came into the locker room at halftime needing to refocus and play better.”

University of Pittsburgh Player Quotes

Flanker Greg Lee

Overall … ” This is a very big win for us and it will help us toward the end of the season. When you beat a team like Notre Dame and to do it at their place, is a very big win for the program.”

On his play … “I knew I had to make a big contribution if we were going to win this game today, so I really tried to step it up and play with more intensity.”

On spreading around the receptions … “It is always one of our goals to hit different guys and keep the defense off balance and as they started to key on me more it really opened it up for other receivers.”

Placekicker Josh Cummings

On game-winning kick … “I went out there and cleared my mind and tried to do what I’ve done in practice a thousand times. Right now I’m just kind of like ‘wow.'”

Quarterback Tyler Palko

On throwing a record five touchdown passes against ND … “It’s nice for the media to go get a stat book and tell me about it. There’s no better feeling then to come in here and get a win. I’d give those five touchdowns back and get a win anytime.”

On winning at Notre Dame … “I really don’t pay attention to the ghosts or tradition, that’s for the fans and the families. They have a sideline and scoreboard just like any other football stadium and it is just nice to get a win.”

The final drive … “It’s what you live for and I told the guys in the huddle that they would remember it for the rest of their lives. I looked at every one of them in the eye and I saw that look in their eye and they saw it in mine. It is a tremendous tribute to our football team and character.”

On the Pittsburgh pass attack … “Anybody who watches Notre Dame, they stop the run and we saw that on film. And that makes them weaker in pass defense and we tried to exploit that, and it worked well tonight.”

Tyrone Willingham Post-Game Quotes

On the game: “Our young men had the opportunities to make plays and we didn’t make them. There were many times where we were in good positions and we just didn’t make the play.”

On the first and second half: “If you run this game back, in the first half we were not ourselves defensively. In the second half, we seemed to get some control of it and put some stops together but then they slipped in some big plays.”

On the Pitt QB: “I thought their quarterback did a great job. I thought his ability to run bailed them out of situations in which they were about to be stopped but his feet kept the drive alive.”

On coming off a big win: “I thought our guys still played hard and still played physical but sometimes the opponent does some good things and we did some good things and got things going, but at the end we let it slip away.”

On the penalties: “It was difficult for me to see but I hope that some of you who have the use of television monitors could probably respond to that far better than I can. But it’s the way the game goes.”

On Brady Quinn: “I thought Brady did an excellent job, that’s not withstanding the two interceptions in there. He really had command of his football team. He put the ball, in most cases, where it needed to be. And our guys responded.”

On the defense: “Three sacks is not a terrible day getting pressure on the passer. I think that you also saw that the quarterback scrambled many times and to me that is either a sign that we are doing a good job in coverage or we are applying some pressure to him. We didn’t contain him and when we had opportunities to get him, to his credit, there were times where we had him in our grasp and he got out.”

On his post-game speech to the seniors: “I told them that we as a football team didn’t send them out the right way. Today was disappointing because we knew that they really wanted to walk out of here today with a victory and we didn’t give it to them.”

University of Pittsburgh Head Coach Walt Harris

Opening Statement: “This was a great college football game. We were very fortunate to win and our guys never gave up out there this afternoon. Some of our players made some incredible plays to keep us in this game. Tyler Palko has come along very well in his sophomore season. He is as hungry as anyone I have coached. Our defense played well all day, but in the second half they made the stops they needed to make to win this game.”

On each teams halftime adjustments: “Notre Dame did a great job at the half adjusting. I did not respond quickly enough in the third quarter to stop Notre Dame’s offense. Our team made the adjustments they needed to make on the fly in the second half. I could not be more proud of our players, because they are the ones who really pulled this victory out.”

On Pittsburgh quarterback Tyler Palko: “He has excellent vision down the field when he is scrambling. He showed us all that in the second half when he made the pitch to keep our drive alive. Early in the year he struggled, because the game was so fast, but now it has slowed down for him. He had an outstanding game.”

On winning for the first time at Notre Dame: “This is a great compliment to our football players. Our guys want to win and they play to win. Last week was a difficult loss in double overtime. This week we came back and turned it around for a great win against an outstanding Irish football team.”