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    FIGHTING IRISH

    Nov. 1, 2008

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    Notre Dame Player Quotes

    #40 Maurice Crum Jr. - Sr. - Linebacker

    On helping the team move forward ...
    "I'm a firm believer in the idea that where the leaders take the team, the team will follow. The leaders have to look at themselves and make sure they're the ones up front and who gets the team out of the slump."

    On encouraging the defense during the game ...
    "I was basically telling them that when the game is on the line we've got to go and play. I was just trying to let them know that you've got to play."

    On moving on after the disappointment ...
    "Once Monday comes around, it's my job as a leader, and really everyone on the team, to forget about it. It's in the past."

    #74 Sam Young - Jr. - Offensive Tackle

    On the youth of the team ...
    "We're still learning. This is just another one that hurts. Knowing the character of this team, they're going to bounce back and have a great practice Monday and a great week."

    On today's game ...
    "We'll have to look at the tape to see exactly what went wrong. We just came out, and we didn't do what we were supposed to do, especially on offense in the third quarter. We also had a lot of other opportunities to make plays that we didn't take advantage of."

    #23 Golden Tate - So. - Wide Receiver

    On the loss ...
    "It's not a good feeling at all. We're up two scores at halftime. We weren't playing the same we did in the first half. I feel like we left some plays on the field. We let up, and the next thing you know, it's a tied ball game."

    On his big catch in the first half ...
    "I honestly just played it wrong. I should have caught it the first time. For some reason it bounced off the guy's head, and I saw another guy about it catch it, so I just went to make sure he couldn't catch it. I caught it and got a few yards. I was just trying to break it up so that he wouldn't get it."

    On his catching philosophy...
    "It's effort. Just fighting for every ball. Let no ball be anyone else's but yours."

    On avoiding overtime...
    "With four overtimes, at some point you've got to score. We've got a good offense. We should've scored early. Then the defense would have held them, and we'd have won the game."

    On moving past the loss...
    "We've got to come in on Monday and be ready to work. Coach said he's going to see how we respond. We lost, but you have to have a short-term memory."

    #27 David Bruton - Sr. - Safety

    On his injury...
    "I landed on top of my head and felt pain through my neck. I just had to recoup and relax a little bit. I feel a little banged up, but I'm good. If I had to play, I'd be able to do it."

    On taking the loss...
    "It hits hard. I feel like we were very capable of winning this game. It's a dagger in a way because we were so confident, and we basically just gave them the game."

    On moving forward...
    "We let one slip away again. Props to Pitt. They came out and played. We've just got to bounce back and look forward to the next game. We can't really dwell on it. After Monday morning, we've got to put it past us. It's up to me, (David) Grimes, and Mo (Crum), and the other leaders of the team to talk to the rest of the team and make sure we're moving forward."

    On playing in overtime vs. regulation...
    "We just go out there and play as we play. You make plays when you have the opportunity. Nothing really changes. You just step up and make the play."

    On Pitt's fourth-and-six fade play...
    "It was just a good play. You can't really do that much about it. They're on scholarship, too. Plays will be made. We've just got to do better and learn from our mistakes."

    On failing to close the game again...
    "We should be concerned. We've got to make sure it doesn't happen again. We've got to keep working, and in the next game, put it away when we have the lead."

    On the defense's performance in overtime...
    "We pride ourselves on still attacking and doing what we do. There's no comfort zone. We're out there to make plays and stop the big plays. We played well. We matched routes. We tackled well. We tackled (LeSean) McCoy well. We were able to step up well and not break."

    #8 Raeshon McNeil - Jr. - Cornerback

    On holding Pittsburgh to field goals in overtime...
    "We did a good job holding them to three points each time. Obviously you don't want to give up anything in that situation, and you want to make it easy on the offense. We did a good job keeping them out of the end zone and letting the offense know that they were going to get another shot at winning the game."

    On the team's attitude after the game...
    "Obviously, guys are going to feel terrible about the loss. Anytime you lose a really close game a lot of guys will take it upon themselves and say that they could have made the play to win the game. We're a little down right now but we have a good group of guys that will be ready to get back to work on Monday."

    On Pittsburgh's tying touchdown pass to Jonathan Baldwin at the end of the fourth quarter...
    "I knew exactly what the play was going to be (a fade route). I got a little too high on the route and the receiver came back and made a good play on the ball. That's Pittsburgh's motto. They have a big receiver (Baldwin) and when they get into the red zone they like to throw it up to him."

    On his two interceptions (the first two of his career)...
    "It felt great at the time, but anytime you lose a game it dulls down any success that you have in the game. It felt great to finally get an interception and spectacular to get two."

    #28 Kyle McCarthy - Sr. - Safety

    On the defense's inability to contain Pittsburgh in the second half...
    "It's not a single person's fault. The whole defense has to account for what happened. We have to man up and take care of it. We had to stop them at the end of the game and we didn't, and that hurts."

    On the difference in the defense's play between the two halves...
    "In the first half we did a really good job on them. They didn't know what to do and nothing was working for them. I don't know what happened in the second half, but they were able to move the ball on us a little bit. We have no excuses, and we just have to come out and work on it when we get back to practice."

    On the play of Pittsburgh running back LeSean McCoy...
    "He's one of the best running backs in the country. When you don't play perfect, he can hurt you, and we didn't play perfect today."

