Clausen, Grimes Talk Michigan State

Jimmy Clausen and David Grimes met with the media on Wednesday to discuss Saturday's game at Michigan State. Clausen and Grimes talked about playing on the road. Grimes talked about playing in his home state and Clausen explained whey he wore gloves against Michigan.

Jimmy Clausen and David Grimes love playing in front of the students and fans at Notre Dame Stadium, but they also get pumped up going into opposing houses.

"We love playing at home in front of our fans and our students and stuff like that," said Clausen. "At the same time, when you go on the road you've got people yelling and screaming at you when you're coming out. I think that gets us fired up. From our own perspective, I kind of like it when people are yelling at me. It gets me fired up and ready for the game."

Clausen said that the actions of opposing fans get him going and eluded to the fact that he had a particular incident in mind, but wouldn't say what it was.

"I can't really say right now," he laughed.

This week Clausen and Grimes will get their first shot at a road game when they head to East Lansing to play Michigan State in Spartan Stadium.

As a senior, it's Grimes' job to be sure that his team is prepared for the environment.

"I think what our team has to realize is when we play this weekend we won't have 80,000 fans screaming and providing energy for us," Grimes said. "We also know when we go on the road we have to provide the energy for ourselves. It's a different environment, and Michigan State is a hostile environment. So the biggest thing is we've got to come together and find our energy."

Grimes remembers his previous trip to East Lansing when the Irish made a miraculous comeback to defeat the Spartans 40-37.

"It was really cold standing on the sidelines," he recalled. "What I remember was we were down in the first half. We rallied back in the second half, and it was one of the most memorable games that I've been a part of. Had a great ending."

As a Michigan native, Grimes has played in his home state every year of his career, be it at Michigan or Michigan State, and this will be his final collegiate home game in the ‘Wolverine State.'

"I get to perform in front of some of my friends and against some of my friends. It's definitely an opportunity that I'm going to remember. I'm just can't wait for Saturday," said Grimes, who will have anywhere from 10 to 30 friends and family in attendance.

Grimes' brother Carl played at Michigan State before transferring to Saginaw Valley State before the season, so he knows many of the players that he will be playing against, particularly in the secondary.

"Ross Weaver, the field corner, Otis Wiley, the safety, Javon Ringer, Trevor Anderson, Mike Bell. I know a few guys," he said. "Sometimes when I used to go up there to visit my brother we'd hang out. But it's not like I call the guys on a regular basis."

Grimes said that Spartan Stadium is one of the loudest that he has played in along with Penn State's Beaver Stadium.

"Their fans are great," Grimes said. "It's the atmosphere that we love to be a part of."

Last week's game against Michigan was one the few that Clausen has played in his career in a driving rainstorm.

"I played two games in high school in the rain. And last year against Duke it started raining towards the end, so this was my fourth game playing in the rain," said Clausen.

In order to deal with the weather late in the game, Clausen played with gloves on.

"It was spur of the moment. I came out at halftime and it was pouring. I was trying to throw the ball and I really couldn't. I couldn't get a real good grip on the ball," Clausen said. "So the first series we went out, I wore a glove on my left hand just for ball security, taking a snap and handoffs and stuff like that. Then there was a throw, I threw it to Golden and I think he caught it but it was bad. I threw it really high and he went up and got it. But I went to the sideline and I was like I'm going to try to wear a glove on my right hand to throw. It helped out and gave me a lot more grip."

Clausen said that he had messed around with using gloves before but never in a game. He said that prefers not to wear anything on his hands and is not sure if he would do it again.

"I don't know, maybe when it starts getting cold I might try it out again," he said. "I like to be able to feel the ball. When you can't feel the ball, it's just real uncomfortable for me. The rain like it was, you know, I needed something to help me out with gripping the ball, so I went to the gloves."

For Clausen, being able to throw the ball is not the most important element to playing in that kind of weather.

"The biggest thing is taking a snap from the center because the center's hands are wet. His pants are all wet, and your hands are wet as well. That is the biggest thing," he said. "The coaches do a good job of using wet balls in certain situations during practice to me get comfortable, the receivers is comfortable just using a wet ball."

Grimes said that the back injury that has kept him out of practice seems to be getting better, but was noncommittal when it came to playing on Saturday.

"It's doing good, actually. I'm making some progress the last few days. Last Tuesday in practice coming in for a block, I strained my back. It's been spazzing up the last few days," he said. "I'm feeling a lot better. And if I'm able to go Saturday, I will."

Grimes said that it was the type of injury that is unpredictable.

"It could lock up on me right now," he said. "I'm just day-to-day, pretty much."


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