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November 21, 2009

Charlie Weis

COACH WEIS: All right, fire away.

Q. Clear their run game was obviously pretty effective as the game wore on. How was it effective?
COACH WEIS: There were two separate issues. I think that one they made some yards on the stretch play, not the counterplay, but the stretch play where we had the edge set and we had people in position to make the play. We just didn't make the play, especially that first touchdown run. We had a lot of people in place to make it. We just didn't make the play. And next thing you know, he makes a cutback and takes it to the house.
What they really made hay on in this game was both the power and the counter series where we had penetration inside. He they'd bounce it to the outside, and on those plays we didn't have the upset, and there were a lot of easy yards for them.

Q. You described you had to talk to the guys?
COACH WEIS: I waited until to really deal with it until we got inside. It was just as I described to you guys before, there's a lot of guys that were very emotional right now. Emotional, you lose the game. That's part of the emotion.
But the finality of that being your last opportunity to play for the University of Notre Dame, I think it's gut-wrenching.

Q. People are going to be wondering about the direction of the program. Is there an argument you can say, hey, things are on the right track?
COACH WEIS: Yeah, I'm glad you're the first one to go ahead and address that one, Brian. Today's not the day for me to reflect on things like that. I mean today's the day for me to be worrying about those guys, those 33 guys.
I really feel absolutely miserable for those 33 guys. And as I've said the other day and I've never been a hypocrite before. I come in here and start talking about me I'm really barking up the wrong tree, because those guys are the guys I should feel for today.
I'll worry about me tomorrow. But I think today I should be worrying about them.

Q. Came out with so much momentum. Looked like things were rolling your way. What do you think changed the momentum?
COACH WEIS: We had no-huddle going. Had the first drive. Went down and scored. Then we got stopped in the second one. Went down and scored again. We're sitting okay at halftime.
They had really made one play on offense, and that was that stretch-cut run that we were just talking about. They got a field goal to make it 14-10. Get the ball to start the second half and go right down the field again with change modes which we had practiced. This is what we're going to do. Go from a multiple wide receiver package to a more condensed package to hammer at them.
We knew we were going to do it. We just didn't know when we were going to do it. We didn't know if that would show up in the second quarter, third quarter. But we did it to start off the third quarter. Wen right down the field. Had to settle for a field goal.
When it is 17-10, you score the first drive of both halves, and you're feeling okay. You have the game under control. And now you have a kickoff return for a touchdown. Now all of a sudden, there was a big swing, big mood swing on the field. Things got settled down there, we ended up taking the lead. They ended up kicking one to tie it up and a chance to win at the end.
So that's the way our teams have been positioned. When you give up a kickoff return for a touchdown in a 17-10 game, it's a big momentum swing as it is in any other game. Puts you in a position and put UCONN in a position where they had a legitimate chance to win in the game, which they did.

Q. Got a lot of Miles out of Ruffer again, and a kid that hasn't had a lot of kicks in his career. What happened with Tausch?
COACH WEIS: You're not going to believe. If I told you, you wouldn't believe. But I'll tell you anyway. We're in practice on Wednesday. Nick went out there he kicked 7 kicks and six out of seven and one kick is a bad snap.
So we're feeling good about it. We go out in warm-ups, and the last kick after stretching we go ahead and punt the ball once, kicks the one field goal and he says he can't kick. That's when we found out he couldn't kick. But the last thing before we walked in to go out to walk up the tunnel, it's just an extra point we're kicking, and he said he couldn't go.
So thank God for Ruffer. Think about the situation Ruffer was in. That field goal in overtime, even though it's not a long one, that's a pressure kick. For a guy that's playing inter hall football last year, to step up and make that kick, I give him a lot of credit.

