An Interview With:
COACH KELLY: Good way to start the season obviously. There's a lot of firsts here today: First walk from the Basilica, first pep rally. There's a lot going on. At times I wasn't certain if we were going to get lined up for stretching today the right way. So there's a lot of anxiety going into the first game, especially with all of the things that are surrounded with our game. So it's very satisfying to come out of today with a victory. You learn a lot about your team after a game like this, and in particular, it wasn't you know, it wasn't a warm up game. We went right into the Big Ten and played a Big Ten rival in Purdue. And you learn a lot about your football team today. So a lot of things that we have got to work on, there's no question about that. Clearly, what I was very pleased with that we battled, for four quarters. I told them, if you just give me great effort for four quarters, we'll find a way to get it into the house. Now, we are going to have to get in a little bit more assertively at times, but that's going to come. We are going to continue to develop and if we can be a better football team as we learn down the road when we are putting these kinds of positions again to close out games, I think we'll be able to do it. But very satisfied today with our opening win. With that, I'll open it up to any questions.
Q. As high a bar as you want to set, do you come out figuring there may be a few fits and starts in certain areas and that's okay for a first time out?
COACH KELLY: Provided you win. I mean, I don't want to learn lessons after a loss. But we clearly know more about our football team. I think that's the most important thing. We got a chance to really evaluate some things today. Again, we need to win more games and when we win, when we are put in situations where we can close out opponents, our guys will close them out. We are not quite there yet. But we made some progress. I think the thing that stands out, to me, early in the season, special teams are huge, and I thought our kicking game was outstanding today. Obviously the field goals were huge. Our special teams played a pretty good role in today's win.
Q. You said you thought you would be more balanced; run, pass, how important was that to execute, specifically today?
COACH KELLY: Well, quite frankly it's always about how the defense is playing us relative to run and pass.
Within the spread offense, if the numbers are favorable in the running game, which they were because they were playing so much double zone, they run a lot of cover two, we have to be able to run the ball effectively, which I thought we did. You know, when they brought pressure, we didn't handle that end as well as I would have liked. We know the areas that obviously other teams are going to look at that we are going to have to improve on.
Q. Maybe it's too soon, after your first game, but before the game started, I didn't see you stand still for one second during that whole stretching thing; take us through what was going through you emotionally, and the second part, when you're standing there hugging your assistant coaches and playing the song.
COACH KELLY: Well, I think I probably am as nervous in an opening game, whether it was here at Notre Dame or Cincinnati or Central Michigan or Grand Valley, because there are so many uncertainties. So there was probably a lot of nervous energy for the opener. I know what to expect a lot more now going into week two in what we have to get from our team. I think probably in answering that question, there was a lot of nervous energy, because there were a lot of unknowns relative to how we were going to play. Not how we were going to play but just the manner we were going to play. After the game we all went through this for the first time other than maybe Mike Denbrock. As a coaching staff, this was different for us, all of the things that go along with being at Notre Dame, we shared that today with the alma mater, so that was nice.
Q. You're up 20 3 late in the third and looks like going in to score when Michael Floyd fumbles after the reception at the goal line and would have been 27 3 and the route would have been on. Were you disappointed after that? Seems like you lost your momentum after the fumble.
COACH KELLY: Well, I still think it's about developing a mentality. Call it what you want. Just the instinct of a champion senses that he's got his opponent on the ropes. We have not acquired that yet but we will. Today, obviously, it was a pretty clear case that when we had our opponent in a position to put him away, we didn't execute when we needed to. So it will be a point of emphasis. Our kids see it. We will communicate and we will expect them that the next time they are in that position, that we take care of the ball and get it in the end zone.
Q. Going back a little bit to the earlier question, was there a moment today, last night, will it come tonight, where you'll take a moment to yourself and just think about what today was, where you are?
COACH KELLY: You know, throughout my entire career, I've never really kind of looked back on the accomplishments. I've always been so focused on the process that I think that what I will reflect on is the things that we didn't do that we needed to do to play better today. So maybe it's just the DNA; maybe i
I'm going to be thinking about the things that we didn't do today that we need to get better at for Michigan.
