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October 28, 2009

Kyle McCarthy

Scott Smith

THE MODERATOR: Kyle McCarthy and Scott Smith up at the front table. We'll start with questions from the media.

Q. I think last game you played and this week you're officially listed as free safety. Is there much of an adjustment there, or is it much different?
KYLE MCCARTHY: Not really. I've been in this defensive system for two, three years now and either safety position I'm comfortable in. And really they're interchangeable and there's not a whole lot of difference. So I'm pretty comfortable in that role and whatever the coaches say.

Q. What's been the key this year? You obviously made a lot of big plays. What's been -- is it experience or what's been your ability to be in the right place at the right time this year, do you think?
KYLE MCCARTHY: I think it's a combination of a whole lot of things. First and foremost, I think the guys around me are making plays. A couple of interceptions. I know there's been some good pressure up front.
And then the one last week, Raeshon made a great play, so I'm just benefiting from the play of my teammates, and then experience. Just being out there and being comfortable helps a little bit too.

Q. For both of you, how strange is this going to be this week flying to a home game?
Scott Smith: It's going to be a little different because we haven't been through the whole routine of getting on the plane and doing that whole thing on Friday, but just knowing we're going to have to kind go into that hostile environment where it's going to be more pro-Notre Dame fan.
It's going to be a little different, probably especially for younger athletes haven't been on a longer trip like that. But it's nice to know you're not going to have to go into that hostile environment. Pro Notre Dame game.
KYLE MCCARTHY: Should be a fun trip. We're when sited getting down there. For us it's pretty much like a road game except we're not going into the hostile environment like Scott said. We're going to have the majority of the fans. So it should be a fun time.

Q. What do you guys think of the whole neutral site home game? Do you think it's a good thing? Is there some advantage to it all or disadvantage that you see?
KYLE MCCARTHY: Well, if it's at the end of the season we're playing somewhere down South, that's always nice. I think that's a benefit.
SCOTT SMITH: I think it's good too because Notre Dame's fan base is wide, countrywide. It's still considered a home game, might give people more of an opportunity to come watch us play.

Q. Kyle, I was talking to David Burton Saturday. He said he was happy to see all your success because he was the reason for it. Your thoughts on his comments there?
KYLE MCCARTHY: I had more interceptions than Dave did all last season, so I don't think so (laughter).

Q. How gratifying is it as a team leader to be able to have such big plays at the end of the game as a captain and as a leader for you?
KYLE MCCARTHY: It's nice. I feel like I'm helping this team out, and just I'll do whatever it takes to help the team get better and win and, you know, really, like I said before, I'm just -- I'm just the guy getting the stats. But the other guys should get credit. They're making the plays.

Q. When you look at this game going into this neutral site game, at the same time there's a lot of guys on this team that played in Alamo Dome, how much does that help having that kind of experience across the board that something like 30 guys have already been there?
KYLE MCCARTHY: I think it will help a lot. Just Scott and myself, we've been places before and going back to play there, you get a little bit of a comfort level and you know what to expect. So hopefully it helps out in that regard.

Q. For both of you guys, some people have used this game as the term "trap game" for this game because of the fact they're 1-6. How do you guys as team captains try to avoid that mentality throughout this week getting ready for this game?
SCOTT SMITH: I think on any given Saturday anybody can beat anyone. So the fact that they're 1-6 doesn't matter what their record is. Every team in college football is dangerous. Good athletes and good players that can make plays.
So this week just approaching it just kind of another step to get us to where we want to be at until the end of the season.
And we know if we don't take care of business this week and somehow looking past Washington State, it's going to hurt us a lot just because they are dangerous and they have the opportunity to beat us.
KYLE MCCARTHY: This is obviously a big game for them. I think their coach has come out and said they're treating it like a bowl game and this is college football.
Anything can happen on any week. So we know we need to come out and play our best game and you really don't worry about their record or our record, we just need to play within ourselves and not make mistakes.

Q. Scott, as special teams captain, can you talk a little bit about Tausch's demeanor how he settled in and the kind of run that he's on right now?
SCOTT SMITH: I think the first thing I noticed about Nick is how calm he is. He doesn't seem to get too rattled or too high or too low. I think that's real important for a kicker just to be able to stay calm. And he has a ton of confidence in what he's able to do and it shows.
Not sure exactly how many kicks he's made in a row. I don't want to jinx him. But he has that confidence and demeanor when he's getting ready to kick that he knows it's going in. And when your kicker thinks that way, it's a lot easier for the rest of the team to think that way.

Q. Do you see just a confidence that you have in him, is that something that you really notice when you guys line up everyone on the sideline out there?
SCOTT SMITH: Yeah, it's definitely true. I really believe that everybody on the team, anytime he kicks a field goal just knows it's going in.
By the time he walks out there, the whole kick-off team is basically assembled at the other end of the field getting ready to kick the ball off because we know it's going in. And everybody's just starting to get rest and they just basically assume it's going in based on what he's done so far this year.

Q. Kyle, could you talk after kind of sitting down processing what happened last weekend, how do you feel like the new look secondary with the personnel being shifted around worked out, what benefit do you think that kind of gives you?
KYLE MCCARTHY: Worked out pretty nice. I thought Sergio and Jamoris stepped in and played well and our corners played well.
Continue this week to just kind of mature and work together and gel as a group. But I think everything's worked out really well?

Q. And watching Corwin in practice, he seemed to be getting on you guys pretty good covering the 7 route, and Sergio talked about it after the game. What's the challenge in covering that and why do you feel you guys may have not been as successful there as you want?
KYLE MCCARTHY: It's a combination of things. Obviously the call has a lot to do with it. Sometimes there's weaknesses in the coverage, and a lot of times that 7 route is a weakness in a zone coverage.
So that's one reason. And the other reason is just recognition of formation and tendencies and things like that. So now that we've been exploited on a little bit, we're working on it, and I think you'll see an improvement this week with it.

Q. Do you think one of the biggest things is just kind of mixing up coverages a little bit more, that that's not consistently a weakness?
KYLE MCCARTHY: No, I don't think it's that. I believe it's just the route scheme and the way our guys we've been playing it. So we've tweaked it a little bit, and hopefully it works out.

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