Q. How is the team looking?
A. Well, I think we're excited about
playing. We have pretty much everybody healthy so we'll see.
has practice been this week coming off an emotional win against Air Force and
then a week off?
A. I think it's been OK. It's been a long time
since we've played and you never know how that's going to play out. I
think our guys are going to be excited to play Notre Dame; certainly it's a
tradition rich program. They have national exposure and everybody knows
about them so it's always fun to measure yourself against a team like
Q. Where does Notre Dame rank as far as importance on your
schedule? After Air Force and Army?
A. After Air Force and Army
they are all way behind, but I'm sure it's up there for our players simply
because of who they are. It's been a long series. I don't know if I
would call it a rivalry, because you have to win one once in a while for it to
be a rivalry, but it's been a pretty good series.
Q. Talk about Notre
Dame and the way they are playing.
A. Notre Dame is always going to have
good athletes. They had a big win against Michigan, which I guess was
ranked eighth at the time. I think they've gotten better each game.
They struggled in their opening game, but they've certainly improved
greatly. Since that first game the only game they've lost was to the
No. 5 ranked team in the country, Purdue, who is pretty good. They have a
good football team.
Q. Do you talk to your kids about 40 years in a
A. No. It's useless. None of these kids were born
then. I'll take credit for two of them, but that's it. I don't want
any credit for the rest. I guess I was here two other times we played them
as an assistant. It doesn't matter. I bet if you go back and look
they've been favored in all of them, probably by double digits in most of
them, so it's not like it's been two teams that's been pick 'em every year and
they've managed to win every game.
Q. How do you keep your team
focused? You have a perfect record on the line, you could qualify for a
bowl game, and you have the Notre Dame streak. How do you keep your team
focused that this is just one game.
A. These kids are smart kids.
That's why they're here. They look at the film and they see Notre
Dame. They know they're big and can run. They will be focused; I
just hope we're not scared.
Q. You've come pretty close.
we've played them close, but you know what? You have to say this when it's
gotten close they've upped their level of play another notch and we haven't been
able to go with them so close only counts in horse shoes and hand
grenades. Until you win it doesn't matter.
Q. Does part of you as a
coach think to yourself this is a chance to see if we can play at that level of
A. Not really. I've been coaching for a long
time. I know where we are. To me as a coach what I want to do is to go
play as well as we can play. If we do that we'll have a chance. Now
we're going to have to play really good. If we go in there and play as
well as we can play I'll be satisfied no matter what happens.
are your thoughts about playing in a neutral territory?
A. I don't know
if you ever play Notre Dame in a neutral territory. They may have a few
Subway Alumni from New York. Our Brigade is going so they will be into it.
We'll have some good fans there.
PJ's Press Conference - Wednesday, October 13
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