Player Quotes

Irish Eyes attended the post-game interviews following the second win of the season as the Irish downed the Duke Blue Devils 28-7.

Junior Defensive Back David Bruton

What were the emotions like today?

"It was very up, from the first kickoff whistle to the very end. We knew that we had to come in with energy. The season hasn't gone the way we wanted but we knew we had to send the seniors out on a positive note."

What was the goal of the defense coming in today?

"It's always to get a lot of three and outs; try to get three turnovers; try to shut the offense out; and eliminate all big plays. I feel like we did that today."

Do you think that's the best defense that you guys have played all year?

"It would be up there, but I wouldn't necessarily say it was the best. Personally, I would say UCLA was our best. This game was up there and we played as a unit and played as a team and made plays."

Tell us about that big hit that you had.

"There was a lot going through my mind when that ball was in the air. It was kind of sailing and I was either going to pick it, but one of my teammates hit it and I thought it was time to do something like Brian Dougherty and kind of lead with the forearm and let him have it."

Senior Defensive Lineman Trevor Laws

What was the best part of today?

"I guess just playing good and all my friends on the team; knowing that we had one more chance to play on Notre Dame field; going out of the tunnel and slapping the sign; making plays with my friends; getting a W at home finally this season. So many things were awesome; so many things were great. It was just a combination of all those things."

What was it like meeting up with your family afterwards?

"It was great. My mom, my brother and his wife, my dad; they were all there and smiling. They were loving it and we had a big old group hug. They were happy and they were proud of me."

How special was this win today?

"It feels good, I can tell you that, and it's definitely a relief finally to get a win at home and play pretty good football. I guess it makes a good feeling knowing that we had struggled in the past. It was a good feeling and I really wanted to go out with a win. The whole team was focused on one thing which was the most important, getting the win. We got it and it all came through for us."

Zibby (Tom Zbikowski) got some snaps at quarterback. Are you campaigning to get some time at running back?

"Naw, I wouldn't mind getting some snaps at fullback (laughing). I think he looked good back there (laughing)."

Sophomore Lineman Sam Young

Tell us about the offense today.

"We had a lot of production, not only in the running game but in the passing game. Jimmy (Clausen) had a great game and Robert (Hughes) had a great game. I think we played well and took a big step forward."

Can you expand on the game that Robert had? Have you seen a lot of this in practice? Charlie said the weather sort of suits his style.

"I guess. He's from Chicago. It doesn't quite fit me as well. Yeah, he had one heck of a game bustin' plays. I think that one was third and short where he just bust out there. I tip my hat to him; he did a great job."

Is that something you see every day?

"He's a good player and all the running backs make plays in practice, and he came out today and he had a game."

Do you feel a little more comfortable with a big running back like that?

"Not really, all our running backs know how to find the holes and get up in them. Whether that's running behind us or around us, wherever the hole is, they find it."

How's he been doing the last couple of weeks?

"He's been doing well and today he got to sing the fight song. I think that week was a tough week, but he's starting to move forward. You never get over it. I can't speak from experience, but I think he's starting to come around."

Senior Linebacker Maurice Crum

When they fumbled twice and you guys got two touchdown passes, what was the emotional swing like?

"The defense was ecstatic. It was almost unbelievable to come up, especially at the time we did, to come up and make the plays."

Do you feel this is the best the defense has played this year?

"I still think we have a lot of improvement to do and we can be better. I think we did pretty well tonight, and pretty sound. And we made enough plays to help our offense out."

How did this win feel?

"It is a great feeling. It is always better to win versus losing. Being a senior makes it that much more special."

Have you guys kind of forgotten what this feeling is like?

"It's been a while and we're going to enjoy it while we can. But we still have a tough task next week."

Senior Tight End John Carlson

Do you think you were a little more motivated because of your last game at Notre Dame?

"Being seniors and this being our last game here, we would have been motivated anyway. It's nice to have a little momentum. We'll feel good coming into practice Tuesday and hopefully we can get one next week too."

Were you a little surprised on the penalty?

"The first one (laughing)? This past Wednesday, someone in the press conference asked if emotions would be a part of this game. Obviously, I was a little bit emotional out there. I was trying to get fired up. I was not taunting by any means, but they called it and we moved on."

Did you get an explanation or did you ask about the penalty?

"No, I didn't really ask for an explanation (laughing)."

Coach Weis pulled you over. What did he have to say?

"He had a few words for me. I'll leave it at that."

How do you want this senior class to be remembered?

"That's a tough question. Hopefully, not just the senior class but, hopefully, this team is remembered as high-character guys that don't give up. We've had a tough year and things didn't go as planned, but we kept fighting and we will continue to fight. We've got one more week."

I saw you calling people to come back out of the tunnel and go over to the students. What caused you to do that?

"Actually, Coach Weis told me to go back to the student section (laughing). It's kind of our way to show some thanks to them. I feel they have stuck behind us all year long and we really appreciate that."

How important is it to have the student body behind you guys?

"It makes a big difference. It's been a tough year. It's been a really tough year and if they had turned on us, it could even have been harder. But I never felt that we lost their support and that means a lot."

What was the difference with the running game today?

"It's hard to identify that until we watch film, which we will do tomorrow. From what I saw on the field, the linemen blocked hard, the running backs ran hard, and the receivers made some blocks on the outside. Guys were just making plays."

Can you talk about the contribution of the freshmen today such as Duval Kamara, Jimmy Clausen, and Robert Hughes?

"Their statistics speak for themselves. Jimmy made some great throws and Robert ran hard and made some great plays. Duval had an excellent catch in the end zone. It's a glimpse of some things to come."

Do you feel like you are leaving the program in good hands and guys who can take it to the next step?

"I think it's great that they have gotten so much game experience this year. We haven't had that taste of winning as much as we wanted, but they have been kind of in the heat of the battle and I think that will help them next year."

Is it gratifying to see these kids have success? Some of them have to be like little brothers to you guys.

"We're a big team; we have over a hundred guys on the team and we all work hard in practice and lifting weights and in the classroom and everything. Having success as a team is rewarding. To see any individual player have success, that's part of the team and we're happy for them."

Junior Receiver David Grimes

Can you tell us about your touchdown catch?

"We pretty much knew it was going to me. Jimmy threw it up and I made a play."

How's Robert coming along? He really had a good day today.

"Pretty good, we try to keep him busy. Obviously, it was unfortunate but he is doing the best he can."

How did he do leading the song after the game?

"Real good, it was his first time. But he has some work to do (laughing)."

How big was this win at home today?

"It was real good. Obviously, this year we haven't had many. To send the seniors out on a win, it was pretty good."

What can you take from this game going into Stanford?

"We'll just try to keep the momentum. We like this feeling and we want to keep on with it."

How big was it for you guys to jump up on top 14-0 just before the half?

"The last two minutes in that second quarter was clutch for us. Obviously, there weren't that many plays made in the first half. We had opportunities and we capitalized on them."

How have you seen Jimmy grow in practice and take charge in the huddle?

"The more reps he takes, the more confident he is in the system and things like that."

Have you seen a difference in him since he was out for a while?

"Yes, he is putting up more numbers, obviously, you can see that. He's doing a lot better."

What is it that you see with him?

"Confidence and he's better with timing; he's doing a better job of leading the team and things like that."

How much of a relief is it to get this win today?

"It feels good. It's a relief. It's been a tough season. And it feels good to finally get a win, especially at home." Top Stories