Nov. 3, 2012
Notre Dame Head Coach Brian Kelly
COACH KELLY: First of all, Pittsburgh played a great game. Hat’s off to Coach Chryst. His players played at a high level. Certainly, certainly respect that team. Having said that, we overcame a lot tonight. We made uncharacteristically some mistakes turning the football over obviously twice in the end zone. Last year that would have been a loss for us. But our team kept fighting, kept playing. I told them that they have to understand that everybody they play against will play their absolute best. Next week BC will play out of their minds against us and Wake Forest will. And they can’t just highlight certain teams on their schedule, because they will play their very best. I think that’s a lesson learned for our football team. I think with the way the game swung, first half we left points out there that should have been on the board. Two very good drives early on that did not result in score and touchdowns in particular. Missed field goals, missed extra point, interception in the end zone couple of missed hits and tackles. I could go on and on. But I’m proud of the way our guys fought and persevered, kept playing. When it didn’t look good, they kept believing. And really proud of two other things: One, of our coaching staff. As you know, I’m listening to the game on both sides, and our coaches stayed positive, were there for our players whether things weren’t going well. It was not it’s your fault. This is why we’re not winning. It was get back to what you do and how you do it. I was just really proud of my staff and the way they executed the game plan and stuck with it. Then Everett Golson, as you know we replaced him. He missed a number of things that we thought he needed to have down by this time. Brought Tommy in, had an untimely turnover, and went back to Everett. I thought he competed his butt off. He’s not perfect, but the boy competes. And, man, he just kept competing in the second half and found a way for us to get enough points on the board, so he got the game ball. Questions?
Q. Not to take anything away from Pittsburgh, but with the last three weeks with Stanford, BYU and going to Oklahoma last week, did you have any sense at all this week that maybe it would be tough for your kids to get up for this game or be mentally ready for this game?
COACH KELLY: No, we prepared well, we had good practices. There was nothing that would be an excuse today if we didn’t come out on the right side of it. We should not be sitting here going well, we didn’t have a good week of practice. We did not play as well as we needed to. We had key turnovers. Didn’t fit plays the way we needed to fit. We didn’t tackle as well. It was not our best effort. Now having said that, we played a team that played extremely well today, and we found a way to win. That’s a good thing.
Q. Coach, late in the third quarter, into the fourth quarter you ran 19 plays without going to a running back. What did you see out of their defense and with Everett on his runs that took you that way?
COACH KELLY: Yeah, they were playing a lot of cover one, moving the front. As you know we were having some problems inside blocking No. 97 in particular. We just felt if we could spread him out, that would give us an opportunity to move the football down the field. We had 60 I think we had 66 plays last week against Oklahoma. We had 87 plays this week. We felt if we could spread it we could hold on to the ball a little bit more with running Everett.
Q. What was it exactly that Everett was missing that made you take him out?
COACH KELLY: It’s just progressions, coverage reads, just things that he’d come in and say I missed it, and my bad. We’re trying to win a football game.
Q. At what point with what he’s done in the last two weeks in the second half does that leash lengthen a little bit where you would maybe he’s the quarterback start to finish even if he’s struggling? Are you getting closer to that point, I guess, is the question?
COACH KELLY: I don’t know how to answer the question definitively. I get a sense of feel on the sideline as to where to move with that. I went up to him when I thought we needed him back in the game because of the way the game was going, that we needed to be our quarterback needed to be out there mobile, make some plays outside the pocket, asked him if he was ready to go, he said he was and we put him back in. But for me to have a definitive answer for you, we just kind of get a feel for it.
Q. On the two point conversion, was that a designed pass or did he have the option all the way?
COACH KELLY: No, it’s a three pronged play. The first part of it is a sprint out, roll out, man to man, rollover to Robby Toma. The second element is a clear out and delay for Eifert to come back, and the last was the quarterback to keep it.
Q. You’re happy with the way he decided to handle that play?
COACH KELLY: Absolutely, very good on that one. I wasn’t going to pull him out after that play.
