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September 2, 2009

Jimmy Clausen

Eric Olsen

THE MODERATOR: We've got Eric Olsen and Jimmy Clausen.

Q. Jimmy, I think a lot of us are waiting when sophomore receivers or Shaq, one of those guys, emerge. And all along it's been Robby Parris. Could you just talk about what he's done in camp to assert his place?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: Robby's done a great job ever since I've been here. He's been a hard worker, team player, a guy that wants to get on the field and help the team win.
Springtime, he was the only receiver out there, guys being hurt and going to play baseball. He's just done a great job leading up to this game on Saturday, and he's a playmaker, catches the ball real well and obviously runs with the ball well too.

Q. (Off microphone)?
ERIC OLSEN: To be honest, I really didn't have much of a choice but to put all my trust and faith in Coach Verducci, know that he's going to do the right thing to put us in the best position to win.
On a personal level, going into senior year, after starting the whole season at left guard, it was a little nervousness that came with that. Starting a new position, trying a new thing on having the responsibility of snapping the ball.
But at the same time, as far as helping the team, yeah, it's going to help the team, but it's also going to help myself be a more versatile player. Injuries happen all the time in football. And to play more than one position is something that's very valuable on the offensive line.

Q. You talked about you might not be the prototypical NFL guard size, but center.
ERIC OLSEN: I hope so, knock on wood. Right now I'm trying to look at this season. This is my senior year. I've enjoyed my career so far and I'm really trying to have the best year I can right now.

Q. Jimmy, Coach Weis was talking about expectations. Do you have similar expectations of yourself?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: I do. I've talked to Coach Weis a lot. After last season and his expectations are high and I think mine are higher than his are. And we might battle back and forth against that, but my expectations for myself are really high, especially for this whole team. We have real high expectations and we just gotta go out there and prove it on Saturday.

Q. Can't expect to have a game like --
JIMMY CLAUSEN: That's how I want to play every single game. Obviously it's probably not going to happen, but you have to strive to have the best game you can each and every week.

Q. Speaking of playing at that level and expectations, if you do play at that level, then what? Every kid that's a quarterback growing up --
JIMMY CLAUSEN: You know, you envision that being younger and stuff like that. But to be honest, I'm not worried about that at all. What I'm worried about is Nevada this Saturday and going out today and practicing hard and getting better, getting better than yesterday and the next day and just taking one day at a time and one game at a time.

Q. Jimmy, obviously Nevada struggled against the pass last year. When you watch the tape, what do you concentrate on? Do you concentrate on the things are good? Do you look at the bad, do you ignore it? What do you do?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: You kind of have to look at everything, starting with the defensive line. They have two really good defensive ends Basped and Moch, they're explosive coming off the ball and rushing the passer.
Then you look at the linebackers and the safeties and corners and just different techniques they like to use on different downs and just have to look at the match-ups, how does Michael Floyd go and, say, match up with this corner or Kyle against this linebacker at safety. A lot of things you have to look at.

Q. (Off microphone)?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: I have. This Monday we all came in together and watched some film for about half an hour, 45 minutes, just going over little stuff that they like to do and that we're going to try to attack. Just so they get familiar with the things that I'm looking at and I get familiar with the things they're looking at. So we're probably going to do that every Monday, come in and just watch some tape together.

Q. (Question to Eric about the team)?
ERIC OLSEN: We made it a point all season long that we're not going to talk about it, we're going to show you. That's a major emphasis that we've really been keeping together as a team from the leadership guys all the way down. We can't talk about it anymore. It's time to show it so you'll have to see on Saturday.

Q. Eric, I know you're not on one of the ends here, but I was curious could you talk a little bit more about Basped and Moch and the key to slow down some quick defensive ends. They're obviously going to try to disrupt your passing game timing.
ERIC OLSEN: Obviously from watching the film you can see how disruptive those guys are coming off the edge. So that's definitely been a focus. Those guys are great players, 99 and 55. We see them time and time again coming up on the film and making plays. So we know we're going to have to focus on slowing those guys down so that offense can be successful.

Q. And, Jimmy, I was just wondering if the game last year at the Hawaii Bowl, if that kind of opened up a whole new realm? I'm sure you weren't surprised about it, but I think nationally it looked as though that was a whole new level for you. Do you feel just picking up from there, is that where you're at now?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: Yeah, I think so. That's where this team is at, coming off the Hawaii Bowl and going into the offseason workouts, that's where we strive to be at. And even get better from that game. We played really well offensively defensively and special teams and that's what we want to do every single weekend on Saturdays.

Q. And one more, Jimmy. I threw this at the defensive guys, I'll throw it at you as well. Coach obviously takes a lot of heat from the national media. Is there anything you guys take from that personally? Is there any sort of, I'm not sure if pressure is the right word -- that you guys take to try to help him alleviate some of that?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: Just being at the University of Notre Dame you're going to have pressure. We always talk about the head coach and quarterback of Notre Dame get too much praise when things go right and get too much blame when things go wrong. But that's just the nature that we're in. And to be honest, it's not Coach Weis that's playing on Saturdays, it's us.
So if anyone is going to take blame for it, it's going to be us, not Coach Weis.

End of FastScripts

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