Highsmith talks about D not getting it done

A.J. Highsmith admits that Notre Dame was a disappointing lost, but that hasn't stopped him from having a positive head for this week. He assures the press that the team is moving forward and focusing on the future rather than the past. Read on to see what Highsmith has to say about the team and their defensive progress.

Q: What's the mood like today? Is it a little better than the other days?
A: Yeah, we're moving forward. We're just worried about North Carolina now. The morale is up, so we're just trying to get up, and we're on a good note. So, just trying to work hard and move forward.

Q: What have you seen that the coaches are trying to do to remedy the issues on defense?
A: Well, they're just pushing what they always. We're just trying to get things right, and we're just trying to be the best we can every day. They're pushing us to the level, and we're just trying to move forward and keep progressing.

Q: You have three games at home, and you're first place in the conference. How about the positives for the week?
A: Yeah, that's the things we've been trying to look at. We are in a position that we want to be in. We control our own destiny, as far as being in conference games, and we are home, so we don't have to worry about traveling anymore.

Q: How does not having to worry about traveling help?
A: It just gives you more time to prepare. Because, of course, at the end of the day when you travel that's always two, three ,four hours out of the day that you have to just worry about traveling. We'll be able to stay home and put more time into our opponents and get ahead in that perspective.

Q: From your standpoint, is there one specific thing that you guys are not doing on defense?
A: We're just not doing our job. There's always different ways of doing that, but, we're just not finishing plays and things of that nature.

Q: Do you feel confident that it's all stuff that could be corrected?
A: yeah, it's always things that we can fix. It's definitely in our side of the ball. You know, personal issues and always things we have to do.

Q: Gio Bernard ran for 216 yard last week against Virginia Tech. What is the challenge of facing a running back like him?
A: He's a very good back. He's talented. His linemen do a good job blocking everything in the perimeter for him, and he's a very talented runner. We have to good with him and just keep him contained and tackle him well.

Q: What about their passing game?
A: They have a really good quarterback. They have some athletic receivers that can go get the ball. They have bigger guys and they're very physical and make plays down the field.

Q: We it be fair to attribute the errors on the field to youth or execution?
A: No, it's not youth. It's execution. It doesn't matter what age you are or how many years you've played or anything like that. If you're in there, you have to be prepared to execute correctly and we don't always do that.

Q: Do you see a difference in the response to the team as oppose to the Kansas State defeat?
A: Well, I think that we did a good job responding in both situations, because we did have a good week of practice following Kansas State. That's one of the things that coach Golden has preached to us is reinvesting and putting everything back this week to be productive.

Q: Do you feel that the errors that you commit in the game you see in practice or do they just occur in during the pressure of the game?
A: They're different. Some occur in the game and some occur in practice. They're all fixable situations, so we just try to get it right when they occur, and, hopefully, prevent it from happening down the road.

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