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November 3, 2012

Paul Chryst


COACH CHRYST:  Well, that was a good football game.  Proud of the way our players played the game, and Notre Dame is obviously a good football team.  It's well deserved.  I thought we did some good things, guys threw it around, and we had opportunities and we didn't take advantage of them enough and that's what this game comes down to.
We weren't good enough on third down; Notre Dame was.  I thought a lot of guys put it all on the line, and that's all can you ask the team to do, and it's a tough one because that's a good team we played.  They made more plays than we did, and credit to them.

Q.  After you got the ball back after the interception with four minutes to go, were you looking to try to score again there or take as much time off the clock?
COACH CHRYST:  Yeah, the combination of time and trying to not do what we did, and that's three and punt.  We hadn't been great on third down.  I think we wanted to be a little smart but aggressive, and wanted to try ‑‑ the whole mindset the whole game was to go win this thing.  We were trying to first move the sticks and see if they had an opportunity to score or not.

Q.  Coach, last week you were pretty successful in shutting down the run game.  This week you were successful running the ball.  What made you so successful?  How did you do that?
COACH CHRYST:  I think it helped the first play of the game gives you some confidence.  There is a reason why Notre Dame is tough to run the ball on, and, yet, we thought for us to have a chance in the game, we had to be able to run the ball.  So we were going to take some kicks if we can.  Certainly not everyone was pretty, but I thought Ray made some nice runs and guys did some things.  Certainly didn't think it was going to be easy.

Q.  The missed kick in overtime, it looked like the snap was high.  Did Kevin say afterwards that's why it went wide?
COACH CHRYST:  No, I didn't ask him.  We had an opportunity there and a golden opportunity.  We didn't get it done.

Q.  Conversely you were able to shut them down and then they got it going late.  Did anything change or what was your assessment of the defensive performance?
COACH CHRYST:  I think the defense did some good things.  I thought they were good we got some takeaways, some big ones.  But they've got a good team.  Golson is explosive and he hurt us.
But you've got to give them credit.  I thought we played well and did some things.  But I think that you can take a look at all of our phases, all three phases we could have done something more to make that one more play and give you a chance.

Q.  They're 8‑0 and rated number three in the country.  Is there something you guys can take from that as a learning point knowing what it takes to win the close ones the way they have so many time this is year?
COACH CHRYST:  Yeah, that's what good teams do is what Notre Dame did, and that is win the close ones.  I don't know that we can take it away, because we didn't do it.  I think every time you play there are lessons to be learned.  It reinforces something or something to smack you in the face.
When our players go back and play it on the plane ride home in their mind, when they see the film, they'll see some things.  I think it doesn't matter whether you won or lost, what you learn and take forward and what you internalize, then you've got a chance for it to be a negative or a positive.  It's what you take with that information.
So I felt good about it.  I thought those guys in our locker room played for each other and put themselves out there.  So I think every game you can learn something from and help you go forward.

Q.  Did Notre Dame's defense do anything differently in the overtime or did they just kind of overpower you guys?
COACH CHRYST:  Yeah, they out executed us.  I don't feel like they did a lot of things different, but I thought we didn't get it done, and they did.

Q.  How much was it part of your game plan to neutralize Manti Te'o with the screen passes and things like that?
COACH CHRYST:  I think Te'o is deserving of everything that he gets.  Yet we felt going into the game that‑‑ and as good a player as he is, I think the strength of them and their defense is they've got a lot of players.
So it was as much to try to attack him and do some different things.  As you saw, they've got a great front, too.  If you want to try to throw the ball, they can end up in your back field pretty quick.  So I think it was a combination of really just how are you going to attack a good defense?  We tried to do a number of different things.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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