Player Quotes

Irish Eyes talked with several of the Irish players following their win over Stanford on Saturday. The Irish now enter a bye week before taking on their next opponent, UCLA, on October 21.

Senior Defensive Lineman Trevor Laws

How would you describe Victor's play today? It seems like he had Stanford's number.

"He seems like he has Stanford's number – man, he played great out there. He really stepped it up today and had a fabulous game."

Is there something in their schemes that you guys key on?

"I don't know. It just seemed like our schemes worked well today and Victor came free a lot on the edge and had a great game."

What kind of adjustments did you make after they scored that field goal?

"We switched up our run defense and ran a little bit more on package and got after them a little bit more and that helped with the run."

How big a confidence builder was this game for the defense?

"It helps going into the bye week on a positive note. And it always helps going into the second half of the season."

Can you talk about the improvement the defense has made in getting pressure on the quarterbacks?

"We got challenged by Coach Weis to step it up and you have to play good defense every week. We've picked it up and tried to get the quarterback more."

When you have somebody like Tom Zbikowski out, are you guys aware of that and think we have to do our part and bring a little more pressure?

"Tom Zbikowski is our leader and captain so we have to step it up."

Do you like having a bye week or would you rather just keep playing?

"I like having the bye myself because I get beat up and I need to get some rest. For me a bye is definitely a good thing."

Senior Defensive End Victor Abiamiri

Did you say last week that a hurry means nothing?

"It's good for the team but putting in that effort to get the sack is pretty good for us to kind of redeem ourselves from last week for not getting them down and not getting the quarterback down. So we kind of made a point of emphasis this week to take advantage of our front four because we knew our front four guys could play with anybody in the country."

Once you get off to a good start, does that help you with your confidence?

"I think so because you always want to get off to a fast start in football. Once you get after a team from the beginning, you begin to lick your chops a little bit and keep on putting the pressure on from the first quarter through the fourth."

Do you ever notice the guy's eyes across from you after you get them a couple of times?

"No, not really, I don't want to be talking trash and looking in the other person's eyes but you kind of sense through the whole team once the D line starts getting after them, it kind of throws their team off and their rhythm off. So it's pretty good and you can definitely notice that."

After all the good you did today, Coach Weis said he got after you about the penalties. Is that kind of disheartening?

"No, not at all, I'm my own biggest critic and I know with every game there are positives and negatives like last week we had some positives and negatives too. So every week there's going to be things that you can work on and try to get better. We definitely are not perfect and we are trying to get better every week."

Senior Tight-End John Carlson

Coach Weis had great praise for you today. Has he ever done that before for what you've done on the field?

"No, I'm just going to ignore that comment and pretend like it didn't even happen. I didn't hear it so forget about it."

Brady and everybody surrounded you. Do you think that catch gave the team a lift?

"It was a big play and it put us up 31-10. That's a big score, it makes it a three score game."

You seemed to show more emotion than usual. Is that true?

"I couldn't help it, I showed a little emotion out there. It happens some times."

You also lined up in the backfield. Is that something new for you that's going to happen?

"Not really, I just do whatever they tell me to do. You'll have to ask Coach Weis about that."

How do you feel about going into the bye week and being 5-1? Does that give the team a chance to regroup?

"It's nice to wrap up the first half of the season with a W. And going into the bye week we have a chance to rest up a little bit. Some of the guys that are hurt, it gives them a chance to get back. So we're excited to have a little time."

Do you prefer to have the bye week at this time or would you rather keep going since the team is on a roll?

"The timing is great because it splits up the season in half and we can put those games behind us and rest up a little bit and focus on the next game at hand."

Senior Receiver Jeff Samardzija

I noticed when Darius came into the room, he gave you a big hi, what's that all about?

"That's Darius just being Darius. We're boys and we like to have fun. He kind of got me last night at the pep rally. You take shots and you give shots. He's a good dude and we had some fun out there today."

Is the bye week more important to have some time to watch film or give the body some rest?

