News and Notes: 11/3/2006

*Here's the best this past week from head coach Charlie Weis:

*On the 1-7 North Carolina team playing for their soon-to-be fired head coach John Bunting: "You tell them it's a very dangerous opponent because they have nothing to lose. What do you have to lose? Seriously, you go out there and it's 4th and 10 on the 40 yard line, if you want to go for it, you go for it. What's going to happen? You're going to let him go? That's already taken place.

"I think it's a very dangerous situation to be in our spot right now. A team that the coach got let go, they played one of their best games for the entire year (vs. Wake Forest), very easily could have won the game. So obviously they played hard and they're coming up here trying to validate their season. It's a very dangerous game."

*On running the score up vs. a top-10 opponent: "Would it help in the ratings? Probably, but it's so far from my mind to think like that. It's so far from my mind. I'm just trying to do the best I can to have our team ready to beat North Carolina and that's what my job is. My job isn't to worry about playing some top 10 team and worrying about scores of the game. It's just to get them ready to go. That's what my job is. I understand everything that goes with the territory but really that's all I'm concerned with."

*On his "60 Minutes" appearance: "I think that with every person there is good and bad. I'm far from perfect, as we all know, but I thought it was fairly realistic. Do I have some detriments or some flaws? Absolutely. But I think realistically it's tough to be in the coaching profession and simultaneously be a loving husband and father and be the molder of young men, where at the same time your job is to win football games. There are a lot of conflicting things going on at the same time and it's just how each person in that role can establish within their own personality to try to get all those things done at the same time.

"I can tell you this, that some of the things that you might have said or heard, you know, on the football field, are not tolerated in the Weis house by Maura Weis."

*On the power run game last week vs. Navy: "I think it builds a mentality. Lineman know they can come to the line of scrimmage and tee off on people and not have to think so much or not wait for them to react. Now there are negatives that come with that. Sometimes you have people stunting and slanting and blitzing all over the place. When you come off at somebody, that somebody might not be there when you go to hit them. It's easier when they line up in more of a two-gap mode, which is more like what we were getting last week, especially when they were lining up at an odd defense, where they are lining up and trying to knock you back and you're trying to knock them back."

*On this team establishing an identity: "I would say we have a chance to be on the rise on this subject right here. I'm cautiously optimistic that it's starting to happen. I'm cautiously optimistic. Like I said Sunday, I think that before you can make that statement as valid, you have to see a level of consistency that I still at this point have not been totally pleased with yet."

*On running back James Aldridge: "The next level is intertwining him throughout the game. You can't really commit to exactly how that plays out because you don't know how many plays are going to be in a quarter or if there are going to be three and outs. You don't want to say he will play in the third series because if we go three and out twice then Darius has only played six plays and all of a sudden he is out of the game already."

*On hearing about negative recruiting: "Actually, the kids tell you one way or another. They either tell you directly that so and so said this or they ask you questions you know were fed to them. When all of a sudden you're talking to a kid and they ask you something that they didn't come up with on their own, someone is feeding them that line. So sometimes it's directly and sometimes it's indirectly, but usually you find out from the kids. And you know which guys are saying it most of the time because they will tell you that too. They will tell you schools, and I would never say anything about that directly. Now when I bump into a few people, I will say hello and ask if they would like to have a cup of coffee and we will chat about our philosophy on that subject. Realistically your hands are tied if you are going to profess not to do it yourself. And what are you going to do about it when they do it? Just represent your school; that's what we do."

*On one of the often heard pieces of negative recruiting on Notre Dame: "If you want to know what one of them is, it's the weather. Well, guess what, it's not 85 and balmy here in South Bend today. To counteract that, and as a staff we had this conversation this morning when I say to these guys, all these kids would like to have a run at the NFL eventually. So then I guess you say to them all, I guess you're not going to play for the Bears, right? You're not going to play for the Packers, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, New England, Buffalo, neither team at the Meadowlands – you're not playing there. It gets cold in Denver and Kansas City too. So that's what you counter that one with. You don't sit there and say South Bend is balmy. You just sit there and say, you tell me you'd like to play on Sundays. What do you think it is 85 and sunny every day? It just doesn't work that way."

*On players watching film of opponents: "You can still only have 20 hours with them; that's the whole thing. You can only watch minimal amount of tape with them. For example, the players' day off is Monday, but Brady (Quinn) is here a good portion of Mondays watching game tape; and he has watched some on Sunday already and he takes DVD's home with him. We can only be with them for 20 hours. We can't mandate anymore than that. So after that, you give them an opportunity to watch more if their schedule provides it. If a kid has a midterm tomorrow, the last thing he is going to be doing is watching tape."

*On how he knows they've watched the proper amount of film: "It's funny you ask that because we used to sometimes in the NFL give them a blank tape and say, ‘How was that tape?' And they would answer, ‘Oh yeah, it was pretty good.' The guys that ask for them intend to use them. We don't make them take them. We give tests, like on Thursdays our team meeting is a test. We do it every Thursday; I give a test to the whole team. So it's kind of embarrassing if you don't know the answers to the questions. So you'd better have done your studying because we don't wait until game day because Thursday is like the last day of the week. On Thursday we give them an oral test with the whole team there. And then every position coach gives every player a written test the day before the game. Then they go over them in their meetings to make sure everybody knows what to do mentally, at least on paper."

***Prediction: Notre Dame 42 North Carolina 0. Last week was the Tar Heels Super Bowl. They tried to go out and win one for Bunting and came up short. It'll be tough to replicate the emotion two weeks in a row. And the Irish are a little better team than Wake Forest and North Carolina won't be playing at home. Opponents need to put up big time points to keep up with Notre Dame. The Tar Heels rank 108th in scoring offense. The biggest detriment: North Carolina is 115th nationally in rush defense. This allows Weis to pound the ball with Darius Walker. If the Tar Heels crowd the line, expect Jeff Samardzija, Rhema McKnight and John Carlson to continue to have their way with opposing secondaries. Defensively, Notre Dame has been below average in the first half and above average in the second half. Can they put together a solid 60 minute performance? This might be the only issue worth watching on Saturday as this contest has blow out written all over it. I'm puting forth a challenge and predicting a shutout. Top Stories