Q. You talk about learning a lesson. Do you think they had to learn the lesson beforehand? I don’t know if that goes to how they thought of Pittsburgh or whether they had maybe overread other games before this?
COACH KELLY: Yeah, we spent so much time talking to our team and having good habits and all those things. We did. We had a good week of practice. We just didn’t play well early on. We dominated the quarter. The numbers were astonishing. What were they? Pittsburgh had I mean, we should be playing like that for four quarters. We wanted to get off fast, and we didn’t put points on the board. There are a number of reasons, but I guess I would go back to they just have to understand that Pittsburgh or Boston College are going to play really well. You have to play as well as you do against all of these teams or you’re going to get beat. They found a way to Marshall that in the second half.
Q. A lot of adversity throughout, how did you sense them reacting to it on the side line, your players?
COACH KELLY: We were upbeat. We were positive. Look, Everett throws a pick in the end zone. He goes out, I read it wrong. We said, here’s what you did. Here’s what you need to do because we’re going to call the play again. We move to the next play. We move to the next play defensively, and to the next play in special teams. Because we had set that tone on the sideline, there was a sense as we keep playing, that we have a shot to win this thing.
Q. This isn’t the first time you’ve had to make this decision with Everett. How does he handle that as this goes along?
COACH KELLY: I thought he did okay. I mean, I think he’s a very prideful guy. He’s coming off playing well. He knows he didn’t play quite as well, but it did when it counted. He got a chance to go back in there and got the game ball tonight. So it’s all a process of learning and developing and getting thicker skin, paying more attention to detail and practice. There are just so many levels to it. But I think what I’m looking for is a guy that continues to mature and grow up, and this was another opportunity for him. He could have kept his head down and said I can’t help us. We wanted to go back in there and help his football team. So that’s a learning step for him.
Q. That and getting past that interception a big step for him.
COACH KELLY: I think so. I think in the way that we presented it to him as well was that, look, you read it wrong. We didn’t say, hey, all right, Tommy. I think just the way we managed the situation, I think it helped him a lot.
Q. What is in the make of this team that wins games they probably don’t win last year?
COACH KELLY: Yeah, I’m tired of talking about last year. I think this year the way our guys believe in each other, they believe in their coaches, they believe. They’ve won these games before. They believe they’re going to win. I just think it’s a great group of guys. The leadership is outstanding. We’ve got great competitors, and we’ve made some plays at the end that we needed to make. I just think it’s more about this group and how they believe in each other and they believe in their coaches.
Q. What goes through your mind when you’re watching a kick that could potentially win the game sail towards the uprights? Can you say it?
COACH KELLY: I really in all of those situations there is just so much going on that I can’t ever stop for one play and think about one play. I’m always thinking about something else that has to happen. So I couldn’t give you a great answer other than I hope he misses, because I’d like to win this game.
Q. Just going back to the game tying drive where Everett had the keys passed to Daniels. Just coming right after the interception that he threw, what’s that speak to his resolve that he had in this game?
COACH KELLY: He just played that way. We would have liked to have thrown it a long time earlier than that when he was wide open. He didn’t. He stayed alive, and he got the ball down the field. I mean, we’re coming to understand that we’re not perfect, as you know. But the kid competes, and he’s got a strong arm. Put the ball in a good position, DD made a nice play on the ball and got us an opportunity to put some points on the board.
Q. Did Tavares have his best game of his career tonight?
COACH KELLY: Yeah, he made some big plays when we needed him, certainly. He made some big plays against Oklahoma as well. He’s in that same level of trying to get better each week. He’s going to be a really, really good football player as you know for us. But he’s a freshman, and he’s going to have his ups and downs, but he’s a competitor too. I love having those guys on the field, especially the young guys because they are a great mix with our veterans. All of them together with great leadership; it’s fun to coach them.
Q. And Ray Graham’s obviously a talented back. He had 170 yards against a defense that doesn’t normally give that up. What were they able to do running the ball?
COACH KELLY: Ray Graham, broke tackles. We missed tackles uncharacteristically. He’s a great back too. But certainly I thought he ran extremely well. We tackled subpar for us in terms of our defense. I know Coach Diaco would not be happy right now. But they found a way to shut them down in the second half, and that is the key. We shut them down in overtime. We took him and really were able to control him late in the game.