Q. What were your very first impressions of Ian Williams?
COACH KELLY: My first when I got here? Had a chance to be an unblockable player (chuckling). But we needed to keep him on the field. He had only averaged less than 40 plays in the game because he couldn't stay in the game because of his work volume. So it was our job to make sure that Ian Williams stayed on the field. Our strength and conditioning staff did a tremendous job: He's lost weight, his conditioning level is outstanding and consequently, he's on the field for all the plays.
Q. Talk about the defense from the sacks, the turnovers.
COACH KELLY: You mean the slow defense? Everybody on ESPN, television, FOX, everybody has talked about a slow defense. We really want our guys to play fast and I thought they played fast today. I thought they were aggressive. We can get better. We missed a lot of tackles today and there's some key players on our team that missed a lot of tackles today that when they go back and look at it, they will go, wow, that was not very about. We played aggressively. We played fast. We competed for the ball. And obviously had some huge stops in a short field. Any time you can do that, you can feed off that energy, and I thought we had great energy on defense today.
Q. After the interception, the long drive, your team really did close out the game. Talk about that.
COACH KELLY: Yes, we had talked on the sideline that, look, we put you in a bad situation here. We are putting it on your shoulders. We were down to playing Brian Smith had to play a lot of dog. Darius Fleming was out virtually the whole game with cramping. Shembo couldn't go. It was truly a next man in from a defensive standpoint. Slaughter didn't play very much at all in the second half. Zeke was forced in. I just think our depth defensively really slowed itself, and when you're going with your thirds and fourths, I think it shows that, you know, our guys get that we need them all this year to play for us, and they came up big.
Q. You're focused on the process, but you are do you see anything in the process of the day that you didn't see before?
COACH KELLY: A lot of Kelly Green shirts. It's cool. I saw those shirts. You know what, I think, maybe this is just my background; any time that I've gone into the stadium with 81,000 I've always played up to that point. Now it was 81,000 and it was our people. It was nice to have that crowd, that 81,000 rooting for your team. I've always taken teams to Penn State or at Michigan and we have always had to play up to being on the road in front of 80,000, 90,000. I think the one thing that stood out to me today was the crowd obviously was into it and it was a great advantage. That's probably the one thing that will stick in my mind.
Q. What were your impressions of Dayne today?
COACH KELLY: I thought he started well, and I think, you know, we have some things that we have to work on. I told him, he didn't have to win the Heisman today, but he had to help us win today. He helped us win. There's a lot more that he's capable of doing. I think he's going to make great progress from week one to week two. He saw a lot of things today, being in the spread of the run game checks, all of those things which I think are going to benefit him greatly.
I would say that if we were looking at his performance, he played well enough today for us to get a win against a good opponent, but there's great room for improvement. I think we would probably be in agreement on that.
Q. Told him that he didn't have to win the Heisman; did you sense that you had to tell him that?
COACH KELLY: I think any time you can lower the expectations of a Notre Dame quarterback, you're probably doing the right thing.
Q. How would you assess how your team played from a mental standpoint, penalties, knowing what to do and where to be?
COACH KELLY: I thought from that standpoint, we showed some pretty good discipline today. In particular, I thought with the number of formations and what we tried to do today offensively, played pretty good. Clearly holding on to the football is absolutely crucial. But again, if you look at it for a first game, I would not I would not characterize it as sloppy today. I would characterize it as good all around football. It wasn't great, but it was pretty good for all three phases today. A lot of room to work on, but not bad.
Q. Robert Marve was playing his first game in a few years, and at times you were successful against him. Kind of assess how he did today against the defense.
COACH KELLY: I think clearly that the strength is his ability to keep the play alive. And he certainly can do that. But we did get to him, as well, and we forced some big plays, with great effort. So I would say, you know, if we can limit the throws to the big receiver down the field, that's really what we wanted to do more than anything else. We knew that he was going to extends some plays, but we got only in one situation where we got locked up one on one late in the game in the fourth quarter. Other than that, our game plan I think stayed pretty true; we knew that he was going to run around. Let's make sure that we are in good coverage.
Q. Can you just talk about Armando's play today and maybe the spark you got out of Cierre?
COACH KELLY: Well, we believe both of those are outstanding backs and we had some good looks today to run the football. I thought they manufactured some runs and obviously utilized their athletic ability. They are both very gifted and we just have to give them a lane, gave them an opportunity, and I thought that both of those guys displayed the skills necessary for us to be successful. Again, Cierre came in and we had a role for him. He got tired, first time he's played football since high school in his senior year. So his eyes were really big in the fourth quarter, but we are going to mature him, and he's going to be obviously somebody very important. And we are not going to forget about our other guys, because we are going to need them all, we really are. It's going to be a grueling schedule these first six weeks, it's going to be bang, bang, bang, we need all those guys.
