Irish Fired Up After Game

Notre Dame earned a big win over the No. 8 Michigan in convincing style on Saturday. The students and fans had the "House that Rockne Built" roaring the entire game. Irish Eyes was an eye witness to this improbable victory and joined the team and students celebrating on the field after the game. It was an amazing scene. We were able to interview the smiling coaches and players after the game.

Irish offensive coordinator Bill Diedrick

Did you expect to get a lot of four linebacker looks today?

"We expected some. We talked and watched films like they do so I anticipated some. We played a little of it, and I think it worked. I think the whole thing was limiting them to field goals the first half. Our game plan was not to let them run the football and to keep the football in front of us and for the most part that is what we did."

How big was it today that the defense could feed off the offense?

"I love it. I love it when we run the football and get first downs. I feel like getting in my easy chair and watching it."

Defensive backs coach Steve Wilks.

What is your reaction to Ellick's comment about the Michigan receivers?

"I like our players to have confidence. I don't know if that comment was taken out of context but we try to give the utmost respect to our opponents. Michigan has great receivers and there could be a first-round draft pick among them."

Where do the defensive backs get their confidence, especially after giving up big plays in the first game?

"They find the confidence in me, because I believe in them. I said that back in the spring, I think we can be a great secondary, we just have to go out and practice and do the little things right every day. My mind set is that every day that we go out on the football field, we're going to take advantage of each and every practice and each and every rep. There is a concept and a mind set that you've just got to want to be great."

Wide receiver Jeff Samardzija.

What was the difference between the first and second half?

"We were right there in the second half. It just took a couple plays to get us going. We had some big plays that we needed, and we kind of rode that wave and it took us every place we needed to go."

What was the attitude when many people didn't give you a chance in this game?

"We definitely understood that. We knew just inside our team, we stood together. We knew what we could do and we just went out and played our game. We played hard and tried to keep our assignments and keep our head. They jumped ahead to a 9-0 lead and we just had to keep our head because we were still in it. We were making plays but we couldn't get on the board. Then in the second half we got our confidence and made some big plays and got in the end zone and it felt good."

Strong safety Tom Zbikowski.

What was the mood of the defense coming into this game after last week's loss and was it hard to stay together?

"It wasn't that tough. If anything, last week's game brought us closer together. I don't think we're going to play with a chip on our shoulder just one week, but the rest of the weeks from here on out."

How would you describe the defense the second half?

"The defensive line did a great job just stuffing it up front. The linebackers and DB's made plays. We wanted to come out and start fast and finish faster. I think the whole team wanted to create turnovers and make big plays; and we made them."

Offensive center John Sullivan

What kind of spark did Darius (Walker) bring to the offense?

"Darius brought a great spark today. We blocked hard and Darius was able to see the holes and was hitting them. Whenever you're getting yards, you're just going to block that much harder for the next play. It was just great to get him in the lineup today."

Have you seen that kind of stuff from him in practice?

"We knew Darius was a player but nobody knew about that. There's an obvious difference between a game and practice so when you actually see him carry that over into a game, it was amazing."

How much difference does it make to the offense having that kind of running threat?

"It makes a world of difference. Just for your morale also because when you're getting yards, grinding it like we did against Michigan today; you know you're getting six yards, seven yards, four yards on a carry and you know you're going to get first downs and you know you're going right to the end zone, it's a big pick-me-up."

How much difference is there from last week's game to this week's?

"I can't even explain it. I can't even explain the difference in the feeling between this week and last week. People just stepped up and made plays. And that was the difference. Last week we came out a little hesitant and nobody really stepped up. No one made the big catch. No one made the big block. Today we had some running touchdowns, pasting touchdowns; it was a great day for the offense." Top Stories