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    FIGHTING IRISH

    Sept. 6, 2008

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    Notre Dame Player Quotes

    Notre Dame Junior FS Sergio Brown
    On Coach Weis' statement that he was relying on the defense in making the decision to defer...
    "Overall we [the defense] played pretty good. We made some simple mistakes. We haven't achieved all of our goals; we've got to get better."

    On waiting to get in the game...
    "It was really hard. I was itching to get in, but I stuck it out. I've been waiting two years, but it felt like fifty - and a half!"

    On being a starter vs. feeling like one...
    "I feel like I'm in the first 11. Even if I don't start every game, I have confidence in the rest of my defense."

    On the slow start of the game...
    "Things don't always go as planned. We came out a little shaky and rough, but we ended well enough. As long as we come out one point ahead of our opponent, I'm happy. I'm happy with our performance."

    On the difference between this year and last year...
    "We know what we're capable of. It's a totally different year, totally different attitude. We're more mature. We're playing with more swagger."

    Notre Dame Sophomore WR Golden Tate
    On the feeling of getting a win...
    "It's a great feeling to get the win, especially coming off of last year. To get a win in the first game, we feel much more confident."

    On being a part of the win...
    "It's great. It feels great. I love it. Hopefully, we can do this every week."

    On the differences of this year and last year...
    "The game has slowed since last year. I have time to think about the coverage and my routes. It's great. I felt like I was playing football and really enjoying it."

    On his touchdown catch...
    "I don't know what happened. I was running and got on top of the guy. I focused on the catch and got it."

    On the mindset of the team when SDSU was on top 13-7...
    "It was like it was 0-0. We just went out there and played our game. We never got down. We always knew we had a chance in the game. Jimmy never lost his focus and the team kept its focus."

    Notre Dame Senior FS David Bruton
    On the team's celebration after the game...
    "It was out of joy. Any time you get a win, you can be happy. We were all smiling and laughing. It's been a long time since we've been able to celebrate like that."

    On the team being down 13-7 entering the fourth quarter...
    "Nobody panicked. There was no wavering in anybody's attitude. Our defense was like, `We got you, offense,' and our offense was like, `We'll make up for it, defense.' There was a lot of encouragement on the sidelines and I think that made a big difference."

    On the intensity of the crowd after Notre Dame took the lead...
    "They were unbelievable. They were doing the `crank me up' chant and they really helped us out. They were definitely our 12th man today."

    Notre Dame Sophomore HB Armando Allen
    On his play in the fourth quarter...
    "It was good to get back out there after the fumble. I needed to show my teammates that I'm here to do whatever I can no matter what happens."

    On his Notre Dame's inefficiency in the red zone...
    "I wouldn't say I am disappointed. Obviously things didn't go as well as planned, but we'll be able to work on it. In the end we came out with the win."

    On the anticipation of the first game of the year...
    "We weren't nervous, but just very, very anxious. We've been in school now for two weeks and at camp for even longer, and we were itching to play a game."

    Notre Dame Senior DE Pat Kuntz
    On Notre Dame's slow start to the game...
    "It's the first game of the year. You can't always expect to come out right away clicking on all cylinders. I thought we came together well at the end. Once we started clicking it showed in our performance on the field."

    San Diego State LB Russell Allen
    On coming in to this game...
    "We knew that the odds were against us and we knew that throughout the week we had a lot of injuries but we also knew that we could find heart and keep ourselves in it just by willing ourselves there. That's what we were able to do, we played hard on every play and had faith in the people next to us and it kept us in the game. "

    On staying with Notre Dame...
    "We came out with confidence and like I said, we could trust the guy next to us and that's football; especially on defense. And obviously it helped build our confidence once we had some success early. It's a battle; every play one-on-one is an individual battle."

    On taking positives out of playing Notre Dame...
    "There are obviously a lot of positives to take, we scrappy on defense and offensively Ryan had another great game. At the same time its tough to lose a game like that, one where we felt we had an opportunity to win and that's two weeks in a row now that we've had the lead in the first quarter and couldn't put it away. It's a good opportunity for us to be on a stage like that [on national television], we played hard and as good as we could have just some days it just doesn't work out but I feel we definitely showed some people where we are headed."


    San Diego State Player Quotes

    San Diego State WR Darren Mougey
    On the game...
    "We played Notre Dame, but I'm not satisfied with the game. I'm proud of this team, we fought hard, we showed a lot of good things as a team but we have to learn to finish and to win these games. We came in knowing we had a chance, we just have to finish.

    On the passing game...
    "I think that's something we do well. Offensively we like to spread it out and we have a good guy behind center [Ryan Lindley] and can really manage the team and do some good things for us. We might have surprised them but we didn't surprise ourselves, we knew what we could do as an offense."

