*On the play of cornerback Mike Richardson: "I've been giving him a lot of kudos. There's a lot of people at the next level that have been asking about him, and I've said similar to what you've been saying. I said you don't notice him very much, that means he's doing a pretty good job. He's playing corner and he bounces inside when we go to nickel and he's been a pretty solid player for us all year long.
"He's easily our most physical corner. He plays with a physicality that allows him to play in those positions. But usually when you have a physical corner, you don't have a guy that has the speed or athleticism to play the position, you're using just a ‘cover two corner.' The fact he's been able to play both a jam type of corner and be able to play on the slot receiver shows that he has some position flexibility."
*On freshmen who haven't played yet vs. Notre Dame's rule of not redshirting: "I think there's still a number of guys that are in that boat at this time. I have the list down of guys that have not participated in a game yet. You're in a Catch 22 on that one because these guys will all graduate in four years. They graduate in three and a half years in a lot of cases. So a lot of them want to move on and start their real life after that. If they don't see themselves playing in the NFL, a lot of them want to go take jobs and get working. So what benefit do you have if you save a year with a guy if he's going to graduate in four years and go take a job anyway?"
*On playing a team that's not undefeated for the first time in 2006: "I don't lie to our players. I don't ever try to use a ploy that isn't a fact. So for the last five weeks, that was a fact, and it wasn't overrated. It was reality. Now you don't have that one, so you don't use that one. You don't try to conjure up something that doesn't exist, so there's two different tacks now.
"One is the evidence of our game in November last year. That's number one. Two, you can take a cutup tape of this team and show them all the reasons why you should be concerned. In addition to that, you can challenge your guys to step up their level of play and see if we can't play a lot more consistent because we have not shown that yet. We have not shown as a team that we play with a level of consistency yet. There's a couple of different things going on at the same time."
*On the importance of the Stanford game: "I think that we have a chance this week to end the first season, the first half of the year on the rise, and I think that this game is very important. This game is not a game that you can just go and be content to just sneak by. You have a chance to go into an off week on the rise, and I think that's why this game is so critical. You're playing a team who would love nothing more than to make their year by beating you, so that's always a challenge. From our standpoint, coaches and players, you'd like to see this start to happen, and it hasn't started yet. We've had this, we've had this, we've had this, we've had this, but what we'd like to see is this start to happen. That's what I'm hoping to see this week."
*On Joe Brockington's play last weekend in place of the injured Travis Thomas: "First of all, I thought he was pretty solid, to tell you the truth. You didn't really notice him getting exploited out there. Probably the biggest play of the day that you noticed him is when he dropped the interception, which he took a lot of ribbing from his teammates on. But really you didn't really notice him much out there. I think that's a very good thing when a guy goes in there really for the first time with a bunch of meaningful reps and you don't really notice him too much."
*On Stanford's multiple injuries on offense: "When your starting running back gets hurt, you've got a front line receiver, he tears ligaments in his foot, your starting fullback, he's gone for the year. Now all of a sudden it breaks your offensive continuity, and no one knows that better than me. So when that happens, you never say it because coaches don't go out there and make excuses. But I think it's a very practical answer to your question because I think there are obvious things that you look at and see why there's breakdowns, and those breakdowns often are based off a lack of continuity."
On Asaph Schwapp's season-ending injury: "I told him I was going to wait until bye week, but obviously from watching him today, he is not going to be able to play in this week's game. I told him we would wait till the bye, but there is no sense in waiting another day. So every day I wait to get it fixed is one day longer till I get him back. I don't know the extent to what it is because it is an old injury; it just reoccurred so we really don't know what the severity of it is. When they go in there tomorrow and fix it, we'll find out what it is. I don't want to be premature and guess exactly what the extent of it is. When I find out what it is, I'll let you know.
"I think by having it now you have a chance of having him in the spring where if you waited until January to have it done, now you wouldn't have him until training camp. It's not a question if we have to go in and have it checked; the question is when. Because there hasn't been any significant progress since Penn State, even though the swelling went down and he started to run around a little bit better. You guys see him even in the brief time you guys are out there. You see him going through warm-ups and I'm looking at the same thing you're looking at."
***Prediction: Notre Dame 45 Stanford 14. This game has mismatch written all over it. The Cardinal, while playing the fourth toughest schedule to date, is dismal in the statistical rankings on defense. That's the one area a team doesn't want to be weak in when playing Weis and the Irish. Notre Dame should be able to do whatever they please on offense. If a program has a bad defense, then they better have an explosive offense. Stanford will not be confused with USC. The Irish offense looked crisp through three quarters last week. That's about all the starters should need to put away the Cardinal before resting the final 15 minutes of the contest. The Notre Dame defense should really challenge themselves to hold Stanford under 10 points, the lowest point total so far this season for an opposing offense (Georgia Tech). The Irish improve to 5-1 on the season as they head into their bye week.