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September 22, 2007

Maurice Crum

Q. Maurice, do you even love practice when you guys are struggling?
MAURICE CRUM: Yeah, definitely, it's hard but my love for game; find me another game, I wouldn't be here. I wouldn't try to hard to work every day to get us to where we need to be.

Q. It's strange, we're talking about the running game improving and some little steps, but this team needs some big steps, how do you accelerate that process?
MAURICE CRUM: It's that fundamental and we've just got to go back to day one and just work out all of the kinks and get it around the same page and just go hard.

Q. Your game, what was going through your hard? You were all over the field.
MAURICE CRUM: I'm just trying to win. That's how I want to play every day. So, I mean, I come with that attitude and I'm just trying to do my part, that's it.

Q. From a defensive standpoint, how much do you think that the training camp mentality helped you guys this week?
MAURICE CRUM: I think it helped us out a lot but we still need more. We still have more work to do, that's evident, but I do believe that it did help us.

Q. Talk about just the start that you guys had, it had to be encouraging at half-time to see 17-14, we're in this game, we have a shot.
MAURICE CRUM: Yeah, definitely, that was a positive for us, and I mean, this has been a long time since we've played the game and it's been that way. So for us that was a positive.
Again, we had a letdown and for us to win, we can't have that.

Q. Talk about how hard it is to grade the second half because it was so disappointing. In your evaluation, was it them, or was it you?
MAURICE CRUM: For the most part -- all credit to them. They played an excellent game and their backs hit the holes and they made the plays and when they need to make the plays.
I think the difference was that we didn't make the plays that we needed. Getting off the field, coming up with turnovers, we just didn't make the plays that we needed to. All credit to them. They did had a they were supposed to do.

Q. Did you anticipate the emotion that they had, after last year?
MAURICE CRUM: Definitely. I was not expecting this to be a flat game regardless of what happened last year. This game is always going to be like an emotional game for both sides of the football.

Q. Can you just talk about being a defensive player, game four, seeing your offense finally get its first touchdown of the season, what that was like?
MAURICE CRUM: Definitely, it put smiles on everyone's faces, because that's all we're trying to do is get better and try to win. As we see ourselves progressing, that's always a great plus.

Q. Where do you see the payoff; can you see that or where do you see that or where do you look for it?
MAURICE CRUM: The payoff for us, it comes in putting in your work throughout the week regardless of how hard it is and whatever you've got to go through. The payoff for us comes Saturday. It's coming out and performing to the level that we know we can play at.

Q. But when you haven't done that and haven't done it at all this year, where do you look?
MAURICE CRUM: For us it's just back to the basics and then just back to work. We put everything else behind us and I mean, whatever what happens in the past happens in the past. We have to morning forward.

Q. Is it tough to maintain that attitude considering you went back to the basics this week and still a 17-point loss?
MAURICE CRUM: Yeah, but at the same time, we know that we've got a good group of guys. It's not tough for me because I know what it takes, and I'm just trying to get everyone on the same page.

Q. Talk about just keeping everybody together, and it could be easy for guys to drift away.
MAURICE CRUM: It's very easy for guys to just tank it or just to get off ship and just say forget it. But I mean for us, that's not Notre Dame football, regardless of our situation. We feel like we're going to come to work every day and just try to build and get better, that's who we are.
We have to determine that that throughout the week. A loss is a loss and nobody is happy about a loss. As we go through the week we just have to get everybody back going and I think we have done a decent job of getting everybody on board, getting everybody out of the tank and ready to go for next week.

Q. Find anything in the locker room --
MAURICE CRUM: That's definitely not us. We're a team and we are going to stick with each other through thick and through thin and that's just how it's going to be.

Q. Did you guys match them emotionally or was it hard to sustain that?
MAURICE CRUM: Definitely, as you see the scoreboard, we pride ourselves on going out and playing to the most regardless of -- we are always going to have intensity and bring it every day.

Q. Did you do that today?
MAURICE CRUM: I think for the most part we did. We had a letdown and they made plays when we needed to get off the field and that's just how that went.

Q. One week just not enough to return everything around, you guys started over last Sunday, is that one week just not enough to undo?
MAURICE CRUM: I'm thankful. I think we just haven't played our complete team game yet, and until we play our team game, we may have those struggles.

Q. The big play, the touchdown, what did you see there and how did that play develop from your perspective?
MAURICE CRUM: Again, it was a great call on their part. I mean, they executed to perfection. And again, that's just part of us getting on the same page and doing what we're supposed to do.

Q. When you see the ball on the ground, do you hesitate there? Did that give you pause, is that what happens?
MAURICE CRUM: Yeah, tough until we see it on tape but again they made a good call.

Q. A couple weeks in a row you have struggled to stop the run, what can you do to improve that?
MAURICE CRUM: We've just got to go to work. People running the ball on you, it's about attitude and we've just got to fix that and we've just got to keep that going and just get on the right track.

Q. Is it an attitude problem?
MAURICE CRUM: I don't think it's an attitude problem. Just when people run the ball, it's like passing anything; anybody doing anything on you, you've just got to at some point put your foot down and say that's enough.

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