Q. Tuesday you had Nick Tausch listed at your starting kicker, and Thursday at the last second you said there was a last minute change, seemed to pay off, gave you the two score advantage.
COACH KELLY: Yeah, I was obviously very pleased with our kicking game today. Ruffer effort came through. We concerned ourselves with his operation. We were never concerned about his leg strength and his ability to obviously get it through the goal post. Nick is a very good kicker, too. We think we are blessed that we have two guys that we can count on throughout the year, but he was big today.
Q. Since you've been hired, there's been a buzz building about you and you come in with the undefeated record last year and this year, your spring ball went well, your fall camp went well and you get your first win today. A lot of people see you as the white knight coming in to say save the program. Is do you see yourself that way?
COACH KELLY: Oh, yeah, exactly. (Laughter) I couldn't put it any better. (Laughter). What is a white knight anyway? Look, I took on the challenge at Notre Dame, because I want to see this program back to where I believe it should be, and that's amongst the elite of college football. We've got some work to do. We are not there yet, believe me. Trust me. But we took a step today and we are going to keep pounding at it and working at it. Our kids are committed and our coaches had a great plan today and I think we are just going to continue to do what we have been doing. If we get our guys to believe in themselves and have that confidence, I think it will bode well as we continue to move through the season.
Q. Will you keep anything from today, game ball, final stat sheet that one day 50 years from now you will look back on and say, I remember that day?
COACH KELLY: Yeah, I will. Jack Swarbrick, my athletic director that gave me this opportunity, gave me the game ball, and that will be something that is very memorable. And hopefully there's many more of those to come.
An Interview With:
COACH HOPE: I thought we played hard and stayed together and still had a chance to compete, to win at the end of the game. I think we grew up some today as a football team. I don't know what the official count is, I believe we probably played as many as 20 new guys in a game today and that's a lot of new people that's never played in a college football game or a new position. So I figure we did some good things. We were not as consistent as we needed to be. A lot of people counted us way out in this game; so I'm proud of our football team for being in position and having a chance to challenge at the end. Things did not always go our way but I thought we did a good job of sticking together and still finding a way to compete. I believe there were some times today standing on the sidelines watching our team play, I was watching them grow up as a football team. I could see it happening right in front of us. Disappointed with the loss. But I feel like we grew up some as a football team, and we have time on our side. We have some home games coming up. We'll get better and better and I think when it's all said and done, we're going to have one heck of a football team.
Q. Danny, talk about the play you got from Robert Marve, and in particular, his touchdown run and dive into the end zone which he got flagged for?
COACH HOPE: He has calmed down a little bit. He's got a fast most motor. We have to get him a cup of decaf in the morning, rather than regular coffee. He was running awful fast today. They did some great things and I know when we go this tomorrow with Robert, he'll see some receivers that he should have thrown the ball to early in the game, and he'll learn from that. He has not played football in a real game in a long time, in a long time. He always gives you great effort. He always competes. He's our quarterback and he'll get better and we can win with him.
Q. Can you talk about the job that Notre Dame defensive front did and the problems that they caused you at times?
COACH HOPE: I was relatively pleased with our offensive line. Out there in practice, we have had a brand new center, a guy that's never played the position and we moved him there when camp started and he's never played in a college football game before and he's never played in a game and never played center before. He played 80 snaps today and didn't have a bad snap and he did good job protection wise. We had Nick Mondek at right tackle and he's never played on offense before, he missed all of spring and didn't get any reps on the offensive line in spring. He struggled throughout the course of camp and had a setback blocked the wide rushing ends, Kerrigan and Gooden. I was tickled to death what I saw Nick Mondek do today and Peters Drey do today. I don't believe they sacked us in the first half; I could be mistaken. I don't follow the stats as much as you guys do. We got a little disjointed at times in the second half and didn't get off on the count in time, and Robert held the ball a couple of times and we manufactured some sacks and aided in their effort from a stack standpoint. For the most part, I was pleased with the overall offensive line. It was a position that was supposed to be a total rebuilding job and a position that a lot of people thought would be very poor for us. I thought they did an admirable job in the first game. I would like to take some of those plays back, but some guys that's never played, we had two starters back on the offensive line and Justin Pierce has played some, and then no one else has played any, in the games or even at their position. I stood out there on the sidelines and disappointed we could not execute some things better at times but I really felt like I was watching our team grow up right there before my eyes.