Q. Louis Nix was supposed to be sick early on in the game?
COACH KELLY: What do you mean?
Q. Reported as sick.
COACH KELLY: Okay, he was sick.
Q. He came in late in the game and played extremely well. Ended up with five sacks. Was it chicken soup or can you report on his performance?
COACH KELLY: Yeah, I don’t like the tone of the question itself, and then the chicken soup comment. I don’t know where you’re coming from. What do you want me to say? The kid was sick all week, and he busted his butt to try to help our football team today. So, you know, Louis Nix has got a lot in the bank of trust with me. If he can’t go, there’s a reason for it. He was in the infirmary two nights, and he came out and helped our football team.
Q. Matthias Farley and Elijah Shumate made a lot of big plays in the game. What did you think of the young guys back there?
COACH KELLY: As you know, Nicky Baratti had to play a lot. Matthias was operated on Tuesday, he was out cold on an operating table on Tuesday. They put two plates and six screws in his hand, put a cast on him, he came back and practiced Wednesday and Thursday you know, did the best he could. We had to call on Nicky Baratti to come in and help us as well as Elijah coming in. As you know, he’s our nickel, so he’s going to play all those reps. So you’ve got KeiVarae on there as a freshman. You’ve got Farley as a freshman. You’ve got four freshmen in the back end of that defense contributing really big.
Q. Will you be pulling for USC, LSU or Oklahoma State at all tonight?
COACH KELLY: Maybe I should say the politically correct, yes, you know. We really hope I don’t really care about that. Everybody says I should care. I care about my football team. I care about getting better. We’re really just focused on ourselves. We can’t worry about all those other things. We really can’t. I could be politically correct and say, yeah, I care, we’re going to watch it. But to be honest with you, we’ve got a lot of work to do with our football team.
Q. The punt return game was a little bit skittish, dropped a ball late there. Any thoughts to moving John Goodman back into that role?
COACH KELLY: No.
Notre Dame Player Quotes
Everett Golson, So., Quarterback
Q. Did you, immediately?
Everett Golson: Immediately. I said that when I got in, and I heard the crowd cheering and stuff like that, it was a good feeling.
Q. With everything that was going on not necessarily in your favor and all and you still pulled this thing out, how can you explain how you guys never lost confidence being down two possessions?
Everett Golson: To me, it’s all God. It’s also my teammates. I had a teammate in Robby Toma coming up to me saying, “Keep your head in the game.” Guys coming up and saying keep your head in the game. That’s just to name a few. But a whole bunch of guys. That’s what I’ve really saw tonight was a whole bunch of guys really working together.
Q. Going into double overtime, did you feel like there is no way we win at this point?
Everett Golson: I thought as far as our offense, I thought we had a big hop in our step, I guess. The whole fifth quarter we definitely I was proud of the team just coming out and utilizing and feeling we could get this win and coming together and doing it.
Q. What happened after the quarterback sneak? You disappeared there.
Everett Golson: Yeah, that’s kind of a funny story. I was talking to and I remember getting up and everybody was celebrating. And our backs came up and was like good job, good job. Yeah, we did it and whatnot. And maybe three seconds later I was like, “All right, now get me out of here. I’ve got to get out,” because a whole bunch of people were swarming.
Q. But can you talk about how it feels running down the field?
Everett Golson: Just excited, man. Just excited that our team really came together tonight to pull off this win.
Q. Because of the reviews and replays you never celebrate immediately anymore, were you at all concerned they might take it away?
Everett Golson: Not at all. I felt like I was in. I was pretty confident.
Q. Did it give you an opportunity to kind of fight through struggles and not watch Tommy finish the game?
Everett Golson: I felt I needed it bad. (Indiscernible).
Q. Getting the game ball, what did you think you did to earn that tonight?
Everett Golson: I think I did a good job of being with the team down the stretch. Coming out today, I know we came out a little flat. As far as me personally, I missed a couple of reads that I should have had. Instead of putting three points on the board, we put six. But I felt like down the stretch we came together, and I felt like I did a great job in the end.
