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October 3, 2009

Charlie Weis

Q. Charlie, can you talk about what a relief it is to win by seven instead of a three- or four-point game?
COACH WEIS: Touche. Okay, strike one for you on that one. (Laughter.)
I'll tell you what, I'm just happy, really happy for these kids. They just keep on fighting and fighting and fighting. Four weeks in a row you get into the same situation, and the first one doesn't turn out right, turn out the way you want it, and now three weeks in a row they've come up. There was a lot of bad stuff in the game, but I'm going to have a tough time feeling bad tonight.

Q. Has there been a more bizarre game you've coached in a while?
COACH WEIS: No, I think that probably -- other than my disappointment in our red zone efficiency early in the game that really kept the game closer than I thought it should have been and us laying one on the ground for them for a walk-in touchdown on a lateral, on a screen pass, I think that the entire game, the ebb and flow of the game, probably the whole game came down to that double goal-line stand -- not the goal-line stand, the double goal-line stand. If they go in, it's a two-score game, and the odds of us winning right there really, really aren't very high, especially when all the clock is running during this one set. Now the next set right there. So if they end up going in for six right there, and it's a two-score game and now it's 2:53 or whatever it is, we're in big trouble.
Now, conversely, because the defense stopped them and held them to a field goal, I think now our team is confident enough that we're down a score at the end of the game and No. 7 has got the ball and he's got some time, usually something good is going to happen.

Q. Expanding on the double goal-line stand, once there was the penalty, they go back out there, and that was incredible. Can you talk about that?
COACH WEIS: Well, I thought -- my concern is probably the same as yours, that they'd be a little bit deflated having to go out there. But there were no signs of it. They controlled the line of scrimmage, they got some penetration at the line of scrimmage, and you've always got to worry about 10. You've got to -- you've always got to worry about that No. 10, whether he quarterback sneaks or he keeps the ball himself or they boot and all those other things; you can't just have to worry about the running game.
But a double goal-line stand, not to mention that they had another goal-line stand down at the other end in the third quarter, I believe. That's a heck of a job on goal-line defense.

Q. You were talking about the clock. Was there a part maybe at the 7:07 mark where you almost hoped they just scored quickly?
COACH WEIS: Well, I'm never hoping they score, but I was concerned because I was actually thinking about starting to call timeouts to give myself enough time because now all of a sudden if they go in and it's four minutes to go in the game and you've got to score twice, you're going to be in two-minute offense, and even if you score the first time, how much time is going to be left at the end of the game to have an opportunity to get the ball back?
So yeah, I would be remiss if I said that I wasn't really concerned about how much clock was getting eaten up while they were doing that.

Q. Talk about Robert, the two-point conversion, him coming in for Armando, and could Armando have come back in?
COACH WEIS: Armando, it's the same thing, that ankle that he was playing with and got rolled up a little bit on the one play. He could have gone, but I felt that Robert, when we went to the change of pace and had Robert going, and he was running north, and with the field starting to get a little sloppy, which it was starting to get, I thought that those running north runs were the best way to go. So Robert did a nice job and really changed field position and then obviously ran it in at the end, which was probably the most critical play.

Q. Why was that goal-line defense able to work? What particularly?
COACH WEIS: It was penetration. I think that it all came down to penetration. When you're on the goal line and you're a yard away or a foot away -- let's look at us early in the game. We either get the ball down there on the two yard line, and the penetration went the opposite way. We ran the ball once to the left and then we threw a play action pass and we ran the ball once to the right and the line of scrimmage was going the other way. At the end of the game it was totally different.
Now, when Robert went to run it in, now the line of scrimmage was moving the way you want it to be going. But I think on all those plays, the one thing you saw, you saw penetration across the front, and that gave you an opportunity.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about Te'o and his performance today?
COACH WEIS: Well, you know, I told you guys last week, and sorry for you people from Washington, but when we talked for the locals, when we talked about Manti was going to play a whole bunch more, and as the week went on, John felt more comfortable with him in there in both base and nickel. To this point he's really been repping a lot more nickel than base, but John felt confident that we could get some production out of him. I don't know how many plays he played, but it certainly seemed like he was out there a lot.

Q. On the two-point conversion, your view on the two-point conversion? Did you feel worried that Hughes was stopped?
COACH WEIS: Well, he was -- his initial thing was stopped, but there was a scrum in there, and he's a big boy that's pushing the pile north. You know, you get those scrums and all of a sudden you end up in the end zone, so score one for the good guys.

