Irish Eyes Transcript

Irish Eyes attended the post-game interviews following the Irish loss to Michigan State.

Sophomore Running Back James Aldridge

You played well but what are your feelings with this being the fourth loss of the season?

"It's always good to have individual feats, but it's not good enough. We have to get back tomorrow and keep working and see what we can do."

Do you feel better about yourself today than you did walking off the field at Ann Arbor?

"We tried to work on the running game and we kind of got some things together now and we kind of went out and put things together in the first half. The second half came around and it wasn't as good. We've got some things to work on."

Can you talk about getting in a rhythm; you had over a hundred yards today.

"It felt good but then again, as I said, it's not good enough. You've got to do more, so we're going back to practice tomorrow and hopefully get better and keep plugging away."

It has to be nice for the offensive line and you to have some positives because there have been so many negatives.

"The offensive line has been working at it and it is always good to have some positive yardage so all the praise goes to the offensive line this time."

What was it like being a running back this week with all the extra tackling and physicality in practice?

"That's what we lift weights for, so we can take that kind of punishment that we get. I feel all right and I'm guessing all the other running backs feel good. We will get out there tomorrow and keep plugging away at it."

Sophomore Nose Tackle Pat Kuntz

What was your impression of the Michigan State running backs?

"They're great running backs - (Javon) Ringer and (Jehuu) Caulcrick - they broke some tackles today and we had tried to work on that, but they are great running backs and my hat is off to both of them."

Did they enhance each other with their different styles?

"Yes, in the sense that Caulcrick is going to come at you and try to run over you. He is a big dude and he can. Ringer is liable to bounce it back and cut it back and anything."

In that 3rd and 17 play when they got the first down, how big was that?

"In a sense, it was deflating. But at the same time, that is going to happen and we have to step up and keep them out of the end zone."

When everything sort of goes in the opposite direction, how do you guys reconcile that and try to keep a positive attitude about what's happening?

"Things don't always go as planned. We just didn't capitalize on what we planned to do. The defense didn't do its job; the special teams didn't do their job; the offense didn't do their job coming out of the first half. We just have to be a physical ball team the whole game."

Sophomore Offensive Lineman Sam Young

Do you look at the things that you didn't do well or the things that you did do well and how do you build on that?

"You have to look at both. You have to look at the things you did positive and build off of them. And you look at the things you did poorly and learn from them. You have to keep stepping forward. Obviously, we are in a rut right now and we have to dig our way out. And that's the only way we can do that."

Have you ever found yourself in this position before? Your high school team was such a successful team.

"Yes, before, when I was younger. You have to keep fighting. That's the only way you're going to get better."

Does it ever become a concern that some guys don't keep fighting?

"I think our team has a lot of competitors on it and I'm not worried about that. Last week the same thing could be said. Sunday everybody came out and everybody was ready to get to work and I think the same thing will happen this week."

What were the positives that you saw today?

"We were able to build some momentum in the first half. Obviously, Michigan State is a great team and they are undefeated for a reason. They were able to capitalize in the second half and we weren't. Now, we have to build off that and continue to get better. I think we did a little better job of protecting the quarterback and I think we did a lot better job of running the football. We just have to continue building off that."

I know you never expected to start 0-4. Do you look back and say, oh wow? Do you look back or do you just have to keep pounding forward?

"You just have to keep pounding forward. The past is the past. I was saying earlier in the week every play is a new play and every day is a new day. You've got to keep looking forward. That's the only way you can get better."

Senior Defensive Lineman Trevor Laws

What did you think of the running game today?

"It was great to see them succeed finally. I have a lot of great friends over there and they've been real frustrated not being able to move the ball. It was nice to see them having success."

Does it take a lot of pressure off you guys?

"We play equally hard every snap that we go out there. We played just as hard as we always do when we're out there."

What is the payoff for you guys when you work so hard but you don't get the wins?

"It's not like we don't go out there and try. We're here to play football and win games. We're not going to go out there and let offensive linemen crush our linebackers. We go out there and play hard every single play and the payoff is for each other and the university and for everybody; we're here to play football and win games."

Do you think there were positives to build on today?

"There are some positives but a lot of negatives too. You have to find the positives and make them better and get rid of the negatives."

Senior Center John Sullivan

The offensive line getting into a power running game today; how did that feel?

"I think it is a positive thing to come out and establish a power running game and that's what we did the first half. The second half, we didn't have it and that's what we have to work on. Hopefully, training camp mentality will help us to carry it throughout the entire game."

Comment on James Aldridge's play.

"I thought James was great today; just like the rest of the running backs. They ran hard and were fighting just like everybody was doing. I think the offense played a lot better."

Can you talk about his style of running?

"James is a bigger back and a power back and he showed that today and he really ran well."

What did you see out of him at practice this week?

"The same stuff as every week except that it was a training camp mentality. The guys on this team work hard; they are hard workers. That's not the issue here. We're back to a certain mentality in practice and that is helping. But this team has been working hard since the beginning."

Training camp provided some results today. How long can you tolerate improvement without a win?

"You're always going for improvement so training camp mentality and practice helps. We will do it again this week and hopefully it will help even more; to the point where we are winning game."

Senior Linebacker Maurice Crum

We are talking about the team making improvements in little steps but this team needs big steps and how can you accelerate that process?

"It's basically fundamentals and we have to go back to day one and work out all the kinks and get everybody on the same page and just go hard."

What was going through your mind; you were all over the field?

"I'm just trying to win and that's how I want to play every day. I come with that attitude and just try to do my part. That's it."

From a defensive standpoint, how much do you think the training camp mentality helped you guys?

"I think it helped us out a lot, but we still need more. We have more work to do and that is evident. But I do believe it helped us."

It had to be encouraging at halftime with the score 17-14 and you still had a shot; right?

"Definitely, that was a positive for us. It's been a long time since we played a game and it's been that way; so for us, that was a positive. But in the second half we had a letdown and for us to win, we can't have that."

In your evaluation, what caused you guys to wear down in the second half?

"All credit goes to them. They played an excellent game. Their backs hit the holes and they made the plays when they needed to make plays. I think the difference was, we didn't make the plays when we needed to; we needed to come up with turnovers or something. We just didn't make the plays we needed to, but all credit to them, they did what they were supposed to do."

Did you anticipate the emotion their team would have after the results of last year's game?

"Definitely, I was not expecting this to be a flat game regardless of what happened last year. This game is always going to be an emotional game for both sides of the football."

Can you talk about what it was like for the offense to get its first touchdown in four games?

"That definitely put smiles on everyone's face. That's all we're trying to do is get better and to win and as we see ourselves progressing, that is always great for us."

Coach Weis was talking about payoffs. Can you see that and where do you see that?

"The payoff for us comes in putting in your work throughout the week regardless of how hard it is or what you have to go through. The payoff for us is Saturdays and coming out and performing to the level we know that we can play at."

When you haven't done that at all this year, where do you look?

"For us, it's just back to the basics and just back to work. We put everything behind us and whatever has happened in the past has happened in the past. We've got to move forward."

Is it tough to maintain that attitude?

"Yeah, but at the same time we know we have a good group of guys. It's not tough for me because I know what it takes and I'm just trying to get everybody on the same page and to see that." Top Stories