Q. Describe what happened there coming out of the tunnel that interlocked arms?
COACH WEIS: You would have to ask them about that. I had no idea they were going to do that. They just told me they wanted to come back after the 33 seniors were introduced. They wanted to come back. I was standing in the back because I hobble out there as I always do. And getting up front for what? And they said we're walking out together, and so be it. That's what you want, that's what we'll do.
I looked at Olsen, had a couple of choice words for him. Because it was probably his idea. But it was nice that they wanted that, they wanted to do that. But at the end of the day, that just goes to the start of the game, and what it came down to is playing football.

Q. In terms of playing football after the game. What do you tell the group of seniors? I know you said that Syracuse was a big regret?
COACH WEIS: Yeah, strike up the band for that one a second time around. I feel miserable. No one cares more about these kids short term and long-term than me. I don't worry about them just now, just today or just next week. I worry about them and their lives, which is part of this job right here.
We talked about trials and tribulations in your life how you're going to have ups and downs, and you're going to have lows like today, and you're going to have highs. I wasn't turning it into a learning experience. I was just being very practical saying this is the way life goes.
When you come to Notre Dame, you're just a kid. Just an 18-year-old kid who thinks you have all the answers to all the questions in the free world. When you leave here, you leave a grown man, ready to face the real world. Some of you are going to go play in the NFL. Most of you aren't. You're going to go get jobs and use your Notre Dame degree to go out and take care of yourself.
And I think that was very important that they understood, you know, that there's a lot of time and effort that's been put into this program from these kids on and off the field. And it's time for them to start thinking about going forward.

Q. Saw you kind of sought out Zach after the game. What did you say to him and what did you think of his play today?
COACH WEIS: I didn't want to see him before the game, because I thought that would be a distraction. I didn't think it would be fair to him to do that. So I wanted to make sure I saw him after the game to congratulate him and wish him well.
Because when Zach left, he didn't leave on bad terms. He just left. You know, as tough as it is for me to lose a game, you know, one of our ex-players is playing over there. I just wanted to make sure I congratulated them.
I saw a bunch of the UCONN players. They've been through a tough year since the death. I know that the game was just as important to both teams. I just wanted to let their guys know as much as I hate losing, which I do. I hate losing. For those guys I just wanted to make sure I wished them well.

Q. Couple of tough 15-yard personal fouls. Can you comment on what happened with those?
COACH WEIS: More specific because I'm trying to remember?

Q. There was the one on the personal foul?
COACH WEIS: Yeah, that was a foul on Sergio. It was 3rd and long. They're punting. The guy's out of bounds. The play is over with. It just wasn't a very smart play. And we had another one with Toryan over in front of our bench. To tell you the truth, I didn't see that one because it was so far deep into our bench that the guy had to tell me what happened because I never even saw it happen, to tell you the truth.

Q. Taking the field might be as emotional as we've seen you. Talk about what you're feeling at that moment?
COACH WEIS: I'm pretty emotional. I just try not letting you see it. You know, the fact here's the only thing that got me was the fact that they wanted to do this and they wanted me up there, that meant a lot to me. You know, that's all I can say, you know.
I'm really proud of these kids. I'm really disappointed for them, especially those guys. Those guys up at the front of that list, I really, really truly feel bad for them.

Q. Did you say anything to Armando after the game?
COACH WEIS: Yeah, I mean, he's in the tank, you know. You know, he had a lot of good runs in the game. A couple of really -- couple of plays that ended up hurting. But you can't just look at any one player in a game like this. There's plenty of opportunities in there for the game to be won or lost. He's just one of the guys who had an opportunity.

Q. Right at the end of that last winning play Toryan was running up the sidelines?
COACH WEIS: We were going to try to call a timeout on the play but it never got acknowledged. I said just run down there. They're down there close so there is no one standing on your sideline. So they're just running down there trying to give us a little more time to make sure we had seen their formation.
We call it the Kodak timeout. You see what their formation is, then you call the timeout. So you see the picture. You see the picture so you can make sure you have exactly the defense you want there are. But we never saw him. He's running down there, but I never saw them.
Hey, we had a defense lined-up and they ran it in there, so I'm not complaining. But we were trying to get a timeout on the play once we saw what their offensive formation was.

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