Q. Was that Stanford of '05? Was it that play?
COACH WEIS: Yeah, similar play. That was the intent. The thing was, we knew that the front was going to be a little bit different, and Stanford in '05 we expected them to have a wide-open deal. So it's a little different blocking scheme to run the same similar play.

Q. Their red zone defense, is it a personnel shift on their part?
COACH WEIS: Well, they play what we call Red 7, which is a form of quarters with doubles incorporated in there for most of the time. That's why we came with Kyle out there. The first time when we didn't end up scoring, we came back with Kyle out there, and we figured we'd just -- it didn't make a difference which corner was over there, we were just going to go throw a back shoulder was when they got to that coverage. That's the only thing you really had right there, throw it up to the big guy. And really Kyle was kind of replacing Michael in that situation right there so we could go use his 6'7" and his hoop skills to go up and get it.

Q. What was the issue with Fleming?
COACH WEIS: He tweaked his hammy and went through warmups. We went through warmups, and I looked at him, and he told me he didn't think he could go. It was like -- this was right after warmups. So after warmups it was a no-go. Like a lot of other guys, they get bumps and bruises, but this is a guy who practiced Tuesday and Wednesday. It wasn't like he didn't practice Tuesday and Wednesday.

Q. What more can you do from a tackling standpoint in practice in terms of open field tacking, not goal-line tackling.
COACH WEIS: I'll worry about that tomorrow after I get a chance to watch it. There was a lot of things that happened in that game that I'd like to have back, but I liked the end all.

Q. Can you talk about the way Tate was able to get open?
COACH WEIS: We tried to put him in a lot of different spots. We motioned him out of the backfield, which was a new wrinkle that got us a couple of plays. We lined him up in the slot, we motioned him to the strong side, we motioned him to the weak side. But the bottom line is when we're sending both he and Rudolph vertical, then you have to kind of pick your poison, who are you going to try to help there. We hit Kyle on the one seam ball, but for most of the time, most of the action ended up going Golden's way.

Q. Did it give you a heart attack when he got up?
COACH WEIS: I just didn't want the ball to come out. Trust me, if you were thinking that I wasn't thinking that when all of a sudden he jumps up, and I said, oh, no, just take care of the football. That's the only thing that went through my mind.

Q. Talk about Jimmy's ability to stay alive in the pocket and especially how it links up with Golden's ability to improvise down the field?
COACH WEIS: Physically it's by far the No. 1 thing that Jimmy Clausen has gotten better at. He has taken it to a whole different level about moving in the pocket and moving from the pocket and keeping his eyes downfield. He's not a 4'5 40 guy, but now what he's now done totally different from year one to year two, now he feels the pressure, he gets himself out of bad situations, and he's not looking to run it too often, which is a good thing. He'll run it when he needs to, but his eyes are downfield, he remembers where the receivers are, and that gives him an opportunity to make a play.

Q. You talked about the red zone problems. It seems like Tausch is a guy is the kind of guy you can rely on now.
COACH WEIS: He's going to have to pick up the slack for Michael because now I think that that's one of the things we have to do is we have to find more ways to involve Kyle in the red zone. You get that big body and soft hands, I think that that's what we're going to have to continue game planning.

Q. And then Tausch kicking today, your thoughts on what he did.
COACH WEIS: Well, I mean, there's some inclement weather, and every field goal and extra point he made. Except for that one kickoff against the wind that looked a little bit short, I think he had a pretty good day at the office for a freshman.

Q. Last thing, Harrison's hit at the end of the game, what was your view on that?
COACH WEIS: I thought it was sweet. (Laughter.)
The guy had the ball in his hands, now Harrison is going to lay him out, but the guy had the ball in his hands. When I saw him hit him, the next thing I was seeing, is that going to ball going to bounce to somebody else, the way this game is going. Would it have surprised you the way that game went? No, it wouldn't have surprised me, either. When that ball hit the ground, there was nobody happier than me, I promise you.

Q. (Inaudible.)
COACH WEIS: I think that Manti put himself in a position where now he's gotten past that game where he has to play a whole bunch of plays and playing base and playing nickel, and I think that it's just going to be a steady climb for Manti.

End of FastScripts

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