Q. Is there an area or two you that thought they grew up in today?
COACH HOPE: All of them. None of the secondary guys had played. Albert Evans had played a little bit. I don't think Al Williams has had 50 snaps since he's been here. We have a bunch of guys in the game that's never played at all. They got their feet wet and they competed against a very, very talented football team in a hostile environment and in a very emotional game. Notre Dame was excited about playing today and it was a huge challenge for our young guys, so I think our secondary grew up some. I think our offensive line grew up some. Our quarterback definitely grew up some today. There were some times in the second half that we were out there moving the football and I thought that we were in command. And there were some times defensively out there we had our backs to the wall and held them to a field goal and put our offense back out on the field. There were times today it was fourth and short and we went for it, and other clubs and teams may have punted or went for a field goal, but we came here for a win. One of our key objectives coming down here today was we were not going to be afraid of losing. There's no way you come down being in this environment being afraid to lose. We came out trying to fire out of both holsters, and if we came forth and short some times in the game and we had decide whether to go for it or kick a field goal, we went for it because we came here to win. We did not execute in all phases to come away with the win but we laid it on the line and took our chances, disappointed we lost, but I see some real promise and a great potential as a football team, no question.
Q. How much of what you saw today was what you've been studying Cincinnati all year?
COACH HOPE: Most of it. The difference always is the personnel. I thought No. 5, he's a great player, I thought he was the biggest difference maker in the game today. We tackled well some and we tackled very poorly some and a lot of our poor tackling was against him and he can make you miss, and cut across, he's an outstanding player. He's very, very hard to tackle and it was evident today. He's going to make a lot of other people, miss, too, throughout the course of the season but personally looking at the film, I thought he was the difference maker in the game. We could not tackle No. 5 on a consistent enough basis. He kept the sticks moving.
Q. Any sense of who is going to be replacing Ralph Bolden?
COACH HOPE: We have a host of guys we are flying out. The problem is keeping them healthy where we have a chance to have confidence in some of those guys being able to execute all of the plays that we want them to be able to execute in our offense. And Al Terek McBurse is a heck of a player but he's missed a lot of practice. Danny Dierking has gotten all of the reps and he knows exactly where to go and knows the runners' routes and which linebacker to pick up on the blitzes. We are so excited about Al Terek McBurse. He's an excellent football player. He did not get a whole lot of represents not near enough practice time coming into a game like this today to go out there and do all of the things we needed him to do; so we just used him a little bit.
Q. Can you just talk about the job Rob Henry did? Did you hope to get him in a little bit? Obviously pretty effective what he did.
COACH HOPE: We were hoping to get Rob in more than what we did today, Rob Henry; he's a great athlete. He is our No. 2 passer on our football team right now, so we wanted to get him in there and throw the ball at him some more. There were some looks that we took advantage of and we utilized him more as a runner today. We would have liked to got him in there and he passed the ball a little bit more. Robert Marve was hot and cold some today. Sometimes he was really, really good. And there was other times we felt like if we kept him out there that either he would figure it out and it would be good for his development. So we would like to take Rob Henry a little about it more but we felt it was important for the course of the game for Robert Marve to stay in there. And there were some times in the second half we were moving the chains and manufacturing some offense and looked like we had a chance to win, so we stuck with Robert Marve.
Q. What do you see different or maybe better about Notre Dame's defense than maybe last year?
COACH HOPE: I would have to look at the film to make an assessment of that. They blitzed almost every down last year and I thought that created some huge holes that we were able to take advantage of, and they did not blitz as much, and so the holes were smaller. They had good personnel. I thought at times we blocked them and manufactured some offense, but the biggest difference was the amount of blitzes they used to use.
Q. How big of a lift did the safety give your team?
COACH HOPE: It was huge. We were in it in the end, and that was exciting. It that gave guys some reason to go out there and continue playing hard with a chance to win. That's a lot different than just going out there and playing hard or to save face. We were playing hard with a chance to win and that was big for our football team. The safety was huge for us. A lot of new guys out there, and they brought some energy and some emotion to the game. So it was a big part of it.