"It's the body and the mental aspect of it. It means resting some guys that may be dinged up a little. It means just pulling back a little bit because the first six games we had you can compare to anybody's first six games. And you're probably going to put it right at the top as the most strenuous and difficult out there. So it's going to be nice to take a breather mentally just from breaking down film. Obviously, there's going to be something going on during the bye week. It gives us some extra time to look at our next opponent. It's going to be a little bit of everything, a little bit of rest; a little bit of relaxing; and a little bit of getting ready for the next week and just kind of clearing your mind."

You mentioned mental rest, how do your classes play a part in this?

"Classes, huh? (laughing) Well, classes are classes; they're going to be there all the time so you have to take care of your stuff when you can. But it's just there; it's cool and you have to get ready for it."

Senior Quarterback Brady Quinn

How about that catch by Carlson?

"It just goes to show you how athletic he is for his size. He is a special player."

Everyone was so excited. Did you almost tackle him in the end zone?

"No, that's not possible; he's way to be for that (laughing). It was a great catch and I definitely think it sparked us and shut out the game more than anything else."

What's with him lining up in the backfield?

"I'm telling you, he's able to do a ton of things for us. We keep saying over and over again, he's so versatile and able to do so much for us. He's a weapon that a lot of teams overlook."

How big a win is this going into the bye week?

"Every game for us is a game we need to win. I think this one is a little bit more enjoyable because we have two weeks before we play our next game. You would never want to end or go into a bye week having a sour taste in your mouth."

Can you talk about James Aldridge playing today?

"He's been practicing and getting a lot of work in. He's looked great so far and hopefully we'll get to see more of him in the future."

How would you evaluate your game today?

"It was okay. I think there were more or less physical mistakes than mental mistakes with the way I played today."

Coach Weis said you just missed having a huge game. Do you feel the same way?

"Definitely, there were a couple of passes, like I said, that were more physical than mental. Right read, right place of the ball, and not putting the right type of ball there or not putting it in the right spot with the wide receiver."

Do you feel this was a convincing win?

"Yes, we talked all week about having a meticulous win; just going down the field and scoring and really never giving them opportunities."

How important is the bye week. Is it a chance to regroup physically and mentally?

"I think you hit that on the nose. There are a lot of guys that are kind of banged up right now and need that week – or two weeks I should say – to rest up and get back into things. Again, I think you touched on another good point; guys need a break especially with midterms coming up for us next week. It will be nice to focus on school and be a student for a little time and not have to worry about game planning."

Junior Running Back Darius Walker

Darius, you had a good game against Stanford last year and now again today; can you explain that?

"It's nothing against Stanford. They have a great team and a great program. We just wanted to come out here as a Notre Dame offensive unit and play a solid game all the way around the board; the running game, the passing game, and all of that. And I think we did."

Was there something with their defensive front that enabled you to get more holes inside?

"I think Notre Dame just came to play today. I really do, I really think we came with our game faces on; we had another great game plan from Coach Weis and we implemented the plan and it all worked out."

Two good games in a row for you; did that help you out personally because you weren't getting the ball?

"Of course it makes me feel good. Of course I'm feeling good going into this bye week and what not but we know we have to get ready for a challenge in a couple of weeks with UCLA."

When you went for it on fourth and two early on and didn't make it, what happened? Can you take me through it?

"There was no place to go (laughing). There was no way to go and that's how it sort of unfolded."

Was there any holes there?

"You know when you run those fourth and two plays the object is to just try to get the first down. So that was definitely my plan getting the ball but like I say it was kind of blurry."

Having these two good games back-to-back, how much confidence does that give you going into the bye week?

"I think it gives us a lot of confidence especially as a team, having a game like this where all facets played well. The offense played well; the defense played well; special teams played well. It really feels good going into a bye because you can sort of soak that up for a little extra time."

You guys feed off of what Victor does?

"Always, I think we as an offensive unit feeds off what the defense does; and vice versa. When the defense is playing well and they are all hyped up, the kind of rubs off on us and I think it goes both ways. Victor and the defense really do a great job and it's nice to see."

How would you evaluate your game today?

"Just nice; I really think it was really a solid game for us offensively. We really felt good about what happened and what was going on." Top Stories