Travis Thomas TranscriptThomas on how his season so far:
"Obviously it's going a lot better than last year. I'm just trying to having a key role in the offense and special teams—any way I can help out. Things are going well." On being named the first special teams captain this season:
"Special teams is something I did well last year, and I thought playing well there would give me the opportunity to have a key role in the offense. I just took advantage of every opportunity I had."
On what he feels was the key to getting back on the field on offense this season:
"Obviously ball security—just stepping up and playing the way I know how to play. I think I've done that so far."
On if he felt he was almost starting over again this year:
"Absolutely…new staff, new start, new attitude."
On if he ever thought about leaving Notre Dame last year:
"No, I just went through hard times. I just put it in the past. This is Notre Dame versus Tennessee, and that's all that matters right now."
On what he feels he's improved on as a running back this year:
"I think fundamentals is something I've definitely improved on and reads."
On his relationship with Darius Walker and how they handle competing with each other:
"It's obviously competition. Running back is a competitive spot, but we're also good friends off the field too. I think we compliment each other well. He's a more flashy back and I'm more of a hit-it-and-get-it type of guy. I think that compliments one another."
On if it was hard to remain patient while he wasn't getting many carries earlier in the year:
"It's always hard to remain patient, but you just try to keep a positive mind-frame and wait and figure you'll get an opportunity sooner or later, and just got to take advantage of it when it comes."
On if he felt any pressure to perform when the opportunity did come this season:
"No, I was real comfortable with the system and obviously confident in myself. It was pretty easy."
On how he built his confidence after struggling earlier in his career:
"I think the more you play the more confident you can be. Obviously I'm getting in there now, so the reps are making it a lot easier for me."
On if he enjoys playing in this offense:
"It's fun. It's exciting, and you never know who is going to make a play. It's pretty fun."
On if it's hard to share the running back position:
"No, I've been kind of a running back-by-committee type of guy since high school when we ran a wing T."
Is he having much more fun this year?
"Absolutely. Winning, that's what we came here for."
On the Tennessee defense:
"Very athletic, very stout type of guys. I think this is our biggest challenge."
On his pass blocking:
"I think that's where they started me off at—in situations where I had to pick up blitzes on key plays. I capitalized on that opportunity and they started giving me some carries off of that."