Q. Crist was a guy you saw a little bit last year, today he was making his first start; what did you think?
COACH HOPE: Excellent passer, strong arm. He's accurate. It takes a lot of courage. He's had knee surgery. Robert Marve has had knee surgery, and those guys got tackled some today. But he probably got tackled more in the first half than he did in the second half. I was disappointed we could not get more hits on him in the first half. I think maybe we got to him a little bit more pressure wise in the second half. I thought he showed a lot of courage just like our quarterback playing a live game with a bunch of guys that are trying to tackle you. I think he showed a lot of courage. He's big and can see down the field. And he's very good vision and has a very strong arm and he's accurate with his passes today I thought. He's a very good passing quarterback, big strong arm quarterback, excellent for the shotgun.
Q. Did you view it as a positive or negative that you were going against a coach making his Notre Dame debut?
COACH HOPE: That's irrelevant to me. Nothing personal, but that wasn't the first thing I thought about this morning, what big day it was today around here. We were getting our team ready to go. He's a good coach and they have got a great program and he'll do a fine job here. You guys certainly have the right guy. But that was irrelevant to me. We are worrying about our own football team. We came here to make it our day. That was our objective.
Q. Talk about Schmitt
COACH HOPE: I thought Jesse played pretty good. He made a couple mistakes that you guys won't be aware of, not knowing the play scheme but I thought as the game went on he became more comfortable when he caught the ball and for the most part was a physical runner when he caught the ball. One time I don't think he ran quite as physical. We are going to look at the film tomorrow, and they will, too, they will look at the film and see a bunch of plays that we could have cashed in on and we will look at the film and see a bunch of plays we could have cashed in on. The most important thing is that we learn from it and cash in on it next Saturday.
Thanks for having us.
Notre Dame vs. Purdue
September 4, 2010
Purdue Player Quotes
Antavian Edison · So. · Wide Receiver
On moving on from losing opening game...
"We can't win them all, you know. Each game is going to have a different outcome. As far as our team went, I felt that we fought very hard. We just have to forget about it. We lost this game and just have to forget about it and go in to practice on Monday and move on."
On when he started getting a look at running back with the team...
"It was late in camp. We have our different personnel groupings and in different personnel's and different groupings I started getting some looks."
On what it means to him to get on the field...
"I just love the game of football. If I could play on the offensive line, I'd play on the offensive line. It's just a great game to play."
Kawann Story · So. · Defensive Tackle
On what caused the safety...
"It was (Bruce) Gaston and Ryan Karrigan. I was just trying to focus on my gap and the next thing I know I looked outside and Bruce Gaston and Mike Kerrigan had a safety. That was a turning point in the game at the time."
On what Armando Allen brings to the table...
"He's a very good athlete and we knew that his running game was sick. We knew we just had to stop the run, but as you could see we couldn't do as much as we wanted to."
On what one area could be improved on as a team on defense...
"We just need to fill our gaps. We need to play as one. Everybody needs to communicate more and louder. If everybody continues to scream and get everybody adjusted then we'd be a hell of a defense."
Rob Henry · RS Fr. · QB
On the offense as a whole...
"We prepared for the last 12 months, but I was ready. We just couldn't get a rhythm going on offense. We kind of got a little rhythm going on the touchdown drive, but I though we never really got it going."
"We give credit to Notre Dame for kind of keeping us on our heels."
Jason Werner · G.S. · LB
On the speed of the Notre Dame offense...
"I think it was some up and down. I don't think we had any problems lining up or keeping up the tempo. More of it was execution stuff on those big plays that counted more down the stretch."
On the play of the defense in the second half...
"We did show some signs of doing well, but we need to do that the whole game. We gave up too much early. Fighting back from that kind of stuff isn't going to help the team at all."
Ryan Kerrigan · Sr. · DE
On the safety...
"You don't want to risk getting the quarterback too far deep in the end zone in that type of situation. We anticipated the run right there and guessed right."
On how the turnovers hurt the team...
"We made a lot of mistakes in the game, far too many, but we were still only 11 points away from tying it up so we can take that away from the game, limit our mistakes, and just play better as a whole"
On the speed of the game...
