Irish Eyes Video: Chinedum Ndukwe

Safety Chinedum Ndukwe made his first start of his career on Saturday. Ndukwe spoke with the media on Wednesday to talk about his first extended game experience and Michigan.

Chinedum Ndukwe talks about his first start and Michigan in this Irish Eyes Video

We've also added a transcript of Ndukwe's comments for those that cannot view the video.

Chinedum Ndukwe Transcript

Ndukwe on his first starting experience this past Saturday:

"It felt great to finally get out there and be able to bang with the first-teamers and be an every down type of guy. It felt great. I don't want to lose that feeling. I can't wait until this weekend."

On being nervous for his first start:

"A little bit. I'm not going to lie, I was a little nervous. It went away fast because you don't have much time to worry about being nervous. You've got to get in there and try to make some plays."

On his play from Saturday and if he sees a lot of room from improvement:

"Definitely. There were a lot of areas where I could improve. I think we've been addressing them this week towards Michigan so we won't make the same mistakes again."

On Michigan having a few more playmakers than Pitt and if that makes the secondary's job harder this week:

"We're excited for the challenge. It's definitely going to be a big challenge this week. I can't wait to get out there on Saturday."

On if there's anything he learned playing last Saturday he hadn't been able to learn practicing:

"Prep speeds and game speeds are a little bit different. That's probably the biggest thing I had to get used to. You can never simulate game tempo, so that's the big thing I had to get used to."

Does he feel like a veteran now?

"You're always going to be a little nervous going into a game. At the same time, that was the first game I ever started and been in there every down. I'm never going to be like that again so I am a vet."

On staying on an even keel after the success they had at Pittsburgh:

"It's a whole different ball game--a completely different cast of guys. You guys all know that they're really good. They're fast guys, big receivers, so we've got to bring our best game we can and be ready for the challenge." On what it means to shut down Palko who did a lot of damage to the Irish secondary last year:

"He did, and as a team, we all stepped up to the challenge. Pittsburgh is definitely a good team. Michigan is going to be a really good team and we've got to have that same tempo and mentality going into that game we had going into Pittsburgh."

On how much their solid play against Pitt will help the Irish defense heading into the Michigan game:

"It well help a lot knowing we can defend the deep ball and we can actually go up and make plays and get it done when it needs to be done. I think it's going to carry us through the rest of the season."

On playing in the Big House:

"It's going to be nice going back. Last time I was back I only got into like one play. It was a block and I was playing receiver. It's going to be nice being there and being able to make plays and make something happen in there."

On if the 38-0 score is on his mind:

"That's not on my mind. We're a completely different team that we're going up there with. Last year we won (the game). This year we don't expect to do any other than go up there and play as well as we can and hopefully come out with a victory."

On when he stopped thinking on Saturday and started playing after the butterflies stopped:

"It was probably after that first drive. Maybe that was probably the best thing that could've happened—that we had that passing touchdown on us. It just kind of leveled us out and knew we had work to do. We had to buckle down, and that was probably the best thing that could've happened to us."

On if the players making their first start on defense last week can now settle in after getting their first-game jitters out of the way:

"Definitely, but at the same time it's Michigan. You're going into the Big House, everyone loves to play there, you're going to be excited, and I think you're going to have a lot of the same feelings. But having a game under your belt, and one that you came out victorious, is going to help a lot."

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