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November 19, 2008

Jimmy Clausen

David Grimes

Q. Could you just reflect on going back to your second year, taking us through your final home game?
DAVID GRIMES: Oh, I don't know if I can put that in a few words, but it's been a great experience. Going along, I couldn't ask for anything better.
Notre Dame's a great place, and obviously when you put a lot of time and effort into something, you know, especially in the last game, it will make you emotional.

Q. Anything stand out in your mind particularly, a play, games, et cetera?
DAVID GRIMES: Two years ago Michigan State, the big win over Michigan State. Michigan State, again, against UCLA at home. Those two games, you know, I remember vividly.

Q. I know I kind of asked you this on Saturday, but now that you've had a chance to look at it. How does losing Michael affect the offense?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: You know, like I said, after the game Mike's a great athlete, a great receiver. He helps the team out a lot in a lot of ways. You know, it's tough on a guy that goes down. But the guys that are behind him, they've got to step up and make plays.

Q. Have you seen that at practice over the past couple of days, or is the offense trying to figure all of that out?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: Have I seen what?

Q. Kind of those guys maybe improving and taking another step?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: Oh, yeah. Guys are definitely, you know, going out there and working hard. You know, making plays. Whatever they've got to do to help the team win and make plays is what they're going to do.

Q. It seemed that you have a comfortable level with Michael on the field, even though he is just a freshman. Is that maybe the biggest loss you guys feel you probably felt like you could throw it anywhere?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: Yeah, obviously, he's a playmaker. Whenever you lose a playmaker, you lose something and the guy on the offense. Like I said, guys are stepping up, and making plays in practice, and they'll be ready to go on Saturday.

Q. What's it been like for the wide receivers without him?
DAVID GRIMES: Well, we're still working hard. You know, we still realize we have a job that has to be done, you know.
We lost Michael, but we still haven't lost sight of what we have to do.

Q. You've seen seniors on the receiving corps and getting emotional. What will it be like for you?
DAVID GRIMES: To be honest, I'm not really sure, you know. I mean, I would love to be able to predict my feelings. But I think it will be something I have to experience.

Q. Does it make it tough that you don't know? Who knows how they're going to play with that kind of emotion. Does it make it tougher?
DAVID GRIMES: Not necessarily. I think at the end of the day, you know, guys realize we've still got to get the win. I mean, everybody realizes it's Senior Day, but at the end of the day we got to get the win.

Q. Jimmy, just wondering, Coach was saying yesterday that basically putting on the younger guys, the non-seniors that you guys owe the players. How do you take that attitude? How do you go about doing that?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: I think coach is right. You know, seniors have put a lot of time and effort, you know, since they've been here from day one. The underclassmen to send them out on the right note, first ask foremost we have to send them out with a victory, and hopefully we can do that on Saturday, so they can run around the field after a victory.
But, they've shown great leadership, you know, not only this year but last year as well. You know, we he do owe it to them.

Q. I guess the other unknown emotion is how does the coach change affect you? Does that mean you have to try more quickly and take them out of the game right away so they don't start getting momentum, or do you talk about that?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: Yeah, I think so. We always want to come out to a fast start and try to put teams away early. You know, that's our goal going into the game every single week. So hopefully we can do it.

Q. Can you talk about how your class came together between the coaching change, which is pretty unique and I imagine stressful at times. What do you remember about the recruiting process? Also just kind of getting to know your class once you guys showed up on campus?
DAVID GRIMES: Well, a lot of the guys committed when Coach Weis got the job, they committed. You know, it just goes to show the dedication and loyalty to this university, not to a coach.
But, you know, the last few years we've grown together. Guys like Pat Kuntz, Steve Schwinn, Asaph Schwapp, we've all grown together and become a lot closer. We've built relationships that will last a lifetime.

Q. Charlie talked a little about the coverages yesterday, you guys will get more cover two. As a quarterback, what is the challenge of that for you? And will you start taking advantage of that and take advantage of that?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: Well, the disadvantage of them running the cover two is you've got to be able to run the ball a little bit, and you know, we did a great job of that last week.
You know, throwing the ball down the field, I think you've got to take what the defense gives you whether they're playing cover two, cover three, cover eight, cover four, whatever the coverage is, just stick with what the defense gives you.

