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November 1, 2008

Charlie Weis

COACH WEIS: All right. Fire away.

Q. North Carolina got away, this one got away as well. Are you worried about the team's ability to close out games?
COACH WEIS: Right now you're not worrying about closing out the game. You're worrying about the psyche of the team. That's more important than the ability to close it out right now.
I think the next 24 to 48 hours, you know, it's a trying time when you come off a disheartening loss. You got to bounce right back. Get treatment tomorrow, and Monday morning come in and watch the tape, move on to Boston College. I think more than closing the game, I'm just worried about getting their psyche right for this week.

Q. The third quarter, you had so much momentum going into halftime. Came out in the third quarter, the air kind of came out. What happened?
COACH WEIS: Well, we had a bunch of stuff we really liked both offensively and defensively. On offense I think we had one first down in the third quarter. Maybe 11 plays in the third quarter. The defense was on the field a bunch. Obviously, you know, we had a chance to get off the field. They get the personal foul. They go down and score to get it to 17-10. We go three-and-out. We trade a little bit back. They go down there and get into the wildcat. Had a nice little drive there to get it to 17-17.
I think we regained our composure at that point. I think the game, the momentum, was kind of flipping back towards them at the time. I think we regained our composure and went down and scored on a nice drive. We were mixing and matching different personnel groups and things we do.
They come down, Baldwin catches that fade ball late. You go to overtime. To sum it up, we get in overtime, you don't score touchdowns, you know sooner or later something bad can happen. I know Brandon felt bad at the end. But he's a guy who's keeping us in the game all through the game right there. That's exactly what I told him walking off the field when he felt bad. When you get into overtime, that many shots, don't score a touchdown, you're just asking for something bad to happen, and it did.

Q. In the first overtime, pound, pound, pound all the way to the three, then things stalled.
COACH WEIS: We stalled inside the 10 yard line a couple times down there. I think we were trying to get into stretch runs or inside runs. We were trying to run the ball in, to tell you the truth. But we had a couple matchup situations that we really liked that we were trying to take advantage of. They just didn't pay off.

Q. In overtime, are you trying to hold your breath, hope you don't turn it over?
COACH WEIS: No, you're trying to run it in. You're not trying to hold your breath. What you want to do is make sure you're not putting your field goal kicker out missing a 48 yard field goal, trying to make him sure you get him in position to get that first first down. Now you're down inside the 15 yard line.
More importantly, most of the game, they ran some pressures, but most of the game they were playing quarters, four across, cover two. The best thing to do in that situation is to go ahead and run the football. So that's what we were doing.

Q. Would you do it again?
COACH WEIS: What do you mean, would I do it again?

Q. If it had gone to a fifth overtime, made the field goal...
COACH WEIS: Look, as a coaching staff and as a team, you call plays you think give you the best chance of having success, and that's what we were doing.

Q. As you watched the team go into the locker room, anything you saw in their faces that makes you concerned about their psyche?
COACH WEIS: No. I just talked about from everyone on the team, coaching staff, including myself, I talked about -- I went back and reflected back to North Carolina a few weeks ago, how bad they felt. I said, Here it is again. But the big difference is the last time you go ahead and challenge them. You say, Okay, fellas, here is what's going to happen. Now it happened again.
So now I think the important thing from my standpoint, the most important thing, okay, that I could work on when I was in that locker room talking to the team is start moving the psyche in the right direction, which is what I did.

Q. Toward the end of regulation, midfield, talk about that play at fourth and one.
COACH WEIS: We went back and forth there with the whole coaching staff. I called Corwin over. We talked about it. We said, Well, do we want to try to win the game here or play for overtime? We went back and forth. We felt with them only having one timeout, you know, they'd have to hit a big one to get into field goal range.
We called a play. Unfortunately we were expecting them in that case to bring pressure. They didn't. We went across in motion right there, a couple guys stayed over to the side. We expected Rudolph to be one-on-one over there on the backside. But they ended up playing zone instead of blitz. They win on the chalkboard on that one.
At the end of the day, it was a group conversation. I didn't just say, Hey, we're doing this. I called Corwin over. We talked about it. We decided to go ahead and try to play for the win.

