Player Quotes

Several of the Irish players met with the media following the tough overtime loss to the Pitt Panthers. The Irish now stand at 5-3 and will begin preparation, starting Monday, for Boston College.

Golden Tate, Sophomore Receiver

What is the mood of the team and how is the attitude after a tough loss like this?

"It definitely hurts because we expect more out of ourselves."

Did you guys go up to Brandon Walker in the locker room and talk to him and try to console him?

"Absolutely. I told him, it's not your fault. He did his best. In four overtimes, at some point you have to score. We have a good offense and we can score. We should have scored earlier and our defense would have held them and we would have won the game."

Is there anything you can point to as to why you guys didn't get into the end zone?

"I don't know. It just didn't fall our way this time."

Raeshon McNeil, Sophomore Defensive Back

Coach is awfully concerned about the psyche of the team over the next 24 to 48 hours. What is your sense of this?

"Obviously, guys are going to feel terrible about the loss, especially anytime you lose a real close game, guys are going to take it on themselves that they could have made the play to win the game. So there are probably a lot of guys who are a little bit down right now. But we definitely have good guys who are going to come back to work on Monday. After we watch the film on Monday morning, we're all going to have to put this behind us and come back to work and get ready for BC."

When they threw that fade route, were you expecting it?

"I knew exactly what it was. I just got too high on the route and the receiver came back and made a good play on the ball. That's what they do down there. That's their M.O. They have a big guy down there and, when they get into the red zone, they like to throw it up to him and I just happened to get a little bit too high on him."

You had two interceptions. How did that feel?

"It felt great at the time but anytime you lose a game; that kind of dulls down any success you might have had in the game. But it felt great to finally get the interception and it felt spectacular to get two."

What happened on that return as you were getting near the end zone? Did somebody pluck the ball out of there?

"Yeah, right toward the end a guy came right back behind and clubbed the ball while I was trying to make a break. But luckily (David) Bruton was there to scoop it up for me."

David Bruton, Senior Defensive Back

Can you talk about that interception in the overtime?

"We needed to make a key play and the ball was up in the air and I did what we do in practice and just go and attack it."

What happened to you on that play when you hit the ground?

"I landed on top of my head and felt pain in my neck and just had to kind of recoup and relax a little bit."

Coach Weis said he's concerned about the psyche of the team. What did you see in the locker room so far?

"We let one slip away again. We just have to bounce back and look forward to the next game."

How are you feeling physically?

"I feel a little dinged up but I'm good. If I had to play tomorrow, I'd do it."

Emotionally, how banged up are you?

"It's hard. I feel like we were very capable of winning this game. It's a dagger in a way because we were so confident and we basically just gave them the game again."

How do you make sure you bring this team back as a captain?

"We just have to look forward to the next game. We can't really dwell on it after Monday morning. We have to put it past us. It's up to me and (David) Grimes, and Mo (Crum), and the other leaders on the team to talk to the rest of the team and preach our word and make sure we are moving forward."

How hard is it in overtime to get a balance where you don't want them to get a big play but you also don't want them to nickel and dime you to get down the field?

"We just play how we play; just go out there and make plays when we have the opportunities. Nothing really changes. You just have to go out there and play."

Kyle McCarthy, Senior Defensive Back

What is your take on this game?

"Really no excuses, we had penalties down the field and that's no single person's fault; it's the whole defense. We have to man-up and take care of it and stop them and we didn't and we gave up points and that really hurt us."

What is keeping this team, do you think, from playing a complete game?

"I don't know; that's tough to say. This one hurts; this hurts. There's nothing we can do but come back here Monday and work hard and try to fix whatever it is. Hopefully, we'll see something on film that is fixable and we have to get back to work and get this thing rolling again."

Is there anything in the first half or second half that sticks out that made the difference in this game, from a defensive standpoint?

"No not really, I think the first half we did a real good job on them. They didn't know what to do; nothing was working. In the second half, I don't know what it was, but they were able to move the ball a little bit and that falls on the defense and there are no excuses. We just have to come out and work at it."

How tough was it defending McCoy out there? He had a great day.

"I mean he's one of the best running backs in the country and we knew that coming in. I guess he had a good day and he's a good running back and when you don't play perfect, he hurts you, and he did today."

Mo Crum, Senior Linebacker

How do the leaders bring this team back?

"You have to go on an individual level and the leaders look at themselves and make sure that they're the ones up front and they're the ones that get a team out of this slump and get everybody going."

I think it was when they tied it up, you pulled the defense together on the sideline. What did you say to them?

"I just said the game's on the line and we've got to go; we've got to play. Basically, that's what I was saying. I was just trying to let them know that we've got to play."

Obviously, the guys are disappointed. As a leader, do you allow them to be disappointed for a certain amount of time?

"Tomorrow's our day off and stuff. What you do on your day off is what you do on your day off. Once Monday comes and we're back to work, it's my job and the other leaders and everybody else on the team to just forget about it. It's in the past and we move on to the next opponent."

How tough is this right now?

"It's extremely tough. You always have high hopes for yourself. Again, we had a close one and the closer they are, the more they hurt; especially in overtime."

How does this loss relate to a home loss last year? Was it worse?

"I think it's a lot tougher to deal with, just because we are starting to have guys that's just not going on the field versus last year where we were a little more like, what is going to happen? But everybody's past that feeling and you expect to win. We should be good and we should be okay if everybody does what they're supposed to do. So I think it's a little tougher with our mentality this year."

Sam Young, Junior Offensive Lineman

As a leader, how do you help your teammates move forward from something like this?

"Just make sure everyone keeps their head up. For instance, like Brandon (Walker), he played a heck of a game. We didn't show up on offense to help him out at the end. Just going around the locker room and telling everyone to keep their heads up. It's all right for it to hurt today, but come Monday, this is last week."

Do you think there was a turning point in this game, and if so, what was it?

"I think we had opportunities. Talking about this game personally, anytime you go into four overtimes, there are going to be a lot of chances that we missed and coming out flat in the third quarter or whatever you want to say. It is something in hindsight we're going to wish we had back."

After the North Carolina loss, you had two weeks to prepare for the next game. How is this going to be with no time after this loss?

"It's funny, looking back on North Carolina, I think we were ready to play that week. There was no, like Monday we can kind of be all right and then kind of move forward from there. Going around the locker room and telling everyone to keep their heads up and trying to move forward from there, I just have such great confidence in these guys and we're going to be able to fight through it." Top Stories