    On kicker Brandon Walker's success despite the missed field goal in the fourth OT...
    "It's not his fault at all that we lost. He played a great game, and he is a big reason that we stayed in the game throughout. It's the offense and defense's fault just as much as anyone's.


    Pittsburgh Player Quotes

    #37 Connor Lee - Sr. - K

    On what it felt like to kick in such a high pressure game...
    "I was just trying to take it one kick at a time. I wasn't even thinking what's going to happen. I kicked one in regulation, and I ended up kicking four in overtime. In football you don't know what's going to happen so I just tried to stay as level-headed as possible."

    On what it felt like to get the school record for field goals made and the game winner all in the same game...
    "I'd never played here at Notre Dame. I red shirted when they came up and kicked that game winner - I wasn't even here. So seeing it, I just always wanted to do that, and it came true."

    #40 Scott McKillop - Sr. - LB

    On coming off of a loss against Rutgers last week...
    "We were embarrassed, we were sick to our stomachs, and we had a bad taste in our mouth. We just wanted to come out here and take care of things and show the nation. It was an opportunity to be on national television and show the nation what our team's all about. "

    On coming back after being behind at halftime...
    "We knew we were getting the ball at the start of the second half so we were going to put some points on the board. We were quiet in the locker room we knew what we had to do, we still had a two score game, and we went out there and took care of business."

    On if he'd ever played a game like that before...
    "Four overtimes? No, I don't believe so, and this was a big win for the University of Pittsburgh. I'm happy for my teammates. "

    On the third quarter when the Pittsburgh defense shut down the Notre Dame offense...
    "We knew what we they were going to do. We knew they were going to try to pass the ball because last week against Rutgers we didn't defend the pass. Our defensive line - hats off to them - we started moving a little up front, and I made some plays and without them, I'm not making any of my plays, but I think the third quarter we came out really well."

    #95 Mick Williams - Jr. - DL

    On the importance of the win...
    "We wanted to show everybody that last week [Rutgers loss] was a fluke, and we came out and we beat these boys. We needed it really, really bad. We needed it more than anything. First of all it brings the confidence back up on our team and it shows everybody that we are real. Everybody came out and we all rallied up and it was a great team win for us today."

    On changes made on pass defense since Rutgers...
    "We just came out with a better scheme for us and we did a few things better than what we did versus Rutgers. We got a little pressure in there and we hit him [Jimmy Clausen] a few times and we got a sack, so I think we did pretty well."

    On the team attitude following the Rutgers loss...
    "They are my friends; they are my brothers. I already knew they were going to respond. I mean, the way they practiced all week, there was no fooling around. We all came out businesslike and got things done at practice and showed [Notre Dame] on the field today."

    #19 Pat Bostick - So. - QB

    On staying mentally focused after mistakes...
    "It's a situation where fortunately the picks weren't killer except for the end of the half when they got points off of it. At the end of the game, I forced one, it got picked, they needed it, and it went into overtime. After the other pick, we got a great stop from our defense and got the ball turned over on downs and that was huge, so my defense bailed me out. The thing is, we're here to win a football game, and when you throw picks, it's not about you. You can't just say 'woe is me.' It's all about 'hey, what are we going to do the next drive to take this ball down the field and win this game.'"

    On Pittsburgh's change in quarterbacks during the game...
    "Like I said, it's a team game. Whatever the coaching staff deems to be appropriate during the game, I'm fine with it. I just try to keep my head in the game, and when they called down and said 'you've got to win us this game,' I said 'I'm lucky enough to have ten guys around me to help me do it, let's go out and do it.'"

    On how big the win was...
    "It's up there, I mean, quadruple overtime here at Notre Dame ranks right up there. I think from a program standpoint, the West Virginia game meant a lot. But from this season's standpoint, there couldn't be a bigger win than this."

    #25 LeSean McCoy - So. - RB

    On having a big game...
    "I kind of had a slow start in the beginning. I was trying to just find things instead of just hitting it. That's kind of the problem I had in the beginning of the year. And I just relaxed, you know, I couldn't let all this hype and the Notre Dame thing get to me, and I just kind of settled down. My offensive line played great for me today, and I just had confidence. I think they carry more than us as the running backs. They should take credit for it. The biggest thing is the win. We know what success feels like so we just have to keep it up."

    On the Wildcat formation...
    "It's kind of a different look. I don't think anyone really expected us to come out in Wildcat, because we haven't done it in so long, not even really this whole year. We had maybe me at quarterback, but nothing like Wildcat, and it worked for us. We were just trying to change the pace with me and the Wildcat and hit them with different things. Coach had a great plan for his game and it worked out."

    On being down 17-3...
    "We just have to come out and make some plays. I have to take account for myself and come out and play for my team. We came out the first drive of the second half and went down and scored, and that shows a lot about our character. We still had faith in our quarterbacks, you know, Pat [Bostick] was confident."

    On Coach Wannstedt...
    "He is one of the best coaches I have ever had. This team, we go out to play for him. He is so fair; when you're wrong, you're wrong, but when you're right, he'll tell you you're right. At the end of the day, he is going to be a great guy, that's the biggest thing. So whatever I do with my life, I'm always going to remember Coach Wannstedt."

     

     

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