Quotes of the Week

Each week IrishEyes offers a collection of the best sound bites from the Notre Dame players and coaches and comments from the opposing coaches and players. This week features the best quotes of the week from Notre Dame and North Carolina. This piece also includes Christian McCollum's game prediction.


On Jimmy Clausen playing as a freshman:

"I'm glad I'm not going through the growing experience right now. There's no way, there's not a chance in the world that we would be 4-1 if he wouldn't have played last year."

On how much credit goes to Clausen for the success of the passing game:

"Almost all of the credit."

On what he's getting out of his receivers:

"You're not exactly counting on Michael Floyd to play the way Michael Floyd has been playing. We didn't know Golden Tate would play the way Golden Tate has been playing."

On coaching quarterbacks:

"I think for me not to be utilized in this capacity would be a bad thing. So I do not overstep my bounds with either Ron (Powlus) or Michael (Haywood)."

On patience being tough:

"It's only tough on one person and that's the quarterback. The only person who has to have patience is the quarterback. Everyone else is just going to do their job. They run their route where they're supposed to run to and if the quarterback throws it to them they're supposed to catch it and do something with it. But the only person who really has to show patience is number seven."

On Pat Kuntz:

"I've had my share of hardship with old Patrick. But it's tough not to like this kid. This is like one of those guys that if I were in college here at this point I could see this would be probably one of my boys if I was in college right now. I could picture that. I would probably be abusing him all the time. But it's tough not to like being around the kid."

On the kicking situation changing strategy:

"You sound like my wife."



On how the defense plays:

"We play like men."

On what he would if his players made brash comments:

"I back up my guys. They say what they want; because I'm not the head coach, it's my job to back them up. If they say something or do something, as a position coach I have to help them understand first what they said and then what it is going to take to get done what they said they are going to do."

On the freshmen defenders:

"They bite as puppies and that is good."

On playing on the road:

"Yeah, I love that. We like playing at home but at the same time, we love playing in the other stadium because it's like somebody just dropped you in and everybody's against you. It's almost like they feel you can't win in their stadium and you know you're going to get their best shot because they're in their comfort zone."


On punting to North Carolina:

"They offer two different sets of challenges because they've got a guy that's got a knack for blocking punts that lines up in different spots and then they've got a guy back there who's a really gifted returner. So it's not as if you can say, ‘OK, boy we got the ball out and everything's fine.' Because you've still got to get down there and tackle a guy that's a special returner."

On picking Brandon Walker as kicker:

"We're going to put the guy out there that gives us the best chance. To do anything different would be irresponsible on our part."

On hearing other peoples' opinions on the kicker:

"This is Notre Dame, when the kid misses two kicks in a row I'm getting phone calls and e-mails from everybody. ‘Hey, we got this kid in Dillon Hall.' ‘My little brother made a 66-yarder in high school.' I'm getting Class of '54 telling me the holder's got the ball tilted the wrong way. That's life here, that's the way it goes"

On asking punter Eric Maust to kick away from Brandon Tate:

"Do you tell your cleanup hitter to hit a home run every time? Ideally, you don't want to kick the ball down the middle of the field…To tell Eric, ‘Hey, you've got 2.5 seconds and I want the ball placed over here,' is unrealistic. We've got dudes coming at us too. We've got a plan. We're very respectful of our opponent of what they're strengths are and we're going to do our best to try to offset those strengths."


On the linemen being frustrated by TV timeouts:

"I don't know if the linemen get frustrated. I think they might see that as a chance to get rested."


On the best taunt he's heard:
To a thin freshman Darrin Walls at Georgia Tech:

"Do y'all have a weight room or something?"



On Notre Dame's mystique:

"You can't hardly have played football at any level and not appreciate what Notre Dame's place in history has been for a long period of time. I think even with today's generation, I'm sure it carries a certain element of mystique and certainly excited anticipation."

On Notre Dame:

"Anytime you get ready to play against Notre Dame, you know that you're going to face a team that's got an awful lot of talented athletes. They're always at or near the very top of recruiting every single year."

On the passing game:

"They've got an extraordinarily talented quarterback that was the number one quarterback in America…He's throwing to some very, very talented wide receivers on the outside. They're big and tall and fast...This will be the biggest test from a passing perspective that our secondary has faced."

On defense:

"They've gotten a lot faster and quicker in the secondary, a lot faster and quicker at linebacker. The nature in which they play, they're going to be one of the best defenses that we'll have play against this year."


On Notre Dame's passing game:

"They have a terrific passing game, but I think if we prepare well things will work out. We watched a little film this morning, their quarterback has a terrific arm and throws the ball really well. If we can apply good pressure, we can try and rattle him a little bit."


On last week's breakout performance:

"Confidence wasn't a big thing. I believe it was a matter of getting in the game and getting a chance to show what I can do. I felt like before the game I had something to prove. Everybody is still trying to find their role, I think I am too. I am trying to give the team a good chance to win and a spark."


North Carolina 24, Notre Dame 21: The Irish offense starts slow and runs out of time as they try to play catch up in the second half. The Tar Heels get some big plays on special teams that prove to be the difference as the Notre Dame defense plays its best game yet.

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