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November 28, 2015

Jaylon Smith

Stanford, California

Stanford - 38, Notre Dame - 36

Q. What was this year able to do to help you build relationships with all your teammates?
JAYLON SMITH: I think we were challenged mentally, physically, emotionally, in all aspects. I think that we handled it very well. We developed a culture and we stuck to it and it's something that I'm very proud of, personally, of me and all of my teammates, just how we were able to stick together and just have great camaraderie.

Q. What enabled you guys to bounce back tonight after (No microphone.)
JAYLON SMITH: Yeah, it's an elite matchup. Notre Dame versus Stanford, at Stanford. So you can always expect their best. It's a situation where you know it's going to come down to the end and we knew that going into it and they made one more play.

Q. You guys struggled on third down. Was it execution, something they were doing?
JAYLON SMITH: I guess they wanted it more -- no, it was definitely the execution part. They executed better than we did on those third down situations and it's something where it's very crucial and it's hard to defeat them when it's a lot of third and shorts, a lot of third and ones. So it's just a matter it of we were able to figure it out at the end, it's just sometimes things can be too late and like I said, they made one more play than us. That's what it came down to.

Q. Your game plan against McCaffrey seemed to work pretty well. You held him to one of his lowest outputs of the year. Was that --
JAYLON SMITH: What was his number?

Q. 99 yards.
JAYLON SMITH: Like total? Okay.

Q. So, it seemed to work for him. Was that your game plan coming in was to look at him?
JAYLON SMITH: Well, he's the number one game wrecker. Best player on the team. And the idea was to contain him. Based on the numbers we did that, but one player doesn't define a victory or a loss, so it's really just what it came down to, they played better than us.

Q. Does this season feel like success, disappointment, both? How do you process it?
JAYLON SMITH: I think it's both. No one wants to lose, so even though we lost two games, it still hurts, especially to end, to go out this way, as far as the end of the season. But it's definitely a learning lesson for all of us in our lives. Definitely in a lot of unique situations where things aren't going to go your way and it's all about how you respond and that's how I look at it.

Q. One more game, one more big game.
JAYLON SMITH: Absolutely, deep down we're all definitely proud of what we have achieved and this is my first 10 win season playing for Notre Dame, so I love it, but it's never a good feeling when you lose. I think any competitor can't be happy after a loss.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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