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UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME MEDIA CONFERENCE


September 28, 2011


Harrison Smith

Manti Te'o


THE MODERATOR: We're back with Harrison Smith and Manti Te'o. We'll take questions.

Q. What is your impression of how Purdue is going to manage its quarterback situation this week and how are you preparing for one or two guys, I guess?
HARRISON SMITH: I mean, we're not positive who is going to be in for how many snaps. We just are kind of looking what both guys do and planning how to stop both of them.
Really we're focused in on what we're doing, how each of those quarterbacks kind of plan to attack you.

Q. Manti, with either guy in there, does what they do change in pretty large or small ways?
MANTI TEO Just like Harrison said, we're just worrying about what we do. We obviously know and understand what the different quarterbacks are capable of doing. But we just worry about ourselves. We're worrying about doing our job, and everything will fall in its place.

Q. Harrison, I know there was one instance where you really tried to yank the football out of one of the runner's hands. You have progressed so much defensively. I would imagine there's a fine line between being fundamentally sound and taking more chances to create turnovers.
HARRISON SMITH: Yeah, that's something that we want a lot more of. We haven't had a lot of turnovers, whether it be interceptions or forced fumbles.
Like you said, I was just trying to get the ball up. That's something we want to do every week. I think you're going to see more and more of that.

Q. Does it require taking more gambles, particularly against the pass?
HARRISON SMITH: No, not really. When the opportunities arise, we have to capitalize on them instead of letting the ball be incomplete. We need to take advantage of the opportunities we get.

Q. (Indiscernible)
MANTI TEO The satisfaction for me comes from them not scoring. That's what satisfies me.
Now, we're always looking to take the ball away. We're always looking to try and get some turnovers. I think that just comes with consciously telling yourself a lot of times when you're going for a tackle or a hit, you just want to knock the guy out, you know what I mean, you just want to take him out. But sometimes you have to consciously tell yourself, the ball is out, he's holding the ball out a little loose, go for the ball. It's just things like that of the.
I think, like how you said, it's not like taking risks, I think it's just fundamentally breaking down the ball using your eyes, using good angles. It's something that we work on every day in practice, and hopefully it translates over to the field.

Q. I think Coach Diaco said you have a goal of turnovers per amount of plays. How does that work?
MANTI TEO I'm not sure how it works. All I know is from a defensive player standpoint, we just want to get as many turnovers as possible.

Q. Harrison, you had the good fortune of being here with Eifert. How is he a different matchup than some of the guys you had the pleasure of working with?
HARRISON SMITH: I think when you think of those guys, like Carlson and Rudy are kind of similar guys, both really big, real strong-looking guys. Eifert is a strong guy, too, but he's got a little more wiggle to him, I would say. He's just got that way to kind of get around a guy that's trying to slow him down on his route. So he's kind of got maybe a little more of that wide receiver feeling. I think that kind of shows itself on Saturdays going across the middle, going up for balls, making athletic plays that you don't see a lot of tight ends play.
I have a lot of respect for him, seeing him go over the middle like that all the time. He's always taking a shot but he always holds onto the ball. I think that's something that just shows his toughness.

Q. Pretty good shot in the back on Saturday. Does that kind of give him a little bit of credibility with guys on the defensive side of the ball?
HARRISON SMITH: Oh, yeah. I mean, we already know that about Eifert. He's a tough kid. Playing a safety, we know when you get those shots, you really like them. I kind of felt bad for him, like knowing what was going to happen.

Q. Manti, last week we were talking about Michigan State, last week Stephon got a lot of reps. How does that impact an offense when a guy like that can come out there and play nose, defensive end, give the opposition a few different looks?
MANTI TEO Stephon, first of all, he has a lot of speed for a guy that size. He has a lot of natural strength. He's very strong. You combine that with his frame, you know, that makes a very dangerous player. Stephon, he does a good job in there, provides a lot of energy, a lot of hustle. He and Aaron always show a desire to get to the ball. They're always going hard. They always want to make a play. So that's him.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks, everyone.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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