"The speed of it wasn't so much of a problem today, but they were the better team today, That's all there was to it today"
On overall play of the defense...
"I think we played ok. The defensive line didn't put as much pressure on the quarterback as we needed to. I, in particular, didn't put as much pressure on the quarterback as I needed to. I need to take that personally and have a great week of practice so we can make sure it doesn't happen next week."
On the loss as a whole...
"The bottom line is we made too many mistakes, and that ultimately does cause losing. We give credit to Notre Dame. They capitalized on our mistakes, and they were the better team today."
An Interview With:
Q. Talk about the victory.
Dayne Crist: Feels great, being out there with my teammates, feels great just to be back out on the field and doing when you love to do with your favorite guys in the world.
Q. How did your knee feel out there?
Dayne Crist: No, my knee felt fine. Physically, I felt great and I have to do a better job of protecting myself but I feel fine physically.
Q. I know you got hit in practice, you haven't been hit since last year, is the that first time you were hit what did it feel like? What goes through your head?
Dayne Crist: Just in your nerves a little bit. I've played in live competition before and part of taking hits in the game is part of being quarterback, but just felt nice to get that out of the way.
Q. What are your most pleased with about your performance and the team's performance ?
Dayne Crist: The win is the most important thing for me. I think our defense played great and really did a great job of helping us win today. Our offense played well and I think we left some points on the field, but that just comes with continuing growth and improvement throughout the course of the season. I think all of the guys are very focused on making sure that we enjoy the win today but we don't take the time that's where we are at and continue to get better.
Q. How was it, a lot of new guys on the line.
Dayne Crist: Oh, great. I've got all the confidence in the world in those guys. They have continually showed that their mastery of where they are at, and I have full confidence and faith in all those guys. It makes your job a little easier at the quarterback position and I think if in this case, it's on me to make sure we are in better protection and I'm making those checks. I'm very happy with those guys and I love those guys.
Dayne Crist: It's something I think a lot of guys are used to now but again, college football is exciting and fun to play in.
Q. How it played out in reality?
Dayne Crist: One of those things, playing out the situation in the game, keeps you on your toes and involved in the game and just challenges you to remain mentally focused at all times. Again, it's one of those things where a game can go so many different ways and turn on one play. Really it's just about staying in involved in the game and what's going on from an offensive standpoint and the schematics of what we are looking to do, and just constantly staying updated with what Purdue is doing, or whoever our opponent is and what they are throwing on us.
Q. What was the atmosphere like?
Dayne Crist: We were all making our debuts today. It was a completely new field. It was, you know, a new era so to speak with the new staff. I think it was new for everybody. I think everyone understood and was definitely empathetic of Coach, being his first game in the stadium but we all wanted to go out equally and compete and everything like that. We all shared that together and it was a great victory.
Q. What did he tell you before the game
Dayne Crist: Nothing out of the ordinary. Coach is great about delivering a clear message and getting his point across. He knew what I wanted to tell us in terms of getting us ready or pumped up for the game but really it came down to the similar themes that we were talking about all week about starting fast and just maintaining the tempo that we like to operate at.
Q. How about afterwards, what was the message then?
Dayne Crist: He was just saying honestly, make sure we enjoy the victory. Obviously you can't get satisfaction out of the victory unless you really enjoy it. And today is not the day to assess corrections and things like that. Today is the day to enjoy it, and just celebrate with one another. And we'll come back tomorrow and later in the week and really assess that and then get back to where we want to be and progressing and getting better.
Q. How high was the butterfly level in the stomach today?
Dayne Crist: I mean, it's part of the game. Had some butterflies going out there but they doing away pretty quickly. You don't have time to think about those. Really there's no time for that.
Q. Can you tell us what happened with safety? Was there a breakdown?
Dayne Crist: We'll have look at that. That was just one play, one look, can't really go into too much detail on that.
Q. You had some overthrows, what made it difficult?
Dayne Crist: A combination of things. I'll take the responsibility for that. That's on me. Just a combination of things, pressure, just all sorts of things. We have got to continue to better, and I can only speak for myself and those things will be corrected.
Q. Is there anything that surprised you going back out playing today?
Dayne Crist: I think we did a pretty good job of maintaining a good game like tempo throughout practice and the way that we operate but just being out there, there's always a little bit faster than what did you in practice, and you are forced to think faster. Really, in practice, if you don't think fast enough, you get yelled at and you're able to correct yourself and do that. In the game, everything is alive. It just forces everyone to be that much more on point and be that much more focused. I think that would be the biggest thing.