Q. The way you bounced back after the interception, can you talk about that?
Everett Golson: I can’t really assess that. I’m just really happy for my teammates. Just trusting him and believing in him and being there for me.
Everett Golson: I think it was really immediate. I’d like to think that this is what a team coming together and handling major adversity, and just coming together both offense and defense and the guys winning.
Q. How were you able to handle it? How were you not allowing yourself to get down when you easily could have?
Everett Golson: Like I said, just God and my teammates. Like I said, my teammates were there through thick and thin for me tonight. I felt like I had to talk to them.
Q. Talk about your offensive line?
Everett Golson: Offensive line did a great job tonight, great job. Down the stretch we’re running a lot of outside zones and those guys are really getting the push off. They did a great job.
Q. You came back, and Coach said (Indiscernible)?
Everett Golson: Yeah, well, at that point I didn’t know I would get that chance. To be honest, I was a little upset just because of the competitor in me just wanted to be out there. But I think it was good for me that I actually saw it this time. I think previously in the beginning of the year, I come out and they would end up telling me, but I think that just comes from a lot of film study with coaches. You know, actually seeing my mistakes and kind of seeing it in the sidelines and seeing what they were doing kind of helped me come back and lead.
Q. Are you surprised he put you back in?
Everett Golson: Yeah. I don’t know. I wasn’t really surprised. I think I was gracious for the opportunity to prove myself.
Q. At that point did you think you’d get the game ball?
Everett Golson: No, not at all. I wasn’t necessarily thinking about the individual award at all. Just wanted to maybe come back and kind of prove myself to my teammates. Just really wanted to get the victory.
Q. Where’s the game ball go? What do you do with it?
Everett Golson: I guess give it to the whole offense. Because, like I say, we did such a great job handling adversity. You talk about in the beginning of the game, like I said, we gave up a lot of points that we should have capitalized on. But everybody sticking together and executing really. I give it to the whole offense.
Q. Was it halftime when you knew you were going to go out there or second quarter? When?
Everett Golson: It was halftime. They kind of just told me and told Tommy. The competitor in me didn’t like it too much, but my teammates were there just to kind of bring me up and stuff like that, told me to be ready.
Q. Coach Kelly told you that or who told you?
Everett Golson: Yeah, Coach.
Q. You talk about playing with a chip on your shoulder, so is that another example of where you’re like all right. I’m going to go out here and prove you wrong?
Everett Golson: Yeah. That’s why I like playing away games. I just play with that chip on my shoulder. But I definitely felt like it was my chance to prove what I can do. I was confident that we could do it.
Q. How does it feel to be the starting quarterback being 9 0?
Everett Golson: It feels great, really good. Just got to keep going. You never want to be comfortable with where you’re at. Personally, I want to be 12 0 or 13 0. So you’ve got to keep going one game at a time, and kind of look up at the games and see what’s there.
Everett Golson: The rest of my life. Like I said, just my teammates. I’m proud of how passionate both our offense and defense. The defense with their backs up against the wall, and Cierre fumbled, and just to have all the diversity and even through that we had guys on the sidelines just saying, “Stay up. Keep doing what you’re doing. We’re going to be good,” and stuff like that. I’m just proud of the character that we have.
Q. What did you see on that deep ball in regulation to Daniels? When did you spot him? He said he was running a dig and you guys made eye contact?
Everett Golson: Yeah, I think the whole week I’ve been kind of been on DaVaris about when a play breaks down improvise and just getting open, and he did it one time before. But I was so fortunate that he did that. You know, that’s what I was trying to do was just improvise.
Q. Did you see him?
Everett Golson: I saw him break. When I saw him break, my eyes lit up because I saw it was one on one. So I just tried to throw it up and give him a chance.
Q. On the interception in the end zone, it looked like the guy was wide open in the corner or something?
Everett Golson: Oh, yeah. It was a horrible throw, horrible read.
