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September 13, 2008

Jimmy Clausen

JIMMY CLAUSEN: They made plays. My job was to get the ball to the athletes, get them the ball and do what they do.

Q. How does that make you feel when Coach tells you about a game plan, saying we're going to come out bombing away with the quarterback?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: It's great. I mean, he has confidence in me and the receivers coming out of the gate throwing bombs, and we're going to do that from the start of the game, and Coach has confidence in us.

Q. After what they did to you guys last year, how good does this feel?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: It feels great. I was talking to the guys after the game about it. Feels great not to do what we did last year.

Q. You and Golden Tate --
JIMMY CLAUSEN: It's not just me and Golden, it's all the receivers and the running backs. We have a great time and great confidence in one another.

Q. You haven't beaten any of the big-name teams. Did you need a game like this?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: We wanted to get another win. 4-0 now, you know what? We're going to celebrate that win and try to get the win next week.

Q. No sacks. Big change from last year?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: It's huge. I told the offensive linemen in the locker room, I said, "Pick a place you want to go to dinner. I'm buying this week." I'm giving them a bonus.

Q. How do you feel now? Did you think this is what college football would be like, versus last year?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: Definitely, playing a hard game against a great team, Michigan, and coming out and earning our respect; that's one of big things for this team. Yesterday in the pep rally we said we needed to go out and earn respect, and we did that today.

Q. Jimmy, what about the gloves?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: I put 'em on when it started raining.

Q. Had you done it before?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: I've done it messing around, but today I needed them.

Q. How did it feel?

Q. (No microphone.)
JIMMY CLAUSEN: It's huge for this team, you know, just to be able to come out and get a good win against a good opponent.
Michigan is a great team. We just wanted to come out today, earn our respect and get another victory.

Q. Golden said that before the game he saw fire in Charlie that he's not seen in a long time.

Q. Screamin' around saying "this is Michigan"?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: Yeah, I did see that, and Coach Weis was fired up before the game. I've never seen him like that before. The team was fired up and ready to go, and we give the credit to Coach Weis and the other coaches for getting us ready for this game.

Q. (No microphone.)
JIMMY CLAUSEN: What do you mean by that?

Q. Did it drop off when you came in? Now you have a win over a traditional power house team, did that help your confidence?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: My confidence wasn't an issue at all. I'm confident in what I can do and what this team can do. We showed it today.

Q. You were fired up after the touchdown. Do you think maybe you were feeling the emotion?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: That's why I came to Notre Dame. We have the greatest fans in the students, the greatest student section in the country, and you've gotta have fun. This is football; this is what I love. This is what I love to do. You've got to have fun.

Q. How big was it to feel this place? This has to be your best win.
JIMMY CLAUSEN: Coming out and putting 21 points early on the board was huge for this team.

Q. Did it feel like it was clickin' and you had everything working right?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: We felt good today, not just offensively, special teams and defensively. We felt strong.

Q. The opportunities, kept getting the ball back?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: That's why you play the game of football. It's not a 30-minute game, it's a 60-minute game and you've got to take each play one at a time and play your best each and every play.

Q. Jimmy, how much did the fourth quarter of last week help you with the quick start this week?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: I think it was huge. I think that last week in the fourth quarter when David and Kyle got that fumble, you know, that started the season for us. I think we just, you know, moved forward from that play and we're going to keep on going.

Q. How much better did you feel starting out? Seems like your confidence and your performance is really climbing exponentially.
JIMMY CLAUSEN: It's not just me being confident, it's the offensive line, tight ends, receivers, backs, myself, and this team is confident. We've got to go out each and every day and keep working hard.
Michigan State is next, and we're going to celebrate this win tonight and get ready for Michigan come Monday.

Q. You said early on that your abilities compared to last year there is a huge difference. Now that you know the world is watching and there is confidence with the fans, where do you think this feeling is for this team?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: Like me and David said, it was either last week or two weeks ago. The sky is the limit for this team, and we've got to keep going out each and every day, work as hard as we can, and we can't take a day off. We've got to work each and every day, get better and get ready to go on Saturdays.

Q. When you were at the college football Hall of Fame, the feelings you must have had and the ending last week, the win this week, being part of a huge program?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: This is big-time college football. This is why everyone comes to the University of Notre Dame, and playing games like this against Michigan and a big rivalry and coming out with a victory.

Q. The longer you stand undefeated the better you keep playing?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: This is great. This is what we work for during the off-season, keep winning and keep practicing hard, get better each and every day.

Q. (No microphone.)
JIMMY CLAUSEN: When it started downpouring the second half, we stressed ball security. I think that was the biggest thing that we did to give us the edge over Michigan today, is we took care of the ball, ball security. Running backs, receivers, tight ends, we did a good job there.

Q. (No microphone.)
JIMMY CLAUSEN: I think so. Like Maurice Crum said during the pep rally, we had to earn our respect today, and I think we did that today.

Q. Nice to come out and get a big win today? You guys have to come back from a tough game last week. Did that make today more serious, carrying it over from week one?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: It does, just a carryover from what we did last quarter of last week to this week was great for us.

Q. Can you talk about the offensive line, how they're playing right now?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: They're playing great. That group is real confident, and I couldn't give more praise to those guys. I think they won the game for us today, the way they played, run, block, and pass protection, they did great today.

Q. (No microphone.)
JIMMY CLAUSEN: (Chuckles.) No, it's not scary in front of him. He's ready to go each and every play, each and every day, and we've got to have that in our offensive linemen.

Q. Is this the beginning of something, a new chapter for you guys?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: Yeah, it felt like that last week in the fourth quarter when David and Kyle made that fumble recovery in the end zone. I think that was the turning point for this team.

Q. You guys put last year behind you, and do you think the rest of the world will be able to do that after they've seen this dominant performance?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: The rest of the world can do whatever they want to, looking at 2007, but this team is moving forward.

Q. (No microphone.)
JIMMY CLAUSEN: I don't know, I told 'em they needed to figure out where they wanted to go to dinner, and I'm going to take 'em out.

Q. They said Ruth's Chris.
JIMMY CLAUSEN: If it's Ruth's Chris, it's Ruth's Chris.

Q. Can you afford that?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: We'll see! (Chuckles.)

Q. How are you feeling?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: I feel great, you know, no sacks the past two games, the offensive line has been great, I couldn't give more praise to those guys. They work hard each and every day.

Q. What's the difference?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: I think it's a few things. They're older, know what they are doing each and every play, and their confidence level is really high right now and they've got to stay at it, keep working hard each and every day during practice and keep playing like they're playing.

Q. Executing off of turnovers, keys to the game?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: I think we needed to put points on the board early and we need to do get it going. Thanks.

End of FastScripts

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