Dayne Crist: I'm satisfied in that regard, absolutely. Again, you know, I wanted to make sure that we are taking care of the ball. That's a team offensive goal, but a lot of that falls on the quarterback and making sure that you're throwing the ball away and selecting your own picks and things like that. Really just trying to protect the ball and keep the ball moving and keep the game moving.
Q. What do you think you have to work on?
Dayne Crist: I think we have a lot of things. I think it really starts with changing protection and making sure we are on the best protection and that way we are not taking hits and moving forward and stuff like that. Just mastery of protections and stuff like that and obviously then how we apply that to the opponent would be huge.
Q. Can you talk about Braxston?
Dayne Crist: Yeah, we definitely shared that. We talked about it all week. We are best of friends, and Braxston is a great guy, a guy that you need out there, and it was a big week for both of us mentally and physically preparing for our first start and everything like that. It was nice to share that with a friend like that, but just real proud of how he played and I think he stepped up big.
Q. How was today or this week different?
Dayne Crist: Well, there's just a lot more ownership going into it. Again, as a starter is different than going in as a backup or preparing to be a starter. It was one of those situations where I think the biggest thing was ownership and that you did everything possible to prepare and you're keeping your team in the best situation possible.
Q. Coach said courage three times in describing you.
Dayne Crist: That's flattering. He's a phenomenal coach and I have a great deal of respect for him. That's flattering coming from him. That's nice to hear but again, it's doing what you can for the team. The team and those guys in there is the most important thing in the world for me. So they would do the same thing if they were in my position.
Dayne Crist: It's nice. You definitely take that with a smile, and that's just the way to get out and enjoy the win.
Q. What did you learn out there on the field?
Dayne Crist: I think really just that you needed to be quick with your decisions, and again, going back to protections and making sure that those checks come at you fast. Kind of there's some game experiences, whether it be pace or drawing the defense or stuff like that. There's just certain things that you can't really replicate in practice; that you really need to be out there and experience for yourself and I think I picked up a lot of those intangibles today. I'm happy we got the win. Always striving to play better but I was just happy we were able to protect the ball and get a touchdown, that's nice. But really just the win is the most important thing to me by far.
Q. Did it feel like practice out there?
Dayne Crist: I mean, a lot of guys were kind of looking around like thinking that they should be a little bit more tired and things like that. So it was nice seeing that. I think that we are in great shape and in great condition, and obviously that being said, you know, we need to make sure that we maintain that so we don't ever take a step back and that we are always on top of it and that we are always in great condition. Again, there's always a certain speed that you can't really replicate in practice that you really need to experience out there. But I think that overall, it was pretty good and I think practice definitely prepared us.
Q. Do you guys feel like you left a lot out there?
Dayne Crist: I think so. You don't want to always admit that, but as an offense, you feel that you can really score at any given time and I didn't think that we had a great showing whether it be myself or whatever the issue was, I think that we did leave some points out there and we can't always leave that out and walk away with a W, and that's going to haunt us sooner than later. We need to make adjustments and get better each week.
Q. What was Coach like in the locker room?
Dayne Crist: He was very happy to get the win under our belt, made it very clear that this is a team to enjoy the win, and playing football and playing a game isn't satisfying if you can't enjoy the victory, and if you're a guy at the end, well, I should have done this or should have done that. It was nice to have him kinds of reiterate that, even myself included; there are some guys that really will think like that. It was great having him in there. He led us in the fight song which is really an exciting time and moment to share with your head coach.
Q. What was that like
Dayne Crist: We are so proud of him. That's our leader and that's the guy that, you know, anybody would run through a wall for. So it's just nice seeing that, and you kind of welcome him to getting the first win under his belt and welcoming him to the program officially.
Notre Dame vs. Purdue
September 4, 2010
Notre Dame Player Quotes
Dayne Crist - · Jr. · Quarterback
On transitioning from practice situations to game situations...
"I think we did a pretty good job maintaining a fast tempo at practice, but being in a game situation is always faster. During the game we are forced to think faster. In practice if we don't think fast enough we are able to correct our mistakes, but in a game everything is live and forces us to be more focused."
