Irish Players And Coaches Excited About Victory

The Notre Dame football team played their best game of the season on Saturday with a 38-3 victory over Washington. Irish Eyes was in the media room after Saturday's game talking with a lot of Irish coaches and players after the victory. Here is what they had to say after a great victory over Washington.

Here are the quotes from the media room after the Washington victory. We'll also have video of these quotes up shortly. Unfortunately, it's not the best quality.

Trevor Laws

On stopping Washington's offense

"We played great defense. Washington is a dangerous team. They've got a lot of weapons, good receivers, but the way we played, we played great today. We play like that and it's hard for anyone to get any yards on us."

On if the coaching staff praised the team after their victory.

"They did in their own way. They didn't want to make our heads get too big, but they let us know pretty good."

On where Washington had success on offense.

"They had some pretty good drives on us. They throw some nice little quick outs and got some yards like that. The quarterback was throwing the ball pretty well. They had those quick little passes and kept getting them. That was probably the best offense they had."

On getting pressure up the middle on Saturday.

"We worked a lot on pass rush this week because last week we didn't think we did a good enough job. We worked on that and hopefully we'll be a little better this week."

On causing and recovering his first fumble.

"It was awesome. I yanked that ball out and it came right down in my arms. I was feeling pretty good about that pile scrapping for it."

On Purdue next week.

"Coach Willingham said it would be 24 hours of celebration and that's it. I know tomorrow morning we're going to be running as just as usual. It's another game, another week, just got to keep it going."

Offensive coordinator Bill Diedrick

On Washington and the game plan.

"We thought they would probably spend a tremendous amount of time stopping the run and loading the box and that's exactly what they did. We wanted to open it up, be a little bit more aggressive early in the game, and force them to defend the field."

On when Matt Shelton started to emerge as a playmaker.

"I think it probably goes back from a year ago in the Stanford game. For the first thing, he's was able to stay healthy. More importantly, given a couple of opportunities, made some plays and I think he's really continued to do that this year."

On stretching the field.

"I think it gives you an opportunity to be balanced like you want to do. It forces the defense that they can't load up on you one way or the other."

On Brady Quinn's performance

"First half I thought the decision-making was very good. I thought (he) missed a couple of throws. In the second half, I'm disappointed, probably in our entire unit for not really coming out and executing like we're capable and kind of putting the thing away."

On what disappointed him in the second half

"You'd like to one good drive. You'd like to get the touchdown, but you'd even take points. But we came out with three drives and sputtered and looked terrible, two key penalties, and didn't give ourselves a chance."

On playing Justin Hoskins in the game.

"I think the decision was made a while back. You just try to bring young kids along and break them in gradually. The idea was today to put him in special teams and eventually have his role increase. It gave us an opportunity at the end of the game to play him at running back so we were very pleased with that."

Offensive lineman Ryan Harris.

On giving Quinn excellent pass protection on Saturday.

"We've always known as offensive linemen, you give Brady Quinn time to throw and we don't let him get rattled by getting hit late, he's going to make big plays. We do our job and he'll do more than his."

On how it felt to be ahead so much so quickly.

"It was real difficult to understand because we played so hard, that it happened so quick, that we had a hard time maintaining that level of intensity. It was a great feeling to look on the scoreboard and see how many points we put up in the first quarter, and then in the first half."

On knowing that they had the talent to produce like this.

"Last year we knew we were this kind of offense, we just didn't execute. We couldn't be as consistent as we are now. We're still not as consistent as we want to be. Last year we knew the talent that was in the room. We know the talent that is in the room this year, we've just got to make things happens."

On not executing in the second half.

"We definitely wanted to put more points on the board in the second quarter and the third quarter. We didn't really do that job for our defense and kind of left them out there. Scoring in the fourth quarter gave us a chance to finish the game, and we did, but like you said, we didn't finish the way we wanted to."

On not being able to run very well against Washington.

"They were really loading the box, that's why you saw a lot of pass because it was man-to-man coverage. But even so, we knew they were going to do that, we just need to execute better and get more runs."

Defensive end Kyle Budinscak.

On knocking down a number of balls on Saturday.

"It was in the back of my mind, the whole game, ‘get your hands up' on those short passes and I was able to do that."

On playing defense when you have a big lead.

"It's great. When you have a huge lead like that, what was impressive about our defense and all our guys is that we kept our heads. We could've easily said ‘we got this won.'"

On if he felt Washington got frustrated.

"Yeah, I think we drained a lot of the life out of them after the first quarter or so. It was great just to keep the foot on the pedal."

On coming back from his injury to shine in his senior season.

"Coming back, I had nine months. All I had to think about was ‘this is going to be my last chance. I've got to try to do everything I can, everything I haven't done so far.' I'm still not satisfied with everything, and I'd like to play even better. I had a lot of time to reflect and realize how much this means and what an opportunity this is."

On the defense looking like the 2002 defense.

"We've got so many leaders on this defense, and so many guys who know how to play emotional. We just feed off each other. It's a great feeling when we all go out there and do our thing."

On defending their turf when Washington had the ball on the one-yard line.

"We said ‘this is about pride, guys. This is what we talked about before the season even started. This is our defense here. This is what it's all about. This is our trademark right here. Let's go get them,' and we did."

On Purdue coming up.

"This is going to be our biggest test so far. Those guys seem to be on a roll. They've got a lot of playmakers. We're going to have to bring our A game and play the best defense we've played all year. Hopefully we'll have a good week of practice and we can do that."

Running back Darius Walker

On days like Saturday being the reason he came to Notre Dame.

"Today has been a great day for the team and this University. We got a chance to play real well against Washington. We got a chance to accomplish some of things we wanted to accomplish and this is what Notre Dame is I guess."

On the possibility of being 4-0 instead of 3-1.

"Well would and could is something all in itself. We try not to worry about that too much. We try look forward to the games we have coming up next and kind of do well with those. Can't really change the past."

On having the fans yelling his name during pre-game drills.

"It's exciting. It's good when the fans help us get caroused and all the yelling and stuff. It really helps the team."

On finding the end zone so often early in his young career.

"It has to do with working hard and running hard. We kind of think that if we keep working hard and running hard it will open up for us soon enough. We try not to worry about it. If it's not working now, it will work later. I think it's good for a running back to try to stay calm, stay poised, and stay focused on what he has to do."

On seeing Hoskins get a chance to play.

"Me and Justin are real cool. It was nice for him to get a chance to get in there and get his feet wet, and to get a chance to run against a defense. I think it's all good for everybody."

On what Hoskins probably felt like as he was going in.

"It's incredible. You're real excited about the opportunity to get a chance to play in a big game. You still know it's a lot of pressure, and you've got to go out there and try to do what you can, but it's just nice to get a chance to get that feeling. For the coaches to tell you to go in, it's exciting."

Linebacker Derek Curry

On the series where Washington was on the one-yard line and they held them without a score.

"Everybody was talking. ‘This is what we talk about. Stand up. Be a man. Let's go man up." When you are on the one-yard line, you've got to man up or go home."

On continuing to make big plays on defense.

"One thing that coach Mattison always talks about is ‘give us a place to stand, and we'll move the world.' All we need is a place to stand. One-yard line, one-inch line, that's all we need. Somebody spot the ball and it's our job to go forward and make the plays, and we did. The coaches called some great calls to help that out. It's about manning up."

On Purdue this week.

"It big. Purdue, we always know they play really hard against us, they have really good athletes, and they have a great team. They have a veteran quarterback, which is something we haven't seen this year, and they're going to throw a lot of stuff at us."


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