Blue and Gold Illustrated

Nov. 2, 2015 Issue

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

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the field, and clean up our bumps and bruises and really go back and evaluate how we were in the first six weeks and be able to keep ourselves rolling going into the second half of the season." Fifth-year senior wide receiver Amir Carlisle … On answering USC's big plays: "Coach [Brian] Kelly always teaches us to start fast. That's a big thing — especially since they came and drove on us and put points on the board — that we can respond. "To score a touchdown was huge for us." On the team's preparation this week: "We really just preached 'at- tack.' Having a mindset to attack whatever play you're in. Your per- sonnel matchups, special teams, on offense, on defense — attack. It was a word we really just focused on this week. It really showed in our game plan, our aggressiveness on special teams, taking it in deep." Fifth-year senior linebacker Joe Schmidt … On his final USC game: "This is a game that I have imagined since I was five playing catch with my dad in the front yard. You imagine what the crowd looked like, what the little cardinal and gold helmets looked like. "It's even better in person than it was in the dream. To get a victory like this over an incredibly talented USC team with so much firepower and so many reasons to fight right now — it feels so good. It might not have been the cleanest, it might not have been the prettiest, but we were gritty and passionate and we played with love for each other. I'm proud of this team." USC head coach Clay Helton … On Notre Dame's secondary: "When it was crunch time, I thought they did a really good job to come up with the two turnovers there at the end. "Those were critical. They won the game when it was time." USC fifth-year senior quarterback Cody Kessler … On Notre Dame's late clutch plays: "They did a great job. Their offense is very efficient. They had a lot of great plays, and that built a lot of momentum. Momentum is the biggest thing; you want to get the crowd out of it. "But it seemed like whenever they went away for a little bit they would make a big play or something would happen to get the crowd right back into it. They are a very good football team, and I do not want to take any- thing away from them. They played very well." On last year's Notre Dame team compared to the 2015 squad: "They are a lot healthier this year. They have a very good defense. Their of- fense played well, but their defense was very physical and played very strong. They did a great job from their front seven to their defensive backs. It was a hard-fought game.

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