    Talk about that 43-yarder you caught that finished at the one-yard line...
    "I have to finish that play, I had a good move, kind of a stick-and-go, and I guess I turned around thinking there was nothing but green and the guys gave me hard time I didn't get in the end zone, but I have to finish that play and make it a touchdown.

    San Diego State QB Ryan Lindley
    On the game...
    "We came out and fought really hard and especially coming back after last week which was a little embarrassing to come here and play with these guys [Notre Dame] was better. Our offense was moving the ball and I told everyone I was proud of them."

    About the passing game/game plan of throwing the ball...
    "I was ready, coach told me we were going to throw it around. I was joking with the guys and I told them we were going to do a Colt Brennan and throw it 60 times, so 59 sounds right. I think we came in with a great game plan and they did what we thought they would and I think our offensive line played very well. they brought tons of pressure and I think they were blitzing almost every down."

    "We saw they liked to blitz a lot, we looked at a lot of Georgia Tech and knew they liked to blitz a ton. And we knew with the young offense we have including myself, they were going to try and bring the heat and they threw some stuff at us that we had to adjust but the line did a very good job. When they blitz they leave guys open, and you have to find them. We had some great drives just passing, the first series was a little rough but after that we were rolling."

    With this game on National TV, what did people find out about San Diego State?
    "We're going to throw it around, but I also think the defense played great. We also got great running backs so I think we have a lot of weapons. It was tough, especially on this stage and the opportunities we had to win the game. It was disappointing and guys took it hard but it was good to see, I'm glad guys were taking it hard, we're in this for the long-run."

    San Diego State DT Jonathan Soto
    On the injury-depleted defensive line...
    "I've been preparing all week. We knew that we were going to be down. We had some linebackers step up and play defensive end, and they did a great job. We hadn't gotten too much playing time, but we were ready."

    "We definitely gave it our all. We left the field with our heads high. We fought with everything we had, and we left it all on the field."

    On Sullivan's fumble at the Notre Dame goal line...
    "It was a critical turnover. The mood of the game definitely changed."

    San Diego State LB Luke Laolagi
    On the defense's attitude before the game...
    "I told my guys before the game, me and Jerry and Andrew, that we needed to be relentless out there and keep playing. That's what we did."

    On Sullivan's fumble at the Notre Dame goal line...
    "We weren't really down, we thought we could still stop them. But they changed it up, used the hurry-up."

    On the defensive front battling injuries...
    "They played hard. Ernie (Lawson) got injured and came back in, and the young guys stepped up. We're not really worried about the front guys, they played their heart out."

    On playing at Notre Dame...
    "We're really disappointed by the loss. I thought we could've won the game; we were in the game the whole time. Now we're going to look at film, correct our mistakes, and keep going. The defense played the best game I've been a part of."

    San Diego State LG Mike Schmidt
    On Brandon Sullivan's fumble...
    "It's tough. He's a younger player; he looks to the older guys for support. You feel bad for the kid. He fought hard. I know he's going to make those big plays next week. But it's a team game and we had other opportunities to win this game."

    San Diego State TE Matthew Kawulok
    On his personal play...
    "They ran a lot of blitzes which opened it up for me and gave me the opportunity. The offensive line had great protection all game. They showed great confidence in me and I just played the best I could."

    On the frustration of losing...
    "We had a lot of potential and a lot of things going for us. We just have to keep working hard."

    On playing in Notre Dame Stadium...
    "It was definitely a great experience, one I'll always remember. I wish we could have won it but it was a once in a lifetime opportunity."

    San Diego State TB Brandon Sullivan
    On the game as a whole...
    "It was a tough game and we fought hard. We did the best we could besides a few mistakes."

    On his fumble...
    "In my eyes, I got stopped but reached across the goal line and the ball got across. I thought that there was a touchdown, but the referees had a whole different vantage point. They'd already called it and I guess there wasn't enough evidence to reverse the call, so they kept it as a fumble. I jumped up saying touchdown, but the referees thought it was a fumble. It was a play right up the middle. I went backside and I got to the goal line and I thought I reached the ball over. When I got hit, I just tried to spin out and reach across the goal line. It was a crucial play... and it was a crucial mistake, so that makes a big difference."

    On his emotions after called a fumble...
    "I had to keep my head up. There was still a lot of time on the clock so I had to continue to play. After a loss like that, of course there's going to be some teary eyes."

    On going into the game when Notre Dame was favored...
    "We know we're a good team, we just have to cut out the little mistakes and then we'll see a lot more wins."

     

     

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