Q. Did you see the corner?
Everett Golson: Yeah, I saw him. I definitely saw him. It was just a bad pass. Like I said, it was a horrible read. I think even with the read I made, if I get that ball up a little bit, it’s a touchdown in the end zone.
Manti Te’o, Sr., Inside Linebacker
On coming out with a tough win like this
“It’s never over until it’s over. Our guys battled and hats off to Pittsburgh. We always have to be on our toes.”
“When people play Notre Dame, it’s going to be a war. We have to understand that our success on Saturdays depends on what we do during the week. I’m proud of the way our guys fought.”
Description of the game
“It was ugly at times and beautiful at times and that is college football. I’m just glad the outcome favored us. Pittsburgh fought and fought and it was a very back and forth contest. I’m glad we came out on top.”
On keeping the dream alive
“That’s the main thing. A ‘W’ is a ‘W’. We’ll go make the corrections that we need to and then move on to Boston College.”
On slowing down Ray Graham in the 4th quarter
“It’s hard to stop a guy like Graham. He will hit the holes that he wants to through stops and jump-cuts. At first, we were not playing our type of defense and just trying to do too much. We weren’t living up to our own expectations. Give credit to Graham because he is a great back. We needed to just do our jobs and it ended up fine. We went back to the basics.”
On confidence of the defense late in the game
“We all had to believe that we were going to win. We had to take it play by play. I’m so proud of the way our defense responded.”
Kapron Lewis-Moore, Sr., Defensive End
“It was a hard fought game. Today we learned the lesson that every game we have to play our best. Whoever we play, they are going to play their best game against us so we need to go out there and start fast and finish strong, and tonight we finished strong.”
On whether it was natural for the team to have a let down this week…
“It’s not natural. This whole year, I don’t know what it is about playing at home, but that’s something we are going to figure out and fix and we’re going to get this thing rolling.”
On dealing with Ray Graham…
“We just kept chipping away. Graham is one heck of a running back, and he gave us fits all night. But this team is resilient, and we fought hard.”
On if the team wasn’t focused…
“I wouldn’t say that. When a team plays Notre Dame, they are going to play their best game. Pittsburgh played one of their best games this year. I feel like we were locked in, I don’t know what it is, we just had to get out there and keep going.”
On if he feels like the game could have gone the other way…
“It could have gone the other way, but it went our way. We just have to keep fighting and battling and look forward to next week and flying out to BC.”
On how it feels to be 9-0 as a senior…
“It feels great. It’s one of the best feelings in the world.”
Zack Martin, Sr., Offensive Tackle
Initial thoughts on the game…
“It was a great game. We have to do a better job of preparing and coming into these games knowing that these guys we play the rest of the year are going to come out and give us their best shot. It was a crazy ending. It could have gone either way, but credit to our guys and the resilience we have shown this year to close out games.”
On if he felt they had lost before Pitt’s missed field goal in OT…
“No, you try not to think that. We have so much confidence in our defense and those guys to get a rush on the kicker, and our fans were great all day so we were ready to go.”
On mentality on the sideline after the miss…
“We knew our defense was going to hold them to a field goal at least, and we knew we had to do our job to put it in the endzone.”
On learning to not overlook teams…
“That’s just something we know being here at Notre Dame. When you play a team, any team, they are going to come in here and give us their best shot. Everyone wants to come play at Notre Dame, especially with us being undefeated, people want our number. We have to do a better job to prepare and not take teams lightly. I don’t think we take teams lightly, just know that they’re going to give us their best shot.”
On the team’s emotions in the locker room after the game…
“We won the game. We were excited. We’re 9-0. It feels great to still be undefeated, but we know we have a lot of work to do. We have three weeks left, and we can’t come out and play like we did today again. We have to finish the season out.”
TJ Jones, Sr., Wide Receiver
On Golson and the offense in the 4th quarter…
“I don’t know if he did anything specifically differently. I think he just regained his poise. With his maturity throughout the season he was able to gain that poise back and come back to playing his game.”
