Blue and Gold Illustrated

Sept. 10, 2018

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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Page 30 of 55 SEPT 10, 2018 31 NOTRE DAME HEAD COACH BRIAN KELLY … On whether the Michigan win is a testament to build- ing sustained success: "The last two games that we've played, we've beaten really good defenses and really good personnel. Winning close games against really good football teams usually lends itself to you've probably got a pretty good football program. "Keep building it and keep recruiting and keep a healthy culture and organization, and you should be having the kind of atmosphere we have tonight. Wasn't that cool? That was as good as I can remember." NOTRE DAME SENIOR QUARTERBACK BRANDON WIMBUSH … On his play: "I just had so much fun out there, just playing ball and not worrying about anything else. "It's been a long time since we've been out there play- ing a full football game. I think all the guys were excited to get out there." On the play of the Irish offensive line: "Our offensive line did an excellent job of holding their own and giving me time back there to do what I needed to do to get things done. Big shout-out to those guys." NOTRE DAME SOPHOMORE RUNNING BACK JAFAR ARMSTRONG … On scoring two touchdowns in his first career game: "There's nothing like it. I can say that. I came in to do my part, and I'm happy for that. "I come in every week and try to go my hardest. … We have a 24-hour rule … Monday we're getting ready for Ball State." On when he found out he would start: "The coaches told me a week and a half before that I would be the guy to go out there first. I've been trying to get my mind right the past week and talking to the other guys on the team about how was their first start. "It's just football at the end of the day. I came in to do my job." NOTRE DAME FIFTH-YEAR OFFENSIVE LINEMAN ALEX BARS … On if the game was a statement for the offensive line: "I definitely think so. We have so much trust in each other. I trust that Liam Eichenberg is going to do his job and ball, which he did. He's got some stuff to clean up, but who doesn't? "We have that togetherness we had last year. It's a statement for us. It confirms what we've been working so hard for." On Wimbush's play: "He's electric. He's a phenomenal player. It's great to see him make some of those short throws that I hear are criticized. He has the ability to make plays and scramble left and right. "He's really been working hard on his game. He's the quarterback at Notre Dame. He's gets so much pressure and heat from everyone on the outside. For him to block out the noise and focus on the game to get the win was great to see." Notre Dame junior defensive end Khalid Kareem … On if he felt the Michigan offense seemed frustrated: "You saw in their body language that they were kind of defeated. We just kept coming." On if the Irish defense played with a chip on their shoulder with a lot of talk about Michigan's group: "A little bit of a chip. We knew what type of defense we were. We just went out and proved it to everyone." NOTRE DAME JUNIOR SAFETY ALOHI GILMAN … On putting everything into perspective after not playing for over a year and starting out on a big stage: "It's probably the best way to come back. A 7:30 p.m. night game with College GameDay; the atmosphere was crazy. My ears were ringing. "I enjoyed all of it. I enjoyed every second of going out there with my teammates. It's an experience I'm humbled by. I'm grateful to be out there and be part of this program." On if anything could prepare him for the moment and atmosphere: "There's nothing really. I played some pretty big games my freshman year [at Navy]. But being out of the routine for a while, you kind of forget those feelings, like coming back to the locker room, getting ready for pre-game and getting strapped up. "It was all an experience that gave me chills because I haven't been doing it for a while. Being back out there has been a blessing." — Corey Bodden FROM THE LOCKER ROOM Fifth-year senior Alex Bars and the offensive line held their own against a highly touted Michigan defense, helping the Irish run for 132 yards. PHOTO BY BILL PANZICA

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