Q. Jimmy's play overall, second overtime, he had Floyd there.
COACH WEIS: Hey, there were some passes he missed in the game, but he also threw three touchdown passes and didn't throw a pick. If he doesn't throw those three touchdown passes, throws a couple interceptions, it could be a totally different game, too.

Q. Brandon looked like he was taking that pretty hard. Do you talk to him about what he did during the game?
COACH WEIS: What I did is I said, Look, we just played a game and played a bunch of overtimes. I could give 50 plays right now that would have made a difference. One play could have made a difference between winning and losing. I said, Feel bad, justifiable so, feel bad you missed a kick, but you do not take the onus, the responsibility of this loss on your shoulders. I just thought that was the wrong thing to do.
You know, with kickers now, when it comes to that situation, you end up missing a kick, everyone blames you. I wanted to make sure before we got in that locker room he understood that not for one second I wanted him to hang his head. If he wasn't making all those other kicks, the game would already be over.

Q. Stewart, what was his injury?
COACH WEIS: You know, he got hurt running on the field. He was banged up a little bit in practice this week. His knee was hurting him a little bit in practice. He practiced. He practiced. He ran on the field and got hurt running on the field. Never seen anything like it before. I'll have to probably find out because at the time you just get the next guy in there and you're not worrying about what happened, you just know that it happened. It was running out on the field.

Q. Speaking of 50 plays that influence a game, the personal foul call against Harrison Smith, what was your perspective on that?
COACH WEIS: That was the one I was talking about on that drive to make it 17-10. You get off the field on third down, you get a personal foul. The official came over to me. To be honest with you, I didn't exactly see what happened. The official came out and said, Coach, it was blatant. I'm taking him for his word. I was following the ball. I didn't really see it, so I'd be lying to you if I said I saw what happened. But I asked the official. He said it was blatant. So I took Harrison out, said a couple kind words to him, and we moved on.

Q. Fourth quarter and overtime, was that a situation where you decided run or pass, and Mike decided which run or pass?
COACH WEIS: No, we don't do it like that. I give a formation. We talk about before a drive what we're going to do. Then we mix and match between them.

Q. Was it all Mike play calling?
COACH WEIS: It's a collective effort. It's a collective effort. But, you know, Mike is the trigger man on the play calls. But when you ask that question, it's important, I don't want any blame. This is a group effort right here. To be giving it out towards one person; it's a group effort, and we didn't get it done.

Q. Looked like they had double coverage on Golden and Floyd in overtime. Were they determined to take those two guys away?
COACH WEIS: Yeah, but the one thing is that they did double coverage, but the safeties are coming from inside out. So you still have that area, the fade ball is still a ball that's tougher for the safety to go ahead and get to in that situation. These guys, time and time again, have made plays for us on those fade balls.

Q. So that was available still, the fade route?
COACH WEIS: In that situation, we felt that was the best thing for us to go to.

Q. Last time you went through this you had two weeks to come off the North Carolina game. What's different about repairing things with only a week and another road game?
COACH WEIS: It's interesting you say that, because that's what I had to start working on there. The last time, after North Carolina, I had some time to let them reflect and feel sorry for themselves. I addressed it briefly in the locker room.
But today in the locker room, you couldn't wait because had you to start repairing it right then. That's really the tone in the locker room today, you know, Hey, fellas. I challenged everyone individual because all they could do is do their job. Come in there and get out of the tank, get treatment, get ready to go. I said, Come Monday, we'll watch the tape in the morning, go over the pros and cons, then we'll get on to BC around let's get going.
The biggest difference was I had to expedite my own process, so I had to start that in our postgame talk in the locker room.

Q. Can you talk about McCoy, what you saw in him, also what you tried to do to contain him.
COACH WEIS: I think in the first half I think we did a pretty good job of bottling him up. But a guy like that, a front-line runningback, especially when they dish it to him 32 times, that's not including that big screen pass. That was him, wasn't it, the cutback screen in overtime? Cut it on the right, went all the way to the left. When you keep on dishing it to him, give it to him 32 times, sooner or later he's going to make something good happen. He certainly did that.
He's got a lot of, lot of ability. He can run inside and out. You can contain him pretty well in the first half, but I think he really stepped it up in the second half.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks, everyone.

End of FastScripts

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