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Listen to Audio (14:02)
"Obviously, we are excited and thrilled to have won the game. I don't know if I have
ever been involved in as bizarre a football game as what transpired tonight.
It was two teams that fought hard. I think you've got to give Notre Dame an awful
lot of credit. I know they hate coming out on the short end. It's two
programs scratching and fighting to try to find a way to reestablish
themselves as football programs. I thought Charlie [Weis] and his staff did a great job.
"I thought our assistant coaching staff and football team did a phenomenal job of
persevering through some tough times early in the ballgame. We got it put to
us early, especially in the first quarter. They came out in a ‘no huddle'
offense and they came out in an empty formation which we had seen – Everett [Withers] and I had talked about it a little bit during the course of the week. They had not really shown much of that and done much of that with
Jimmy Clausen in the last two years, but everybody in this room has watched
Tom Brady do that all the time.
"It's a credit to their coaching staff to try
to change the tempo and change the pace of the ballgame. They had us
reeling. It took a while to scratch some stuff on the sidelines, to tweak
some coverage's and come up with some things that our kids could actually
execute and do.
"The flip side of this is that I'm very proud of the way our offense hung in there and had no turnovers. A
great deal of success we've enjoyed this season as a football team has come from the
standpoint that we have tried to protect the football and take care of it. And certainly today, any turnovers on special teams or offense would have probably really hurt our opportunities to win the game. A
5-0 turnover ratio gives you a great chance to win.
"I've got to take the responsibility for seven of those points, getting
greedy again after last week getting three blocks. It was probably stupid
on my part. As hard as it was for our defense to finally get some stops and
then to give them the ball back and have them drive the ball down. Again, the
players bailed me out and got me off the hook again today.
"Our kids have got a lot of fight and a lot of perseverance. They just keep scratching
and finding a way to win. We are fortunate to have won today."
On the controversial last review:
"Based on the previous experiences during the course of the game, I was not severely, overly optimistic about the potential outcome. You had to feel like there were only two true, real scenarios. Both of them
should have been good for us.
"The way I saw the play to credit the Notre
Dame receiver, knowing that there was 11 seconds prior to the start of the play. I thought for certainty that the receiver thought the time
had expired and that the game can't end with [him] in the field and I think he was trying to lateral it to any potential
teammate that might pick it up and stumble into the end zone.
"I saw it
clearly as a fumble and I think most everybody else did. And eventually that's what they ended up ruling – that it was a fumble and that we ended up covering. The flip side was
if it was not a fumble and that they were going to have run a play… They spiked the
ball, and the game and time expired.
"So it was going to be very difficult for me to see that they could legitimately put time back on the clock and give them one more opportunity but stranger things have happened."
And yet you were still worried?
On Sturdivant's interception return for a touchdown:
"Despite the X's and O's, you need an inspirational play, something good to
happen. It just electrified the whole football team. Kind of got our mojo
Listen to Audio (2:03)
On the offense getting going in the second half:
"We knew it was coming. The coaches told us we couldn't keep settling for field goals because they were putting up points early. We had to get it all together and make a few changes and then when we got to the red zone. Ryan Houston did a good job of carrying the load."
On the defensive effort:
"We have playmakers on offense and defense. Bruce Carter and the linebacker corps are doing tremendous right now."
Listen to Audio (2:32)
On the defense:
"We knew we had to play better on defense. We had to do our coverage responsibilities better. They caught us off guard a little bit.
"We have to get the offense the ball more. We're going to try to do that the rest of the games. I think the defense did well today. We gave up a lot of yards but we got the win. CLausen is a great quarterback and they're well coached. We just beat a good football team."
Listen to Audio (3:00)
The game's determining factor:
"I knew it was going to come down to who wants it more, and who would win the turnover battle. We knew that coming in, and we knew they had a great offense. So as a defense, we wanted to step up to the challenge and make plays."
On defending Jimmy Clausen:
"We knew watching film that he was going to hit us with quick stuff, open it up and pretty much just throw the rock. So we just wanted to get some pressure on him and thrown his timing off, and that's what we did tonight."
Listen to Audio (4:05)
On the defense's play:
"I think it just took us a little bit of time to calm down and relax. Once we got into understanding what they were trying to do offensively, we made some adjustments and were able to come up with some big plays. The forced fumble by Al was awesome, and that was a huge play. We just didn't do well on third downs all day and that hurt us, but we made plays when we needed to and we were lucky to get out of this one with a victory."
Is this the biggest win of your career?
"Absolutely. Each win is the biggest win of my career, because we haven't done it a lot. I think this one is one I'll remember for a long time, as well as the four that we won before. We're just going out each week and trying to win. It's never easy to win in the ACC. In college football, there's never an off week, so you enjoy the ones you get, and I'll definitely enjoy this one for a long time."