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October 3, 2009

Jimmy Clausen

Q. That was a fun one.
JIMMY CLAUSEN: It was a great one. I'm so excited for this team, the coaching staff, and for this Notre Dame nation to come out battling when we were down, it's just a great team effort and a great victory for us.

Q. (Inaudible.)
JIMMY CLAUSEN: That's what we want to do. Offensively we struggled a little bit once we got down in the red zone, but to be honest, I'm just really happy for this team, for offense, defense, special teams, and especially for our coaching staff. They put in so much time and effort, and their families, as well; they're away from their families a lot, and I just give everyone a lot of credit, and this was a big victory for us.

Q. Talk about Golden.
JIMMY CLAUSEN: Golden Tate, he made a lot of plays out there, and that's Golden Tate right there. He makes plays every single time. He wants the ball in his hands every, and once I get it in his hands, he makes a lot of good things happen.

Q. Talk about the touchdown by Kyle.
JIMMY CLAUSEN: Another big touchdown by No. 9. He said, just throw it up to me and I'll go get it, and we tried it earlier in the game, and he slipped or whatever happened. But I just came back to him and he made another great catch.

Q. What was your reaction (Inaudible.) and they knocked it away?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: As soon as the ball was in the air and I saw that receiver just standing there wide open, I was just praying that somebody would come and make a play, and Kyle obviously came up with it. Probably the biggest play of the year.

Q. Talk about your defense today.
JIMMY CLAUSEN: They did a great job. They started off a little slow, according to the defensive coaches. After that first drive they came out and were putting pressure on Jake and on Washington's offense, and they were in trouble for the rest of the game.

Q. The one-yard stands that they had, that's got to be something you've probably never seen before.
JIMMY CLAUSEN: I've never seen anything like that before. That's something big for the D-line especially. The D-line has been playing great lately, and I just have to give a lot of the credit to those defensive guys making those defensive one yard line stands.

Q. What about the mental toughness of this team?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: I think you guys have seen that, the mental toughness, for the past two, three, four weeks. Whenever we're down, we're just going to stay calm and come back and keep fighting and keep fighting and hopefully come out on top.

Q. Until the final seconds.
JIMMY CLAUSEN: Until the final seconds.

Q. Talk about the lateral. What happened there?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: It was a little swing pass to Armando, and he got hung up by one of the linebackers, and to be honest I should have just threw it down at his feet and it was an errant error by me, and it was just a play that went bad for us. Thank goodness we came out with a victory at the end.

Q. How are you feeling?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: I'm feeling pretty good. I'm feeling pretty good. I just have some ice on. A few bumps to my body, but I feel great. Whenever you can get a victory like that, you're going to feel great.

Q. Was the toe bothering you at all during the game?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: It did a little bit. One play it started hurting really bad, but other than that it was pretty good.

Q. How much fun is this? You guys are winning these exciting games down the stretch week in and week out.
JIMMY CLAUSEN: It's awesome. This is why you play college football, and this is why you come to Notre Dame, to play in big games, play in your home stadium in front of your home fans, and go out there and keep battling every single play and come out with a win at the end.

Q. Talk about Golden today.
JIMMY CLAUSEN: Golden was amazing today. Ever since Mike went down, Golden has picked it up in practice to start off, and in games, as well.

Q. Can you talk about the helpless feeling of watching all those goal-line stands and just being on the sidelines?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: It's tough. It's tough, but that's why football is such a great sport is because it's a team sport. It's offense, defense and special teams. You've got to trust that the other guys on your team are going to make plays, and that's what a team sport is.

Q. Did you sort of get the feeling that they're going to be able to do it? They basically had three goal line stands.
JIMMY CLAUSEN: I was hoping and praying just like the guys on the rest of the team and the coaches there on the sidelines, just praying that they can hold up and make them kick a field goal.

Q. Rudolph replaces Hoyer as a guy you can throw the fades to?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: (Laughing.) I guess so. He's made two big catches, back to back weeks, and he's just another one of the playmakers we have on the team, and it's just great to be able to throw to a guy who's 6'6".

Q. (Inaudible.)
JIMMY CLAUSEN: In overtime? There was a little pressure coming to my left, and I just rolled out of the pocket. Golden does a great job of whenever I'm scrambling, he's going to come to me, whether he's downfield or come back or across the field. He does a great job of that, just keeping my eyes down the field and just make plays.

Q. (Inaudible.)
JIMMY CLAUSEN: I thought he was close to the goal line, but he jumped from like the 7 yard line. He thought he was superman trying to get in the end zone. It was just a great play by Golden and he's just trying to make something happen. Luckily Robert ran it in after that play.

Q. Talk about the two-point conversion. It looked like you were resigned to the fact that you guys hadn't got it.
JIMMY CLAUSEN: Yeah, to be honest I didn't think we were going to get it because there was a little pressure coming, and the first guy hit Rob and Rob just kept his feet running and the whole line just kept pushing and pushing and pushing in the end zone. That was huge for us.

Q. Can you talk about the fans today, how they helped you guys out?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: The fans were great today, especially at the end of the game. We lost the toss, we wanted to go down to our student section, and they were -- it was probably the loudest that I've ever seen this stadium in our student section be ever since I've been here for the past three years.

Q. Do you go into games thinking you're going to have to score in the 30s to win?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: We go into games thinking that we have to score one more point than the opponent, and I think that's the only way you can go into the games. Our goal is to score every single time we get the ball. Luckily today we scored one or two or three more points, whatever the score was, to win the game.

Q. What was going through your head in the nine-minute drive in the fourth quarter?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: We were talking on the sidelines, we were just like, kick a field goal already and get us the ball back. Get us the ball back, because we were just standing on the sidelines praying and hoping we'd get the ball back to be able to go down and score.

Q. What did you think about the two-point conversion? It looked like the play was almost stopped.
JIMMY CLAUSEN: Yeah, same thing. I thought it was stopped, and Robert Hughes did a great job of keeping his feet going, and the offensive line pushed him in, getting him a two-point conversion.

Q. When you gave Manti a hug, what did you tell him?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: I just told him that was a great job today, and that's why he came to Notre Dame, to play in big games like this. He's going to be really special in the upcoming years.

Q. What did he say to you?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: He just gave me a big hug, and we were just talking.

Q. Were you surprised that the mid-range routes that those backers coming up where the Mike would be were open over and over again, stretching the defense like that? It seemed like you went back to Hughes and Golden.
JIMMY CLAUSEN: Right. They play a defense called Tampa 2, were playing cover two, and the Mike linebacker was getting real, real deep, and to be honest, whenever they play that, I'm just trying to get the ball to the backs and just let them run down the field.

Q. Golden said he was surprised they didn't roll more to him. Were you surprised?
JIMMY CLAUSEN: I kind of was because Golden is one of our biggest play makers and to roll to the top of him gives defense an advantage because it's two guys. To be honest, he was making plays whether they were playing cover two or cover one.

Q. (Inaudible.)
JIMMY CLAUSEN: Oh, it's huge. Again, I told Kyle that after he made that catch, I said, that's all the hard work that we did in the summertime while no one was around. To be great, that's the little things that you have to do.

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