Junior Defensive Back Sergio Brown
Talk about your role in the defense today."I came in mostly in nickel-back. They played a lot of receivers so I came in to help pick up some of the slack."
Lots of blitzing today?"A lot of it; I love it."
So, it was a lot of fun today?"A lot of fun."
How well did the defense play overall in your opinion?"I think we played pretty good, but we made some simple mistakes that we need to capitalize on. It was the beginning of the season so we were kind of rough."
Talk about the blocked punt."We got the call from the sidelines and I've been getting off the ball real good all week. And my man was giving me a soft shoulder so I took it and left my feet and I was hoping that I got the ball, and I did."
Were you surprised at how much nickel was played today?"It surprised me a little bit but then again they threw the ball a lot last game so I was ready for it. I was wanting to play so I was hoping they would throw the ball."
Do you think the defense made a statement today?"I feel like we did and we can even do better."
Talk about what you've done to get on the field so much."Just play hard and wait for my opportunity. I've been playing hard, reading my keys, and getting in the film room and getting into the book."
How hard was it to wait all this time?"It was real hard. I was itching to get in. We had a bad season last year and I was down in the dumps but I stuck it out and took good advice from good people."
When you were down in the dumps, did you ever think about leaving?"A lot of ideas crossed my mind but I knew I was just about ready."
Sophomore Receiver Golden Tate
Tell us about the non-catch; the one you laid out for."I thought I caught it but I guess it hit the ground. You win some, you lose some."
Golden, is this the moving forward statement that the team wanted to make?"We didn't go in with the plan of having a close game. You want to be comfortable with a lead and we got it done and that's what counts."
When you were down 13-7, what was the mood of the team?"It was like it was 0-0. We went out and played our game. We never got down. We always knew we had a chance in the game and Jimmy (Clausen) kept us focused and the O-line kept its focus and we kept our focus so we just had to make some plays."
How different was this from last year?"Last year we might have panicked which would have evolved into something worse happening."
Was this more of a sigh of relief when the game was over or was it excitement that you are 1-0?"It was excitement. We came into the game feeling like we had a great chance to win. We just had to stick to our game plan and figure out what was going to work and what wasn't going to work."
Jimmy went to you a lot in that last drive. Are you beginning to develop a rapport with him where he's going to begin to look to you in key situations?"I sure hope so. I feel like Jimmy and I have developed a really great relationship and he trusts me, which is always good. Coach Weis also does too."
Going into the game, did you know that you had picked up things better?"I felt like I was making giant steps but I didn't know until I lined up against another team if I was really making steps or slowly moving on. After this game, I feel like a more complete receiver and I feel I can run all the routes in our system."
Senior Defensive Back David Bruton
Did you cause the fumble on the goal line?"Until someone says otherwise, I caused it (laughing)."
Kyle McCarthy put a pretty good hit on him too, didn't he?"Yes, he did."
How did that change the game?"It gave us momentum and our backs were against the wall. And we came out swinging and we came out on top. It gave our offense momentum and it carried us throughout the rest of the game."
Were you guys sort of celebrating out of relief at the end of the game? It was sort of hard to read your reactions."Joy, anytime you get a win, you should be happy and there should be excitement for everybody who represents Notre Dame. We showed that by smiling, laughing; it's been a long time since we last played and it was just a joyous moment."
What was going through your mind in that fourth quarter when you guys were down?"Just go out there and do our jobs. The offense is going to make plays at some point in time and the defense just has to step it up whenever we have to. We felt as a team and as a unit we did our job and did what we needed to do and came out with a W."
What was the attitude and mood throughout the game?"Nobody panicked; there was no waiver in anybody's attitude. Defense was like, we got you offense and the offense was like, we'll make up for it defense. So you could just feel the team camaraderie building on the sidelines and on the field."
How did the crowd involvement help you guys?"The crowd was unbelievable. They were cheering, crank me up. They were doing it all and that's a great tribute to them. They were doing a great job as the 6th man – I mean the 12th man. Football and basketball run together for me. They did a great job and I love our fans. They stuck with us through last year and they're here this year and going strong."
Sophomore Running Back Armando Allen
How exciting and important was it to come out in Notre Dame Stadium and get that first win?"I think it was very, very important that we came out and got a win today. It's a good start to be 1-0 at home."
After that big hit and you fumbled, what happened when you were on the ground?"I got the wind knocked out of me. It was just a good play by the defender; that's all."
How did you feel going back out there in the fourth quarter and had a couple of nice carries?"It felt kind of good after my injury. I felt it was important to go back out there and let my teammates know no matter what, I'm here to play and I'm going to do whatever I can to win."
How did you feel about the missed opportunities in the red zone?"I wouldn't use the word disappointed, but obviously things didn't go the way we planned for the first game. We'll just need to work and get better for next week."
Were you guys nervous to get out there and put 2007 behind you?"I wouldn't say nervous, I would say very, very anxious. We've been in camp for three weeks and school for two weeks and hadn't played a game yet so everybody was really fired up and it took a little time to kind of settle down and be more relaxed."
How devastating would it have been to have lost this game?"I don't want to think about that. I want to say it was a good win and it's great to be 1-0 and I'm looking forward to next week."
Sophomore Offensive Lineman Sam Young
How important was it to get the two-minute drill going successfully?"It definitely paid off. We were able to keep it going and get up to the ball and get ready to play. I think that definitely paid dividends for us."
How important is it to get this first win of the season?"It's very important and the way we did it, not exactly the way we wanted to do it, but San Diego played us really tough and they gave us a lot of different looks. We were able to handle them when all was said and done. I think the biggest thing, that this win says something about our character."
How did Golden's touchdown look from where you were?"It was beautiful (laughing). It was a great feeling for Golden to go up and get that. You could see on the field that we were ecstatic. That's probably the best way to describe it; it was beautiful."
What do you guys need to do to be more efficient on the ground?"I think we just need to be more consistent. Our ground game was a little better than our first game last year. We are still knocking the rust off. It's the first game and not all the balls are going to bounce your way. I think being more consistent is what is going to help us the most."
How much do you measure yourself against what the team did last year? Do you measure yourself in a different way?"As far as in the game? During the game, everybody just got together. It's kind of one of those situations, if somebody was down, it would have been easy to throw in the towel. But we have such a good core leadership and the other thing too is everybody has each other's back. So if somebody comes off the field and is feeling down, everybody runs right over and picks them up and says we have another play coming; we have another drive coming."