Sophomore Running Back James Aldridge
How do you feel being 1-9?"It's tough and it's rough. We're going to work on something and get this figured out."
How frustrating is it getting?"I really don't know. Coach is going to continue to pound and teach us. Eventually something is going to break."
Is that what you want, to get pounded until it sinks in?"That's the way I've always learned everything. Besides being athletic, people teach and you have to learn. No matter how much they have to teach you, you just have to learn to pick up on things."
With the record being 1-9, are you looking toward the future or going week-by-week?"You have to, you don't want to sit there and dwell on, ‘man, we're losing, losing, and losing,' because that will overwhelm you and that is not a good situation. You don't want to have a negative mind-set going into each week. You want to stay positive so you can get better."
Senior Captain Tight-End John Carlson
Coach Weis said that he doesn't feel he has done a good enough job of teaching. How do you feel about this statement?"To be completely honest, I don't have an answer. Obviously, with his pedigree, we know he is a great teacher. With the players on this team all being students at the University of Notre Dame, you would think that we are all fairly intelligent individuals. So, obviously, something is not clicking, but I don't know what it is."
What's left for this team, especially the seniors?"Pride. Obviously, we can't make a bowl game, and we don't have a post-season hope. I know that I have spent five years here and it's had its ups and downs, but overall it's been a tremendous experience and I'm proud to be a player here and a student here. I'm really going to be sad next week when it's all going to be over."
Can you explain all the dropped balls today? Could it have been the cold?"It's cold out there, but this is weather we've played in before so that's not an excuse and that doesn't make it okay."
You talked about the ups and downs, but there's no way you could have expected to be 1-9, is there?"No one expected that. No one on this team expected that, and I don't think any of the fans expected that. But that's reality right now and we can't change what has happened in the past. I know it's beginning to sound like a broken record, but we are going to keep working hard and we have two weeks left and like I said before, we have a lot of pride on this team and we are not going to give up."
How badly do you want to win next week for so many different reasons?"Next week is going to be tough emotionally because it will be the last time I get to play in this stadium, but I want to win every week and I know this team wants to win every week. So I don't think it will be much different in that respect."
Senior Captain Defensive Back Tom Zbikowski
When Air Force scored early in the third quarter, did that sort of set the tone for the rest of the game?"Yes, when you're just down seven, you've got to come out and be strong and work to get a three and out or a turnover and get good field position for the offense."
What were they doing that was difficult to stop, especially No. 1?"There's no question about it, he's a good ballplayer. He seems undersized but he's real quick and he has good change of direction. They are tough players and they are competitors and they outplayed us."
Coach Weis says he's not doing a good job of teaching because there's no consistency. How do you feel about this?"It's tough to put your finger on but, obviously, if you could we would get it corrected but we have to focus on the details. That's what it comes down to, the small things that win football games."
Senior Defensive Lineman Trevor Laws
Did the frustration just boil over at the end when you got the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty?"Yeah, that was stupid. I shouldn't have done that. It was frustrating and my emotions got the best of me. I wish I could take it back."
Coach Weis says he hasn't done a good job of teaching. Where is the loss in translation?"If I could tell you, we would have won more games. I don't know what the answer is. We have one win this season. I'm sure if someone had the answer to that question, we would have more wins."
How frustrating is it for you to be having a great season and the guys around you don't seem to be doing anything?"Everybody is playing hard out there. I don't know, it's been a tough season. We have one win and we just lost to Air Force and it doesn't feel very good. That's pretty much all I know right now."
What do you want to get out of these last two games? What would be the ideal ending for you?"To win and have fun. It really hasn't been that fun this season. I would like to go out, my fifth year and last time playing college football ever, with a couple of wins and good memories with my best friends on the team."
Senior Linebacker Mo Crum
When this season is over, will you have a feeling of relief?"I wouldn't say relief. For me, it won't be relief; it will be over with and once something is over with, I try to put it behind me."
You've seen Charlie's teaching with the team take and not take. What do you think is the difference?"I have no idea and you can ask him and he probably has no idea. It's weird, you just can't put your finger on it. We search and we search but there's no answer as far as I know."
Do you think some of the younger guys don't realize how much film they have to watch and how much time they need to put in away from football? Do you think there is anything to that?"It could be, but I don't know. I'm not with each and every guy. I try to take my group because that's the guys I spend most of my time with. I try to mentor them and tell them how to watch tape."
How about a couple years ago did someone take you under their wing and tell you how important it was to watch tape and things like that?"Not for me because I'm kind of a tape junkie; I've always liked to watch tape. That's what I was raised on."
Does the possibility of being 0-7 at home frighten you?"Not for me; I could care less about that. I just want to win. I don't care where I win or how I win, I just want to win."
How were the fans when you guys were leaving the field?"They are the same fans as they have always been. They are always behind us and they are still behind us and they want to see us get it right as much as anyone."
When the game was tied at 10-10, did you feel that you were right in this; and then all of a sudden it started to slip away from you?"Yeah, that's just the way it's been for one reason or another. That shows that we didn't quit, but again it just didn't work right for us."
Junior Wide Receiver David Grimes
Do you think Jimmy Clausen's game was different today from earlier games?"The outcome wasn't that good but we will have to watch the tape and do the evaluations."
In terms of running the team and managing the huddle, did he seem more confident?"Yeah, he actually did. He has a few games under his belt and he felt a little more comfortable."
Where does that show itself when you're watching him?"In the huddle and in practice, he calls the plays with confidence. He shows confidence in us and we show confidence in him."
Are you guys sort of looking for the season to be over so you can take a step back and evaluate the big picture?"Not at all; we're going to continue to give it all we have in these last two games. We have some fans out here that we owe it to. So that's our plan."
When you were injured and had to sit and watch, did that help you with your productivity?"I think so. You sit back and you see things from a different view at that point. And you try to make those adjustments as a player."
Did you forget what it was like to be in the end zone?"Yeah, I actually did (laughing). I'd give it up in a second to get a win."
What's going to have to change for you guys to come out with a win next week?"I feel we practice well but it just isn't translating and something has to spark and we have to make it happen."
Coach called Jimmy a bright spot today. As a receiver, what about him makes him a bright spot?"He made some difficult plays and he moved around in the pocket well and he made some good passes."