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September 16, 2006

Charlie Weis

COACH WEIS: Before we open it up for questions, I think it's only fair, before I start going through the analysis of our game, I want to make sure that I give proper credit to Michigan. We can all sit there and talk about Notre Dame football, say all the things that went wrong in the game, starting with the coach. But I think it's really only right to give just due to your opponent who just kicked your butt.
They've been much maligned coming into this game. I have a lot of respect for Coach Carr and his staff. I think it's really important to understand that that team just came and just whooped us pretty good. They deserve their just due before we sit there and give all the things we did wrong in the game.
I thought it's only apropos for me to go ahead and make sure I start off the press conference congratulating Coach Carr and the University of Michigan.
With that, I'll open it up for questions.

Q. Did you sense your team would come out so flat? What kind of week was it?
COACH WEIS: It was totally the opposite. It really, really surprised me. I mean, we had on Tuesday and Wednesday our best Tuesday and Wednesday we had. Like our little conference that we had on Thursday, where I said, you know, I wasn't really happy with how things went on Thursday, that was the only signs of the week where things didn't look great. I'm telling you what, on Tuesday and Wednesday, things couldn't have gone much better than they did.
Really I had no indication that that's the way it was going to turn out.

Q. Can you talk about Brady, the adjustments you tried to make with the offense?
COACH WEIS: I tried just about everything in this game. We went from our conventional call, we (indiscernible) to come in and formation them, have some wrinkles, run the same plays but from formations. They were stuffing us pretty good. We went through few drives. We were fortunate on Ndu's interception to even be in the game. Realistically we weren't moving the ball at all. Ndu gets the interception, brings the ball down to the 4, we go down and score. At least it's stayed game. We tried just about every little thing going.
We knew that they were going to be in their 4-2 package, 3-3 package, their regular defense. I think it came down -- we also knew they were going to pressure. So those weren't the issues.
The issue was simply, you know, regardless of what we tried calling, we weren't making plays, and we were careless with the football. More than anything else, when you're careless with the football, you're just asking for something bad to happen.
We turned it over early in the game for a touchdown. A little back shoulder throw a little bit behind John, bounces off his pads. David turns the ball over on a kickoff return. Then we just can't play football going into a game and turning it over four times and think you ever have a chance of winning.

Q. So much success up the middle with the run. What did you see there?
COACH WEIS: I think they did a nice job of tweaking their running game because to date they hadn't spent a whole heck of a lot of time on inside run. It's been almost all stretch. It's been almost all outside zone with an occasional cut-back.
Today especially, you know, they intertwined those backs, they got them both going. Hart really had a big day. Rushed for 125 yards or whatever it was. I think, you know, they got that inside run game going, a nice complement to the outside zone stretch play they've been running.

Q. Midway through the second, I think you went no-huddle, four-wide, split Darius a little. Was there a sense there that you had to sort of do something to change pace?
COACH WEIS: Well, I felt if we didn't get a score, especially when it got to be a four-score game, if I didn't get a score to get it to be a three-score game by halftime, I already knew what I was going to have to say when I walked inside, with how things were going. I knew the number one thing I was going to do is settle the team down.
What happens in games like that, you have a lot of guys, even the good guys, their heads start to drop a little bit. I already knew what my responsibility was going to be when I went in there.
I thought it was important to get into a no-huddle to try to get one on the board, to just get it to a three-score game after they hit that next bomb to go up by 27 or whatever it was. Yeah, I felt like we had to change the tempo.

Q. Obviously this is the first time you've been on this end of an outcome like this. What do you see in terms of getting these guys back?
COACH WEIS: I think the first thing you'd have to do is let the team know that you'll be the first guy to take the responsibility for the loss. I think it's easy from where you are to sit there and say, Well, Quinn, three interceptions, a fumble for a touchdown, that's 24 points. We can go right down the line. I got the numbers in my head already. But the bottom line is the team wasn't ready to go. Whose responsibility is that? I mean, it's just mine.
So I said to them right in there, I said, We're not sulking. We're giving just due to our opponent. More importantly, I go, We're going to come in tomorrow, we're going to go over this tape, we're going to get ready to work Tuesday against Michigan State because you want the same thing happening again? Just go lay another egg? Go up to East Lansing, the same thing will happen to you all over again.
I'll start off with me, though. I'm going to have to do a better job myself.

Q. You talked about Brady being hard on himself even after wins. Are you interested to see how he reacts after today's game?
COACH WEIS: I know how he'll react. I'm not interested because I already know how he'll react.

Q. How will that be?
COACH WEIS: You watch him. He knows how to handle himself. I mean, he's his biggest critic. I tell you what, there's plenty of people to blame. I'll start with me.

Q. How much concern do you have with your secondary right now?
COACH WEIS: I got concerns with everything right now (laughter). You can pick your names out of the hat. I got concerns with every facet of the team right now. I got concerns with offense, defense, running game, passing game. You name it, I got concerns with all of it right now.
We have a lot of work ahead of us here in the next 48 hours.