On the rollercoaster atmosphere of the game…
“We try to stay positive when we are losing. When we are winning, we say, ‘Hey we got another job, we got to put more points up.’ When we are losing we come back, we regroup and say, ‘Hey, we got another shot and we have to score this time.’ It’s just a different mindset. We don’t really panic too much. You just change your mindset. We got a little worried at the end when he missed the field goal. You’re definitely biting fingernails and holding your breath. At certain points in the game we were worried just a little bit because we couldn’t do anything to help.”
DaVaris Daniels, So., Wide Receiver
On throw from Golson…
“I saw him release it. I was looking back the whole time. In my head I was like I have to make a play on this ball. This is a big one. I felt like he [the defender] was right behind me.”
On his game now…
“Early on I had my ankle injury and every day has been getting better and better. Today was probably the best it’s felt all season. So I think I’m getting better as the weeks go on. I definitely am getting a little confidence going.
Pittsburgh Head Coach Paul Chryst
COACH CHRYST: Well, that was a good football game. Proud of the way our players played the game, and Notre Dame is obviously a good football team. It’s well deserved. I thought we did some good things, guys threw it around, and we had opportunities and we didn’t take advantage of them enough and that’s what this game comes down to. We weren’t good enough on third down; Notre Dame was. I thought a lot of guys put it all on the line, and that’s all can you ask the team to do, and it’s a tough one because that’s a good team we played. They made more plays than we did, and credit to them.
Q. After you got the ball back after the interception with four minutes to go, were you looking to try to score again there or take as much time off the clock?
COACH CHRYST: Yeah, the combination of time and trying to not do what we did, and that’s three and punt. We hadn’t been great on third down. I think we wanted to be a little smart but aggressive, and wanted to try the whole mindset the whole game was to go win this thing. We were trying to first move the sticks and see if they had an opportunity to score or not.
Q. Coach, last week you were pretty successful in shutting down the run game. This week you were successful running the ball. What made you so successful? How did you do that?
COACH CHRYST: I think it helped the first play of the game gives you some confidence. There is a reason why Notre Dame is tough to run the ball on, and, yet, we thought for us to have a chance in the game, we had to be able to run the ball. So we were going to take some kicks if we can. Certainly not everyone was pretty, but I thought Ray made some nice runs and guys did some things. Certainly didn’t think it was going to be easy.
Q. The missed kick in overtime, it looked like the snap was high. Did Kevin say afterwards that’s why it went wide?
COACH CHRYST: No, I didn’t ask him. We had an opportunity there and a golden opportunity. We didn’t get it done.
Q. Conversely you were able to shut them down and then they got it going late. Did anything change or what was your assessment of the defensive performance?
COACH CHRYST: I think the defense did some good things. I thought they were good we got some takeaways, some big ones. But they’ve got a good team. Golson is explosive and he hurt us. But you’ve got to give them credit. I thought we played well and did some things. But I think that you can take a look at all of our phases, all three phases we could have done something more to make that one more play and give you a chance.
Q. They’re 8 0 and rated number three in the country. Is there something you guys can take from that as a learning point knowing what it takes to win the close ones the way they have so many time this is year?
COACH CHRYST: Yeah, that’s what good teams do is what Notre Dame did, and that is win the close ones. I don’t know that we can take it away, because we didn’t do it. I think every time you play there are lessons to be learned. It reinforces something or something to smack you in the face. When our players go back and play it on the plane ride home in their mind, when they see the film, they’ll see some things. I think it doesn’t matter whether you won or lost, what you learn and take forward and what you internalize, then you’ve got a chance for it to be a negative or a positive. It’s what you take with that information. So I felt good about it. I thought those guys in our locker room played for each other and put themselves out there. So I think every game you can learn something from and help you go forward.
Q. Did Notre Dame’s defense do anything differently in the overtime or did they just kind of overpower you guys?
COACH CHRYST: Yeah, they out executed us. I don’t feel like they did a lot of things different, but I thought we didn’t get it done, and they did.