Q. Was it a situation where the offense had to go out there and prove that you guys could run the ball against that defense?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: Well, you know, our mentality last week was pound the ball, pound them up a little bit and just move the ball down the field running it.

Q. Are you going to lobby to wear the green Jerseys on Saturday?
DAVID GRIMES: I'm not sure, this is actually the first day I've heard something about it, but, you know, whatever the coach staff wants to do I'm up for it.

Q. Did you hear about it in the locker room?
DAVID GRIMES: No, I think one of the students brought it up today walking on campus.

Q. Are you all for it?
DAVID GRIMES: Oh, yeah, I'm all in.

Q. You talk about the memories over the four years, does the catch at Stanford in the end zone come to mind?
DAVID GRIMES: Well, the non-catch at Stanford. Well, to me it doesn't, but it's just one of many memories.

Q. Was there any doubt that you caught that in your mind?
DAVID GRIMES: No, no doubt in my mind. I knew I caught it when I stood up. Coach asked me on the sideline, and I said I caught it, no doubt in my mind.

Q. When they showed the replay, were you shocked when they rolled it the other way?
DAVID GRIMES: Yeah, yeah I was shocked. But the refs made a call, and you have to live with it and continue to play, but it was definitely shocking.

Q. I know you saw the last game last year, but is it difficult to relate to the emotions that David and some of the other guys are feeling since you're still so early in your college career?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: I think all of the guys on the team can relate whether they're seniors or underclassmen. I think it's kind of the same feeling as leaving high school. Playing in high school or plying your last game at your high school that you're ever going to play there and moving on to college. So I think it's pretty similar to that.

Q. You guys last week Coach Weis asked you a bunch of tough questions following the Boston College loss. I'm sure you watch Sportscenter and see things on the hot seat and that kind of stuff. How do you guys react when you hear those things? Do you think it's the media's culpable?
DAVID GRIMES: We try not to pay attention to it. I got a few guys together, and I said this is the time where we have to come together because he's still our coach. He's still part of this family. And we have to have his back no matter what. You know, we try to ignore it, and you know, just continue to play ball.

Q. Jimmy, what is your thought on that?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: The same thing. A lot of the things that are said in the media sometimes are true, not true. You know, we just had to go out there, keep working hard.
Coach Weis and the coaches aren't the ones playing on the field. It's all the players in the locker room that are playing, so a lot of things haven't been said. But when it comes down to it, we've got to make plays.

Q. When you see something said about another program, you take that with a grain of salt, because you realize that might not be an accurate portrayal of their situation?

Q. Having a game with Coach Weis already calling plays back, how much easier now is it going to be in that second game with him calling the plays again?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: I think it's pretty much the same, you know whether it was Coach Haywood calling the plays or Coach Weis calling the plays. It's the same exact offense. It's two different minds calling plays.

Q. In terms of how you're receiving it, was it any different because you didn't have it coming from upstairs, it was coming straight from the field? Was there any difference in that regard for you?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: Not really. I just look over at the sideline, and last week we huddled, so Coach Powlus would just signal the play number, and we'd just read the wristband and go from there, so...

Q. What have you guys taken from the Syracuse defense?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: You know, they're pretty good defense. They've got a lot of good athletes in the secondary. Their linebackers run real well. You know, the front four gets after it, big, strong and physical. So they're a pretty good defense.
DAVID GRIMES: They lost some games this year. But if you watch film on these guys, they were in the game in a lot of these games that they lost. But they've got a lot of talent on their defense. We've just got to take care of them on Saturday.

Q. You talk about Michael being out. He brought a lot of the things to the table. So how do you balance some of the things that you need to make up?
DAVID GRIMES: Not to put added pressure on anybody, but as a receiving corps, everybody has to continue to do what they do. The guys that are, you know, asked to step up, they have to step up. Not to put any added pressure on any of his receivers, but guys still have to play within themselves.

Q. Do you feel last game you're obviously slide into maybe a little more prominent role with Michael being out. Is there pressure or motivation?
DAVID GRIMES: No, no pressure at all. Like I said, you know, I'm still going to go out there and do what I do. You know, not having Mike out there, it's a big loss for this team. But, you know, we can't dwell on that. We still have a game to play.

End of FastScripts

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