On today's game...
"I am satisfied with how we played today. I wanted to make sure we were taking care of the ball. That is a team offensive goal of ours and it's something I realize falls on the quarterback and I thought we did a nice job of protecting the ball."
On what needs to be improved upon...
"We have a lot of things we need to work on, but I really think it will start with taking care of our running backs. We need to make sure they aren't taking hits and they are moving forward on the field."
Bennett Jackson · Fr. · Wide Receiver
On coming on to the field for the first time...
"Running through the tunnel and you look you see everybody screaming, it's like 'wow.' I loved it. It was a good feeling."
On being a surprise for the special teams...
"I focused on getting down the field and getting off a few blocks and making the tackle. We worked at it all week so we knew what to do. I was pretty much like the sword and the shield trying to get straight through the blocking."
On celebrating with teammates for the first time...
"They made me feel like this is a really good place to be for me and I got to help out all of my brothers on the team."
Braxston Cave · Jr. · Center
Assessment on the whole team...
"I think we did well today. There were many opportunities that we left out on the field but that is what practice is for. We're going to come out here next week, get after it and get ready for Michigan."
On returning for the fourth quarter...
"I felt awesome. We were talking in the locker room and I feel like I could go out and play a whole game. It shows the improvement in conditioning with Coach (Paul) Longo."
Ian Williams · Sr. · Nose Guard
On team improvement...
"We worked hard this summer. We worked hard in the spring. We're going to keep getting better."
On making a defensive statement...
"I think we made a statement against a good Purdue offense and we're going to take the next step against Michigan next weekend."
On the difference between defense this year and last year...
"Coach (Mike) Elston is one of the best coaches I've ever had and he really puts pressure on us to produce and have fun out there unlike in the past. We also have fresh rotations too."
On his interceptions...
"I'm trying to lead the team. It's not something I work on. I'm made to put pressure on the quarterback. "
On the push in the fourth quarter on defense...
"It's a testament to conditioning Coach (Paul) Longo. We actually had a rotation this year and it kept us fresh. "
T.J. Jones. · Fr. · Wide Receiver
On his first touchdown experience...
"It's like nothing I've ever felt before. It's definitely a memory I'll have for the rest of my life and one I'll cherish."
On a successful start to college football career...
"It helps on team confidence, team morale, and it really helps us understand everything Coach Kelly does in practice and why he pushes us in certain things when we see how it helps us in the game."
On team bonding...
"A lot of us are going through the same thoughts and emotions before the game. We can all talk to each other and get through."
Gary Gray · Sr. · Cornerback
On winning their first game of the season...
"We were definitely celebrating, but it was only one game. It's a 12-game season and we need to get out there every weekend. Anytime we can get a win is good, but we also know we need to move forward with the season."
Carlo Calabrese · So. · Inside Linebacker
On Coach Kelly during the game...
"He is a great coach. He expects a lot out of us and makes us go all out all of the time, on every play and I really respect him."
Michael Floyd · Jr. · Wide Reciever
On Dayne Crist in a leadership role...
"I think basically he just needs to stay normal. Knowing when to check stuff, and when not to. He just did a really good job."
On his fumble...
"I just didn't cover it up fast enough and I got hit in the stomach."
On anything he remembers Coach Kelly saying before or after the game...
"He just said to give him four quarters and just make sure you go out there and the second half is ours."
Cierre Wood · So. · Running Back
On what to expect from here on out in the running game...
"Yeah, you can expect a lot more things from us. We have a lot more things to work on, so that will just make us better."
On how he and Armando Allen push each other...
"Oh, we push each other a lot. Every series we do what we have to do. But it's good because while I'm in he's getting a rest and some water, and when he's in I'm getting rest and water."
On the offensive line...
"They get an A+. They did a great job, but like I said we still have a lot of work to do, so that's scary to think about what we could do. We are just going to keep getting better."
Armando Allen · Sr. · Running Back
On being pushed by Cierre Wood...
"Without a doubt we push each other. We both know we have the capability of going out there and making big plays."
On making practice more difficult than games...
"Oh, without a doubt. We practice at such a fast tempo that it really slows the game down. It allows us to go out there and play football."
On the celebration being light...
"Our biggest thing is we want to be great. Obviously we have a long way to go. We are a humble team, and that's the best part about this team."