Q. How much was it part of your game plan to neutralize Manti Te’o with the screen passes and things like that?
COACH CHRYST: I think Te’o is deserving of everything that he gets. Yet we felt going into the game that…and as good a player as he is, I think the strength of them and their defense is they’ve got a lot of players. So it was as much to try to attack him and do some different things. As you saw, they’ve got a great front, too. If you want to try to throw the ball, they can end up in your back field pretty quick. So I think it was a combination of really just how are you going to attack a good defense? We tried to do a number of different things.
Pittsburgh Player Quotes
<>>Ray Graham, Sr., Running Back
On the game in general…
“We played hard. We left it out all on the field. I’ll just say that they made a couple more plays more than us to win a game.”
On how the Pitt offensive line played today…
“They played great like always. They do their job. I just think the missed assignments and the mistakes that we make we just can’t afford – especially with a team like this. I think they came ready to play and we were on our game in the run game. We did a good job out there.”
On how Pitt will move on after today’s game…
“We’ve got to just put this game behind us and go watch film. We’ll learn from our mistakes and see what we did well. We’ll continue to get better. We’ve got Connecticut next week. It’s a good thing this wasn’t a conference game. We can still win out in the conference.”
Joe Trebitz, Sr., Linebacker
On the game in general…
“We played our butts off tonight. I am really proud of this team.”
On Pitt’s linebacker unit…
“We have a lot of pride in our group. We have had a lot of bumps and a lot of downs this year. I think we play great as a defense, as a team.”
On containing quarterback Everett Golson…
“We did have a little trouble with that. He is a great player and can run.”
On Tommy Rees coming in as quarterback…
“We knew that he wasn’t as mobile, we took that into consideration, but nothing changed.”
Eric Williams, So., Linebacker
On his individual performance…
“You can always be happy with your individual performance, but it all comes down to the team.”
On Pitt’s linebacker unit…
“We did really well. It comes down to the little things.”
On the overtimes…
“This is what we signed up for; we could have gone eight overtimes. Whoever is more physical and battled it out would come away with the win.”
On what the team will take away from this…
“The only thing we can do is pack it up and move on to the next game and not hang our heads. We have UConn next week and we have to start preparing for them.”
Lafayette Pitts, Fr., Defensive Back
On the loss…
“It was disappointing. We strained and worked hard the whole game and to go down to the last minute to give up a win feels pretty bad.”
“It’s very frustrating, but at the same time the whole team, offense and defense, worked hard. Special teams did their job too. I give credit to Notre Dame because they came out and finished the game.”
On what positives the team will take away from the game…
“All we’ve got to do is come in like this and it will be pretty hard to beat us. We can’t play to our competition; we’ve got to play like this every week.”
On his individual performance…
“No I am not happy with my individual performance because the team didn’t win. It’s as simple as that. It’s a team game from the beginning to the end.”
On the mood in the locker room…
“It’s kind of down right now but we’ll be alright.”
Tino Sunseri, Sr., Quarterback
On the loss…
“Terrible. It’s awful whenever you lose a game, especially when you have an opportunity to knock off a top-five team in the country. They are a top-five team in the country, they’re a great football team and we had opportunities and we let them slip away. Whenever you have a top-five team like that on the ropes and you have a chance to end the game, you have to be able to take advantage of it. You have to be able to end the game and not give them any more chances.”
On messing up the snaps…
“It was definitely the crowd. They were really loud. Notre Dame was saying some things shifting up front and it confused us a little bit, but we were able to work through it and be productive on offense and put points on the board.”
On how he felt after Notre Dame fumbled in OT…
“I don’t know if it’s a sense of invincibility. I know that we were in a great position where we could control our own destiny by running the ball down and kicking a field goal. I mean obviously Notre Dame’s defense is top-10 or top-15 in the country. They can force turnovers and get stops. We have to still play the game and come out with high energy and we did. We put ourselves in a position to win.”
On what ND was saying that was messing up the offense…
“Whenever they were shifting they were saying something, and we let the refs know and the refs made the right call whenever it came down to it.”
On what caused the loss…
“The team has to be able to finish the game off and the team has to be able to work together to win the game. It’s not any individuals’ fault. It’s a team game, the team lost today and we have to make sure we keep on focusing on the team.”