Nov. 17, 2012
Final Stats |
How much did the fumble in the first quarter hurt your momentum?
COACH GROBE: Yeah, that hurt us. I thought one of the things we needed to try to do is hang in there in the first half, and we got too far behind and that certainly didn't help. That put us down 14 0 with the next drive. But this was just a day where Notre Dame was too much for us to handle.
I'd like to say that Josh's fumble got it going the wrong way, but they played great today, and we just weren't enough for them.
Was it a case where they had everything working offense, defense, and the whole package, really?
COACH GROBE: I think so. We knew coming in, we were going to have issues with their defense. Everybody has. They might be the best defensive football team in the country. We've struggled this year offensively. So we knew that was going to be a challenge for us coming in. What we needed to do is make more plays defensively and try to stay in it.
But they had four or five individual efforts going for passes that were just phenomenal efforts, where we were around and had a chance to compete but didn't make a play.
I thought that Wood ran the ball very good today. The quarterback was very loose, gave us a lot of problems on the perimeter and couldn't contain on bootlegs. They just played great football today.
Were you a little happy you were able to control it in the second half? You didn't score, but at least you guys held in there a little bit.
COACH GROBE: Well, I think they had the good lead and they didn't need to get real flashy. They took it easy on us. I told our guys in the locker room after the game that I couldn't be more proud of how hard they played. I thought we played classy. We didn't get chippy. We got behind, and I thought our guys gave great effort there in the second half.
They got to play a lot of players. We got to play a lot of players, and I think a lot of kids got a chance to get on the field today. But by halftime they pretty much closed us out. We hoped to come out and start the first drive of the second half. We felt like if we could get a score on our first drive and got a couple of first downs and had to punt the ball back. But we just never could make it a game today. They played great.
I wondered if you could talk about Everett Golson, his play, and did he surprise you at all?
COACH GROBE: I tell what you impressed me with that kid today is how accurately he threw the football. We knew that he was going to be a problem for us with his feet, either running the football or making plays out of the pocket. I was just I couldn't be more impressed with how accurately he threw the football, especially two or three of the deep balls.
A couple times we felt like we had a chance to get off the field, and he threw a couple of out routes that were money. I thought the kid played great tonight. I think what impressed us as much as anything is how well he threw the football. They had some pretty good guys to throw it to too.
Along the lines of pretty good guys to throw it too, talk about Tyler Eifert and his impact in the two years that you've had to scout him and figure out a defense to contain him?
COACH GROBE: What we find so often in tight ends is they're one or the other. They're big guys, really good blockers, or they're undersized guys that can run and catch a football. He's the perfect combination. He's a good blocker. He did some good stuff in the run game, very athletic, and has some great hands. A couple of times tonight they had really, really good coverage. They just went up and took the ball away from us. A great player, and one of the few tight ends that I've seen that has the ability he's got to not only block but kept the football. Really, really fine receiver.
From your perspective, if Notre Dame can close out next week, should Notre Dame be in the National Championship Game?
COACH GROBE: Yeah, no question about it, but maybe there are a couple others that should be too. That is kind of the deal right now. We've played three Top 10 teams. All of them great teams: Clemson, Florida State, Notre Dame. I can't imagine anybody from what I saw today, playing better than Notre Dame. But I think there are some other really, really good teams.
So they've impressed me today. I guess there will be a lot of other people that make that call. But I think they're as good a team as anybody in the country.