Q. Saw Wooden left the game after the hit. Is he all right?
COACH WEIS: He got banged up, went back in. His head was a little groggy. We have a policy here, which I think -- to err on the side of safeness, err on the side of safety. When he went in there, he was able to get cleared by a medical staff, answer questions. After he gets cleared by the medical staff, what we still do to make sure is we have the position coach ask football questions to make sure he isn't just saying he knows where he lives, to go one step further.
He just didn't -- he just didn't look like he was totally together. We figured the best thing to do would be to go ahead and get him out of there. His head was fairly clear. It just didn't seem like the right thing to do.

Q. Were they able to get a lot of pressure without blitzing? What did you think of their front four?
COACH WEIS: There was a lot of blitzing, especially later in the game. I have a lot of respect for their front four. I'm going to have to go back. It wasn't just their front four. I thought their whole defense played good. I wouldn't isolate just the front four because I thought they played fairly good across the board.

Q. What did they do that they were able to run the ball so well? Talk about their offense.
COACH WEIS: It was said before, the one thing, they've been running stretch, stretch, stretch. That's been their deal through two games. Outside zone, outside zone, outside zone. Today I thought they did a nice job of complementing the inside run with the outside zone. I think that opened up some holes. Not that you're not ready for it. But, remember, last year they were a pounder-counter team. This year they've been a stretch team. They added those isolation inside runs today which I thought was a nice complement to what they've been doing.

Q. Did they, after the first Manningham touchdown, surprise you guys by not throwing on first down after the quarterback sneak but going up top and deep on that rout?
COACH WEIS: No. As a matter of fact, we were -- we had a call into alert for taking the shot. They just made the play. It wasn't the only time we said, alert, take a shot. We actually have a call, alert, take a shot. We had an alert, take a shot at that time, but they took a shot. It hit.

Q. Chad Henne took a lot of heat last year, hadn't shown much in the first two games. Did you see anything on tape that showed he could have a day like this?
COACH WEIS: I know he was 8 for 12 in the first half for about a buck sixty with three touchdowns. He was on fire there in the first half. When you only have to throw 12 times, 167 yards or whatever it was, I don't remember exactly, it's probably pretty close. Three touchdowns, you know there's something. I thought he had a big day.

Q. You made a point of mentioning Coach Carr at the start of this. You've now had 14 games on the college level. Do you feel the heat is more or less than what you encountered in the pros?
COACH WEIS: I really don't notice the heat. I just know Coach Carr did a great job today. I thought he deserved kudos for doing a great job.
I think what happens too many times is, hey, let's face it, you go lose 47-21, you deserve to be criticized. You deserve to pick up the paper the next day and say, What the heck happened? You deserve that, okay? On the flipside of that, you got a team who just came in that kicked your butt pretty good, they deserve it.
The bad comes with the good. You're the one -- you and the quarterback are the ones when things go well, everyone pats you on the back. When things don't go well, guess what, you're the ones they should come after, too. It should work that way. I just hope it doesn't happen too often.

Q. You mentioned State a little bit. Do you use the struggles your team had the past few years with them or is this game all the motivation you need?
COACH WEIS: There's one incident in particular that I'll use as motivation.

Q. Were you surprised how much they out-physicaled you out there a little bit?
COACH WEIS: I was surprised that we collectively, from me on down, laid an egg. That's what I'm surprised at. I expected us to have a better performance than we did, and we didn't. That surprises me.
I expected us to do better in all facets. It's easy to spread the blame on this one, just like it's easy to spread the wealth when things go well.

Q. (No microphone.)
COACH WEIS: I don't worry about last week. I only worry about this week. After I get past this week, I'm worrying about next week. I promise you, last week is the furthest thing from my mind. I'm only worrying right now about the mentality of our team from right now till tomorrow, till the next day, to get them ready to play Michigan State on Saturday.

Q. You talked about making adjustments starting out. What adjustments do you think you have to make personally to get the team ready for next week?
COACH WEIS: I think talk is cheap. It's easy to be in our meeting rooms and everyone says, Yeah, we're going to do this, to do this, to do this, then not get it done. I'm going to have to create a mentality where the things we talked about getting done actually get done. That's what I'll be working on.

Q. How did it feel to have the student body with you even at the end of the game there singing with the students?
COACH WEIS: Well, I thought it was very important for our players to understand that you don't sing the alma mater just after wins. I think it was a refreshing sight, both ways now, that the students were still there waiting.
When I was here in school, I might have been in the parking lot tailgating already. I have to be honest with you. I don't know if I would have been waiting around. But the student body still being there, I'll give kudos to them. I also have a lot of respect that our players understood that you just don't go over and sing the alma mater after win. You have to be able to be part of the student body after a loss, as well.
Thank you.

End of FastScripts...

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