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October 13, 2012

Manti Te'o


Q.  Is this a championship level team?
MANTI TE'O:  We are getting there, I think so, and we are going to continue to work.  I think that's the thing that makes us a championship team is that we are never satisfied.

Q.  Inaudible.
MANTI TE'O:  It's always special.  You know, show our fans appreciation and how thankful we are for their support.  It was a loud environment.

Q.  Inaudible.
MANTI TE'O:  We knew that they were going to run the ball.  We knew that basically No. 33 was going to have the ball so everybody knew their job.

Q.  On third down‑‑ inaudible.
MANTI TE'O:  It's a play for every inch.  The Inc. Is what it's all about.  Football is a game of inches and you're fighting and our guys had him on his legs holding up.  I was just glad I got in there.

Q.  Inaudible.
MANTI TE'O:  Yeah, they blew the whistle once, I think Bennett‑‑ kind of on his back and they blew the whistle.

Q.  Inaudible.
MANTI TE'O:  Just consistency, confidence.  Tommy is level‑headed, locked in.  As the game gets on, just it's easy to let your guard down a little bit thinking you're not going to go in, but Tommy is always locked in and taking notes from where he's standing so that when he gets his opportunity, he can go in there and help our team win just like he did today.

Q.  Inaudible?
MANTI TE'O:  Definitely bringing us a lot of pride.  We take a lot of pride in it.  Now we are just going to do our best to keep the points down and that's including field goals.  So whatever it takes to win, we are going to try to dominate the game.

Q.  Inaudible.
MANTI TE'O:  When you play a team like Stanford, you understand that they run‑‑ so No. 33, Stepfan, he's a good player.  You have to know yourselves and know the opponent‑‑ obviously we knew who their go‑to guy was.

Q.  You guys were the best defense on the field; were you guys‑‑
MANTI TE'O:  No, I think for our defense, we have the mentality like I said that you can put the ball down wherever, doesn't matter, we are used to it.  Our coaches have done a great job of getting us mentally ready as much as physically ready.   Just understanding that we are going to have scrimmages, it's part of football.  But it's becoming another success of our team.  We are special players and we have special coaches and we'll continue to get better.

Q.  Inaudible.
MANTI TE'O:  The goal line, the game is on the line, that's where it's at.  We have a lot of big‑time players on our defense and they stepped up big time.

Q.  Inaudible.
MANTI TE'O:  No matter what happens, everyone stood together.

Q.  Inaudible.
MANTI TE'O:  Yeah, we understood that they are going to run a lead or going to run a power, but what we were seeing, it was going to be lead more so than power and Louis did a great job.  The thing about Louis Nix, he reads things from where he stands.  He's tough on the line‑‑ inaudible‑‑ turned around, he was on his back.

Q.  Do you know which play before‑‑
MANTI TE'O:  Kind of, yeah, kind of.

Q.  Inaudible.
MANTI TE'O:  I hope so.  I hope so.

Q.  Inaudible.
MANTI TE'O:  Yeah, had a pick‑‑ inaudible‑‑ getting better every day.  He's a veteran that gets them going and makes sure that he gets‑‑ inaudible.

Q.  Inaudible.
MANTI TE'O:  I think, you know, doing what we are doing, our mentality is week‑by‑week, team by team.  We are 6‑6 and we are very lucky to be 6‑6.  All we are focusing on is to be 6‑0‑‑ we are 6‑0.  You know, it's not even‑‑ we can't be focusing on being 12‑0.  We can only focus on 7‑0 and 8‑0 and so on and so forth.

Q.  Inaudible.
MANTI TE'O:  We knew they were going to run the ball.
Those are moments that you remember and I think that you remember it's one of the most gritty, just get‑after‑it defenses.

Q.  Do you step back and look at the students‑‑ inaudible.
MANTI TE'O:  Yeah, obviously looking at the students, the energy, the pride.  It definitely helps our team.
We just focused on trying to be the best and if you're not trying to be the best at what you do, why are you even in this game.  If you're just going to be mediocre, then football isn't for you.
So we are always trying to be the best in everything we do, best tackling defense, best‑‑ just the best defense as a whole.  That's part of us now.  It's not something that we have to preach.  It's part of us and something we'll only get better at.

Q.  Inaudible.
MANTI TE'O:  Will I look at it?  I want to see where we are going and where we're heading and I think we'll just take a glance and see how far we've come and go from there and focus on BYU.
As long as we are getting close to No.1‑‑ I think this team is a mature team and we understand that we want to look at the rankings at the end of this season.  That's when it really counts.  As the season progresses‑‑ inaudible‑‑ we're doing good.

Q.  Inaudible.
MANTI TE'O:  Great team, great defense.  Our coaching staff does a great job of getting us ready week‑in and week‑out.
Obviously when you play a team like Stanford, you know what they are going to run and you execute against it and you stop the run.  I'm just glad that we came out the way we did.
Just goes to show what type of player Tommy is.  He's a mature player and he's going to do whatever it takes to help us win.  And we are lucky to have Tommy Rees and Everett out there, and they are competing every day and the better they get the better our team gets.

Q.  When your starting quarterback goes down with a minute left and another guy comes in‑‑
MANTI TE'O:  When Tommy goes in there, we don't have any worries.  It's just, okay, Tommy's in now.  We have confidence in Tommy and he knows that.  He's just going to get better.

Q.  Inaudible.
MANTI TE'O:  Yeah, I think it was my D‑Line, created a big wall and he was trying to find his way through.  Just pushed him back a little bit.

Q.  Inaudible.
MANTI TE'O:  That my family was here‑‑ that was my girlfriend's school‑‑ it's just a big relief.  Yeah, I knew where they were.  I always look to see where my family is at.
Just great atmosphere.  That's NotreDame and what makes it so special is the love and the pride.

Q.  It's pretty well documented that your first trip‑‑ inaudible‑‑ four or five years later‑‑ inaudible.
MANTI TE'O:  I kind of forgot about the snowball.  Definitely we have come a long way and we are going to continue to get better.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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