Blue and Gold Illustrated

Oct. 31, 2016

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

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Page 30 of 55 OCT. 31, 2016 31 Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly … On what he said to the team after the game: "That's really between us. Here's what I would tell you: That when things aren't going well in the family, you keep it in the family, and we're struggling. But we're going to keep our business in the family, and we're going to work on it together. "There's a commitment that I love about this group that really energizes you to do everything you can to get them through this really difficult time." On junior center Sam Mustipher's poor snaps: "Sam is a great kid. He wants to do it right. He feels terrible. We'll just keep working at it — it's just an unfortunate situation. "I told the guys, this is the no-apology zone. Nobody needs to apologize to anybody. Everybody knows where we're at; we're 2-5, and we're going to get reminded of it by everybody in the country about a million times. "We're 2-5, I'm 2-5, everybody is 2-5, so no one needs to apologize. What we need to do is coach better and execute better, and that will cure a lot of things." Notre Dame senior left tackle Mike McGlinchey … On how the Irish felt at halftime with a 10-0 lead: "We felt pretty good. We had a pretty good first half. We had the ball only four times and scored on two pos- sessions. We felt real good about where we were at, and we didn't come out in the second half and finish the ballgame. "Obviously, when you're on the winning side of things in the first half it felt a bit better than the end of the game there. But we understood that there was a lot of football left, and 30 minutes of football is a long time. We can't let ourselves get into the ruts that we get in." Notre Dame fifth-year senior nose guard Jarron Jones … On the defensive improvements in recent weeks: "We let it go. We're not afraid to mess up anymore. We were always so tentative, afraid that something bad was going to happen no matter what we did. "We were always afraid we were going to make a mistake." On the team staying together through tough times: "We hug each other like we won the game. We don't celebrate or anything, but we still tell each other we love each other through this tough time. We give each other hugs. "This is tough pill to swallow, but on the bright side of it we have another game, another opportunity to prove ourselves." Stanford head coach David Shaw … On what star junior running back Christian McCaf- frey provided to the team, even while out with an in- jury: "Oh, I heard him. I heard him. We talked the other day, and he said, 'You know me, Coach, I'm not going to be moping on the sidelines now.' I said, 'I didn't think you would be.' "He was energetic, he was fired up, he had a smile on his face, he was cheering his guys on, pushing his guys, and that's just what we expect, and it just shows you what kind of a person he is. "He's not just a great player, he's a great teammate, and he's so excited for those guys. He's probably one of the loudest guys in the locker room after the victory. He loves his teammates, and he's passionate for their successes, and hopefully we'll get him back on the field soon." On junior defensive end Solomon Thomas, who had 12 tackles against the Irish: "Great player who shows up when you need him to. That was in the locker room at the end of last game, that was throughout the entire week. His work ethic, I'm so fortunate as a football coach to go out every day and see guys like Christian McCaffrey and Solomon Thomas just work and push themselves. When your best players are your hardest workers, you always have a chance. "Solomon challenged the football team, and he re- sponded, and that's what leaders do. Leaders don't just challenge everybody else, they challenge themselves, too, and he came out with the mindset to play his best football game, and he just may have." FROM THE LOCKER ROOM Head coach Brian Kelly told his team that it must remain united and keep its current struggles within the family. PHOTO BY BILL PANZICA

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