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    FIGHTING IRISH

    FIGHTING IRISH

    Oct. 20, 2012

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    Notre Dame Players Quotes

    Cierre Wood • Sr. • Running Back

    On keeping calm when they were down...
    "At halftime, there was no screaming or yelling. The coaches made adjustments, we knew what we had to do. We went out in the second half and executed."

    On maintaining communication when the team was down...
    "We knew going into it that we were going to be the more physical team. We were shooting ourselves in the foot in the first half. Everyone knew it and everyone was on the same page. In the second half we made the adjustments and got it done."

    On game serving as a statement...
    "We just finally figured out how to do all the small things correctly. In the last two years, we just didn't know how to put it all together. That's the way it is this year, we have the mental toughness and the physical toughness to put everything as one."

    Kapron Lewis-Moore • Gr. • Defensive End

    On the defense giving up their first offensive touchdown since Purdue...
    "You've got to believe in the system, and everyone does believe in the system. Everybody is 100 percent in. I mean, people are going to get their points in, you just got to stick together. We've got great leadership on the sidelines, and we just stuck together and got the win."

    On other offenses being scared of running the ball...
    "We can only control what we can control. If they're going to run it we have to play the run, if they're going to pass it we have to play the pass."

    On the defense's performance...
    "We've got to stop shooting ourselves in the foot. We had a defensive holding and some other stuff that kept the ball moving forward. Nobody panicked, we just kept the energy up."

    Braxston Cave • Gr. • Center

    On the performance in the first half...
    "We needed to execute and quit stopping ourselves, because that's all that was keeping us out of the end zone."

    On Notre Dame's offensive line...
    "Those guys baring down, gutting it out and grinding through it. We knew it was on our shoulders whether we were going to win the game or not. Guys just made it happen."

    On the performance of Theo Riddick...
    "When you've got a guy out there that is grinding out every inch, doing what he can for his team, that gets everybody going."

    Tyler Eifert • Sr. • Tight End

    On the win...
    "It's pretty awesome. It wasn't pretty, but a win is a win. We're happy to be winning football games."

    On your touchdown...
    "He put it in a place where only I could get it. It was a great play design and I came down with it."

    On relationship with Tommy...
    "He trusts me that I'm going to get open and he'll throw the ball on time. I was open so he was throwing me the ball. I don't know what the reason is [for being targeted by Tommy]. I like it. I like being targeted more. I'm just happy we got the win."

    On helping the team...
    "You have to do whatever you can to help the team win. Whether it's throwing and catching passes or blocking, you have to do your job the best you can. You have to do what you got to do to get the win."

    On the locker room atmosphere...
    "We're excited. We've been playing this game a long time. Some of the upperclassmen know, it doesn't matter who you're playing. BYU is a good team. It's hard to win football games. We're just happy to get a win. We'll look at the film. We'll enjoy it and look at the film later."

    Stephon Tuitt • So. • Defensive End

    On defending against BYU...
    "They had a really good game plan, I'll give it to BYU. A lot of people don't see it but BYU is a good team. They've won something like 20 games in the last two years. That's crazy. A lot of people think, 'Oh, it's just BYU', but BYU is a really good team."

    On the defense after the first touchdown for BYU...
    "Our defense is full of people who have stamina. We're like dogs out there. We just keep going and going and going until we can't fight no more which is usually after the game. We just kept going and kept fighting for each other. We kept believing and making plays for each other and came home with a victory. We had to fight through adversity. BYU came in with a great game plan. They came and scored on us [the first] in a long time. We just came together like a band of brothers and had to step up. We came out pretty sluggish and they capitalized on it."

    On the locker room atmosphere...
    "We're happy with the win. A win is a win. But how we came out is pretty sluggish and slow. We can't come out like that because there are really good teams who can profit off that and we want to win games. We have to come out with a better stand and play every game with a better attitude and a fast get off. Every team we play against is really hard."

    On this being a trap-game...
    "I don't think so. I don't watch or read that trap-game stuff. I just go out there and do what I have to do for my team."

    On starting sluggish...
    "I don't know. Maybe we didn't come out right. Maybe we didn't do something before the game. It's just something we'll figure out."

    On what you learned from this game...
    "We're a hard-nosed team. We're going to fight until the bitter end. I hope a lot of people out there realize that. We don't give up. We had an opportunity to give up in the first half because they were the first team to score on us but we didn't. We knew had to stop the team. BYU came out with a really good game plan but we're a hard fought team and won't stop."

    Theo Riddick • Sr. • Running Back

    On the long run...
    "You can't stop moving your feet. I did that, and fortunately something opened. I was able to break it for a good gain."

    On toughness and mentality...
    "Sometimes you can't make too many moves. You are more effective running downhill in this collegiate level. So putting a foot in the ground is something I've been doing. I think that's working for us."

    On having the patience to run the ball in second half...
    "It showed out there. I think we all took advantage today. We were fortunate today to have great success running the ball and do what we had to do to get a victory."

