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September 19, 2009

Charlie Weis

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Coach Weis.

Q. How does this feel, getting a win like this?
COACH WEIS: I tell you what, after last week, how badly everyone felt last week, in a very similar situation, ending of the game, you know, to make a play to change the outcome in favor of us, I'm really, really happy for those kids in there.
It's really nice to see how genuinely excited they are and I feel great for them.

Q. How important is it for you to win a game like this?
COACH WEIS: Well, I think it was just win a game, period. However you won it, just win a game. Michigan State is Michigan State. They never give up. They're a hard-nosed team. They're going to play hard. They got down, didn't phase them. They kept on playing. Came back, took the lead. We came back, took the lead, then they came back and took the lead, then we came back and took the lead. They're driving at the end of the game with an opportunity to either tie or win. We made the big play at the end.
That being said, you know, I'm just happy for our guys because one went our way.

Q. Do you know much about Floyd right now?
COACH WEIS: I think he's got a broken clavicle. They told me clavicle. All they told me before I walked out is clavicle. I'm assuming that's what it is. I haven't talked to them yet. I saw him on the sideline. Didn't even go over to him because I had too many other things to worry about at the time.

Q. I'm sure you don't want to have to rely on your offense to bail you out every time, but if it's going to come down to that, just how good is your quarterback?
COACH WEIS: Well, good enough where I let him sing the fight song today. The kid got banged up a little bit himself in the second quarter. He wasn't full speed the rest of the way. He had a toe, I believe. Even though he was hobbling around, he's really evolved from not just a good football player but a leader of the team. And you just watch it. He has that confidence in his own ability that he's bringing some people along with him.
Games like this, if you need to score 33, that's what you need to do.

Q. As a play caller, do you have to amp up your aggressiveness going into the game if it appears your defense isn't going to be able to shut people down?
COACH WEIS: You have to be ready for it. I'm always ready for it. We started off the game in no-huddle, spread 'em out. It was a very easy explanation for that. For four years I've been here, we started off slow against them every time, just playing normal football. Then we've rallied. When we have rallied, we've rallied spreading them out. So I just figured we'd take the opposite tack and spread 'em out early. You have to be ready in case that's the way the game plays out.

Q. Were you watching the last stand by your defense?
COACH WEIS: I got to watch a lot more defense than I have the first couple games. But when that ball went through Ray's hands, flipped off his hands, they got it for a first down, Oh, no, go from interception to quite possible field goal or touchdown. I did have an opportunity to watch that.

Q. Seemed like today when Floyd did go out, your other guys really stepped up. Can you talk about that.
COACH WEIS: Yeah, we had different modes planned for the game. We had different modes. When Michael is in there, he's heavy involved in the schematics of play call. When he's not in there, you have to kind of throw that stuff out. Not that you're shunning the backups right there, but go more to the stuff that's geared towards getting the ball in the hand of the other guys, letting Armando, making sure he got his touches. Here is another guy that came on and off the field, he ran great, I'm going to have to hear about him throwing for the next month now.

Q. The wildcat formation was effective. How long has Armando been campaigning for a pass, period?
COACH WEIS: He's been throwing it in the dirt most of the times we practiced it. But today was in an exact situation where I wanted to call the play.
We've sprinkled it in the first few games. Going against Michigan State, who is a four-cover team, you have to be concerned with them having double fours, which they have by nature. You end up playing minus one football, which means they got one more guy than you do when your running the ball. The wildcat allows you to even up because now the quarterback, somebody has to cover him when you go out there, because the guy with the ball in his hands now is the runner, you can play even up and have an opportunity to run the ball. That's what the plan was.

Q. (No microphone.)
COACH WEIS: It's a different team than I've had. In the past, what might have happened is when we went down in the second half, it might have been deflating, but not this team. This team just expects they're going to come back and make a play and win. We drove some first. It wasn't just a 70-yard touchdown pass. We drove some, go down there and score. A couple of possessions and Kyle makes the big play at the end of the game.

Q. After last week and the way the game unfolded, did you find yourself drifting back to last weekend?
COACH WEIS: No, I was actually getting ready to call time-out. I still had time-outs left. I was getting ready to use my time-outs so I had a minute left on the clock. We had three time-outs left. I was waiting for the time to go ahead and utilize them because I wanted to make sure we had enough time, if they did score, give us enough time to go down and score ourselves.

Q. The defensive penalties today...
COACH WEIS: I'll just have to wait and see. I'll just have to wait and see 'em. I really prefer not to comment on the penalties or the officiating at this time.

Q. 30 more points from Michigan State. Are you comfortable getting in these shootouts every week?
COACH WEIS: You prefer not to get into shootouts every week, to be honest with you. But I think one thing that's important, what Michigan State did today, they're running so many people on and off the field, if you watch them, it was a constant substitution pattern. A lot of times it was one for one. A tight end for a tight end, a receiver for a receiver. So they were causing some confusion just by the substitution pattern, not because we don't know who their players are. Normally when you send a wide receiver on the field, it's not just to exchange for a wide receiver. A lot of that happened in this game. They did a nice job of putting us in those situations and I think that that led to some of their production.

Q. Without having seen much of the defense, a lot of people suggest this be a more conventional offense to go against. When they get 449 yards, is that a matter of concern?
COACH WEIS: No, I'm sure it is. I'd be remiss if I didn't say that was an area of concern regardless of what we were going against, yes. It wasn't just running the ball. The fact they threw it for over 300, you know, I think that we did a much better job on the day in the running game, okay. But they didn't run it as much as they normally do because they figured, hey, Notre Dame is going to sell out and go try to stop the run, so we're going to throw it a whole bunch. That's a good strategy on their part.
Them throwing for over 300, that's definitely an area of concern and we have to continue working on the run game.

Q. Great first quarter, second quarter mistakes, quarterback hobbled. What was the message at halftime?
COACH WEIS: Score in the first possession and regain the momentum. The reason why you take a chance, as much confidence as I have in our offense, I like to take the ball every time we win the toss, okay. We started off the game, we won the toss, we deferred. We get 'em off the field. We go right down and score. So the first quarter started the way you'd like it. Really the message was very clearly we need to come and score in our first possession, which we did. By scoring in the first possession, we flipped the momentum back in our favor.

Q. The win streak was something you said you were going to talk to the guys about. You snapped it.
COACH WEIS: Yeah, I think that's two streaks we've been talking about. We had that Bowl streak that they were getting drilled on that they got out of the way. They got this one out of the way. There's a lot of football to be played. But I think there's a bunch of happy campers in there today.

Q. You went a little deeper today in personnel, especially defensively. Was that a plan?
COACH WEIS: That was the plan that I felt from watching the tape after the Michigan game. Remember, it's been well documented, I don't get to see everything that happens on defense because of some of the adjustments I'm making on offense. One of the things I felt at the end of the Michigan game, our frontline players, some of them, weren't getting any production. Could be for one of two reasons. They're not playing very well or they're spent. One of the plans today was to make sure, regardless where it was in the situation, we were rolling people through there.

End of FastScripts

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