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October 17, 2009

Charlie Weis

COACH CHARLIE WEIS: All right, fire away.

Q. Just right off the bat, were you going for two if you had gotten in?
COACH CHARLIE WEIS: We didn't get in, so... I was going to use my last timeout to make that decision. I was torn. I had been toiling with the answer to that question the whole drive. My gut is I probably would not have. I probably would have kicked the extra point, make the freshman quarterback beat you in overtime versus the veteran quarterback.
It was a serious consideration that I was addressing with the staff at the time when we're going through that drive.

Q. There was a bunch of time that clicked off after the penalty. Did you think about calling timeout there?
COACH CHARLIE WEIS: No. We knew how many plays we were going to be able to get off right there. We knew what plays we were going to call. We probably could have gotten it off a couple seconds earlier. With that one second we had at the end of the game, that was about the number of plays we were counting on having in that sequence right there. Kind of figured out what we were going to do. Just didn't end up getting it done.

Q. How do you feel about your team and your program coming out of that game?
COACH CHARLIE WEIS: Well, anyone who doesn't realize the fight that's in the Fighting Irish is missing the boat. If you haven't watched the last five games, I mean, it's every week the same thing.
Would I like to not be in that situation? Ubetcha. But go all the way back to Michigan, every week, this team is a bunch of fighters. I'm proud of the fight. I'm disappointed with the losses. It's never okay to lose. But they're a bunch of fighters. Down three scores, about everyone in the house figured it's probably time to throw in the towel. Not this group. No way. Not happening.

Q. What did you tell the team after the loss and how are you going to move forward from here?
COACH CHARLIE WEIS: I'll keep that private. How is that? How we're going to move forward is we have a team that's beaten us six times in a row. After they get some time to regroup and gather their thoughts, I'd rather keep my comments to the team private. Boston College is rolling in. They've had our number here for quite some time. That's the next mission we have to take to task.

Q. Looked like Jimmy never really got in a rhythm in the first half. What did they do to keep him out of that rhythm and what did you do to get him in his rhythm the second half?
COACH CHARLIE WEIS: First half, they were mixing and matching pretty well. We were trying to stay one step ahead of them. We were playing relatively conservative to make sure that nothing really got away from us too early in the game 'cause we wanted to be able to go toe-to-toe with them. I think that was the most important thing early in the game, make sure you were in a situation quarter by quarter that you were going toe-to-toe so if you get in the fourth quarter, you had an opportunity to win the game.
The game started to get away from us a little bit in the third quarter. We spread them out, mixed a combination of some inside runs with Armando and with Jimmy with the field spread, I think that's when we finally got some rhythm going.

Q. Can you talk about the last sequence and what was supposed to happen with Golden, his knee was down on the two, and on the last one, who was that supposed to go to?
COACH CHARLIE WEIS: Well, there were three guys being free released on the play. First of all, the play before that, he's running a slant, and he's getting jammed at the line of scrimmage. He's running a slant. The guys stepped inside of him.
On the last play, we put Golden on the right, figuring if he had single, we'd throw it up to him. If they rolled over the top, we'd work to the left. If you were watching closely, you'll see the safety, which we anticipated, was going to run right over the top of the corner to double him up figuring we were going to throw a fade ball to Golden. So then we were running a high-low to the left.
We practiced it really with Robby. Robby was hurt at the time. So you had Duval on the slot, and Kyle over the top. Duval is coming open on the quick out. He's open. He falls down. Slips coming out of the break. I'll have to see, could the guy have made a play? I don't think so. I think he would catch it for a touchdown. But he slips coming out of the break.

Q. You mentioned the fight in the team. That's gotten you three up and two down basically in the last five weeks. How much value do you put in fight versus getting it done? Especially given the emotional attachment to this game, where do you look for encouragement? Is fighting them down to that last second enough?
COACH CHARLIE WEIS: I don't want to be sarcastic. Are you saying it's bad to be fighting at the end of the game? Want to make sure I've got this right.

Q. The fight has gotten you 3-2 over the last five weeks. Is fighting them down to the end enough or are you going to have to emphasize to your guys you have to get the last four yards?
COACH CHARLIE WEIS: We're playing one of the best teams in the country. That's who we're playing. USC is one of the best teams in the country. You're down by three scores. You get a touchdown, get a turnover, another touchdown. Get the ball down there inside the five at the end of the game, okay?
If you have an opportunity to play one of the best teams in the country, you're in that situation, if you would have told me before the game, You can have the ball on the five yard line at the end of the game with a chance to tie or win, I probably would have taken that.
So, hey, look, I'm really disappointed for those guys in there, I really am, because they're fighters. But you're right. When you're living on the edge, the way these games come down, when you're living on the edge, it's not going to turn out great every time. So I cannot disagree with you on that comment.

Q. A series and a couple of plays that might be forgotten in this game are early in the third quarter when you had the drive, third and three, two running plays to pick up the first down. You did not.
COACH CHARLIE WEIS: The field goal kicker going in that direction. I needed to get three more yards. I went to Brian, I said, What does it look like from here? He goes, We need to get a few more yards. It's third and one, fourth and one. We don't get it. That really swung some momentum. It's 13-7 at the time. Really would have liked to kick the field goal, but really wasn't in good position there.
I took his judgment and went ahead and went for it. We were really disappointed on that one because we didn't get enough push to get the first down. Then they come back with a quick score right after that. What was budding as momentum in our direction quickly turned in USC's favor.

Q. Gary Gray had an interesting day. I don't think he played this much since he's been here. Sum up his day.
COACH CHARLIE WEIS: One of the things he did in the last game was compete for balls at corner. I think as a coaching staff, one of the things that we've been disappointed in is the competition for balls that have been in the air. So going into this game, Gary earned the right to go ahead and get out there and do that.
Made a big play. Put us in a position to get it to a one-score game. I think he'll be playing a lot more.

Q. Could you kind of assess the play of the pass defense? A lot of open guys out there.
COACH CHARLIE WEIS: I just know that except for that first drive where they got three jumps there, ended up with a touchdown, or the first touchdown drive they have, most of the guys I saw running open were off of bootlegs or the fake slip screen where the tight end was running down the middle of the field.
I'd have to wait and see it. But I think they did a nice job with play-action, neutralizing, you know, our rush defense, which I thought we made a bunch of plays in the run game.

Q. Could you talk about the offensive line, both in getting some push in the running game, but also fending off the pressure that USC brought.
COACH CHARLIE WEIS: You know, we gave up sacks. But when you're throwing the ball over 40 times in the game against a defense like this, you leave yourself vulnerable to that.
I think, especially when spread 'em out, when we got to that spread-out mode, where we blasted inside, get the ball outside, I think they actually started gaining momentum, giving Jimmy a chance. Jimmy bought some time for us, too. A lot of sore puppies in there right now.

Q. Can you assess the way Matt Barkley played today.
COACH CHARLIE WEIS: Once again, I think he had big numbers as far as yardage go. Threw the ball about 30 times. A lot of them went for chunks. A lot of them were off of play-action, boots. Made a bunch of plays. I think that he did a nice job of managing the game.

End of FastScripts

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