    On long run after being down...
    "I bounced off a few tackles and I looked up and it was daylight. It was a great gain, and it helped our team get a field goal."

    On being winded after that run...
    "A little bit. I'm just happy we won. I was a little winded and everyone cracked jokes. At the end of the day though, we got a victory."

    Tommy Rees • Jr. • Quarterback

    On being happy with the win...
    "I think it is our team just not getting complacent. I think people need to understand that we need to play better. We aren't satisfied with the level we played at."

    On coaches encouraging team to be happier...
    "We're happy. We know winning is tough and all that goes into it. BYU is a good team and deserves credit."

    On relationship with Tyler Eifert...
    "He's a great player, and we want to get the ball in his hands as much as we can. We started playing together right at the same time a couple of years ago. We're close off the field, but real close on the field as well. I think we just have a good chemistry."

    On Tyler Eifert being a safety valve...
    "I think we give different looks to give him one-on-one situations and a mismatch. I think that goes to the game plan and recognizing what the defense is doing."

    On the lift from Theo Riddick's running game... "It was great. I think the way he ran really jump-started our offense. With the toughness and determination to get some hard yards, and that put a little life back into our running game."

    On playing a great second half...
    "I think that says a lot about who we are. Our leadership, our defense, and our toughness up-front, we're finding a way to win close games, and that's kind of been our thing this year."

    On grinding out win...
    "I think the first half wasn't indicative of how we wanted to play the game. I think at no point did we get down and say that we are out of this one. I think the whole time we felt good about our ability to come back and score a touchdown when we needed to and close the game out."

    On playing the entire game...
    "It's different than what I've been through. I've started a lot of games in the past though. I knew how to prepare for it and find a way to grind out a close one."

    BYU Player Quotes

    Brandon Ogletree • Sr. • Linebacker

    On the game in general...
    "I thought we put ourselves in a really good chance to win and the ball didn't bounce our way. Credit to Notre Dame. That's a really good team we just played. But we've got to just regroup and come back next week stronger."

    On how hard it will be it will be to come back from this loss...
    "Not hard. We've got some resilient dudes in there. It's just in our nature. We're not going to let this loss set us back. Obviously it's going to sting over the weekend, but the best remedy for something like this is hard work. And we're going to come back on Monday ready to work."

    On Notre Dame's running game...
    "They're solid. There are a lot of really solid O-linemen up front and they have a good running back. They're good."

    On scoring 14 points...
    "Our goal as a program is to hold them under 24 and our offense's goal is to score 24. Anytime we don't do that we limit our chances of winning. Usually 17 is enough, but you never know."

    Jamaal Williams • Fr. • Running Back

    On being held scoreless in the second half...
    "We just didn't finish, we let up on the gas. All we have to do is keep our heads up at the phase of the game and stay positive."

    On the close loss...
    "It's devastating. I'm disappointed, but that's part of football, and you try to learn from it and you try to grow from it. Next time you try to stop it from happening."

    On the amount of touches he received...
    "I'm happy just getting the ball. Being a part of the team, I'm just grateful to even get on the field."

    On the locker room atmosphere after the game...
    "We sure help each other out. No matter what happens, we are still a team and a family. We have the chance to see next week [against Georgia Tech] if we have the will and determination to win, but we have to stay together as a family and a team."

    On the Notre Dame defense...
    "All of the defenses we have seen were good, but Notre Dame was extremely good. We did well in the first half against them. Our stretch plays were really getting them to run a little bit and it let me see which holes were open. I didn't really see too many adjustments [from Notre Dame] in the second half, I just feel like we beat ourselves in this game."

    Riley Nelson • Sr. • Quarterback

    On the game in general...
    "I'm so proud of our effort and I hope one of these days the ball starts bouncing in our favor. I'm so proud of our guys and the way we battled. We lost to a quality opponent today and even though we gave it a lot, it just wasn't quite enough."

    On what went wrong...
    "I don't know if it's any one thing. It's just an accumulation of small mistakes."

    On executing the game plan...
    "It was close. We would have liked to rush for more. We wanted to get to 100 and we got to 100 so that's good. We wanted to get down the field more and we weren't able to do that. Some penalties helped us march down the field on their part, but we've got to find a way to take the top off cause defenses are kind of socking in against us right now. It's easier said than done -- you've got to protect and you've got to throw it and catch it and run the routes right to get open- but we'll find a way."

    On losing close games...
    "It's extremely frustrating because we're right there with them. We come in here believing and 100 percent confident that we can beat them so when we come up empty handed and so short, in these tough endings, against these great teams, it's maddening. It's like when you dangle a carrot in front of a horse. You're always so close but you can't quite grab it."

    On the Notre Dame defense...
    "They're a good defense and they made some good halftime adjustments. We got into third downs and they started playing us differently and it was tough because they adjusted to play our third down script well. I felt like their pass rush picked up a little bit in the second half. Maybe not as many sacks but the pocket was deep and guys were at my feet and guys were in my face and throwing lanes were hard to come by. So I give all the credit to them. But I felt like we played well, we just couldn't finish them."

     

     

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