Irish Eyes Transcript: The Players

Several of the Irish players met with the media following the impressive win over the Purdue Boilermakers. The Irish now stand 3-1 on the season.

Sophomore Quarterback Jimmy Clausen

You had a career day. How did that feel?

"It felt good. The offense got it going early on. We just went wire-to-wire and it felt good to get a victory."

Does that feel like your best day individually?

"I felt good out there. I felt comfortable and I was reading the coverages pretty good. I felt like I knew what they were going to do coming into the game and the coaches helped me and got me ready to go."

Is that the most weapons you've had at your disposal?

"Yeah, those guys made plays today and that makes my job a lot easier when everybody is healthy and a hundred percent. It makes my job a lot easier."

Do you feel you were not getting much pressure at all today?

"I felt some pressure at certain times during the game. I felt the offensive line and the backs did a real good job picking up the pressure and throwing to our outlets."

Do you feel that you put a lot of things together out there such as big plays, converting on third downs and fourth downs and things like that?

"I think so. We came out and executed the game plan and got a victory. That's pretty much all we wanted to do."

Have you been impatient for a day like this or have you felt that you have been progressing towards something like this all along?

"I know I'm capable of doing stuff like this. It's just a matter of time and practice and preparation to get to this point."

You seem to be more comfortable with pressure now than you were at the end of last season.

"Yeah, it comes along with game experience. When you experience more game situations, it just slows down for you and helps you out."

Junior Offensive Lineman Eric Olsen

Did you feel like a game like this was coming especially where you controlled the line of scrimmage?

"Yeah, definitely. We got off to a little bit of a slow start in the first half but we definitely knew we can handle this game and stuff. We just knew we had to come out firing off and trusting ourselves and trusting our techniques. And we did a good job."

What does it feel like to really get the running game cranked up?

"It's a great feeling. Anytime you can control the game on the ground, it's just great. For an offensive lineman, smashing someone in the mouth and moving guys back, that's a goal always."

Talk about Armando Allen and what he did today.

"Armando did a great job. I think he had 130 some yards. Anytime a running back has a hundred yards, he just has a great effort and a tremendous job getting it done."

What was making him successful today?

"He has great vision and for his size he has great power. When he gets his legs churning, he's hard to bring down."

Coach Weis said he told you guys at halftime the third quarter was going to be the most important of the season. Would you expound on what he said?

"It was definitely an important drive because we went in halftime with a tied game. We knew we had to get the ball back and put some points on the board to get a lead. It was a real important thing because if we had come out and sputtered like we usually do on the opening drives of halves, we would be in a position to give Purdue the ball and they have a high-powered offense. So obviously we wanted to put points on the board to give us control and we did a good job of that."

Sophomore Receiver Golden Tate

How would you rate Jimmy's play today?

"He did really well. The defense of Purdue was tough and they were giving me a hard time. He found a way to get us the ball. I think he went 20 for 35 or something like that which I think is pretty good."

What does it feel like to have the offense clicking on all cylinders like that?

"It's great. It makes us feel like we can beat anybody in the nation. We feel like each week we are getting better and have a chance to beat anybody."

Is this more like it; especially the way you came out in the third quarter?

"Yeah, it felt just like practice. Any play that we wanted to run, we were successful for the most part. It's always great to call any play and have confidence that you have a chance to make a big play."

Do you feel like there's three or four of you guys in the wide-receiver corps that can get the ball and make big plays anytime?

"Absolutely, I think Duval (Kamara), he can make a play for us; and we've got (David) Grimes back, and I think one thing, they keyed on me today which opened up (Michael) Floyd and Grimes which is obviously a positive. I knew it was going to come at some point where they would key on me but it would open things up for Floyd."

What did Coach tell you at halftime?

"He just said we need to go out there and take over. We got the ball first and we scored just before the half and let's go out here and score. We went out and scored."

Senior Receiver David Grimes

Are you surprised at how the young receivers are progressing?

"Not at all, we expect guys of all ages to make plays whether they're freshmen or sophomores. It doesn't shock me at all."

Do you think it shocks the opponents sometimes?

"I wouldn't see why it would because freshmen and sophomores can make plays."

Is this the first day that the offense showed what you're really capable of?

"We came out in the third quarter pretty well and guys challenged themselves and we challenged our defense and offense to come out and make plays. Guys teed off and we got the ball over."

How do you think Jimmy played today?

"I think he grew up a lot. He was making some calls at the line of scrimmage and that's how Brady used to do. He grew up a lot today."

Was that third quarter you guys at your best?

"I hope not. I hope we can get better. That third quarter just seemed to click and Coach challenged us and we challenged ourselves and we got it done."

You had a pretty good quarterback your first couple of years here and now you have a kid that seems to be following that same path. How does that feel?

"It's positive for our team. The better he is, the better our team is. Jimmy's touching the ball every play and if he's handling his job, it makes our job easier."

Did you think last year he would get to this point?

"Most definitely. We thought it of Jimmy when he first got here. There wasn't a doubt in my mind that he could play and perform at this level."

Tell us about the touchdown pass that you caught.

"Wow, we saw that it was blitz 0 which means that there was no safety in the middle of the field. Jimmy looked at me and I looked at him and we made a play. Jimmy threw it up and I ran under it and caught it."

When you looked up, was that one of the highest balls you'd ever seen?

"It was pretty high (laughing), I was waiting for it to come down. I actually looked at my watch."

Was that play an audible?

"No, it was called in the huddle."

Junior Offensive Lineman Sam Young

It looked like you were having fun out there today.

"A little bit. Anytime you can get the running game going like that as an offensive lineman, it's definitely a positive."

Your body language seemed to show that you were having a good time out there.

"It's a fun game and it's meant to be played with emotion. We offensive linemen got together and said that we are passionately going to find a way and we did that."

Coach Haywood said the other day maybe he would like to see you guys punch someone in the mouth. Do you guys feel like you did that today?

"Well, you see, I did that last week and got a 15-yard penalty (laughing). We came out and we were able to move the ball and that's a good thing. We have been working on it all week and that is something that has been preached to us since the beginning of the year, is to get after them. It kind of came to fruition a little bit today and we need to keep building on that."

Speak about Armando's play.

"Brilliant. He did a great job of reading the holes and getting through. He ran really tough."

Does that kind of spread offense help him with the skills that he has?

"I really don't know; he just saw the holes and ran right through them. As far as scheme-work, I can't really speak to that."

What made the difference in your play in the third quarter?

"We were just able to make some plays and build some momentum up and then just kind of fed off that."

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